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Shamil

Check Engine Light - warning sign

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I thought i would start a thread to share an experience that I came across recently so that others may benefit from it. So for those of you that are not aware, I have been struggling recently with a random check engine light that would show up either while off-roading or sometimes even on road. I would try various solutions such as

1) Switching the car off and back on again,

2) Disconnecting the battery terminals and reconnecting them,

3) Blowing air off the MAF sensor

4) Getting the throttle body cleaned because sand would accumulate there (this isnt a DIY solution like the above steps but is still one of the suspects)

By doing any or all of the above, the error would usually disappear and from my understanding that would just be a temporary solution since the error message would come back to haunt you another day. This goes to showing that the error hasn't been rectified properly the first time but then again a garage is unable to diagnose the issue since their OBD scanners dont show any errors since the code gets cleared. (or perhaps the OBD scanners they were using arent good enough, but i am not sure about this). Due to this, i was never able to properly diagnose the issue as the error code would just go away and no one could properly diagnose the issue. I would just randomly get the error and i would do any of the above steps to get the car running again without the error. Most mechanics would tell me to bring the car straight to the garage when the error occurs(and not clear the code) so that the code will be active and they can then do a proper check.

Yesterday, however, i went for a car wash after a long drive on friday and as usual I aired down the engine bay (since i did an auto wash and not the full service where they spray water from below the engine bay) and as i was driving out of the service station, the check engine warning came on. I tried most of the above mentioned solutions and nothing seemed to work, as the error code wasnt going away this time. I then got the car on a recovery truck and took it straight to a garage whereby they checked with the OBD scanner and the error was very much showing. All they had to do was clear the code and VOILA - my car was back to normal. What I have learned from this experience is that, whenever a check engine light is encountered and if you are able to do a temporary fix to remove the warning sign, it is a possibility that the code might still be stored in the ECU and it needs to be cleared. If not, then it could still linger around and show up again.

 

Edited by Shamil
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An old trick i learned from a mechanic friend of mine. If you have had errors that have gone away and the garage wont find anything. just ask them to clear all errors anyway, it is known the ecu will store errors but not always show them.

Thanks for the post, its some great knowledge to share that many new mechanics don't know about.

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14 minutes ago, Shamil said:

I thought i would start a thread to share an experience that I came across recently so that others may benefit from it. So for those of you that are not aware, I have been struggling recently with a random check engine light that would show up either while off-roading or sometimes even on road. I would try various solutions such as

1) Switching the car off and back on again,

2) Disconnecting the battery terminals and reconnecting them,

3) Blowing air off the MAF sensor

4) Getting the throttle body cleaned because sand would accumulate there (this isnt a DIY solution like the above steps but is still one of the suspects)

By doing any or all of the above, the error would usually disappear and from my understanding that would just be a temporary solution since the error message would come back to haunt you another day. This goes to showing that the error hasn't been rectified properly the first time but then again a garage is unable to diagnose the issue since their OBD scanners dont show any errors since the code gets cleared. (or perhaps the OBD scanners they were using arent good enough, but i am not sure about this). Due to this, i was never able to properly diagnose the issue as the error code would just go away and no one could properly diagnose the issue. I would just randomly get the error and i would do any of the above steps to get the car running again without the error. Most mechanics would tell me to bring the car straight to the garage when the error occurs(and not clear the code) so that the code will be active and they can then do a proper check.

Yesterday, however, i went for a car wash after a long drive on friday and as usual I aired down the engine bay (since i did an auto wash and not the full service where they spray water from below the engine bay) and as i was driving out of the service station, the check engine warning came on. I tried most of the above mentioned solutions and nothing seemed to work, as the error code wasnt going away this time. I then got the car on a recovery truck and took it straight to a garage whereby they checked with the OBD scanner and the error was very much showing. All they had to do was clear the code and VOILA - my car was back to normal. What I have learned from this experience is that, whenever a check engine light is encountered and if you are able to do a temporary fix to remove the warning sign, it is a possibility that the code might still be stored in the ECU and it needs to be cleared. If not, then it could still linger around and show up again.

 

Hi Shamil, can you share with us the specific code that your car showed ?

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37 minutes ago, Shamil said:

I thought i would start a thread to share an experience that I came across recently so that others may benefit from it. So for those of you that are not aware, I have been struggling recently with a random check engine light that would show up either while off-roading or sometimes even on road. I would try various solutions such as

1) Switching the car off and back on again,

2) Disconnecting the battery terminals and reconnecting them,

3) Blowing air off the MAF sensor

4) Getting the throttle body cleaned because sand would accumulate there (this isnt a DIY solution like the above steps but is still one of the suspects)

By doing any or all of the above, the error would usually disappear and from my understanding that would just be a temporary solution since the error message would come back to haunt you another day. This goes to showing that the error hasn't been rectified properly the first time but then again a garage is unable to diagnose the issue since their OBD scanners dont show any errors since the code gets cleared. (or perhaps the OBD scanners they were using arent good enough, but i am not sure about this). Due to this, i was never able to properly diagnose the issue as the error code would just go away and no one could properly diagnose the issue. I would just randomly get the error and i would do any of the above steps to get the car running again without the error. Most mechanics would tell me to bring the car straight to the garage when the error occurs(and not clear the code) so that the code will be active and they can then do a proper check.

Yesterday, however, i went for a car wash after a long drive on friday and as usual I aired down the engine bay (since i did an auto wash and not the full service where they spray water from below the engine bay) and as i was driving out of the service station, the check engine warning came on. I tried most of the above mentioned solutions and nothing seemed to work, as the error code wasnt going away this time. I then got the car on a recovery truck and took it straight to a garage whereby they checked with the OBD scanner and the error was very much showing. All they had to do was clear the code and VOILA - my car was back to normal. What I have learned from this experience is that, whenever a check engine light is encountered and if you are able to do a temporary fix to remove the warning sign, it is a possibility that the code might still be stored in the ECU and it needs to be cleared. If not, then it could still linger around and show up again.

 

OR save yourself ALL that hassle and just buy a OBD scanner yourself. You can get Bluetooth scanners for under 50dhs nowadays and the software to run is available for free on Google play store from which you can read and clear the codes yourself.

I'm sure the recovery ride cost more than that.

Edited by desertdude
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1 minute ago, desertdude said:

OR save yourself all that hassle and you could just buy a OBD scanner yourself. You can get Bluetooth scanners for under 50dhs and the software to run it is available for free on Google play store from which you can read and clear the codes yourself.

I'm sure the recovery ride cost more than that.

The problem with my truck - Nissan Xterra, is that they are not compatible with the standard OBD scanners. 

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So what was the root cause of these intermittent check engine light? Hope you found out that and nail it down to not to haunt you again.

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Let's root for each other & watch each other grow.

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25 minutes ago, Frederic said:

Hi Shamil, can you share with us the specific code that your car showed ?

i didnt see the specific code but its a good point, i should ask them what it was and then ill post it here.

1 minute ago, Gaurav said:

So what was the root cause of these intermittent check engine light? Hope you found out that and nail it down to not to haunt you again.

i believe the code wasnt cleared when it happened the first time which is why it kept coming back. 

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2 minutes ago, Shamil said:

The problem with my truck - Nissan Xterra, is that they are not compatible with the standard OBD scanners. 

Bullshit, who ever told you that nonsense should be taken behind the shed and shot. 

By law all cars have to be compatible with OBD standards.

And let's for a moment for arguments sake believe that bullshit you can get a Nissan specific diagnostic tool for around 500dhs. 

And I'm pretty much sure that check engine light will popup again in the near future because what ever it is. It's an intermintent fault. 

Stored codes in the ECU don't just pop up randomly like that causing a CEL. The shop might have cleared the code but didn't address the situation why it was there in the first place.

So until the next time it comes back on keep that recovery truck number handy because Nissan made that one Xterra Xtra special which does not comply to OBD standards and you just happen to have it.

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1 hour ago, Shamil said:

I thought i would start a thread to share an experience that I came across recently so that others may benefit from it. So for those of you that are not aware, I have been struggling recently with a random check engine light that would show up either while off-roading or sometimes even on road. I would try various solutions such as

1) Switching the car off and back on again,

2) Disconnecting the battery terminals and reconnecting them,

3) Blowing air off the MAF sensor

4) Getting the throttle body cleaned because sand would accumulate there (this isnt a DIY solution like the above steps but is still one of the suspects)

By doing any or all of the above, the error would usually disappear and from my understanding that would just be a temporary solution since the error message would come back to haunt you another day. This goes to showing that the error hasn't been rectified properly the first time but then again a garage is unable to diagnose the issue since their OBD scanners dont show any errors since the code gets cleared. (or perhaps the OBD scanners they were using arent good enough, but i am not sure about this). Due to this, i was never able to properly diagnose the issue as the error code would just go away and no one could properly diagnose the issue. I would just randomly get the error and i would do any of the above steps to get the car running again without the error. Most mechanics would tell me to bring the car straight to the garage when the error occurs(and not clear the code) so that the code will be active and they can then do a proper check.

Yesterday, however, i went for a car wash after a long drive on friday and as usual I aired down the engine bay (since i did an auto wash and not the full service where they spray water from below the engine bay) and as i was driving out of the service station, the check engine warning came on. I tried most of the above mentioned solutions and nothing seemed to work, as the error code wasnt going away this time. I then got the car on a recovery truck and took it straight to a garage whereby they checked with the OBD scanner and the error was very much showing. All they had to do was clear the code and VOILA - my car was back to normal. What I have learned from this experience is that, whenever a check engine light is encountered and if you are able to do a temporary fix to remove the warning sign, it is a possibility that the code might still be stored in the ECU and it needs to be cleared. If not, then it could still linger around and show up again.

 

 

Have a look at below topic. Not sure if related though:

https://www.clubxterra.org/threads/check-engine-light.5963/

 

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I had some experience with this on an older Mercedes. It seems none of us really trust the garage mechanics but let's face it, most mechanics coming into the business today have little knowledge about mending cars, instead, they plug the car into their computer, wait for the error codes and then fix what ever the ICU tells them needs fixing. It's why I prefer an older car as well, because having moving parts you can look at and fix. 

Having your own OBD means that when you hear that sharp intake of breath from the mechanic you can smile, knowingly and call them out if they invent new problems. It's amazing how may problems can be fixed with a simple reset. Let's not forget that there's a computer running most modern cars and from time to time they might, just like your phone or computer need a reset that do not just get fixed with a reset. 

Random errors should more or less be expected, but in the end, there will be an end of life for just about every component. Clearing the code is not a solution, because all you do is clear the code, not the cause of the problem. That's why it will come up again. 

As a general rule, I decided to follow Rahim's advice. Green lights in the car mean go. Yellow mean be careful and red stop. Ignoring them is a bit like ignoring your first heart attack and wondering why you feel a bit unwell after eating too much cholestorol! 

Edited by Wrangeld
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