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Old 05-04-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
jstewart1701
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Default Check Engine Light

Was wondering if someone could help me. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue, and the check engine light came on, so I took it to an AutoZone and they did a code scan, however no codes came up. We looked in the owners manual, and it mention something about the gas cap could be loose, or water got into the wiring. It has rain the past few days, and I have went through some small puddles nothing deep by no means. I have also taken the gas cap off, retighten it, and the light is still on. I know if I take it to a mechanic it will cost me a hundred dollars or more just to find out why the light is on, and right now I can't afford that.

Thanks
John

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
nil5
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

It should not cost you over $50 to have the code read by a Saturn dealer. A reputable mechanic might do it for free. They earn the bulk of their money by fixing real problems, not the 5 minutes it takes to read a code off.

By the way, that Autozone couldn't read your code tells me something. Can you verify which light is illuminated? I am not familiar with the 2004+ VUE, but on my 2002, we have two similar lights:

1) Service engine soon [engine drawing]
2) Service [wrench drawing]

Have you seen any other strange behavior with your gauges? I ask because we had the 'service[wrench]' light coming on intermittently, which was a result of a failed Body Control Module (about $600). When I had Autozone and the dealer read the codes, they came up with nothing. So in that way, our experiences are similar.


Another thing to try: Disconnect your battery (unplug the negative (black) cable) for a few minutes, then reconnect. Does the check engine light go away?

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstewart1701 View Post
Was wondering if someone could help me. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue, and the check engine light came on, so I took it to an AutoZone and they did a code scan, however no codes came up. We looked in the owners manual, and it mention something about the gas cap could be loose, or water got into the wiring. It has rain the past few days, and I have went through some small puddles nothing deep by no means. I have also taken the gas cap off, retighten it, and the light is still on. I know if I take it to a mechanic it will cost me a hundred dollars or more just to find out why the light is on, and right now I can't afford that.

Thanks
John
John ... make sure the light is not the oil change reminder light!

If its an actual CEL - and gas cap is causing - the AutoZone code scan should have picked-up trouble code P0455. This is code for large vacuum leak in the EVAP system.

We've heard many times where the AZ scan tool misses a code, and other parts stores could use another brand, which will capture the code, so you might consider a second opinion.

Its very possible the CEL was turned on by one of the hundreds of Saturn (GM) unique codes which can only be read by a special tool at a GM dealer.

You might want to do an inventory of vehicle functions, such as: gauges and lights operating OK, engine starts and runs OK, no strange noises at any RPM, keyless entry and door locks are good, etc.

If all systems are normal - and CEL is not flashing - you'll probably be safe putting around town until something else rears its head - or the light goes out.

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

nil5 ... how about identical post times?

We seem to be thinking along the same lines - and you should be concerned about that (knowing me as I do).

If you're at the keyboard - then you must have the gasket ON.

Correct?

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
nil5 ... how about identical post times?

We seem to be thinking along the same lines - and you should be concerned about that (knowing me as I do).

If you're at the keyboard - then you must have the gasket ON.

Correct?
haha, I've got "far too much work to do" to justify being on here so much

Not sure which gasket you're referring to, I'm sort of dense today, sorry.

I'm with you in thinking that the Autozone tool should have read a code, if it was there.

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

I looked online for the manual just to make sure what the light is called and it is called Malfunction indicator lamp service engine soon light, it's steady not blinking. The only other odd thing i noticed was the change oil light came on for a second then off. I will take it to another place to see if they can find any codes. Thank you for your help.

John

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

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Not sure which gasket you're referring to, I'm sort of dense today, sorry.
I've been following the narrative of the oil-pan gasket change ... no big deal ... work comes first.

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Old 05-04-2010, 02:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I've been following the narrative of the oil-pan gasket change ... no big deal ... work comes first.
Ahhhh right. no, I still don't have it back on. At the point where I have to scrub the gasket surfaces. Then i''ll be ready to reinstall her. The Vue is my wife's ride, but I rode my motorcycle to work so that should had a car for the day...

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Old 05-04-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by nil5 View Post
It should not cost you over $50 to have the code read by a Saturn dealer. A reputable mechanic might do it for free. They earn the bulk of their money by fixing real problems, not the 5 minutes it takes to read a code off.

By the way, that Autozone couldn't read your code tells me something. Can you verify which light is illuminated? I am not familiar with the 2004+ VUE, but on my 2002, we have two similar lights:

1) Service engine soon [engine drawing]
2) Service [wrench drawing]

Have you seen any other strange behavior with your gauges? I ask because we had the 'service[wrench]' light coming on intermittently, which was a result of a failed Body Control Module (about $600). When I had Autozone and the dealer read the codes, they came up with nothing. So in that way, our experiences are similar.


Another thing to try: Disconnect your battery (unplug the negative (black) cable) for a few minutes, then reconnect. Does the check engine light go away?
The Saturn dealer (Just turned Kia near me) charges $105 check for codes They have signs all over and make you sign a work order that you agree to the charge.

Are their any other strange electrical problems like the alarm going off for no reason or the door locks not working all the time. That indicates a BCM.

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Old 05-05-2010, 07:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstewart1701 View Post
We looked in the owners manual, and it mention something about the gas cap could be loose,
Hello, I just got an '03 Vue and haven't had time to read the owner's manual yet, but I thought I would add this if it helps...
Our '02 Windstar has the gas cap warning feature, and when it is activated, the book says it takes three trips (warmup & cooldown) to reset the warning after the the cap has been reseated properly.
Like I said, don't know if it pertains to the check engine light here, just thought I'd throw that out there.

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Old 05-05-2010, 07:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

the last time I had the MIL come on it was a loose gas cap. I tightened the cap before I had the codes read. Later on I went to Advanced Auto to check the codes. No codes came up (since whatever caused the light to be lit went away) so I cleared the MIL.

So if you indeed had a loose cap and tightened it before you read the codes then it could explain why you saw no code.

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Well, I took it to a different Auto Zone, and they scan for codes, and no codes came up, so he reset it for me, and the light went off. About 70 miles later the light came back on. I'm going to replace the gas cap, and at the same time I will have Auto Zone reset the code in hopes that takes care of it. If anyone has any other idea please let me know, and I'll try them.

Thanks

John

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

I did some foot work on the web about the light, and I found this. SOME TIME PCM GET A VOLTAGE SPIKE.OR ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE WILL CAUSE SERVICE LIGHT TO COME ON WITH NO CODES. Any thoughts?

Thanks
John

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Old 06-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Sooo..... What if the CEL *is* blinking...?

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Old 06-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

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Sooo..... What if the CEL *is* blinking...?
If it is blinking, usually will indicate a hard misfire, ie. the engine is not properly burning fuel. Thus it is being duped into your catalytic converter causing this light. It will ruin the converter and eventually leave you stranded. It will clog the cat and not permit the engine to evacuate and exhaust gas. Figure out what the concern is ASAP.

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Old 06-11-2010, 08:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Check Engine Light

Thanks for the info. I was asking because I was indeed stranded in an unfamiliar area and was trying to figure out what it could be while trying to find a nearby mechanic that did engine work.

Man, the minute I saw that thing *blink*, I knew I was.....

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