One of the most common problems on today’s cars (especially used ones) is the dreaded check engine light problem.
Unlike other warning lights on the dashboard, which come up for a very solid reason (low oil level, coolant level etc), this is perhaps the only warning light that will come up if even the smallest malfunction occurs. In most cases you can continue driving with no obvious problems yet it stays lit up.
As I’ve seen numerous times, this problem ends up in spending a lot of money on replacing parts (which, in the end didn’t need to be replaced) and your local mechanic shrugging shoulders and telling to drive just the way it is and ignore the damn thing.
In case you’re a car enthusiast like me, this simply is not the solution. Although you can drive the car without problems ,that check engine light simply causes worry an annoyance.
For additional help and problem-solving on this matter you can read a separate article about the most common reasons why the check engine light is on.
So, here’s my story and how the problem was solved. Hope it helps.
(You have a video below the text or can watch it on our You Tube channel)
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME UP FOR NO APPARENT REASON
The check engine light went on during driving for no apparent reason. There was no change in driving, the car went OK, yet the light was on. During the course of a few hundred kilometers the light went on and off.
DIAGNOSTIC CHECK SHOWED A FAILED LAMBDA SENSOR
Once the car was hooked to the diagnostics, it showed a faulty lambda sensor. This is a common fault, mostly due to poor quality of gas (petrol). I decided to do the basics so I changed my gas station and that didn’t help. The light continued to go on and off in irregular patterns.
DECIDED NOT TO CHANGE THE LAMBDA SENSOR
Although it would be logical to change the lambda sensor right away, experience has taught me to wait a bit. It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve thrown money away for nothing. I decided, since it’s not a “life and death” matter, to give it a wait and see if I can find some other reasons.
CAUGHT THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT “DEVIL”
Soon enough, during an overtaking, I saw that the light went on again. Since it was an overtaking, I had to accelerate more, thus causing more fuel and air intake. It seemed it came up for that reason. There was a clue to what to do next
CHECK THE AIR AND FUEL INTAKE
During the next weekend I parked the car in to the garage, made myself some coffee and started digging under the hood.
First I checked the air intake since it is more accessible. The air intake system on this type of engine is “reduced” to the engine cover. It is at the same time the air filter casing. The first thing I saw is that the engine cover is not sitting in place properly. One of the holders was not pushed in place properly.
I took off the whole engine cover (just in case) and also saw that the rubber seal that “sits” on the engine air intake is bent inside. Probably, during previous inspections or oil changes the engine covering was forced in place thus causing damage. I returned the seal back in its place and returned the engine cover, this time making sure that it sits in properly.
I also checked the fuel intake just in case (gas tank cap, fuel lines etc.) but that was all in good order.
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT PROBLEM FINALLY SOLVED
Low and behold, I turned the ignition, started the engine and the check engine light went off. I can’t tell you how happy and satisfied I was. Finally, I could drive my car with all of the lights on the dash out. Besides that, I didn’t have to worry anymore if there is hidden gremlin somewhere and worry every time I had to take a trip somewhere.
CONCLUSION ABOUT THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT PROBLEM: TAKE A HARMLESS PEAK FOR YOURSELF BEFORE SPENDING MONEY ON EXPENSIVE REPAIRS
So, as you’ve seen, problem solved. It was a simple air intake problem. All that I did was took my time and made a harmless inspection under the hood. No major repairs, no taking apart anything. Just looking, searching and a bit of old-fashioned thinking.
I had a similar problem on my previous car (Fiat Stilo 1.9 JTD 115 bhp) and the problem was almost on the same basis which brings me to the conclusion that this is a fairly often problem.
Of course, this is not the solution to every check engine light problem out there, but it sure is worth taking a look.
Better that than throwing away hard-earned money for nothing.