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I am hearing differing opinions on why my CEL (check engine light) is on. Does it automatically go on after 3000 miles or something, to signal an oil change need? Where do you troubleshoot without having to buy one of those ODB II Scan tools?

Not sure why it came on, everything still looks fine and runs well. Although I suspect it may be something like an O2 sensor or something that is wearing out, after 50k miles.

Any thoughts?
 

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Re: Check engine light frequency...huh? (Ski Brick)

There are two seperate lights.
"Check Engine" (CEL)
And "Serivce"

It's it's CHECK engine, then it means the diagnostic system has flagged an error. If you have a 93-95 model, you can check the codes without a code reader. If you have a 96+ model, you need an OBD II code reader. The check engine light can be flagged by any number of things, including O2 sensors, misfires, sensor errors, etc etc.

The SERVICE light comes on after a certain amount of milage as a remind to do your oil change/service. This light generally comes on after you should have done the service, as a sort of last effort reminder. Again, if you have a 93-95 model, you can reset this yourself. With 96+ you need a special tool.

For 93-95 models, there are instructions here on how to reset both kinds of light. http://www.volvospeed.com/maintence.htm
If it is the CHECK engine light, reset the codes and see if they come back.
 

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Re: Check engine light frequency...huh? (chopper)

Yeah, that is the same as I was told. Now you may be in the same boat as I at the moment. I have been seeing the Check engine light go on and off regularly for about 1200 miles. I have been into the dealership about this, which is an hours drive, but evertime I go in the light has gone off. I swear its like a mean trick or something, and its really annoying. They claim its probably the gas cap not being screwed on tight enough. I hate those responses, its an insult to my intelligence, I mean come on I know how to screw a gas cap on, I know to listen fot he two clicks, etc. I know that something else is wrong, and its apparently intermittent. I was told by one that its a sign the valve in the gas cap is going, or the sensor in the gas tank is going.
 

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Re: Check engine light frequency...huh? (pj's 850)

I have been told that if you take the gas cap off while the engine is running the check engine light can come on. That happened to me when I got an emmissions test a couple of years ago.

The lovely Volvo dealer told me that my O2 sensor was bad--guess they wanted $400 more than they wanted my loyalty...

On this subject, I have a '96 and have wondered if anyone sells one device that will reset the service light AND read/reset the error codes? IPD sells two seperate things, but it's not really worth $180 to turn my service light off. On the rare occasion when my wife drives the car and says, "did you know your service light is on", I just say, "yeah, for about 25,000 miles now... If someone sold a dual purpose device, I'd pay $180 for it TODAY!

Cheers,
Sam
 

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Re: Check engine light frequency...huh? (pj's 850)

quote:

They claim its probably the gas cap not being screwed on tight enough. I hate those responses, its an insult to my intelligence, I mean come on I know how to screw a gas cap on, I know to listen fot he two clicks, etc. I know that something else is wrong
Don't be too sure. I used to think I knoew how to tighten a gas cap. Was getting a constant CEL and it was always the same code. I got a new gas cap. Still went off with the same code. I changed my habits.

Instead of one or two clicks I always turn the cap 3 turns... reliciously. Click. Click. Click. Try that and see if ti fixes it. I had a learning curve (about 6 months) before I was told about that.

So, in conclusion, it could be your gas cap. The fuel systems on these cars are extremely sensitive and if the system can't keep a certain pressure (cap too tight or to loose) it will throw a code. Just be thankful you don't have to replce your gas tank.
 
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