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Check Engine Light on Mitsubishi Galant

edited December 2011 in Repair and Maintenance
We have had a problem with our check engine light on our 2003 Mitsubishi Galant for a couple years. The light used to go on and off. Our mechanic ran the issue, checked it out, and said that it was not actually a problem with the engine but rather with the indicator light. The light was going off when there was not actually an issue. He told us it would cost about $500 to fix the problem. At the time, we decided it was not worth the money. Two months ago, we brought the car in for an oil change and the light was on. He ran the problem again, and again told us it was not a problem with the engine but with the light.

Unfortunately, it's time to get our car inspected, and the light is still on and has not gone off in two months. Since we did not want to risk getting a fine, we brought it in for the inspection, as as expected, the car failed. The inspector, a different mechanic (our regular mechanic does not do state inspections), said that our mechanic was probably wrong, that the lights do not just break and go off unexpectedly, and there is probably something wrong with the car instead.

So here's our dilemma: do we take the car to the inspector and have him examine it and get his opinion on the problem? Or do we bring it to our regular mechanic, let him fix it for $500? Or do we take it to someone who is not familiar with the situation at all, let them look at it, and see what their opinion is? Has anyone heard of a broken indicator light being a problem?
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Comments

  • edited December 2011
    We have had a problem with our check engine light on our 2003 Mitsubishi Galant for a couple years. The light used to go on and off. Our mechanic ran the issue, checked it out, and said that it was not actually a problem with the engine but rather with the indicator light. The light was going off when there was not actually an issue. He told us it would cost about $500 to fix the problem. At the time, we decided it was not worth the money. Two months ago, we brought the car in for an oil change and the light was on. He ran the problem again, and again told us it was not a problem with the engine but with the light.

    Unfortunately, it's time to get our car inspected, and the light is still on and has not gone off in two months. Since we did not want to risk getting a fine, we brought it in for the inspection, as as expected, the car failed. The inspector, a different mechanic (our regular mechanic does not do state inspections), said that our mechanic was probably wrong, that the lights do not just break and go off unexpectedly, and there is probably something wrong with the car instead.

    So here's our dilemma: do we take the car to the inspector and have him examine it and get his opinion on the problem? Or do we bring it to our regular mechanic, let him fix it for $500? Or do we take it to someone who is not familiar with the situation at all, let them look at it, and see what their opinion is? Has anyone heard of a broken indicator light being a problem?
  • edited December 2011
    We have had a problem with our check engine light on our 2003 Mitsubishi Galant for a couple years. The light used to go on and off. Our mechanic ran the issue, checked it out, and said that it was not actually a problem with the engine but rather with the indicator light. The light was going off when there was not actually an issue. He told us it would cost about $500 to fix the problem. At the time, we decided it was not worth the money. Two months ago, we brought the car in for an oil change and the light was on. He ran the problem again, and again told us it was not a problem with the engine but with the light.

    Unfortunately, it's time to get our car inspected, and the light is still on and has not gone off in two months. Since we did not want to risk getting a fine, we brought it in for the inspection, as as expected, the car failed. The inspector, a different mechanic (our regular mechanic does not do state inspections), said that our mechanic was probably wrong, that the lights do not just break and go off unexpectedly, and there is probably something wrong with the car instead.

    So here's our dilemma: do we take the car to the inspector and have him examine it and get his opinion on the problem? Or do we bring it to our regular mechanic, let him fix it for $500? Or do we take it to someone who is not familiar with the situation at all, let them look at it, and see what their opinion is? Has anyone heard of a broken indicator light being a problem?
  • Take it to a parts store, have the codes read, and post them here.
  • That light is on because something on the engine, probably emissions related is not working properly. I am not sure what the exact words were that your mechanic used, but it doesn't seem like sound advice unless there were other conditions involved. $500 nowadays does not go very far in repairs, so it sounds like a relatively straightforward fix, but I agree, have the codes read for free and get a 2nd opinion. The stress builds up when after $500 the light comes back on...
  • edited December 2011
    So is your mechanic saying that the light can't be reset and no code is stored?
    If the light is on without there actually being an issue and it not being able to be reset, it would have to be the ECM. That's a lot more expensive than $500.

    Definitely get a second opinion.


  • I see more than one potential problem here.

    The most obvious one is that, whatever the alleged problem may have been "a couple of years ago", there could well be multiple problems by this time. The Check Engine Light (CEL) will light up exactly the same whether there is one stored trouble code, or two, or three, or... Over the years, one problem could have cascaded into multiple problems. That is why it is not wise to ignore an illuminated CEL.

    The other, less obvious problem is that your regular mechanic was probably not competent enough to actually know how to track down the problem indicated by the initial code that he found. So, instead of advising you to fix the problem, he told you to ignore it. This is almost surely an invalid piece of advice on his part.

    All-in-all, no matter what else you do, I would suggest that you NOT return to your original mechanic.
This discussion has been closed.