1998 Pontiac Grand Prix

My service engine light came on and it took it to a mechanic, they replaced the EGR valve and charged me a good deal of money for it, the light came back on shortly after that (within a week) they said the EGR valve had some carbon build up, they cleaned it and said i was good to go…

The light came on again and i ignored it… within the day it went away.

Its been coming on and going away since then, sometimes lasting up to 3 days of staying on.

Could it be something else? I’m assuming the light is saying something about the EGR Valve, cause thats what they replaced.

Its a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix, 165,000 miles, no major repairs

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

The problem with these lights are they don’t tell you what is wrong, rather they tell you want caused them to light up. Usually there is a relationship, but it is not always apparent.

With the actual numbers those who know the numbers can help you figure this out.

I’ll have to wait until the next time the service engine light comes on then.

By the way, is it worth getting one of those diagnostic tools? I’ve seen CarMD advertised.

Is there a better one?

I would do as JEM has suggested. Have your codes pulled even if your CEL is not currently on. I believe it will be stored in the ECM’s memory untill it is cleared. As far as buying a code puller unless you know or are willing to learn what to do with the codes once you have them then you might be wasting your money. It is just as easy to to get the codes pulled from the above mentioned auto parts stores.

Borrow the OBD-II code reader at a local parts store as other suggested. How often would you use it? Why would you buy one if you can borrow it for free? If you used one in your business, then it would be different. After you get the codes, discuss it with the folks at the parts store. They may have ideas. Also post it here. There are a few active and retired professional mechanics that can help you decipher the real meaning of the codes.

The code is P1404… The guy at the auto parts store said it must be a manufacturer’s code because it’s not a standard one.

Check this out:

You might consider borrowing the OBD-II scanner again and see if this helps.

thank you, i did some searching but did not find that page, its worth a shot, i’ll let you know how that works