CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Can we test for these problems?

Is there a code tester or dash light to show if a transmission has a problem? I had to put a Max Air Sensor(?) on (small thing under the engine hood)but my car still seems to lag a little and maybe a bit slow to shift gears. We changed fuel filter too. It is a 2000 with 110,000 mi. Also wondering if there is a light for the antilock shift switch for the Accord 2001 I asked about or the brake switch that prevents the shifter from moving? Thanks for all help in these regards.

I’m thinking you replaced your MASS AIR FLOW sensor. That is only one of a number of things that could have been bad or going bad causing your lag problem. Hopefully you had a check engine light that indicated a out of tolerance reading from you MAF sensor, and the mechanic didn’t just change the part because he “thought” it might fix your problem. Could be a dirty throttle body, ignition problem, MAP problem, EGR, or one of many other possibilities. Some cars have a light for a transmission problem, some don’t. No, I don’t believe there is a light for the the shift interlock switch. Never heard of one.

For these sensors, an OBD-II tester will work if any codes are set. The mechanic that replaced the MAF sensor can do it, or ImalaSue can call local chain auto parts stores to see if they have an OBD-II code reader. Sue, if they do have a code reader, using it is free. You just give them your credit card or driver’s license, take the reader, plug it in under the dash, and read the codes. Then take it back in and the clerk will read the codes off the scanner. You’ll even get a print-out. If you do this, let us know if any codes are set and what they are. Places like Advance Auto Parts or Autozone (among others) provide this service.

Thanks, we will have to get to the Advance in a town not too far. Nobody in our town does free codes. One guy said they used to but people got mad as too many code possibilities showed up and the people didn’t like to have to try so many fixes. I will let the fixer in the family know about the other possible problems too. We did need the MAF sensor as took it in, but it cost over 80 for the code reading. We knew enough by asking around to replace it so it was 135 part and 82 for reading, else would’ve been over 300. However, we still feel some lagging, but not the dying and horrendous time restarting it. I am going to have the family fixer ride along too when he can as he knows more than we do. Thanks again y’all.