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"Check Engine" light legit?

Dear Readers:

I have an '03 Chevy Cavalier 2DR 5spd w/a little over 68k on the ODO. Last week, when I slid into the ditch, my front bumper/underside was covered in snow. I was pulled out, and about a day or two later, my “check engine” light came on. It has been on ever since. I attempted to do an oil change, and saw ice formed under the car across from the oil pan(between the braces???) I wanted to chop it out, but my family says let it thaw, and see if the electronics dry and the light goes off. I had a similar situation a few years ago, during the summer. After a large rainfall, my car had water up to the doors. The “check engine” light illuminated. A few days later(presumably after drying) the light went off. Long story short, could the ice/snow be causing my light coming on??? Also, separately, my ABS light came on for a few days a few weeks ago, and then went off. It hasn’t reappeared…should I be concerned about braking with ABS problems??



I would not worry about the ABS light. The CEL could have been almost anything 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.

Dear Joe:

Thanks for the tip. Just curious…Do you know if these discussions are moderated by automotive professionals(are you one?)or we all just average “joes” just helping each other(no pun intended!)



I think the "moderators’ are professional moderators (no paticular automotive training) but the people helping, run the whole gammit,from newbies to current or retired Master Techs.

There are moderators, but that is their job. They keep the trolls out. Most of us are non-professionals who have some experience and try to offer help on those questions we may have an answer for. There are also a few professionals, Transman comes to mind. They offer their expert advice for free and help keep the rest of us from going too far off the right road. They deserve both thanks and respect.

I have learned a lot from my time here and I hope I have been able to offer some useful advice. I have 45+ years of experience with cars, mine as well as friends, family and neighbors.