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Check Engine Light Please Turn Off!

I have a 2002 corolla. the check engine light has been on for well over a year…my dad told me to just cover the light on the dash with duct tape :wink: It’s running fine, problem is I have a smog check coming up, and my car won’t pass if the check engine light is on. Any easy enough way I can turn this off without paying some guy $100?

Some autoparts stores will scan the car for free and tell you want’s wrong with the car. The light is on for a reason. I suggest you get the trouble code read see what the problem is, and either fix the issue yourself or have it fixed by a mechanic. Repairs on a 9 year old are to be expected and are indeed a part of automobile ownership.


Nah…Don’t worry about that check engine light. You should listen to your dad…He sure sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Check engine lights are just a ruse to fleece gullible people. Besides, your car has been running fine for well over a year. Why mess with it now ?

Same goes for oil changes.


I am just temporarily filling in for Caddyman :-))


Well, you can probably get the light to go off for a couple of starts by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for a few seconds. On many cars, you can do the same thing by pulling a fuse temporarily, but I have no idea which fuse to pull.

But the light will probably come back, and you will have to address the underlying problem which may be cheap to fix (e.g. needs a new gasket on the gas cap, a vacuum hose needs to be reconnected) or may be expensive.

You can probably get the code(s) read out for free at an auto parts store (not in California apparently), but that won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to interpret them. You’re either going to have to devote a number of hours to understanding what the code means and how to fix it or hire a mechanic. There are some mechanics files elsewhere on this site. Check there for shops recommended by users.

One thing though. If the code indicates reduced catalytic converter efficiency, get a second opinion. A number of things can trigger those codes and replacing the catalytic converter is usually fairly expensive – especially annoying if it isn’t the cause of the problem.

Disconnect the battery for a few minutes. This will reset it. Do this NOW so you can see how soon it returns …if at all. The condition may have corrected itself.

Anyway, most OBDII tests allow at least one “readiness state” incomplete. This accounts for those systems that may not run certain tests when the tank is too full or too low, but is typically no limited to that/those items.

So, if you see it takes two or three days for the light to reappear, you probably can PASS by taking it in on the second day after the reset.

Now you could always just find out what the issue is …and fix it. For all you know it could be a bad gas cap.

Of course, the black tape technique is totally valid. My daughter used it on her college beater Taurus when some issue occurred with the air bag system ;^)

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.

That won’t clear out the KAM for the OBDII system. If it’s not something minor, like a gas cap, the light will come back on again after the car has been run for a few minutes.

geeaea gets 5 stars from Caddyman…:slight_smile: