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Check engine light vs. inspection

What can I do if the ‘check engine’ light is on because I think I must have left the car running once long ago when I filled the gas tank. My mechanic switched it off and said to drive about 50 highway miles and then it would pass inspection, which I did do last year. This time it did not work, the “check engine” light turned back on after I had driven just about the required mileage. What is there to do? do I need to take it to the dealer and spend thousands? It is a 2002 with 95000 miles, just had a new timing belt and water pump…

find out what the code is and post it back. We need the actual number. Most auto parts stores will do this for free.

We need the codes to make the proper diagnosis. Please post back.

Thanks for quick response! I have never asked car e-questions before…
I do not know what the ‘code’ means, and do you mean that I should ask at an auto
parts store?
The inspection garage knows my mechanic, understands the problem, and has been cooperative but will not lie- so finding that window of timing the proper results on his machine is the deal.

Call around to major chain auto parts stores such as Autozone. Tell then that the check engine light is on and ask them if they can pull the codes for you. When you get a “yes,” go there and have them read the codes.

The codes look like this: P1234 (P with 4 numbers)

Write down exactly what the code is. Don’t bother with the text or with what the people at the store tell you.

Post the codes.

In general, unless it is for warranty or recall service there is almost never a reason to go to a dealer as opposed to an independent mechanic.

Thanks, I will and will post! Happy to have this counsel, kris583

There’s generally no need to go to the dealership to repair an out-of-warranty car.
Find a good independent mechanic.