'check engine' light

I have a 2000 Toyota Landcruiser. This is not a toy, but a working vehicle.

Salient facts:

-well maintained

-synthetic oi(mobile 1)used from day-one

-2008, new muffler

-new brakes, tires

-original gas cap, appears to be in good shape and create a proper seal.

-98,000 miles

On the advice of my husband I began using regular gas 1 month ago. Now check enging lite is on. I am told this is likely a problem with the catalytic converter and this was probably caused by using regular gas. What is the life of a cat-converter? Users manuel says ‘premiun fuel only’. Can I safely ignore the warning light? Was the converter getting ready to go and I just shortened the lifespan by using regular gas? Did my husband give me bad advice and I should make him pay for the new converter? How much is a new converter likely to cost?

What about a used converter from junkyard?

Who told you that is was “likely a problem with the catalytic converter”? First of all you need to get the code scanned so you know what the problem is. It could be an oxygen sensor at the age and mileage of your car. It could also be any number of other things but you won’t know until you read the code that your car is generating.

Secondly, regular gas will NOT harm your car. Your car has a computer brain that controls the engine. When regular gas is used it simply retards the timing to avoid (potentially damaging) detonation and this lowers your fuel economy and power but should cause no harm.

Thirdly, if you must replace the converter (since it is possible that your problem is indeed a spent converter) consider an aftermarket replacement. A new Toyota converter can cost anywhere from $400 to $1200 depending on the model but aftermarket converters run from $150 to $400 (generally).

Good luck.

Thank you ‘bloody knuckles’!! I will get it scanned. Should my usual mechanic have the equipment to do this or am I better off going to the dealer?

I don't think your car will be damaged by using regular.  To find out check the owner's manual  If it  [b] recommends [/b]  high octane, then you should use it, or you will loose power and likely mileage as well.  If it says it  [b] requires [/b] high octane, then failure to use high octane may damage the engine.  

  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.

Please re-read the original post, where it says “users manual says premium fuel only.”

Interesting where yet another owner wants to cheap out on gas.

The short answer is: Yes, using regular (lower octane) gasoline could be the cause of your woes. Return to higher octane, let auto parts store read the code for the check engine light (and bring’em here), and all may be alright…maybe.

Agreed… yes, gas is expensive these days. However premium is only 20 to 30 cents per gallon more than regular. The same difference it was 10 years ago. But yet at today’s prices, the percentage difference is much smaller…

Husbands always give bad advice. We always want to sound like we know everything. My great-grandchild said that I have a bad tire because it spun too much while turning a corner that was sanded after we had snow. The next day I noticed that the tire was flat. She didn’t need a computer either.

I missed that premium only part originally. Yes, despite some opinions when the manual says premium only you can damage you car using regular. That is the difference between recommend and require. It may not happen right away, it may not happen at all, but it certainly can happen and it is foolish to use regular under those conditions.

Even if the engine can retard the spark, it has limits and in cars that say require premium it means it may not be able to retard it far enough.

I’m sorry, but I’m simply amazed. Your willing to keep up on maintenance, use a fully synthetic oil (twice the price, even 3 times if a shop does the changes), and probably change it as regular as dino oil, and runs beautifully, and then cheap out on fuel, saving maybe $5 per tank.

I understand the hurt of fuel prices. My '88 Toyota Supra also requires premium. But, my baby will get what she needs, and always delivers with low maintenance, and fewer service calls. I currently have 245,000 miles on her, and still passes emissions with low numbers.

You obviously read the owner’s manual. Don’t let those who ‘know-it-all’ convince you to second guess the people who built your baby. Stick with the real authority, that little thin book, and this truck will last a long time.

OP did not ask for your opinions on how cheap she was for using regular gas. Please read the questions and try to be HELPFUL. I offered my opinions on her questions since that is why she posted. We are all grown-ups and we make our choices for various personal reasons. We should not be “flamed” for posting those choices here.

When people make stupid personal choices, like using 87-octane gas when the owner’s manual calls for 91-octane, they should be reminded that they have made a bad choice and what the repercussions could be with said choice. If you consider that as “flaming,” well, you and I have a difference of opinion. :slight_smile:

Your original post, while not offensive or a “flame”, did not address the OP’s post. People post here for answers and advice. Nothing personal here buddy but you pretty much called her a “stoop” and ignored the questions. I certainly hope your parents were more informative and nurturing than that!!!

In all seriousness, I just like keeping the posts “on topic” and avoid the editorializing that people like to get into. I have done many stupid things to my cars in my day and I don’t need anyone else to tell me about it. :slight_smile: