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Maxima MIL Light

I just had the starter replaced on my 1996 Nissan Maxima (it died while at a rest stop on the highway so I had to be towed to the nearest shop for repair). After I left the shop I noticed that the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) was on. I called back to the shop and they claimed it was on when they got the car (which it was not). I wonder if something could have been done while they repaired the car which would cause the light to come on.

Is there anyway to get this light to go out, or easily find out what is causing it to be on?

Also, the car makes a whistling sound, which the mechanic indicated was the intake manifold gasket leaking. He checked the hoses and none were leaking and he sprayed ether on the gasket to confirm that was it. Could this have any impact on the situation?


The MIL light, AKA the CEL light, is on because of a trouble code. Get the code read. Some parts stores, like O’ Reillys and Autozone, will read the codes for you for free. Write down the codes and post them here.

And yes, an intake manifold leak will set the light on. This leak will cause the engine to run lean and not maintain a vacuum. Both problems have separate codes, which are probably set.

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.

Thanks. I will check out the code.

Does anyone have an idea how much it would cost to have the intake manifold gasket replaced?

You can try this (without any guaranty): use an RTV sealant and smear it on the area that the mechanic showed you (without removing anything).

How much did he charge you to install the Starter?
I think i am going to have to get mine replaced also

When they replaced the starter the battery had to be disconnected. When this is done the engine management computer can lose it’s adaptive memory where the diagnostic monitors are lost. This can then cause the Check Engine light to come on. When this happens the vehicle has to driven under a specified drive cycle For the engine management computer to relearn operating parameters to reset the diagnostic monitors.