During our last ice storm during a nice long skid down an icy hit, I reverted suddenly back to my days one decade ago of driving a stick-shift in the ice and tried to down-shift our '98 Camry (automatic). I placed it in reverse. It stalled. The car continues to run, but the check engine light came on. I took it into the garage and they couldn’t find any engine issues. They turned off the check engine light. It came back on the next day. Sometimes it sounds like the gears aren’t shifting automatically as I drive (rpms run high.) Am I damaging the car by continuing to drive it?
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. [i] Am I damaging the car by continuing to drive it?[/i] Get the codes and they may tell us if you are doing damage. Right now the code you be telling you that your fuel cap is loose. We don't know.
As JEM replied, give us the Diagnostic Trouble Code that the engine scanner is displaying.
It is possible that by going into Reverse while going forward, the engine was not only stalled but also spun in reverse. Engines with timing belts do not react well to being rotated in reverse. It is possible the belt has jumped a tooth(s) and the valve timing is now off. Luckily you have a noninterference engine so no internal damage will have been done.
Hope this helps.
Thank you very much for your replies. I’ve been driving around the city for 2 months with the CEL on and yesterday afternoon, after I posted this question, it turned off. Magic.
But seriously, I guess I can’t get the CEL code now. Should the CEL come back on, I’ll take it to either Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts (neat tip) to have it read (and will repost my question.) I’ll also have my mechanic take a look at the timing belt next time I have the car in for its regular service visit. Beyond that, the car is running fine, just revving a little high in the rpms at times while going up hills. I guess I just need to wait and monitor it. Thanks!