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Re: CEL

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CEL
JackintheBoxster - 2 years ago
This is a somewhat dopey question I know, but please bear with me.

My CEL light has been going on for several months. My mechanic, who I trust, reset it several times, and said it was not major, but finally it was driving me nuts and he went into the engine and replaced some air tubes and other exhaust-related components and the car drove find for about 500 miles. Then the light went on again and I'd like to wait until he gets back into town at the end of the month to let him check it out, thinking this is likely to be something minor, but as I'm not a mechanic, I could use some advice, particularly since Ihave two 300-mile trips planned in the next couple of weeks. My question is whether problems indicated by a CEL tend to minor enough that I can probably drive the car for three weeks and wait for him to return or whether these problems are something that should prevent me from taking the risk.

2001 Base, purchased in 2004, replaced engine at 130K+, RIP 2017
Re: CEL
CarreraLicious - 2 years ago
You need to tell us the code that is triggered. Once you have the code, post it here and folks can help you diagnose. I just had a CEL pop up a week or so ago, and have a cheap code reader that told me it's code P1411. You can buy these readers for like $35 bucks or just drive to an Autozone and you can borrow one of theirs for free to get the code. You have the option then to erase the CEL but then note that when you do this, it also clears out all the readiness codes so you will need to drive the car a while to allow all the readiness codes to activate on your car again prior to a state inspection.


You have to have the code and follow the diagnostic flow chart before you know whether the problem triggering the CEL is major or minor and thus if the car should be driven for long distances that require reliability. Even just having the code sometimes isn't enough as a single code can have multiple causes, thus Porsche provides in their maintenance documentation a list of causes for a specific CEL code in order of probability and a flow chart of diagnostic steps to take to arrive at the cause.

Good luck.
Re: CEL
db997S - 2 years ago
If the CEL starts blinking, then turn off the car immediately. There is no question as to whether the blinking one is minor or major.
... so its debatable if one must turn it off. At the top of the WGI esses I just plant my right foot.

But back to the question: step #1 is get the code(s)

Grant

Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
… when their check engine light (CEL) comes on solidly lit, and I guess that was the intent so that people take their car in for service.
In reality the CEL is just an environmental monitor telling you that your car is out of compliance (it's polluting a bit more that normal) but it is perfectly safe to drive.
When the CEL starts flashing then it's an indication that there's a misfire.
The engine won't blow up if you let it run for a bit to see if it settles, you just don't want to put any load on a misfiring engine.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 287,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Doesn't a misfiring engine put more un-burnt gas through the exhaust thus lessening the life of the catalytic converters?

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Yes, a misfiring engine will run very rich.
I'm not advocating that you drive it with a misfire!
I'm saying that you may let it idle a bit to see if the misfire settles.
Sometimes you may have a bad connection with one particular coil pack which will give you a blinking CEL.
You should stop but let the car idle a bit to see if it goes away. If it settles down you may drive it at reduced load until you get it taken care of.
To do damage to the cats you would have to drive the car for many hours in those conditions.
The cats also can clean themselves when the engine is running well.
The heat they generate will burn off most of the extra fuel (richness).
Happy Bolstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 287,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
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