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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Check engine light comes on after sitting 3 weeks

My wife and I have way too many cars.

I cleaned her '07 Cobalt up and changed the oil about three weeks ago then parked it in my garage. I cranked it up for the first time yesterday after it sat for three weeks.

Now the check engine light is on. Or as the owner's manual says "Steady on"

I took it to Autozone to see what the code meant and the guy said it had something to do with the system that holds pressure in the gas tank or stores gas vapors in the charcoal canister.

I removed the fuel cap and did not hear a "swish" so the pressure inside the fuel tank appears to be neither negative or positive. It was around 1/4 tank.

My wife wanted to drive the Cobalt today because she had to goto a meeting 100 miles from home and the Cobalt get's better mileage than her 350Z. We figured it would be OK to drive it. Otherwise the car runs fine.

I'm at work so I have no idea if the check engine light has went off by now or not.

The guy at Autozone said he could clear the code but he wasn't alloud to by law.

The check engine light once came on my Subaru but went off about as fast as it kicked on. They said it was in relationship to the #2 plug wire but I never felt it missfire.

So the question is could this code clear itself? Or do I need to buy one of these code readers and reset it? If I reset it, if there really is some sort of problem, the light should kick back on. Shouldn't it?

I figured buying a code reader would be cheaper than taking it to the dealership to have it reset.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 06:09 AM
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I had the same problem after driving one way 50 miles on trips, the light would come steady on for a few days and go off again. Found out it was a crack on my cat down pipe. Took it to the dealer and had the pipe replaced. Depending on how many miles you have and if you bought hte car new or used the dealer should be able to at least reset the light and if anything is wrong should be under warranty. Many of the exhaust parts are under warranty til 80,000 miles. The manual says a constant engine light is any kind of emissions issue.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 08:21 AM
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Are you sure the gas cap tight? if you don't tighten it until it clicks, that will cause a CEL



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 05:44 PM
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Are you sure the gas cap tight? if you don't tighten it until it clicks, that will cause a CEL
Yup, cant think of the code number off the top of my head but it will say evap control system leak detected(small leak or gross leak).
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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My wife has driven this car for 3-4 days and put over 300 miles on the car and the check engine light still won't go off.

I took the car to Advance Auto because they will reset codes unlike Autozone. The guy told me the code was cleared but the engine symbol was still on. I told him "No it's not, it's still on".

I don't know if he was an idiot and didn't know how to work the machine or the car instantly triggered the light on again.

One more thing that comes to mind. I removed the plastic ECOtech cover after changing the oil. Figuring it was just a heat trap. I had seen other Cobalts on this page with the engine cover removed and figured it wouldn't have any effect on the engine itself.

Could doing so have triggered the light? The only thing I can think of that would is if the oil filler cap was not making a good seal and the engine detected it was pulling more vacuum through the PVC system than normal.

Other than that, the gas cap is on tight and she topped the tank off the other day so anything related to the fuel vapor caputure system should have cleared itself by now. I would think.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 12:44 PM
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According to the ownes manual on my 07 LS, a constant engine light is an emissions issues. May have to bite the bullet and go to the dealer(I hate that also). ALso regarding removing the plastic engine cover, if I remember right in one of the threads somewhere on this site someone said that after they removed their cover their enging temp stayed 20 degrees hotter than with. Cannot remmember the thread but I think it was under interior/exterior styling.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by finnscobalt View Post
According to the ownes manual on my 07 LS, a constant engine light is an emissions issues. May have to bite the bullet and go to the dealer(I hate that also). ALso regarding removing the plastic engine cover, if I remember right in one of the threads somewhere on this site someone said that after they removed their cover their enging temp stayed 20 degrees hotter than with. Cannot remmember the thread but I think it was under interior/exterior styling.
HMMM. That's odd. I checked the engine temperature while not running the cover and it didn't seem to run any hotter.

Looks like a trip to the dealer is in order. That's always a hassle having to have someone drop you off then pick the car up at the end of the day unless you have all day long to kill.

I like to do my own maintence whenever I can. If possible.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 07:38 AM
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idk about 20 degrees, but mine seemed to run hotter the couple of times i took the cover off. (high 190's instead of low 190's)

i hate dropping my car off at the dealership too. you never know the quality of the tech working on it. plus all the hassle like you said.
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