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Check Engine Warning Light


marennorge
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I have a 99 Camry LE. About a year ago, the check engine light came on, and I called my local dealer for an appointment to have it checked out. Otherwise the car operates normally and the Oil is fine. The service manager told me to remove the gas cap and put it back on making sure I turn it so it clicks. He said in a day or 2, the light should shut off. Sure enough, it did.

It happened again, and I did the same thing and the light went off. Last week, the light came on again. I did the gas cap routine, and the light went off. In the last 7 days, the light has gone on and off. I have noticed this only happens when it it hot and humid outside. The service manager has told me that a sensor is very sensitive and when gas vapors build up in the tank, it causes the light to go off.

Has anyone else had this problem. I have it scheduled for maintenance later this week and would like the problem corrected. It's nervewracking not knowing where there is a real problem on the sensor is just being touchy.

Thanks.

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I have the exact same car and same problem. Three days ago, I saw the Check Engine light was on for the first time since I bought this car. I disconnect the Battery for a few minutes and reconnect it. The Check Engine light would turn off. But, it would come back in about 10 minutes after the car was started. I did tighten the gas cap but it did not work. (I just tighten the cap, I did not remove it first then tighten.)

I am very interested in how you solve this problem. Please post your experience.

Thank you.

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I have a 2000 Tundra with the check engine light on ..Does anyone have a clue on how to sove it? I have 54,000 miles and i think this is the first time this has happened.

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I took the car to the local Toyota dealer who did a computer engine diagnosis. The car needed a new oxygen sensor to the tune of $367 for parts and labor.

Ouch. It's been 3 days now, and so car the light hasn't come back on.

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You guys with the gas tank probs need to check your evap canisters. If those clog up the tank builds pressure. The dude that paid 350+ for the oxygen sensor should know that those can be had at almost any auto parts store for less than 100 bucks and installed quite easily. Bummer dude. :crybaby:

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Hi there,

I just discovered this forum and I am hoping for some good advice on my 1997 Camry 4 Cylinders CHECK ENGINE problem...

Here is the Log --

---------------------

7/4/03 Check Engine Light came back on, ~91,000 miles as of now

6/27/03 171 O2 Sensor; my mechanic reset it = OFF, UPSTREAM(?), like last time from the dealer, DON'T WORRY, as long as I can pass the Inspection

6/17/03 Check Engine Light came back on

6/9/03 Check Engine Light went off by itself

5/31/03 Check Engine Light came back on,

5/7/03: 171 O2 Sensor; my mechanic Reset it = OFF

5/4/03 Check Engine Light CAME BACK!!!

10/1/02 INSPECTION = 86,373 miles = Vehicle - Test Limits:

HC 0.33-0.60 = Pass

CO 17.89 - 10.00 gpm = Fail -- needs to adjust

NOX 0.46 - 1.50 = Pass

10/25/02 Check Engine Light CAME BACK!!! My mechanic = = same O2 Sensor Reset it = OFF

9/10/01 TOYOTA -DEALER = $360.69 = O2 Sensor Replaced

5/30/01: CHECK ENGINE: my Car's ID "stuff" for the handheld computer 10 = V; 5 = G; 8 = K:

ERRORS: PO125 Insufficient Temperature for Closed Loop

P1135 O2 Sensor BISI, Heater CKT Open Short

---------------------

SO... when I read this post

---------------------

In the Camry, the Check engine light has been on for a month. The car runs great, so I'm thinking that it just needs to be reset. The engine Oil looked "normal" on my last Oil change. Could easily be the oxygen sensor or gas cap seal.

---------------------

I guess I can ask my mechanic to look at my Oil. And as to "gas cap seal", if it IS a VALID possible cause, as silly as it might sound:), I guess I'll have to PERSONALLY tighten the gas cap, after each time I buy gas, RIGHT?

Here are my Q's --

Do the O2 Sensors usually go bad in 1 Year? I got mine from a Toyota DEALER, and they diagnosed and checked it before they charged me 2 or 3 hrs @ 78/labor "book time ", plus O2 Sensor itself = $360.69!!! = 1 year Warranty

Could it be that my car is having other problems, which are ACCURATELY reported by my O2 Sensor(i.e. there is nothing wrong with my o2 Sensor itself). If so, then $360.69 in 9/2001 was a WASTE of $$, i.e. they treated a "symptom" instead of a PROBLEM?!

I am a 2nd owner of this car. According to Toyota, the original owner(lease) had this done at Toyota --

2000/03/20 - 65,137 miles Replaced: PCV Valve*, Inspect Distributor Cap, Rotor, Wires Set Idle, Engine Timing Belt($199)

Today, on 7/7/03 w/91,000 miles, could it be that I need another "tune up"?

Toyota's "Major" Tune up is -- - PC Valve + Air Filter + Spark plugs, ignition wires, distr cap, dist rotor = $390 = genuine Toyota Parts = $125 + 2hrs/Labor.

Toyota's "Minor" Tune up is -- same as Major, except for ignition wires, distr cap - = $150 = genuine Toyota Parts = $55/parts + 1hr/Labor

My mechanic would charge me around $200 for the "Major" Tune up?

My State Inspection is due in October 2003. Do I wait till then to see if the read out is better than

10/1/02 INSPECTION = 86,373 miles = Vehicle - Test Limits:

HC 0.33-0.60 = Pass

CO 17.89 - 10.00 gpm = Fail -- needs to adjust

NOX 0.46 - 1.50 = Pass

then, either do a Major-Minor tune up, OR/and buy yet ANOTHER o2 Sensor!!!

BTW, I drive my car about 3-4 days a week on an average. It's a combination of local, NYC, streets + highway driving.

My mechanic is a GREAT guy, but, MAYBE, there is some SPECIFIC Toyota "voodoo" that he is simply not aware of?

If it turns out to be gas cap seal, than how come this CHECK ENGINE Light comes and goes(sometimes by itself), and so rarely?! Could WEATHER be a factor?(although it happened on both dry hot and dry days, and when it rained)

Hope you guys can help me avoid wasting $$, on trying to pin point this, maybe, "unpinpointable"(?!) problem!!!

Thus far, I've hear of these 2 "suspects"-- SLUDGE, and TIGHTEN THE GAS CAP. Hope there are other possible causes to investigate, otherwise this could be a huge $$ drain, where the dealer will gladly be selling me more O2 Sensors every year or two, and charging me 2-3 hrs x $78/book rate to do a 10 minute job -- hooking up the handheld device to see which error it reports, and then !Removed! in a $200+ piece of WIRE (O2 Sensor) in, where as for this $$ one can buy 2-3 Palm Zire PDA's!!! YES, I do feel that this part is WAY overpriced!!! BTW, the "vibe" at the Toyota Dealerships in my area(NYC) -- STINKS! Their "advisors" seem like well groomed LOW LIVES who enjoy exploiting their customers' ignorance, and "play with their heads", put those customers' mechanics down by questioning those mechanics' skills and integrity etc. I find that particularly OFFENSIVE! My mechanic NEVER screwed me, which is why I am using him EXCLUSIVELY for 10+ years!!! My mechanic was PRETTY SURE that it was O2 Sensor, and then he referred me to Toyota Dealer, to be TOTALLY sure. The Toyota Dealer confirmed my mechanic's diagnosis, O2 Sensor, and $360.69 + 2 years later, I am having the SAME PROBLEM!!!

Hopefully, with your help, I can avoid another trip to the Toyota Dealer HELL!!!:) Ironically, another mechanic in my neighborhood mentioned that Toyota Dealers don't always use the GENUINE Toyota parts, i.e. that the O2 Sensor which Toyota Dealer installed in my car might have NOT been a GENUINE Toyota part, but a "compatible"(?!) O2 Sensor, which have been know to fail often. So, if that is so, how do I prove ANYTHING, particularly when I don't have a receipt from the Dealer for that O2 Sensor job.

Thanks AGAIN for your help!

TODAY, 7/9/03 -- The "ADVISOR":) told me that what they have changed for me back on 9/10/01 was Air Fuel Ratio Sensor - Front EF Sensor, and they recommended -- Fuel Injections, Trotle Boddy Service. I declined then, because the more "humane" of the advisors back then suggested that MY MECHANIC do those for me, which would be a lot cheaper.

Also, today the "ADVISOR":) told me that once the Sensor lights up, it's DEAD, i.e. clogged up and damaged. If that is TRUE, how come, after the Reset, the Check Engine Light is OFF for days or weeks, and then the "dead" Sensor lights up again?! Sounds like the "ADVISOR" is AGAIN trying to sell me a new Sensor along with the Brooklyn Bridge:)

Hope SOMEONE on this Forum can help! Sorry for such a LONG POST! BTW, whoever designed this Forum is ABSOLUTELY a GENIOUS!!! BRAVO!!!!! :

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regarding http://www.cartrackers.com/Forums/live/Toyota/236.html

Thanks guys(angrydad + Carmine),

When I bought this car at the auction, it came without the manual. I was able to trace it to a Dealer in LI, NY. They faxed me the copy of the previous owner's Maintenance Record. THAT'S ALL I HAVE as far as warranty.

> EPA mandated warranty.

Are you saying that there DEFINITELY is some kind of Warranty that might cover MY situation? If it exists, how do I get that paperwork regarding that Warranty?! And then, am I supposed to go back to the dealer that charged me $360 and fight them based on a copy of warranty, which that you say covers me, which Toyota doesn't want me to know about,?!

Again... on 9/10/01, the dealer changed my Air Fuel Ratio Sensor - Front AF Sensor for $360, they recommended -- Fuel Injections, Trotle Boddy Service. My mechanic kept talking about O2 Sensor, which I was told is DIFFERENT than Air Fuel Ratio Sensor.

I will check if my mechanic did Fuel Injections, Trotle Boddy Service, and have him READ THE CODES again. I probably should go to Toyota dealer 1st, to get a Copy of my 9/10/01 Bill where they have spelled out EXACTLY what was done, hopefully including the EXACT CODES. Or I can have my mechanic read the codes BEFORE I go to the dealer. If the codes are EXACTLY the same as my 9/10/01 Bill says, then do I have a "case" vs. that Dealer? BTW, can my mechanic read the codes without resetting the computer? Hopefully yes, so that when I go to pick up that receipt, I can compare the codes.

Meanwhile ...

> Even at 91k you should still be covered by an EPA mandated warranty. Your car

> is supposed to be OBD2 compliant. Part of the compliance is the warranty for

> emission controls.

Sounds like a REALLY long shot to me... Can't wait to see your next reply. AGAIN, thanks so MUCH for your time!

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Camry1997,

You can probably buy a generic O2 sensor in an autoparts store, which is much cheaper than from a dealer. Such sensors usually last a long time if you don't poison them. Little contamination with certain elements can permanently destroy the sensor. It can come from silicon sealants, gas, Oil, antifreeze, additives, etc. If any of these materials can find a way into the cylinders, then oxygen sensor will see them too. That is why only approved materials can used in today's engines.

My advice - read carefully your warranty papers. The car should be covered by emissions warranty for extended period. When timing belt was replaced, the wrong sealant under head cover could be used. That alone may be enough to keep killing all O2 sensors you are planning to install in the future.

Make the dealer open up the head cover and replace the gasket. Replace the engine Oil with a different make. Make sure your antifreeze level doesn't drop. Use different gas station. Unfortunately, that's all I can say. Good luck,

Mike

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> You can probably buy a generic O2 sensor in an autoparts store, which is much

> cheaper than from a dealer.

It's the 1st time I hear that one can use generic O2 sensor. mikey553, are you SURE that this is OK in my case, 1997 Camry, 4 cylinders?

Below is the latest, my Reply to the EPA Attorney whom I have contacted on the advice of folks in this Forum. --

On 7/10/03 2:54 PM, Alexander.David@epamail.epa.gov at Alexander.David@epamail.epa.gov wrote:

>

> a) the EPA's recent settlement with Toyota, does not provide an extended

> warranty for failing oxygen sensors. You can read about that

> settlement, if you wish, at this website:

> http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/ca...caa/toyota.html )

>

> B) there seems to be some confusion in your mind whether or not your

> car's current problem is related to a bad O2 sensor. Let me clarify

> that, many malfunctions can light the "Check Engine" light on the

> dashboard. However your mechanic or a dealer are able to "scan" the

> car's computer for codes which indicate which system, or part, is the

> cause of the problem.

No confusion. I understand that a lot of things can cause "Check Engine" to go on. As to O2 Sensor, the "confusion" is that every business has its "lingo". Some mechanics, Toyota Dealer included, have been referring to this part in question interchangeably as O2 Sensor and A/F(Air Fuel) Ratio Sensor.

Today, 7/10/03 I HAD to make a trip to Star Toyota of Bayside, since they have refused to fax me my 9/10/01 Bill. According to that Invoice, A/F(Air Fuel) Ratio Sensor was replaced on my car(258.19 + 75/Labor + Tax = $360.69)

> c) simply turning off the "Check Engine" light without attempting a

> repair is not acceptable practice. In fact it probably violates Federal

> law. Please advise your mechanic not to turn off (reset) the "Check

> Engine" light without attempting a repair. If your mechanic does no

> repair calculated to address the problem indicated by the computer he

> may not turn off the "Check Engine" light.

My mechanic was simply trying to troubleshoot.

>

> d) if your O2 sensor is, in fact, bad for the second time I advise your

> to demand an assessment by the District Manager (i.e. the Toyota company

> representative). Tell her or him that this is the second O2 sensor that

> has needed replacement, and if it is as good as a new one, it should

> last the same 3 years or 36,000 miles as the original one is required to

> last under Federally mandated emissions warranty.

Today I spoke to Todd at Toyota 800 331-4331 Customer Relations. He confirmed that what my 9/10/01 Star Toyota Bill says "This Repairs are covered by a limited warranty, Labor + parts 12 Months. Any warranties on the products sold hereby are those made by the manufacturer... etc."

This seems to CONTRADICT your information 3 years or 36,000 miles

The mileage on the car on 9/10/01, the date of the repair, was 77,962. Today it is about 92,000

Todd at Toyota 800 331-4331 Customer Relations assigned a Case # #200307100639 to me. He also informed me that Robert Spalletta from Star will be contacting me within 3 business days supposedly.

>If it is not the same

> O2 sensor as was in the car let them tell you that in writing. Of

> course, the point is that you don't want to pay, but you'll have to

> convince them.

The "advisor" named Jay, at Star Toyota, stated "I can't help you, pal":)!!! He kept suggesting that my car might not be maintained in accordance with Toyota standards, and that they would need to charge me $75 per hour to check my car. I.e. he told me to "get lost".

Additionally, today, this Jay advisor pointed out a comment on my 9/10/01 bill -- car needs "Fuel emissions--throttle body cleaning + Air Filter". Since they wanted to charge me a LOT for that, I had I had my mechanic do it within 30 minutes after they installed A/F(Air Fuel) Ratio Sensor. Jay commented that I needed to have done that "Fuel emissions--throttle body cleaning + Air Filter" procedure BEFORE the installation of A/F(Air Fuel) Ratio Sensor, so not to dirty it. So, after I left Star Toyota today, I drove straight to my mechanic. He told me that he DID "Fuel emissions--throttle body cleaning + Air Filter", and that he did it with the old A/F(Air Fuel) Ratio Sensor, so to keep the new one clean. I.e. he did it the CORRECTLY. BTW, BEFORE I drove to Star Toyota today, my mechanic read the codes while the "Check Engine" is still on. I copied the Code as I saw it -- PO 171 "System too Lean, Bank 1" According to my mechanic it means that that A/F or O2 Sensor AGAIN!!!

My mechanic will try this -- he'll put back the old(original) A/F or O2 Sensor and will do "Fuel emissions--throttle body cleaning + Air Filter", and will also check my spark plugs, i.e. see if I need a tune up. If I need the tune up, we'll do the tune up, but if I don't, and after "Fuel emissions--throttle body cleaning + Air Filter" were done, we'll put back in the A/F or O2 Sensor that I paid $360 for on 9/10/01. Then we'll take it from there. BTW, my mechanic told me that I don't have "sludge" problem.

> Please let m know what happens.

>

> Thank you,

>

> Yours,

> David Alexander

>

>

> David E. Alexander, Attorney

> Air Enforcement Division (Mailcode 2242-A)

> US EPA

> 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

> Washington, DC 20460-0001

>

> (202) 564-2109

> fax (202) 564-0069

Sorry for such a long Post, I just wanted yall to be fully informed:)

AGAIN, AND AGAIN -- THANKS EVERYONE for your ALTRUISM, which is SO RARE in today's world!!!

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Camry1997,

When I say generic sensor, I mean the sensor purchased not from Toyota parts department, but from an autoparts store. I am not sure, but they may have a direct replacement for your engine. What I am sure, the price will be much lower. In the past I installed Bosh O2 sensors - sometimes they worked good, sometimes stopped working after several month. I think failure cases can be traced to the engine contamination. One of my O2 sensors failed after some antifreeze found its way in the motor Oil during heads rebuilding. Oil change after rebuild was complete did not remove all the antifreeze, and sensor failed right away.

I own 2 Toyota cars. My 1991 Corolla after 140000 miles still has an original O2 sensor. It probably doesn't perform like new one, but I have no complaints.

BTW, you should understand that car computer is not telling you which part to replace. It just gives you information for diagnostics, which must be done by human beings (the smart ones, of course). In your case the code only points that computer detected a lean condition through O2 sensor and was not able to compensate for it. It could be a handfull of reasons for that, not nessesarily the sensor itself. It is mechanic's job to find the reason and fix it. And please read again my previous post about sensor contamination - I was not joking there.

Good luck,

Mike

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