Check Engine Light On in Your Car? The Truth About What it Means


one, two, three, four! Rev up your engines! It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel. Today I’m going to tell you the truth about
check engine light when they come on in your car. Now a lot of people see a check engine light
and they freak out. Now it can be a serious problem or it can
be something that hardly means anything at all, here’s how you find out. You get a scan tool, then you go to the OBD
port, and you plug it in so it can read the data. And in this case, being a GM product, you
can see there’s 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 different codes. Which on the surface of it is very odd because
the car’s actually running well. Now the first code is for an erratic wheel
speed sensor on the right rear tire. Now that I know because the ABS light comes
on and off every once in a while. So it’s a problem with the ABS sensor back
there probably. Now many people will live with that because
ABS brakes revert to non ABS normal brakes when they go out. Or you could buy an expensive hub assembly
because you have to buy the whole hub with the sensor in it for this car. Now the next two codes are ABS codes as well. This one and this one so we can ignore them
if we don’t care about the ABS. But this code here P0014 is a code for the
variable valve timing system while often gets a little bit weak on these cars for a various
reasons. When this code trips if the car runs OK, you
can just ignore it. Now if it starts running bad, you can do things
like: Change the engine oil, dirty engine oil can
do that. Change the camshaft sensor assembly, because
they can go bad. Or sometimes you have to replace the entire
CAM assembly. But if it runs OK, it’s something you can
live with. P0013 code is also one of those CAM timing
codes, same basic thing. Now here’s a trick I’ve been doing for years. With all those codes, and since it runs OK,
first thing I’m going to do is erase them all, and drive it. We’ll just go to erase codes, and press enter
and erase the codes. It’s doing it’s thing, erasing the codes. Now they are erased and none of them exist. And as you can see, the lights are off now
so we will take it for a drive. Now the ABS light has come back on. So I know there is a problem this that system
but with all the codes that it had, the customer really does not want to fix it, stops good
enough. He can take the fuse out and just disconnect
the ABS entirely and just go back to normal brakes. But as you can see, the check engine light
has not come back on. So in this case, the other codes for the CAM,
they are not serious codes since they did not come back on after a drive for an hour. Now they may come and go as you drive the
car over months, but if the car runs ok, it’s not going to hurt anything driving it that
way. But if the code comes back on or the check
engine light is flashing while you are driving, then it’s a serious problem. Just realize that the computer is always checking
your car and if it finds a problem exists, it will turn the check engine light on again. But if while driving it turns it off and it
comes on again later, it’s finding a problem that is a minor problem, and I would not worry
about it until it becomes more serious. Because I have seen people spend thousands
of dollars trying to track down a problem in their car, when instead if they would have
waited weeks or months, sometimes years, for the problem to actually get big enough that
it was a permanent code and it was easy to trace down, rather than spend a much of money
on parts that did not even fix the problem because they were guessing. Yes sometimes patients is a virtue, even with
check engine lights. And remember, if you have any car questions,
just visit the Scotty Kilmer Channel.