95 Corsica Check Engine Light

majorxlr8nOctober 19, 2006

I got my dad's new(?) Corsica all buttoned up for him & sent it home with him a few weeks back. But now dad reported that the CHECK ENGINE light comes on during a long trip (after about an hour drive). Around town, the light stays off. When the light does come on, dad pulls over & shuts off the engine, waits a minute, restarts it, it restarts promptly & the light goes out like normal. It runs fine when the check engine light is on. Car has 177K miles on it (original engine 3.1 liter V6) and has very little oil consumption (about a quart low after 4k miles). I will scan for the codes this weekend, but was wondering in advance if there is anything that is usually the culprit for this kind of intermittant problem, like a highly suspect & high percentage failure rate component. I also understand that if multiple codes are present, it could be a single culprit - or could also still be MULTIPLE culprits. I have only performed ECM diags a handful of times, so any guidance would be a big help & much appreciated.



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First, read the trouble codes. These may give you hints about what the diagnostics are complaining about. However, this is just the starting point. Unrealistic codes are sometimes set because the programmers could not think of every condition, and sometimes faulty circuits will cause problems.

From you description, it doesn't seem serious since the engine and transmission continues to perform normally. Some things that can cause a code to flash for a short period of time:
1. Poor seal on fuel filler cap.
2. A fluid level sensor such as window washer tank, overflow tank of the coolant system, oil level, etc. These will depend on options included on the vehicle. A sinking float in the washer tank can signal low fluid level when it is not.
4. Recommended service interval.
5. An oxygen sensor (there may be two of these) is producing a voltage out of range.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 12:00AM
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Given the age,mileage on the car, and what it takes to make the light come on, I wouldn't worry about it myself. I'd check the usuall maintainence stuff like filters, look for vacuum leaks, loose wires, that kind of thing. That'd be about all I'd be willing to dedicate to it till the light came on more often. Till then, forget it. jmo

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Thanks guys for the input thus far!

Well, I ran into a brick wall today. After reading the shop manual, I found out this car has OBD2 type codes even though it is an OBD1 system. This means the diag wire cannot be grounded to get the codes. The only scanner I found that will accomplish this costs $500+. That will cover the repair!

I can get my hands on a Snap-On scanner from work - hopefully it has all the updates needed to scan this. I just have to wait for it to return from its recent borrower...

More to follow soon...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Most Autozone & Advance Autoparts, etc. will do an OBD/OBD II check for free.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:21PM
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I can't tell you how many times I've taken a car to an auto parts store and they have been unable to read the codes. Another interesting fact is I know some folks that bought an new mercedes and it has the maint req'd thing come on all the time because of the gas cap. They have replaced it so many time. Why is there a sensor there?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 1:48PM
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I have the 1995 corsica with the check engine light on. It's comming on more often. Every time I get in it. Took it up to have the codes read on it, they could not read any codes on it because that scanner port under the dash does not communicate. 1995, 4cyl., 134,000 miles. anyone have any idea on how to get the car to communicate?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 1:21AM
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Well, the scan tool at my workplace does NOT cover 1994 & 5. So my dad took it to the Chevrolet dealer who read the codes & it needs the EGR valve replaced. Easy enough, but expensive at $240. At least it will finally be buttoned up.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 4:05AM
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Replaced the EGR valve yesterday. The passage from the EGR valve to the intake plenum was clogged with carbon. I ended up using an old lawnmower throttle cable & a small drill bit to break thru & clean the passage. Car runs a bit better & it isn't showing any codes. Success! Thanks all!


    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 1:29AM
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For OBD2 Scanner, cables or connector

Here is a link that might be useful: Carplugs

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:11PM
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