service engine soon

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  #1  
Old 07-03-03, 08:31 AM
dmitchelljr's Avatar
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service engine soon

Our 2000 Nissan Maxima recently on a trip, the service engine soon light came on and has stayed on for several days. I read in the manual that there is an emission problem that has been detected and should be taken to the Nissan dealership for dianostics and repair. The car has 47,600 miles on it, and according to Nissan, the warranty is already over. They said only 36,000 miles is the warranty coverage. Will it hurt anything to drive the car with this light on? It costs $55 for dianostics, plus cost of parts and labor. We had a 1995 Altima that was doing the same thing, and it was the oxygen sensors.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-03-03, 10:11 AM
BelairBoy
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you can drive it that way, but it's much better to take it in and repair it now. If you drive it that way long enough, one broken part will lead to another and you could end up spending way more money later on rather than a little bit now. You can always have them do the diagnostic, have em tell you whats wrong with it, and try to fix it yourself. But if that light is on, something is broken and needs repair.
 
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Old 07-03-03, 10:17 AM
Sephro
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I didn't really understand what you meant when you said that you read about some emissions problem in the book.

What I would do is take the car to an auto parts store. One of the large chains, like around here there is AutoZone (I don't know if thatís country wide) but they actually will check the code for you for free. See what the code is.

If it's a problem with the 02 sensor then it won't really hurt the car to drive it like that. It isnít the best for it because most cars ECUs are open/close meaning that if the 02 sensor is working it will take the information from that to determine the air/fuel ratio. If the O2 sensor is not working then the ECU has a standard air/fuel ratio that it will use. Usually this is richer than normal. So you won't get as many MPG.

So try calling some of the local auto parts stores and ask if they check the codes for free.
 
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Old 07-03-03, 11:00 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Both posters gave you correct advice. Yes, AZ will read and tell you what the codes are. Post what they find here.
 
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Old 07-03-03, 02:06 PM
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If you have an O2 sensor fault you could damage the catalytic converter.
 
  #6  
Old 07-06-03, 06:11 PM
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Hey,
We carried the Maxima to the AutoZone and had them to check the codes. All that came up was that the mixture was too lean. He said when we got gas the last time, we may have got some bad gas. He turned the light off and suggested putting some fuel injector cleaner in the tank. He also said to run a higher octane for a while. It has been a couple of days, and so far the service engine soon light has not come back on. Maybe the problem is solved.
 
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Old 07-06-03, 09:46 PM
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sounds like you got what you paid for---nothing!!

yes running it with a bad sensor can damage a very expensive catalytic converter

the sensor has to fail the internal test sometimes two or three times in a row to make the light come on. you might have an intermittently bad or lazy sensor, which doesn't accurately measure the 'oxygen' in the exhaust and tells the computer to keep adding and adding fuel until it sees a response from the sensor, which it won't get because the sensor might not be working this time, then the 'cat' is so hot with all the extra fuel it's getting, until it melts down inside like chernobyl.

running higher octane gas is the biggest FARCE in america, 80% of the cars out there DON'T need it. very high compression engines and turbo cars need it, read your owners manual, it will tell you all the octane you need. if your car isn't pinging on low 87 octane, you are wasting money on high octane!! don't get me started on fuel injector cleaner
 
  #8  
Old 07-07-03, 03:22 AM
Joe_F
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Arrow

Agreed. Unless the manual specifically calls for it, 87 is fine.

If ANYTHING, the brand of gas and what they blend into it has more to do with it than the grade of fuel .
 
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