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Pulling Codes 98 Chev Venture


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10-17-03, 07:15 AM   #1  
Pulling Codes 98 Chev Venture

Is there any way to pull the codes without the computer tool? My wife's kid taxi just started showing "Service Engine Soon" light. It only has 46,000 miles on V6 3400cc engine which I maintain very well. Last night I did the cheap PCV valve swap and disconnected the battery for 5 minutes in hopes to reset the code. That did not work and the old valve although oily still had a solid rattle about it.

I would really like to pull the codes myself instead of taking it to the shop and paying $50-$75 for the code info, so please tell me there is a way with jumpers to get the codes. The wife is scared she will break down somewhere!!! Idiot lights make idiots out of everyone.

Thanks,

Doug

 
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10-17-03, 07:40 AM   #2  
NEGATIVE. U NEED A SCAN TOOL.

 
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10-17-03, 07:54 AM   #3  
Thanks for the quick reply. I was affraid of that. Gone are the days of the simple back yard mechanic repairs. Would disconnecting the battery as I did re-set the code? I read somewhere that it would.

Again thanks for the fast reply. Now it is off to the shop to open the wallet and ask them nicely to take what they want.

Doug

 
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10-17-03, 08:09 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Whoa Nelley.

Go to any Autozone and have them pull the codes. They do this free. Post what they find here.

Let's start there.

 
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10-17-03, 08:12 AM   #5  
Thaks Joe_F. They just opened an AutoZone on Broad Street in Trenton, NJ. It is about 10 miles, but well worth the trip. Since I have never been to one, do they do this on a walk in basis or do I need to wait around for awhile?

Thanks again.

Doug

 
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10-17-03, 08:17 AM   #6  
Joe_F
Depends on the store and how busy they are. I would call ahead and make sure they have the scanner ready and someone is on duty that can do it. That way you have less of a chance of wasting your time going there.

Post back what they find.

 
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10-17-03, 08:21 AM   #7  
Last Question for awhile I Hope

Joe_F, Last question until I see them... If they pull the codes and all was resolved with the PCV valvle replacement, will they be able to reset the computer as well?

Thanks,

Doug

 
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10-17-03, 09:07 AM   #8  
Joe_F
They should be able to reset it with the code reader they have.

 
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10-18-03, 01:16 PM   #9  
Because you have an OBD II system you can't clear the codes by disconnecting the battery. Another thing about OBD II is that the government mandated that less expensive code scanners be available to the public. Now they won't read ALL codes but just the standardized emission codes, but that's a start. Now, why on earth would you want to clear a code before you get to read it? They were put there as a diagnostic tool and early warning of a problem. Out of site-out of mind is not the right approach to this. It may be nothing or it may be serious. Don't throw away the tools the factory gave you.

 
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10-18-03, 05:56 PM   #10  
Desi501,

As always I planned to make the repairs required but wanted to know how to reset the computer when I was done. My older cars would reset after the battery was disconnected. I changed the PCV valve Thursday night since it was the least expensive part that would have caused the service light to come on. Low and behold the light went out on its own today while I was heading out to pick my oldest daughter up from college, roughly 60 mile round trip. So I guess I am set. I will however in the near future go to the closest AutoZone and have them check the codes anyway.

Thanks for all the help.

Doug

 
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10-18-03, 06:33 PM   #11  
Joe_F
Actually, the cheapest thing that will set a MIL is a loose gas cap which causes nothing to fix (Just tighten the cap). LOL.

 
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10-19-03, 07:03 AM   #12  
I have yet to see a PCV valve set a code unless it was leaking vacuum. My point was that you were erasing the only link to your problem without reading and recording it first. You should ALWAYS record codes before erasing them. They may be valuable to the tech later on.
Joe F. was right about that loose gas cap. That's gotten pretty common with OBD II cars.

 
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10-19-03, 08:35 AM   #13  
Gas Cap

Guys,

You are probably correct. I also got gas on Saturday. And it was after that the the service engine light went out. $2.49 I think was still well spent since the owners manual said to check it at 30k and I have 45k on it now.

Thanks for all the help.

Doug

 
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10-20-03, 05:01 AM   #14  
Joe_F
Doug:

Do not throw parts at the problem. Find the root cause of why the light is on and this will solve the problem. Get the codes read and post them back here.

 
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10-20-03, 05:23 AM   #15  
UMM, JOE, U ARE GIVING THIS PERSON A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY,I.E. GETTING CODES READ AT A PARTS STORE, TIGHTENING A LOOSE GAS CAP, ETC. IT'S PEOPLE OVER SIMPLIFYING THIS WHOLE GETTING YOUR VEHICLE DIAGNOSED PROCESS WHO ARE CREATING PROBLEMS.
SO THEY GET A CODE READ AND IT'S SAY, AN EGR CODE.
WHADDYA THINK THEY'LL DO NEXT?
I'D PUT MY MONEY ON BUYING SOME CHEAP JUNK AFTERMARKET
EGR VALVE, THAT'S WHAT...
GET THE CAR TO A DEALER, THIS IS WHERE U WILL HAVE THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF GETTING IT DIAG'D CORRECTLY.

 
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10-20-03, 05:39 AM   #16  
Big Guy,

I will not take my car to the dealer period..... I have had bad experiences at the dealer on past and this present car as well. In my opinion I will not pay the inflated labor fee for like work. I use ASE cert mechanics when I need things performed that I cannot do. I have been around cars for years and am a knowledgeable backyard mechanic that knows my limits. I also trust Joe_F and others on this board for information. This trust has been built buy reading the information that his reply posts carry to others on this board as well as his responses to me.

Telling me to go to a dealer is an absolute waste of your "SHOUTING WORDS!"

Doug

 
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10-20-03, 06:46 AM   #17  
GOOD LUCK TO YA!
PS I USE CAPS LOCK BECAUSE THERE IS ANOTHER PROGRAM RUNNING HERE AT WORK WHERE CAPS ARE USED, SORRY
OH YEAH AND IF U THINK ABOUT IT, EVERY VEHICLE FAILURE OCCURS SHORTLY AFTER A FUEL FILL.......USUALLY WITHIN THE RANGE OF THE FUEL TANK

 
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10-20-03, 09:37 AM   #18  
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BG:

No false sense of security here. Each poster knows his or her abilities and what they cannot and can handle. Having the codes scanned is the first step here for Doug to see what his problem is.

I have clearly stated that just because a code shows up, you don't slap parts at the problem.

If you doubt if a loose gas cap will trigger an MIL, think again, it happened to my own friend on his 1997 Stratus---and he should know better. First thing I told him, "Get gas recently"? Sure enough, the cap was loose.

Will this solve things every time? No, but you need to check the simple stuff FIRST.

We leave the choice of fixing this machine up to Doug or whether he wants to farm it out. His choice, he knows his ability. The information, opinions, arguments, whatever are all here for him to decide that.

Can't see how you tar all shops/parts/etc with the same brush. I know GM dealers that couldn't look up a spark plug. I have called plenty of dealers where *I* knew more about GM cars than their own parts managers did.

I've also known plenty of shops that will make some dealers look like a bunch of cavemen with a wrench and a hammer.

Bottom line: There are good and bad dealers, good and bad indepdendents, good and bad parts from both dealers and aftermarket sources. You can't put them all in the same category.

The trick is to know the difference.

 
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10-20-03, 02:52 PM   #19  
My last week story

My son came in and said dad my check engine light is on can you take a look.(1999 Toyota Corolla) My first question was is the gas cap on he said yes.I had him open the little fuel door to check sure as heck it was not clicked just put on with no clicks.
I made sure I heard at least 3 or 4 clicks.
Next I said pop the hood and I unhooked the neg battery cable for 5 min.When I hooked it back up the alarm went off and I bumped my head .The Check engine light was off and still is to this day.MOTTO is check the easy stuff first.

 
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10-20-03, 07:58 PM   #20  
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i've rarely told anyone to go to a dealer, but there is another side to this argument


there are plenty of clear cut codes that would seem to lead right to the problem, yet you've(or the independant) replaced that sensor three times and it still has that same code. there are many instances where a software upgrade (reprogramming the pcm) is the only fix for the code. and it's usually covered under an 8 year/80,000 mile federal emissions warranty. that means free! see if an independant will do this for free.

why take it to a shop that sees your type car/engine maybe once every three weeks vs. a dealer that sees it day in and day out, and is trained specifically for that thing and has the necessary tools and support to fix it


inflated prices??? a few weeks ago someone posted that it was going to cost $500 for a coil, plugs and wires on a stratus. they are so out in the open, it's almost on display. four bolts and with hand tools it's a 15 minute job with a ten minute break! we (the dealer) wouldn't charge half that! and it was also a second or third time return for the 'correct' repair, his total bill was over $1000 for a battery and other unneccessary stuff too. at the most we'll ever charge is 1/2 to 1 hour diagnosis, plus parts, plus the repair labor, and this goes by the book(time wise). (parts prices are high---i'll agree to that)


joe, name me a dealer that can't look up a spark plug---i'll call them. then show me an independant that knows more than me about my product, i'll talk to them all day, you can't hide behind an autolibrary.org subscription on the phone.

if you all saw how much i spend on the phone each week answering questions, you'd be surprised to see how much your 'independants' really know. of course i don't complain, it's similiar to this forum, but it happens almost daily.


my two cents!

 
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10-21-03, 04:01 AM   #21  
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Mike:

This was a Pontiac dealer in my area. The name has been suppressed to hide the innocent. LOL. Don't have to tell you that dealer has since been taken over by the GMC dealer here now. Wonder why???

BTW: I have a Pontiac dealer I bought NOS parts from 2 years ago where the parts manager STILL calls me regulary asking about Trans Am parts (among other cars). Half the time the parts he is asking for are STILL available from GM and I find them in 5 seconds in the parts computer (yes, we have the same software even though I'm not working for a dealer ).

As for independents knowing more than dealers, etc, again, the point is there are good ones and bad ones. I can recall many times working with my neighbor where we caught plenty the dealership missed.

I can recall talking to many parts guys that didn't have a clue what they were talking about and when we did our own research, we had showed them up. Also, certain service departments weren't that great. Heard this from plenty of customers.

Just because a dealer has all the information doesn't mean they know how to read it. An OEM logo on your front door or lot does not mean competency. It means the owner paid the right fee to own the dealership. There are good and bad dealers, independents, retailers, stores, parts stores, etc. There are some that you wouldn't bring a lawn mower to repair. And there are some that are great, bar none. All in the people.
As I said, there's good and bad in automotive. As with lawyers, doctors, plumbers, appliance people, etc,etc, etc.

Can't tar 'em all with the same brush. That's my point.

 
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10-21-03, 05:22 AM   #22  
If you took the same technician, and put him(or her) in an independant's environment, with access to all resources that an independant has access to, and then put that same technician in a dealership, granting him access to all resources available to a dealership technician, he is going to give better results at the dealer. End of story.
By the way Joe, if Henry Ford was available to discuss his products with you, I think you would think you could show him up too.

 
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10-21-03, 07:09 AM   #23  
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I think working for a dealer kinda puts your eggs in one basket, depending on the dealer.

Better hope you don't hook up with an OEM on the way out or you can be screwed. It's going to be tough to bang on the Ford dealer's door for a job when you've been working on Oldsmobiles your whole life .

Whereas an independent has seen them all. Money is money to a guy like that. 1980 Chevette, 1998 Corvette, 2001 Toyota. All of the customer's money is green and there is money to be made for GOOD shops if they can provide the service.

Being in the parts area I'm in, I see it all too. You know where the pitfalls of each lies and are more well rounded. A BMW dealer sees BMWs all day. A Bosch service center sees a bigger piece of the pie, BMWs are only one that they see. No one's going to argue that Bosch centers are top notch and you get dealership service for a German car at probably 1/2 the price of a dealer.

I work with plenty of people who used to work for OEM dealers---few if any would ever go back to it again.

Again, depends on the person.

 
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10-21-03, 09:32 PM   #24  
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well, you either sink or swim in the dealer. if you can't cut it, maybe that's why you wouldn't go back. (or end up teaching)


i like all my eggs in my two baskets(even though there are strong rumors about isuzu's future) i know what i'm going to be working on tomorrow, next week and next year---dodges. i dread having to work on anything else(used, trade-ins, employee's, friends of management) i'm familiar with things and i can almost work with my eyes closed sometimes. and with a dwindling workforce, i can almost do what i want---management is losing power over us, would they fire me for things that i do? no, they can't afford it. try showing up late everyday somewhere else.

 
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10-22-03, 06:17 AM   #25  
Joe_F
Or you're looking for a change? Many reasons why folks do it.

I know the couple guys I work with were tired of slaving over hot engines and dealing with unruly customers. These guys are every bit as current as the day they stopped turning wrenches for a living, because most of them still do their own work and keep on the pulse of the industry.

As noted, there is good and bad in all places so to speak, just can't tar 'em all with the same brush as bad.

 
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10-22-03, 08:06 AM   #26  
I did not mean to start a bashing or create the need for defending ones character or abilities. I was speaking from my own first hand experience at dealer service centers. {Unfortunately GMs} I must admit the one I am dealing with for my warranty work on my Sonoma has been very professional thus far and work has been excellent. Unfortunately the wife needs the Mom's Taxi during the week and this dealership is by me at work. The poor experiences were with my local to home GM dealers. I do understand and agree there is good and bad everywhere. Having good basic understanding and a strong backyard mechanic understanding I know or have a good idea what the issue is before taking my cars in for service and the first thing that will turn me off to anyone is being treated like an idiot and inferrior to their expertise. I have walked out of many places based on the counter person. They may have good mechanics in the background but first impressions and understanding the customer's skill level when speaking to them is very important

Sorry if I ruffled feathers.

Regards,

Doug

 
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10-22-03, 08:25 AM   #27  
Geez Doug, I was hoping u had some info about that venture van.

 
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10-22-03, 08:32 AM   #28  
The van is running just fine. Like I posted earlier it probably was just the gas cap as here in NJ you can't pump your own and although I usually get out to watch and BS for the 2 minutes the wife is usually dealing with the kids so she trust the attendent. Anyway I spent for the PcV valve nd the car is running just fine.

This forum still remains a valuable tool in my bag of tricks.

Thank you All

Doug

 
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10-22-03, 09:42 AM   #29  
Joe_F
Glad it was seemingly simple and that you didn't need the golden "dealer only" scan tool to solve the problem. LOL.

 
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10-22-03, 10:52 AM   #30  
mY gut feeling is the light will be back on.
Maybe .000001% of the time an SES light is something simple. Was it ever determined there was an evap leak detected? IT would have been a p0440 or p0442.
You know, you show the same car to ten different techs, and you'll get ten different reasons why it's doing what it's doing.
Of course, there is only one reason, so only one will be right.(maybe) Don't feel bad ruffling feathers. I enjoy doing my part to prevent the spread of misinformation.
BTW Joe, typically, the reason techs leave dealerships, is because they were out-classed, and failed miserably. I probably wouldn't go back either. You need to be more than an enthusiast or hobby mechanic to be effective at diagnosing. And as much as you dislike it, it takes having those "golden resources" to be effective as well.

 
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10-22-03, 11:42 AM   #31  
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Again, it depends on the person. Greener pastures are often offered to these guys and there goes your loyalty out the door.

As an example, a mechanic with one of the NYC agencies is making more than your dealership guys, retires in 20 years with a great pension, works on the same thing year after year and has an easy job compared to others. Many dealer guys are "waiting for the call".

I guess I'm of the mold that I try to do the best I can in all I do. I have often found a lot of "professionals" don't know auto parts from body parts, yet they are there year after year. Again, can't tar everyone with the same brush.

Half of the problem is attitude. Have a good attitude and an open mind and you're miles ahead of the "guru" that can't and won't learn anything with a closed mind.

 
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