Checking engine light codes??


Old 10-08-05, 01:48 PM
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Question Checking engine light codes??

Can anyone describe the proceedure for checking the code (why the check engine light is coming on) for a '94 Cavalier. I have had the difference between 'hard' and 'soft' codes described and I believe I am dealing with a soft code and would just like to see if I can figure out what I'm dealing with here.
Thanx for any help or suggestions.
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Old 10-09-05, 09:29 AM
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Any ideas??? I can't get the repair manual from the library till after tuesday and since I have a long week-end off I was hoping to try to figure it out.
Thanx again.
Old 10-09-05, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
'94s would be around the switch to OBD II
If your vehicle is the previous generation, you may be able to access the codes yourself w/o a machine
If it is OBD II, you'll need a code scanner, or have a DIY parts place do it for you
Sorry to be vague, but you are right around the switch-over, and I'm not sure when the Cavs made the switch
Old 10-09-05, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 170
Do you have an owners manual? If you can read the codes yourself it should tell you how.
Old 10-10-05, 07:49 AM
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Cool Thanx

Thank you for your feed back.
No, I do not have an owners manual unfortunately. Any idea where I can download one?
09/93 manufacture date if that narrows it down. I thing thats near the end of when they made the wagon with the 4 cyl.
I may just have to get a mechanic to look at it, the pain there as I understand it is that the light needs to be on for them to check the code, and it comes on very sporadically, guess I may have to just drive around the island till it comes on and then go see them. (Life on a gulf island ;~)
Thanx again
Old 10-10-05, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Rarely is the procedure in the owners manual
As the light goes on and off, that means you have a code in memory
The computer has detected a problem and wants to let you know what it is, but it's not a huge problem so it's not on all the time
It's just saying "I found a problem, I have stored the codes, get this checked out"
That the light has to be on for the codes to be read would be incorrect
The codes and memory do not have to be read when the light is on
Old 10-10-05, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320 seems to have info on your vehicle:
It seems your car is the old style and still can read them yourself if you want
I just quick scanned the A/Z site, but it looks like the procedure is in there
If you do pull the codes yourself, I find it best to post up the codes here before buying any parts
That's because an "Oxygen Sensor Reads lean" code does not mean replace the oxygen sensor..stuff like that
Old 10-10-05, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So Cal
Posts: 248
You can check the codes by placing a jumper wire between the "a" and "b" terminals on the diagnostic connector, turning the ignition to "on" and counting the flashes of the light.

One flash, pause, three flashes = 13.

Four flashes, pause, four flashes = 44.

This will get the codes for you, but remember it goes further than replacing the component associated with the code. You need to find out WHY the code is being set.


Old 10-10-05, 09:28 PM
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Thank you

Thanx Slickshift and Smogtek That's why I come here, there's always someone (or two) with some helpful ideas/info.
Back to work tommorrow, but hopefully I can get it sorted out soon. The not knowing why it's coming on is the worst I don't get the feeling it's anything immenent but we'll check it out.
Thanx again guys

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