When check engine lights first appeared on cars, the solution was simple — take the car into a shop. Now that cars are equipped with on-board diagnostic systems (OBD, OBDII), the idea is that by plugging a reader into the OBD or OBDII port, the problem can be diagnosed and fixed immediately.
It's not that simple. Codes simply refer to one of the sensors within the vehicle, many of which can be tripped by various problems. Here's a look at three of the more common codes, what they mean, and how you can fix them.
The Code: P0442
One of the more common codes on a vehicle is P0442. If this shows up, it means there's a vapor leak somewhere within the system. These leaks can occur in holes "as small as .04 inches [in] diameter." This code can show up if there's something as simple as a gas cap loose, or as complex as valve or o-ring defects.
The fix can be as simple as replacing the gas cap and driving around for a while until the code goes off, or as complex as bringing your car to the shop for a vapor leak test. Shops can usually detect a leak by using a scanning tool or a smoke test.
The Code: P0133, P0135, P0141
One of these codes means there's a problem with one of your O2 sensors. Each code corresponds with a specific bank and sensor number. Your car will probably operate normally, although you might notice a slight dip in your fuel efficiency.
The go-to option here is to replace the O2 sensor in the designated location, but it's not always the correct choice. These readings can also occur from damaged wires leading to the sensors and leaks. If exhaust is leaking into the system, the change in the percentage of oxygen causes the sensor to signal a problem, even if the sensor is working just fine.
The Code: P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304 P0305
If you took a look at those codes and realized there were six of them and also realized that many cars have six cylinders, you probably realized these codes related to cylinder misfires before this sentence ended.
Good luck figuring it out on your own. Misfires are caused by a host of issues. Some of these include:
Unless you're a mechanic, or know your way around an engine block well enough to diagnose a problem, it's best just to find an engine repair shop, like Leading Edge Automotive, for cylinder problems.Share
22 December 2014
I always knew that I wanted to travel when I retired, but it was clear that I wasn't going to be joining the jetsetters anytime soon. I decided that for my retirement present to myself, I was going to buy an RV. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. My RV has allowed me to travel the country continuously, in comfort and in style, for a lot less than I’d spend on any other comfortable mode of transportation. If you’re looking for RV tips and hints, I’ve started this blog to share my experience. Learn about everything from shopping for and maintaining an RV to accessorizing and personalizing an RV. You too can learn to travel on your own terms.