Check Engine Light

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Stuckinga

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Joined
Jan 13, 2007
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1
  The wife and I recently purchased a 1999 Winnebago Brave. After having it home for a week, we started it up this morning and the "Check Engine" light came on and stayed on. We called the dealership and they gave us a few suggestions, one of which was to disconnect the positive cable from the battery for an hour and then recoonect it (to reset the computer). One problem...we can't locate the battery. Any help or other suggestions?
 

Tinner

Member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
22
Location
Holland, Texas
Disconnect the negative cable rather than the positive so you don't have a chance for a spark.  Always make it your final connection when replacing batteries or your first when removing one.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At my Silver Springs FL home
Bum advice - it's not necessary or desirable to reset the computer. It will  turn off the light itself if the problem does not continually re-occur.  Removing power to reset the computer at best merely masks the symptom (briefly). The computer isn't causing the problem - it is telling you there IS a problem that needs to be checked into.

A Check Engine light means the engine computer has detected a potential problem and has set an error code to further define the condition. The correct response it to have a technician read out the code to learn more and then do further diagnosis in the indicated problem area. There is a procedure (varies by engine computer type and year) for reading out these codes and you cold in fact do it yourself, but for most people it is easier to have a professional do it. Especially if you are going to have the pro investigate and solve the problem anyway.

These engine "problems" may be trivial or potentially serious, which is why it says "Check". It may indicate only that it is time to replace the catalytic converter (for emission control purposes) or it may mean that some item in the complex system of sensors and controllers has started acting strangely.  Sometimes these "problems" are transient and do not re-occur, in which case you should not worry. But if the light comes on and stays on, it should be checked into.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
Check your gas cap. I don't know if motorhomes have the same situation as cars but a loose gas cap can cause the light to come on. Don't ask how I know. ;D
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Many of the Ford and Chev engines calling for regular gas have check engine lites  lite up after 5 or 6 years.  Many a caused by the cheap gas that is burned constantly in our vehicle.  Had it on mine, RV, Cars and Trucks.  put 4 cans of Chevran Injector car and cleaner and and filled up the RV with Super premium and put it on the road and ran the heck out of it.  After about 200 miles lite won'[t come on again and ran better than ever.  Now about every 8th tank full I run a tank of premium.  No more problems.  Do the same on our cars and pickups, only on a lesser scale,  usuall only 2 cars, sometimes 1 will do.  Can't tell you this is your problems , but the chances are pretty good.    I think the Chevron prduct we use is about  7 to 5  bucks at Wally World and treats 15 or so gals.  JMHO.  Works for me and our one Licolln has over 300K on it and just used it last month again with excellent results.
 

Lowell

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Aug 15, 2005
Posts
2,221
Location
Tempe, AZ
You could probably go to a Checker or AutoZone store and have them plug into your RV's computer and get a readout of the computer code that would tell you what the problem is. They do not charge for this.
 

Jeff

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Joined
Apr 8, 2005
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Location
SD/AZ
Our Ford powered Pace Arrow would turn on the check engine light every time I failed to get the gas cap tight.

As someone suggested check the cap and drive a few miles and if that was the problem it will go out.
 

dave95.1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2006
Posts
64
I would recommend getting the code checked by whoever you would have fix the problem if you find one.  Autozone and Checkers may be able to you what the code is, but that most certainly will not tell you what the cause is.  Some codes are easy to chase down, some can be very tricky.  If you unhook the battery to clear the code, when you do go to get it looked at, it may make it harder to diagnose.  The computers keep infomation on what the conditions were when the code was set, and this can be very helpful in finding the problem.

The loose gas cap causing a code you can thank the government for.  That was part of the new emissions requirements starting in '96.  The computer pulls a vacuum on the fuel tank and monitors how long it takes for the vacuum to go away.
 

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