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Dear Membership,

I'm looking for a little reassurance, I guess. I needed to trailer my Coupe Cambio in a recent move. After starting and shutting the engine off multiple times, only to move the car an inch here and an inch there in positioning it on the car carrier, the check engine light came on. It's been started about a dozen times since then, but the light remains illuminated. I'm thinking it was just a burp given the multiple start/stops. Should the code clear itself if the problem no longer exists? If yes, how many restarts should that take? Is there any way short of having a code reader that I can assess whether it is something more serious? I was hoping a trip to the dealer could be avoided. Thanks in advance for your input.

Frankie P
 

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Frankie:

I would figure it came on due to the multiple starts and short running time of engine. If you feel comfortable I would drive for around 50 miles in one shot, without shutting the engine down, and see if it resets. More starting probably won't cure it. Otherwise have dealer check it out.
 

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Frankie ...check the gas cap if it is tightly closed, open it and close it tight again. Sometimes the check engine light is turned on if the gas cap lets air in.

Don't worry, if all is OK the light should reset in a couple of days of use.
 

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Mine's come on 2-3 times and it's invariably the fault of a loose filler cap. My proble is that on my car if I tighten the cap too much, it's almost impossible to remove once the fuel level goes down - seems as if there's a vacuum formed. I've had to use channel locks to get the cap off on more than one occasion.

After being told by FMSV that it'd be 3 weeks before they could give me an appointment to read the code (plus an hour's labor charge) I ran down to the local Kragan's and bought a CodeScoutt model OBD II reader and it's paid for itself both literally and in peace of mind.
 

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Just one word of caution here: I had a few evap leaks as well, and while most of them were insignificant, the last one most definitely was! I had smelled a faint scent of fuel in the car occasionally. Personally, I thought the combo of that sumptuous leather mixed with 93 octane was scintillating...and having owned old British cars (Triumph, MG), the smell of fuel wasn't ever anything to be alarmed about...but in this case, the gasket on top of the fuel tank was leaking!

So, be careful...
 

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I miss working on my old Brit cars. 8 moving parts - 4 cylinders and 4 wheels, and most everything could be done with a hammer, screwdriver, and spanner, and some WD-40. I'll never forget the joy of syncing carburetors "by ear" the first time...
 
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