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"Service Engine Soon"


Joe Quarter
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I own a 1990 coupe and have experienced the same condition. This condition will not put you on the "road side" but will inform you that you may have an oxygen sensor that needs to be replaced or something simular of that nature. Have your vehical checked ASAP, don't put it off for a long period of time or you will experience some serious problems.<BR>JB

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everytime the light comes on a code has been tripped and stored. they are designated has either "current" or "history" and will remain stored until cleared. it is a very simple procedure to check the codes yourself. it is done through the controls for the climate control system and the odomomter readout. the service manual tells how to enter the service mode and also what the codes are for once you retrieve them. obviously if it's something as simple as an o2 sensor, you could really save some money by checking yourself before paying the dealer.

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Let me stress again the importance of owning a service manual.<P>You can run the codes yourself, and possibly replace or repair the problem. One service call at the dealer will cost you the price of the manual. Many owners have bad/poor experience even with their Buick dealer in diagnosing the problem. If you do it before taking it in, you can have some confidence when present with the repair bill that they worked on the correct end of the car.<P>------------------<BR>Barney Eaton Reatta division technical advisor and keeper of the Reatta database.

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This light indicates an anomoly in the one of the sensors or a fault in a component within the systens that the ECM monitors. If the light stays on for more than a pre-determined amount of time [10 or 30 seconds], then the code will be stored within the ECM and can be recalled and diagnosed with the aid of a service manual. Sometimes its something as simple as an O2 sensor, sometimes it can be a warning signal that a major component is failing [such as an ignition module, that will in fact disable the car]. If the ECM can "fix" the problem, then he display can be intermittent. If the light refuses to go out, then the code must be diagnosed and the appropriate repairs done. I strongly suggest that you check all codes, stored or fresh, to see what problems may be in your system.<P>Craig G. Robitaile

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Re: Service Engine Soon<P>Our Service Engine Soon Light would come on quite frequently when we first bought our car (About 2 montrhs ago). We were quite concerned. As soon as we changed the oil, the light disappeared & hasn't come back on since. Just a suggestion!

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  • 1 year later...

My service engine soon light came on imediately after changing oil, filter, air filter. It has stayed on since. I have a manual but have no idea where to look. many cars just require a reset procedure, the light is there to remind driver to change oil etc. Sounds like its a lot more complex on the reatta. What isn't?

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Reatom,<P>The service engine soon light wwill not come on if it needs a oil change. Sometimes a cloged air filter/fuel filter will cause the engine to run poorly causing a sencer to turn on the SES light. It's not the intent of the light to let you know you need normal maintence. Without getting into the codes the light is to let you know something is not within spec or not working on the engine controle system. This includes fuel injection, ignition, and emmision systems. <P>If a light evers comes on for the first time after I did something I would retrace my steps. Odds are it was from something I did. Look for a sencer around the air cleaner you might have unpluged or damaged like the IAT, or the MAF. <P>For more details let us know what year your car is and if you can get a code. See the drivability section under engines and ECM under electrial in the factory manual. Look for how to check for codes.<P>Tom<P> <BR>Tom

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Thanks Tom , you were right on. I checked around the air filter and found the connector underneath had come off. before that I did the code search and found 026 as an error code. manifold temp I believe. It would not clear but did as soon as I reconnected that plug. LIGHT OUT! Thanks again.

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