Engine Malfunction Light on Toyota Corolla

Napalm2880

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Mar 8, 2007
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I have a 1997 Toyota Corolla (89000km on the clock:D). The engine malfunction light has been showing intermittantly for the last 10 000km (it comes on occassionally and then goes off again.) - so I'm assuming nothing is terribly wrong and it's just a faulty sensor.

I'm tempted to purchase a OBD-II Diagnostics Tool off BidorBuy to either reset the computer or find a useful error code before I get charged an arm and a leg by a dodgy mechanic. Is this a good idea? If so which one should I purchase?

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/8948...gnostic_Tool_Support_Android_and_Symbian.html

OR something more expensive:

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/89352499/Professional_Grade_OBD_II_EOBD_Code_Reader_Scanner.html

The engine light looks like the one in the bottom right of this pic:

http://www.samarins.com/diagnose/check-engine-light-large.jpg
 

Louis72

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Jun 15, 2010
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1,112
I would strongly urge you to just find out whats actually wrong with your car.
it could be something serious and if it fails completely it could cause serious damage.
Also the repair cost could be much more
than just fixing whatever is wrong now.
Before there is any serious damage.
You can just scan it at almost any mechanic and then just find out what the code means and what action to take, depending how serious it is.

Remember just resetting the error, wont fix anything its just going to come back over and over again as long as there is a problem.
 

HapticSimian

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Apr 22, 2007
Messages
15,950
:wtf:

Why do people have so little mechanical sympathy? The light's there because it's the only means the car has to tell you something's not right, yet you choose to ignore the issue for 10,000km?
 

Beachless

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Oct 6, 2010
Messages
6,003
I bought one and it only worked on 1 car out of 5 I tested so make sure that the seller guarantees that it will work on your make and model before buying it.
 

Napalm2880

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Mar 8, 2007
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I'm not adverse to taking it into a mechanic. In fact my car is going in for a service next week. I just want to make sure that he's actually fixing right issue - if it is actually an issue (I don't have much trust for mechanics). The engine malfunction light has been coming on and off intermittantly since before and after the last service (which was at the toyota dealership).

Additionally they wanted to charge me R300.00 (at a local mechanic) just to plug the car into one of these scanners, hence I was wondering if its a good idea just to purchase one myself?
 

Napalm2880

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Mar 8, 2007
Messages
2,505
:wtf:

Why do people have so little mechanical sympathy? The light's there because it's the only means the car has to tell you something's not right, yet you choose to ignore the issue for 10,000km?

I'm totally guilty. Guess I should probably just suck it up and pay the experts to take a look at it. I view mechanics as the Incredible Connection of the Car industry. I would rather try fix these things myself but end up never having the time to look at it.
 

HapticSimian

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Apr 22, 2007
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I'm totally guilty. Guess I should probably just suck it up and pay the experts to take a look at it. I view mechanics as the Incredible Connection of the Car industry. I would rather try fix these things myself but end up never having the time to look at it.

To diagnose it shouldn't cost nearly as much as buying a proper OBD scanner. Just don't take it to the agents. You drive the automotive equivalent of a bicycle; I'm sure the folks here can give you numerous suggestions as to where you could find a reputable independent mechanic 'round Cape Town.
 

Napalm2880

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Mar 8, 2007
Messages
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To diagnose it shouldn't cost nearly as much as buying a proper OBD scanner.

A perfect example of why I have no trust in car mechanics. Any suggestions for reputable independent mechanics in CTN are welcome. Preferably in the Southern Suburbs.
 
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