My car complains a lot by way of the check engine light.  As I reported before, this is why I choose to drive the old 66 when possible.  The newer car has too many computers.

Check engine

A few months back the check engine light came on.  I had it checked and the code said it was a small leak in the fuel system.  I don’t mean a gas leak, just a vapor leak.  If the car senses a loss of pressure in the fuel tank, the light comes on.


Usually this is because of a bad or loose gas cap.  But, after installing a new gas cap, the light came back on. 

Same code readout

I had it checked by a garage and it showed the same code as before.  This time we cleaned the fittings, checked for anything loose, and secured the gas cap again. 

Two days later the light is back on.  If the car is so smart, why can’t it say specifically what it needs?  Back at the shop the mechanic did a smoke test.  To do this smoke is pumped into the system under pressure and then you check to see where the smoke is leaking out.

No license plate until I get this fixed
No license plate until I get this fixed

Passes the test

It passed the test because no smoke leaked out.  I then had him replace some purge valves and other stuff that could cause this problem.  But by the next day the light was back on.

This is Arizona

In some states I may just give up or tape over the light.  However, in Arizona your car has to be checked for emissions.  Only cars that are 1966 or older are exempt.  Hence, my love for the 66 Ford.

At emissions, they check the output gases in your exhaust.  They also do a visual check to make sure you have not modified anything.  However, even if they find perfect exhaust, you still fail if the light is on.


They trust the car to know it is not compliant, even when their equipment says otherwise.  Disconnect the light?  That doesn't work because they must verify the light is functional.

Light on, plates off

By now, after a complete tune up and more checking we have determined there is no problem with emissions.  Still, Arizona won’t pass the car and I can’t renew my plates until they see the light go off.

Currently I am waiting for Chrysler to fix the light.  Once again, I question technology.  I certainly hope that once they get the light problem fixed the dash read out will say, “Sorry”.

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