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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering about other people's experiences with the "check engine" light. I've had it happen a few times. I just had it happen during the past few days. I've found it is usually because the gas cap isn't seated properly or I got some inferior gas. I figured I would run the gas out and then put some better gas in. But the light went off with still a third of a tank of gas. I don't know what caused it to come on or what caused it to go off. I think a lot of Volt owners freak out needlessly over the check engine light. The owner's manual suggests you drive for a while and see if the light goes out. It has always gone away after a few days. If the check engine light is flashing you do have a problem and you shouldn't drive your Volt. That has never happened to me.
 

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There are dozens of things that will turn on the "check engine" light. The code that gets stored will give you a clue to what caused it. I have been driving my 2017 for 15 months now without a single trouble light. (Knock on wood).
 

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There was one time during snowageddon where I punched it to keep the wheels turning, traction control kicking in all the way down my 1400 foot long driveway to get to the plowed street. That triggered a code to service the stabilitrak system as it obviously wasn't designed to do that much wheel-spinning and thought something was wrong. It cleared up in a few days. If you really want to know what's going on plug in an odb scanner to retrieve those codes. The dealership can do it, but so can any auto parts store.

If you think you got inferior fuel, only use top tier, and fill up as much as possible to help dilute it faster. Surprisingly Marathon is not top tier while BP, Mobil, and Shell obviously are.

A common problem in volts is the coolant for the battery gets low. If you are right on the edge and park at any incline, it might set off a check engine code. You can visually inspect those levels in the engine compartment.

Ignoring a check engine light might be disasterous, if your car is throwing codes and it is under warranty, why are you not taking it into the dealership? If you fry the drivetrain because you ignored the check engine light, I think GM has a legitimate reason to not cover the damage because of your actions.
 

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The point I'm making is at the time the check engine light came on I was 60 miles from a Chevy dealership. It doesn't make sense to drive sixty miles to a dealer when the gas cap is loose. I think if it's a serious problem the check engine light will flash. I always check my gas cap and keep driving and the light goes out in a day or two. In the manual is says the check engine light is for emissions problems. It doesn't come out and say it, but the manual implies that you can keep driving. If the light doesn't go out in a few days, then take it to a dealer. What I'm asking is what is a prudent, reasonable thing to do that isn't going overboard?
 

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The point I'm making is at the time the check engine light came on I was 60 miles from a Chevy dealership. It doesn't make sense to drive sixty miles to a dealer when the gas cap is loose. I think if it's a serious problem the check engine light will flash. I always check my gas cap and keep driving and the light goes out in a day or two. In the manual is says the check engine light is for emissions problems. It doesn't come out and say it, but the manual implies that you can keep driving. If the light doesn't go out in a few days, then take it to a dealer. What I'm asking is what is a prudent, reasonable thing to do that isn't going overboard?
Answered, go to the closest auto parts store and they will scan that code whichncan confirm or deny that it was the gas cap.
 

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The point I'm making is at the time the check engine light came on I was 60 miles from a Chevy dealership. It doesn't make sense to drive sixty miles to a dealer when the gas cap is loose. I think if it's a serious problem the check engine light will flash. I always check my gas cap and keep driving and the light goes out in a day or two. In the manual is says the check engine light is for emissions problems. It doesn't come out and say it, but the manual implies that you can keep driving. If the light doesn't go out in a few days, then take it to a dealer. What I'm asking is what is a prudent, reasonable thing to do that isn't going overboard?
The OnStar people can tell you what the codes are too.
 

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What I'm asking is what is a prudent, reasonable thing to do that isn't going overboard?
Before you can answer that question, you need to know what caused the light. Most major auto parts stores will read the code for free, or you can read it your self with a cheap OBD2 port reader. If you have Onstar, they can also remotely read some of the codes and will suggest either taking the car in right away or waiting.
 

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I keep basic OnStar, any CEL, and I just hit the button and ask. I've had CEL maybe 3 times over 3 years, It's always been charge system performance related, due to interruptions, or a bad station in 1-2 cases.
 

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Answered, go to the closest auto parts store and they will scan that code whichncan confirm or deny that it was the gas cap.
Many auto shops will do it for free. When I was in Laredo, TX in July 2016, my Dad's Mazda protege had a "Check Engine" light on, and from the code read at an Advanced Auto Parts store, it was related to the emissions controls caused by a loose gas tank cap. It was fixed for free and the car never gave any problems later.

In my home I have two Actron scanners, one for simple code reading and one for code reading, erasing, and diagnostics. Thanks to them, I have fixed problems in my older cars. In my 2009 Chevy Equinox, one "Check Engine" code was a bad spark plug in cylinder 1. I drove it to my dealer, and it was replaced for free due to GM's lifetime warranty for the ignition system.
 

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I have had some recent check engine lights on my 2016. A software update cleared one and lasted for a few months before resurfacing last week. When I took it in for service it cleared but 2 days later it was back as well as some power issues. Turns out it was a faulty cell. Its currently at the dealership being fixed.
Dave
 

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Many different reason for a CEL. Most are benign but some are serious. Best to contact OnStar and ask for the codes. If they say to take it in the next week you're pretty well guaranteed it's a non event. Note that issues on the car side should be covered by warranty. Others, like those caused by the charging equipment (such as the EVSE), aren't.
 

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Yep. Why wonder and/or not be certain and take chances? Only takes a few minutes to call OnStar and get the scoop. Or as others have pointed out you can plug in an OBD2 device and do it that way.

2014 Volt Premium - Safety pkg 1 and 2, Navigation
 

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The point I'm making is at the time the check engine light came on I was 60 miles from a Chevy dealership. It doesn't make sense to drive sixty miles to a dealer when the gas cap is loose. I think if it's a serious problem the check engine light will flash. I always check my gas cap and keep driving and the light goes out in a day or two. In the manual is says the check engine light is for emissions problems. It doesn't come out and say it, but the manual implies that you can keep driving. If the light doesn't go out in a few days, then take it to a dealer. What I'm asking is what is a prudent, reasonable thing to do that isn't going overboard?
Just because the light's not flashing doesn't mean something serious isn't wrong. Mine came on, solid (not flashing), and the vehicle wouldn't restart after shutting it down. Reason was a failed Li-Ion cell that required the replacement of part of the battery.
 
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