Monday, June 14, 2010

Corvette Check Engine Light

This blog posting is for the benefit of other Corvette owners who may be reading this in the future, and search for the phrase "Check Engine Light."  This dreaded light came on Friday afternoon on my way home--and the engine definitely felt a bit short of breath.  I've noticed this shortness of breath a couple of times in the last few weeks, but it was never very long.

Anyway, when I reached home, I searched for information on this, and several references indicated that the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensors can cause this problem if the air filter is clogged or otherwise is preventing the engine from getting enough oxygen.  Since we live on a dirt road, I pulled the filter out--and the filter wasn't just dirty--several ounces of dirt fell out when I opened it up.

I bought a replacement filter on Saturday afternoon--but the Check Engine light stayed on.  Monday morning, on my way to All Things Automotive in Meridian, after about a mile and a half of driving--the light went out.  And guess what?  The engine now runs much more smoothly and feels like it wants to go zoom.  I suspect that it takes a while for the sensors to reset all the appropriate inputs.


  1. Depending on the car and manufacturer, sometimes the light won't go out until it's been manually reset.

    (Hmmm, I switched from OpenID off my LJ to Blogger, it's still Mauser though).

  2. Who has been changing your oil? Should never have reached that stage. A typical hazard of life in Idaho though - cf when Mount St. Helens blew.

  3. you can also reset the light by taking the negative connector off of the battery for around 15 minutes... WARNING: You will loose all radio presets and if your engine has an optimizing or "learning" processor, it will take time to relearn everything to run at optimal performance.

  4. If you don't have one, you might buy an OBD-II reader.

    It'll let you get the actual error code out of the system, so no guesswork.

    They start at around $50 at Harbor Freight, for instance.

  5. AFIK, there are two kinds of error codes, transient ones and semi-permanent ones. the transient ones (like driving with your gas cap off or a plugged up air filter or an oxygen sensor ) will reset themselves after a certain number of miles (usually between 50 and 250 depending on the vehicle.) others will require a manual reset by pulling the battery cable.

  6. Actually, the last oil change did do the air filter. You wouldn't believe how bad the road situation is. There are probably few Corvettes outside of Africa that get this kind of road situation.