Originally Posted by Tony Mason
This is probably one of those dumb questions but I'm going to try anyway. I recently lost the belts on this car and it triggered the Service Engine light. I replaced the belts and the car seems to be running great. The light, however remains on. I've disconnected the battery several times and pushed the reset button in the fuse box to no avail. I suppose it's possible something could still be wrong so here is my question. Should I bother to go out and buy a code reader or just spend the money to have the dealer check and clear the codes.
Thanks for your honest opinions guys.
1. On an OBD-II vehicle disconnecting the battery will not erase codes from the PCM memory. The only way to reset is with a scan tool.
2. Sometimes when the belts go they break or disconnect the vacuum hoses going to the evap canister behind the right headlight. Obviously if there is a problem with the hoses it will set the MIL. Check these out, repair as needed and see #4.
3. Another possible cause is the PCM monitors the charging system, power steering pressure, etc. No belts, no alternator, PS pump, you get the idea. Again see #4.
4. The good news is that the PCM will reset itself after a predetermined number of drive cycles depending on what type of code is set. Simply driving the car will put the MIL out if there was a one time problem as mentioned above.
So my suggestion would be to continue to drive the car as is for a few days to see what happens (after checking the hoses of course). If the MIL stays illuminated then your best bet is to go to a shop and have it checked out.