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Discussion Starter #1
Hope there's someone still reading this, who hasn't already left for Nationals... I'm leaving Saturday morning, I'll see you guys out there!

On to my question:

On the drive home from Toledo on Sunday, the check engine light on my 2000 Celica GT came on... I was about 30 miles from home, and the car was running fine. I stopped at the next rest area, shut off the car, and looked for anything unusual. Nothing. Gas cap was tight, and I had about 1/3 of a tank in the car. Had last filled up before I left for Toledo on Saturday. No leaks, no funny noises.

Drove the rest of the way home without incident, but the light didn't turn off either.

On getting home, a co-worker suggested that I check the coolant level. Sure enough, the catch tank was below the "low" mark by a small amount. I topped it off, and have since driven the car about 15-20 miles. The light is still on.

I'm taking the car to the toyota dealer today to read the code.

Questions: Could the low coolant level have triggered the engine light? If so, would the light turn off on its own, once the fault condition went away? What other things should I look for? Does autocrossing cause the coolant to occasionally spill from the vent tube on the tank?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Bill,

Never had a CEL on my Celica in the short time I owned it, but I will toss out a possible option for you.

On many newer cars, when something trip the CEL, it will stay on even after the situation has remedied itself. Most often, it is a freak belch from a oxygen sensor that causes the light. The condition is instintaneous, and goes away, but the CEL stays on. What I always did was to disconnect the battery for 20 minutes, and hook it back up. This resets the computer, and clears the CEL. I have heard that this is the first thing that a dealership will do. If the CEL comes back on, then they will run a diag on it to see what the problem is, but more often than not, it stays off. I never had a CEL that didn't clear itself this way. Granted, this was on a Ford, but I thought perhaps it would be something to try before taking it to the dealer. hth

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mark,

Thanks for the tips. I've used that trick to clear a CEL before too, and it has occured to me. But if it is something more serious, I didn't want to clear the code before I had a tech read it. The dealer said that reading the code for me would be no problem, so I'll likely do that at lunchtime today.

If I had more time before nats, I'd probably do just what you suggest, and see if it comes back before visiting the dealer. On our old Jetta, the light would go out eventually. That car had an intermittent throttle body problem.

I have a mechanic friend who normally would read the code for me, but he's on vacation this week. Oh well, the dealer will have to do.
 

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I had an on and off CEL for about a year on my 2000 GT. Sometimes it would go away on it's own, sometimes I'd clear it. It was a P0420, I think--catalyst inefficiency.

After it became more persistent, I finally took it in to the dealer...they replaced the cat under powertrain warranty and I didn't have a problem after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, my dealer was too busy to read the code today, but I asked them about resetting the ECU by disconnecting the battery. He told me that would work, but I should get one of those radio program savers that plugs into the cigarette lighter, or else my radio wouldn't work when I reconnected the battery, and I'd need to take it back to the dealer in order to get it working again.

So, off to the auto parts store. Sigh.

Nothing like a little stress right before Nationals.
 

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Originally posted by Bill Loring
Well, my dealer was too busy to read the code today, but I asked them about resetting the ECU by disconnecting the battery. He told me that would work, but I should get one of those radio program savers that plugs into the cigarette lighter, or else my radio wouldn't work when I reconnected the battery, and I'd need to take it back to the dealer in order to get it working again.

So, off to the auto parts store. Sigh.

Nothing like a little stress right before Nationals.
:wtf: I've disconected the battery on MANY Celica's and this the 1st I hear of this. We dont have a security system in the radio. Maybe he was talking about the memory clearing. But if he was a service writer then he is just a morron, like most of them :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to take a look at my owner's manual tonight, to see if there is any mention of this. He talked about having to REMOVE the radio, in order to get the serial number, to then call Toyota to get it reset. Yikes! I've seen radios that you have to put a code into when you disconnect the battery, but if you have to remove the thing... that's just dumb.

I hate to say it, but I hope you're right about the service writer.
 

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my radio survived battery disconnect multiple times
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I unhooked the battery this morning, and lo and behold, the radio still works!!

The engine light is off (at least for now), and everything seems to be working fine.

Thanks to all for their comments.
 

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Originally posted by Bill Loring
Well, I unhooked the battery this morning, and lo and behold, the radio still works!!

The engine light is off (at least for now), and everything seems to be working fine.

Thanks to all for their comments.
Yeah I used to be a Honda tech and I know that most honda radios use a code.......But I know the Celica doesn't :D
 

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You can also undo the two small EFI fuses in the engine bay and that will clear the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update:

The engine light has stayed off. So apparently the low coolant was to blame.

I have noticed that the coolant level is down a bit already again... is this common when autocrossing, or should I be looking for a leak in the system?
 

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Look for a leak Bill. Mine doesn't use a drop of coolant. - AB
 

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I've always had to add a little coolant to my car on a regular basis, I always blame it on evaporation...

I know it's time to add a little when I hear the rushing water/gurgling sound at startup. If you *just* added water and it's low again I owuld blame it on an air bubble and not a leak. If the system is low it's normal for it to suck a little water initially.

Scott
 

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Bill, I don't think your CEL was caused by low coolant. Even if you aren't seeing the CEL you might still have a freeze code in your computer.
Try and get your computer scanned and see what you come up with. I have a recuring p1346 which is the camshaft position sensor, but it has never been a trouble code and the car still runs fine. (Three types of code, 1. Trouble, 2. Pending, 3. Freeze) If you have a trouble code the CEL won't go out. If you have a pending I believe the light will also stay lit. If you have a freeze the light will reset on it's own after a few cycles or if you reset the ECU.
 

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In three years of weekly AX and xcountry driving we've never had to add a drop of coolant.
 
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