Engine Mechanical problem
1996 Toyota 4Runner 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 180K miles
What do I need to replace when my engine light comes on on my dashboard? I have a 96 Toyota 4-Runner. Mechanics in my town are telling me to do a full engine tune up for $500. What is a cheaper option?
I'll tell you same thing I passed to another guest: First, don't pay for someone to read the code; go to any decent auto parts store and they will read/ decipher the code for free (their hope is they'll be able to, in turn, sell you the part that fixes the problem). But read on.
Have a mech friend with the diagnostic device that reads these codes. Brought my 2000 4Runner to him with the same " Check Engine Light". In short, we were able to reset my light.
Important part is this; I was able to sit with him as the computer read, page by page, through the codes and diagnostics. If nothing else, I gained peace of mind as each page of diagnostics showed the engine performance to be " OK", to include 'pending' problems. All this was done in a matter of minutes (ever wonder how long most mechs ACTUALLY devote to your vehicle in most cases!). If you have a trustworthy mech, I'd recommend asking him if he'll allow you to review the diagnosis with him, and have him tell you page by page what's good with the car (and what's not). Otherwise, you'll remain in the shroud of mystery every time the light comes back-- and pay them a hefty some on EACH return (like so many before you). Hmmm. Get it!
Lastly, the diagnostic device (known sometimes as an OBD2) costs as low as $65, is 'plug & play', and is universal for any auto. If you're reading this email, you probably have enough 'tech-savvy' to operate it. Keep this in mind on your next trip back to your mech for the same repeat gripe!
Lastly, if a trip to your local mech is decided upon-- shop around; most tune-ups are cheap/easy.
July, 15, 2009 AT 11:52 AM
WEll, it's been a couple weeks later and the engine light is off, and driving seems to be going smoothly.
However, when I did get the report from the local mechanic he said the code read a 6-cylinder misfire (whatever that means) I am not very car-savvy. So, that is why he recommended the full engine tune up. I called another local mechanic and asked for a quote, and said the same thing, probably cost me $487 labor and parts for engine tune-up.
I think I will wait it out I guess and see if I discover any problems with the car or see if the light goes back on, but I am happy saving money at the moment and not jumping into a hefty fix it fee.