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This morning when I started my car to go get breakfast I noticed my CEL came on, the car seemed to be Idling very rough, and my headlights were very dim. I let the car run for a couple of minutes and the headlights became normal again however the car continued to idle rougly and the CEL stayed on. I turend the car off, and let it sit for a while, then when i went outside to check on it later during the day the CEL was still on it continued to idle rougly. What could be wrong? Putting the car in self diagnostic mode revealed nothing but the battery DTC, which I figure isnt the problem.

From reading up on here it appears as if it may be the IACV, and it seems like everyone takes thier cars to AUtozone to get them scanned with teh OBDII sensor. Unfortunatly the nearest Autozone is somewhat far, is it safe to drive there with the CEL light on? Also do you think I would be ok driving to and from school tomorrow? There is a Pep Boys which is nearby do they scan codes, will they charge me? Sorry for all of the question I am just new to having car troubles.

Another problem with my cougar which I have had for about 5 months now (The problem that is not the car), My rear passenger side tire does not hold air, i have to constantly refil it every other day, It hasnt really been a big deal just a nuisance and I figured since Im posting about a different problem I might as well ask about this as well.

Thanks in advance for all your help guys, I apprecaite it.

One more thing, Im 16 years old do you think I will have a problem being taken seriously at like Autozone or hopefully Pepboys asking to have my car scanned? Anything you guys could lemme know to make me sound more knowledgable at these places would be wonderful.

Information about the car: 99' Cougar, 2.5l Automatic, 69,000 Miles.
 
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I wasn't paying that much attention I was more in shock cause of the CEL and the lights. However, when just letting the car sit while on after it would waver between the 1 and the 2 for a minute before coming down and just staying right above the 1.
 

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As for your tire, you have a slow leak (obviously!) it could be a nail/screw in the tire, a leaky valve stem or a bead leak. Take it to a shop that does tire repairs and have them take a look. I'm lucky my buddy has a tire machine and can patch my tires when they need help! It shouldn't cost more than $10-$15 for it, and it will stop the constant pain in the butt of filling it up.
 

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Originally posted by: l2yan
(1) I let the car run for a couple of minutes and the headlights became normal again however the car continued to idle rougly and the CEL stayed on. Putting the car in self diagnostic mode revealed nothing but the battery DTC, which I figure isnt the problem.

(2) Unfortunatly the nearest Autozone is somewhat far, is it safe to drive there with the CEL light on? Also do you think I would be ok driving to and from school tomorrow?

(3) There is a Pep Boys which is nearby do they scan codes, will they charge me?

(4) My rear passenger side tire does not hold air, i have to constantly refil it every other day, It hasnt really been a big deal just a nuisance and I figured since Im posting about a different problem I might as well ask about this as well.
(1) Your battery is probably causing your CEL to come on. When scanned you will probably get the code that says you are running under 10V. Sorry to say - but your alternator is going bad. Dimming headlights and the battery warning in diagnostic mode are sure signs. My car did this for about a year before my alternator finally went out - I just had to deal with the dimming headlights. So - if you want, you can just ride it out until the alternator finally goes out. I would just get it fixed right away though so it doesn't go out at a bad time, like when you are 100 miles from home.

(2) Autozone isn't the only place that will do it for free... Advance Auto will also scan your computer, as well as some other parts stores. I would try the Pep Boys that you were talking about. As for driving it to school... You should be fine. If the CEL starts blinking I wouldn't drive the car because that means that your engine is mis-firing, but most likely it is just a minor thing. For safety, I would throw a set of jumper cables in the trunk just in case your battery completely drains... At least you would have a chance at getting it to a shop without a tow truck!

(3) Just ask if they do it for free before you have them scan it. You can also have your battery and alternator tested for free at these places - so definitely do that to make sure that the alternator is your problem. Have them test the alternator under load though... Because if they test it at idle most likely it will read good. I had mine tested 4 times and each time it said my alternator was fine... Needless to say - my car is now at the dealership getting a new one put in! Also, another way to find out the problem is to take it to the dealership. They will diagnose the problem for you and ask you if you want it fixed after they give you a quote. Even if you don't get it fixed, you just got a diagnosis for free! However they will not scan the computer for free for you. The dealership by me wants $80 to scan it!

(4) As said above, take it to a tire shop and have them patch it. You have a slow leak, and it can be fixed for $10.

Hope I helped, and feel free to PM me if I can help with anything else!
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the help guys, and yes by the battery DTC, i am referring to the code: 9318 Under 10v. I drove it to school today and back and it seemed to be driving fine except for the way it idles and the headlights that dimmed when i started the car this morning. I plan on going to the tire place when my dad gets home and then driving over to advance autos or pep boys to get it scanned.

How much is a new alternator going to run me? Will warranty cover it? Are you sure this is the problem and is this also the cause of my rough idling and my CEl?
 
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