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Old 02-28-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
harmono
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1996 SL2
Dizzy What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

My 96 SL2 DOHC failed CALIFORNIA smog. I think I have most of the issues solved, but there is one issue I'm having a hard time understanding.
The smog inspector said CHECK ENGINE LIGHT NOT WORKING.
I'm assuming that it did not pass the bulb check when you turn the ignition.
The main problem is.... what is that called in Saturn lingo?
On other cars it looks like an engine block. On my Saturn I see two lights, one says "SERVICE" then has a wrench symbol. The other light is "SERVICE ENGINE SOON". I have asked two mechanics and they both gave me different opinions, and even the manuals are confusing. One part of the manual says the ENGINE MALFUNCTION INDICATOR is the SERVICE ENGINE SOON. The other part of the manual says the SERVICE (wrench) is the MALFUNCTION INDICATOR. Ugh!

So this is what is happening. When I first insert the key and turn it, the SERVICE (wrench symbol) does come on along with the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light. But if I turn the key off, then back to ignition position, the SERVICE (wrench symbol) does not come on.

I noticed that if I pull the key out, wait 30 seconds then put the key in and turn it, the SERVICE (wrench) light will come on and pass the bulb check.

I think most smog technicians check the SERVICE ENGINE SOON, but this guy may have noticed that the SERVICE (wrench) light only came on that one time, and wrote it down as a malfunction. I'm not sure if I have anything to worry about, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY would LOVE to get information on how it's supposed to work. I looked at the manuals and I'm baffled.
By the way I noticed a motor running sound that comes on and goes off at the same time the wrench symbol comes on, but that motor does not come on every time. So I think this is normal but it's driving me nuts.

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

Left hand side of cluster right below the Service light with the blue wrench symbol. If you do not see the service wrench light then they are both burned out. The Service Engine Soon light is right below the Service wrench light.

When the bulb check runs all lights come on and then all go off except the SES-service engine soon, battery, and oil lights.

The PRCa smog Nazi is wrong and so are the mechanics.

Last edited by OldNuc; 02-28-2012 at 02:10 AM..

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
ssewall
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Default Re: What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

I'm really sorry you have to own a vehicle in California.

The service wrench in a gen-2 (96-99) is for:

-Non-emissions DTC codes
-Some ABS issues
-Bulb test.

The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is for emissions related codes, ie most codes.

The MIL should stay on with key-on engine-off. The service wrench will come on for 3 seconds or so to indicate the PCM is doing the bulb test. If it goes off and there isn't anything else that would turn the light on, you pass.

Did the guy say if there was a code?

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

Just your average government worker...dumb and incompetent.

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:14 AM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

To initiate a bulb check the key must be in off for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you turn it off and then immediately back on all you will see is the completed bulb check result, just the SES, battery, oil lights.

This info is in the Factory Service Manual but not in the owners manual.

Your car is functioning as designed, correctly.

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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1998 SL2
Default Re: What is Saturn's equivalent of "Check engine light"? Smog won't pass bulb check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssewall View Post
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is for emissions related codes, ie most codes.
And just to be clear,
MIL = the Service Engine Soon (SES) light = check engine light
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmono
By the way I noticed a motor running sound that comes on and goes off at the same time the wrench symbol comes on, but that motor does not come on every time. So I think this is normal but it's driving me nuts
Probably the fuel pump. It will come on for a few seconds when you first turn the car to RUN (or ON, can't recall offhand which it says on the key thingie).

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