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Troubleshooting Chrysler Check Engine Light

This guide will discuss some of the most common problems that trigger the check engine warning on Chrysler vehicles. This will also provide step-by-step instructions and videos on how to use OBD-II scanners to diagnose the Chrysler check engine light yourself.

Troubleshooting Chrysler Check Engine Light
ESTIMATED TIME 30 min
DIY COST $15-$50
DIFFICULTY Easy

If your Chrysler Check Engine Light (CEL) stays on or is flashing, don't panic!

What Does Chrysler Check Engine Light Mean?

chrysler check engine light

The Chrysler check engine light warns the driver that something is wrong with one of your car's components (in most cases, the emission system).

Even if your Chrysler drives without performance issues, do not ignore the engine light. If there are no engine noises, the engine doesn't shake, or is not overheating; you can continue to drive with caution. Get the car diagnosed as soon as possible.

Symptoms

If your Chrysler check engine light is on, pay attention to how your car performs. In some cases, you may notice one or more of the following problems:

The symptoms can vary depending on which component or sensor is malfunctioning.

What triggers a check engine light on a Chrysler? 

Common problems that trigger Chrysler check engine light:

It is impossible to know why your Chrysler check engine light is on without reading the codes.

This is a straightforward procedure to perform yourself or have a mechanic or dealer perform.

How to Reset Chrysler Check Engine Light

Let's look at instructions on reading and clear the Chrysler check engine light(s).

For this procedure, you will need an OBD-II scanner.

  1. Turn on the ignition. Turn the key to position II. If your Chrysler has START/STOP feature, press the button TWICE without depressing the brake pedal.  All the dashboard lights will turn on. Do not start the engine. 

    turn on chrysler ignition to scan for codes
  2. Plug scanner into the OBD-II port Chrysler obd port location to read fault codes diagnostic trouble codes
  3. Read codes.  The next step is to read the codes. Now we will take a look at using various scan tools to diagnose Chrysler check engine light. 
  4. Fix all the problems found in step 3. Reconnect the scanner and select Clear Fault Codes from the main menu to clear the codes and reset the check engine light. 

These instructions work on 1996 and newer Chrysler vehicles, including Chrysler models such as Town and Country, 300, 300M, 200, Aspen, Pacifica, Sebring, Voyager, PT Cruiser, Crossfire, LHS, Cirrus, 300C. First, we will take a look at the procedure.

Read codes; what's next?

Once you retrieve the fault code(s) from the ECU, it is time to research the problem.

Write down the code and search online to see if other Chrysler owners have had that problem and how they fixed it.

The solution for the same code can often vary from make to make. If you don't find enough information, find a reliable mechanic who can give you a second opinion.

It is highly recommended that you get a second opinion from a mechanic before replacing parts.

While the fault code is all you need to determine the defective part in most cases, that's not always the case.

Can a Loose Gas Cap Turn on Chrysler Check Engine Light?

Chrysler check engine light on due to loose gas cap

One of the most common reasons a Chrysler check engine light comes on is a loose gas cap. If that's the case, you will not notice any performance issues.

Check the gas cap and tighten it until you hear it click. Newer Chryslers do not have a gas cap, but they have a capless design.

You can continue to operate the car unless the check engine light is flashing.

Why Does Chrysler Check Engine Light Flash On and Off

If your check engine light is flashing on and off, you should pull over as soon as possible.

It is recommended to have the vehicle towed to avoid further damage to the engine and the catalytic converter.

Ignoring the check engine light can potentially cause problems to other systems.

For example, if the check engine light comes on because the engine is running too rich.

Your fuel MPG will decrease, but you will shorten the life of the catalytic converter, which can be very expensive to repair.

How Does Chrysler Check Engine Light Work?

Chrysler check engine

The ECU monitors various sensors mounted on the engine block, intake, and exhaust, such as temperature, airflow, and O2 sensors.

If an anomaly is determined or a sensor is operating out of range, it stores a fault code in the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

These codes are known as Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC), often referred to as fault codes.

Retrieving the fault code from the ECU is the first procedure to find why the check engine light is on. This can be performed by a mechanic, Chrysler dealer, or yourself.

Your Chrysler dealer will diagnose the check engine light codes free of charge if the vehicle is under warranty.

If your Chrysler is not under warranty, you will have to pay (in most cases) when you take your car to the dealer or auto mechanic.

Conclusion 

There are hundreds of possible problems that can cause the check engine light on your Chrysler to stay on. The most common issues are spark plugs, oxygen sensors, and catalytic converter failure. Instead of guessing what is wrong, use an OBD-II scanner to read the fault codes. 

Comments

Visitor

Wow what an excellent article. The check engine light came on in my Chrysler Pacifica and I was very worried that it was going to cost me a lot. Tighten the gas cap and the light went off. Keep these articles up.

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Troubleshooting Chrysler Check Engine Light This guide will discuss some of the most common problems that trigger the check engine warning on Chrysler vehicles. This will also provide step-by-step instructions and videos on how to use OBD-II scanners to diagnose the Chrysler check engine light yourself.