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Check Engine Light Came On

 So as most of you know we recently purchased a used 2007 Chevrolet Suburban. Unfortunately, not even a week after we purchased it the check engine light came on; which was then followed by the smell of gas in the passenger compartment.

I was able to use my code reader to read what code it was giving. It turned out to be a code for a vacuum leak in the fuel tank. I’ve learned that this can sometimes mean your gas cap is either defective or not screwed on all the way but, upon further investigation I found a wet spot at the bottom of fuel tank that was about 10-12 in diameter.

I immediately took it to the dealership to see if they knew anything about this particular problem. They ended up giving me a quote to drop the fuel tank for $600 to find out the source of the leak!

I was not willing to give them $600 in labor to just drop the tank! I didn’t have a manual for the suburban yet nor did I think I would need one this soon. I checked out the local auto parts store but they didn’t have my model year in stock.

ALLDATAdiy - Diagnose, Repair, ResearchLuckily after doing a little research on the internet I found that Alldata (a manual that professionals use online) has a do-it-yourself version where you can subscribe to a particular year, make and model vehicle manual. Sometimes your local library may subscribe to Alldata, then you can use it for free. I subscribed for ease of use. I was able to print the entire process which included pictures; and have it with me under the car during the entire process.

Unfortunately, I had just filled up the tank; which meant I had to siphon out all 31 gallons…not fun. I was able to carefully lower the tank to the ground using jack stands, wood blocks and some upper body strength (could be improved : ).

Once on the ground the first thing that caught my eye was a little sensor that was not plugged into it’s hole all the way. The sensor had rubber fins which broke off in some areas; so I made a trip to the parts store again and found a sealant that would stand up to gas. I put the sealant on the sensors fins and plugged it back in.

I was able to get everything done in about 4 hours. I was able the clear the code for the check engine light with my code reader which has not come on since then. Oh yeah! I’m good! : )

FYI, the code readers that plug into your laptop computer are high functioning and don’t cost much. They will save you a bunch of trips to the mechanic or the auto parts store.

What repairs have you made to your car? Anyone tried the windshield chip repair in Sewell, NJ yet?


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Pamela Anders0n August 3, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Wow Jesse — impressive resolution! Way to shine!
    Love to ya, Pamela and Paul

    • Jesse August 3, 2012, 12:47 pm

      The Andersons! Thanks for the feedback I hope you guys are doing well.

  • Kathleen August 3, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Hey- we don’t have a laptop- does that mean we can come over to your guys’ house and plug it in? 🙂 We are always having problems with our old cars…

    • Jesse August 3, 2012, 7:12 pm

      Anytime! Bring it over and we’ll read the codes. : )

  • For the Love of French August 3, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Installed a windshield washer resevoir. Oil change, brake change, added a horn, tune ups, replace the starter, bleed brakes, replace a front fender and a rear bumper. All on different cars in the past, and who knows what else.

    • Jesse August 3, 2012, 7:21 pm

      Wow! That’s some serious work. The windshield washer reservoir is probably a pretty rare repair. Why did it need replacing?

      • For the Love of French August 3, 2012, 8:51 pm

        We bought a motor home for $300 when we lived in Logan UT and we needed to have it pass safety, and so it needed a reservoir in order to do so. Bought one real cheap online.

        • Jesse August 3, 2012, 8:57 pm


  • Ruth S. August 3, 2012, 10:08 pm

    My hubby used to do all our car repairs through the years. He is very talented mechanically. I was always his (unvoluntary)assistant for all repair projects. Junkyards were a great place to find bargains. Anyway, we had a car that we had replaced a heater blower unit from the junkyard. Shortly afterwards, my hubby went out of town and guess what quit working while he was gone….the blower unit. Well, I went to the junkyard and got another unit and installed it by myself, and I am NOT mechanically inclined. I was definitely being guided by Heavenly Father during that experience! Don’t ask me how I did it.

    • Jesse August 3, 2012, 10:40 pm

      Ruth, that is so amazing! One of the problems with Chevrolet is they put all the stuff on top of the tank and do not provide access to it from the top. Makes you wonder if they designed it that way to keep mechanics employed.

      • Ruth August 3, 2012, 11:18 pm

        I do think that is their plan.

  • Ruth S. August 3, 2012, 10:11 pm

    Way to go Jesse! Want to come over and help my hubby drop the gas tank in the Blazer as the gas gauge sensor is probably faulty? It reads accurately until you get to half a tank, and then it falls to empty.

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