Check engine light from low battery? - Mazda Forum

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Old 03-01-2004, 09:26 AM
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Apologies if this has been posted before, but my search showed nothing...

Yesterday I left the Milly's lights on while my wife was shopping. Not the smartest thing, but I was surprised to find the car unable to start. It had only been about 15 - 20 minutes. Is this normal for a 2 year old battery?

Anyway, I got a jump from another fellow and all has been fine after that. Ran it for about an hour, and I tried it again this morning after it had been off for a little over 12 hours and it fired right up!

But I noticed the check engine light has now come one. I'm guessing it had something to do with the battery cutting out as it tried to start the car (the clock did reset). Otherwise the car seems to be running just fine. Any way I can clear this code easily or will I have to take it to a shop? And would it be recommended to let them investigate or is this a common problem (engine light coming on after battery problems) ?
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:30 AM
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You can take the car to Autozone and get the codes that are causing the check engine light pulled for free.

The OBDii scan tool to pull the codes will also have a button on it, says something like "Clear", to clear the codes after you have read them.

Unpluging the battery also clears the codes, since the battery was so dead it reset the clock, that would have reset any codes in memory. The fact that it came on again after you got the car started probably means something.

If you pull the codes at Autozone, then post the code #'s on this website. Maybe someone can help out.

Also, if you have a larger Sears store near you with an Auto/Tire center. They usually have a drive up lane for battery testing. You can just pull your car up, and in about 15 minutes or so they will test your battery, alternator, and starter on the car for free.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NickC@Mar 1 2004, 09:26 AM
Yesterday I left the Milly's lights on


got a jump from another fellow
i thought the millenia had the auto-shutoff for the lights

and I would NEVER EVER accept a jump ... it ***** with the computers and knowing the millenia it'd wind up costing me $1500
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:29 AM
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latinopikachu is right, you should never jump start a modern car with a computer, especially a Millenia. Neither give or receive a jump.

You could go from a situation that you had a dead $50 battery, to a situation that you just fried you computer. And then you get a check engine light because your computer is all messed up, and now wind up costing thousands to fix all the electrical and computer problems you created.

Jump starting is from a bye-gone era, when cars didn't have computers. It should never be done on a modern car with computers and sophisticated electronics.

Portable chargers are now used, not jumper cables.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:31 AM
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The thing with the clock was that the battery had enough juice to power the interior lights, radio, etc. But when I went to crank it, it wouldn't start and everything shut off only for the moment that I was cranking. This is why I wondered if the check engine light isn't actually indicating any problem.

Problem with the lights is that I didn't actually shut off the car. I waited in the car listening to the radio while my wife was shopping. I noticed after about 15 mintues that I hadn't actually turned off the lights. Strange thing is that I've left the lights on for more than 15 minutes on other cars with no problem. Maybe this battery just isn't good enough.

And latinopikachu: I hadn't heard that you shouldn't jump a Milly. In what way does it screw with the computers? Like the check engine light I'm having trouble with? And what do you do then about a low/dead battery?

EDIT: mazda-fla: Okay, we posted at the same time! When you say "portable chargers" - do you mean those things you plug into the cigarette lighters? Those won't screw with the computers? What causes this screwing - a sudden current spike caused by the jump?

I love learning like this. I had no idea that jump starting was a no-no across the board now. I thought the biggest danger with jump starting was not knowing how to properly connect the wires.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:39 AM
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From my experience

When my battery was low, the check engine light came on also. I drove for an hour, and it went off. So try driving for a longer period of time, maybe it'll go off also.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:43 AM
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Jumping a car makes the voltage going to the electrical system fluctuate widely. For instance, you have a 12 volt system. The 12 volt system may be rated to safely fluctuate between 8 volts and 14 volts without a problem. However, if you jump start the car, the voltage may spike up to 16 or 17 volts. This would then fry the computer. This is the same kind of situation you would have at your home if the had a lightining strike, and the power in your house spiked, and it fried your computer, TV set, home entertainment system, stereo, etc.

If that happened, and you fried the car's computer, it would send a trouble code to the check engine light. The trouble code would be one indicating that the computer is malfunctioning.

To start a car with a dead battery today. You would use one of those portable charging devices you see around. That they sell in the stores for about $60. If you were to call for road service from someone like AAA, that is what they would use to start your car - they would not jump start.

This doesn't just apply to Milly's. It applies to all newer cars with computers. Older cars (say from the 1960's) didn't have computers or fancy electrical systems. So the spiking effect of jump starting didn't hurt them. Because there was nothing to damage from the spike.

The reason it is even more relevant for a Milly, is because Milly parts cost 3 times more than any other car. So, I would assume that the computer for a Milly cost much more than any other car.

Also, the portable charging devices are much safer for the people involved in the process of getting the car started. Jump starting is more dangerous, because the spiking could cause the battery to explode in rare cases.
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:13 PM
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I doubt its from the battery, theres a sperator light for it. my battery actually just recently went bad (40 months old) and I got no light. oh btw, how did you leave your lights on, don't all millenia have the auto shut off?
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:33 PM
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I wasn't guessing that the check engine light was indicating a bad battery. Rather I was wondering if it falsely read something because the battery dropped low in voltage when I tried to first crank it. From reading these posts, it seems I should get the codes checked out just in case the jump fried something. Problem with electrical stuff is you don't always NOTICE something is wrong. For example, the jump yesterday went smoothly - no sparks or difficulty starting once the battery was connected. Anyway, the car is operating fine right now, I haven't done a check on all the electrical stuff like radio, etc. I will post results from a code check.

BHR:If you check my post above though, you'll see I was aimlessly listening to the radio while my wife was in the store!

mazda-fla: Thanks for the info. Like I said, I didn't even realize jumping was such a no-no and has been for so long. I have done it many times before, and I only started driving around 1984!
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:44 PM
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Well, got home and fired it up this afternoon. Like YoungestMillyOwner, the check engine light was gone! So I guess all is well for now, but I'll take the advice and not jump it again.
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