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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'95 Dodge Neon, Check Engine Light On after Bath

Q: I have a ‘95 Dodge Neon with about 97k miles on it. We are selling the vehicle and I cleaned the engine with engine cleaner that you can buy at an auto parts store. After cleaning and rinsing it off, the car was really running fast. I took it around the block a few times and the idle came back down. The next day we went out to start the car and it was running rough and the check engine light came on. I never had a problem with the light before we cleaned the engine. Could the cleaning solution and the water have shorted out a sensor or something?

- Debbie

A: Yes, it is very likely that the bath you gave the engine has created some undesirable consequences. With the information you’ve provided I would be first prone to inspect the ignition/spark plug wires. Check closely where the spark plug wires connect to the spark plugs. The way your engine is designed, it is easy for water, and in your case cleaner too, to become trapped in the spark plug pockets/holes. The water, especially with some cleaner and oil, will provide an alternative path for the spark that is suppose to go to the spark plug. The result can be a rough running engine which causes the check engine light to come on. If inspection does find a water problem you’ll have to remove the water and wipe, dry and clean the ends of the spark plug wires that were soaking in the conductive solution. If the repair was affective the engine will smooth right out and run fine. The check engine light on the other hand will still be on. If everything is right, in a day or so of driving, the check engine light will go out.

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