Originally Posted by xtremerevolution
I've done the job about 4 times, and its fairly simple and straightforward if you're willing to do it yourself.
What is the coolant level like? Does your temperature fluctuate a lot? Pop the radiator cap and see if there'* any fluid showing in there. If not, fill it up and see what happens.
Have you checked your oil lately? What color is the oil? Make sure the oil isn't a creme or chocolate milk color. It should be clear, though dark if its old.
Head over to your nearest auto store and have them scan the car. They'll plug in a scan tool, scan the car for engine codes, and they'll tell you what code is throwing that service engine soon. Its a free scan and any auto store will do it for you. Come back here afterward and let us know what that code was.
I opened the radiator cap.
1) I didn't see fluid at the top (the fluid is not full).
2) I can see some gunk
I cleaned the gunk on the cap and added some coolant. I started the engine and the light was still on. I'll wait for a while and opened the radiator cap again, see if I need to add some more coolant ...
does the gunk indicate "intake manifold gasket leaking"? Or it more often indicates the need for a "coolant flush"?