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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 04-28-2005, 04:04 PM   #11
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It isn't difficult to extract the codes. Just short to terminals, then count the number of times the light flashes. I do know the stress you are under, since you are moving.. but just be careful how long you drive like this, because it could be something serious.

Disconnecting the battery will CLEAR the code.. however if the problem is not fixed, the light will come back on shortly thereafter starting the car.

alec: sometimes our ECUs will set a history code, or something like that. This requires the battery to be reset. I think this is only on more serious codes or something, because that has never happened to me. Mind you, I have only gotten the SES light when I disconnected something, and knew I was disconnecting it. In the majority of situations, once the error that the SES light was triggered by is corrected, the light will go out. If the error comes back, the SES light will illuminate again.

First things first.. extract the code[*] and go from there. Chances are, you will only get a code 12 if the light is off, but the real code when the light is on. FYI: Code 12 means everything is working fine. I think it is mainly used to tell you that when you are shorting the terminals, that you are doing it right [a lot of mechanics are complete idiots].


-justin
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:22 PM   #12
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Yes justin that'* what i was getting at, if the problem triggered the light but then was remedied in time (such as my EGR) then the light will go back off but it will keep the code in memory so you can see what the fault was. I'm sure the system is far from perfect though.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:11 AM   #13
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It should always be the case that when a code is set, it is stored in the computer'* memory, provided there is no loss in power to the ECM (disconnecting battery, removing fuse, etc), as mentioned. So even though your light isn't on, the code itself is still there, waiting to be retreived. And also as mentioned, CODE 12 merely indicates that you're in "Diagnostic Mode", and should always be the first number that flashes each time you try to retreive codes. To get the codes, all you need is a paperclip (or if you have an AutoZone in your area, most have the little key thing for free that serves the same purpose), and bend it to look like the shape of the red lines, sticking the ends of the paper clip in the terminals shown in this photo:



This is what'* referred to as "shorting/jumping the terminals", as opensourceguy mentioned. Your fan will more then likely kick on. Don't let this startle you, it'* normal. Look at the service engine soon light. It will start flashing in what appears to be some random, martian Morse code, but fear not. There'* a method to the mayhem. Each flash is trying to indicate a number for you. Each pause is indicating that it'* moving on to the next number in the code. Each larger pause indicates it is moving on to the next code itself, like so...

FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH *pause* *pause*
FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH *pause* *pause*
FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH

*pause* *pause* *pause*

FLASH FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH FLASH *pause* *pause*
FLASH FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH FLASH *pause* *pause*
FLASH FLASH *pause* FLASH FLASH FLASH *pause* *pause*

If we look at the first example, the SES flashes once, then pauses for a second. This is our first number (1). After the pause, it flashes twice. This is our second number (2). So we have a 1, and a 2. This is CODE 12. Each code will repeat the same way 3 times before moving on to the next. Looking at the second example after a longer delayed pause (indicating it'* moved on to the next code), we have 2 flashes before the pause, equalling number 2. Then 3 flashes after the pause, equalling number 3. So we have CODE 23. Each time you do this, CODE 12 will be the first code you srtart with, and the code it starts all over with once it'* gone all the way through the stored problems (so if you see CODE 12 again, you know you're done retreiving the stored codes). If you have no stored codes, CODE 12 will just continously repeat.

Once you're done retreiving the codes, it'* just a simple matter of looking them up on the link that captainmiller provided (or any service manual, or Haynes/Chilton'* manuals). Easy enough?
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Old 04-29-2005, 08:41 AM   #14
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Wow great directions very easy, thank you
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