define "check engine" problems


Asked by Dec 31, 2015 at 11:17 AM about the 2003 Subaru Forester XS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

dash gives check engine light.  I have changed the gas cap, thinking it was a vacum leak

4 Answers


The check engine light is letting you know something is wrong and need attention. To know what is wrong you need to go somewhere to get the code or codes read. Your computer identifies problems with numbers that have to be read by a scanner. This points you in the direction of the fix.


I'd suggest you invest in a decent cheap scanner so you can read CELs. The new baby ACTRON is about $40 and very fast.


I have the Actron CP9690 & just love it...


Yeah. I have a pair of the large orange ACTRONS, but for the great majority of purposes the small one is just quick and handy. Too bad I continue to misplace it!

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