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Repair information for the first generation Toyota Tundra pickup truck (model years 2000-2006)

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Why wont my check engine light turn off?

Check engine light stays on. Some people say it could be my gas cap or emmisions. How do I trouble shoot this concern?

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Hey, Joe.

I haven't been under the hood of your Tundra, so I can't say for sure what the problem is. I'd suggest plugging in an OBD reader. If you don't know, an OBD reader plugs into your car* and tells you what the problems are. If there's a check-engine light, there's likely a reason that you'll find on the reader.

*Watch a Youtube video on how to plug it in

I'm not sure if this will help you, and maybe you've already tried it. But I hope it'll help.

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Hi Joe,

Since 1996 all cars in the US are required to conform to the OBD-II specification, which mandates a standard connector provided that is located near the driver's seat. The check engine light is required to be illuminated when certain errors are detected by your engine computer, and there are a lot of them.

An OBD-II scanner is required to read the data (DTC's - Diagnostic Trouble Codes) out from the port; you can pick up bluetooth models that will connect to an app on your phone for under $10 USD, and the price can go up to several thousand dollars for professional grade equipment.

Fortunately, at least here in the US, most auto parts stores will scan the trouble codes and give you a copy of them for free. They'll bring their scanner out to your vehicle, hook it up and scan the codes for you.

So yes, it could indeed be something as simple as a loose gas cap, or it could be your emissions, or any one of several hundred other codes that can turn on the MIL, or Malfunction Indicator Light AKA the Check Engine light. It could be something minor that you can ignore, or it could be an indication of imminent catastrophic engine failure.

Scanning the codes is the way to find out why that light is on.

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Joe Esquibel zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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