1997 Pontiac Grand Am: Check Engine Light Is On

Q--I've got a ‘97 Pontiac Grand Am, and the check engine light is on. I stopped at AutoZone to have them plug their diagnostic tool up to my car and see why the engine light is on, but they couldn't get it to work. They tried both of their tools, and they assured me that it wasn't anything wrong with their diagnostic tool; it must be the plug-in in my car that isn't working. Could it be a bad fuse somewhere, or am I going to have to take my car to the dealer to have it replaced? I just put out over $400 in engine repairs last week, so I was mad that the check engine light came on again one day after I got the car back from the shop. I also smell a fresh gas odor coming from my vents when the air conditioner is on.


A--Although I have no idea why Auto Zone’s scan tools don’t work, I do have an idea as to why the check engine light is coming on. If there is a leak in the fuel system or the EVAP system that is supposed to trap and store any fuel vapors, the light will come on. I suggest you return to the shop that did the previous work. They may have forgotten to tighten a fitting or may have left a vacuum line disconnected. If so, they should not charge you for their oversight.

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