What does the engine malfunction light mean on my smart car?

by Sarah Wood
(Indian Head, MD USA)

When the engine light comes on in my smart car, could that be because the gas cap is loose?

Comments for What does the engine malfunction light mean on my smart car?

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Oct 29, 2015
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Oct 16, 2015
Interesting NEW
by: James

Your car has a computer which receives input from different automotive systems. The computer in your car that triggers the check engine light.
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Oct 15, 2015
on my smart car? NEW
by: Anonymous

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Sep 03, 2015
Nice NEW
by: Jack

Don't ignore the 'check engine' light. 8 simple car repairs that will save big long-term bucks. Nice post.
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Jun 26, 2015
Great that you are having a smart car! NEW
by: Jacklin Walsh

Great that you are having a smart car! The "check engine" light is part of your car's so-called onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. When the computer in the car finds a problem in the electronic-control system that it can't correct, it turns on a yellow warning indicator that's labeled "check engine," "service engine soon" or "check powertrain." Or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, known as the International Check Engine Symbol, perhaps with the word "Check." For knowing more on the topic you may visit a reputed servicing center. They can help you make your doubts clear.

Feb 24, 2013
Check Engine Light NEW
by: Shorty

Check engine light is on on my 2009 Passion. Concerned as I am about to take a 1000 mile trip. Yep 1000 miles in a Smart Car. It should be fun. I appreciated reading the tips on this forum. Hopefully my problem is a loose gas cap. The light turns off after filling the tank. However it comes back on again before the next fill up.

Dec 14, 2012
Same problem with light how do I reset myself? NEW
by: Pops

I really appreciate this site, saved me a lot of hassle trying to get to the dealer. I had the light go on in a similar situation. Is the a way us mere mortals can turn the light off/reset it, car runs great, fluids all ok, belt ok., gas mileage ok, 37,000 miles on my 09 Passion.... Love the car!!! I will be taking to the dealer next month for its annual/10,000 mile oil change.
Is there a way to turn off the light/reset the light myself? Either way thanks for having this site! Happy Holidays to all and many thanks to any Veterans and their Families, best wishes to all for a happy safe and healthy new year!!!

Feb 29, 2012
Could USB Port cause the light to come on? NEW
by: Dave S

I have a SMART and had the "Check Engine" light come on. After read other comments, I realized that I had an Ipod plugged into the USB port in the glove box.
Could this also make the light come on and can I reset it?

Oct 14, 2011
Thank You Thank You
by: Brett Cimo

Yesterday that happened exactly to me I left my smart phone plugged in with the car turned off. I was worried until I read what happened to you, and it feels good to know that it is very minor and easy to fix. I will go to the dealer and get the light turned off. Thanks for posting what happened to you, it helped me a lot.

Sep 10, 2011
Thanks for Sharing!
by: Jim, the Smart Car Guy

Wow... thanks for sharing that info on the phone and GPS charging triggering the engine malfunction light. Definitely good advice to unplug before shutting off the smart car. Sure wouldn't want to have to pay a dealer to shut off that light!

Sep 09, 2011
Smart Phone/GPS Issue?
by: Anonymous

I just experienced a Engine Malfunction light which was related to leaving a Smart Phone, (pun intended), charging in the cigarette lighter of the car when turning off the ignition. Upon seeing the light I called the dealer and they suggested bringing it in so they could hook up a code reader to read the OBD-II (Check Engine Light) Trouble Codes. This light can be related to a multitude of issues, which I find annoying when they can be minor to severe issues, would just displaying the code be too much to ask. The dealer diagnosed it as an electrical code and asked me if I had been charging a phone recently. I said yes, yesterday for the first time ever. I had thought about this when I saw the light but thought, nah, how many cars have you had a phone plugged into before without issue. Smart Car right. Too Smart, it does a sequence of system checks when the ignition is shut off, and one of them doesn't like seeing voltage back-feeding from a phone and I was told GPS's also. This will cause the engine malfunction light to come one, wow. Possibly a bug. The dealer needs to clear the light and just unplugging the phone doesn't make it go out. I was told you can charge a phone, just disconnect it prior to turing the car off. I love my Smart Car and this is the first and only issue I have had with it, three years old now. Although annoying, it turned out to be nothing which I'm thankful for. Possibly your trouble?

Jan 15, 2011
by: Jim, the Smart Car Guy

Actually, Sarah, I've heard that rumor, though I can't confirm it. I'm no mechanic. But it's definitely something to get checked out.

Our local auto parts stores here in Boise, O'Reilly's, have a device that can read the computer code that's triggering the "check engine" light, so you might look into that in your area.

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