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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Auto Service Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 29534
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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98 Oldsmobile Bravada: check engine light..a cracked gas cap, and we

Customer Question

We have a 98 Oldsmobile Bravada. The check engine light has turned on 3 times in the last 2 months. The first time the mechanic said it was a cracked gas cap, and we just replaced it. 2 weeks later the light came on again and the mechanic just cleared the code free of charge, said the engine needed to be smoked to find a leak, and not to worry about it. A month later the light came on again, we have been driving it for a week without any noticeable problems. Should we a) bring it to a mechanic, b) get a code reader, and depending what it says either just clear the code like the mechanic did or try to smoke the engine by clogging the tailpip temporarily and look for a leak?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 7 years ago.

Greetings and Welcome to Just answer.

I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept only if you are satisfied. I don't get paid unless you do.Please do not accept if you cannot leave positive feedback. I don't know if you are a tech or a just working on your own vehicle so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answers will be based on what you tell me so please add all the details you can.


Smoking the system is uses a Nitrogen smoke machine hooked up to the EVAP system to find the leak. Clogging the pipe will not achieve the same results.

To start I would make sure the code is the same and if so then have the system smoke tested.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm not a tech. My question is intended to determine if I should bring the car in to a mechanic for a code read (which costs a miinuimum $74 service fee, plus any additional repairs). Or, if I should buy a $40 code reader and see if the code was a transient error just needing a code clearing or a simple repair that I can do myself.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 7 years ago.

I would buy the code reader the you can always get your emissions codes and post them here. AFter that we can discussdiagnostic and repair options.

Most code readers will work on vehicles starting in 1996 to current for the codes that set the check engine light.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am going to buy the code reader and let you know what it reads out.

Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 7 years ago.

I really think that willbe a wise investment, like having a spare tire or extra house key.


Please reply back if you need additional help or press ACCEPT so that the question may be closed out. You can reopen it at any time by replying to it and I will answer ASAP. PLease keep in mind that as experts on this site, we are only compensated for our time spent helping customers once ACCEPT is selected. Thanks again for using Just Answer. Cam.