Engine Warning light!


The engine warning lamp comes on after driving 3/4 mile. If I then swith off and wait 3 minutes the engine warning lamp will be off. I can let the engine fast/slow idle for an hour and the light does not come on. The engine seems to run ok and will rev freely and will also drive normally even with the light on.
There is no smell of unburnt petrol comming out of the exhaust.
It is a 97 Sportrak.
Any help would be helpful as nobody near where I stay has a plug to connect for reading the fault codes.

Which one?

Which warning light? Do you refer to the red ignition light or another 'warning light'?

Engine Warning Light

It is the light that comes on in the shape of the engine


Engine Warning Light

That is the main Engine Warning light which means that you have a sensor or worse failure.

If you check back threough the forum you can obtain a copy of how to check the sensor indicator by shorting out the diagnostic plug on the passenger side of the bulkhead inside the engine bay. If you are not mechanical then I'm afraid it is a case of taking it in for a Diagnostic test.

The symptoms you describe of it running for a short period and then coming on indicate that a sencors is informing the ECU of a problem and you should stop using the vehicle until it is sorted. The diagnostic test checks all the system and dependant on the number of flashes that light makes during the test will indicate which sensor is failing or by the sound of it failed. It may be more than one of course but the diagnostic test will indicate one after another.

It is different under load than ticking over because the ECU makes fine adjustment based on the signals it receives from each sensor. Obviously if it either fails to get a signal or it gets an odd signal the ECU will indicate a problem via this warning light.

I suggest you look back to July and beyond for my listing of the diagnostic test sequence or as I say take it to a garage who can do it for you.