Chevy Cobalt Hacks?
June 2, 2006 12:22 PM   Subscribe

I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt LS. Recently my oil light came on and wouldn't turn off even after I changed the oil. A friend of mine told me to turn off the engine, put the car in neutral, pump the gas pedal three times, return the car to park and then start my engine. Immediately the oil light went away and was reset. I was wondering if there is a website that lists hacks for my car allowing me to manipulate its computers, systems, & performance?
posted by honorguy7 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I don't know about a website, but where did your friend learn about that? My owners manual lists the ways to turn off the various warning lights which come on in the car based on a mileage schedule. (I have a Honda.)
posted by OmieWise at 12:31 PM on June 2, 2006

And related to the owners manual, if you're going to do any work on your car, be sure to pick up the Chilton or Haynes manual. That's the best place other than the official service manual to find out the maintenance procedures that aren't in the owners' manual.
posted by mendel at 12:37 PM on June 2, 2006

OmieWise: That is a pretty common way to reset gas/oil sensors in cars. My recently departed 1989 Chevy Celebrity (I miss you, car!) worked the same way.

I have a feeling this is the sort of thing you can find in the official repair manuals that you purchase from the makers. Maybe ask your mechanic, assuming you are on good terms with him?
posted by Loto at 12:58 PM on June 2, 2006

honorguy -- are you referring to the oil change indicator, which is only available in particular trim lines of the Cobalt, or the oil pressure light? If the oil pressure light came on, you might want to have someone make sure everything is as it should be in your car's engine.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:17 PM on June 2, 2006

WRT Chiltons/Haynes manuals: Check with your local library - If they don't have the books themselves for handout/copying, they might have access to EBSCO Host's Auto Repair Research Center, which outlines the 100+(I checked) Service Bulletins and Recall Notices for your vehicle.

F'rinstance, if you've got a VIN between 57156809 and 57565242, you almost certainly want to take your car in to get a fairly nasty bug (Sometimes AirCond power surges set off the air bag - at full force.) fixed.
posted by Orb2069 at 1:32 PM on June 2, 2006

I drive a Pontiac Grand Am and I also have kind of a strange method to reset the oil light every time I change it. At first I was confused, but I found it in my owner's manual. I would suggest looking through that. I am not aware of any other source online.
posted by coolin86 at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2006

Lots of cars have enthusiasts' BBSes, and there's often much talk about the codes if you can find one for your car or similar cars.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:18 PM on June 2, 2006

Car hacks are neat. My seat belt would ding until I put it on, but then I found out about turning the key once, opening and closing the door three times, turning the key once more, etc. etc. There's probably a few things about every modern car that can be "hacked" through these codes, and they're often not in the owner's manual.

I found out about mine on some Corrolla forum.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:19 PM on June 2, 2006 has groups dedicated to nearly every car ever made.
posted by IronLizard at 4:50 PM on June 2, 2006

WRT Chiltons/Haynes manuals

If you have the opportunity to pick up the OEM shop manual at an affordable price, do so. They are miles better than the third-party manuals.

Alas, they can be prohibitatively expensive. The ones for the Subaru Forester run hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and take up an entire freaking shelf. (The one for my previous car, a Nissan, was only a few inches thick and cost less than a hundred bucks.)
posted by five fresh fish at 11:35 AM on June 3, 2006

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