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'13 XV Crosstrek Premium CVT
388 Posts
Hate to say it, but CELs anymore are pretty meaningless. Cars will throw them for pretty much any minor hiccup, even when the issue is a momentary one. Loose gas cap? CEL. One tiny and momentary misfire? CEL. They are just about becoming like the boy who cried wolf.

I used to have a Nissan. A few days after I bought it, it threw a CEL while I was plugging in a trailer wiring harness to check trailer lights, and it was during a thunderstorm. I guess the computer thought the sky was falling, so it threw two codes for some exhaust system sensor. I borrowed a code reader from Autozone, looked up the code, decided it was nothing, so I cleared it and kept going. Car ran great until I traded it in.

I have a code reader now. If a CEL pops and I don't think it's a big deal, or if I don't see flames from under the hood, I clear it and keep going. But if the car is behaving strangely, has weird smells, or some other abnormal thing going on, then yeah, I'd take it in to a dealership.
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