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Q:

Check engine light comes on every time I drive for 30+ mins up steep hill.
on 2003 Pontiac Vibe

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When I drive from Palm Springs to Yucca Vally - steep hill - my check engine light comes on when I start back down the hill. The light stays on for 2-3 days then goes off. I took it to mechanic once but the light was off and he couldn't find a problem.
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Codes are storded in memory, light doesn't have to be on to retrieve them. Next time it comes on, get it scanned asap, codes will be there. Don't matter if light is not on!
I have a 2005 Vibe with 112,000 miles check engine light started coming around 70,000 and has been acting the same as you stated. It still runs well with light on but it does use more fuel while light is on. I was told it is the torque converter lockup and it would cost around $2500 to repair. I will drive it til it dies then put in a used transmission