ford check engine light

Ford Check Engine Light (Guide)

What Does the Ford Check Engine Light Mean?

Most drivers have been stunned when they saw the Ford check engine light on their dash. It is part of the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system (OBD) and can illuminate in different ways.

Sometimes, it can display the message, “Check Engine,” or send an engine symbol in the dash. Ford Check engine light can display an amber or red color depending on the severity of the cause.

How many miles can you drive with the Ford check engine light?

We can’t define how many miles you can drive with a Ford check engine light ON. But knowing the meaning of the light it displays can indicate how far your vehicle can go.

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Suppose the Ford check engine light is flashing, it means the problem is severe and needs urgent attention. If the Ford check engine light is illuminating, the problem isn’t huge and you can drive a couple of miles before pulling over at a mechanic workshop.

What could cause the Ford check engine light to come on?

Faulty catalytic converter: If your vehicle‘s catalytic convert is lousy, the vehicle will fail an emissions test, reduce engine performance, and fuel will drain speedily.

It can be a fault with the mass airflow sensor (MAF): A faulty MAF should be replaced as soon as possible. The MAF determines the amount of fuel required to run the engine efficiently.

It does this by measuring the amount of air entering the engine. The MAF is also part of the engine management systems and has a significant duty in adjusting the engine, like altitude. When the MAF becomes faulty, it sends the Ford check engine light.

Your Ford gas cover is loose, damaged, or lost: When your gas cap is loose, damaged or lost, it can’t regulate the pressure of the fuel tank. Due to a bad fuel gas cap, your fuel will evaporate and cause a reduction in the fuel economy. It will also trigger the Ford check engine light in the dash.

Fault or incorrect installation of aftermarket items: When aftermarket items are not properly fixed in the vehicle. Whether an alarm, exhaust, or anything else, once they’re not properly fixed will cause a problem to the car. These items can drain the vehicle battery and also send the Ford check engine light.

Defective or dead battery: A dead or faulty battery can trigger a Ford check engine light. When your battery drains faster or dies off, you can’t do anything with your vehicle. The only remedy for a bad battery is to replace it.

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There is a vacuum leak: Observe your Ford if the RPM is high in idle or randomly surges, this is a sign of a vacuum leak. Your car’s vacuum hoses can dry and break due to usage. The hoses will crack early if they’re exposed to adverse weather.

New Spark Plugs or Plug Wires can trigger the Ford check engine light: Spark plug wires are to deliver spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. If these wires become faulty or loose, your vehicle’s performance will reduce. Sometimes, this can cause your car not to start and trigger the Ford check engine light.

The O2 Sensor (Oxygen Sensor) is lousy: The O2 Sensor is charged to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust system. The fuel will burn faster when there’s excess oxygen in the exhaust system. It will also cause poor fuel economy and trigger the Ford check engine light.

Is it safe to drive your with the Ford check engine light on?

As said earlier, the style or how the Ford check engine light displays determine if you shall drive the car or not. A flashing Ford check engine light indicates a severe problem.

In contrast, illuminating Ford‘s check engine light indicates a minimal problem. It can be driven for a couple of miles when the light illuminates. But if it is flashing, you should pull over and get a towing agent to tow your vehicle.

Ford Check Engine Light Flashing

A defective head gasket, damaged emissions control part, or a dirty mass airflow can cause the Ford check engine light.

Ford vehicles come with high-grade technological implants. These are like sensors monitoring every part of the car. They deliver the information of any defective part to the electronic control unit. Suppose the electronic control unit receives a bad signal from any of the sensors, the Ford check engine light will trigger.

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Will the Ford check engine light reset itself?

Yes and No! Ford check engine light will automatically turn off once the issues have been fixed. And it won’t turn off even after all the issues have been fixed. In such a scenario, you will need to reset the Ford check engine light to turn it off.

How much does it cost to get the engine light checked?

Diagnosing and testing a Ford check engine light costs between $88 and $111.

Ford Check Engine Light Service

The ECM (electronic control module), detects a problem in the electric control system that it can’t correct. It will trigger the Ford check engine light which can appear in amber, yellow, or red color.

It can also send the warning message, “service engine soon” or just “check engine.” When this occurs, the ECM will store a code known as trouble code. It can only be decoded with a scanner to identify the root cause of the check engine warning.

Ford Check Engine Light

When the Ford check engine light illuminates, it means a manageable problem. But if the light is flashing, it’s a serious issue that requires urgent attention. Ford check engine light can result in your vehicle’s engine misfiring.

It will also allow unburned fuel to be released through the exhaust system thereby leading to poor fuel economy. Ford check engine light also raises the temperature of the catalytic converter to a point where it can damage quickly.

Some drivers asked the question if spark plugs can cause a Ford check engine light. Yes, a defective, old, or dirty spark plug will cause the engine to misfire. And this will trigger the check engine light.

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Ford Check Engine Light Codes

Suppose your mechanic mentioned diagnostic trouble codes (DTC). It also refers to refers the Ford check engine light codes. These codes are stored by the ECM, also called the OBD (onboard computer diagnostic system).

The Ford check engine light can send several codes to the OBD for different purposes. But there are most common reasons why the Ford check engine light will come up. Some of the reasons are detailed below:

  • Transmission issues
  • Emissions control issues
  • Ignition system faults
  • Loose Gas Cap or Missing Gas Cap
  • Fuel and air metering systems problems
  • Computer output circuit issues
  • Bad Spark Plugs
  • Old Battery
  • O2 Sensor

Final Thoughts

When your car confronts you with the Ford check engine light, it shouldn’t call for panic except for the light flashes. But if the Ford check engine light is illuminating, there’s no cause for alarm. Also, it is necessary to constantly service your Ford vehicle to prevent such occurrences.

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