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Re: Car question

Posted by Rob Lindsay on December 10, 2011, 3:00 am, in reply to "Car question"

If you have an Autozone near you (or other auto parts store) check if they will read the engine fault codes for you at no charge. Write the code down exactly in form 'Pxxxx'. They may even tell you what the code stands for. You can then Google the code (eg P1401) and get some understanding of possible problems and solutions.

P1401 is a common code for many Fords, which might be solved simply with a new gas cap (better vacuum seal so vapors do not escape) or perhaps you may have to replace the DPFE sensor ($25 + about 15 minutes of work under the hood). Likely you have a lower fuel efficiency with the light on.

There can be a number of other things that cause the code(s) to show. You will get a code if you ever ran out of gas. It should reset after several short trips. but may not. You can always delete code(s) by pulling out the PCM fuse (in fusebox) for 10 minutes to drain its memory, then replace it and drive the vehicle to see if the service engine light comes back on afterwards. If there is a problem, the service engine light (and codes) will come back.

Lots of info on the internet if you have problems and don't want to spend big $$ at Ford initially. Usually a blinking service engine light indicates a more serious situation.

OBDII code readers are not that expensive anymore. They don't have to be fancy as long as they will read, display and clear engine codes. Often on sale in Canada for about $40-$60 or on eBay even cheaper. A wonderful little electronic device.

You may want to do a little more checking before starting the drive down.

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