Ford Contour
Check Engine Light
Ford F-250

If a 1999 Ford Contour was low on fuel and the check engine light came on and 20 seconds later the fuel light came on are they connected?

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Wiki User
September 15, 2009 5:42PM

Answer

May go out after filling and driving. Give it a few days before

getting it looked at. Below are some insights.

Pull the codes from the computer, match the code to the

troubleshooting procedure, follow the procedure to find the source.

Repair the source, light will go out if that was the only problem.

There are "monitors" or self tests the computer runs the car

through a drive cycle, if a problem occurs, it may not run all of

the self tests until that problem is taken care. Therefore, another

problem may exist. It is emission related. OR hook up a scanner

that is capable of clearing codes, and hope that none are still

active. Disconnecting the battery can create other headaches and

will not likely solve your dilemma. Best bet is to contact the

local snap-on dealer and have him refer you to a known good shop

that specializes in this technology-he will know.

The "check engine light" is a warning light that is illuminated,

usually when there is a problem with the emission system, but may

also occur if the computer detects a misfiring cylinder, knocking,

or other symptom of your engine running outside of its normal

operation.

It is a good thing once you understand it.

A check engine light is often simply the result of a loose gas

cap, which triggers error code P0452.

But understand that many scenarios are possible with the "check

engine light" The vehicle's powertrain computer (note that some

vehicles have 17 different computers) will run a series of

self-tests. They will only run under certain criteria. And they can

be vastly different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some

self-tests are not run until preceding ones have run successfully.

So if there is a problem in one particular area that is preventing

another self test from running, you can have a situation where one

problem is fixed, but another still exists. If you fix a problem

and drive the car through a drive cycle that sets the monitor (or

self test) the light will go off as it passes that criteria that

triggered it in the first place.

After 1996, the auto industry went to a idea called OBD II (on

board diagnostics). This was to get all the manufacturers onto a

similar plane for troubleshooting and powertrain control. While

they still differ vastly, many corrections and adaptations were

made for technicians to better fix the check engine light problems.

Prior to this there were so many different and poor troubleshooting

data from a check engine light problem that resolving the problem

was much more difficult. Many early warning light of this nature

were set to illuminate based on mileage. An Oxygen sensor was one

of the things that were meant to be replaced when that mileage was

hit. This is much like many current "Change oil lights� that are

set based on a pre-set mileage.

In this specific case, where the check engine light and the low

fuel light come on at nearly the same time, it is possible that the

check engine light came on because the engine ran lean for a second

or two, caused by low fuel pump pressure, which in turn was caused

by low fuel level in the tank. If the engine is running normally

and smoothly, fill the tank and give it a few days use to see if

the light goes off before seeking further help. If the engine is

not running well, lacks power, or otherwise seems abnormal, further

troubleshooting is required immediately.

Many auto parts supply stores will read the OBD-II code from

your car at no charge.

Was it the "Check Engine" light or the "Check Gauge" light that

came on? I know some of the later fords had a check gauge light

that would come on if you left your fuel filler cap off or loose,

or if you were low on fuel.


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