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?
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
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.