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The engine management system light came on at the dash board. why is this is it the cold weather or what is it the oxegen sensor is it critical can i drive my car.

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It's NOT the cold,  not alone anyway.
If in the US go to autozone, or another parts store that will plug in a OBD II diagnostice tool for free.  They will tell you what code(s) the computer has thrown that turned on what some older guys call the "idiot" light, they can reset the light too, and there is a possibility it won't come on again.  I like the sound of "engine management system" better.  If you are getting O2 sensor codes the car may drive fine, and it's unlikely to damage anything by driving like this if it's the only code thrown.  O2 sensor is for emission system and fuel control. Your engine should put out much O2 after it has successfully burned the fuel, pulling a plug wire will set off the O2 sensor (and a bunch of other things;~) ).  If O2 sensor is going off and the sensor itself it working right, there is a problem, your engine is not operating efficiently, and you  should not ignore it, but it won't blow up.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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Ford Taurus idles low and takes 3-4 times to stay running on cold days


Some of these models have 2 temperature sensors. One makes the dash gauge or light work and the other works the engine controls.

The one that makes the engine controls work acts like a choke. It speeds up the rpm and enriches the fuel mix for cold starts. This is why you are having more problems in cold weather. You can see which one operates the dash gauge and then change the other one. Hopefully once you get the temperature sensor reporting to the engine management module, everything will work again.

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You will need to restore some of the vacuum lines. The information about the coolant sensor is correct. I usually work on Ford family brands, but in general, some vehicles have 2 coolant sensors. One is for the engine controls and the other works the dash gauge for water temperature.

You need to see if the sensor you replaced went to the dash. If the sensor is working and warm, if you unplug the sensor and it goes to the dash, the dash gauge will drop to cold. If it does not(while the engine is running), then you have the engine management sensor. The engine management temperature sensor is the one you want to replace.

Several ways the engine can idle high. If the "cold start" system does not get a warm signal, it will stay set for "cold engines". Sometimes the water sensors are built into the Vacuum system. When the water valve changes due to heat, the Vacuum switches and the idle is reduced because Vacuum is rerouted.

If some of the Vacuum lines are gone, then some parts may not work. The air pump will make the engine run more efficient. The catalytic converters may clog without an airpump.

Some engines need a signal from the Catalytic converter (O2s) to set idle and fuel mixture. So the engine can not adjust itself if you remove the catalytics.

Check for Vacuum leaks in the Intake manifold with a spray bottle of water along the seams while the engine runs. A open gasket is like cracking the throttle open. It will speed up the engine.

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1 Answer

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There is a "cold start" circuit which is activated by temperature. You could have low coolant near the sensor or the sensor could be bad or disconnected. Whichever one is the problem, the electronic controls must get a signal to set this sequence.

There can be 2 similar sensors on the engine. One often works the dashgauge or dash light and the other is dedicated to the engine management control. If you have a gauge on the instrument cluster, then you need only disconnect 1 of the sensors at a time to find out which one is the gauge sensor. This is done on a warm enough engine to have the dash gauge move and indicate Temperature.

By process of elimination, the remaining sensor is the 1 you want to change or check. This should help.

You can also have a bad Air temperature sensor in the Air Intake. This sensor is usually called a MAF sensor or MAP sensor. It is another control which sets the engine up by Temperature, but throughout the entire time the engine runs, not just in cold conditions. But it can certainly reveal itself in cold weather.

I hope this helps you. You should try to get a scan done on your car. The clerks are reluctant to do it if the warning light is not on. Autozone, Advance, and Oreilys test it free.

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Once you get situated and the part changed you should get immediate results if this was the problem. If no help, then get more testing before buying more parts. The "Brain" is expensive and you should get some engine scans and check the fuel pressure in cold weather.

If you repost this Problem, include whether the engine cranks good, or any results from the scans.

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