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If the engine light is on then your ECU has detected a fault. Either in the engine or another system. You can buy a cheap reader at the parts store. They are good for active codes and resetting the Engine light. But not for codes stored in the history. Depending on which reader you buy, you may or may not be able to read Transmission, ABS, Body Control, or Air-Bag codes. Professional readers are very expensive so you may want to let a mechanic read it (get a price first). Do some research before you decide.
Buy an OBD 2 scanner, or a less expensive OBD 2 code reader (OBD means on board diagnostics, 2 means second generation-anything built after 1996, generally). Plug into your car's diagnostic port and read the codes. The trouble codes relay what the computer detected as a problem-points you to a course of action. Whether you fix it yourself or take to a shop with the codes for the repairs. Many national chains, such as Autozone, will do scans of the engine computer for free, hoping you will return there to buy parts. Be aware a trouble code does not relay a specific course of action-it only points you or a technician to what the computer saw as a problem, like a circuit failure in a sensor signal, it could be the sensor or the wiring associated with it. Common sense and a knowledge of how the many components and sensors work and interact will help one understand and find the problem. For example, a code of a bad oxygen sensor signal-reading too much oxygen in the exhaust-would not be a bad oxygen sensor, but one needs to check why the air-fuel mixture is wrong-too lean-is a vacuum line leaking, or is the fuel pressure too low-these are the types of questions that can arise from a trouble code. If you want to avoid mechanics entirely, better buy a repair manual and learn all you can about modern engine management electronics.
Hi, I recommend you access the OBD panel to extract the trouble codes. Then send us the trouble codes for further advice. On 850 models the DLC is located in the engine compartment in front of the module box, behind the passenger side headlamp.
Open diagnostic socket cover and install selector cable into
socket No. 2 for fuel injection codes or socket No. 6 (except Motronic
systems) for ignition codes.
Turn the ignition switch to the
Enter control system 1 by pressing the button once. Hold the button for at least 1 second, but not more than 3.
Watch the diode light and count the number of flashes in the 3
flash series indicating a fault code. The flash series are separated by 3
second intervals. Note fault codes.
1f there are no fault codes in the diagnostic unit, the diode will flash 1-1-1 and the fuel system is operating correctly.
If diode light does not flash when button is pressed, or no code
is flashed there is a problem with the soft-diagnostic system, proceed
Check ground connections on the intake manifold, and the ground connection for the Lambda-sond at the right front mudguard.
Check the fuses for the pump relay and the primary pump. On 240
models, fuses are located inside the engine compartment on the left side
wheel well housing. On 760/780 models, fuses are located in the center
console, just below the radio. On 740/940 models, fuses are located
behind the ashtray. Access can be gained by removing the ashtray, and
pressing upward on the tab marked electrical fuses press. On 850 models,
the fuses are located on the left side of the engine compartment behind
the strut mount plate. The fuses on 960 models are located on the far
left side of the dashboard. The driver's door must be open to gain
access to the fuses.
Remove glove compartment, and check control unit ground connections.
Turn the ignition switch to the
position. Remove control unit connector and connector protective sleeve.
Check diagnostic socket by connecting a voltmeter between ground
and No. 4 connection on the control unit connector. Reading should be 12
volts. If no voltage is present, check lead between control unit
connector and fuse No. 1 in the fuse/relay box.
Turn the ignition to the
position, and install selector cable into the No. 2
socket on the diagnostic socket. Connect a voltmeter between ground and
No. 12 connection on the control unit connector. Reading should be 12
volts. Press the button on diagnostic socket and note reading. Reading
on the voltmeter should be 0 volts. If no voltage at the control unit is
present, take reading at the diagnostic socket connector. If reading
remains at 12 volts when button is pressed, check diagnostic socket.
Connect a voltmeter between ground and the red/black lead on the diagnostic socket connector. Reading should be 12 volts.
Connect a suitable ohmmeter between ground and the brown/black
lead in the diagnostic socket connector. Reading should be 0 ohms.
Turn the ignition to the
position. Connect ohmmeter between diagnostic socket
selector cable and the pin under selector button. The ohmmeter should
read infinity. Press the button and note the reading. The reading should
be 0 ohms.
Connect a suitable diode/multimeter tester, or equivalent, between
the diagnostic socket diode light and the selector cable. Connect red
test pin from the tester to pin under diode light and black test pin
from tester to selector cable. A reading on the tester indicates correct
diode light function. With no reading on tester, replace diagnostic
Check the system relay/primary relay by connecting a voltmeter
between ground and the No. 9 connection on the control unit connector,
then connect a jumper wire between ground and No. 21 connection on the
control unit connector. The relay should activate and the reading should
be 12 volts.
Press the diagnostic socket button. Note any additional fault codes.
The diagnostic system memory is full when it contains 3 fault codes.
Until those codes are corrected and the memory erased, the system cannot
give information on any other problems.
Press the diagnostic socket button for the third time to see if a
third fault code is stored in the memory. If the diode light flashes the
same code 1-1-1, there are no other codes in the memory.
Fig. Fig. 1: Push button once for mode 1 Push button twice for mode 2
Push button three times for mode 3
To clear the codes:
Turn the ignition switch to the
Read fault codes.
Press diagnostic socket button 1 time and hold for approximately 5
seconds. Release button. After 3 seconds the diode light should light
up. While the light is still lit, press the button again and hold for
approximately 5 seconds. After releasing the button, the diode light
should go off.
To ensure that the memory is erased, press the button 1 time, for 1
second but not more than 3 seconds. The diode light should flash code
Start and run engine. If engine will not start, correct the problem before proceeding and start over with Step 1.
Check to see if new fault codes have been stored in the memory by
pressing the diagnostic socket button 1 time, for 1 second but not more
than 3 seconds.
If fault code 1-1-1 flashes, it indicates that there are no additional fault codes stored in its memory.
you need to hook up a diagnostic code retrieving tool to the aldl < assembly line diagnostic link > this is located under the instrument panel on the drivers side, plug the tester into the link, then turn on the ignition key, but do not start the vehicle, the tester will cycle through the computer , and will retrieve any trouble codes that the computer has picked up, once you have recieved the trouble code or codes, write them down, and then turn off the ignition key, and unplug the tester, then compare the codes to the code booklet, and then it will tell you what the code stands for, and then you can check those areas to see what the problem is, also if you do not have a tester, a auto part store will check this for free, hope that this information has helped you.
Reading Codes OBD-I Systems
Fig. 1: Diagnostic trouble codes — 4.5L engine
Fig. 2: Diagnostic trouble codes — 4.9L engine
Fig. 3: Diagnostic trouble codes — 4.6L engine
Listings of the trouble codes for the various engine control systems covered in this manual are located in this section. Remember that a code only points to the faulty circuit NOT necessarily to a faulty component. Loose, damaged or corroded connections may contribute to a fault code on a circuit when the sensor or component is operating properly. Be sure that the components are faulty before replacing them, especially the expensive ones.
The Assembly Line Diagnostic Link (ALDL) connector or Data Link Connector (DLC) may be located under the dash and sometimes covered with a plastic cover labeled DIAGNOSTIC CONNECTOR.
On all 1990–95 models the diagnostic trouble codes can be read by grounding test terminal B. The terminal is most easily grounded by connecting it to terminal A (internal ECM ground). This is the terminal to the right of terminal B on the top row of the ALDL connector.
Once the terminals have been connected, the ignition switch must be moved to the ON position with the engine not running.
The Service Engine Soon or Check Engine light should be flashing. If it isn't, turn the ignition OFF and remove the jumper wire. Turn the ignition ON and confirm that light is now on. If it is not, replace the bulb and try again. If the bulb still will not light, or if it does not flash with the test terminal grounded, the system should be diagnosed by an experienced driveability technician. If the light is OK, proceed as follows.
The code(s) stored in memory may be read through counting the flashes of the dashboard warning lamp. The dash warning lamp should begin to flash Code 12. The code will display as one flash, a pause and two flashes. Code 12 is not a fault code. It is used as a system acknowledgment or handshake code; its presence indicates that the PCM can communicate as requested. Code 12 is used to begin every diagnostic sequence. Some vehicles also use Code 12 after all diagnostic codes have been sent.
After Code 12 has been transmitted 3 times, the fault codes, if any, will each be transmitted 3 times. The codes are stored and transmitted in numeric order from lowest to highest.
NOTE: The order of codes in the memory does not indicate the order of occurrence.
If there are no codes stored, but a driveability or emissions problem is evident, the system should be diagnosed by an experienced driveability technician.
If one or more codes are stored, record them. Refer to the applicable Diagnostic Code chart in this section.
Switch the ignition OFF when finished with code retrieval or scan tool readings.
NOTE: After making repairs, clear the trouble codes and operate the vehicle to see if it will reset, indicating further problems.
On board diagnostic (OBD) was designed on vehicles equipped with electronic fuel injection so you can generally retrieve the codes yourself. No need buying a scanner or running to any parts stores to check the engine light. This system is called obd1 and applies to most vehicles made before 1995 for domestics and 1993 on imports.
Ford owners can check their check engine light using the diagnostic connector located at the engine compartment by the fender near the battery. Getting the obd1 codes need a couple of tools: a 4 inch long gage 16 jumper wire and a 12 volt test light. Both tools are hooked up to the diagnostic connector and when the IGNITION KEY is turned on (without starting engine) the codes will begin to flash in the test light, not in the dash panel. If there is no code, you will normally get code 11 or 111. On Fords, there are 2 test modes, the KOEO (key on engine off) and the KOER (key on engine running). Both test modes should be used to get the accurate evaluation of the stored fault codes.
Most of the codes can be erased or cleared by disconnecting the battery negative terminal for 1 minute and reconnect. Just make sure to check your service manual in case you have electronic equipment such as radio or clock that needs reprogramming in which battery disconnection is not recommended. Finally after performing repairs on the culprit code, always go for a road test to confirm if the problem is fixed.
This model will have to have the diagnostic computer hooked to it. You can purchase one at your local parts house and have for future use, they usually run between $90-$200 depending on how good of one you get but a basic one is all you need. You can get the code without moving the vehicle and call some parts houses and they can tell you what it means, but the scanner will give you a basic definition of the code to give you idea of where to start.
Open the hood. Locate a small grey box by the firewall, roughly 1.5 x 1.5 inches. It has a cap that will lift up, but it will not come off. Under the cap, located the terminals E1 and Te1. Using a standard paper clip, "jump" E1 and Te1 together. Turn the key on. Obnserve the check engine light; it will flash, pause and flash again. Count the flashes.
Examples: 2 flashes/pause/4 flashes is code "24"
1 flash/pause/5 flashes is code "15"
Get the codes & get that info back to me so that I will be able to assist you with your issue further.