Question about 2002 Lincoln LS

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Engine Check Warning

Once a year for the last 4 years, my engine check alarm lights up.
This indicates an emissions problem. Each time I brought it to the dealer to fix - they find no problem and simply reset the alarm - each time it cost me $100.
My manual says that it could be the gas octane (91 recommended)
I normally put the highest octane in the gas, however the past sereral months I put plus gas vs premium (due to the high cost of gas)

If it is the gas octane, will the alarm reset itself if I put premium in the tank for several fill-ups?

What other problems could I face by ignoring this alarm?


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  • james_dohert Apr 21, 2009

    Thanks for the help it was very informative and will assist me in the future



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In this vehicle the CEL will illuminated if it sees a problem with the emission system,transmission,or igntion. It will remain lit as long as the problem is present. It will go out after 2 drive cycles and all monitors complete if the problem is no longer present.
Now a drive cycle is from cold engine to warm engine then back to cold engine. The monitors are like for example your anit-virus program on your home PC. There are several of these programs on this vehicle for example,Evap(evaporative emissions), O2 monitor, Fuel system monitor, etc. For each of these to run there has to be certain requirements met like driven at a certain speed for so long,a few stop and go's, decel form hwy speed, etc. so it could take several days for these monitors to complete.
If these monitors complete and it has gone to 2 drive cycles with out a problem then the PCM will turn off the light and store a trouble code in memory.
Now can you drive it like this,the answer is yes as long as the light is not flashing,however if problem is in transmission or ignition you may cause more damage if you continue to drive it. While the light is on the PCM detects a problem and if it is in the emission system it will substitute a signal for what ever problem it see's. It will run ok like this but you may see a drop in performance and a decrease in fuel mileage.If your state has an inspection program your vehicle will not pass as long as this problem is present.
There should be a code stored in memory and there are places that will retieve the codes for free like Autozone. However they just retrieve the codes this is be no means a diagnosis of the problem,however it may help determine if there is a problem that you should have addresses right away.

Posted on Feb 02, 2009

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The problem you are going to have is that you won't know when something else goes wrong. You need to have it reset, but there are ways you can reset it your self. The best way is to go online and find one of the hand held devices that can do it for you. Also you can get a remod computer to lower the need for such high octane also. There are several user friendly computers that you can have installed on your dash or in your dash that allows you to controll many things on your car. Dealerships don't tell you this because how could they get there $100 for doing nothing. Check out painless and the speed channel network online. You can find all the computers to change the octane needed. Also you can get a cheap hand held device that will do all the stuff the dealership does for a one time hit rather than everytime something comes up.

hope this helps


Posted on Feb 02, 2009


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