Question about 1998 Mercury Tracer

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Cannot reset on board computer on my 1998 Mercury Tracer 2.0L 4d

The car sat idle for about a month. When I went to start it the battery was dead. I found out that my son tried to boast the car. I'm assuming he did someting wrong because the 100amp fuse was blown and I had to replace the alternator. Now the fun starts. I took the car to a service station for an inspection. The on-board Computer system status showed not ready. I was told to drive the car 100 miles to reset the computer and come back. I did this three times for a total of 300 miles and a full tank of gas. The status did not change. I was told by someone that there might be a special way of driving the car to reset the computer, not to just drive the car. The mechanic seems lost. Also the radio doesn't work I think it might be a fuse. I don't think that is related to my problem, but I thought I would mention it anyway. HELP! Thanks Joe

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Hi Joe, Im not famila with your car as we dont get them over here in NZ, but what i do know is you seem to have your info back to front. To reset your computer in my experience is to disconnect the negative terminal and press on the brake pedal and hold a few times to drain the power from your computer (ECU) or leave off overnight (which wouldve been the case when the car sat for a month) I think what your mechanic means is to re-tune your ecu by letting it re-learn after a drive but i dont know what the hundred miles is about?? your computer should tune itself faster than that! Driving that far would be about how long a computer takes to adjust itself after a tune up or higher quality gas "without" reseting your computer.You computer will instantley ****** the timing if knock or lean mixture is detected to protect the engine but is very slow to advance it (hence the long drive). I suspect there is still a wee electrical problem thats why the computer reads "status not ready). The only advise i can give you from here is a auto sparky is more likley to find the fault than a mechanic!
I know i havnt solved your problem as it will be a hands on elimination process but i hope i have cleared up a few confusing things that you have been told.

Posted on Feb 02, 2009

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Could you please tell me which is the positive terminal in the mercury tracer 98?

Posted on Jan 17, 2010


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