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Annoying Check Engine Light

Check Engine keeps intermittently coming on. Particularly after about 15 min of driving. Check engine light does not STAY ON though. Only after about 10-15 min of driving. I took it to 2 auto parts stores to pull the trouble codes, they were not able to pull a code because the trouble code disappeared when the engine was turned off. One parts store inspected the gas cap and said it looked fine. So, as a cheap fix and general maintenance, I replaced the radiator cap. That did not work. Car appears to still run GREAT. Just the annoying check engine light. Could this be scheduled maintenance issue that Ford Motor Co set on the car after so many miles. Any possibilities, would very much appreciated.

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  • Ron Tanner Dec 01, 2014

    Clarification: The problem is on a 2006 Lincoln Zephyr

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It's likley your computer trying to compensate for a failing sensor and until the sensor totally fails your computer will continue to adjust until the sensor fails completley then you should be able to retrive a code. As for a scheduled maintenance issue, the light would not go off and on. Also you can't just look at a gas cap to see if it's working right or not. A bad gas cap will show up during a smog test. If at all possible I would like to know what the issue was once it's fixed.

Posted on Dec 01, 2014

Testimonial: "Excellent! Thanks for your help......might change the gas cap too before taking it into the shop. Merry Christmas!"

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This may be the beginning of a sensor going bad. You can wait until the light comes on and stays on, or bring someone for a ride with you and wait for the problem to show up, and go to a local auto parts store to have the code read. Your passenger can sit in the running car, while you go in the store. When the code is read, you can have the car repaired. GOOD LUCK FRIEND.

Posted on Dec 01, 2014

Testimonial: "Thanks! However, parts store said the car had to be turned off in order to run the code test. ??? Oh well...that's parts stores for ya. Anyways...I might change the gas cap too before taking it into the shop. This problem has been going on for about 2 months. Merry Christmas!""

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It is not likely a scheduled maintenance issue. Manufacturers don't do things that way. You probably have a sensor-related issue that is affected by temperature as the engine warms up. These can be tricky little demons until and unless they become permanent and set a Check Engine light that can be decoded. Things such as the coolant temp sensor and the O2 sensors can cause such intermittent issues. If this is a repeatable condition, meaning that it occurs almost every time you drive, then a repair shop could hook the vehicle up to a diagnostic unit and monitor for the fault to occur, They can capture the data during the anomaly and try to ascertain the cause. If you are looking for a DIY solution, you may have to wait out the annoying light until it goes permanent.

Posted on Dec 01, 2014

  • Ron Tanner Dec 01, 2014

    "Excellent! Thanks for your help......might change the gas cap too before taking it into the shop. This problem has been going on for about 2 months. Merry Christmas!"

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