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Why do you care if the 'check engine' light is on?
Bought my wife's 99 Taurus wagon used about 15 years ago. The 'check engine' light has been on almost the entire time - I could care less. The car runs fine, delivers the rated fuel economy, I keep the oil clean. Not for nothing do mechanics call it the 'money light'. The fact that your mechanic was just blindly throwing parts (and your money) at the problem shows that he/shed doesn't know what the problem is.

Only repairs I've had to do over the years: fuel pump, belt, crank sensor, water temp sensor, and a junk Fram oil filter with a pin-hole leak.

My car, 02 Chevy Cavalier, bought used for daughter, now I drive it, 'Service' light's been on the entire time -- doesn't bother me in the least. Car runs fine, good mileage, I keep the oil clean.....
If you live in a California emissions/IM240 state, you cannot renew your registration if the check engine light is on.
 

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I don't know about the 2002's, but I know the 96 - 99 V8 SHO's fairly well.


On the SHO's, there is a small tangle of vacuum hoses in the rear of the car by the gas tank for evaporative recovery in the fuel system. With age these hoses crack, kink, just get loose - all manner of things.


When they leak, they break the vacuum in the fuel tank and it sets the P0455 code like your fuel cap is loose.


I don't know if you have them, but I would at least poke around back by the gastank.
 

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I don't know about the 2002's, but I know the 96 - 99 V8 SHO's fairly well.


On the SHO's, there is a small tangle of vacuum hoses in the rear of the car by the gas tank for evaporative recovery in the fuel system. With age these hoses crack, kink, just get loose - all manner of things.


When they leak, they break the vacuum in the fuel tank and it sets the P0455 code like your fuel cap is loose.


I don't know if you have them, but I would at least poke around back by the gastank.
Pic of 9 year old Sable. Physical inspection is in order.


-chart-
 

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?????? What do you mean? Take out the bulb?

Sometimes the CEL comes on for emissions related issues (like EVAP issues) that have zero effect on how the car runs. Sometimes it comes on for a serious engine related issue that can seriously shorten the life of the engine, cats, etc. If the CEL is constantly on for some minor emissions only reason you will never know if there is another engine performance code that appears unless you constantly check for new codes that have cropped up.

Troubleshoot the problem, fix the issue, and move on.
 

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More scare talk to frighten people into running off to the dealer and being ripped off for unneeded repairs. (Refer to OP: owner paid thousands of dollars for unneeded parts changing because the mechanics were incompetent. As you should know, this happens all the time.

For people like me (and many others on this board) this is a non issue because we fix our cars ourselves. But most folks out there get scared as soon as the CEL goes on and run off to the dealer where, more often than not, they pay huge bucks for 'repairs' of dubious necessity.

As far as the 'engine blowing up' because you didn't check the codes (or open the hood and check the oil and coolant), more scare talk aimed at getting people to open their wallets.

All a scaredy cat needs to do is plug in a scan tool periodically to see what's going on.

As I mentioned above, the CELs have been on in my car (Chevy) and my wife's 99 Taurus for more than 15 years - I could care less. I didn't even own a scan tool until two years ago.

Thank goodness EVs are on the way!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Gas Cap Light question

2002, SES Duratec DOHC.

Fuel cap light came on.

I replaced fuel cap.

Light has not gone off.

I found it strange when I used the OBD2 meter to clear the codes and the light has stayed on. Also, there are no other codes lighing up on the OBD2 meter.

Will this car pass emissions with the light on and no codes on the OBD2? Could this just be a short?

I'm open to any and all advice, suggestions....etc.

Thanks :huh:
 

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You may have a pending code for the evap system. Or the system has not gone through the cycle to clear the code. It is complex for evap system.
 

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2002, SES Duratec DOHC.

Fuel cap light came on.

I replaced fuel cap.

Light has not gone off.

I found it strange when I used the OBD2 meter to clear the codes and the light has stayed on. Also, there are no other codes lighing up on the OBD2 meter.

Will this car pass emissions with the light on and no codes on the OBD2? Could this just be a short?

I'm open to any and all advice, suggestions....etc.

Thanks :huh:
See pic, this from 9 year old Sable. Examine the filler system and under hoses/clamps to the tank. First things first. Visual.


-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #30
My biggest problem is that the state won't let me register the car unless the CEL light is off and all codes repaired. We are limited to driving the car only 4000 miles a year until it's repaired.


But I have an update:

1. My "new" OBD 2 meter suddenly said that the fix for the dreaded 171 and 174 codes was to replace the DPFE sensor. So I did that.

2. So I drove the car and CEL light came on, and this time I checked it for the thousandth time with FORSCAN.....and GUESS WHAT? NO 171 or 174 code, but a rather the 401 code and it said definitely replace the EGR.

3. Well, I did that. I had replaced the EGR valve last year to no avail. Well...guess what. I am CODE free for the moment and the CEL is OFF.

4. But for some reason the gas cap light is on. This has me somewhat wondering if the car will pass emissions with this light on since the CEL is now off.

5. I noticed I do have a plastic cover under the gas tank in the back with a tangle of wires and a sensor of some sort. I will have to check that some more.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
UPDATE: Code 0171, 0174, 0401

2002 Taurus SES DOHC engine. 48,550 original miles on it.

Check engine light has been on for 5 years with 0171 and 0174 codes. Can't register the car but due to senior citizen status am allowed to drive less than 4000 miles a year now. wow

Car has been to the Ford dealer twice for two very high dollar CEL repairs......in the thousands.....that DID NOT FIX THE PROBLEM.

Gas cap light has been on for 6 months. New today is the smell of gas. Fuel fill neck seems rust free.

I'm a determined man, but this is ridiculous. After crawling under the fuel tank today I saw a whole bunch of old rubber hoses, and a fitting under a plastic cover.

There is a local place that specializes in CEL. I have an appointment to bring this giant lemon in tomorrow at 8am.

I have nothing left. I'm too old to go under the car in 94 degree heat to replace fuel lines. I have to hire someone to do that.

The engine has been smoke checked for vacuum leaks twice. There are none.

The following codes appear in the OBD2 meter
0171 (Lean mixture)
0174 (Lean mixture)
0401 (faulty EGR)

The following work has already been done:
New Gas Cap
New EGR
New EGR rubber hose and Elbow
New DPFE
New Fuel pressure sensor
New Fuel Injectors
New MAF
New MAF Sensor
New Fuel Rail
All new upper intake gaskets
All new Vacuum lines
New plugs
New Coil
New Plug wires
New Throttle position sensor

Other than that the car runs great.
 
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jag1959
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