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View Full Version : How to turn off the "service engine soon" light on F150?


bad luck
12-14-2010, 12:56 PM
Yes, I know the obvious...take it to a dealer/auto repair shop and drop the coin....

but...

this light has been on for about the last 22 months or so, truck is running great........

Is there a series of "things I can do" buttons to push, etc...like what I did to get the seat belt sensors to stay off?

echeck is coming and spending more money for something that is running fine is an option I would like to avoid...

thanks

chris311
12-14-2010, 01:05 PM
in your service manual it says how to get it off in the section after what to do after a oil change and if you dont have the service manual go on google it will tell you

Snakecharmer
12-14-2010, 01:25 PM
i've had good luck with AutoZone resetting the codes for me. sometimes all you need is a new gas cap but the last time I had to take it back to the dealer 3 times before they got it fixed right.

fisherman5567
12-14-2010, 02:14 PM
go to advance or autozone and borrow their code scanner/reader tool. you can clear codes with it as well as read them.

powerstrokin73
12-14-2010, 03:02 PM
If the light is on there is a problem. If the problem was fixed it would shut off after the key was turned on a certain amount of times or you had it cleared. At this point if you cleared it would just come back on probably by the time you get home.

Best thing to do would be go to Autozone/Advanced get the code number and google it to find what the problem is, and fix it or get it fixed. With the light being on for as long as it has been clearing it wont last long. You need to fix the problem, it could be as easy as the fuel cap, vacuum line, or as bad as a cat. converter or O2 sensor.

thats my opinion...
If your in the Akron area I can help you find out what the problem is tell you how you can fix it, possibly fix it my self for ya cheap (I just like working on stuff) and if I can't do it I have the number to a guy that is VERY resonably priced

Evin

M.Magis
12-14-2010, 03:02 PM
It seems you're assuming it's on for no reason. It doesn't cost anything to get it checked. Gas cap would be a good guess.

acklac7
12-14-2010, 03:16 PM
Yes, I know the obvious...take it to a dealer/auto repair shop and drop the coin....

but...

this light has been on for about the last 22 months or so, truck is running great........

Is there a series of "things I can do" buttons to push, etc...like what I did to get the seat belt sensors to stay off?

echeck is coming and spending more money for something that is running fine is an option I would like to avoid...

thanks

taking out the cluster and removing the bulb is the only way to get rid of it (without getting rid of the problem thats causing it in the first place). As others mentioned you can often get it cleared with a Scan-tool, but chances are the code will set again and the light will come back on within a few days.

powerstrokin73
12-14-2010, 03:26 PM
taking out the cluster and removing the bulb is the only way to get rid of it (without getting rid of the problem thats causing it in the first place). As others mentioned you can often get it cleared with a scan-tool, but chances are the code will set again and the light will come back on within a few days.

but if you go to a e-check place that plugs into your truck via the obd2 port they will detect the check engine alert and fail you...

bad luck
12-14-2010, 03:39 PM
Thanks for the ideas....going to try a few things this afternoon, as well as owners manual. Seeing how I just got my "happy birthday" card/license plate bill from the state, I still have till early Feb

Hooch
12-14-2010, 05:51 PM
E Check... Sounds like a pain in the butt. I've never had to do it. I've lived in Centerville and Columbus and fortunately never had to do this. How many cities have this E Check?

hardwaterfan
12-14-2010, 06:38 PM
its just around the cleveland area....apparently our vehicles pollute more than everyone else's in the state.

lakota
12-14-2010, 08:26 PM
If you disconnect the negative cable on the battery for 10 minutes or so it will clear the codes from the computer. I had a 2000 Ford Ranger I bought new that had 200,000 miles on it when I recently got rid of it. The check engine light stayed on for 7 of the 10 years I owned it. Got sick of throwing money at it to never have it stay off so I gave up on it. Before I would have it e-checked I would let it sit without the battery connected then take it and have it e-checked and always passed. The light would always stay off long enough to have it e-checked.

Someone told me that Fords are well known for having issues where the check engine light would come on for no reason and I have to agree as both Rangers I have owned had this problem.

fishinjim
12-14-2010, 08:28 PM
E Check... Sounds like a pain in the butt. I've never had to do it. I've lived in Centerville and Columbus and fortunately never had to do this. How many cities have this E Check?

cincinnati had the E-check until about 6 years ago. it cost $19.99 (and, yes, you got the penny back). I don't know why they cancelled it but I'm glad they did. :-)

Wow
12-14-2010, 09:17 PM
Now I know why you called yourself " bad luck". I had exactly the same problem last month. I made an appointment with a mechanic to fix it. I went to the licence bureau the day B4 my birthday to register my other car. the clerk told me to E-check it anyway. He said it would help to have the form from E-check dated B4 my registration expired. At the E-check station, I told them the "SES" light was on. They said they'd try the exhaust test instead of plugging into the CPU... Well! It passed, got my reg., cancelled the mechanic and am driving legally bathed in the glorious glow of my service engine soon light.:D.......................................... .................................................. .................................................. ...............39520

ress
12-15-2010, 10:27 AM
Best fix for that would be a piece of black electrical tape cut to the size of the light.

ohiojmj
12-15-2010, 11:38 AM
I'll side with the minority; I vote for getting it fixed or at least checked. While it may be a bad sensor, how do you know that you are not damaging something long term, although you may have proven it over many months of neglect? You could be poluting (if you care). I prefer to check engine when check engine light goes on because it is reasonable to assume that the design engineers had a good reason to warn you of trouble. i also prefer not to get stranded or in a wreck.

bkr43050
12-15-2010, 11:48 AM
I have a Ford Freestyle that somewhat regularly decides to turn the Service engine light. The error that it is giving me is a "Fuel Data Check Error". I have had this checked at a garage and it was determined that the cause is a flex fuel sensor. This also causes my fuel gauge to drop to empty at the same time which is a pain. I have been told that this affects nothing unless I am truly going to run any flex fuels which I have no intention of doing. So I have learned to live with the light coming and going because I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars just to extinguish a light. In my case the light goes off on its own and the gauge goes back to normal operation eventually as well. It is just an inconvenience that I have chose to live with. I occasionally have gone to the automotive stores to borrow their diagnostics unit to verify that the error is indeed still the same and then proceed to turn it off. I don't want to be making a trip to them weekly so I have not made a habit of checking and clearing it. So based on my case I can certainly relate to the thought of not wanting to fix something that may not really be broken.

BFG
12-15-2010, 12:46 PM
Check Engine light has been on in my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 for the last 4 years.

I've put 5 gas caps on it and eventually it comes back on again. Dodge dealer charges me $85.00 to hook it up to their code reader, then another $20.00 for a gas cap.

As a result...I too drive bathed in the glory of the Check Engine light...over 171,000 miles now. That truck owes me nothing.

lordofthepunks
12-15-2010, 01:04 PM
easy fix- drive truck to nearly any used car dealer or chevy dealer. trade truck in for a silverado or sierra. the check engine light will be gone.

Shortdrift
12-15-2010, 01:09 PM
Check Engine light has been on in my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 for the last 4 years.

I've put 5 gas caps on it and eventually it comes back on again. Dodge dealer charges me $85.00 to hook it up to their code reader, then another $20.00 for a gas cap.

As a result...I too drive bathed in the glory of the Check Engine light...over 171,000 miles now. That truck owes me nothing.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++

Should have bought a F-150 ;):D

viper1
12-15-2010, 01:23 PM
I too have that idot light on! Been to dealers 3 times and cant say how many mechanics. Lights still on at 190000. Came on at 30000. Runs great never any problem so I leave it a lone. Must be a really good bulb in those,they dont ever burn out. Oh we changed half a dozen sensors, 2 computers a couple gas caps I dont know what all. Have it checked maybe you'll get lucky. Me I think its a way to get you to bring in more servicing. I know when I worked on them and they first started these need service lights they were hooked to spped ometer cable. Use to be a reset screw on them and they came on every 30000 miles. Maybe they just come up with a more elaborate way of doing it.

bkr43050
12-15-2010, 01:54 PM
I do think that the light is designed with a good purpose in mind. It is just that when you have that light tied to so many sensors it has a lot of opportunities to trigger.

My suggestion is to pull the codes that are on it and keep a record of them. You can hook up to the diagnostics occasionally to see if the codes are still the same. If so then don't worry about it as long as everything is running fine. I know I am not going to get concerned until I get something different show up. The auto parts stores (Auto Zone, O' Reilly, etc.) don't charge you to use their unit and it is pretty simple to operate.

Bonecrusher
12-15-2010, 02:03 PM
Best fix for that would be a piece of black electrical tape cut to the size of the light.

+1 That shut off my airbag light on my F-150 5 years ago and it still hasn't come back on.

ohiojmj
12-15-2010, 02:16 PM
Knowing exactly why the idiot light glows is one thing. Driving around with idiot light glowing and not knowing what's wrong is risk taking in my book. Vehicles are too expensive for me to ignor a warning

ress
12-16-2010, 12:19 PM
When they get older, like me, and you know what to expect and how much it may cost just to turn off a dumb light,,well the tape deal works for me. I've had mine checked and they say probley burning cheap gas, out comes the tape.

ohiojmj
12-17-2010, 12:45 PM
Now that explains everything.

fishinjim
12-17-2010, 03:45 PM
Best fix for that would be a piece of black electrical tape cut to the size of the light.

you could use nail polish, too. paint it to match the interior of the cab

baby bass
12-18-2010, 09:49 PM
a lot of people could elemanate their problem if they would turn of their cars or trucks off when they fuel up.the computer randonly runs check and will cause the light to come on,if the gas cap is loose or off.

hardwaterfan
12-18-2010, 11:03 PM
i heard if you burn incense and sing the "1-800 safe auto" jingle in your car (really loud!) the light will go out.

bad luck
02-03-2011, 09:31 AM
Heading to autozone today...

rcjohnson
02-03-2011, 12:58 PM
I have a 99 Mazda pickup that I bought new and have always serviced it on time but one day that silly light came on. Truck seemed to be running fine but I decided to g to Autozone and have it scanned. I don't remember what the code was but it had something to do with the air/fuel mixture. I told a buddy of mine about it and he suggested that I get a can of Seafoam and dump it in the tank and then fill the tank with gas and drive it for a day or two. I did as he suggested and with the light still on, I went back to Azone and had them clear it and then check it again. No problem and the light has been off for the last 19,000 miles.

BFG
02-04-2011, 12:32 PM
Should have bought a F-150

Ha!

The same stellar 1997 F-150 on which I replaced two gem modules, 3 batteries, 2 windshields, and damn near...TWICE got me killed by stalling on 475 while going 65mph??? Talk about pucker factor...

That truck had a mind all its own. I called it "the desert truck." As long as it didn't rain...it was great. One little drop....it turned into the Exorcist. On several occasions when I walked out in the morning to go to work (raining..or had rained) there sat my truck...all by itself...jamming away to Metallica or AC/DC...with the keys in my pocket, nowhere close to the ignition.

I prayed that someone would steal that truck. Hell, I left the doors unlocked, windows cracked, etc. etc. Guess the music playing with no key in the ignition was a good anti-theft mechanism.

Nope...no more Fords for me.

Whaler
02-05-2011, 12:50 PM
I have a 97 Chevy Pickup with a 350 in it. That's a 5.7 Liter to any youngsters on here. I have a little over 150,000 miles on it. I bought it new and over all those years the light has come on four times. Each time I corrected it by removing the gas cap and putting it back on.
Everything to with emissions on the engine or in the exhaust system is still original. I'm afraid the thing will self destruct soon. I had the water pump, hoses and shocks replaced this past Fall but the starter is original as are all the U-joints.

bad luck
02-08-2011, 11:56 AM
AND THE VERDICT IS IN...............



AutoZone hooked it up and it said "Insufficient Cooling Tempature for Closed Loop"
AutoZone guy thinks its a bad sensor.....does anybody know anything about this? I am REALLY tight on cash, and bday is coming up in a week so I have to get it fixed (or hopefully do an easy fix myself), get it to e-check, then plates..

Thanks in advance for suggestions.

ress
02-08-2011, 01:10 PM
Autozone guy should have been able to tell you how hard it would be to change yourself. In some cases if you have the part already, and take it to a decent repair shop they will install sooner.

puterdude
02-08-2011, 01:13 PM
Should be a simple plastic screw in screw out sensor with 2 wires coming from it,it will have a metal cylinder type probe coming out of it.Usually located on the thermostat housing or very near it.

puterdude
02-08-2011, 01:23 PM
Here's what it should look like,hope it helps.
Should cost between 6.74 to 33.64 plus tax ,depending on your make.

bad luck
02-10-2011, 01:03 PM
And the final answer is.....

unhooked battery for 10 min, but broke off the bolt in the process, replaced it for 38 cents at local NAPA....hooked battery back up...service lite OFF!!!....drive like crazy to e-check hoping it doesn't come back on while I'm driving there...theres one person in front of me, still hoping lite doesn't come on..they get to me, as their finishing up with other guy, he doesnt pass as his check engine lite came on during test and their saying he must have unhooked his battery to reset computer......

then as they start checking mine, they say the computer hook up isnt working on mine, I can either drive it around until it resets or they can do it the old way and drive it on the rollers...opt for the old way...passes with flying colors!!!!

38 cent repair bill and passed echeck!!!!

Thanks for the replies and the help!!!

DontForgetTheDrainPlug
02-10-2011, 01:40 PM
Great to hear!!!!

Love to hear it when someone actually screws the system. LOL

Chrominator
03-02-2011, 09:47 PM
I didn't read every post so i'm not sure if this was mentioned or not. I have a 98 Explorer that my son has been driving for about the past 2 1/2 years or so.
Within that time frame I've replaced one oxygen sensor and one prior to. This last e-check everything was looking good, no "check engine" light in the ON state and vehicle running good. So we drive down there in seperate vehicles to have both checked. Mine passed his did not. Reason it failed was that the "check engine" light would NOT come on. What joy that was, just to replace that stupid little bulb. So, a vehicle will not pass in either condition.

Lewis
03-03-2011, 08:45 AM
If the light does come back on make sure you replace that sensor.
It will pay for itself quick.
Faulty coolant temp sensors can really affect fuel economy.
A cold engine is a rich running engine.When you first start your car in the morning it runs in "open loop" until it reaches operating temperature.
During "open loop" it consumes much more fuel.
When the engine is fully warmed it goes into "closed loop" which means all the other various sensors are recieving input from the cars computer,which then leans out the fuel mixture.

JIG
03-03-2011, 09:50 AM
Some of those mc sensors would flood it out. If you did get it runnin itll throw black smoke. Like an old Quadro-junk!

Bonecrusher
03-04-2011, 10:08 AM
Ha!

The same stellar 1997 F-150 on which I replaced two gem modules, 3 batteries, 2 windshields, and damn near...TWICE got me killed by stalling on 475 while going 65mph??? Talk about pucker factor...

That truck had a mind all its own. I called it "the desert truck." As long as it didn't rain...it was great. One little drop....it turned into the Exorcist. On several occasions when I walked out in the morning to go to work (raining..or had rained) there sat my truck...all by itself...jamming away to Metallica or AC/DC...with the keys in my pocket, nowhere close to the ignition.

I prayed that someone would steal that truck. Hell, I left the doors unlocked, windows cracked, etc. etc. Guess the music playing with no key in the ignition was a good anti-theft mechanism.

Nope...no more Fords for me.

This is funny! I had the same thing happen to me and it was in the shop once a week with never any answer. It turned out the windshield leaked and ran down the back of the fuse block. It corroded and shorted out randomly. It would sit in the drive way and try to start by itself. My neighbors all thought I had a long night at the bar one night when it started up at 3 am and sat in the driveway with the engine revving. I slept right through it.

c. j. stone
03-10-2011, 01:31 AM
E Check... Sounds like a pain in the butt. I've never had to do it. I've lived in Centerville and Columbus and fortunately never had to do this. How many cities have this E Check?

YES, it's a PITA! Not to start WW3 but I live in Portage Cty, one of the poorest counties in the state, and we've had this crap(e-check) since Day One! You are lucky you're in the Columbus area because the "geniuses" who voted in echeck, made sure they wouldn't have to worry abt. it! Consider maybe 10 times the population and vehicles as my county and go from there! The h--- of it all is I can see Stark cty. from my house, and they don't have to deal with it either!! I have friends with "junkers" to drive who can spit across the street into Stark cty and they are in my boat......

peple of the perch
03-10-2011, 12:56 PM
(I just like working on stuff)

Evin



Hey buddy,
If u want i can give u my bros car to fix. needs breaks, a sensor and a new head gasket. lol :D