check engine lite......1996 Ford Contour


Old 01-03-10, 12:14 PM
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check engine lite......1996 Ford Contour

The check engine light has just been a fact of life for this car. In the earyl years, some O2 sensors and other repairs were done, no one ever really knew for sure. It went for a few years without much trouble.

I have been driving this as my daily driver ( 4 non-freeway miles each way to work...Not much other driving.)

To make a long story short, if the gas gauge goes much below half ( which is really lower, because I am talking about 7 to 8 gallons to fill) there is high chance the check engine light will come on. Fill-er up, it goes out in a few days. I have replaced the gas cap and am careful to put it on tight.

As long as this puppy starts every day, I am not even concerned about spending much money to fix anything. I can give it away for a tax deduction! ( I do have regular oil changes, cooling system service, etc) But out of curiosity, is there a not-too-expensive diagnostic tester I can plug in to that plug under the dash just to see what it thinks is wrong? All the diagnostic testers I see on the internet say for cars made AFTER 1996.

Thanks for reading my sad story!
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Old 01-03-10, 01:34 PM
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Yeah, it's called Auto Zone. Let them plug their little thingy into it and read the codes for you. As far as I know it is still free. They plan on you buying your parts from them. As far as the tank cap, are you sure you replaced it with an identical one? Just because it fits doesn't mean it's the right one. If it is supposed to be vented and it is not then at about 1/2 tank you don't have the right combination of pressure and fuel. Just a thought.
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