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1999 Ford Contour LX check engine light


I have a 1999 Ford Contour LX, 5-speed, with 215,000 miles. The car runs like new, believe it or not, but my mechanic thinks otherwise.

Here’s my problem:

While driving one day, my check engine light came on. Being the kind of guy who would be less than appreciative to spend my dark, rainy nights stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, I took it in to my mechanic to have it checked out.

My mechanic tells me in his most somber tone that the light is on because the fuel pump, oxygen sensors, engine knock sensor and catalytic converter are going bad and need to be replaced.

The blue book value on my car on a good day is $900, so the idea of (potentially) spending 4 times that does not make me a happy camper.

The car doesn’t hesitate, it doesn’t smoke, it doesn’t run or idle rough, it still gets 25+ mpg without even trying and there’s no noticeable loss of engine power or anything!

I feel that it’s unlikely for all of these components to fail simultaneously. My question is, could something else be going on that would cause these systems to show a fault?

Thanks in advance for any help or guidance you could give regarding this!

Before anyone can make a determination of why the Check Engine light is on, the Diagnostic Trouble Codes need to be known.

If there’s an AutoZone parts store near by, most will connect a code reader and pull the codes for free. Once this is done, write down the code numbers. These will be either P0xxx or P1xxx codes. Then report back with this info and we can go from there.


Get a second opinion, and as Tester suggests, get it free. There is no way you have failures on all of the systems you mention and could still expect to even start the engine, let alone keep it running.

Since the car is running OK, you could reset the light (your mechanic did that for you, right?) and see if it comes on again. If it does, read the codes as soon as you can and post those codes back here…

Thanks all for your help!

I had a chance to have the codes read. There was only one code that came up. That was P0420.

The guy told me it had to do with the catalytic converter.

The check engine light would come on intermittently. Although it’s been on for a couple weeks now without going out.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again everyone for all your help!