Check Engine Light won't go off

engines
lights

#1

Was running out of gas on my 1997 Ford Ranger PU and the check engine light came on.



Got some gas and everything is running smoothly, but the check engine light is still on. I’ve checked all my fluids, etc and can find no problems. How do I get this thing turned off. Is this an obligatory visit to a dealer?


#2

It is likely the appearance of he CEL is unrelated to the low-fuel condition.

The light indicates an existing or recent malfunction in one of your truck’s systems. Maybe it is only the result of a loose gas cap. If the condition no longer exists, the light will turn itself off after a certain number of driving cycles. There is no urgency. But if the light persists for a week it means the malfunction is still present.

Get the trouble code read for free at any of the auto parts stores that offer this service such as at AutoZone or Advance Auto. Report the actual code(s) back here for further advice.


#3

It would be nice if everything were a simple black and white issue, wouldn’t it, RichardR? Well, it isn’t.
Your truck will tell what’s wrong (down to a circuit). It does that with a code that you can get out of the engine computer. Many auto parts stores will pull that code for free. Then, you can bring that code here for advice. That’s simple enough, isn’t it?


#4

Thanks hellokit. I’ll try that. At least it will get me in the right direction.

I thought that maybe this was related to the low fuel condition as it turned on at the same time the engine started sputtering and I literally coasted into the gas station. Once I fueled up everything worked fine except the light. Maybe unrelated but its an awfully weird coincidence.


#5

Get the code numbers and bring them here. The idea of low fuel pressure does come to mind; but, first, the numbers.
A dirty fuel filter will drop fuel pressure. If the one on the truck hasn’t been changed in a long time, change it; then, do a fuel pressure check.


#6

Went to Autozone and had them check. The code came up for a problem with cylinder 1, but a check of the code inside the store revealed a list of possible problems, one being low fuel pressure. The guy behind the counter suggested that I disconnect the negative terminal of the battery for a while, then reconnect to reset things. That worked. Light’s out, engine is still running smoothly, and I’m a happy camper! Thanks for the suggestion about getting the code checked, that got me down the right path!


#7

WHAT was the code? It might come back. Some codes take two or more “trips” for the check engine light to come on and the code to set.

PS/ People are here on Sunday, also. So, feel free to respond. You don’t have to wait until the check engine light comes on, again.


#8

Please, the actual CODE. It will be in the format of “P0123” All that other stuff is next to meaningless.