I own a 1994 lincoln towncar and about 3 weeks ago the check engine light came on and went back off after a few seconds. Yesterday it came on and stayed on. Any ideas?
You’ll have to get the codes read to be able to make an guesses on which of the thousand or so things that it could be. Your Lincoln is not OBDII, so auto parts stores will not be able to help. To read the trouble codes on your car, two pins on the diagnostic connector under the hood have to be shorted together, and then you count the flashes of the check engine light.
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Take the car to your local Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, Napa, or other retail parts dealer where they will do a free scan of the car’s OBD system in order to obtain stored trouble codes. Only by obtaining stored trouble codes would anyone know exactly where to begin diagnosing the problem.
The only possible glitch is that your car is so old that it predates the OBD2 system, and has the OBD1 system that uses much less specific/less helpful trouble codes. Since not every parts dealer still has employees with the ability to read OBD1 codes, I suggest that you place a few phone calls to several parts retailers before venturing out.
If you can get the codes read, come back to this thread and post them for further guidance. At that time, also give us the car’s maintenance history, the odometer mileage, and any symptoms that the car is exhibiting.
That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.
Regarding warning lights:
if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP
if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP
if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP
ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.
But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.
This is not an OBDII car.
To the best of my understanding, the auto stores can’t read codes from non-OBDII cars. This will be a waste of time.
(I have a 94, it was not OBDII. I think that OBDII started in 96 or 97.)