Engine Light?

The service light/engine light came on after I put gas in the car. What does that mean.

This is a 99 escort. Should I just take the car in immediately.


The first/easy check is to make sure your fuel cap is tightened all the way. A loose or missing fuel cap may cause your light to illuminate.

Agreed, the light most likely means the gas cap was not properly tightened. Give the light maybe 2-3 days to go off by itself. Even if the light indicates something else there’s no need to panic.


The service light/engine light came on after I put gas in the car. What does that mean.

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 not just their translation into English and post it back here.

I took your advice and went to Autozone. The code they gave me (PO171)
The guy told me that "the car may be getting more air than gas, however it could be getting more gas than air.
I’m thinking it’s the firs one.

i would do like the first person said, buy a new fuel cap. the seals wear out. this will cause the light to go on. cheap fix! reset your light after.
one time i had engine light come on on my 97 ford ranger, it was the idle control valve.

How do I reset the light?

on my oldsmobile i could do it by turning the ingnition to the on position, then depress the gas pedal to the floor 3 times slowly within 5 seconds and the light would start to blink meaning it was resetting. don’t know about your vehicle. will autozone do it for you? i think if you disconnect the battery it will reset too! i only know what i have experienced with my vehicles, i don’t know about yours. just passing on f.y.i


Do you recommend buying a gas cap at Autozone, or at the Ford dealership.

i bought mine at dealer $20. if autozone has one, it will be cheaper.

Hi, I bought the cheap gas cap from autozone for $11.00. Autozone did the free reset to get rid of the system light. One day later the light came back on. Should I buy another gas cap, but from the ford dealership.
Don’t know why the engine light would come back on.

P0171 has nothing to do with gas cap. Google for it. It has to do with lean running. Unless you bought the new Ethanol e85 or whatever you call it, which will produce that code, that means a problem in the system. If you bought E85 ethanol, you need to use it up and stop buying it.

Thanks again:)

Trouble code P0171: “System Too Lean (Bank 1)”. Bank 1 is on the engine; not the gas cap.

Ok, how difficult is it to clean/replace the maf.

Disconnect the battery for 30 seconds and the light should go off. See if it STAYS off. It could just be a momentary glitch.

Ok, I’ll try that first. I’ll let you know if and when the light should come back on.

The code P0171 is the side of the engine that has #1 cylinder is running lean. This sometimes means that there is a vacuum leak on that side of the engine. Set the engine to idle. Use a small bottle of propane gas and spray a small amount around the intake manifold-to-engine block area. If the idle rpm increases, that area is where the vacuum leak is. You would re-torque the intake manifold bolt, and retest. Then, if it still sucks propane, reseal the intake manifold.