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Explorer dash lights

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. For about the last year some of the dash lights have been turning on and off randomly and intermittently. The three lights are the check engine, the airbag and less frequently, the check gauge light. It seems like there’s some connection between the lights because often when one comes on so does another and often one will turn off, but immediately another will turn on. My mechanic (not a Ford dealer) tried to fix the check engine light by diagnosing and fixing the indicated codes, but a day later the light came back on. It stayed on for a week, then one morning it stayed off, but the airbag light came on. Is there some electronic (or other) component that links these three lights and could be causing this situation? Thanks.

Your having three separate issues. Each of those lights are supposed to go one for completely different issues.

What were the indicated codes for the ‘Check Engine’ light? Some problems could very well come and go as a sensor begins to fail intermittently or a bad circuit connection that causes intermittent loss of signal. Knowing the codes may give us a clue to help you figure this out.

Also with the air bag light, there are codes that need to be pulled from the Safety Restraint module that cannot be retrieved with basic code readers. Getting these codes will also help with the diagnostics, but a body shop or the dealer are probably your best hopes at a diagnosis. Most mechanics won’t spend the money for an air bag reader unless they do a lot of work involving the air bag system. Body shops do all the time.

The ‘Check Gauges’ light reads the gauges on the dash board and lights up based on the gauge readings. Typically it will light up if the temp gauge goes too high, the fuel gauge or the oil pressure gauge goes too low, or the volt meter goes too high or too low. If none of these is happening when the ‘Check Gauges’ light goes on, that problem is probably in the dash board.