Service engine soon light

We just had a huge snowfall and like an idiot, I decided to take my 2001 Ford F150 for a drift buster ride. It went through every drift I encountered until I got back home. There was a huge fairly fluffy drift at the corner so I slowed down to turn. The truck sank into the snow and I stopped. I decided I would not make it through so I backed up. I was pushing a lot of snow but made it out. Shortly after that, ( 20 minutes) the service engine soon light came on and remains on now. The engine Runs a little rough at idle. I checked the oil level and added a quart to fill. My pickup has been very trustworthy and only has 53k miles. I’m typically not the drift buster type driver and don’t believe I will be trying that again any time soon. Any thoughts about why the light is on, what it will cost to fix it? I was going to heat up the garage and let all the snow underneath melt to see if that helps. Your thoughts and help will be appreciatted very much.

Dave in SD

There are hundreds of things that can turn on the light. Take it to a big box auto parts chain store - they will read error codes for free. Write down the exact error codes (format: P1234) and post them here. Politely ignore whatever the parts store people say about the codes.

There is a good chance that something just got wet and will return to normal when dry. So do let the truck dry out. But you’d still want to know what it is since it will need some attention to avoid a repeat event.

In addition to the possibility that something got wet and needs to dry out, I will offer another possible cause of the problem.

Depending on how deep the snow underneath the truck might have been, it is conceivable that the wires for one (or two) of your O2 sensors may have become damaged or disconnected. The trouble code(s) that come up when the guy at Auto Zone checks your OBD system may provide a very good clue as to whether my thesis is correct.

Are you sure it is a “service” engine light? Could it be a “Check” engine light? If CEL then get the stored code(s). Many auto part stores will check it and tell you want the codes are for free.

Good Luck