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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Check Engine Light (Gas Cap)

bpiribpiri Posts: 8
I had my codes checked and nothing was showing the garage that cehck the codes said maybe gas cap.
They also cleared all the codes but the light still stays on.
My question is would a gas cap after market work? Or do you have to get one from ford?
Another question is about the cap has anyone any idea what goes bad? Would adding a gasket help?

Comments

  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    I had a gas cap go bad on my 2003 Mercury Sable. I filled up with gas and the light came on and wouldn't go off.

    I bought a gas cap at a local auto parts store for a few dollars that fixed the problem.

    For the check engine light to go off you must first fix the problem (eg. get a new gas cap). Then your car must go through a few cold start-up cycles, idle for so many minutes and run at highway speed for so many minutes. If you fix the problem then the light will go off after a few days driving. If you can't wait for the check engine light to go out the quick fix is to disconnect the (black) battery cable for a few seconds and then reconnect. That will clear out all of the engine codes from the computer.
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    TY for your answer. I'm off now to get a new gas cap.

    When u say hwy speed how fast and for how long?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    Evidently they keep the check engine light on for a few days so that you don't fail a smog test.

    From the owners manual...

    On board diagnostics (OBD-II)
    Your vehicle is equipped with a computer that monitors the engine’s
    emission control system. This system is commonly known as the On
    Board Diagnostics System (OBD-II). This OBD-II system protects the
    environment by ensuring that your vehicle continues to meet
    government emission standards. The OBD-II system also assists the
    service technician in properly servicing your vehicle. When the Check
    Engine/Service Engine Soon light illuminates, the OBD-II system has
    detected a malfunction. Temporary malfunctions may cause your Check
    Engine/Service Engine Soon light to illuminate. Examples are:
    1. The vehicle has run out of fuel. (The engine may misfire or run
    poorly.)
    2. Poor fuel quality or water in the fuel.
    3. The fuel cap may not have been securely tightened.
    These temporary malfunctions can be corrected by filling the fuel tank
    with good quality fuel and/or properly tightening the fuel cap.

    After three
    driving cycles without these or any other temporary malfunctions
    present, the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon light should turn off.(A driving cycle consists of a cold engine startup followed by mixed
    city/highway driving.) No additional vehicle service is required.


    If the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon light remains on, have your
    vehicle serviced at the first available opportunity.

    also from the owners manual refering to smog type test...

    In some localities, it may be a legal requirement to pass an I/M test of
    the on-board diagnostics system. If your indicator is on, refer to the
    description in the Warning lights and chimes section of the
    Instrument Cluster chapter. Your vehicle may not pass the I/M test with
    the indicator on.

    If the vehicle’s powertrain system or its battery has just been serviced,
    the on-board diagnostics system is reset to a “not ready for I/M test”
    condition. To ready the on-board diagnostics system for I/M testing, a
    minimum of 30 minutes of city and highway driving is necessary as
    described below:
    • First, at least 10 minutes of driving on an expressway or highway.
    • Next, at least 20 minutes driving in stop-and-go, city-type traffic with
    at least four idle periods.
    Allow the vehicle to sit for at least eight hours without starting the
    engine. Then, start the engine and complete the above driving cycle. The
    engine must warm up to its normal operating temperature. Once started,
    do not turn off the engine until the above driving cycle is complete.
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    Thanks again with your help. I found a gas cap at napa that would work with the strap from the old cap. This way I wouldn't have to put it(the cap)on top of the car and drive off. This was all done yesterday and today went into the garage and they tested again and this time it stayed off, the service engine light.

    Thanks
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    As I stated before I got a new gas cap and had the gargre reset the computter. then my wife filled the tank and didnt tighten the cap. so the next day driving the light came on
    At the next stop I got out and checked the cap, and tighten it. the light was still on. so the next time I was near the shop I asked them to clear it n see if there was another problem. they check it and said that if the light comes back on I should take it to ford, because they dont have the equipment to check what is going on.
    Could anyone tell me what my nexty step should be? As of now the light is off!
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    Your next step is to make sure that the gas cap is tight. If the light stays off then you are home free.

    If the light comes back on and the gas cap has been tight then you may have a problem. Remember though that if the light comes back on it takes several cycles to go off after the problem has been resolved.
  • jnachjnach Posts: 1
    Can check engine light mean that the transmission is about to fail in my 99 Taurus?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 455
    That seems unlikely. The check engine light is related to smog emissions.

    However since I am not a check-engine light expert I will stand corrected if someone "in-the-know" enlightens us.
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    if you have been following this question about the check engine light. Here is the update;
    today I took it in Ford for their testing only, They did what they do for this dinostic test. It showed a leak at the tub of the gas filler tub. To replace with a ford part and labor would cost about $500.00 + - :mad: Today it cost $80 dollars. :cry:
    Now I look for a after market one or use at the junkies. I even was thinking if I found it would I be able to patch it with something. :confuse:
    I saw a question about this light and a transmission. I belive this light has nothing to do with anything other then emissions.
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    if you have been following this question about the check engine light. Here is the update;
    today I took it in Ford for their testing only, They did what they do for this dinostic test. It showed a leak at the tub of the gas filler tub. To replace with a ford part and labor would cost about $500.00 + - Today it cost $80 dollars.
    Now I look for a after market one or use at the junkies. I even was thinking if I found it would I be able to patch it with something.
    I saw a question about this light and a transmission. I belive this light has nothing to do with anything other then emissions.
  • bbork10002bbork10002 Posts: 6
    To make a long story short, I bought an OBDII scanner recently to clear a "check engine" light that occasionally came on. I had no idea that emissions inspection uses the same OBD plug to pass or fail the car. I did not buy it to cheat inspection.

    My (wife's) Taurus is up for inspection but the airbag light was on. I called my mechanic who said the airbag light being on will not cause my inspection to fail. However, he ran out of stickers.

    So I called Sears Auto and asked about the airbag light being on. Sears told me yes, my car will fail inspection if the airbag light is on.

    So I used my OBDII scanner hoping it would clear the airbag light. It did not. However, when I adjusted the seat, the airbag light came off. Weird but that's good.

    I went in for inspection at another shop (not Sears and not my mechanic). It failed because it showed 5 sensors "not ready" including 2 for "oxygen"-something and 3 for EGR, Evap, and Cat.

    My mechanic told me to drive it around for at least 30 miles mix of highway and local traffic. I ran it for 60 miles already but only the "oxygen" sensors were cleared, the other 3 -- EGR, Evap and Cat are still "not ready".

    Question: I don't mind driving the car around some more. But can I use my OBDII scanner to check if the remaining 3 sensors are ready? This way, as soon as the 3 sensors are ready, I can stop driving around.

    Thanks a lot!
  • Just to answer my own question, in case someone experiences the same problem:

    I fixed it. I followed the instructions for evap, catalyst, and egr (my 3 "not ready" sensors) in this webpage:

    http://www.obdii.com/drivecycleford.html

    The idea is to drive smoothly -- no turns, no hills -- to avoid fuel sloshing around in the tank for a few miles at 55 mph within the first 30 minutes of a cold start.

    Then after (or if you are still within) the 30 minutes, drive at various speeds from 25-45 with some full stops.

    That's it.
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