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Old 04-24-2010, 07:22 AM   #1
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need help: "service engine soon" light

My 2000 National Sea View on a Ford F53 Chassis runs great, and has 54K miles on it. Recently the "service engine soon" light came on and stayed on. I took it to a repair facility and they said they could not read the lights with the computer -- could be a fuse? anyone having any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:31 AM   #2
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Was the repair facility Ford, & did they try to reset the Engine Control Module? You might try disconnecting the battery cable then after 3 or 4 minutes reconnect it and see if the light goes off. Also check your air filter, make sure it's clean. Without the ECM throwing a trouble code, it's hard to say what may be activating the SES light.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:35 AM   #3
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The ECM controls the light. If it's on while the engine is running, there's a code set. Lot's of places will read the code for free, or loan you a scanner. Knowing the code is the first step to fixing the problem. It's standard OBDII, the shop you went to must not have wanted to work on it. The connector can be hard to find, many threads about folks looking for it. It's in the same place on all V10 F53's, on the right hand side of the steering column under the dash.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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Stop at an Advanced Auto or Auto Zone store. They will check the code for you.
Did you notice if it came on after pulling a steep grade or really punching it down?
Our 1999 V10 Ford check engine light came on twice in 45,000 miles and both times after a steep grade. The code showed both banks ran a little lean. Tech said it was a common code for that vintage Ford V-10 and due to amount of ethenol in gas.

They disconnected the battery cable for a minute and it cleared the code.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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thanks to all of you

Thanks for your input; I went this AM to pick it up, and even though the statement says they cannot communicate with the EMC, the light is off!

It being Saturday, only the clerk was there, so monday I will find out what happened.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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An SES light is an emissions code. Anything from a loose gas cap to an actual running problem causing a misfire will set it off.

So long as the light isn't flashing and the vehicle is running normal it's safe to drive. If the light is off after being parked it's a passive code, the system will run it's checks and if it happens again it'll turn the light on. This isn't permission to ignore it, just saying it's not going to damage other parts in the short term.

A typical scanner won't read above an F-350, at least mine wouldn't. I have two types of SnapOn scanners that wouldn't talk to it and a generic code reader that would pull the code but not clear it. One with medium duty capability should handle it though.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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Any repair place that says it can not read the codes.... (The light) is not an automotive or truck repair place.. Period.

Do understand it may be you need an oil change, nothing more. Or it could be something serious.. But you can get a code reader at any auto store that will read the codes for you some of the more expensive ones even translate into plain text for you to read.

Not that the explanation helps much in all conditions.

(ON GM-OBD-1 all I needed was a paper clip to read the code.. I called the fix-it guy who told me "Emissions systems" and inside of a minute I had the problem identified and repaired.. Yes, I got lucky)
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Any repair place that says it can not read the codes.... (The light) is not an automotive or truck repair place.. Period.

Do understand it may be you need an oil change, nothing more. Or it could be something serious.. But you can get a code reader at any auto store that will read the codes for you some of the more expensive ones even translate into plain text for you to read.
Fords do not set the SES light for oil change or other periodic maintainance. If the light is on, something is wrong. If the light clears on its own after a drive cycle or two, the computer has not seen it since and it may have cleared. But if it stays on, you really need to find the code and deal with it.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:58 AM   #9
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I haven't tried it on my F53 yet, but I picked up a code reader at Costco for twenty bucks that does a fine job on a couple of my other cars, reading and clearing codes without a problem.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #10
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A few years ago I had a problem with my "service engine soon" light coming on. The repair shop also couldn't find an error code. The mechanic told me that since my motorhome had been in storage over the winter that it probably was some water in the gas. I put in some dry gas and the light never appeared again.

Something to think about if your rv has been in storage.
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