Check Engine Light?

Tiny
FORESTGUY
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 126,404 MILES
Several times my check engine light has come on. It will go off without service, but for some reason I seem to get better fuel mileage out of it while the light is lit. It does not stay on very long. I cannot see or feel a difference while the light is on though when it's off, the engine does seem very slightly sluggish. I'm not sure whether this is something to worry about or not. I know that little things can turn into big things if they are let go. Please help. This is my only transportation and I can't afford to have it down longer than need be.
Thanks.
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 9:58 PM

62 Replies

Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
Read this guide to get the codes

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

This video will help you clear the codes

https://youtu.be/ahK_eucFi-k

Please let us know what happens. Please run down this guide and report back.
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
FORESTGUY
  • MEMBER
The light is on right now. The only thing I see wrong at the moment is that there is a hesitation, whether it's in gear or not, when I hit the footfeed. I get a delay when I hit the gas to take off from a stop or when I hit the gas to pass someone. I don't know anything about the maintenance on this truck other than what little I've done to it since I've had it. Not sure whether it may be bad tune up parts or O2 sensor. A vacuum leak perhaps. Since the computer controls spark advance rather than having a distributor, I can't adjust that which would leave me thinking O2 sensor, except that I don't smell the extra fuel in the exhaust that would be the computer's answer to the problem. The only downside to trying to trace down a vacuum leak if that's the problem is automaker's insistence in so many vacuum lines. I'll try getting the coeds run and see what they say. Would be nice in a way if the truck were a bit newer electronically. The newer computer systems in vehicles will tell you specifically what part is faulty rather than saying that the problem is in a certain circuit. Takes the guess work out of it that way rather than taking it to a shop and replacing several parts before getting the right one rather than going directly to the right one first.
Anyway, hope this helps someone figure things out.
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 10:13 PM
Tiny
LMCNALLY@YANDEX.COM
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
  • 4.2L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Check engine light has been on for a year and a half or more. A couple months ago the truck began starting rough in the morning. (Backfiring, smoking unless I give it gas). I put in new spark plugs and wires and it started nicely and check engine light was off. One day later check engine came back on and three days later and it had rough morning start. Could this be under tightened spark plugs?
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I kind of doubt it, but check when engine is cold. then scan for codes and check fuel pressure with a gauge auto parts rent it.
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LMCNALLY@YANDEX.COM
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your answer. Like you say, I am going to wait until it is cold and check the torque first.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LMCNALLY@YANDEX.COM
  • MEMBER
Would you happen to have any other ideas on what it might be would you? I appreciate your help.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Where did you see the smoke coming from and what color was it?
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LMCNALLY@YANDEX.COM
  • MEMBER
I do not actually see smoke. On the first cold start of the day it pops and sputters and I smell a whiff of smoke. Smells like gas I think. I usually try to give it enough gas where it does not sputter much. After that first start it runs pretty smooth the rest of the day although going up hills it pings a bit. Thanks for answering my question. It stopped this sputtering after installing the plugs and wires but today (a few days after installation) it did the same thing on start up. The check engine light came back on in about a day.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
What trouble code are you getting?
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Since the problem happens on cold start up, I am questioning the coolant temperature sensor. This sensor tells the computer the engine's temperature and then the computer determines the air fuel mixture needed for the engine to run. It could be dumping fuel. Also, a bad fuel pressure regulator could be an issue as well. Since you smell gas, this could be an issue.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LMCNALLY@YANDEX.COM
  • MEMBER
Would new spark plugs be able to affect the issue at all as they seem to have done? I need to get to the auto parts store tomorrow to check the code, but it seems weird that the problem seemed solved and then came back.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Different feller

Did you get the same ole kinda plugs you had?

Sometimes taking the auto guys advice and using the 'super dooper made in heaven' plugs just don't work out. I've seen folks get those types with the "needle" type electrode plugs, attempt to gap them, but wind up gnarling up the dainty electrode.

The auto parts stores can read your codes, usually a free service. Write down the actual code numbers (not meanings) They will be the most helpful thing everyone has been asking for.

The Medic
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM (Merged)
Tiny
QUACKERSMACKER
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 17,500 MILES
My check engine light came on. Mechanic traced it to codes PO171 and PO174, lean bank 1 & 2. Only symptoms of problem is intermittent rough idle. So far we have changed fuel filter, cleaned air intake, checked for vacuum leaks (OK), checked fuel psi (OK). Engine size is 5.4L. Any ideas as to what to look for? Thank you
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Hello
Thanks for the donation

Some info. about these trouble codes are below..


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/261618_Noname_489.jpg



If these inspections all come out clean let me know and I will continue with further troubleshooting.

Thanks for using 2CarPros.com!
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RAFA JR
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 6,000 MILES
HI MY NAME IS RAFAEL WELL I HAVE A F-150 4.2L V6 I HAVE THE TRUBLE CODE BU I DONT KNOW WAT IT IS OR MEANS AND NOONE WILL HELP ME AND I CAND SEM TO FIND IT IN THE MANUAL MY CODE IS P-1538 I WANT TO FIX IT BUT IDK HOW OR WAT IT IS IF YOU COULD GET BACK TO ME I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT THANKS RAFAEL
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Could you please re check that code as it is not in my list.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
I checked a few places and I cannot find that code either, no record for it. As mark says please rescan :P
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RAFA JR
  • MEMBER
Sorry but thats the code its p01538 intake manifold runner conrtol stuck open bank 2 thats wat it is but I still cant fix it and im waistin alot of gas with this problem please help new idle control spark plugs wires new egr all that a still nothin please help
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Ok then, ill tell you what the imrc stuck open bank 2 will be.

And I can see why youd be loosing lots of gas, thats quite the extra air to be coming in!

Well first things first, is on the manfiold on the front end are little plastic clips, check around see if they are broken, since they are plastic they break and can cause that problem, autopart stores carry them as its a common item to be replaced.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
If thats not it you will be removing the intake manifold, cleaning out the valves and checking to see if it works then, if not chances are the motor that controls them has failed.
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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 AT 6:36 PM (Merged)

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