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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 31063
Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
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The check engine light on my 2003 ford focus came on. I checked all of the fluids they wer

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The check engine light on my 2003 ford focus came on. I checked all of the fluids they were OK but I topped them off anyway. The dash lights do not work I replaced all of the fuses but they still do not come on. What else could be wrong?

the check engine light only comes on when the onboard computer detects a fault in either the engine management system, transmission, or emission control system. Faults can range from vacuum leak, engine misfire, transmission problem, emission control leak, one of dozens of engine or transmission sensors, or even internal engine or transmission failure. There are over 800 fault codes that can cause the check engine light to come on. And not every one has symptoms you can feel or see or hear.

The only way to determine which of the over 800 faults is responsible is to have the onboard computer read with a diagnostic scanner. once this is done and the fault code retreived then pinpoint diagnosis can be done and repair done.

without knowing which of the over 800 faults is responsible, it is simply impossible, as well as irresponsible for anyone to guess at to which one is responsible for the check light coming on

Unless you live in California, you can run your car by any major parts store and they will retreive the fault code and definition for you for FREE. At that point, you can decide if this is something you can repair yourself or have a professional do the repair.

As to the dash lights not working, this is usually either a fault in the circuit board of the instrument cluster or a fault in the body control module or general electronic module. if would need to be scanned for body control module faults
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Eric
Can I drive the car to a parts storethat is less that 10 miles away without doing damage?

As long as there are no driveability symptoms such as slipping transmission or harsh shifting, or severe engine misfire causing lack of power or hesitation, it will be fine to drive to the parts store to get the computer read for stored fault codes
Eric and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello Eric
Just for your information I followed your advice and got a diagnostic at the local parts store. There were 9 codes that came up but fortunately for me I did not have any repairs done. The problem was that my gas cap had not been put on tightly which caused the engine light to come on. Filling the gas tank and securing the fuel cap remedied the problem. Although it cost me an unnecessary $30 I did learn how to trouble shoot on my own.
Thank you for your time.

glad you got it and was something easy. have a good weekend
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Eric
Thanks for your time have a Happy Day cya...