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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 23821
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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My service engine soon light is on. took it to shop today,

Customer Question

my service engine soon light is on. took it to shop today, mechanic stated i would have to leave it for another day while he investigates more thoroughly. he said it could be a timing belt problem or a problem with cam lifter or head. engine is running fine and i have taken meticulous care of 2003 ford explorer limited with 119,800 miles. He called me this morning and said my oil was low, lets start with the basics and change oil and get to right level...i said ok...oil was last changed at his shop 4.5k miles ago. I also thought the problem would be narrowed down by the code that came up on his code computer but apparently not. He didn't tell me the code.
JA: Has the starter ever been changed before?
Customer: not that i remember
JA: What is the model/year of your Ford?
Customer: 2003 ford explore limited V8 119K miles perfect condition
JA: Are you fixing your Explorer yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: no its at auto repair shop
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Jared D replied 12 months ago.

I don't mean to sound like a skeptic, but the oil level rarely will cause a check engine light to set. It's possible that the check engine light is on because of a timing actuator issue, which would be oil level triggered, but you would almost always notice a rough idle and an engine noise if that was the problem.

Your best bet is to get the trouble code from the mechanic. Any mechanic that can't at least get an idea of where to look based on the trouble code should probably do some more training.

If the engine isn't running poorly, and the code is cam actuator related then the oil change might make the trouble code go away, but it's not very common for that to be the case on this engine.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I can't get the code until they re open in the morning
Expert:  Jared D replied 12 months ago.

Let me know what code pulls up and we can go from there.