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My service engine soon light just came on today.

Customer Question
My service engine soon...

My service engine soon light just came on today.

Mechanic's Assistant: Do you have the trouble code? Do you have a code reader or scan tool?

Unfortunately no

Mechanic's Assistant: I'll pass this info along to the Ford Mechanic so that he can get you a quick fix. What is the model/year of your Ford?

2003 ford escort zx2.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Escort ZX2 yourself? What have you tried so far?

I haven't tried anything yet because it just came on this morning as I was driving home from work.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I am not having any driving issues as of yet, just the SES light staying on.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/11/2017
Ford Mechanic: Ron Z., - Ford Tech - replied 7 months ago
Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Ford Tech -
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 19,962
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair
Verified

Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. Thanks for coming! I'm Ron and I'll be working with you on your question today.

Are you experiencing and engine or transmission symptoms like skipping or hard shifts?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No
Ford Mechanic: Ron Z., - Ford Tech - replied 7 months ago

Great! Thank-you! Please give me one moment to type out some info for you. Sit tight one minute... I'll be right back!

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Ford Mechanic: Ron Z., - Ford Tech - replied 7 months ago

When the SES light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are literally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running can set the light. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. Check the top of the fuel filler neck for any signs of damage or debris. Check under the vehicle, around the rear areas of the vehicle, looking for any vacuum lines that have dry-rot cracks, holes or loose/missing connections. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor, in which system, has the fault. Every single Mechanic's first course of action will be to obtain the p-codes. It's standard diagnostic procedure. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the correct repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Advanced, etc).

In the meantime... As long as there are no obvious engine performance issues (like skipping or chugging) or shifting issues, then it is perfectly safe to drive the vehicle. You should however, have the codes retrieved at least to verify. If the problem does lie in the EVAP system, it is strictly for emissions control/recovery and will in no way effect engine performance in any way. If the problem lies outside the EVAP system, it may be a good idea to have it serviced as soon as possible, as prolonged driving with a problem with the engine or transmission can make matters worse.

Please be kind enough to leave a rating for our Q&A using the 'stars' at the top of the page when I have answered all your questions. A 5-star rating is very much appreciated! Rating my answer does not cost you extra.

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Ford Mechanic: Ron Z., - Ford Tech - replied 7 months ago

Were there any other questions I could help you with today?

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Ford Mechanic: Ron Z., - Ford Tech - replied 7 months ago

HI! I noticed this Q&A was still open and you did not leave a rating, so I wanted to check in and see if there was anything else I could do for you on this? Any other questions you had? If you have no further questions, Please be kind enough to leave a rating for our Q&A using the 'stars' at the top of the page.

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