A vehicle has a lot of warning lights or icons to help tell you what may be wrong with the car. One of these lights is the service light or check engine light. With the help of automotive experts, we will help you determine what to do if you get that warning on your Ford Escape.
When you see your vehicle displaying the "service now" light, you must bring your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. If you hear a weird noise or your car's power delivery feels different, there may be something wrong with the engine; thus, the vehicle displays the service light.
Never ignore a service light or check engine light in your vehicle, since this could permanently damage your car's components. For more information on what to do when your Ford Escape displays the "service now" light, keep reading below.
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What To Do When Your Ford Escape Displays Service Light
The first thing you should do is take your vehicle to a mechanic. If you are driving on the road and the service light suddenly comes on, find a safe place to stop and assess the situation.
In most cases, you can still drive your vehicle with a service light on, but this is not advisable since it can permanently damage your car and even cause it to stop working on the road.
It's best to call a mechanic to your location. If you hear, smell, or feel something unusual about your car, have it towed.
A mechanic will have the right tools to diagnose and fix whatever is wrong with your car. Typically, when a service light or check engine light comes on, a mechanic has a device they can plug into your vehicle to determine what is sending the error code.
Components On the Engine Bay That Can Cause Service Light
When your vehicle's sensors detect any abnormal behavior, it will send this to your car's computer; thus, you get a service now icon or a check engine light. Many components in your vehicle's engine bay and the engine can cause this warning to be triggered.
Below you may find some reasons why your vehicle is displaying a service now or check engine light.
The O2 sensor or oxygen sensor is a component that you can find in most fuel-injected vehicles. This sensor is what the car's computer looks to when regulating the right mixture of fuel. The O2 sensor can affect a vehicle's fuel economy and catalytic converter efficiency.
You can also determine if your vehicle is running rich or lean depending on the amount of oxygen the sensor detects.
That's why when the O2 sensor is not working correctly, it could trigger the service light and even send false readings. A common fix for this is replacing the sensor completely.
You should also check your vehicle's battery to see if it still has power. A battery that is dead or worn can cause the car to display the service light. Ensure all connections of the battery are secured and check for any corrosion.
A proper connection is required for your vehicle to operate correctly. A few signs you might see when you have a worn battery are dim lights and a lack of power, which may prevent the car from starting. Have your battery tested to be sure before having it replaced.
The air intake is a component that sucks air in and feeds it to your engine. The air intake could cause your vehicle to display a service light by providing the car with too much air.
You should look around your air intake. Check if there are any holes in it. Even a tiny hole could cause your vehicle to have a service light since this will increase the amount of air it sucks.
Also, check if the seals and clamps are tight. Loose seals and clamps can also cause additional air to get sucked. If you find any, have them resealed or tighten the clamps.
Mass Airflow Sensor
You can find the mass airflow sensor or MAF on the air intake. This component aims to regulate the amount of air that goes through your air intake.
A faulty airflow sensor can cause your intake to feed more or less air into the engine. This will cause your vehicle to be rich or lean.
Your vehicle's engine must get the proper air and fuel mixture to operate at its peak performance.
If your mass air sensor is faulty, you could use an OBD reader to pinpoint the fault. Try having your mass airflow sensor cleaned or completely replaced.
Spark plugs and cables can also trigger the service light, which is uncommon. If you have your spark plugs replaced regularly, it is not the cause of the service light. Spark plug wires tend to last a long time.
If you haven't had the spark plugs replaced, this could be the cause. You can have a mechanic install the new spark plugs for you and even check if that was the fix for your service light.
Electrical issues can also cause your vehicle to display the service light. Problems like short circuits or a broken cable can cause this warning.
Finding the primary source of an electrical problem may be tricky, but you can use an OBD sensor to narrow down the components you should check.
Also, a faulty or broken ECU can cause the service light to pop up. The ECU is like the car's brain; if it is not working correctly, your vehicle's performance will suffer.
If this is the problem, you can have a mechanic deal with it because they will have the right tools to detect and fix any electrical issues.
How Often Should I Get My Vehicle Inspected
Ensuring that your vehicle, especially if it's an older model, is in proper condition is essential for your safety. Having your vehicle checked regularly will ensure that it is still roadworthy or can drive on the road safely.
Have your vehicle inspected once or twice a year. Regular inspection will help preserve your vehicle. Keeping all its parts maintained and all its liquids replaced will ensure you get the best performance.
Also, having your vehicle inspected regularly can help prevent any damage that could get worse. A mechanic will do a full car inspection of your vehicle's components to see if any of your parts are faulty or need replacing.
They have special tools and gadgets that can connect to your vehicle to check if your car's internal systems are working. Below are some tests a mechanic might do on your vehicle.
This test will ensure that your vehicle's suspension is still working effectively. They will monitor your car's dampening for all corners and use the EUSAMA principle to check if your vehicle passed or failed.
For this test, your vehicle's speedometer must be working and accurate to pass the test. Your car will be up on a roller and brought up to speed. The reading of the machine and your speedometer must be close for you to pass.
This test is essential since some states are strict on vehicle emissions. They will use an emissions tester to see how much carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon are coming out of your exhaust.
Like emissions, some states don't allow your vehicle to exceed a set amount of decibels. They will place a tester on your vehicle's exhaust, and your car will be revved up to a certain RPM.
The service mechanics may also test your headlights to see if they are still worthy of road use. If your lights are dim, they will require you to have them replaced.
Having your brakes checked is essential since this could save your life in dangerous situations. That's why a mechanic will check all your brake parts to ensure they will function properly. They will check the brake rotors, pads, and other components.
Have your vehicle regularly checked by a mechanic to prolong the life of your car. It is better to prevent any future problems rather than deal with them in the future.
You should not take the service light warning lightly since ignoring this warning could permanently damage the components of your vehicle. If you see the service light on, find a safe place to pull over and try to assess your vehicle.
If your vehicle is suddenly performing differently, you should have it towed. Your car may break down if you try to drive it any further. Also, a mechanic can diagnose your vehicle using special equipment, making it easier to find the source of the service light.
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