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Hi, I bought a 2002 focus just today but before I picked it my friend called me to say the engine light had come on, all he did was to fill it up with gas , topped it up with oil and got it washed but before he done this the engine light was not on , any ideas....thanks
 

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First thing I would do is get the codes pulled to see what they are, many auto part stores will pull the codes for free, or you can use an OBD2 scanner or even an ELM327 based OBD2 device which hooks up to a computer or smart phone to read them. Without the codes could be anything from a dirty MAF to a blown head gasket (though that would cause the check engine light to flash) to a bad ignition coil (or connector for it) to a loose vacuum hose to any of seemingly innumerous other things that would cause the light to come on.

My guess is the person you bought it from knew the car had issues and just kept clearing the codes so the light wouldn't be lit, until the codes reset themselves after a few times starting and driving the car.
 

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My guess is the person you bought it from knew the car had issues and just kept clearing the codes so the light wouldn't be lit, until the codes reset themselves after a few times starting and driving the car.
I agree....or if the person you bought it from is the 'friend' and it mysteriously came on just before delivery, well, maybe they're not that good of a friend.

When I bought my first car years ago from a 'friend' he said he would bring it to my house (well how nice, thanks). He dropped it off and left. When I went out to start it the battery was dead. I jumped it a few times but it had to be replaced. He claimed it started 'just fine' and he had never had to jump it. A few weeks later I was visiting his house and his Dad asked me where I had bought a replacement battery. Turned out he had been jumping it for weeks. When I told his Dad he had lied to me he shamed my 'friend' into paying for the replacement. Considering I paid $300 for the car and the battery was about $50 that wasn't too bad (hey, this was in 1982....sure it's a 32 year old story but i'll never forget it).

Moral of the story is.....well.....there isn't one. [offtopic]
 

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Welcome to FF!
 

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Hi, I bought a 2002 focus just today but before I picked it my friend called me to say the engine light had come on, all he did was to fill it up with gas , topped it up with oil and got it washed but before he done this the engine light was not on , any ideas....thanks
sounds exactly like my problem trouble code p1450
could be a faulty gas cap or a squashed hose or two different sensors
 

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One of the nice things about having a scan tool is that with many of them you can see if all the monitors have been run. I'll never buy another used car without plugging in to see if all the monitors have been run without triggering any trouble codes. Otherwise, you are in your very situation.

Now, that is not the end of the world, because the "check engine" light should really be called the "check emissions systems" light, because that is what it was created for origninally. The EPA found that a lot of cars were polluting because of problems with the emissions systems on the car, and owners had little incentive to spend money on the problem. So, they devised this light to freak people out and make them think they had a big problem that they had to go get fixed right away. It works.

Now, I would buy a scan tool. You don't need a fancy one, just something that can read the codes and clear codes. Then you can see what codes are being thrown. A lot of codes are easy problems to fix and don't necessarily cost a lot of money, O2 sensors, loose gas caps, etc.

All these older cars need a lot of maintenance, and the focus is a great car to learn on. Parts are plentiful and modestly priced. If you have to take it to a mechanic for every little thing then it is going to spend a fair amount of time in the shop. But if you have some modest mechanical ability you can learn to do many things yourself.

Focus Fanatics has been extremely helpful to me and I've learned to tackle a lot of jobs that I never did before. The more you do the more confidence you gain to tackle bigger jobs. It is a virtuous cycle and very rewarding.

Get a scan tool, (around $50), pull the codes and tell us what you've got.
 

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save $50 have Autozone scan the codes for free
 

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Yeah, you can get the code scanned for free. I like to have the scan tool right in my glove box. If the check engine light comes on I can find out right away what is going on. Also, like I said, you can use it when you are shopping for a used car. You can also use it to check that all systems are go before taking your car in for an inspection. So, they are very useful. They are also a little complicated to understand all the information, freeze frame data, fuel trims, etc. By owning one you get a chance to practice with it and learn how to get the most out of it.
 

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'Free" scan can be useful, but not very if you don't get the exact number to look up the description.

Limited description often given can lead you down the wrong path, resulting in replacing parts not needed & often not achieving a repair.

Can't always afford tools, but with inexpensive alternatives avail. this one can save more than it's cost in one repair.

One time when I can actually suggest Harbor Freight as more than adequate. Had a repair this year that would have taken a dozen trips for a "free" reading before fixed. Dirt cheap in the end with the scan tool handy.
 

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If you have a smart phone or computer with bluetooth you can try one of these adapters Ebay ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 adapter. You can use it with programs like Torque and others on Android, various programs on Iphone and Win-mobile products, and with Forscan on Windows. There is also a USB version of the ELM327 adapters so you can hook it up to a computer that way and be able to read the codes (and other information if you use Forscan).
 

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I spent $30 on a sale OBD II scanner and it's been a godsend. No computer or phone interface, just the scanner with a plug to go in the diagnostic port under the fusebox.

But don't rely on the little chart/book they give you for each code. Go on the internet and get the complete description, or you'll end up thinking every code only has one cause...and end up replacing stuff without fixing the problem.
 

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Have it scanned, if he just filled it up maybe the gas cap is loose? Let's make sure we check the little things first lol
 
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