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Discussion Starter #1
2002 Focus Wagon. Approximately 150,000 miles.

My daughter just called to tell me that a warning light with an exclamation point just lit up on her dash. She said that it is orange. At the same time, her odometer and speedometer stopped working but will work intermittently.

What's going on here?

It's even more aggravating because we just put in a new exhaust and had the A/C repaired.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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Thats What She Said
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Similar to check engine light but usualy more urgent in nature than just an O2 sensor or something like that. I think mine has come on when the oil pressure was low.

Should throw a code that can be read by a scanner tool.
 

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Thats What She Said
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Bad connection?. You said exhaust work, could have pulled or damaged the speed sensor on the transmission. Those are close to the exhaust by the flex pipe / passenger side half shaft.

What do you mean by wonky? not the correct speed? going all dashes -----? resetting and having the gauges do the sweep? do they all go or just the speedo or the tach?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bad connection?. You said exhaust work, could have pulled or damaged the speed sensor on the transmission. Those are close to the exhaust by the flex pipe / passenger side half shaft.

What do you mean by wonky? not the correct speed? going all dashes -----? resetting and having the gauges do the sweep? do they all go or just the speedo or the tach?
I haven't seen the car. My daughter called me and told me that the light came on and the odo display blanked out and the speedo stopped indicating.
 

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Thats What She Said
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would a PATS failure cause this? Usually the odo display only goes wonky when the PATS system is going od, or when there is a connection to the cluster going bad.

Only other time I have has the cluster display go ---- on me is when the transmission speed sensor was unplugged for extended lengths to time. I had a bad wire / sensor and when I spliced in a new one it went away and did not have a problem after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
would a PATS failure cause this? Usually the odo display only goes wonky when the PATS system is going od
Going OD? A new term to me or a typo?

Why does the anti-theft system impact the ODO?

Thanks.

This is why people buy new cars. We just sank a bunch of money into the car under the belief that the car is in good repair otherwise and it was better to just replace the muffler and fix the A/C than to throw that money at another used car with unknown history.

Now she says, "I just want to get rid of this car!!"
 

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Thats What She Said
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You have a 15 year old car...

yes I meant out of od. sorry about that.

I am not 100% familiar with the PATS system however I know it is used for ignition and information. I know it is one of the features that causes the dash to go all dashes -----

The car continued to run right? or did it stop working? has she tried cranking the engine over again after she stopped?

What exhaust work did you have done?

I have a Manual so when my speed sensor went in and out all it would do it drop the speedo and cruise control went out. if it was out for a long length of time then the check engine light would turn on for me.

If its an automatic then the speedo reading is used for a lot more than a manual and that might be why you get the exclamation point quickly with the Odometer and speedo going out. it uses it for shift points and allow for the transmission to work correctly. The sensor is easy to get to and depending on exhaust work that was done could have easily been hit or damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You have a 15 year old car...

yes I meant out of od. sorry about that.
od = overdrive?

What exhaust work did you have done?
Every thing aft of the cat was replaced.

Being 15 shouldn't be a death sentence for a car. I drove my 94 Accord until it was totaled in 2013 (black ice and a Jersey wall). My 92 Camry wagon was fine until my so totaled it in 2013 (2013 was a bad year) trying to text while driving (so I believe but I'll never know the truth).

As it is, I'll have to wait until my daughter gets home today to even think about looking at the car.
 

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For some reason auto correct keeps changing it. The PATS system going OUT.
 

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the dashes mean the cluster is loosing connection to the ecu (comm error) its also caused by a ground by the battery breaking/going intermittent (corrosion) i have a vid of me sabotaging my own wagon to show the dash's
(See below for Vid)

if the Pats failed the car would of just flat out died and you cant get the car started the LED on the dash would either be dead and never blink with key in or out or it would stay solid as solid is a failure of the module

the Yellow Exclamation warning light is a multi function error that covers both the transmission/cooling system..
its a possibility a ground is going bad which caused a misfire and the trans lurched in a way to trip the light or the auto trans lost connection to the cars ECU

if i were to put my thoughts i would look into the power/grounding system and possibly a faulty battery which can trip that as the cars ECU will not pop a battery light if the battery is wonky it usually only prompts that light (battery Light) when the charging system has issues

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, she made it home. Went to Advance Auto and borrowed a code reader. All of the codes were related to the transmission's output shaft sensor so I'm thinking that everyone who said that it was related to the transmission gets a candy bar. Dropped it at the shop and we'll see what happens.
 

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looking into the breakdown, "output shaft sensor" is the speed sensor. it will cause the dash to go all wonky.

its located on the trans casing where the passenger side driveshaft extension is.
I've personally never seen one of those sensors fail so that one got me xD
 

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Trans relies on a solid output from it to set up shift strategies and why the light came on.

The light like said is typically for an upper scale cooling system fail or trans issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update. The shop had it for a day and fixed it. It was the output shaft sensor. $150 and the car works again. If it had happened on my day off, I probably would have tackled it myself, but we both need cars and I just started a new job so blowing off work to work on a car is not in the picture.

Good news is that my rental from Enterprise was free because I had built up enough points. Woo-hoo!
 
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