Check Engine Light

I have a 1999 Ford Ranger. The check engine light came and stays on.
The ABS light comes on sometimes and stays on for an hour or two. Yet, the Sears car repair people checked it and found nothing wrong.
All the panel meters read normal.
What are the general items that can cause this condition? What inputs to the computer?
Can a person buy a "OBD 1 & 2 code reader scanner" to exercise some enhanced troubleshooting techniques. What do these testers cost?
Bob
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It teaches you something about Sears auto service, does it not? I have seen them install a battery and change oil with reasonable skill, but that's probably where it ends. Didn't even know that they claim to service brakes or engine electronics.
There are easily 500 reasons for the CEL to turn on; nobody will even offer a guess without at least reading the stored trouble codes. You can have a place like AutoZone do that for free or buy an OBD2 code reader at auto supply stores for $100 or so, but neither will do much more than satisfy your curiosity about what tripped the CEL. To perform diagnostics you will need a scanner; two-three times that expensive, at least. Still, those won't access anything beyond the power train (engine and transmission) management computer, so don't count on diagnosing your ABS with them. One vendor, 'AutoEnginuity' (sp?) claims that their inexpensive scanners can do much more. If anyone has experience with that brand, I'd love to know.

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On Fri, 06 Jul 2007 02:32:48 GMT, "Bob Burkett"

It's Sears. 'Nuff said.

You can get a cheap-o one that will only tell you the codes for less than $100. If you have an Advance Auto or AutoZone around, they will generally read the codes for you at no cost. BTW, for a 1999, you'll only need an OBD II.
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The 'Check Engine' light is illuminated any time the vehicles microprocessor is operating outside of it design parameters and thus polluting.
It has nothing to do with fluid levels or pressures. Take the vehicle to a competent tech, who has the proper test equipment, to have the fault analyzed and corrected, WBMA.
The ABS light has nothing to do with the 'Check engine' light. It too requires the proper test equipment, like found at you local FLM dealer, to analyze the fault.
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

It has nothing to do with the "microprocessor" operating out of design parameters. The micro is probably fine. Its the program in masked rom that the micro is running that is finding fault with some system or sensor on the cars electrical systems at some point in its operation that is outside of its tables of acceptable values.
Of course that is what you meant to say.

You got that right. Sometimes you can get free scans at some autoparts stores that might give you a hint of the problem. Sometimes you have to pay the piper and go to the dealer.
Bob
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