I took my recently purchased 1997 Ford F150 in for a California smog check.
It failed, although the emission levels were good. The failure was due to
two items on the truck's computer system reading wrong. (The Check Engine
light is on.) Examination by several mechanics has suggested that all
that's in order is a reset of the onboard computer, and that nothing
ACTUALLY is wrong. However, I've been getting quotes from $400 to $750 to
straighten out the problem. Is this typical and is there a cheaper way
around it? I can't finish registering the truck until I get a clear smog
certificate, which I can't get until this computer glitch is resolved. Any
ideas? I'm in the L.A. area.
Seems to me you're asking for help in focussing on the problem. You have
NO idea why the light was set. Nor what problem set them... and it's not
really a 'glitch' but an event at one time or other that set a diagnostic
If there's "nothing really wrong", it cant cost that much to fix.... in
fact, if there's nothing wrong, unhooking the battery for a few minutes
should do it. But, on the OTHER hand, MOST insignificant problems reset
Here's a tip. When you go to a mechanic and he tells you that, ask him
for the codes.
I think you have autozones out there, right? have the codes read out and
bring them back.
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
I ditto what backyard says but want to add a little info. If you reset
the light you must drive the car around quite a bit (on the freeway
cruising, stop and go, ect....)because your Ford will have a code in it
telling the ca smog equip that you just reset the light and it will fail
again. I suggest this-pull the neg battery cable for a few minutes to
reset the light and drive it around for a few days and if the light
doesn't come back on, you will most likely be ok. If the light comes
back on, tell us the code(s)
Some good advice offered already.... but I am having a real concern with
your "examination by several mechanics".... If your vehicle has been
examined correctly, why didn't one of these "mechanics" clear the DTC(s) for
you to see if they returned? What I mean... if they have "examined" the
concern, they must have scanned for codes.... (read "must" as "MUST")...
without this step, we will never know of we are dealing with a viable
concern or a "nuisance" code). At the same time, you state that "someone" is
giving you quotes for repairs..... We have a conumdrum....
As it stands.... there is nowhere near enough info to offer any reasonable
amount of advice...
FWIW, clearing codes will leave a P1000 in memory.... this isn't so much of
a DTC as a status indicator that tells us that one or more emissions systems
montors have not "completed".
Finally -- FINALLY -- resolved this. Did the disconnect battery thing,
cleared the computer, but within seven miles, the check engine light was
back on. Repeated process, same results. Took the truck to five different
mechanics, each of which wanted between $450 and $750 to diagnose and repair
the problem. Finally, I took the truck to my oil-change guy, who read the
codes, replaced the spark plugs and the fuel filter. The check engine light
went off and stayed off, and after driving 30 miles to reset the computer, I
took the truck in for its smog check. It passed, and no code problems
showed up. Mission accomplished. Total cost for the actual repairs: $145.
Sounds like your "oil-change guy" sold you the most expensive set of plugs
on the planet. As that didn't help you anymore than the battery disconnect
trick, perhaps he will read the trouble codes for free now, so that you can
post them here and FINALLY get some clues what to do next? (Rest assured
that if the CEL is on, there are codes to read).
He will. And the cost I mentioned included other things I didn't mention.
I can see why it was misleading the way I wrote it.
I'll post the codes so I can FINALLY get some clues what to do next. ;-)
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