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Old 06-17-2020, 07:52 AM   #1
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Check engine light

The check engine light on our 2017 Alante came on just as we pulled into a campground. We are 3000 miles from our dealer and it appears that the closest Jayco service is 250 miles away. Any suggestions? Is it safe to drive to the nearest dealer? Should we try a closer First dealership? TIA
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:21 AM   #2
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Make sure the coolant and oil level is OK. If it is you generally are ok to wait. Your better off going to a Ford dealer rather than Jayco. Ford will have a scanner that will diagnose the problem. If the light stays on permanently, rather than turns on and off, that usually means a more important issue. It appears your rig is no longer under warranty so calling Jayco won't get you reimbursed anyway. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:22 AM   #3
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Assuming the vehicle still runs mostly normally, it is likely an emission-related MIL. In that case, yes it is safe to drive. You may see a slight degradation of performance and/or reduced fuel economy.

But you'll want to get it checked out as soon as possible. And you don't need a Jayco dealer for that, you need a Ford dealer or authorized service.

It could be something as simple as the fuel cap not sealing correctly. I had a dealer tech tell me that it could be caused by filling the tank while the engine is running. It could be a faulty or misbehaving sensor. In my case it was an extended wiring harness installed by the chassis modifier. They didn't secure the wires properly and I got some chaffing that eventually caused part of the harness to fail.

You could also get an OBDII code reader and read the code. If you clear the code and it comes back, you know you have a problem. Those emission codes can be pretty vague sometimes though.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:29 AM   #4
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You could also get an OBDII code reader and read the code. If you clear the code and it comes back, you know you have a problem. Those emission codes can be pretty vague sometimes though.
Ahhhh, just coming here to post that...

The OP can go to the nearest Walmart or auto parts store and by the OBDII scanner and can find out instantly what the issue is.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:41 AM   #5
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Ahhhh, just coming here to post that...

The OP can go to the nearest Walmart or auto parts store and by the OBDII scanner and can find out instantly what the issue is.
Sort of. If you get an emission code, like an EVAP code, sometimes those are VERY general. It can sometimes lead you to the fix, but the evap system has several valves, sensors, a canister, wiring harnesses, etc. TONS of failure points, and they all throw just the one code.

But on the other hand, if you have an EVAP code, you know it's safe to drive. My rig had it's light on beginning 3 hours into an almost 3 thousand mile journey. Ford dealer along our route cleared it, but it came back on shortly after. I had it diagnosed and repaired at my local Ford dealer when we got home (that was the wiring harness I mentioned above).

I will say that if you get the general EVAP code, first check is gas cap.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:57 AM   #6
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The OP can go to the nearest Walmart or auto parts store and by the OBDII scanner and can find out instantly what the issue is.
By, or Buy? Yes, because these dash lights sometimes have a mind of their own it is nice to know what it is and if it needs attention right now. You can find a list of vehicle specific code meanings if you Google it, with the vehicle. And while some are not, right down to the broken part, specific it puts you in the ball park.

They are pretty cheap and you can get one that works with your Iphone or Android.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the input. I will contact the local Ford dealer
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:03 AM   #8
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autozone or similar does it for free....
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:30 AM   #9
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Sort of. If you get an emission code, like an EVAP code, sometimes those are VERY general. It can sometimes lead you to the fix, but the evap system has several valves, sensors, a canister, wiring harnesses, etc. TONS of failure points, and they all throw just the one code.

But on the other hand, if you have an EVAP code, you know it's safe to drive.
That's my general point, at least he can get a basic idea, based on the code, if it's a major issue or minor issue, and if he can drive the rig.

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By, or Buy?
Thanks Mr. "Grammar Police"... Maybe I should have typed, "bye"?
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:00 AM   #10
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That's my general point, at least he can get a basic idea, based on the code, if it's a major issue or minor issue, and if he can drive the rig.



Thanks Mr. "Grammar Police"... Maybe I should have typed, "bye"?
You're welcome-bye!
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Agree with getting the OBD11. Our Nissan toad has what I think are “fantom” codes. Mostly emission. Clear them and not see them ever again.
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:25 PM   #12
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X2. All the big auto parts stores will check the OBDII codes for free. That will let you feel comfortable driving home or not. Do not be surprised if nothing is in history if the light turns off before you get to the parts store.

I carry a small Bluetooth enabled OBDII unit. It ties to my smartphone/tablet with an app. The app we use it TorquePro, but there are many out there. I can review any codes, or even make up my own dashboard to show me things that the OEM dashboard does not.

I bought it as my kid's car has a broken wire at the evaporator and it would cost a fortune to fix, so we just periodically check the codes to ensure nothing new pops up.

It is a great tool.
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