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Thursday, February 02, 2006 

Anger: CEL Update and Bleg

My 2004 Ford Taurus FFV has recurring Check Engine Light (CEL) problems.

To get caught up, see here, here and here.

Despite the word “Flexible” in “Flexible Fuel Vehicle” and the direct wording to the contrary in the owner’s manual, the theory from Ford was always that I needed to choose between E85 and E10 and not mix or switch. With a great deal of “nothing I can do about it” I resigned myself to selecting only one fuel. I feel so strongly about Ethanol that I decided the hassles of searching for an E85 pump outweighed the convenience of using E10.

I have been very good about sticking to the E85 diet; in fact I have not used E10 at all since September 2005. The CEL stayed off and I was finally coming around to thinking that Ford might have been right and that I was duped into buying an “Inflexible Fuel Vehicle”.

Then the CEL came back on. It took me quite a while to get the energy to take it in and enter into another round with the Ford Motor Company. I found the time and energy yesterday to take it in. They kept it overnight to run tests, after I vented my spleen, they got the message that I was not going to take “too bad, so sad” for an answer.

I just got the call from the dealer that they have actually found something. It seems that the catalytic converter is defective and is causing the “lean fuel” codes in the onboard computer. Since I live in the middle of BUM-F*CK-NOWHERE, there isn’t a replacement part available today. They hope to have it tomorrow.

I am not a motor-head, so I have a bleg.

To anyone out there that knows about these sorts of things: Do you have an opinion on the catalytic converter theory? Also, how much does one of these babys cost? I would like to have an idea of just how much cash the Ford Motor Company is willing to shell out in order to push this problem down the road another few months.

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