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Wrench Light on a Ford: What It Means and What to Do?

  • Cars Explained
  • Ray Sanders
  • 4 minutes

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You must have seen an amber-colored wrench light on your Ford and wondered what it meant. How does it differ from the check engine light? We’ll help you learn more about it. ¬†

What does a wrench light mean on a Ford car? 

The wrench light on a Ford vehicle indicates a powertrain malfunction. The vehicle’s computer will illuminate the wrench icon and limit vehicle performance if it detects an issue with the engine or transmission. ¬†

The wrench warning light on the dashboard could be triggered by a variety of issues associated with the powertrain components, such as the engine, driveshaft, and transmission.  

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How do the check engine light and wrench light differ on a Ford? 

A wrench light is similar to a check engine light but has some differences. You’ll be able to see a check engine light in every car, and it is a part of the standard OBD System (On-Board Diagnostics). However, the wrench light is something you’ll find only in a Ford automobile. Ford engineers created the wrench light as an in-built warning system. ¬†

Why is there a wrench light illumination on my Ford dashboard?  

via GIPHY

These are some of the reasons which lead the wrench light to illuminate on a Ford:  

Transmission Issues 

It’s common for transmission problems to be the root of the problem that turns on the wrench warning. The Engine Control Module (ECM) or the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) senses what’s been at fault using the engine sensors for this indication. However, this can also be due to minor issues such as loose wiring. ¬†

OBD-II scanners display codes like U0100, P0113, P0601, P0603, P0606, etc., indicating powertrain issues. In addition, other major symptoms of transmission/powertrain issues include the engine refusing to start, fuel leak, reduction in gas mileage, rough starts, transmission slipping, and the presence of strange noises coming out of your car. You could cause serious damage to your vehicle by driving while experiencing these symptoms. In light of this, it is in your best interest to get your car fixed as soon as possible. 

Battery Problems 

A wrench light indication can also be seen if your Ford has a weak or dead battery. Suppose you suspect so. It is better that you take your car to the nearest mechanic to get it replaced. You can also check it yourself by connecting a spare battery and ensuring that all the electricals are working fine. 

Wiring Kit Damage 

A wiring kit in a car, connected to the car computer, is analogous to an animal’s nervous system connected to its brain. Small damage to a wire in a car can mess up its electrical components. In addition, loose connections in terminals can also lead the car computer to indicate error codes and lead it to illuminate the wrench light. ¬†

via GIPHY

Issue with Carburetor  

A carburetor is one of a car’s most vital components, which, upon malfunction, leads your car to jolting and overheating. Your car’s computer easily identifies issues with your carburetor and illuminates the wrench light to let you know it’s time to take your Ford to a mechanic to see if it needs cleaning or a rebuild. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the carburetor.¬†

Oil Change due 

The amber wrench light indicates that your Ford car’s oil needs to be changed, so if it has been a while since you last did so, you should get to it as soon as possible. Ford recommends an oil change every three months, with a maximum cap of six. So, make sure that you do it accordingly to keep your car running smoothly. Usually, the light goes off after you’ve performed an oil change. ¬†

Throttle Issues 

Another reason which makes the wrench light illuminates on a Ford is due to throttle issues. This might not necessarily occur while you’re driving but also when the car is stationary. The reason behind this illumination might be due to the accumulation of carbon in the Electronic Throttle Body (ETB), which affects the alignment and movement of the throttle plate. ¬†

Is it okay to drive with the wrench light on? 

The wrench light on your Ford is trying to tell you that something is wrong with your car. Sometimes the issue might be so serious in a way that it affects the engine life. Therefore, as a responsible car owner, you should take the necessary steps to resolve it as soon as possible rather than ignoring it and continuing to drive it. 

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