How to Read the Check Engine Code on a 2005 Ford Escape XLT

by Richard Ristow

When your 2005 Ford Escape XLT's "Check Engine" light comes on, it means you car's computer has detected a problem. You have two choices: you can either take the car to a mechanic and pay a diagnostic fee or you can take the money you would have spent and buy an Onboard Diagnostics-II (OBD-II) scanner. This computer device will end paying for itself, as it will save you from having to pay a diagnostic fee on any car.

Located the Ford Escape's diagnostic outlet. It is under the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Plug the scanner into the diagnostic outlet and turn it on.

Turn the car on.

Wait for the scanner to recognize the car. The error code should pop up fairly quickly. If it doesn't, look at the diagnostic port and ensure that the device is plugged all the way in.

Write the code down on a slip of paper and turn your car off. Turn the scanner off and disconnect it.


  • To interpret the code, use a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. You should find a definition of the code fairly quickly.
  • There is no one standard for OBD-II scanners. Brands differ. For the exact button layout and specific procedures, consult your scanner's user manual.

Items you will need

About the Author

Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.

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