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How to Retrieve Flash Codes on a 1994 Ford

by Richard Ristow

The 1994 Ford cars and trucks were built before the standardization of On Board Diagnostics (OBD) , so an OBD-II scanner will not be able to read your '94's trouble codes. Fords built from 1984 to 1995 use the fourth version of Electronic Engine Control, or EEC-IV for short. EEC-IV is a system unique to Ford, and retrieving the flash codes is simple. You can use jumper wire to make the Ford's check engine light flash the code at you.

Park on level ground. Make sure the 1994 Ford's air conditioning is off. Engage the parking break and shift the vehicle into neutral or park.

Warm up the Ford's engine to its standard operating temperature, then turn off the engine and electrical systems. Leave the key in the ignition.

Open the hood. Look for two connectors in the back of the engine compartment. One has six sides and features six slots. This is the self-test outlet. The other connector has only one slot and is a lot smaller. It is the self-test input.

Connect the self-test outlet and input with jumper wire.

Return to the driver's seat and turn the key in the ignition. Do not start the engine, but get the electrical system running.

Count how many times the check engine light flashes at you. There is a pattern to the flashes you will need to know in order to interpret the code. Short pauses between flashes indicate the beginning of a number within a code. Longer pauses indicate the beginning of a new code number. For example, an EEC-IV code 52 will flash five times, followed by a slight pause, followed by two more flashes. If there is more than one trouble code, there will be a longer pause before check engine light flashes again. Write the codes down as they are flashed to you.

Turn the engine off and remove the Ford's key. Remove the jumper wire from the engine and close the hood. Go online to find the definitions for the Ford's flash codes you wrote down (see Resources). Once you have found and read the definitions, you will know the engine's problem spots.

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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