How to Troubleshoot a 2005 Ford Freestar Check Engine Light

by Allen Moore

The check engine light on the Ford Freestar is a communication tool that allows the Freestar’s power train control module (PCM) to alert you of a malfunction in the minivan’s power train or related systems. When PCM detects a malfunction it generates a related diagnostic trouble code. Once the code is stored, the check engine light turns on. These codes correspond to pinpoint troubleshooting tests, which lead you to the cause of failure. Anyone with basic automotive repair skills or computer operating skills can retrieve the codes.

Step 1

Sit down in the driver’s seat with the scan tool, paper and pen. You can buy a good quality scan tool at your local auto-parts store or through professional tool vendors.

Step 2

Remove the dust cover from the face of the diagnostic port. The port is located below the dashboard, alongside the steering column. You can identify the cover by the letters “DTC” embossed in the cover’s face.

Step 3

Plug the scan tool’s datalink cable into the diagnostic port.

Step 4

Run a self test on the Freestar by following your scan tool’s specific operating instructions. This will vary from brand to brand, but essentially consists of you scrolling through a series of prompts displayed on the scan tool's LCD screen and choosing from available options.

Step 5

Write down the code or codes displayed by the scan tool using the pen and paper. You will need these codes to further diagnose and repair the trouble with your Freestar.

Step 6

Complete the self test, per the scan tool’s specific instructions and then disconnect the datalink cable. Do not clear the codes when prompted to do so unless you have already diagnosed and repaired the malfunction.

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