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A check engine light can indicate a broad spectrum of problems with your 1997 Mercury Tracer. In some cases you need to pull over immediately to prevent damage while in others you merely need to tighten you gas cap next time you stop in order to reset the service engine soon light. The video above shows how to locate the on board diagnostics (OBD) plug on your 1997 Tracer, how to read the trouble codes and how to reset or clear the check engine light using a scanner on your Tracer.
Intermittent Check Engine Light: If the check engine light on your 1997 Tracer is intermittent, try to take note of the conditions when this happens. For example, does it happen when you accelerating, driving on the highway or does it appear at low speeds? This will help your mechanic evaluate the issue. Steady Check Engine Light: If your check engine light is on every time you operate your Tracer, you need to have it checked as soon as possible, especially if you notice performance problems or unusual noises. Flashing Check Engine Light: If your check engine light is flashing, stop driving your Tracer and have it towed to your nearest mechanic - you probably have a very serious problem with your car and you risk ruining your engine by driving it. If you are unsure about what your diagnostic trouble codes mean; have your Tracer diagnosed by a professional automotive technician.
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