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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my 96 Thunderbird for about 4 weeks now and eveything has been perfect! But then, just recently I have been getting a "Check Gauges" light when I start my car. The light will stay on for about 15 minutes then it will go off. It may not come on again until the next day! Does anyone have any idea what this is or what it means?? All of my gauges are fine!!! HELP!!!

Thanks
 

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Fry Rice Specialist
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4,794 Posts
check your coolant level and also if the windshield washer was running low or low on gas or low on something.
 

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The check gauges light only comes on when one of your 4 gauges is out of it's NORM range, when it comes on check your gauges to see if one is out of the range. If not there's a short/problem somewhere.
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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2,917 Posts
Welcomes to the forums.

See if this helps any. It's the Pinpoint Test from the 1995 Service Manual:

PINPOINT TEST E: CHECK GAUGE INDICATOR ALWAYS/NEVER ON

E1 CHECK ADDITIONAL INPUTS
Check operation of fuel gauge, engine coolant gauge or indicator and oil pressure gauge or indicator.

Do all listed devices operate correctly?
Yes
GO to E2.

No
REFER to Symptom Chart for appropriate pinpoint test(s).


E2 CHECK "CHECK GAUGE" OPERATION, OIL PRESSURE CIRCUIT CLOSED
Disconnect oil pressure switch.
Connect oil pressure switch circuit to ground with a jumper.
Turn ignition switch on.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
GO to E8 .

No
GO to E3 .


E3 CHECK "CHECK GAUGE" OPERATION, OIL PRESSURE CIRCUIT OPEN
Remove jumper installed in previous step.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
TURN ignition OFF. RECONNECT oil switch. GO to E4 .

No
GO to E9 .


E4 CHECK FUEL LEVEL SENSOR CIRCUIT, NORMAL FUEL LEVEL SIMULATED
Disconnect fuel pump module harness connector.
Install Rotunda Instrument Gauge System Tester, Part Number 021-00055, or equivalent between Circuit 29 (Y/W) and a known good ground.
Set tester resistance to 56 ohms.
Turn ignition switch ON.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
GO to E8.

No
GO to E5.


E5 CHECK FUEL LEVEL CIRCUIT, LOW FUEL LEVEL SIMULATED
Reduce tester resistance to 18 ohms.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
TURN ignition OFF. RECONNECT fuel pump module. GO to E6.

No
GO to E9.


E6 CHECK ENGINE TEMPERATURE SENSOR CIRCUIT, NORMAL TEMPERATURE SIMULATED
Disconnect water temperature indicator sender unit harness connector.
Install Rotunda Instrument Gauge System Tester, Part Number 021-00055 or equivalent, between water temperature indicator sender unit circuit and ground.
Set tester resistance to 15 ohms.
Turn ignition ON.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
GO to E8 .

No
GO TO E7 .


E7 CHECK ENGINE TEMPERATURE SENSOR CIRCUIT, HIGH TEMPERATURE SIMULATED
Reduce tester resistance to 10 ohms.

Does "CHECK GAUGE" indicator light?
Yes
"CHECK GAUGE" indicator operating correctly. ADVISE customer.

No
GO to E9.


E8 CHECK FLEX CIRCUIT SIGNAL TRACES CONTINUITY
Remove instrument cluster.
Disconnect harness connectors.
Remove check gauge warning light module from back of cluster.
Measure resistance between instrument cluster harness connector pins and check gauge warning light module connector pins for all circuits.

Is resistance 0.5 ohm or less?
Yes
GO to E9.

No
REPLACE flex circuit. RESTORE vehicle. RETEST system.


E9 CHECK FLEX CIRCUIT TRACES FOR SHORT CIRCUITS
Measure resistance between all check gauge warning light module connector pins on back of cluster.

Is resistance 100 ohms or more?
Yes
REPLACE check gauge warning light module. RESTORE vehicle. RETEST system.

No
REPLACE flex circuit. RESTORE vehicle. RETEST system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Come to think of it......my coolant level light has come on a couple of times, but the level is fine. Maybe if I change that sensor, it will fix all of the problems! I know if that coolant level light comes on...and if I shake the car like a polaroid picture it will go off. So maybe that sensor has a short in it. Thanks everybody for your help....this is a great website!!!

Thanks Again!!
Brad
 
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