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Q: engine on 2001 Ford Escape

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me and my husband bought our escape used a yr and a half ago with the engine light on. it was our first car off the lot. we asked if that was serious the engine light staying on. the lot said no it was probally a curcuit problem. with that problem it will not pass smog. also our coolant fan doesnt come on so we had to unplug it because if we keep it connected it overheats.
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You definitely got taken to the cleaners by that lot. It is illegal to sell a car that will not pass smog in CA ( I do Smog in CA for a living ) However, you have waited for a very long time to settle this issue and it may be hard. I would contact the BAR ( Bureau of Automotive Repair ) and see what your, if any, recourse is. You definitely have a problem, that needs to have the codes retrieved and then traced.
The Check Engine Light is ALWAYS a substantive issue because it means that you car is polltuing and will never pass Smog and may not run properly or safely. Even a gas cap code ( missing gas cap ) can be a fire hazard on a hot day in a confined area, say during a Modesto VERY HOT summer day.
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