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Understanding Ford OBD1 Codes



Introduction to Ford OBD1 Codes

Ford OBD1 codes are diagnostic trouble codes that are used to identify and diagnose problems in Ford vehicles built between 1984 and 1995. These codes are unique to Ford vehicles during this time period, and they can be read using a special scan tool or by counting the number of flashes on the vehicle’s check engine light.

The purpose of these codes is to help mechanics and technicians quickly identify the source of a problem in a vehicle’s electronic control system. By reading the code, they can determine which sensor or component is malfunctioning, allowing them to make repairs more efficiently.

There are two types of Ford OBD1 codes: continuous memory codes (CMC) and keep alive memory (KAM) codes. CMCs indicate current problems with the vehicle, while KAMs indicate past problems that have been resolved but may still affect performance.

Each code consists of two digits, with each digit representing a specific area within the electronic control system. For example, code 11 indicates a problem with the crankshaft position sensor circuit, while code 22 indicates a problem with the coolant temperature sensor circuit.

To read these codes using a scan tool, mechanics simply connect it to the vehicle’s diagnostic port and follow its instructions. To read them manually by counting flashes on the check engine light requires jumping pins on an electrical connector underhood called Self Test Input (STI).

Ford OBD1 systems were relatively simple compared to modern ones we see today as they only had limited diagnostics capabilities which allowed for very basic troubleshooting . However ,the introduction of these early systems was crucial for paving way towards advanced vehicle electronics that we enjoy today!

What is OBD1 and How Does it Work?

OBD1, or On-Board Diagnostics 1, is a system used in vehicles manufactured from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. The purpose of OBD1 is to monitor and diagnose various systems within a vehicle, such as the engine, transmission, and emissions. This system was developed to comply with EPA regulations that required automakers to reduce emissions output.

The OBD1 system consists of sensors placed throughout the vehicle that collect data on various aspects such as fuel delivery rate, exhaust gas composition, ignition timing, etc. This data is then sent to an electronic control module (ECM) which analyzes it for any abnormalities or malfunctions.

If there are any issues detected by the ECM, it will generate an error code that corresponds to a particular problem area. These codes can be read using a diagnostic tool plugged into the car’s diagnostic port. In most cases, this port can be found under the dashboard near the steering column.

Once you connect your diagnostic tool to this port and retrieve any error codes present in your car’s memory bank related to its malfunctioning systems. The next step would then be diagnosing these errors through their corresponding Ford OBD1 Codes Chart.

Overall, OBD1 has revolutionized automotive diagnostics by providing precise information about faults in specific areas of a vehicle’s functioning. It has allowed mechanics and technicians alike access detailed information regarding what needs fixing in order for cars’ engines could perform optimally while producing fewer harmful pollutants emitted into our environment than ever before!

Why is it Important to Understand Ford OBD1 Codes?

Ford OBD1 codes are diagnostic trouble codes that help mechanics and car owners identify issues with their vehicles. These codes provide information about the specific problem that has triggered a warning light or other indicator on the dashboard. Understanding these codes can save you time and money by allowing you to quickly diagnose and fix problems before they become more serious.

In addition, understanding Ford OBD1 codes can help you maintain your vehicle’s performance over time. By regularly checking for error codes and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Another reason why it’s important to understand Ford OBD1 codes is because they are used in emissions testing. In many states, cars must pass an emissions test in order to be registered or sold. If your vehicle fails this test due to a malfunctioning system, understanding the relevant code can help you make necessary repairs so that your car passes inspection.

Finally, knowing how to read Ford OBD1 codes is useful when purchasing a used vehicle. By scanning for error codes during a pre-purchase inspection, you can identify any potential problems with the car before buying it. This knowledge could potentially save you from costly repairs down the road.

How to Retrieve Ford OBD1 Codes

If you own a Ford vehicle that was manufactured between 1981 and 1995, chances are it has an OBD1 diagnostic system. This system is designed to help mechanics diagnose problems with your vehicle by reading codes that indicate which components are malfunctioning. If you’re experiencing issues with your car’s engine or transmission, retrieving these codes can be incredibly helpful in identifying the problem.

The process of retrieving Ford OBD1 codes is relatively simple and doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Locate the diagnostic connector: The first step in retrieving Ford OBD1 codes is locating the diagnostic connector under your dashboard. This connector will typically be located on the driver’s side of the vehicle, near where your knees would be while driving.
  2. Connect jumper wires: Once you’ve located the diagnostic connector, connect two jumper wires to it using pins H and A. These pins should be labeled on the connector itself.
  3. Turn ignition key: With the jumper wires connected, turn your ignition key to “on” but don’t start the engine just yet.
  4. Count flashes: After turning on your ignition key, count how many times your check engine light flashes before pausing briefly and then flashing again. These flashes correspond to specific trouble codes that indicate which component of your vehicle is malfunctioning.
  5. Note down code numbers: Use a pen and paper to note down each code number as it flashes out from check engine light. Once all of them have been flashed out repeat this process at least twice so that there are no mistakes when decoding them later on..

Once you’ve retrieved all of these codes, you can use them to diagnose the problem with your vehicle. There are various resources available online that can help you decode these codes and identify which component is malfunctioning. Some common issues that might trigger OBD1 codes in your Ford vehicle include problems with the oxygen sensor, mass air flow sensor, or throttle position sensor.

If you’re not comfortable diagnosing these issues on your own, it’s always best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic who has experience working with Ford OBD1 diagnostic systems. They’ll be able to read the codes and provide guidance on how to fix any problems they identify.

Interpretation of Ford OBD1 Codes

When diagnosing problems with your Ford vehicle, understanding the meaning of the codes produced by the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system is crucial. The first step in interpreting these codes is to identify whether your vehicle uses the OBD1 or OBD2 system. If it uses OBD1, you can find a list of trouble codes in your owner’s manual or online.

The format for Ford OBD1 codes consists of two digits followed by a series of four more digits. For example, code 32 would be displayed as “32-xxxx.” The first two digits indicate the type of problem that has been detected:

  • 10- Ignition System
  • 20- Fuel System
  • 30- Idle Speed Control System
  • 40- Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) System
  • 50- Electronic Control Module (ECM)
  • 60- Transmission Control Module (TCM)
  • 70-Cruise Control System/li>

The following four digits provide more specific information about the problem being reported. For example, code “32-0756” indicates an ignition system fault relating to cylinder #6.

To read and clear diagnostic trouble codes on Ford vehicles with an OBD1 system, you will need a scan tool specifically designed for this purpose. These tools are available from many automotive parts stores and online retailers. Once you have obtained a scan tool, simply connect it to your vehicle’s diagnostic port and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for reading and clearing codes.

Remember that while OBD1 codes can provide valuable information about the health of your vehicle, they should be used only as a starting point in the diagnostic process. Always consult with a qualified mechanic or repair technician before attempting to make any repairs based solely on diagnostic trouble codes.

Common Ford OBD1 Codes and Their Meanings

If you own a Ford vehicle manufactured between 1981 and 1995, it is equipped with the first generation On-Board Diagnostic (OBD1) system. This system monitors various components of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, and emissions systems to detect malfunctions or faults that could affect its performance. If an issue is detected, the OBD1 system will generate a diagnostic code that can be read using a scan tool.

Here are some of the most common Ford OBD1 codes:

Code 11: System Pass

This code indicates that all systems are functioning correctly, and there are no current fault codes present in the memory.

Code 12: Battery Disconnected/Dead

This code indicates that the battery has been disconnected or has gone dead recently. It may also indicate a faulty alternator or charging system.

Code 13: Air Flow Sensor Circuit

This code indicates an issue with the air flow sensor circuit. The problem could be caused by a faulty sensor or wiring issues in the circuit.

Code 14: Coolant Temperature Sensor Circuit High/Low Voltage

This code indicates an issue with the coolant temperature sensor circuit voltage being either too high or too low. This could be caused by a faulty sensor or wiring issues in the circuit.

Code 15: Vehicle Speed Sensor Circuit Faulty/No Signal

This code indicates an issue with the vehicle speed sensor circuit not sending any signal to the ECU. The problem could be caused by a faulty speed sensor or wiring issues in the circuit.

Code 22: Throttle Position Sensor Out of Range

This code indicates an issue with the throttle position sensor being out of range. This could be caused by a faulty sensor or wiring issues in the circuit.

Code 32: Exhaust Gas Recirculation Circuit Faulty

This code indicates an issue with the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system circuit. The problem could be caused by a faulty EGR valve, solenoid, or wiring issues in the circuit.

Code 41: Oxygen Sensor Heater Circuit Faulty

This code indicates an issue with the oxygen sensor heater circuit not functioning correctly. The problem could be caused by a faulty oxygen sensor, wiring issues in the circuit, or a blown fuse.

Code 63: Throttle Valve Position Output Circuit Open/Shorted to Ground

This code indicates an issue with the throttle valve position output (TVPO) circuit being either open or shorted to ground. This could be caused by wiring issues in the circuit.

If you encounter any of these codes while driving your Ford vehicle, it is recommended that you have it inspected and repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage and ensure optimal performance.

How to Fix Ford OBD1 Codes

If you are experiencing issues with your Ford vehicle and the check engine light has come on, it is important to diagnose and fix the problem as soon as possible. One way to do this is by using an OBD1 code reader to retrieve diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from your vehicle’s onboard computer system.

Once you have retrieved the DTCs, it is important to understand what they mean in order to properly fix the issue. Below are some common DTCs that can appear on a Ford vehicle:

  • DTC 111 – System Pass
  • DTC 112 – Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor circuit grounded or shorted
  • DTC 113 – Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor circuit open or high resistance
  • DTC 114 – Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor circuit grounded or shorted
  • DTC 115 – Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor circuit open or high resistance

Once you know which DTC(s) are affecting your vehicle, there are several steps you can take in order to fix the issue:

  1. Check for loose connections: Often times, loose connections can cause issues with sensors and other components of your vehicle’s onboard computer system. Check all wiring harnesses and connectors for signs of damage or corrosion.

    Clean or replace faulty sensors: If a particular sensor is causing issues, try cleaning it first before replacing it. If cleaning does not work, replace the faulty sensor.

    Check fuses and relays: Faulty fuses and relays can cause issues with your vehicle’s onboard computer system. Check all fuses and relays to ensure they are in good working condition.

    Perform a tune-up: A poorly tuned engine can cause issues with sensors and other components of your vehicle’s onboard computer system. Perform a tune-up, including replacing spark plugs, wires, and filters as needed.

In order to prevent future issues with your Ford vehicle, it is important to perform regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks. By staying on top of maintenance tasks and addressing any issues as soon as they arise, you can keep your Ford running smoothly for years to come.


In conclusion, understanding Ford OBD1 codes is crucial for any vehicle owner or mechanic working on older Ford vehicles. These codes provide valuable insights into the health of a vehicle’s engine and can help diagnose problems quickly and accurately.

It’s important to remember that OBD1 codes are not as standardized as modern OBD2 codes, so it’s essential to have access to the correct code definitions for your specific make and model of Ford vehicle.

By using a code reader tool or following the manual procedures outlined in this article, you can easily retrieve and interpret these diagnostic trouble codes. This will save you time, money, and frustration when trying to repair your Ford vehicle.

Further Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about Ford OBD1 codes or want additional resources for diagnosing car problems, here are some helpful links:

These resources provide a wealth of information on Ford OBD1 codes, including code definitions, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting tips. With the help of these tools, you’ll be well-equipped to diagnose and repair any issues with your Ford vehicle.

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