All the latest Ford vehicles including Ford pickup trucks such as the F-150 have a warning light that is amber in colour and shaped as a wrench. This warning light is commonly known as the wrench light.
When this light comes on in your dashboard, it means that there is a problem with your truck’s powertrain.
The light is only turned on by your truck’s internal computer when it detects an issue with the transmission or the engine. When the computer turns on the wrench light, it usually also limits the performance of the truck.
In this post, you will discover everything you need to know about the wrench light on an F-150.
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What Exactly Is a Wrench Light?
The wrench light is a warning light that simply says there is an issue with your powertrain (your engine or your transmission).
It has the same meaning as the engine light. The light is automatically turned on by the in-built computer that every modern Ford vehicle has when the computer detects any serious transmission or engine problem.
When the light turns on, you should respond by getting your truck towed using a flatbed to the nearest professional mechanic for servicing and repair. The wrench light is sometimes followed by the check engine light but not always.
What is the difference between this light and the check engine light?
The wrench light and the check engine light are similar and yet different in several ways. They are similar in the sense that they are both warning light and they can both indicate a problem with the engine.
They are different in several ways. While the engine light has been around in many vehicles for quite some time, the wrench light is only about 25 years old.
It was introduced by Ford to indicate issues related to transmission and throttle control. It has over the years been made more efficient.
Right now, just about any significant issue with a Ford truck’s engine or transmission system will be detected by a computer on the vehicle and this will switch on the light.
Compared to the check engine light, the wrench light is generally a more advanced warning light.
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What should you do when the wrench light comes on?
When your F-150’s computer switches on the wrench light, it often then restricts the vehicle’s performance. The restriction is often on the transmission or acceleration. Therefore, you are often left with but one option which is to pull over.
Once you pull over you are supposed to call a flatbed tow truck to tow your truck safely to a professional mechanic. When you get to the mechanic, they will scan your truck’s computer for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs).
DTCs are codes generated by Ford truck computers after they detect a problem with the vehicle. The codes indicate what the issue is or issues are.
Once your mechanic reads the code or codes, they should know what to do next (fix the truck).
If you do not want to pull over and call a flatbed tow truck because you think it is an unnecessary cost, you can try driving your truck to a nearby auto-shop.
If you manage to drive there, it will be nothing short of a miracle especially if it is some distance away. This is because your vehicle’s acceleration and transmission will be restricted.
If you try driving after the light comes on and you do not manage to get very far. You should pull over and switch off your truck.
When you do this and then restart the engine, it can fix the issue temporarily and you may drive for a while before the light comes back on.
In fact, you may drive all the way to the nearest auto-shop before the light comes back on and the performance of your truck is limited.
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The wrench light versus the oil change light
The wrench light looks quite similar to the oil change reminder light. Because of this, some people frequently confuse the two things.
If you are not sure what the difference is between the wrench light and the oil change reminder light, you should watch YouTube videos that clarify the two things.
The wrench light is quite different from the oil change light in terms of what they mean.
The wrench light is a warning light showing you that there is something wrong with your engine or transmission, while the oil change light is simply a reminder light reminding you to do an oil change.
You now do the difference between the two lights. Luckily, as a Ford F-150 owner, you do not really need to worry about confusing the wrench light with an oil change light.
This is because modern Ford trucks do not have the oil change reminder light. They simply display a message alerting you to do an oil change.
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Some Popular Questions!
How long can I drive with the wrench light on?
You most likely will not be able to drive for a long distance. This is because your vehicle’s performance will be restricted.
Moreover, once the light is on, it means your truck or vehicle is no longer safe to drive. So the best thing to do is to get it towed on a flatbed to the nearest professional auto-shop.
How much does it cost to fix a powertrain?
It depends on the type of the transmission and the work involved. On average it can cost as little as $1,500 or as much as $6,000 to fix a problematic transmission. The work could take a day or even weeks to complete because of the specialist parts needed.
What parts are in the powertrain?
The main parts of the powertrain include the engine, the transmission, the driveshaft, the differential, and the axles.
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What does 5 year 60000 mile warranty mean?
It means the warranty is valid for 5 years but will expire before the 5 years if you hit 60,000 miles before the 5 years elapse.
What does the 60000 mile service include?
It includes everything done at the 30,000 miles mark and then changing all the fluids. It also includes replacing the brakes and the timing belt. It is a very important service that you should not miss.
The wrench light indicates that there is an issue with your power train. It comes on when your truck’s computer detects an issue with your powertrain (transmission or engine).
Once it comes on, your truck’s computer will automatically restrict its performance thereafter. Therefore, it is best you find your way to the nearest auto shop once you notice the light.