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My Ford Fiesta is displaying an 'engine malfunction' message - should I be worried?

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Car Clinic: Ford Fiesta

Q. I recently bought a one-year-old Ford Fiesta with 3,000 miles on the clock. The message “Engine malfunction, seek assistance” is regularly displayed on the dashboard. If I switch the engine off then on again, the message goes away. Should I worry?
PD, Huddersfield

A. The computer is detecting that something is not working quite as it should. It may be a minor problem with a sensor, an occasional poor connection, or a software glitch, or it could be an indication that something more serious is developing.

Whatever it is, you need to take the car to a Ford dealer and let it investigate the problem. As your car is still under warranty, the cost of most repairs will be covered.


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If you ignore the warning and something serious fails as a result, Ford could argue that your inaction allowed the initial problem to develop into something worse and could ask for a contribution to the cost of the repair.

These messages are sometimes activated when something is worn rather than broken, enabling you to get a problem solved before the car suddenly lets you down.

Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Tim Shalcross, advance driving advice

TIM’LL FIX IT
Tim Shallcross used to train AA patrols to fix cars. Now he advises the Institute of Advanced Motoring – read more from Tim here.

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