When driving a Ford F150, it’s important to keep an eye on the gauges to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Typically, when something goes wrong, your truck’s “check gauges” light will appear, and you can run a diagnostic to determine what is causing the issue. Hold the ‘OK’ button to enter engineering mode and run through a gauges test.
In this article, we will walk you through how to check the gauges on your Ford F-150 regardless of if the warning light has turned on. If it did turn on and you’ve discovered your gauges are all in working order, we’ll also show you how to get the “check gauge” light to turn off.
Hold “OK” Button to Enter Engineering Mode
To start, we are going to walk you through the process of how to run a gauge check on your Ford F-150 by utilizing your vehicle’s engineering mode. This will allow you to run numerous tests even when driving (though it is not advisable) and pinpoint issues your truck might be experiencing.
To enter engineering mode on your Ford F-150, you’ll first need to hold down the “OK” button located in the center of your directional pad on your steering wheel.
While you are holding the “OK” button, you’ll need to put your Ford F-150 into accessory mode. To do this, all you need to do is to press the power button while keeping your feet off the brake.
Here’s a video demonstration:
Once accessory mode has been turned on, you should see “Engineering Test Mode” appear on your in the middle of your controls module. If this does not appear on your dashboard, then you might have released the “OK” button too early.
Run A Gauge Test
Now that you are in engineering mode, you can release the “OK” button and should find “Gauge Test” appears on your dashboard instead.
Gauge test is only of the many tests you can run in Engineering mode and will run automatically once you’ve started.
If there are any issues, your test will indicate this for you. Otherwise, it will progress through the other tests and setting options, such as your:
- LED lights
- fuel information
- various meters
If there is another test here you would like to skip to, you can do so using the directional pad on the wheel.
Here’s another helpful video about gauges checks:
Shut Off the “Check Gauges” Light
After you’ve run the gauges test and found an issue, or if you notice the “check gauges” light appear at any point when you are using your Ford F-150, the next step is to figure out how to turn the warning light off.
There are ultimately two ways you can turn off your “check gauges” light:
- Fix whatever issue in your Ford F-150 is causing the warning light to turn on
- Manually shut the warning light off
Unsurprisingly, if this light came on by itself and/or your gauge test indicated an issue, your first step should be to find the source of the problem. In the event that you have checked everything in your Ford F-150 and discover the issue is a malfunction with the light, then you can resort to turning it off manually.
Below, we have listed the most common reasons why a “check gauge” warning light will turn on in most Ford F-150s so you know what components to assess, either yourself or by a professional mechanic. You’ll then find a quick, step-by-step guide on how to turn the light off manually if this becomes necessary.
Most Common Reasons the Check Gauges Light Turns On
Your “check gauges” light is one of many warning lights on your Ford F-150 that will appear when the connected system determines a specific reading or component is not meeting the necessary standards for safety and optimal functionality.
Each warning light is associated with certain readings and components, and in the case of the “check gauges” light, the most common culprits include:
- Coolant temperature gauge
- Fuel gauge
- Oil pressure gauge
- Trip odometer
One of the easiest ways to potentially fix a “check gauge” issue, if you are currently driving your Ford F-150 when it appears, is to pull over and park somewhere safe and then turn your vehicle off and wait for about 10 minutes. This will allow your car to cool off and potentially resolve the issue short-term if your warning light came on because temperatures in your vehicle were reaching hazardous levels.
Unfortunately, the majority of issues that would cause a “check gauge” light to appear aren’t ones you can fix on your own with limited tools. Most of them will require help from a professional because components are damaged, loose, or significantly worn and need to be replaced.
How to Manually Shut Off the Check Gauges Light on a Ford F-150
So, you’ve taken your Ford F-150 to the mechanic because you noticed the “check gauges” warning light came on and, to your surprise, the mechanic claims that everything is fine with your car. In this rare occasion, the issue actually lies with the light.
While it is always an option to ask your mechanic to fix your “check gauge” warning light, you can potentially do this yourself by performing a hard PCM/ECM reset.
To do this, you’d turn the ignition off and on three times to prime your car’s system. If this does not resolve the issue, then you might want to check your grounds underneath the car’s hood to ensure they are clear of excessive rust, as this could cause it to misread your systems.
The last step would be to check any fuses underneath your Ford F-150’s hood to make sure they aren’t damaged and in need of repair.
Seeing the “check gauges” light appear on the dashboard of your Ford F-150 might be inconvenient or annoying, but the last thing you want to do is ignore it. Always keep an eye on your gauges to ensure your car is in ideal condition and as safe as possible.
We highly recommend performing a gauge test periodically on your own using the steps listed here as well so you’re proactive and don’t see this warning light appear in the worst circumstances.