Wrench Light on Ford: 6 Causes and How to Reset It

Tim Miller
Wrench Light on Ford


There is an issue with the powertrain and four-wheel-drive system.

Wrench Light on Ford


  • Transmission Issues
  • Carburetor Issues
  • Battery Problems
  • Throttle Issues
  • Wiring Issues
  • Oil Change



Easy to fix


What Does Wrench Light Mean on Ford?

Wrench light on Ford

The wrench light, also known as the powertrain fault light, illuminates on a Ford when there is an issue with the powertrain and four-wheel-drive system

The powertrain contains essential components of your vehicle, including the engine, transmission, and driveshaft. And one of the faults in these parts can cause the wrench symbol to light up.

So if the light comes on, it is recommended to have your truck inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue. 

However, if you would like to handle the problem yourself, part IV of this article will give you some tips that help you to turn off the light on your own.

Now, scroll down to discover whether you can continue driving with the wrench light.

Can I Drive with the Wrench Light On?

No. It is not recommended to drive your Ford vehicle with the wrench light on. Continuing to drive your vehicle with the light on can cause further damage to your vehicle, leading to more expensive repairs in the future.

If the light is on but not flashing and the vehicle is driving normally, it may be safe to drive to a service center for inspection and repair, but it is important to address the issue as soon as possible.

But if the light is flashing or the vehicle is experiencing a significant decrease in power or performance, it is not safe to continue driving. You should pull over to a safe place, turn off the engine, and seek help from a certified technician or a trusted auto repair shop immediately. 

Why Is the Wrench Light On?

The wrench light may illuminate for a variety of reasons, which can include:

Transmission Issues 

As I mentioned above, transmission is one of the parts of your powertrain. So transmission issues are frequently the cause that activates the wrench light on your truck. 

The Engine Control Module (ECM) or the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects the issue by interpreting information from the engine sensors. 

Nevertheless, this could also be caused by minor problems like loose wiring.

Solution: Take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic to identify the problem with the transmission and resolve it.

Carburetor Issues

The damaged carburetor might cause your vehicle to jolt and overheat. These problems can trigger sensors in the PCM, which can subsequently pop up the wrench light.

Solution: If the damage is minor, a simple cleaning or rebuilding may suffice. However, in more severe cases, you might need to replace it.

Battery Problems 

An illuminated wrench light may be caused by a low battery level or a drained battery because the ECM or PCM is not getting enough power to function properly.

Solution: Check the battery by connecting a backup battery and verifying that all the electricals are functioning correctly.

Throttle Issues  

If the throttle position sensor is malfunctioning, it can send incorrect data to the PCM and cause the engine to run improperly. Then, the wrench symbol will show up on your dashboard.

Furthermore, if the throttle body is dirty or has a buildup of carbon, it might obstruct airflow into the engine and result in similar problems.

Solution: After cleaning the debris from the throttle, if the wrench light still stays on, it’s recommended that you take your vehicle to a repair shop.

Wiring Issues 

The vehicle’s computer is connected to the wire. Small wire damage in a truck can mess up its electrical components. Wiring problems can take many different forms, from loose connections to damaged or broken wires.

Because of this, the vehicle computer will display error codes and then illuminate the wrench light.  

Solution: To find and resolve the issue, get your truck inspected and fixed by a certified mechanic.

Oil Change

If the wrench light is on, it could mean that it’s time for you to change your oil.

Solution: Once you’ve changed the oil, the light will turn off.

How to Reset the Wrench Light on Ford

The specific method for resetting the wrench light on a Ford vehicle can vary depending on the model and year of the vehicle. In general, however, there are several methods that may work, including:

How to Reset the Wrench Light on Ford

Method 1: Restart the Vehicle

Shut off for a few minutes and then restart the truck. This may temporarily turn off the wrench light.

Method 2: Disconnect the Battery

To reset the light, you can disconnect the battery for about 30 seconds and then reconnect it.

Method 3: Use an OBD2 Scanner 

After trying the above two methods and the light turns back on, it means there is a problem with the powertrain.

So, you should use a diagnostic tool to read the codes stored in your vehicle’s computer system and determine the cause of the problem.

Step 1: Read the trouble codes

Follow these steps to learn how to use an OBD2 scanner:

  • Connect the scanner to the OBD2 port.
  • Turn on the ignition.
  • Press the “Read” button on the scanner.
  • Figure the problem by using the description provided by the scanner.

It’s important to ensure that the OBD2 scanner you use is compatible with your truck. If you’re unsure which scan tool is the best fit for your needs, you can check out my review on the Best OBD2 Scanners.

Step 2: Fix the problem

Depending on the code, you should replace or repair malfunctioning parts. If you are unsure how to do it, let a professional handle it.

Step 3: Clear the trouble codes

Once the issue has been fixed, you can use that tool to reset the light by pressing the “Erase” button on the scanner.

Now, turn the ignition off and then restart the truck and take it for a test drive (50-100 miles) to make sure your wrench light goes out. 

I once used Autel MK808 to diagnose the problem with the wrench light in the 2010 Ford Escape. The scanner displayed the trouble code P040D, meaning EGR Temperature Sensor A Circuit High.

And I checked the exhaust gas temperature sensor with a multimeter and found out it had failed. Then, I removed and replaced it with a new one. After clearing the code, the light no longer illuminates.

What’s Next?

Don’t take the wrench light on your Ford lightly! It’s a warning sign that your vehicle’s Powertrain Control System has detected a problem.

Ignoring this light can result in expensive repairs and unsafe driving conditions. So, be proactive and keep your Ford running smoothly!

You can use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the trouble codes associated with the light, which can help you identify the root cause of the problem.

Don’t miss my in-depth review on the Best OBD2 Scanners to choose the best one for your vehicle.

Moreover, pay attention to any dashboard symbols on your Ford, as they might hold hidden messages about your car’s performance and condition. Understanding these symbols can help you address potential issues early and ensure a safe journey.

Learn more

Wrench Light: A well-written article to provide you with the meaning of the wrench light on other vehicles and learn how to reset it.

Hill Start Assist Not Available: Thorough article covers almost everything you need to know about Hill Start Assist warning light.

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Information sourced from the owner's manual.