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I tried to check the codes on my 'scort, but was unable to get a very good reading because the car does not start (the main reason for wanting to check the codes). All I get is code 21 (engine coolant temp too low {or also tranny not in neutral}) and nothing else. I KNOW that there is at least something wrong because the check engine light comes on. What I need to know is if there is a way to check the error codes without warming up the engine.

Thanks,
Scott
 

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the CEL always illuminates when the ignition is on, even if the car isnt being started or is running.

the only codes you'll be able to get with the key on engine off test are any that were stored in memory previously, not any codes that occur while the engine is running.

the CEL doesnt come on and stay on because the car wont start, the car wont start for another reason. does it even crank?
 

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Musta missed this one. Yeah, the Check Engine Light (and most others) will illuminate momentarily when you try to start your car (bulb test).

Can you hear your fuel pump priming when you try to turn it over?

Can you hear the starter solenoid click?

Does it crank but just not fire?
 
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