Q: Check engine light and temporary loss of steering/accelerator

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Hello--

My Ford Focus 2013 Hatchback gave me trouble this morning. I hadn't gotten far (still in the neighborhood) when my check engine light came on, and the accelerator temporarily didn't register while I lost steering. I was able to pull off onto the side safely, but it wouldn't let me reverse. I turned the engine off and on a couple times, and was soon able to reverse so I wouldn't be sticking out into the street but the check engine light was still on. Upon opening the hood with the engine still on, a short clicking noise could be heard.

Temperatures fell quite drastically over night, from a high of 50 yesterday afternoon, to 18 degrees this morning. I wasn't sure if the change of temperature freaked my car out or if something more sinister is at play. Any ideas?

Hello. The symptoms you describe can be caused by different things. Both the throttle and steering on your vehicle are electronically controlled, and can have problems if any of the components to these systems have issues. If the throttle body or electronic power steering modules fail or encounter an issue symptoms like the ones you are experiencing can be produced. If the check engine light is on retrieving the trouble codes will likely shed some light on what the issue may be. If the temperature suddenly changed drastically it may be possible that it may have affected the vehicle, however a proper diagnosis would first be required to determine if the two could be related. If you are unsure, I would recommend having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose the check engine light to see if it may be related to your steering and throttle issues.

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