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Q: Is a high RPM maintained all-throughout a ride normal?

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My Ford Focus has a very high RPM upon start-up and it is maintained at around 2000-3000 all throughout the ride. Then this morning, when I backed-up, the engine malfunction light was up and it was cranky already. What seems to be the problem? Thanks.

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. The first thing you should do now th...

Hello. The first thing you should do now that a warning light has illuminated is to have the vehicle scanned for diagnostic troubleshooting codes. These codes will tell you what system (air, fuel, or spark) the computer is having problems with. An issue with high RPM's could be electrical or mechanical. The computer regulates engine performance with inputs from a variety of systems and sensors. If one of these sensors is giving false information, or a mechanical error has occurred, the computer is likely trying to compensate for the issue with a higher RPM. The number of components that can cause this is extensive, and the best plan of action is to start with a scan to find out what you should concentrate on.

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