FORD KUGA-Malfunction Light is a common problem, but was Solved.

Malfunction Light

Another busy day at Pellonautocentre here in Halifax, saw us with another car problem to solve, albeit not that difficult. The car in question was a black 2009 2ltr TDC1 Ford Kuga, a

ford kuga malfunction light

The dreaded Ford Kuga Engine malfunction warning light

model that was conceived from a little known, Losis X concept car. It was a Martin Smith the Ford design chief who is attributed to the shape features of an aggressive and sharp styling of this new model. The original concept was for the car to be classed as a crossover, a trend that most of the other leading car companies followed, but nowadays they all seem to blend in with the smaller 4X4 ‘s such as the Freelander’s and the Honda CR-v’s.

The car that we were attending to have a Peugeot 2litre Diesel engine fitted, which nowadays is a popular thing to do amongst the car manufacturers, to share technology and even engines, so it seems. This car is available in two or four wheel drive, but our car was a two wheel drive version. In my opinion the car was not particularly made for four wheel driving, but more suitable for the school run, and people who like to be a little higher up than a normal car.

One thing we have noticed about the Ford Kuga is the lack of power when pulling away and we felt a little nervous at some roundabouts, but this is common on some of these crossover cars. Our customer has had this car back to Ford for all sorts of problems when the car was under warranty, including a faulty gearbox, but now prefers to bring it to us for servicing and repairs, hence the visit today.

Why does the Ford Kuga malfunction light come on?

The Ford Kuga Had being driving about Halifax when the “Engine malfunction light” came on and the car went into “Limp mode”. This can happen when the engine management system thinks that the engine oil has been DE-graded for some  Reasons Malfunction Indicator Comes on. The malfunction light customer then limped into us to have the car looked at. After a bit of investigating our

ford kuga

Black Ford Kuga with engine malfunction problem

chief mechanics Ryan Linton discovered that this was a fairly common fault and that an oil and filter change was what was needed.

We changed the oil and filter and reset the engine with our engine management tool, to reset the light and take it out of safe mode. Looking at some of the Used Ford Kuga on Ford Cars forums this is a common fault, but my advice is if this happens to you, take the car to an independent garage and ask for a price for doing the job. We charged this customer £50 for all the work doing but I cannot help feeling that Ford may charge for the malfunction light re-setting and the oil and filter change.

If you own a Ford Kuga and this happens to you and the car only lets you do 30mph, then limp into your favorite garage and get an oil and filter change before resetting the warning light. If this does not work then the Ford garage may be the next port of call?

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and I am MD for online battery company I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

30 replies
  1. Eric johnstone
    Eric johnstone says:

    Hi I have a ford kuga of which shows this same fault But on my kuga this symble flashes on startup and does this now and again I have changed the oil and filter and done the 2 peddle reset but it still does its flash may be once a week or when it feels like it no fault codes and no limp mode runs fine have you any other ideas what could cause this. Thanks

  2. Mark Taylor
    Mark Taylor says:

    Eric, my ’09 Kuga does the same thing. The warning comes on every 3-6 months but never limp mode so far, touch wood.
    I’ve been told it’s just a very sensitive system and unavoidable?!

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      Hi Phil i am sure that you are aware by now that the Ford Kuga has many electrical issues? we have to take each case as it comes along? it could be caused by a fuse failure. The brake related/engine light problems are usually associated with a fuse that needs changing? strange but true? thanks eric

  3. Tom
    Tom says:

    Hi, interesting topic. I’ve just bought a 2013 Kuga and was out in the Lakes friday/saturday (very wet and rainy and a good bit of standing water) when the “engine malfunction service now” light came on. No drop in power and certainly no limp mode. The light went off of it’s own accord and came back on whilst heading down the M6. Got home, and turned the engine on last night and no warnings. Any thoughts?

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      Hi this is a familiar story? they have a mind of their own.I dont know other than connecting up to an engine management machine and checking for codes that may need resetting.Some garages do a free checkup to £30 or see if it settles down again? thanks eric roberts

  4. john
    john says:

    My 2009 kuga cut out and wouldnt start again till codes were reset .When engine malfunction is reset does it normaly work as im kinda scared to use it now in case it cuts out again in middle of nowhere

  5. Debra
    Debra says:

    I have a Ford Kuga 2009 2ltr diesel AWD. My engine malfunction light came on whilst driving a short journey on Saturday. It now keeps coming on when starting up. Should I be worried about this? It hasn’t gone into limp mode (I had that earlier in the year with the DPF sensor). I am due to go on a long journey at weekend and am now worried. I know the obvious thing is to book it in a garage but I have just paid out over £1000 for a new clutch on it and this month £260 on a new alternator so funds are low. Please can anyone put my mind at rest?

  6. Lee
    Lee says:

    Hi all engine management light came on no limp mode runs fine took it into the garage they are saying due to the short journey trips it registering contaminated oil as anybody else had this its happened five times now all they do is reset the fault code any ideas thanks Lee

  7. Carl
    Carl says:

    Hi great topic.
    I have a 2011 kuga in September last year my engine light came on went into limp mode I took it to an local garage that did a diagnostic tests and shown it needed a DPF regeneration.
    Unfortunately he couldn’t do it as the software that was on the Ford had to be done by a Ford dealer. I tried another garage told them the situation and they had all the latest version of software and it still wouldn’t let him do the regeneration. No charge on both diagnostic
    So of to ford we.went.
    They charged me over £400 to supply and fit a new DPF sensor £50 from a dealer.
    I’ve recently had the engine light on again and it’s gone into limp.mode.
    I phone ford and told them I want it looked at and guys what they want to charge me. Could this be the same problem again ?

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      HI thanks for a good comment i may use it in one of my blogs. Unfortunately, the main dealers are up to their eyes in bonus schemes??? this means that they do anything to extort money from a customer. It was unfortunate of you to pick a couple of garages without this equipment. In general good local indi garages are the best value. I hope you have learned from this and have had your car fixed? eric roberts MD pellon autocentre

  8. Spall
    Spall says:

    Hi, my ford kuga 59plate had the engine management light come on last week. Took to the garage they said it was to do with the dpf and that it needed cleaning, told me they would reset warning light and to take for a 30minute drive above 50mph to try to burn the spot build up. I done this and the car has been fine. (No limp mode when light came on) then last night dropping my brother home engine management light came on and whilst driving the car flashed the engine malfunction warning. ( still no limp mode car driving fine) Called rac told me it’s to do with dpf again. Took to garage who run diagnostics and they had said it needs a service. But the malfunction warning is still appearing when car is started. No orange engine management light though. Is it ok to drive my car until the garage I use can service it. Please help.

  9. Angela
    Angela says:

    My Ford Kuga 08 is flashing engine malfunction red. AWD fault – diagnostics says will eventually fail causing back wheels to seize whilst driving, needs new Helix system at £1300 part plus vat and fitting = £2376. Need to get rid very soon!

  10. Belle Gurney
    Belle Gurney says:

    My 2011 Kuga has just started having an Engine malfunction warning come on and loss of power. I pulled over and switched the engine of for 5 minutes. went for a few days no problem, then today driving along at 50 and it came on again and again loss of power. I have read alot of the feedback on hear but cant afford fords costly prices. Garage I normaly go to dont have the diagnostics for other makes after 2009


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