The dreaded check engine light appeared on our dashboard when we were climbing a steep hill in Tagaytay. We believe that the error was tripped by poor combustion since it appeared precisely at the moment when the car was struggling, with the RPM dropping below idling levels (below 900 RPM). We did not reset anything, we simply parked and leave the car for about 30 minutes. When we restarted it, the error has disappeared.
The error appeared when our EcoSport was still at 31,000 km. The car now has covered more than 55,555 km, and the error has not reappeared.
Early warning devices (EWDs) are signaling devices used to alert other motorists of a road emergency, and must be used whenever a vehicle is stopped on the road for any reason. EWDs are mandatory accessories for all motorized vehicles, as required by law.
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Warning lights are used to indicate the status of a vehicle. Green and blue lights indicate that a component is activated. Yellow lights indicate that a component needs attention. Red lights indicate urgent and pressing error.
To learn what these warning lights mean and what to do when you encounter one, head directly to: EcoSport Warning Lights.
As I switch on the high beams: random errors show up, the cabin lights dim, and the cabin fan (at max speed) slows down, indicating a weak battery. Upon inspection of the battery, I noticed a light corrosion build up on the positive terminal. Clearly, the battery needs replacement soon. This is to be expected since the stock battery is already 2.5 years old. As a general rule, one should replace the battery every 2 years.
EcoSport accepts both DIN44 and DIN55 batteries (DIN refers to a battery standard, with the numbers indicating the capacity, AH or ampere-hours, of the battery). I opted for an Emtrac DIN55, and it comes with 2.5 years warranty. Considering that the stock battery lasted 2.5 years, the warranty period of 2.5 years offered by Emtrac is enough incentive for me to consider purchasing the brand. According to the dealer, if the battery fails within the warranty period, it will be replaced with a new one.
DIN44 is perfectly capable of handling the demands of an EcoSport. DIN55, however, has 55 AH, thus, has a higher battery capacity than DIN44, which is rated only at 44 AH. The difference of 11 AH is desirable if you have installed a number of accessories, as in the case of my EcoSport. DIN55 costs about 7,000 pesos (140 USD) and DIN44 at about 6,000 pesos (120 USD). Replacement takes about 30 minutes.
A word of caution:
For MT variants: There is no need to keep the computer powered up during battery replacement. Simply disconnect the battery terminals, swap the batteries, clean the terminals, then reconnect the battery. The system’s time and date will reset due to disconnected power, but no error should show up.
For AT variants: There have been a number of reports that errors show up on some (but not all) AT units, when power gets disconnected. You may use an extra battery connected in parallel with the old one, so as to keep the computer powered during replacement. This issue seems to affect only some AT units, since a number of AT owners have successfully replaced their batteries with the power fully disconnected. It is still unclear what causes the errors to show (no formal statement yet from the car manufacturer). Most dealers charge up to 3,000 pesos (60 USD) to fix this error—computer reprogramming, as they call it.
In May 2019, I went on a trip to Iba, Zambales. From Cavite, the trip took around 6 hours, via NLEX and SCTEX, passing through Subic, and eventually, through the Olongapo-Bogallon road. I had a flat tire due to a ‘key’ left on the road, which pierced a tire some 30 km before reaching Iba proper.
On the way home, I stopped by a long bridge traversing a very wide river, where the lahar from Pinatubo discharges directly to the sea. The amount of lahar deposited in that river is massive!
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Have you driven your EcoSport with an almost empty fuel tank? In June 2017 (about 2 years ago) I was able to do so. While the information display shows “0 km range” indicating an “empty” gas tank, I was able to drive around for about 2-3 km after reaching the zero mark. I do not know how much fuel is left at zero mark (I have yet to measure that), but it appears that there is still some “reserve fuel” in the tank. As a safety margin, the gauge is probably calibrated to display zero even though there is still some fuel left.
Changing a flat tire is an essential skill that every driver must know. With practice, changing tires should take only about 20 to 30 minutes, even for first timers. You should not be driving if you do not know how to swap tires!
To change a flat tire:
1. Loosen the nuts using the supplied tool found at the boot.
2. Engage the hand brake.
3. Place the supplied jack in the designated position.
4. Lift the car to free the wheels.
5. Remove the nuts.
6. Swap the damaged wheel with the spare wheel.
7. Replace and tighten the nuts slightly.
8. Lower the car.
9. Tighten the nuts completely.
EcoSport’s rear door (boot door) does not have a manual override. If the door’s actuator fails, the rear door won’t open until repairs are made. In this video, I have demonstrated how I installed an emergency rear door open knob that you can simply pull to open the rear door.
The DIY manual override knob features the following:
1. When the vehicle is locked, the knob will be automatically disabled. If a child pulls this knob, it will not open the rear door for as long as the vehicle is locked.
2. When the engine is running and the knob is pulled, a notification ‘door open’ appears on the dashboard’s console. The rear door will open only when the vehicle is unlocked.
3. It integrates fully with the alarm system, i.e., if someone pulls this knob when the alarm is active, it will trip the alarm. But then again, with the vehicle locked, the alarm sounds off but the door will not open!
Every EcoSport owner must know how to replace the headlight bulbs. Not only that it is unsafe to drive with defective headlights, the law also requires turning the headlights on not later than one-half hour after sunset and until at least one-half hour before sunrise, and whenever weather conditions require—something you cannot comply with if your headlights are defective.
To replace a defective headlight bulb, follow the steps below:
1. Open the hood.
2. Remove the headlight cover.
3. Remove the bulb socket.
4. Remove the bulb (by removing the bulb’s clip).
5. Replace the bulb (H4).
6. Secure the bulb’s clip.
7. Replace the bulb’s socket.
8. Replace the headlight cover.
9. Close the hood.