On my 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, I frequently get the yellow "wrench" icon which appears on the LCD screen to the left of the speedometer. On approximately 25%-50% of the trips I take with the car, the wrench icon will be on by the end. (But then is gone next time I start the car.) The wrench usually turns on when I am on the freeway, and am accelerating or going uphill (or especially both). This has been happening for a couple months, and there is otherwise nothing wrong with the car; I am not experiencing any sort of trouble with it.

I took the car (which is still under warranty, and also under a service contract covering scheduled maintenance) to my Ford dealer, and he said it would cost $105, and I would have to leave the car overnight, merely to tell me what the wrench icon meant. This seemed like highway robbery just to read a code from a car which is still under warranty, so I declined.

I next took the car to an independent mechanic, who was willing to plug his OBD2 scanner into it for free, but he said it didn't find any stored code. (Since the wrench icon was not actually present at the time when I took the car to him, or to the Ford dealer.)

I decided I should just buy my own OBD2 scanner so I could just check the code myself the next time the wrench icon appears. So, I went to Pep Boys with the intention of buying an inexpensive OBD2 scanner. However, I talked to an employee at Pep Boys, and he claimed that an OBD2 scanner would NOT be able to read any codes related to the wrench icon. He claimed that OBD2 was ONLY for the actual "check engine" light (the engine-shaped idiot light that all cars from the past couple decades have), but that the wrench icon was something entirely different and wouldn't show up on the scanner. He claimed that only a much higher-end Ford-specific scanner (something in the $2000 price range, and not normally sold to consumers) could diagnose the wrench icon. He said the inexpensive OBD2 scanners sold at Pep Boys would be useless for my problem.

So, my primary question is: was the Pep Boys employee right? Is the wrench icon entirely different from the "check engine" light? Or should I ignore him and get an OBD2 scanner anyway?

5 Answers 5


I'm not a mechanic but I think what you have been told is true. That is, the wrench light is a separate system that will not appear with OBD2 code readers. If you think this stinks, I agree. For the record, I own a OBD2 reader. It has come in handy for my 3 cars. Recently, the wrench came on (for the first time ever) with my Ford Freestyle. The car engine behaved strangely and there was clearly a problem. With all due respect to the answer above, I don't think it has to do with oil (or, at least, it's not normally or only that). The wrench light happened a second time to me. I got out my OBD2 and it did NOT read any error codes. Thus, I agree with the guy who said it's a proprietary Ford thing. My Ford dealership also wants $100 to just read the code and diagnose it. Ridiculous. But I'll probably pay to find out what is happening. My $0.02.


The spanner symbol is operate by your engines ECU to indicate that your engine oil is at the end of its useful life and should be changed. When changing the engine oil you need to reset the counter by pressing the info button on the steering wheel until 'oil reset' comes up on the dash... then press and hold the reset button, which sets the oil life to has '100%'. You do not need a scanner for this operation.


The wrench light ties to a sensor for your hybrid powertrain that will not show up on a code reader. Ford has a software update for that sensor, according to a 2011 technical bulletin. I just took mine in for the software update, and they included it with the cost of the diagnostic. If you're still waiting, I think the cost of labor has gone up since you posted.

  • Do you happen to have a link for the technical bulletin?
    – Dalton D
    Sep 23, 2016 at 19:35

I have the same problem.. And was told it was something with the powertrain sensor. As long as it wasn't driving funny when the wrench came on. Which mine has not.. We notice our wrench light comes on. when it is hot out or we drive long distance. but as was stated above goes away once we start car back up..


I just has this issue come up and it finally changed to a check engine light. Mine was the throttle body and it needed to be replaced. I guess the 2009-2012 ford fusion has been having issues with the throttle body and have an extended warranty. I brought mine into the dealer and parts/ labor is covered under it.

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