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I am new to driving (about a week) and am worried about my 1996 Ford Contour that I bought last night. It has the Zetec 125hp 2.0L four-cylinder.

The plastic part that reads "N R D 2 1" moves up and down, so since I am an unexperienced driver, I was not aware of how many shifts was drive. Obviously I figured out what reverse/park/neutral was. So I kind of had to guess.

I believe that I may have driven it in second gear on the highway (65mph). And now suddenly my check engine light is on and it kind of smells like oil and gas. Did I damage my car? A google search says that 80% of check engine lights means a loose gap cap or loose oil stick. I tightened the gas cap, and the light is still on. I'll check the oil stick tomorrow in the daylight.

Would driving it in second gear at 65mph and through stoplights (typical fast accel/brake) cause any damage to my engine?

I also think I may have driven home from the dealer with the handbrake on. I'm really doubting this because I'm sure I would have had smoke pouring out of my wheels and/or not moved at all. Would this have hurt my engine in any way? I couldn't care less about the brakes because they're cheap in comparison.

Carwrenching
 

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Strongly suggest you park the car and start taking Uber (if you have a smartphone and can figure out how to use the app)
 

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You must be REALLY board if you can't think of anything better to do besides troll a Macan website....:rolleyes:
 
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I am new to driving (about a week) and am worried about my 1996 Ford Contour that I bought last night. It has the Zetec 125hp 2.0L four-cylinder.

The plastic part that reads "N R D 2 1" moves up and down, so since I am an unexperienced driver, I was not aware of how many shifts was drive. Obviously I figured out what reverse/park/neutral was. So I kind of had to guess.

I believe that I may have driven it in second gear on the highway (65mph). And now suddenly my check engine light is on and it kind of smells like oil and gas. Did I damage my car? A google search says that 80% of check engine lights means a loose gap cap or loose oil stick. I tightened the gas cap, and the light is still on. I'll check the oil stick tomorrow in the daylight.

Would driving it in second gear at 65mph and through stoplights (typical fast accel/brake) cause any damage to my engine?

I also think I may have driven home from the dealer with the handbrake on. I'm really doubting this because I'm sure I would have had smoke pouring out of my wheels and/or not moved at all. Would this have hurt my engine in any way? I couldn't care less about the brakes because they're cheap in comparison.

Carwrenching
Yes, I would replace the engine.
 

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Driving the car in 2nd or 1st instead of drive, will not hurt the engine unless you were maxing out the engine RPM's. Was the engine making a whole lot of noise while driving?
Also, though it would be difficult to drive with the e-brake on, (you should have seen a blinking or solid red light alerting you to the problem) I guess a brand new driver who has never had driver's education/training, or been taught how to drive could make that mistake.
Shame on the dealership personnel for not showing you the controls of the car if you really were a newbie driver. But it can all be cured with money. Sometimes lessons come at a great expense.
 
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