Here's What to Do When Your Check Engine Light Starts Flashing

A check engine light could mean various types of troubles for your vehicle. These issues include oxygen sensor failure, spark plug problems, a vacuum hose leak, andeven something as minor as a loose gas cap. While you should never neglect a check engine light, it isn't always an urgent matter. On the other hand, a flashing check engine light is different. A flashing engine light does require attention ASAP.


What Happens When Flashing Check Engine Lights Turn On?

A blinking check engine light will show up on your dashboard is almost always correlated with engine misfires. A misfire means that the engine is dumping uncombusted fuel into your car's exhaust system. Engine misfire is a serious issue because it can quickly raise the temperature of the catalytic converter. If the temperature gets too high, the catalytic converter will sustain damage and require costly repairs. It can be severe enough to start a fire in your vehicle.


There are three main reasons why engines may misfire. The most common cause is any defects in the ignition system. Another popular culprit is a faulty fuel system. These may involve swapping out pricier parts such as fuel injectors. The third possible explanation for engine misfires is an internal engine problem.


What Should You Do When Check Engine Light Starts Flashing?

While it may be possible to continue driving your vehicle when the flashing check engine light comes on, it's undoubtedly not a good idea. If you continue pushing it, you'll risk doing more damage to your car. As mentioned earlier, you could run the risk of starting a fire. We recommend that you play it safe and pull over on the roadside to have your car towed to a trusted mechanic. 


If you are searching for a cure for your flashing check engine light, please reach out to Westside Car Care. You can give us a call at (509) 955-2133 to make an appointment.