If you are like most drivers, you may have experienced the frightening time when you’re confronted with a blinking or flashing check engine light.
Many people understand that “blinking” means “emergency” and they need to get their vehicle into the shop right away. Others can take awhile to get the light checked out. Whether it’s because they don’t have the time to take their vehicle in or don’t think they have the funds to cover a costly repair. This article is going to tell you why it’s never a good idea to drive your vehicle while the service light is blinking or flashing.
When the Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon light starts flashing (as opposed to staying illuminated), in most cases it means that a catalytic converter-damaging condition is happening. Most of the time you will be able to feel a difference in the way your vehicle is operating. When the light flashes, you should pull over as soon as you safely can and turn off the vehicle as soon as possible. Then call your mechanic, they may tell you to drive it straight there or in some cases to get the vehicle towed to their shop for diagnosis and repair.
At our shop, we do a free code read to do an initial diagnosis and give you an idea of what’s wrong. If we can’t figure out what it is with a code read we then need to do a full diagnosis. So if you’re having any checking or flashing check engine light or service engine soon light give us a call.
When we pull a code from a check engine light it only tells us the code, not exactly what the problem part is. To give you an example of what that means one of the codes is PO172 (Bank1). This code means your engine is running rich, which means it’s getting to much fuel. You see your engine needs to receive the perfect air and fuel mixture ratio. Whenever that is imbalance it will set off your check engine light.
Then we need to go in and figure out why is it running rich or lean and diagnose that. There may be 10 or 15 different issues for a vehicle that is running rich or lean and we need to narrow that down. This is only one of the many codes a check engine light can give us. There are nearly 1000 codes that the check engine light can give us for different problems your vehicle is having.
You see continuing to drive this vehicle with a flashing check engine light will do more damage and will cost more to repair. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, age and how you drive will drastically change the cost of the repair. The first step is diagnosis, then we can prescribe the repair. Keep in mind if you don’t pay attention to the issue and let the catalytic converter continue to be damaged. The catalytic converter alone can cost from $600 up to a couple thousand depending on what type of vehicle you drive. That is just the cost of the part and does not include the labor cost.
A flashing check engine light is there for a reason: to alert you when there is an immediate problem with your vehicle so that you can bring it in for service. There are many reasons why the check engine light may blink or flash. These reasons can range from a simple and inexpensive fix to complicated and costly repairs. A few of the most common culprits behind a blinking or flashing check engine light are as follows:
Fuel injector has failed
Ignition coil has failed
Spark Plug Wire
Bad engine valves
Engine computer has failed
Now if your check engine light is on steadily and not flashing, it’s not as immediate. It means you need to schedule an appointment to check it out as soon as possible. You will still need to get the code checked and possibly a full diagnosis. If you’re experiencing a steady check engine light, give us a call today. We offer a free code read which may let you know it’s as simple as a loose gas cap, or it may mean you need further diagnosis.
Whatever the cause of your blinking check engine light, rest assured that our experienced technicians are trained to handle it in a professional and timely manner. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to first give you a free code read, then decide on the next best course of action.