A flashing check engine light is typically indicative of a serious problem affecting your vehicle's ignition, fuel or emission systems. If your check engine light is on or flashing, it's time to come into our PFLUGERVILLE Complete Auto Care store for a car diagnostic. Our auto service professionals will investigate the check engine code error and troubleshoot the problem. If you delay a car diagnostic or necessary engine repair, the problems and costs can quickly escalate.
What the Light Means
The check engine light is part of your car’s so-called onboard diagnostics system. Since the 1980s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed, fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In modern cars, a computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift.
When it finds a problem in the electronic-control system that it can’t correct, a computer turns on a yellow warning indicator labeled “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.” Or the light may be nothing more than a picture of an engine, perhaps with the word “check.”
When you bring your car to Kwik Kar, our experienced Tire and Auto Service Professionals will perform on-board diagnostics and determine why your check engine light (service engine soon) is on or flashing. While it's impossible to say exactly why a check engine light is on or flashing without being able to examine the vehicle and perform a car diagnostic, possible causes of a steady or flashing check engine light can include:
- Failing oxygen sensor
- A loose gas cap
- Bad spark plug/ignition coil
- Bad spark plug wires
- A problem with your catalytic converter
- Bad mass air flow sensor
- Engine vacuum leak
- EGR valve problem
- Excessive gas consumption or release of air pollutants
Steady Vs. Flashing Check Engine Light
If the check engine light is on, but steady rather than flashing, this means there is an issue, but it's not yet serious. This, however, does not mean you can afford to ignore the check engine light. An engine diagnostic is still called for to avoid expensive engine repair costs.
It's common for the check engine light to come on momentarily when you first start your vehicle and then go off. This is a normal sign that the car is testing its circuits.