The check engine light – a small yet powerful indicator that sits on your vehicle's dashboard. When it comes to vehicle diagnostics, it's like a silent messenger, relaying important information about your car's health. But what happens when this seemingly innocuous light starts flashing? A flashing check engine light is not to be taken lightly – it's your car's way of urgently getting your attention. That also goes for other lights on the dashboard, but today's blog will focus solely on the check engine light. Let's take a look at everything there is to know and the possible causes of this issue!
Sign of Severe Engine Misfire
A flashing check engine light is often a signal that your engine is misfiring. A misfire occurs when the fuel-air mixture in one or more cylinders fails to ignite properly. This can lead to incomplete combustion, reduced engine power, and even potential damage to the catalytic converter.
Imminent Catalyst Damage
A flashing check engine light indicates a problem that is causing excessive emissions. The unburned fuel entering the exhaust system can overheat and damage the catalytic converter. This vital component is responsible for reducing harmful emissions, and a damaged catalytic converter can result in reduced fuel efficiency and increased exhaust pollutants.
Immediate Action Required
If your check engine light is flashing, it's crucial to take immediate action. Here are a few things we can share with you that will certainly make a difference:
- Reduce Speed: Ease off the accelerator pedal to reduce stress on the engine. If you are very concerned, call towing services so you don't have to drive the car to the shop.
- Avoid Heavy Loads: Towing, heavy loads, and everything similar is out of the question. Try to leave the transmission in neutral if you are driving annually and consider not driving it at all if it's an automatic.
- Minimize Idling: Limit idling to prevent the buildup of unburned fuel in the exhaust.
- Don't Drive Far: If you are planning to drive to the nearest gas station, repair shop, or parking, make sure it's not more than 5-10 miles. If you drive for longer a lot of things will go wrong.
Auto Clinic Care is Here to Help!
If you are looking for a repair shop that can fix everything wrong in your vehicle, including that pesky check engine light, consider calling us at Auto Clinic Care!