As a car owner, there may be nothing more alarming than seeing the check engine light come on. This warning light can indicate all kinds of problems with your vehicle’s systems, from something as simple as a loose gas cap to something as serious as a malfunctioning engine.
But what should you do if the light first flashes and then remains solid? We’ll take a closer look at this situation and provide some tips for diagnosing and fixing the issue.
Understanding Your Car’s Computer System
Before we dive into troubleshooting steps, it’s important to understand how modern vehicles work. Most cars built today are equipped with an onboard computer system that monitors various sensors throughout the vehicle.
When one of these sensors detects an issue that could affect emissions or performance, it sends a signal to the computer, which in turn triggers the check engine light.
When you see the check engine light flashing but then remaining on, it indicates that there was a problem detected – but one that may not necessarily pose an immediate threat to your safety or cause major damage to your car.
Common Causes Of A Flashing Check Engine Light
There are several issues that could cause your car’s check engine light to flash before remaining solid:
Bad Spark Plugs
One common culprit is spark plugs that need replacing – particularly if they’re fouled or worn down over time. Because spark plugs ignite fuel in your car’s cylinders under high pressure and low voltage levels needed in catalytic converters operation causes misfiring resulting from damaged ignition coils within each plug causing flashing CEL until circuits recover after few moments turning into steady yellow lights indicating codes stored by ECM using OBD scanners.
Ignition coils are another component of many cars’ electrical systems responsible for generating the power required in powering sparkplugs using power from the battery.
When there is an issue with one of these coils, it can cause misfires, which may lead to a flashing CEL if detected early.
One of your car’s sensors that has to work properly for catalytic converters and ECM functionality are oxygen sensor (O2 Sensor). If this sensor detects issues such as too much or too little fuel combustion resulting in abnormal exhaust gases because Of Fuel Trim Error codes being stored in the ECU could trigger a check engine light flashing until corrected.
Other Potential Causes
Other possible causes for a flashing check engine light include issues with the catalytic converter, throttle body or airflow sensor, mass air flow (MAF) sensor; timing belt failure; low oil pressure condition among others.
Troubleshooting Steps To Help Fix The Issue
If you’re experiencing the problem of a flashing check engine light that then remains solid when driving your vehicle – don’t panic! Here are some simple steps to help diagnose and fix the issue:
Check Gas Cap And Fluid Levels
Start with something simple like checking fluid levels. If the fuel cap did not click three times after refueling can cause insufficient mechanical settings and shift points causing emissions problems and triggering CEL to flash but steady after several minutes before turning off.
You should also make sure all other fluids under the hood: coolant reservoir, brake fluid level, power steering hoses, etc., are maintained at their optimal levels using a dipstick on each part where applicable.
Take Your Car For Diagnostic Scanning
The next step would be taking your car for proper diagnostic scanning available through certified mechanics’ scan tools OBD-II scanner. Using such tools will provide quick access helping extract fault codes cleared by a computer system(ECM)
It’s important not to ignore warning lights like these since they continuously occur even when engines appear normal without making unusual noises unless accompanied by other unusual smells, vibrations, poor acceleration
Address Reported Codes Quickly
If the OBD-II scanning tool reveals any error codes, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. Various components of multiple car systems are deeply interconnected e.g Oxygen sensors affected, TCM/ ECU triggering speed limit drive mode at low speeds hence correct replacement or repair is recommended before more issues arise.
Seek Help From a Professional Mechanic
As vehicle complexity has increased over time mechanics’ certifications and expertise also grew to accommodate such technicalities. Thus It is always advisable to seek help from a professional mechanic experienced in fixing similar problems.
When your check engine light comes on flashing but then remains solid, don’t panic! Take the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps starting by identifying potential root causes before driving anywhere.
But remember: if you’re not comfortable diagnosing a problem yourself seek further assistance from professionals who can assist given that incorrect identification may cause costly effects or even immobilize your car.