My Check Engine Light Is Flashing, What Does That Mean?

A flashing check engine light is a cry for help from your automobile.


A regular check engine light is a request for help. However, a flashing one is an urgent cry for help.

Basically, a flashing check engine light means that your engine is running so poorly that the catalytic converter is at risk of damange.

Many things can cause an engine to run this poorly. Usually it is a misfire condition causing raw fuel to be deposited into the catalytic converter. Unburned fuel causes the converter to overheat, which in turn destroys its ability to properly perform its function.

This problem can be as easy to fix as replacing the vehicle’s spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug causes fuel in that cylinder to not ignite, which in turn causes the unburned fuel to reach the catalytic converter.

Another potential problem is an ignition coil may not be firing again, causing the spark plug not to ignite the fuel in the cylinder.

On vehicles with older ignition systems, a faulty distributor cap or distrbutor rotor can cause the misfire.

Vehicles using spark plug wires can have a damaged plug wire, again causing the spark plug not to fire.

In more sever cases, a burnt intake or exhaust valve can lower compression, causing a misfire and again, the unburned fuel to enter the catalytic converter.

Should your vehicle suffer a flashing check engine light, do not ignore it. Have your vehicle serviced by a qualified service professional as soon as possible. Remember, ignoring the light will certainly cost more money.

Praise From Our Customers

At Kontio’s Automotive Service & Sales, we’re proud of the service we offer our customers and truly thankful for the high praise we get in return.