Check Engine Light Flashing- What Does it Mean?
|Can You Drive With Check Engine Light Flashing?|
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher
Normally when the check engine light comes on, it stays lit to indicate that a fault has been detected by your vehicle's On-Board Diagnostic System. When a serious fault has been detected that could cause mechanical damage to your car if you drive it, the check engine light will flash. The flashing check engine light is intended to get your attention and warn you that serious damage can occur if you drive your vehicle.
For example, the check engine light flashing could indicate that raw fuel is being passed through your engine due to serious misfiring in the engine. This raw fuel can ignite and burn outside the cylinder and cause damage to your engine and catalytic converter- which is very expensive to repair. Sensors in your engine detect misfiring and the On-Board Diagnostic computer determines whether to set the check engine light to solid or flashing based on how much damage could be caused by the misfiring.
If your check engine light is flashing, you should turn your engine off and call a tow truck to have your car checked by a mechanic. Driving your vehicle with the check engine light flashing can result in serious mechanical damage.
Can I Drive With Check Engine Light Flashing?It may be tempting to drive your vehicle to the shop to be checked out if it is running. However, if the check engine light if flashing, it is not recommended to drive your vehicle. Pull your vehicle to the side of the road or other nearby safe place to park it and call a tow truck. Driving a vehicle with a flashing check engine light can result in expensive damage to your vehicle.
What is the Difference Between a Flashing Check Engine Light and a Solid Check Engine Light?A solid check engine light indicates a fault has been detected by the On-Board Diagnostic system. For example, this can be a fault with the evaporative emission control system that captures gasoline vapor and burns it in your engine. There are many sensors in your engine, and many faults that can be indicated with the check engine light. You can have a mechanic use a fault scanner to read the fault code. The fault code will provide specific information about the cause of the check engine light in your vehicle. You can also buy a check engine light fault code scanner for about $30.
A flashing check engine light indicates a serious problem that can cause damage if you drive the vehicle. Only certain types of severe faults cause the check engine light to flash. You should not drive a vehicle with a flashing check engine light- driving with a flashing check engine light may result in serious and expensive mechanical damage to your vehicle.
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