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Check Engine Light Flashing: How to Fix Things Fast and Easy the Best Way

What does it mean when your check engine light flashing? This is a prevalent question that many new vehicle owners ask. Of course, such condition needs immediate attention, as it is an indicator of some serious problems in your car.

check engine light flashing

What is a Check Engine Light?

Specifically, the check engine light is one of the components of the On-Board Diagnostics System (OBD) of a vehicle. It is the mechanism that monitors and controls the performance of a car. Such of these are the automatic transmission, ignition, a mixture of the fuel, and engine speed.

If the control system finds issues that it cannot address, the light indicator will become yellow. It is a warning that there is something in your vehicle that you have to check. Moreover, the system will save data for such specific errors on its database. These data or diagnostic codes will help you identify the errors in your car.

Misfires in the engine are the common triggers for the yellowing of the control system. However, malfunctions in the sensor could also become the reason for this. Fortunately, external diagnostic computers and scanning tools can read these problems right away.

Car manufacturers are using the OBD to assist their technicians whenever they are troubleshooting problems. It is an integral system of any vehicle that helps car repair shops find the trouble in your ride. Of course, the appearance and functionality of OBD systems vary per car model and year of production.

The traditional OBD systems have already heightened capabilities. They work more benign than checking if your vehicle’s systems are working and hooked correctly. But with the latest arrival of the OBD II systems, automated emission monitoring systems were included. The federal laws indicated that this design is necessary for a responsible tracking of an automobile’s emission.

On the other hand, the check engine light still works the same. It will remain as your helpful indicator for any issues that are troubling your vehicle.

Check Engine Light Flashing – What Does It Mean?

check engine warning light in car dashboard

If you noticed that your check engine light is flashing, you should start heading to any qualified automotive technician as soon as you can.

If the light is steady, the problem is not that urgent. However, you should still have to let it checked before things get bad. If the light is blinking, then the issue is quite severe already. Possibly, it could have been an engine misfire that caused your fuel to be stored on the exhaust of your car.

Of course, this can cause serious problems. Specifically, it can induce extreme heating on the catalytic converter. If you cannot prevent it, the damage will require you a comprehensive repair. And by the way, such repair will cost you thousands of bucks.

If you feel that this is the reason why your check engine light is blinking, you should lower the power of your car. Moreover, have it checked as quickly as possible.

On the flip side, most of the computers installed by car manufacturers on their vehicles compensate for these errors. This is the reason why you don’t notice the reduction of performance of your vehicle. Fortunately, you have this light indicator that would tell you if your car is already suffering from a problem.

What to Do When the Check Engine Light is Flashing?

Once the check engine light comes alive, there is no turning back. Your car has internal problems that you need to get fixed. The problem could arise on the different parts of your vehicle. Do the following procedures as it might help you ease the issues momentarily.

  • First, you need to check if your car is suffering from overheating or low oil pressure. You can identify these detriments by looking at the dashboard gauge. If these are the causes of the glowing of the check engine light, you need to park your car immediately. Just shut down the car until its engine cools down.
  • Next, you might need to tighten the gas cap of your vehicle. Most of the time, this resolves the blinking of the check engine light. However, we need to remind you that it requires several trips before the light will go off. There are vehicles today that comes with a different indicator for gas caps.
  • You might also need to lessen the load that you put on your engine. If you notice that there is nothing serious going on, the problem could be due to an overloaded engine. For example, towing vehicles like a trailer can cause this issue. You need to do this. Otherwise, it might incur you a costly repair. Burnt engines are not cheap after all.

Of course, these are just temporary measures to preserve the integrity of your vehicle. Those procedures will still be retroactive if you don’t let a professional technician troubleshoot the problem. These individuals will interpret the code that the OBD has been giving. In this way, they can find the real root of your car’s malfunction.

Moreover, we have to remind you that the check engine light is different from the service interval light. The latter activates when there is a regular maintenance service that is coming up. Specifically, it triggers through various factors such as mileage and fuel consumption.


You can ensure the wellness of your car if you know that the check engine light is functioning. To do this, you need to maintain the charging and battery systems of your vehicle correctly. They are the ones that fully supports the operation of the OBD and other automotive electronics.

Furthermore, it is better that you can get a battery that meets the required amperage of your vehicle. The compatibility of the battery to your vehicle’s system will guarantee optimal performance.

Once you can get all these right, you can be confident that your car is in proper condition. At the end of the day, routinary maintenance can prevent pesky problems from arising unexpectedly. After all, we don’t want to see our check engine light flashing when we are in the middle of the road.

Steven K. Galloway