What Does a Flashing Check Engine Light Mean?

If something is troubling your car, you definitely want to be aware of it. Yet, the sudden and unanticipated outline of the check engine light can create a pit in your stomach. The check engine light is simply a notice that your car has a problem. But what if it starts blinking? Is that better, or is it worse?


Before we get into the nitty-gritty, you should probably know more about the check engine light and how it works. Every car has a collection of sensors monitoring different parts. These sensors are constantly communicating with your onboard computer. When the computer detects a problem, it will try to correct the problem. It will signal to you for additional help if it can't fix itself, hence your dashboard warning lights. 

The check engine light is unique to all the other lights as it could turn for multiple reasons, which is why it's imperative to take it to an auto repair shop. At the shop, our techs will run a scan for you to discover the reason for the problem. 


Sometimes a solid, non-blinking, check engine light will turn on for something of minor importance, like a loose gas cap. However, more often than not, it's caused by something more serious. Your check engine light can also behave by blinking.  

A flashing check engine light usually means there's a misfire. This could mean that you're collecting too much unburned fuel, and there's an excessive amount of heat present. A flashing check engine light is intended to grab your attention. When it flashes, it means that the problem cannot wait; you need to take immediate action NOW. In some cases, it can be too dangerous for you to continue driving. It's best to call for a tow when your check engine light starts flashing.


You should address engine light issues as soon as possible to avoid costly damages. Please do not wait until it's too late. For all your automotive needs, including check engine light repairs, please contact Autobahn Auto Repair today!