A flashing CEL indicates a severe problem, one that requires immediate car repair. In other words, if your check engine light is flashing, pull over and call a tow service. Continuing to drive your car with a flashing CEL can cause irreversible damage to internal components.
Is it safe to drive a car with the check engine light flashing?
A blinking check engine light is more serious than other dashboard lights because it is warning you before an emergency. The light may flash right away or it can start to flash after leaving the check engine light on without repairs. It is never safe to drive with the check engine light so seek ASAP automotive help.
The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.
What does an engine misfire feel like?
Technically, a misfire is the result of incomplete combustion (or zero combustion) inside one or more of an engine’s cylinders. But to you, the driver, the problem will usually feel like hesitation or shaking when the car is running. On modern vehicles, the check engine light will also pop on when there’s a misfire.
Can low oil cause check engine light flash?
Low oil pressure: If your car is low on oil, it can cause your check engine light to go off. This is often shown in its own glowing light along with the check engine light on the dashboard. Overheating: If your car’s engine temperature is heating up, it can once again trigger the check engine light.
How do you fix an engine misfire?
Inspect the spark plugs for signs of damage.
Use a spark plug socket to remove the plug so you can get a good look at it. The damage you see will help you determine the cause of the misfire. If the spark plug is just old, replacing it may solve the problem. Make sure to replace and properly gap new spark plugs.
How long can I drive my car after service light comes on?
Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.