Olympia Auto Repair

What Does a Flashing Check Engine Light Mean?

You turn on your vehicle to go about your day and look at the dashboard to see that the check engine light has turned on. We understand this dreaded feeling, and how scary it can be not knowing what the issue could be or whether or not it is severe. Even worse, you see the light is flashing. What does it mean when the check engine light is blinking and does it indicate a serious problem?

The first thing every driver should know is that a flashing check engine light means trouble. This is a sign to get your vehicle into our shop right away for an inspection. But what exactly does a blinking check engine light indicate? 

A flashing check engine light typically means that you have a catalytic converter issue. The catalytic converter has a really important job in your vehicle's emissions system because it is the component that converts harmful gas emitted from the engine into less harmful gases before they are released into the atmosphere. 

If you see the check engine light flashing and you can't get into our shop right away, we recommend getting to a safe place and turning off the engine. If you can, get your vehicle towed into our shop or give us a call for more assistance and advice on what to do next. When you continue driving with a bad catalytic converter, major engine damage can quickly occur which can cost you a lot of money to repair. The quicker the issue is resolved, the better off you'll be in terms of what repairs are needed and how much you'll need to spend. 

There are a few other reasons why your check engine light may be blinking, indicating an emergency issue. These problems include: 

  • Failing ignition coil
  • Bad fuel injector
  • Engine computer failure
  • Bad spark plugs
  • Bad engine valves

Even if your vehicle's check engine light isn't flashing, it is still important to get your vehicle into our shop at your earliest convenience for diagnostics. We will determine the exact cause of your check engine light and share with you what repairs are needed to restore your vehicle back to top working condition. We know that a check engine light can be stressful, but the sooner you get your vehicle into Olympic Transmissions & Auto Care, the better! 

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