Have you noticed lately that the “Check Engine” light on your car’s dashboard has started to blink? Have you been asking yourself, “Why is my check engine light blinking?” This blinking light is something to be concerned about as it indicates that the engine is misfiring, which could severely damage the catalytic converters. However, even a non-flashing light could be causing damage, although with a less serious misfire.
A misfire is when one or more of your engine’s cylinders are not providing power to the vehicle, with fuel possibly running into the catalytic converter. Repairing this condition immediately is important to keep your vehicle running as well as to save you money on costly engine repair. The longer the vehicle is misfiring, the more damage that will occur.
Three Common Causes of Engine Misfires (in order of severity and cost):
- Ignition System. This is the most common engine service problem usually involving spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, ignition wires, and coils.
- Fuel System. This type of repair can involve the fuel injectors and is more costly due to diagnostic and repair times and more expensive parts.
- Internal Engine. Internal engine components, such as cylinder head, pistons and rings, and timing belt/chain, are expensive and tend to be labor intensive to replace.
The best way to diagnose and repair a misfire problem is to run a diagnostic test with the use of a specialized computer. With the report generated, an automotive technician can then confirm and perform the required repairs. This is vital as misdiagnosing or ignoring a misfire can become very expensive later on.
A word to the wise: Maintaining your vehicle and addressing issues like a misfire promptly helps maintain vehicle safety, fuel economy, and longevity.
Have you found yourself asking, “Why is my check engine light blinking?” Contact our ASE Certified technicians at MOTEC Auto Care today for more information about engine service and to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in San Diego, CA, and the surrounding area.