Why Is My Car Engine Light Flashing On and Off?

Why Is My Car Engine Light Flashing On and Off?

The Car Engine Light (CEL) is found on the dashboard of your car. You can easily spot the engine light indicator with a blinking engine-shaped icon on the car’s dashboard instrument cluster with the word “CHECK” written on it.

The car engine light, also known as Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), comes in various colors such as Orange, yellow, amber, etc., depending on its manufacturer. The ngine light is programmed to turn on when the vehicle’s computer detects a problem.

So, it’s safe to assume something is wrong if the engine light begins flashing on and off.

My Car Engine Light Is Flashing. What Now?

Several factors can be responsible for the continuous flashing of your car’s engine light, including the ones below:

Misfiring of the Engine

This is the most common engine-related issue that can trigger a car’s engine light. Your vehicle’s engine comes with a group of cylinders where the air and fuel interact to provide the ignition necessary for propelling your car. When one or more of those cylinders are not supplying power to the engine, the engine light will naturally begin flashing to warn the driver.

Are there other ways you can tell if your car’s engine is misfiring? Yes, you’ll notice some anomalies along with the flashing engine light on your dashboard. It’s safe to assume the flashing engine light is a diagnosis of the following symptoms;

  • The engine begins to sound weird and sometimes jerky.
  • The car becomes saturated with the smell of gas.
  • The cabin of your car shakes or vibrates because of the unbalanced cylinder.
  • The vehicle’s acceleration power/rate reduces.

Faulty or Failed Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is integrated into a vehicle’s exhaust system. It turns the carbon monoxide generated during the combustion process into carbon dioxide. When a catalytic converter is faulty or damaged, it can cause damage to the car’s oxygen sensors and other parts of the emission system.

Faulty Gas Cap

The gas cap, or fuel filler cap, is there to prevent dirt, debris, and dust from entering the gas tank. If your vehicle’s gas cap is faulty, an error message is sent to the car’s computer reporting a leak in the vapor recovery system.

The vapor recovery system is part of your car’s emission system. So when the car’s computer gets the message, it alerts the driver by the flashing of the engine light.

Problem With the Ignition Coils

An ignition coil is responsible for igniting the fuel. Ignition coils are induction coils and part of your car’s ignition system. What they do is generate electricity needed to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the cylinder. So, if there’s a problem with the ignition coil, your car’s engine light will begin to flick on and off.

My Car Engine Light Is Flashing On and Off. What Should I Do?

You can take the following steps if your engine light is flashing on and off:

  • Pull over and make sure the gas cap is not loose while you call a tow service.
  • Schedule an appointment with your mechanic, who will help retrieve the diagnostic trouble codes from your vehicle. Identifying the issues triggering the engine light allows you to determine the necessary repairs or what needs to be fixed.
  • However, you can do the diagnosis yourself by buying a code reader from an auto parts store. You can search the meaning of the codes on the internet. Error codes help to figure out where your car needs a repair.

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