Have you ever been driving down the road, only to see your check engine light start blinking out of nowhere? It’s alarming and often leaves car owners feeling helpless and unsure of their next steps. While this might seem like a small issue, ignoring this light can cause serious problems for your vehicle down the road. In this article, we will go through some of the basics of vehicle warning lights, what causes them to blink and how to deal with them once they do.

Understanding the Basics

Mechanic checking car engine Your check engine light is a warning light that is located on your car’s dashboard. It turns on when your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system detects an issue with one of your vehicle’s systems. In modern cars, sensors within the car monitor everything from coolant levels to oxygen sensors, and the light for checking the engine is programmed to light up when something goes awry.

Figuring Out What is Causing the Blinking

A blinking warning light indicates a problem that is more severe than a steady light. This can mean anything from a minor issue with sensors, to more serious engine problems. To figure out what’s causing the blinking, you’ll need to have the car scanned with an OBD2 scanner. This will give you a specific code indicating where the problem is originating from. You can have this scan performed at most auto repair shops.

Differentiating Between Faulty Sensors and Other Problems

The most common issues that cause a warning light to blink is a faulty sensor, failed spark plug, or defective ignition coil. Certain sensors within your car can trigger the check engine light if they sense something is wrong, and sometimes the problem is just a malfunction in the sensor itself. If the problem is with a sensor, it’s less likely to cause serious damage to your car, but it’s still important to have it checked out to ensure all systems are functioning properly. Continuing to drive with a flashing check engine light may cause damage to the catalytic converter.  

Early Diagnosis and Routine Maintenance

Scheduling regular maintenance appointments for your car is crucial to prevent more serious and expensive problems down the road. If you notice the light blinking, even if it’s not causing any noticeable issues while driving, it’s important to address the problem early on. Keep in mind, if you ignore a blinking check engine light, it could lead to more serious problems down the road such as engine damage or complete failure. This is why it’s important to address any potential issues before they get out of hand and have them taken care of by a professional.

Tips for Avoiding Serious Issues

Two mechanics working on car engine One of the best ways to avoid check engine light issues altogether is to take care of your car as regularly and effectively as possible. This includes getting oil changes on schedule, following recommended maintenance guidelines, and addressing any issues as they come up.

Pay Attention to Your Check Engine Light

Your car’s check engine light is a warning that should never be taken lightly. If your light starts blinking, it’s important to take action as soon as possible before it causes more extensive damage. By paying attention to early warning signs, and seeking professional help when needed, you can save your car from costly repairs and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

Annie’s Auto

Annie’s Auto is your trusted source for all your auto repair and car service needs. Our certified mechanics specialize in diagnosing and dealing with issues causing check engine lights, so you can be sure your car is in good hands. We offer fast, honest and reliable service, making us the perfect choice for busy drivers. With Annie’s Auto, your car is always in good hands. Contact us today to get your check engine light fixed quickly and efficiently.

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