Did your check engine light just go from flashing to solid? If this is something you’ve never dealt with before, you may have many questions ringing in your mind about what it means. Luckily, we’ve put up this guide to help you out.
Check engine light flashing the solid means your car engine is experiencing a serious issue that requires your immediate action. The issue is most likely a random engine misfire which requires immediate attention to prevent costly engine damage.
Read on to find more in-depth information on why your check engine light flashes and then stays on. We have full details right below on how to fix the issue, whether you should continue driving your car when this happens, and more.
What it means when check engine light flashes then turns solid
Flashing check engine light means a serious fault has been detected and should be resolved immediately. Random misfires, or simply engine misfire, is one such critical fault and is the most common reason why the check engine light comes on flashing.
Even if the CEL flashes and then goes solid, we warn you against ignoring it. Most of the time, you’ll find that minor, cheap fixes are the reasons behind cylinder misfires.
These issues include a bad spark plug or wire, a faulty ignition coil, a leaking intake gasket, a bad or dirty fuel injector, etc.
If you can get these issues fixed on time, then you’ll keep them from evolving into major problems that will cost you much more in repairs or even part replacement. For instance, ignoring a misfire will damage catalytic converter which is expensive to repair or replace.
The check engine light may flash for a few seconds and then solid could also be a sign that your engine is experiencing an intermittent issue with a failing component temporarily rectifying itself.
A good example is when one or more of your spark plugs or ignition coils are failing. This would trigger a temporary random misfire as well as the check engine light.
The car might continue running normally afterward but the engine light tends to stay on until the fault code gets cleared from the ECU (electronic control unit) memory.
How do you fix check engine flashing then solid?
The best way to fix a flashing check engine light than goes solid is to scan the car computer for the stored fault codes.
Some fault MUST have triggered the warning light to come on, and the error code should be stored in your car computer. This code is key in pointing you in the right direction when trying to figure out what caused the misfire.
An OBDII scanning device will help you retrieve the code. You can then look it up on Google to find out what happens.
If the issue is something as simple as spark plugs or ignition coil issues causing the misfire, you can fix the issue on your own (if you’re confident in your skills) and then clear the error codes.
If the check engine light comes on again after you clear the trouble code, then you should have your car checked by a professional to avoid causing damage to the engine.
Which is worse flashing or solid check engine light?
Flashing check engine light is worse than a solid check engine light. Flashing check engine light is worse because it indicates immediate concern.
It means something is amiss with your vehicle and requires your immediate intervention. It is simply an emergency!
If your CEL is blinking, have a mechanic check it as soon as possible. We advise finding a safe place to pull over and then turn off your car. You may then want to consider having it towed to your mechanic rather than driving it there.
The car needs to be diagnosed for the underlying issue at the earliest possible to prevent costly damage to your car.
The MOST common why the CEL flashes/blinks is an engine misfire. This issue has the potential to damage the catalytic converter if not corrected. The cat converter is quite expensive to repair, which explains why addressing the flashing CEL immediately will help you save a lot of money.
Other issues that may cause the check engine light to come on include oil pressure issues and engine overheating which can destroy your engine. Issues relating to the belt, hoses, fuel line, and brake can also trigger the check engine light to come on.
A steady or solid check engine light, on the other hand, isn’t an emergency. It simply tells you that something is wrong with your engine or is about to go wrong. For instance, it might be an alter about a sensor going bad.
Solid CEL doesn’t require immediate action and you can continue driving your car without worrying about causing any damage.
However, we recommend against ignoring this light. You should book an appointment with your mechanic for a diagnosis of the underlying problem.
Should you continue driving if check engine light flashes then turn solid?
We don’t recommend continuing to drive your car even though the CEL flashes and then goes solid. This is because a flashing check engine light always means serious business.
When this scenario happens, you should pull over your car when it’s safe to and turn off the engine.
This is a wise precaution to avoid causing damage to the cat converter and other engine components which may cost you up to thousands of bucks in repairs.
Next, you should have a trustworthy mechanic do a check engine light diagnosis on your car to find out what the problem is.
The fault code that triggered the engine light must have been logged in the computer memory and will help give the mechanic a clue as to what is ailing your car.
What does it mean if your car is shaking and flashing check engine light goes solid?
If your car is shaking and at the same time the check engine light is flashing and then goes solid, then your engine is experiencing a severe misfire.
We advise you to stop driving your car immediately to prevent your engine from costly damage.
Since there are many possible causes for the misfire, including bad spark plugs, faulty ignition coils, issues with fuel delivery system, engine sensor issues, etc., it’s hard to decide what the exact problem is.
The best thing to do is have your mechanic carry out a check engine light diagnostic test on your car. The flashing CEL must have been triggered by a code stored in your car computer.
The mechanic will use a scanning tool to pull this trouble code to help him establish what the issue is and recommend the best possible repair.If your check engine light is flashing then solid, it could be a sign of a serious problem with your car’s engine or emission control system. In some cases, this issue could also be associated with other common problems, such as flashing car shaking or issues when accelerating. To learn more about these potential causes and what you can do to fix them, check out our articles on flashing car shaking and check engine light when accelerating. These articles provide helpful tips and insights on how to troubleshoot and solve these issues, so you can ensure the safety and reliability of your vehicle and prevent any further damage.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes. Solid check engine light is generally not as serious as blinking and you can continue driving your car without worrying about causing damage to your engine. However, we still advise you to have your car checked by a mechanic to discover what causes the light to illuminate.
When the check engine light goes from solid to flashing, it is a sign that your engine is undergoing a more severe problem that requires immediate repair. Flashing CEL is often caused by misfires and you should stop operating your car when it pops to avoid damaging your engine and paying thousands of bucks in repairs.
If the check engine light flashes and then goes off, it is alerting you about a serious fault with your car engine, such as an engine misfire, which requires your intermediate intervention. Such a case requires you to take in your car for check engine light diagnostic to determine the source of the problem and have it repaired early enough before it mutates into something more serious.
A flashing check engine light turning solid isn’t something you should ignore. It is a warning that something is going on and has the potential to cause serious damage to your engine. If your CEL shows this behavior, pull over and turn off the engine. You should then tow the car to your mechanic to have it checked.
Remember, the flashing check engine light is triggered when a fault is detected by a car computer. This means the fault code is still stored in the computer and the mechanic will just need to retrieve using a code scanner. With the fault code at hand, diagnosing the problem affecting your engine becomes much easier.