Eek! Few things are more ominous than the vivid orange (or yellow) stare of an unyielding Check Engine Light in Columbia MD. No matter how much you wish the light would disappear, it’s steadfast and seemingly unmovable. While a solid Check Engine Light may cause trepidation, a flashing Check Engine Light should strike terror in your heart. And rightly so.
Let’s take a closer look at the flashing vs solid Check Engine Light, what it means, and what you should do. Read on to learn more, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash in Columbia MD.
What is a Check Engine Light?
As the most misunderstood indicator on your dashboard, your Check Engine Light can mean many things, ranging from a misfiring engine to a loose gas cap. The Check Engine Light is a part of your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system. Since the 80s, automobiles have used computers to monitor and control vehicle performance factors, such as:
- Fuel mixture
- Engine speed
- Ignition timing
Because your onboard diagnostics (OBD) system continuously scans your vehicle’s performance, it’s often the first to know whenever something is off or awry. Fortunately, your OBD may be able to correct many problems. But when it can’t remedy a problem, it will trigger the Check Engine Light warning indicator and store a “trouble code” that indicates the source of the problem.
Why Is My Check Engine Light On?
Simply put, there are a number of different reasons and causes for an illuminated Check Engine Light in Columbia MD. The light can be triggered by something as simple as a loose or missing gas cap. Because of this, the first step should be to ensure your gas cap is tightly secured. In addition to a loose gas cap, other causes of a Check Engine Light in Columbia MD include:
- Bad Mass Flow Air Sensor
- Faulty Catalytic Converter
- Faulty Oxygen Sensor
- Faulty Ignition Coil
- Failing Fuel Injectors
- Damaged Ignition Wires
- Leaky Vacuum Hoses
- Timing Belt or Chain
- And more
Why Is My Check Engine Light Flashing?
While a solid Check Engine Light in Columbia MD may not necessitate immediate attention in Columbia MD, a flashing indicator light means you have a problem! Usually, a blinking Check Engine Light indicates the engine is misfiring and unburned fuel is making its way into the exhaust system. This can elevate the temperature of your catalytic converter and cause devastating damage. Common causes of a flashing Check Engine Light include:
- Ignition problems
- Fuel mixture issues
Additional Signs of a Misfiring Engine
In addition to the Check Engine Light, your vehicle may drive significantly worse. You may notice strange sounds and smells coming from your car. Other signs of a misfiring engine include:
- Vibrating and shaking,
- Rougher acceleration,
- Reduced power, and
- Rough idling.
In either case, a flashing Check Engine Light requires service by the experts at Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash right now.
What Should I Do When My Check Engine Light Is Flashing?
As we previously mentioned, a flashing Check Engine Light indicates a problem that requires immediate action. In fact, if you notice your Check Engine Light is flashing, you should pull over immediately. Then contact Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash to have your vehicle towed into our Columbia MD auto repair center for computer diagnostics and repair.
Continuing to drive a vehicle with a flashing Check Engine Light can lead to irreversible damage to the powertrain and other components. For instance, if you continue to drive the vehicle with a flashing Check Engine Light, you could blow your catalytic converter, which can easily cost over $2,500.
Contact Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash for Computer Diagnostics in Columbia MD
Whether your Check Engine Light is blinking or solid, the experts at Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash in Columbia MD can and will help. In addition to computer diagnostics, we offer virtually every service your vehicle will ever need:
Contact Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash in Columbia MD today! Call us at (443) 656-9274, complete our online form, or stop by to see us at 10611 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia MD 21044.