When your car’s check engine light turns on, you know you have a problem to address. When it is solidly lit, the issue can range in severity from something minor to something rather concerning. However, when the check engine light flashes, you know you have a serious problem on your hand. Flashing indicates your engine is misfiring, and you need to take care of the issue immediately before more damage occurs.
Why Is This Happening?
Generally, there are three reasons why your engine is misfiring. The most common explanation is a defect within the ignition system. This means one of the following components has worn-out:
- Ignition wire
- Distributor cap
- Spark plugs
Another reason could indicate that there is a problem with the fuel system. Most of the time this means the fuel injectors need to be replaced. Finally, a defect within the internal engine is the worst possible diagnosis you can receive. You have to replace the timing belts, pistons, rings or cylinder heads, but no matter what, replacing any of those items is going to take a while and could be very costly.
What Are the Other Symptoms of a Misfiring Engine?
In addition to a flashing check engine light, you may experience one or several other symptoms of a malfunctioning engine. First, you should be able to actually hear the cylinder misfiring. It will sound as though something is squeezing or popping. These noises are generally accompanied by a strange smell. It is going to smell primarily like gas, but it will be infused with the scents of engine oil, steam or coolant.
Lastly, black exhaust will be emitted in large quantities. This is something you definitely do not want to see because it is an indicator that the issue lies with the internal engine.
Is It OK To Drive?
Under no circumstances should you continue to operate a vehicle that has a misfiring engine. While more damage may not occur immediately, it is going to get worse as time goes on. Something that begins as a small problem can soon escalate into something much more severe that costs a lot more to fix. Take care of it quickly for your own financial well-being.
Additionally, you should not drive because you pose a threat to other drivers on the road. Black smoke makes it difficult for other people to see. Your vehicle may even begin to experience a loss of power, and if you cannot accelerate adequately, then you pose a danger to yourself and others. The responsible thing to do is schedule a time to take your car to a technician as soon as it begins malfunctioning.
How Can This Problem Be Fixed?
The professionals at Sun Auto Service are capable of getting your engine back into great condition. Our technicians can run tests to determine what exactly is causing the misfiring. The extent of the repairs you will need and the cost of the job come down to what exactly went wrong. After running a diagnostic check, we will be able to provide you an estimate.
The important thing is that you bring your car in as soon as a problem comes up. Waiting to address the problem can result in repair costs that are thousands of dollars more expensive. For your wallet’s sake, you should fix your engine as soon as possible.
What To Do Next?
Contact the nearest Sun Auto Service location near you to schedule a time to bring your vehicle into the service center. You can even make an appointment online if it would be easier. Take care of your car so that you continue getting years of use out of it.