Many drivers have experienced the startling, sometimes frightening moment when their check engine light starts blinking. If you’ve never had this happen to you, the important detail to take away that any flashing light on your dashboard is a sign of an emergency issue. This is in contrast to a steadily illuminated check engine light, which is a sign that you need repairs soon.
As a rule, if your check engine light is blinking, you should pull over immediately and have your vehicle towed to your mechanic, as it may no longer be safe to drive. While the problem may not be immediately life-threatening, it’s still incredibly important to bring your Acura to a licensed mechanic as soon as you possibly can to avoid making any damage or mechanic issues worse.
Your Catalytic Converter
The most expensive repair that comes out of a blinking check engine light is an issue with your catalytic converter. This can be caused by electric issues, problems in your fuel injection system, or even a malfunction in your oxygen sensor. Whatever the cause, if the issue is with your catalytic converter, you don’t want to take any chances.
One of the reasons it’s so important to get to a mechanic immediately is that if the issue is with your catalytic converter, continuing to drive your Acura may blow the converter entirely, leading to a repair that can cost $2,500 or more.
Common Causes of an Engine Misfire
Ultimately, the most common cause of a flashing check engine light is an engine misfire. This can be the result of several issues.
An engine misfire occurs when one or more of your Acura’s cylinders have failed, which means it’s no longer supplying sufficient power to the engine. In order to run, your vehicle needs all of your cylinders firing, which means that a single blown cylinder can damage your engine or ruin your vehicle’s performance and set off that flashing check engine light. There are a few primary reasons your engine may misfire, including:
Improper fuel mixtures
The components of your fuel system are responsible for making sure your engine is fed the proper ratio of fuel to oxygen for ideal firing conditions. If the mixture has too much air, your Acura will experience slow acceleration or backfiring; while a mixture with too much fuel can cause overheating and jerking while you drive, in addition to a flashing check engine light.
Components of your ignition system, such as spark plugs and ignition coils, aren’t built to last forever, which means they will eventually fail. If your spark plugs are burnt or your ignition coils are cracked or otherwise damaged, you may notice that your car is suffering in decreased performance in addition to a flashing check engine light.
An Acura with compression issues may experience a flashing check engine light, low power, shaking in the cabin, and slow acceleration. If this is the case, your Acura may be experiencing problems anywhere from a bad gasket to a hole in the piston to a bad timing belt, all of which need to be replaced by your mechanic.
Diagnosing and Repairing Check Engine Light Issues
If you suspect that your Acura is experiencing any of the symptoms or issues, it’s imperative that you bring your vehicle to a licensed mechanic immediately. Professional Automotive of Marlborough, MA is here to help.
We have the diagnostic tools and equipment to get to the root cause of the illumination of your check engine light. Our mechanics may start with an OBD reading, where we hook a reader into your car’s computer to determine any issues with these components:
- spark plugs
- ignition coils or wires
- O2 sensor
- fuel filter or injector
- head gasket or EGR valve
- a problem in your electrical system
For over 22 years, Professional Automotive has offered a wide range of repair and maintenance services. Our ASE-certified technicians are trained and experienced on all of the latest diagnostic and repair technology. Furthermore, all services come with a no-hassle, 24-month/ 24,000-mile warranty. Wherever you go, you can be sure that your vehicle is in the best possible shape.