100 miles into my road trip my engine light started flashing.. Then the car felt like it was sputtering. Had to pull over after like 30 minutes on the side of the road I turned it back on and made it to my destination another 100 miles out.I was driving so slow but I was scared I would not make it.. Am getting it checked before my trip back but want to have an Idea of what's wrong with it.. Thanks
The Engine Computer monitors hundreds of things and will set a diagnostic fault code when it detects a problem. About half of those things are relatively minor and will not turn on the Check Engine light. If the problem could adversely affect emissions, the code must turn on the Check Engine light. You can get an idea of the severity of the problem by how the light acts. If it goes off at times while you're driving, the problem is relatively minor. If it stays on until you stop and restart the engine, (even if it's intermittent and stops acting up), it's a little more serious. If the light is on anytime the engine is running, even if the problem stopped acting up, it's more serious.
The most serious problems are when the Check Engine light is flashing. That means stop the engine as soon as possible to do so safely. The cause of the problem is resulting in too much raw unburned fuel going into the exhaust system where it will overheat and damage the catalytic converter. That can turn a real simple problem into a very expensive one. Your description isn't clear if you drove it with the flashing light for half an hour, if it was flashing after you restarted the engine or how it was running, or why you were driving slowly. If you drove a half hour with the light flashing, there's a real good chance the catalytic converter has already been damaged, but lets hope it didn't overheat too badly.
July, 11, 2014 AT 8:30 PM
Actually it started flashing all of a sudden.. So I pulled over and turned the car off for like 30 min. Then restated..I didn't feel the sputtering and the light was off so I got back on the road. I was only going slow because I was nervous that it would start flashing again but it didn't.. This sounds serious
July, 11, 2014 AT 9:31 PM
Nope. You did the right thing. There are a number of potential causes, but given the intermittent nature, it could be as simple as worn spark plugs and wires. Since you didn't drive a real long time when the light was flashing, it's pretty likely the catalytic converter wasn't overheated or damaged.
I'm at an old car show this week with REAL poor wireless service, so any further replies might be sporadic.