Forget the tune-up. Fix the problem. The engine computer has memorized a diagnostic fault code referenced to the circuit or system with the problem. It's important to find out what the code is soon because if the problem doesn't occur again, the code will erase automatically after about 50 engine starts and that valuable information will be lost.
The problem could be something as simple as a glitch in a sensor reading or a temporary problem, but if it happens again, it is helpful to know that it occurred previously. Once the mechanic reads the code(s), he can determine the proper course of action. That could be anything from "if it happens again, ... " Or "keep an eye on it", to replacing a sensor or some other repair. At least you will know what it was that had the computer's attention.
A flashing check engine light means too much unburned fuel is entering the exhaust system and the catalytic converter could be damaged from severe oveheating. Misfires are a common cause and could be due to a defective spark plug, but it's just as likely there are other causes. The only thing I like about cars that are less than 20 years old is they have virtually done away with tune-ups. Spark plugs, and on fewer and fewer cars, spark plug wires are all that's left to wear out. It's not likely a spark plug caused a problem that hasn't occurred again.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 AT 3:58 AM