Blinking check engine light

My car seems to be missing running rough. Has hardly any power and won't stay started. Could it be plugs and wires or do you think its more serious?

My car has 188000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Check for corrosion on coil pack terminals (where plug wires enter coil). Common cause of that issue. If you put a Code Scanner on OBDII port (beneath steering column) it might get you in general area reading out ignition or fuel related DTC’s. If there is corrosion on coil terminals, replace coil (not worth it cleaning terminals as too hard to do a thorough job and once rust starts, it’s hopeless). If plug wires are original, replace them. Examine plugs for deposits and excessive gap but in any event if they have more than 60,000 miles just replace them. If you need help with this, consider contacting a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, who can perform these checks and diagnose your Check Engine Light firsthand. Best of luck.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

A blinking check engine light will show up on your dashboard is almost always correlated with engine misfires. A misfire means that the engine is dumping uncombusted fuel into your car`s exhaust system. Engine misfire is a serious issue because it can quickly raise the temperature of the catalytic converter.
If the check engine light is flashing on your Pontiac, you need to pull over immediately and turn off your car, especially if accompanied by oil or temperature warning lights. A flashing check engine light spells trouble. If you continue to drive you`ll risk serious – and expensive — damage to your engine.
Whether you experience performance problems or not, a flashing CEL indicates that an engine misfire has occurred. When this happens you should pull off the road and not drive the vehicle as this will damage the Catalytic Converter, which can cost over $1000 to replace.
A flashing check engine light is likely to indicate a misfire in the engine, so the car may judder and could sound rough. Continued driving could overheat and damage the expensive catalytic converter, which is part of the exhaust system. You should immediately drive to a garage, using the accelerator gently.
The most common causes of misfires are worn, improperly installed, and mishandled spark plugs, malfunctioning ignition coils, carbon tracking, faulty spark plug wires and vacuum leaks.
A failed O2 sensor is the most common cause of a flashing check engine light. The O2 sensor is a critical part of the exhaust system, monitoring how much unburned oxygen is exiting the engine in the exhaust. The sensor sends messages back to the engine to adjust the mix of oxygen and fuel being used.
A faulty alternator not only turns the check engine light on, it also risks your safety. If the alternator fails when you`re driving, the car radio will go off, the interior lights will dim, and you will experience extreme difficulty in driving. The reason being all power is lost.
If the check engine light is steady, set an appointment with your mechanic for a checkup. If the check engine light is blinking, get it to your mechanic as soon as you can. If you drive it, go slowly and if anything changes with your gauges or the performance of the vehicle, pull over and call for a tow.
Misfires don`t simply go away – they need to be addressed immediately. Even if they don`t get worse, they certainly won`t get any better unless you take the car to a mechanic.
There is no set time limit, as the severity of the problem can vary. However, it is generally not advisable to drive for more than a few miles with a flashing check engine light. If possible, have the vehicle towed to a repair facility rather than driving it so that you do not put yourself or others at risk.
If left untreated, a cylinder misfire can lead to significant engine damage. Worse, if you experience a bad misfire while driving, it could result in an accident. This is why it`s important to treat engine misfires as soon as you detect them.
If the check engine light is steady, set an appointment with your mechanic for a checkup. If the check engine light is blinking, get it to your mechanic as soon as you can. If you drive it, go slowly and if anything changes with your gauges or the performance of the vehicle, pull over and call for a tow.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

While driving on freeway truck goes into a limp mode, and the check engine light, abs light, parking break light, service brake
ANSWER : It is possible that you could be having an issue with your powertrain control module. This is somewhat of a common problem on many GM vehicles. I would recommend having your vehicle inspected by the dealership to determine if the powertrain control module is functioning properly. If not, a reflash of the powertrain control module may resolve the issue but often times it must be replaced.

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Check engine light refuses to go off after engine replaced
ANSWER : Hello there, you have a long series of issues going on with your 2013 Hyundai Sonata. If you keep getting a repeating oil light on than there is likely a fault in that system.

Since this fault has lasted after the engine was replaced it could be a oil pressure sensor, wiring harness fault, ECU fault, oil pump, oil strainer clogged, or low oil pressure.

To diagnose this issue properly you need a complete vehicle inspection to start from square one and identify the root cause of all this.

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2006 Ford Mustang has check engine light on
ANSWER : There are countless potential causes for your illuminated check engine light. The mechanic manually turned off the light, but it came back on because the problem has not been fixed. The first place to start is retrieval of the stored diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). These codes serve as a starting point for any further diagnostics a mechanic may perform. Codes will be stored anytime the check engine light is on. Since the first mechanic was unable to fix your concern, I recommend giving the professionals at YourMechanic a call. We offer expert check engine light diagnosis and repair.

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Speedometer stopped working, o/d light blinking, check engine light and low tire pressure light are on
ANSWER : All of these problems are most likely linked together by a faulty wheel speed sensor. If the ABS light is on, a fault will be stored pointing to the faulty wheel speed sensor. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the equipment to pull the fault code and repair the correct wheel speed circuit or replace your wheel speed sensor entirely.

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Car started to slow down and then the check engine light, battery, and engine oil light came on. What could cause this?
ANSWER : Hi there. It is possible that the battery cable came loose or the wires to the oil pressure sensor has came loose or failed. Check the battery cables and make sure that the terminals are tight and clean. Check the wires to the oil pressure sensor and make sure that they are connected and not broken. If everything looks good, then the oil pressure sensor may have failed. Plus, check the computer for codes and see what is stored. This will lead you to the part that could have failed. I recommend replacing the oil pressure sensor then checking to see if the lights will go out. If you need further assistance troubleshooting your vehicle, then seek out a technician, such as one from Your Mechanic, that can assist you with the warning lights that came on.

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p0011 code,check engine light one, changed bank 1 vvt solenoid and check engine light still on?
ANSWER : The P0011 code is typically caused by oil issues with the car. I would particularly make sure the engine oil level is not low. The VVT solenoid relies on proper oil levels to do their job. If they don’t have enough oil, they won’t work. You can have a mobile technician from YourMechanic visit your home or office to inspect the Check Engine Light for you. If you follow through with a repair with us you will be reimbursed for the cost of inspection.

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Check Engine Light comes on after starting pickup
ANSWER : Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1992 Isuzu Pickup. A professional will have the correct equipment to read OBD1 codes. Retrieving the diagnostic trouble code(s) is the first place to start when diagnosing your vehicle. Increasing RPMs changes engine load, which can in turn affect many different sensors and components, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. The only way to narrow down the options and find the culprit is through in person diagnosis with an OEM compatible scan tool. A certified technician from YourMechanic can retrieve the OBD codes at your home or office.

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Traction light/reduced engine power and check engine light coming on
ANSWER : Hello. From what you describe, it would appear that your vehicle may be experiencing some sort of intermittent wiring or sensor issue. If the problem occurred again after driving over a bump, then it may be possible that a damaged or loose wire is shorting or having contact issues. A common issue that can cause stalling is a faulty crank position sensor or wiring. I would carefully examine the engine for any loose or damaged wires. If the Check Engine Light comes back on, I would recommend having the trouble codes scanned before resetting the computer.

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