You are driving to work or just running errands, and then you notice your Chevy check engine light flashing then stops.
Immediately you panic, wondering what could be the problem.
Well, you should keep your calm, just a minor problem might have caused the flashing light, or it could be severe. So, it is your call to visit your mechanic for inspection.
To determine how serious the problem is, check how the light is flashing. When the light flashes continuously, the problem is not that serious, and can you can fix it immediately.
However, if the light is blinking, it is an indication that the problem is severe, so you should tow your car to the mechanic soonest possible.
In most cases, engine misfiring is the cause for check engine light flashing then stops.
When the engine misfires, it dumps raw fuel in the exhaust system. If the fuel detonates, it will damage the exhaust system itself and the catalytic converter.
This article explains the common reasons your Chevy check engine light is flashing then stops.
What Does It Mean When Your Check Engine Light Flashes Then Stop?
The engine requires cylinders to drive your car effectively where the fuel and air mix resulting to ignition.
So, if the ratio of air o fuel is not correct, your vehicle will not be able to ignite the fuel. Therefore, the cylinder will not work correctly; hence the check engine light will flash because of engine misfires.
When your Chevy check engine light flashes, then stop, it means the cylinder has misfired. Therefore, you should take your car to a mechanic for diagnosis and investigation immediately.
Having your engine checked by a mechanic ensures that you prevent any dangers that may arise. When the engine misfires, it can cause damage to the catalytic converter. A faulty catalytic converter is costly to repair and replace, so immediately your engine misfires, investigate the issue soonest.
Reasons Why Your Chevy Check Engine Light is Flashing then Stops
Here are the reasons your Chevy check engine light is flashing then stops;
1. Ignition Issues
The ignition system is one of the most prevalent causes of engine flashing.
It consists of plug wires, sparks plugs, and ignition coil packs; useful in igniting the fuel in the combustion chamber. Check engine flashing can be due to engine misfires.
So when the engine flashes then stop, check out for the following codes;
P0300 is a code indicating Random multiple misfires. This code will show mostly when the engine is misfiring.
In this regard, the code indicates that although the engine is misfiring, the computer cannot detect the particular cylinder that has failed.
Code P0300 shows faulty ignition components and throws a fuel or timing issue.
P301-P0312 is a cylinder-specific Misfire code. The trouble codes match with the specific place of the misfiring cylinder.
When the check engine flashlight comes up with the codes, it is a bad sign, and probably the cause might be the ignition coil or spark plug. However, the codes could be due to other issues.
2. Fuel System Issues
The fuel system can cause engine misfires since the engine requires fuel, spark, and air for ignition.
So, Chevy check engine light flashing then stops, and misfires can result from a fault in the fuel system.
At the same time, there could be insufficient fuel for combustion, or the energy might not be atomizing well.
The fuel system issues include;
Fuel mixture– If the engine runs lean or rich, the engine is likely to misfire and throw codes related to fuel mixtures like P0172 and P0171.
Injector issues– when the fuel injector has a problem, it will cause engine misfire. Therefore, your Chevy check engine will flash then stop if its fuel is not atomizing correctly.
3. Loose Fuel Cap
It is not always a flashing check engine light that indicates a severe issue; sometimes, it could be due to a loose fuel cap.
So, if you notice your Chevy check engine light flashes then stops, first check your gas cap. If it has a fault, loose or missing, the gas cap might have sent false signals, illuminating the engine light.
Emission control sensors detect air in the fuel tank or any fuel vapor escaping resulting from a fuel line leak.
When you tighten the fuel cap, emission sensors will rest after driving for a few miles and turn to stop the check engine lights flashing automatically.
4. Bad airflow sensor
There should be air and fuel to drive your car effectively. If your airflow sensor breaks, it will lead to flashing of check engine lights.
If your car has a faulty air flow sensor, you can still move around, but it will likely perform poorly and decrease fuel economy.
Fortunately, it is possible to replace the airflow sensor and air filter quickly and effectively with by a trained mechanic.
5. Faulty Catalytic Converter
When your vehicle’s catalytic converter has a problem, you will experience more issues, not just illuminating flash engine light.
For instance, your car is likely to start slow-moving, it will not accelerate properly, and other warnings like the emission of black exhaust indicate a problem.
If your catalytic converter is bad or dead, you will need to remove and install a new one. Catalytic converters can be very costly so, the best thing would be to look for already used ones from certified car dealers.
6. A Faulty Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensor in your car monitors the amount of unburned fuel and oxygen exhausted.
A bad oxygen sensor will not stop you from driving your car, just like an airflow sensor. However, it will lower your MPGs and eventually cause damage to the catalytic converter.
Since catalytic converters are costly, ensure you replace your oxygen sensor when you notice it has a problem before damaging the catalytic converter.
7.Spark Plugs Require Replacement
Faulty spark plugs are standard in older vehicles since new models use more advanced ones, going up to 100,000 miles.
The signs of dead or broken spark plugs include poor fuel efficiency, stalling, lousy performance, rough idling, and flashing of the check engine light.
Therefore, use a diagnostic tool to investigate the meaning of check engine light.
If you can, it is possible to swap spark plugs in your car but if you find it difficult, look for a certified mechanic to handle it.
Final Thoughts on Chevy Check Engine Light Flashing then Stops
If your Chevy check engine light flashes, then stop; it would be best not to drive your car until you diagnose the problem.
The engine light flashing could be a result of fuel issues or ignition problems. Other causes include a loose fuel cap, a bad catalytic converter, faulty oxygen sensor, airflow sensor, and spark plugs.
Although engine misfires might not always be a cause for alarm, they can damage the catalytic converter, which is very costly to replace.
Whatever the cause for the flashing of your check engine is, get a certified mechanic to diagnose and repair immediately.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.