Today I was driving my 2000 Intrepid on the freeway and my check engine light started blinking. It would blink for a little bit, then stop. The car did not drive any differently than usual. This happened five or six times, stopping well before I arrived at my destination. It didn’t do it at all on the return trip. Any Ideas what this may be about? Should I be concerned?
Also: The car has 106,000 miles on it.
Blinking SEL light means there is a serious problem that needs fixed ASAP or damage could occur. I suspect you are having a intermittent engine misfire that is having more then one engine misfire in two hundred engine revolutions. Take the car two one of the major car part stores such as Advanced Auto, Auto Zone etc. They will read the diagnostic codes for free, then post them back, and maybe then we can help.
If it has been a while since you’ve changed the spark plugs and wires, air filter, and fuel filter, now is a good time. All of these things can cause misfire … and cause the light to blink.
That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code not just their translation into English and post it back here.
When your CEL is illuminated, it indicates a problem that should be checked out when it is convenient. However, when the CEL is blinking, it indicates a serious problem that needs to be attended to immediately.
If you don’t believe me, read the section of your Owner’s Manual that addresses this issue. As with most things automotive, the Owner’s Manual is a very valuable resource, and even if you have never taken it out of the glove compartment previously, this would be a good time to consult that little book.
All right, I got the codes. They are P1684 and P300.
The when I drove the vehicle to the parts store, the light was on, but remained solid.
The code P0300 is engine misfire. Code P1684 means the battery has been disconnected recently ( 1 to 50 starts ago). Change the spark plugs and wire, if it has them.
I assume P300 was a typo, and is actually P0300, in which case is multiple random cylinder misfire. Sorry cant help on the other code.
Yeah, I had to replace the battery a few weeks ago. So that makes sense. After changing the plugs and wires, if they were the cause of the misfire will the CEL light turn off, or will it need to be reset somehow?
It can take up to 80 trips about town (where ever) for the CEL to reset after a misfire code. You can have one of the large auto parts stores scan the engine computer and erase the misfire code, for free. It’s about time to change that fuel filter, too, isn’t it?
OK. So new plugs, wires, and a fuel filter. Is a fuel filter something I can do myself? I’m pretty sure I can handle the others, but not too sure about this.
The fuel filter is in the fuel tank, with the fuel pump. So, change the AIR filter, and pcv valve. Have Auto Zone erase the trouble codes. It takes three, or more, trips about town (or, country) for the misfire code (if present) to set, again. If it does, we have other suggestions.