Check Engine light on Chevy Impala 2001

So I recently bought a Chevy Impala with about 150,000 miles on it. The check engine light is on and sometimes it will tell me my coolant levels are low. I filled it up with coolant and the message still comes on sometimes. Also, when I’m driving, I can feel my rpms go way up when I press the gas, but they car won’t accelerate for shit. Sometimes the check engine light will blink, which I’ve heard is for safety, and my car will barely accelerate at all. I can drive it around town easily the way it is now, but I don’t want to risk ruining it. On top of that, my radio and lights will cut in and out sometimes and get better the more gas I give it. Any suggestions on what is wrong? I know I’ll eventually need to have someone look at it, but someone else’s input is always nice. Thanks!

There may be more than one issue involved here but the first step is to determine what the CEL is trying to tell you.
If you don’t live in California or Hawaii the local chain type parts houses will pull codes for you free of charge and it only takes a few minutes.

The job of the people at the parts houses is to provide a code number for you; or codes if there is more than one. They are NOT there to diagnose a problem.
You might get this done and post back with the results.

It’s possible that the transmission could be slipping badly and the CEL is NOT blinking for safety…

A cel light that is on, means that you have a code that should be checked ASAP.

A cel that is blinking, is telling you that there is a problem that could be catastrophic STOP, SHUT OFF THE ENGINE, and get a tow.

If you have the owners manual, you ,may want to read up on this topic.

Are any other lights that are on when the cel is flashing. Battery, oil, temp, etc?
Do you have gauges and do they all read normal when the cel is flashing?
When was the last time you checked the oil level, and the coolant level?


Get the code read. Also, check battery connections. Make sure they are clean and tight. How old is the battery? Change it if you have no idea.