Flashing Check Engine LIght; Shaking Car


I have a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville, and it is kind of shaking, (not horribly), and the check engine light is flashing. There’s also sort of a burning smell, sometimes, but it doesn’t seem to be coming from the engine.


suspect engine has a cylinder not firing. Continuing to run the car in this condition may ruin the catalytic converter.


When the Check Engine Light (CEL) is steadily illuminated, it is an indication that you should get the car to a mechanic as soon as it is convenient for you to do so.

However, when the CEL is flashing, that is an indication that you have a very serious problem, and that you need to get to a mechanic right away. That, coupled with a burning smell, should motivate you to go to a reputable mechanic tomorrow–unless you want to be stranded on the road, have to pay for a tow, and wind up with higher repair costs than if you attend to this problem now.

There is an old saying–“You can pay me now, or you can pay me later”. I hope you realize that “later” is invariably more expensive than “now”.

If you want verification of what a flashing CEL indicates, I suggest that you consult the Owner’s Manual.


VDCdriver, I envy your writing skills.
Well said


This is not good. The flashing light means a problem that requires immediate attention.

No need to panic or assume major repairs. Your car might simply have one bad spark plug. But my point is that you should not put this off a month or two. Take care of it promptly.



Thank you! I am very proud of the fact that the Complaints that I submitted to the Superior Court had a “better than 99% win rate”, and I like to think that my writing skills had something to do with that statistic. (Obviously, the Deputy Attorney General who presented my cases was also a major part of that “win rate”.)



What kind of complaints were these, if you don’t mind me asking? (i.e. what’s the whole story here?) :slight_smile:


The majority of the Complaints were for:

Physical Abuse of a Minor, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Medical Neglect of a Minor, Termination of Parental Rights

It should be noted that the same Deputy A.G. did not “win” cases at the same rate when presenting Complaints that were written by other parties. My “win rate” was at least 5.5% better.


Well with complaints about that kind of stuff, I’m glad you won. I agree that a well written report in the judicial system makes a huge difference in conviction rates.


Yes, since cases of this nature do not have juries to determine the verdict, everything is determined by the judge. And if a Complaint is well written, it is certainly going to be more convincing to the judge, hence a better outcome.