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Flashing service engine light

well today I was happy go lucky on my way to work everything was going fine the all of a sudden this car in front of me slows down okay then I go to speed back up and my car was still crunk but I lose power I could not accelerate at all so I had to coast to the side of the road and I put the car in park to see if it will allow me to accelerate in a different gear and when I do that the car shuts off then I go to crank it back up the first time and I got nothing then I wait a couple of seconds then try it again it cranks up but still cant accelerate until I raise the engine then I can finally move I was able to do about 65 mph to get to work but this happened two more times before I got back home that night the car is a 2000 and has 220,000 miles on it I took the car to a part store to see why the service engine light was on they told me it was a bad or faulty EGR valve but this was the first time the service engine light has flashed before what do you think the problem could be any input would be appreciated.

While your post is not that easy to understand, if I am correct that your CEL is flashing/blinking, then you need to get it to a competent mechanic right away, as a flashing/blinking CEL indicates engine misfire. The next thing that will happen if you continue to drive it is that the catalytic converter will be damaged, thus adding a large amount to your repair costs.

With any luck, the solution will be replacement of simple maintenance items that are overdue for replacement.

A flashing Check Engine light indicates a major engine misfire. You need to find out what’s causing the Check Engine light to flash. Because driving a vehicle with a flashing Check Engine can result in damage to the catalytic converter.


Your post is difficult to understand, but if you are experiencing a loss of top speed, the damage may already be done to your catalytic converter. I have seen a lot of melted down catalyst substrate in GM 3.8L cars of this era. It’s usually accompanied by a diagnostic code. I can’t remember the P0 number, but the plain English definition is “EGR flow excessive”. This can also lead to melting your plastic upper intake plenum, so getting this problem addressed ASAP is a worthwhile cause to prevent further, expensive damage.

Sounds like your EGR valve is stuck open, which will destroy your engines performance and make it miss and stall. Sometimes you can simply remove the valve and clean it and restore it to proper operation…Or replace it. Or block it off with a plate made for that purpose…This may result in failing an emissions test…

thanks I will look into that

If it’s not an EGR problem then I would suspect the fuel pump; especially if it’s the original pump and the filter has not been changed regularly.

Pumps can be hit or miss or they may die abruptly and stay dead. Just something for consideration anyway.

i have had the fuel pump replaced last year but I believe I narrowed it down to the catalytic being clogged taking it to the shop to see what’s what. fingers crossed

Crunk ???

"Crunk ????"

Isn’t that the past tense of crank? Or to be more accurate, past perfect?

A restricted catalytic converter is a very likely cause of the problem. And the parts store code readers are a good start to finding a problem but you need a Rosetta Stone to decipher the meaning. Who suggested that the converter might be the problem?

It MIGHT be a restricted exhaust, which in SOME cars might throw a EGR code…Easy to check by removing the front oxygen sensor and measuring exhaust back-pressure…

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 (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here. 

I would also suggest that you avoid any unnecessary use of your car until you have determined more.

A stuck open EGR could indeed cause this symptom. That’s the first place to look. The EGR is suually vaccuum and temp controlled. It might be simply that a vacuum hose has come off or is leaking at the connectors, or there is a faulty coolant temp sensor. At 220K it wouldn’t be unusual for a stuck EGR though. In any case, it will be better for the OP’s pocketbook to get this fixe this sooner than later. An EGR valvle replacement usually isn’t overly expensive. It’s one of a variety of bolt-on parts that are designed to be easily serviced.

BTW, most routine maintenance schedules suggest the EGR be tested periodically. For this very reason. Are all the routine maintenance items suggested in the owners manual up to date? If not, now is a good time to have all that work done too. Best of luck.