The check engine light in your Mercedes is there to be the eyes and ears for problems within your car’s operating system. Its job is to keep you informed about what might be malfunctioning that you can’t see or haven’t noticed. However, it is one thing to have your check engine light come on, and quite another if it is flashing.
A flashing check engine light, in most situations, means there is an urgent matter that could result in a catastrophic breakdown of your engine or necessary components. While you can sometimes go just a little while with a solid check engine light, the blinking indicator is something you should never ignore.
Common Causes of a Flashing Check Engine Light
A check engine light is letting you know things are going wrong with the engine and its components. Common causes are engine misfires, issues with fluids, or even transmission problems. It could even be cause by a loose gas cap, so always check this first. If you do not hear odd noise, smell unusual scents, or have obvious signs of mechanical failure, you have time to ride it out a little bit until you schedule an appointment with your preferred Mercedes mechanic.
A flashing check engine light is different and should never be ignored. It means that there is an immediate risk to your car’s functionality and you are at risk of catastrophic damage. Here are some common causes of a flashing check engine light and the symptoms that can help you diagnose the cause:
Multiple Cylinder Misfires
This can cause shaking or rough acceleration and a bad smell coming from your exhaust pipe. Misfires can usually signal something is beginning to go wrong, but if it is frequent and there are multiple issues, you might be seeing the failure of your catalytic converter.
Faulty Spark Plugs/Wires/Coils
Faulty spark plugs and wires already signal issues with the engine by causing misfires. This can also show up as vibrations in the cabin of the car, odd noises, and jerking from your vehicle while in drive.
Failed Engine Computer
This is a bit more uncommon, and the issues that accompany it can be sporadic. They can also register as misfires but can result in your car stalling or idling.
Faulty Fuel Injectors
This will cause a very rough engine idle that can become more violent the longer it is left alone. This can also result in a cracked fuel injector, which can cause a gas leak.
The sensors in your car send messages to every other part to keep them working in synchronization. If the sensors are faulty, you will begin to see rising temperatures, engine idling, vibrations, and odd noises.
Driving with a Flashing Check Engine Light
It is absolutely recommended to get your car into a professional mechanic as soon as your check engine light begins flashing. It is understandable if you need to wait for an appointment, but you should not go very long without taking it in. Leaving the issue without resolution can cause further damage that can be more costly to fix. It is even more dangerous to drive with a flashing check engine light. Don’t ignore your car’s warning signs for your safety, the safety of other drivers, and the longevity of your vehicle’s functionality.
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