Why Is My Check Engine Light Flashing And Car Shaking?

Few situations annoy the average driver more than suddenly realizing their car has begun to shake violently in the presence of a newly illuminated Check Engine Light.

We usually panic after this type of situation and think that expensive repairs will be required. It just makes my stomach hurt.

Fortunately, this kind of situation is not as bad as you might think. In fact, there are several problems that can exhibit symptoms of this nature, not all of which are incredibly devastating. In cases like this, the key to good results is to keep a cool head and figure out what is causing the vehicle harm.

Learn about the various causes of vehicle sway associated with the Check Engine Light and what to do if you encounter such problems in the future.

Check Engine Light Flashing vs Steady

Generally, there are two different types of check engine lights, one of which is a solid check engine light. The second type of Check Engine Light will flash repeatedly at a set rate.

In most cases, the latter of these two Check Engine Lights indicates a more serious problem currently underway.

An illuminated Check Engine Light usually indicates that a diagnostic trouble code has been logged and stored whether or not it is currently active. The flashing Check Engine Light is primarily used to communicate important messages to the driver.

This message is usually related to the fact that an actual misfire was detected on one or more specific cylinders.

Read: Car Struggles To Start When Engine Is Cold [Solution]

Causes of Car Shaking While Check Engine Light Is Blinking

In almost all cases, a flashing Check Engine Light accompanied by a noticeable rattling noise is a sure sign of a cylinder misfire.

The term misfire is best described as the partial or complete loss of combustion in one or more cylinders of an engine. While it is rarely difficult to identify the misfire as the root cause of the above symptoms, identifying the cause of the misfire itself is generally much more difficult.

and below are some of the most common causes of cylinder misfires.

#1 – Faulty/Damaged/Fouled Spark Plugs

An engine’s spark plugs are responsible for providing the individual cylinders with the spark necessary to initiate combustion. After

hours, spark plugs can become fouled or improperly gapped, making ignition difficult, if not impossible. This causes misfires that only proper maintenance can fix. Checking the condition of the

spark plugs (and replacing if necessary) can go a long way in preventing future misfires.

#2 – Compromised Coil-Packs/Plug Wires

Ignition energy is supplied to the cylinder’s spark plugs via a dedicated spark plug wire or coil pack in an engine with a coil ignition system. Over time, exposure to the heat generated by the engine can weaken and crack the insulating exterior of these components, allowing ignition energy to preemptively reach the ground.

#3 – Damaged/Corroded Distributor Cap or Faulty Ignition Coil

Another possible cause of active misfires includes a partial failure of the engine’s distributor cap or ignition coil.

Many older internal combustion engines used such devices to time the spark supply to each cylinder. Unfortunately, distributor caps were prone to cracking and corrosion problems, and coils often suffered from heat-related failures.

#4 – Fuel-Delivery Issues

Another common cause of engine misfires is failure of one or more fuel injectors. A fuel injector can fail mechanically or electrically, preventing fuel from being metered to the corresponding cylinder. This leaves no catalyst for combustion and the cylinder loses power. This often results in a pronounced tremor that is felt fairly easily.

Read: Types Of Engines – Everything You Need To Know

#5 – Compression Loss

In rare cases, a misfire condition can occur due to loss of compression in one or more cylinders. This is more likely to be the case for engines with high mileage or older builds.

Loss of compression can be due to damaged piston rings, damaged piston, or valve related issues. A severe head gasket failure can also lead to sudden compression loss.

Read: How To Destroy A Car Engine Without Getting Caught?

#6 – Emissions-Control Induced Misfires

Defective or slight emission control devices can also cause persistent misfires in one or more of the engine’s cylinders. This is most common when the EGR valve is stuck in the open position.

This allows excess exhaust gases to be returned to the engine intake for re-combustion. As a result, oxygen saturation falls below optimum levels, preventing efficient combustion.

Such misfires occur fairly randomly on different cylinders. This is because excess exhaust gases are randomly recirculated between each cylinder of the engine.

Read: How To Make A Small Engine For A Toy Car?

Is It Safe to Continue Driving?

If your vehicle’s Check Engine Light is flashing and there is noticeable swaying, we recommend that you do not drive any longer than necessary to reach your safe destination. Unlike the service engine, it quickly loses weight, which can be serious.

As previously mentioned, this type of symptom is most commonly associated with engine misfires or partial/complete loss of combustion in one or more cylinders.

Not only is this an indicator of poor performance later on, it is often a precursor to many secondary problems that may occur in the future if the misfire itself is not corrected.

One such example is damage to a vehicle’s catalytic converter. This damage occurs whenever too much fuel is introduced into the engine’s exhaust, generally due to lack of spark.

In any case, the root cause of a vehicle misfire should be thoroughly diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. This will prevent further problems from occurring. Many of which may prove to be very costly.

If you are not confident in diagnosing and fixing the problem yourself, consult a reputable independent mechanic or dealer service center as soon as possible.

Read: How To Test An Engine Out Of A Car?

Can I drive my car with the check engine light blinking?

A flashing CEL indicates a serious problem that requires immediate vehicle repair. So, if your Check Engine Light is flashing, stop and call a tow truck. Continuing to drive the vehicle with the CEL flashing can cause irreversible damage to internal components.

If the Check Engine Light comes on for any reason, it is still possible to drive the vehicle, but he recommends driving an additional 50-100 miles before scanning the car’s computer for trouble codes . This process allows us to identify the problem at hand and deal with it as we see fit.

Read: Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 How To Tune engine?

Check engine light flashing and car shaking honda accord

When the Check Engine Light starts flashing on your Honda Accord, it means the problem needs to be addressed immediately and you need to bring in your Honda immediately. This flashing light usually indicates a severe engine misfire causing unburned fuel to enter the exhaust system. It can be something as simple as an old spark plug producing uneven power output, to a more serious problem such as worn or broken engine mounts, or even more serious in the case of internal engine failure.

Mercedes benz check engine light on and car shaking

If you feel a vibration or wobble in your steering wheel or brake pedal, the rotor may be the culprit. The rotor is pushed by the brake pads, slowing down the Mercedes-Benz car. An unbalanced rotor can cause a vibrational shudder that you can feel in your steering wheel and pedals.

If you’re wondering, “Can you drive a Mercedes-Benz with the Check Engine Light on?”, you can definitely do it if this is your problem. However, a faulty oxygen sensor can damage the catalytic converter, which is expensive to replace, so you should bring your vehicle in right away.


In this article mentioned above, we have discussed about the shaking of car while driving. It is important to check the engine light while driving  no matter what car it is. sometimes , it is normal for cars to keep shaking. 

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