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Old 08-16-2016, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,099 posts, read 9,545,476 times
Reputation: 12744

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Well, I suppose that since I have not driven every single vehicle to see if the CEL will flash for a misfire, it might be remiss of me to claim that this is so. However, having driven *some* vehicles with a code reader in use in order to diagnose an intermittent flashing CEL, I can state with certainty that *some* vehicles will flash the CEL during misfire conditions, and given substantial standardization of OBD systems and codes I find it likely that many others would as well.

An intermittent flashing CEL does not necessarily mean you must call a tow truck immediately, but if it continues flashing (and won't stop) then it might be a good idea...although I suspect that the vehicle may be running so crappy at that point that you won't need the light to tell you that you're forked.

If you get an intermittent flashing CEL, then it's a good idea to read the codes to find out why, and correct the issue...otherwise, you *might* find the situation worsening to the extent that you *will* find yourself needing a tow truck at some point.



Most often, the flashing CEL indicates a severe misfire. You can still get misfire codes that don't flash, like a P0301 code indicating a cyl 1 misfire. It may be intermittent, or not bad enough to really cause a major issue driving the car around. In this case, the CEL will be solid, and not flash.


Usually for the CEL to flash, you have to have a major misfire situation going on. Pull off 2-3 coil packs and try to drive the car. If it runs, you might soon be greeted by a flashing CEL and the engine may barely run. This is about the only time I've seen the CEL flash..and usually you have a pretty good idea that you probably shouldn't be driving the car anyway.

But you are right, the flashing CEL (indicating severe misfire condition) is pretty standard with all OBD2 setups
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,590 posts, read 11,953,745 times
Reputation: 18115
My Jeep Grand Cherokee gives a readout of the number of miles left to the next oil change when you start it. If a bulb burns out in the exterior lighting, it tells you. If the tire pressure is low, it tells you. If the coolant is low, it tells you. It will do this in several languages. I have never had an engine malfunction, so don't know what it would say in that case.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Charlotte county, Florida
4,190 posts, read 5,131,343 times
Reputation: 12182
Take it to Advance Auto or another auto parts chain, they often check the vehicle for free..
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:50 PM
 
10,214 posts, read 14,680,901 times
Reputation: 11299
And no one Googled this????????????????


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAyLXS_Lles
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:50 PM
 
755 posts, read 611,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cats234 View Post
theres no difference. Do you have a Nissan? the "service engine soon" is the check engine light for my Nissan. Just to be sure you can go to Pepboys or if you have a code reader and get the code
Yes, I have several cars, but my Nissan Maxima that I bought used and rarely drives SERVICE ENGINE SOON light just came on. Found it interesting because CEL comes on, on all my other cars.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:18 PM
 
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
6,652 posts, read 2,777,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZORAC View Post
Can anybody explain the specifics on whats the difference between the 2.
Get out your owner's manual and flip to the page that explains it.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,099 posts, read 9,545,476 times
Reputation: 12744
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZORAC View Post
Yes, I have several cars, but my Nissan Maxima that I bought used and rarely drives SERVICE ENGINE SOON light just came on. Found it interesting because CEL comes on, on all my other cars.

So buy a $10 wifi/Bluetooth adapter off ebay/amazon, and download a $5 app on your smart phone. Plug the adapter into the OBD2 port and you can read the codes.




Iphone = buy wifi ELM327 adapter
Android = buy Bluetooth ELM327 adapter


As for what app to use? There's a few different ones, but if you have a ford product, I highly recommend FORScan. You can read data from the modules above and beyond what a standard OBD2 scanner can do.


All for under $20 or so.






Of course, the other question is do you know what to do what that information?
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:06 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,275,212 times
Reputation: 2859
check engine light first one I had there was a leak in the gas tank. One year to find out why it came on

Next one the cat converter bad after an injection flush.

Next one a sensor bad, mostly it is emission stuff but any auto place will read the code free.

Then the tech goes from the code to the fix-
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:18 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,275,212 times
Reputation: 2859
the code for gas tank which all did ignore as getting gas you did not turn the cap why it was ignored.

Forgot the code but I also did a fuel filler replace and light came on. Got a tech who did listen got the smoke machine and solved. It was a valid reason the light came on-
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:38 PM
 
12 posts, read 9,448 times
Reputation: 20
"Service Engine Soon" is typically an automatic reminder based on the miles you've driven, number of start-stop cycles, etc that tells you that should probably get an oil change soon. When you change the oil, you should reset this reminder. In most cars, it doesn't mean much.

A check engine light means an error code has popped up and is stored in the OBD-II. If you have a scanner you can plug it in to grab the code, or bring it to an autoparts store who can read it for you. Usually, this is an emissions related issue.

A CEL can cause you to fail state inspection. A "service engine soon light" will not.

If there are NOT two separate lights, then you'll have to scan the car every time the service engine soon light comes on to see if there is a code.

Bottom line: Read the manual! There is so much useful information in there. And the best part is it wouldn't be conflicting like this thread. It will tell you exactly what's applicable to your car.
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