Flashing Check Engine Light

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by Bassblaster, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Greetings, First time poster in the vehicles section of AK.

    Got a quick question. my 99 dodge dakota 5.2 got a flashing check engine light a couple days ago. it came on after i had my foot hard on the floor trying to get up to speed on the interstate. Did i mention this thing is COMPLETELY gutless? 45-70 in over 10 seconds.

    ill take it in tomorrow and get the computer read, just would like to get a rough idea on what i could expect.
     
  2. spicer

    spicer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    742
    On an OBD II vehicle, like yours, a flashing check engine light usually means severe misfire. If that's the case you should feel it... like taking off a spark plug wire, or two. A code, or codes will be set for sure. It might simply be in need of a tune up.. plugs, wires, cap and rotor if it has a distributor... not an unusual fix.
     
  3. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    i read a little about misfire, but it doesnt seem to run rough at all. i have thought about getting a tune up kit with new wires, cap and rotor. i already done all 8 plug about 3 weeks ago
     
  4. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,502
    Location:
    West coast
    some auto parts stores will lend you an OBD reader. some of these will tell you the codes,
    and may have nothing to do with tune-ups. like one tank of bad gas.

    some OBDs interface to a smartphone so you can see stuff while driving.

    and you can clear the codes with these.

    BTW, your 99 Dakota uses caps, rotors? interesting - brings me back to the
    days the Chevies used a hex key to dial it in.
     
    grillebilly likes this.
  5. davidb1

    davidb1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,336
    Location:
    Sandy Springs GA
  6. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,715
    Location:
    The Cult of Personality
    You may be able to retrieve the codes from the dash itself. On my 99 I hold down the trip mileage button on the speedometer and turn the key to the "ON" position and the codes (if any) will scroll across where the mileage read out is. If there aren't any it will say "No Codes" but if your Chk Eng Light is blinking, you have a problem somewhere.
     
    stish and noogies like this.
  7. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Im going to go try that right now, will update...
    UPDATE: No codes or "no codes" reading, but it did go into a test thing there all the lights came on and all the gauges went to max.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  8. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,909
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    The hex key is actually nice, it's the nicest mechanism I've ever seen to set dwell on a points dist...

    Of course today the answer is to rip that #$%^ out and put in an early HEI.
     
  9. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,715
    Location:
    The Cult of Personality
    Just turn your key to the 'on' position and you may have to do it 3 times but keep holding the trip button down while doing it.
    It's called "the key dance." The third time leave the key in the on position.
    Been a while since I've done this.
     
    stish likes this.
  10. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    updated my post, but i dont did it twice. guess ill go try it 3 times. i assume keep the button pressed in when cycling from on off back to on?
     
  11. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,715
    Location:
    The Cult of Personality
    Yes, keep the button pushed in and the key in the 'on' position on the third stroke.
     
  12. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,692
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yeah I'm thinking failing coil or 02 sensor
     
    stish likes this.
  13. spicer

    spicer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    742
    Yes.. there are other things that can cause the light to flash besides the usual tune up items, the flashing as opposed to simply being on is an indication that you fix it soon as it might lead to other, expensive repairs. A severe misfire can cause excessive HC, unburned fuel, to enter the converter and ruin it, usually through overheating, as well as excessive, gross, exhaust pollution. As suggested above a code reader is useful, but an actual scan tool is most useful since it monitors actual sensor activity and ECM response. As was mentioned, a coil, I believe your engine has one coil, will also cause it, as will even one bad/dead wire.. or a combination of several failing by degree.. as well as a fuel injector not spraying correctly, or stuck open. Without a scan tool I would replace the wires and cap and rotor before I took it in.. at least check the old fashion way to see if each cylinder is getting spark at the plug. Sometimes they don't miss enough to be obvious...just usually... sometimes an engine under heavy load will fool you. I believe your system offers scan tool identification of which cylinder is missing, a great help with diagnosing. By the way... a partially clogged converter can produce the symptoms you describe... no apparent miss, poor power under load, flashing check engine light under load.
     
  14. spicer

    spicer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    742
    On your Dodge.. turn the ignition switch on and off five times in a row and that should start the check engine light code read out sequence... unless they changed it.
     
  15. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man

    Messages:
    24,497
    Location:
    uk.. the middle bit
    a proper scan tool will have live data and show the misfire count in real time . i recently fixed a car with same fault . it was misfiring on lpg but ok on petrol . soon worked out it was 2 iffy lpg gas injectors . quick rebuild of all injectors it was good as new
     
  16. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Turning on and off 3 and 5 times doesn’t do anything. Holding the mileage button just makes It go into self test where everything lights up. How fast does it have to be? How long before the light does it’s code readout sequence?
    This guy on YouTube done it with his 01 Dakota and worked

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  17. spicer

    spicer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    742
    Yes... that self test is for the cluster. My memory for that year Dodge is turning the ignition switch on then off quickly five times in a row leaving it in the on position, the read out should begin almost immediately... a few seconds. They change the way this is done from time to time but it seems Dodge kept that way for quite a number of years. I didn't keep up with those kinds of changes since I always had a scan available as well as full documentation for each vehicle.
     
  18. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,715
    Location:
    The Cult of Personality
    Try it without the trip button held down. I may have 'key dance' and 'needle dance' mixed up. Like I said, it's been a while since I've done this. If holding the button down makes it go into self test, try it without the button held down.
    You also may be turning the ignition switch too far, it is easy to do that.
     
  19. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    i get cluster self test buy holding the button and turning key on just once. one and off 3 or 5 times did not read anything. just goes to normal mileage reading. 141K if anyone wants to know :p
     
  20. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Super Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Cambridge, Ohio
    done it without holding the button. make no difference. just doesnt self test the cluster.
     

Share This Page