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Blinking Check Engine light - First Steps?

43291 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  humanoid
I have a 98 Toyota Tacoma that this morning when I started it had a rough idle. Then when I drove it less than a mile the check engine light came on blinking. What are some easy first steps I can take to try and troubleshoot the problem? I was thinking possibly plugs and wires. Yes/No?
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Im guessing plug, wire, or injector. Best thing to do is have the code scanned so you at least know what cylinder to look at. Then I would look for any signs of burning or electrical arcing in the wire going to that cylinder. Injector problems are very rare.
If the check engine light is blinking it means a severe engine problem such as a catalyst-damaging misfire is occurring. Try not to drive the vehicle at high speed or with excess weight (such as towing or carrying heavy equipment). Source EPA website.

Suggest getting the codes read as soon as possible.

Thanks for the reply. That is what I was hoping and what I was planning on checking when I get home.

Make it a great day!
Jeff, get the codes pulled first. You can get that done at the local AutoZone and they do it for free. Without knowing what the code(s) is/are it's just a guessing game.
Back on the road

Thanks for the replies guys. It was actually fairly easy to troubleshoot once I got home and popped the hood. My number 2 spark plug wire had rubbed again the air intake and wore a hole in the outer cover. So number 2 was arcing to the air intake and therefore not firing and dumping fuel directly into the cat. I replaced the plugs and wires and the truck is running smooth again.

Make it a great day!
Glad it was a relatively easy fix for you!
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