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Q: After repairs, Check Engine Light stays on

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The check engine light has been flashing in my minivan. These are the things that I have repaired and/or replaced: changed plugs, ignition coil, wires, fuel filter, throttle control sensor, o2 sensors, and cleaned mass air flow sensor. Also, the catalytic converter was burning red so I cleared out the catalytic converters. After doing all that, there is still no power when I accelerate; there is a rough idle and then the minivan stalls. I still need to change the alternator, which is faulty. Do you think the alternator could fix the problem or perhaps the fuel injectors?

A: Hello. The flashing Check Engine Light is a...

Hello. The flashing Check Engine Light is an indicator that there is a misfire in the engine that will damage the catalytic converter. This means that you should not drive the vehicle any more than absolutely necessary or the catalytic converter can be damaged.

It is possible that the catalyst has been melted and is not letting the exhaust flow through it. If the catalyst is restricted, your car will not run properly like you are describing. It is possible that a fuel injector problem could cause the misfire condition, but without further diagnosis, you may be unnecessarily replacing a component. A glowing red converter is a sign that raw fuel is being burned in the converter. Most times, an ignition problem is the cause of unburnt fuel getting to the converter. Since you already had a lot of parts replaced, I would have a professional mechanic diagnose the Check Engine Light thoroughly to pinpoint the correct repairs that are necessary.

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