Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car doesn't run after Check Engine light came on

asked by on

The Check Engine light started blinking, and then the engine started to chug. Then the car wouldn't accelerate, and the power steering went out. Now, it doesn't run at all.

Hi there. When the check engine light starts flashing that means that the engine is experiencing a cylinder misfire. If the engine ended up stalling afterwards then you may have a fuel pump that failed or possibly a timing belt that broke. A mechanic would usually start by checking the fuel pressure and the engine compression to see which one is not within specifications. If the engine now sounds like it is cranking faster than normal then it is a timing belt that needs to be replaced. If it sounds the same as it always has and simply does not start it may be the fuel pump or even a crank sensor that would need to be replaced.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car doesn't run after Check Engine light came on

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Airbag light is on, traction control light is on, and the check engine light is on.

The best thing to do is check the check engine light with a scanner and see what code could be stored. This will give you a starting place for diagnostics with your vehicle since three different lights are on. If...

Q: Power intermittently goes on/off, shutting down everything. 2004 Saturn Vue

Hello - this does sound like a loose wire, ground or bad fuse box. As you suggest, something has a very large power path break that is vibration or temperature sensitive. I would recommend an electrical system inspection by a...

Q: My car was overheating, it stopped and will no longer start. I checked the oil and it doesn't look like chocolate milk. What else?

Hi there. One of the biggest misconceptions about overheating is that a head gasket failure is the cause of overheating. This is generally a false statement. A blown head gasket is the result of an overheating problem. When the engine...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...