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Q: Check engine flashing? Can't recreate problem...

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I drove my car about a mile this morning, just dropping somebody off for work. On the way back (literally maybe a mile round trip), the check engine light started to flash and then eventually just stayed lit. Nothing seemed to be acting any differently than usual, so when I got home, I decided to pull the negative on the battery to reset the CEL, drove it a few miles trying to see if the problem would reappear, and it wouldn't. Check engine light hasn't come on.

Sometimes the electric doors will automatically lock themselves... hadn't happened in a long time but did today while I was peering in the engine as it ran (since looking at it while it was off wasn't showing me anything obvious). Luckily, I have a second key.

Drove the car again for a few miles, literally the same trek I made this morning, doing it 2-3 times, and nothing happened with the CEL again.

What do I try next?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Usually when the check engine light is flashing, this indicates a misfire on one or more cylinders. I would first recommend having the trouble codes checked with an OBD2 scanner to determine what codes are stored. Then I would enlist in the assistance of a qualified mechanic to inspect your vehicle for ignition issuesrelevant to the code that has been stored in your powertrain control module. It is possible that you could have a faulty spark plug, spark plug wire, or ignition coil. Those are the most likely parts to cause a misfire.

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