Flashing check engine light? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Engine Performance This section is for discussion on all engine building related questions.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-26-2011, 02:30 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default Flashing check engine light?

Today I fired up my 96 Miata and as I drive down the road something seems odd right away. I hear what sounds like a faint clicking noise and on acceleration, it seems like it would stumble/bog down. Then as soon as I know it, I see a flashing check engine light. Obviously this worries me and I turn around and park her right back in the garage.

The same thing happened the other day, but with no CEL. But then it went away until now again. Hopefully this doesn't have to do with my cutting out the old alarm system that didn't work anyway.

Can someone help me out here?
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 02:34 AM   #2
Senior Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central, TX / Bay area, CA
Posts: 1,272
Total Cats: 3
Default

I dont no what it is but when the light flashes its not good.
Gotpsi? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotpsi? View Post
I dont no what it is but when the light flashes its not good.
Lol, I already assumed that.
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Delicious and Moist.
Posts: 26,327
Total Cats: 1,926
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by _spyder View Post
Can someone help me out here?
Yes, nearly any auto parts store can. Tell them you want them to plug in the scanner and give you a list of the stored codes. Most shops will do this for free.
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 02:49 AM   #5
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default

I planned on doing that, but I'm worried about driving ~3 miles to the closest one when the car runs like crap and has a flashing CEL. After doing a little browsing, I've seen things such as plugs/wires/coilpack. And if I drive the car as it it can burn up my cat. Ahh, this isn't looking good, especially since I'm a poor college kid.
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 03:06 AM   #6
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,199
Total Cats: 2,584
Default

Harbor Freight sells scanners for 30 bux. Get one
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #7
Supporting Vendor
iTrader: (10)
 
Reverant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 5,441
Total Cats: 198
Default

Flashing CEL is usually a "misfire" code. It does so to indicate that it is a severe problem and you need to stop before you destroy your cat converter.
Reverant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 250
Total Cats: 0
Default

Misfire, I'm going to use my ouija board and guess bad coilpack.
saedrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MONROE CT
Posts: 1,100
Total Cats: 2
Default

Anytime you get a flashing CEL you have BAD mis fire Dont drive long with it mis firing if you have a cat or you will need a new one.
miatamike203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default

My car just likes to fail on me all at once. Everything just needs fixing. Anyone know where I can get a new coilpack for a 96? Hell, anyone in the area that wants to help out, please feel free. I'm stuck right now and I'm just getting sick of alla this.

And if my cat dies, I'll probably replace it with a 2.5" test pipe for ~$70.
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 10:04 PM   #11
Senior Member
iTrader: (18)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Big Bear Ca
Posts: 990
Total Cats: 8
Default

These guys are guessing.

Walk to your nearest autoparts store (3mi?).
Rent (buy) the scanner.
Walk home, scan car.
Report back with findings.
Fix issue.
Drive to Autoparts store.
Return scanner for full refund.
dstn2bdoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
Elite Member
iTrader: (4)
 
MartinezA92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 1,702
Total Cats: 28
Default

No guessing here. A flashing CEL is a misfire.
MartinezA92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 10:29 PM   #13
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Delicious and Moist.
Posts: 26,327
Total Cats: 1,926
Default

Yeah, Martinez et al. are correct. I just checked the FSM, and the only five DTC that are listed as flashing the MIL are Random Misfire plus the four specific misfire codes.

Might be as simple as a fouled spark plug or an old plug wire.
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 718
Total Cats: 5
Default

Has this happened before? a 3 mile trip isnt going to wreck your cat.
Scan it. the flashing is usually multi misfire. Its an easy fix.Get codes and come back here.
TURNS101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #15
Newb
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 7
Total Cats: 0
Default

When I was younger and more foolish, I drove my randomly misfiring NB for about 10k miles. Replaced the coil pack at the end of that stupidity, car has been running well for the past five years.

96 model car could possibly be OBD I? Didn't they change over around 96 to OBD II? If you have an OBD I car, scanner may be different/not so cheap.
Ettie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 12:21 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MONROE CT
Posts: 1,100
Total Cats: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstn2bdoa View Post
These guys are guessing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TURNS101 View Post
Has this happened before? a 3 mile trip isnt going to wreck your cat.
Scan it. the flashing is usually multi misfire. Its an easy fix.Get codes and come back here.
Yes it has I have had to do cats in car before mostly audi as the coils would go bad people would drive with the mis fire and blow there car apart from driving with the mis fire. SO YES IT CAN HAPPEN. GOOGLE IT!!! here is what you get.
http://www.villa-automotive.com/Reas...terFailure.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ettie View Post
96 model car could possibly be OBD I? Didn't they change over around 96 to OBD II? If you have an OBD I car, scanner may be different/not so cheap.
Federal law mandates that all car made from 1996 and up must be ODBII compliant. So yes a 96 miata is OBDII also some old cars have a OBDII connector.

Last edited by miatamike203; 03-27-2011 at 12:47 AM.
miatamike203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 05:00 AM   #17
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Yeah, Martinez et al. are correct. I just checked the FSM, and the only five DTC that are listed as flashing the MIL are Random Misfire plus the four specific misfire codes.

Might be as simple as a fouled spark plug or an old plug wire.
Yeah, I'm pretty much positive that it's a misfire. I hope it's a bad spark plug or wire, but I'm not really sure how to test all that stuff. I can take a peek at the plugs myself, and look for anything suspicious on the wires. But if that stuff doesn't fix it, I'll probably look into replacing the coil pack(s?).

So, anyone know where to get a coil pack for a 96 with the best pricing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TURNS101 View Post
Has this happened before? a 3 mile trip isnt going to wreck your cat.
Scan it. the flashing is usually multi misfire. Its an easy fix.Get codes and come back here.
It happened a few days ago, and then went away after I unhooked the battery. Now it's back again even tho the car worked just fine for a few days. I sure hope that it's an easy fix tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ettie View Post
When I was younger and more foolish, I drove my randomly misfiring NB for about 10k miles. Replaced the coil pack at the end of that stupidity, car has been running well for the past five years.

96 model car could possibly be OBD I? Didn't they change over around 96 to OBD II? If you have an OBD I car, scanner may be different/not so cheap.
Like I said, I'll look at the plugs/wires, then look into getting a new coilpack.

But it's an OBDII, so I'm good there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamike203 View Post
Yes it has I have had to do cats in car before mostly audi as the coils would go bad people would drive with the mis fire and blow there car apart from driving with the mis fire. SO YES IT CAN HAPPEN. GOOGLE IT!!! here is what you get.
http://www.villa-automotive.com/Reas...terFailure.htm

Federal law mandates that all car made from 1996 and up must be ODBII compliant. So yes a 96 miata is OBDII also some old cars have a OBDII connector.
If the cat goes bad, chances are I'll replace it with a 2.5" test pipe anyways for ~$70. But you're right, it is an OBDII.
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MONROE CT
Posts: 1,100
Total Cats: 2
Default

If you have a bad coil pack you wont have spark for 1&4 or 2&3 as one coil works two cylinders.
miatamike203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #19
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Delicious and Moist.
Posts: 26,327
Total Cats: 1,926
Default

Since he doesn't know the code, that's still a possibility. Could be "random misfire" or a combination of two cylinder-specific codes.

_spyder, if you're looking for a new coils, they're $125 at Rosenthal: http://finishlineperformance.com/sto...8&cat=0&page=1

RockAuto is only $4 cheaper, so I expect this is as low as it's going to get for a new part.



I'd also advise at least inspecting the plugs and wires.
Joe Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 12:12 AM   #20
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 384
Total Cats: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamike203 View Post
If you have a bad coil pack you wont have spark for 1&4 or 2&3 as one coil works two cylinders.
Well if I had to guess right now, I'd say just one cylinder isn't sparking. If it were two, I think the car would be running a lot worse. If your information is correct, this would leave me to believe that it's a plug or wire. I've heard you can go through wires on these cars pretty quick.

I might buy a new set of these:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NGK-S...Q5fAccessories

But I also want to put some new plugs in as well. What do you guys recommend on a turbo 1.8 @ ~10psi? And what gap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Since he doesn't know the code, that's still a possibility. Could be "random misfire" or a combination of two cylinder-specific codes.

_spyder, if you're looking for a new coils, the're $125 at Rosenthal: http://finishlineperformance.com/sto...8&cat=0&page=1

RockAuto is only $4 cheaper, so I expect this is as low as it's going to get for a new part.



I'd also advise at least inspecting the plugs and wires.
Thanks for link, if I end up needing to buy a new coilpack that's where I'll get it from. I'll be inspecting/replacing the plugs and wires before I bite the bullet on a new coilpack though. I just don't know what kind of plugs to get and what to gap them at. Maybe some NGK V-Power's or NGK Platinum's with a .041-.044 inch gap?
_spyder is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 59 12-15-2017 09:00 PM
Changing from 460cc to flow force 610cc in diypnp 90 Turbo MEGAsquirt 19 10-19-2015 04:23 PM
Expected intake temps on the track? tazswing Race Prep 20 10-03-2015 12:04 PM
(Noob). Does MS3 use CEL? TheNomad MEGAsquirt 6 10-01-2015 11:47 AM
Leaky Wilwoods mx592 Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 1 10-01-2015 01:45 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:02 PM.