Often times I get phone calls from customers wondering if the light on their dash is a serious problem. Some have told me the light started flashing and their vehicle immediately started chugging or running rough. Some have told me the light has been on for months and it's been running fine. Some have even "fixed the problem themselves with a piece of electrical tape." Regardless....there are many answers to this now age old question. The most important piece of advice I can give in this little blog is..... If the light is flashing and the vehicle is running poorly get somewhere as soon as possible and have the vehicle's computer scanned. If the check engine light is flashing, most likely the vehicle is misfiring. Misfires can cause expensive damage to the vehicles engine and catalytic converter. The misfire could be caused by something as simple as a bad spark plug and/or an ignition coil. If the check engine light is on but the vehicle seems to be running ok, in most cases there is not an immediate threat to causing horrible engine or exhaust damage. A quick scan test at most shops like ours will do it for free. Once that quick scan test is performed we can assess how serious the situation is and figure out the next steps to diagnosing a certain emissions issue or repairing the necessary parts on the vehicle.