flashing check engine light

My wifes 96 taurus 140000, 3.0 , auto. The service engine soon light has started blinking. It still seems to run alright. We don't have a lot of money to put in this car.
What do I check first?
Thanks Dave
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Pull the trouble codes.

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How do I check the codes?

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You need a scan tool. Then too understand the codes need a manual.

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Would that be the time to change the oil service light? If so, maybe an owners manual would tell you how to reset it.

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Take it to an AutoZone; they'll pull the codes for free (except in California, where that's illegal).
Willywanka wrote:

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Willywanka wrote:

Dave That is a emmissons system problem! All post 1996 cars have a OBD2 engine monitor system to check various operations. There are nearly 500 codes and you need to go to a Auto ZONE,Pep Boys, or what ever garage with a scan tool. Don't bother shoping for a OBD2 code scaner, they retail at $200!! It could be a sensor has gone bad or in my case a bad coil pack screwing up the ignition. A list of codes is in the engine section of the Haynes repair manual book at the parts store for like $5.....
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cause the flashing CEL.
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A blinking MIL indicates a constant misfire posing danger to the cat. Under this condition, large quantities of unburned fuel are released into the exhaust system, and catalytic converter failure (meltdown) becomes imminent. The situation needs rectified immediately (if it's not already too late) or you will be looking at a very unpleasant bill for converter replacement.
On Sat, 01 Nov 2003 13:53:53 -0700, Willywanka wrote:

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I replaced the plugs and wires yesterday. It seems to run better. The plugs were probably original equipment judging from the look of them. One had an electrode completely burned off, and another was wet.
Dave

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the wet one was your misfire.
On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 10:19:02 -0700, Willywanka wrote:

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Check the coil pack! It maybe the problem. No spark to one plug, thus it just gets wet.
Willywanka wrote:

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