jerking and check engine light on 2001 Ford Mustang

My car hesitates and jerks when I step on the gas. I use regular unleaded. My check engine light comes off an on and flashes. Its on while driving around town,I just came off a trip and it came on and was flashing while going up hills, trying to pass other cars. Please help. I enjoy my Mustang 2001. I treat it like a baby and want to keep it. I am a Lady.

by in West Monroe, LA on March 13, 2011
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1 answer
ANSWER by , March 13, 2011
May be as simple a failing ignition system. If the Check Engine Light/Service Engine Soon light illuminates while you are driving, the car's on board computer sees a fault in the engines management system that is causing an excess amount of pollutants to be emitted from your car. This could result in engine damage if left neglected. Some problems that can cause the Check Engine light to stay on may take two "drive cycles' to complete before illuminating the Check Engine Light. The computer sees a problem and looks for an identical set of circumstances to occur to confirm that it has indeed seen a problem before turning on the light. A Check Engine light that continually flashes while you are driving is serious and is a sign that the computer sees a problem that seriously risks damaging the catalytic converter which may result in an expensive repair or even may cause a fire! Diagnostic codes are stored in the vehicle's computer and can be retrieved using a scantool that communicates with the computer in your car. We have in our Repairpal website an encyclopedia with in depth articles about computer, and computer control systems, emission and driveability problems. http://repairpal.com/check-engine-light