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Q: Santa Fe - Engine Check Light Flashing, "Rough Idle"/Sputtering on 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

Just purchased a used 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe, and after about 5 days the Engine Check light has started coming on and the engine idles 'rough', like its sputtering. Otherwise the car performs fine. Last night the engine light was lit (always on) and then after about 10 minutes driving home, it started flashing.

The manual says its emissions related but makes no distinction between flashing and always on.

Q1: It is safe for me to drive this to the dealer? (Towing is costly compared to driving - and if I am not likely to blow it up/cause more significant damage, I'd prefer to drive it in myself)

Q2: The timing is very coincidental (days after purchase) The vehicle was inspected by a third party and serviced before being handed over to me - it has 130,000 kilometers on the Odo. Is this likely a 'bad luck situation' or could this be misrepresentation? If they 'tweaked' the engine check light, what should I ask the vehicle service tech to look for when I take it in?

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The check engine light comes on when the vehicles control module sees a problem. It starts flashing when the control module sees a problem that is potentially damaging the catalytic converter such as a continuous misfire. Depending on how far you have to go it would probably be OK to drive it in. I would avoid highway speeds and limit it to a few miles. I doubt it is any kind of misrepresentation. Could even be as simple as a plug wire or coil pack did not get on a plug properly during service. Did you get any tune work done. If so I would check that first.
Nice, thank you for the quick response! I too would like to think this is a coincidence about the timing, but will be off to the workshop now. Thanks for the recommendation about the taking heed of the flashing light.
If you can get the check engine light to stay on go to an autozone and get a free 'engine trouble code readout'. The problem sounds like 'misfiring' caused by a faulty spark plug or bad spark plug coil pack. The readout will tell you which cylinder is misfiring and then you can change it out. I've had the same occurance on my ford escape and ranger always turned out to be the coil.
Good to know and tanks for sharing your ideas for a solution as well as answering my question! I will be sure to pass it onto the workshop personnel. All the best.
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Its easy to turn off a check engine light, if they just turned off he light a professional scan tool can check "monitor status", if the light was just recently turned off the evap, cat converter and misfire diagnostics probably will probably not be in a passed state right now.A flashing check engine light should not be driven as damage may occur to the catalytic converter. Hyundai as a car manufacturer put a lot of free technical information and workshop manuals on line for Hyundai owners. Check out lots of great information.
Reading the codes is the first place to start to fix the problem with the car. If the car has higher mileage make sure the timing belt was changed very important in that car.
Absolutely fabulous reply Partick! Many thanks for all the detail. I will be sure to ask about the 'monitor status' and am off to the workshop now.

Out of curiosity, If I take it back to the workshop recommended by the dealer, can they 'reset' or otherwise obscure the "Monitor Status" readings should I take the vehicle to another workshop and ask them for a second opinion?
-> It is possible this is a coincidence, and I would like to think the dealer and their recommended workshop are trustworthy, but would like to cover my bases if they come back with a $$$$ quote.

Best regards!
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