Re: Check Engine light is on and blinking in my 2001 ford escape help!
On steady means REAL PROBLEM NOW, and you should get it checked and repaired to avoid causing permanent damage. Blinking means malfunctions have occurred, but may not be occurring right now.
Code readers are less than $30 if you check around. Harbor Freight will send you one relatively inexpensively if you do not have access locally. As noted some parts stores will extract the codes, and present you with a printout of what they find. It helps them sell products to the do it yourself type person. If you have a laptop computer with USB port, there are programs that will let you read codes after you purchase the proper connecting wire setup.