My car is violently shaking and my check light and HOLD light keep flashing. What could be wrong?

If you’re driving with the car shaking and check engine light on, you need to pull over and shut off the engine as soon as it’s safe to do so. What exactly is going on?

The HOLD light comes on when you tell the transmission to hold a specific gear, while a flashing light indicates a transmission problem. However, it may just have problems coping with the shaking engine. A blinking Check Engine light means there’s something seriously wrong with the emissions system. The shaking suggests you’re having a misfire, which is dumping unburnt fuel into the exhaust, while making the engine shake. This is usually caused by a bad spark plug, ignition coil, or wiring.

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