Check engine light usually indicates an oxygen sensor malfunction. The switch is usually installed in the side of the exhaust pipe near the engine. In the winter the wire that is connected to it often breaks off. It is usually a simple fix for a mechanic.
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No. a flashing check engine light means that there is a serious possibility that the catalytic converter is in danger of getting damaged. If you are losing coolant (and i am guessing that your engine is overheating) you most likely have a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. And because of that you are getting a large quantity of coolant on the exhaust system, which can ultimately damage the catalytic converter.
When the light is flashing its indicating a problem that can cause more severe problems and should be diagnosed as soon as possible From what youve indicated it may be a misfire code which will cause catalytic converter problems