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CEL flashing 02 legacy ej251

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Hey guys, first timer here.


I am currently in NZ and picked up a 02 legacy with about 175,000 km. The CEL light came on and stayed on for a few weeks. I ended up changing the plugs as they had most likely never been changed before and after that the CEL started flashing and hasn't stopped. From what I understand this means I have a misfire.


The motor sounds okay, just a ticking sound at certain rpms. It doesn't feel like it's misfiring so I'm not sure what this means. I've read tight valve lash and a worn timing belt could be the cause. I should really stop reading online as now I fear the worst.


The valve cover gaskets we're leaking and there was oil in some of the spark plugs tubes. I've ordered new gaskets and spark plugs leads so hopefully that will fix the issue and will update this post one they are installed.


Do you guys have any insight into this? I unplugged the battery and left it over night after changing the plugs and when I reconnected it the next day, the CEL still flashed even before starting the car. So hopefully it's just one of the plug wires grounding out.





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