Honda “Check Engine” Light: What Could Be the Problem?

Updated on January 27, 2019
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

Your “Check Engine” light comes on when your car’s onboard computer (or PCM, Powertrain Control Module) records some kind of problem. This onboard computer runs your car so that it has optimum fuel economy and low emissions. The PCM creates a code indicating what part or system is malfuntioning (electrical system, oxygen sensors, and so on). Your tech can get the code from the vehicle and look up its meaning.

In the meantime, you’re probably wondering: what are the possibilities? Is there something going on in your car or in your life that triggered this “check engine” situation? Where should a mechanic start looking to find the problem?

10 Questions to Ask If Your "Check Engine” Light Comes On:

1. Has your car been in the shop for service recently?

2. Have you fueled your car recently?

3. Did you possibly overfill your fuel tank?

4. Have you installed any new electronic devices recently?

5. Did your “check engine” light come on after driving through a deep puddle?

6. Do you have excessive humidity in your car caused by a water leak?

7. Do you live in a rural area where there are lots of critters?

8. Are other warning lights illuminated on the dash?

9. Did your car sit for a long period of time without anyone driving it?

10. Were you the last one to drive your car?

And Two Bonus Questions:

1. Is the car running normally?

2. Is the "check engine" light flashing?

What Light Are We Talking About?

Don’t confuse your "check engine" light with your maintenance reminder (a light that goes on automatically to remind you it’s time for a routine service). If you’re not sure, check the index in your owner’s manual, under “warning lights.”

"Check engine" light:  at left, with a yellow engine-shaped icon (2011 Honda Pilot)
"Check engine" light: at left, with a yellow engine-shaped icon (2011 Honda Pilot)
This small yellow light (labeled "maintenance indicator") is not the "check engine" light (1991 Honda Accord)
This small yellow light (labeled "maintenance indicator") is not the "check engine" light (1991 Honda Accord) | Source

Should You Panic? Ask Your Two Bonus Questions First

Bonus question 1. Is the car running normally? If your car is running normally, and you have no problem driving it, the problem is not so severe that you need to panic. Of course you should not ignore the light; it is warning you of some problem with the emissions system. When the light is on, your car runs on default parameters, not optimized to reduce emissions and increase mileage, and so you won’t get the gas mileage the car is designed to get. Just call your mechanic or dealer to make an appointment within a reasonable amount of time.

Bonus question 2. Is the "check engine" light flashing? If it's flashing, it means you have a serious problem and you really should not be driving your car. It's flashing because it's saying “STOP!!! Hey Look At Me!!!” It’s saying your catalytic converter is being damaged. It’s probably a good idea to call a tow truck at this point; you don’t want to add to the cost of any repairs that are going to be needed.

Now a Closer Look At Each of the 10 Questions

1. Has your car been serviced recently?

If your car has been in the shop recently for service, it’s quite possible the technician has caused your "check engine" light problem. Sometimes a technician will forget to reinstall a connector to a sensor, or not snap the connector back together completely. Or he or she may knock a connector loose while doing a minor service.

On older Hondas, the oxygen sensor is directly below the oil filter, so a technician removing the oil filter for a routine oil change might spill oil onto the oxygen sensor. It’s just possible, though not common, that a technician wiping oil off the sensor damaged it somehow.

On this 1991 Honda Accord, you can see how the oxygen sensor (little rat-tailed item) is located directly below the oil filter. You can imagine how easy it is to dump oil on it.
On this 1991 Honda Accord, you can see how the oxygen sensor (little rat-tailed item) is located directly below the oil filter. You can imagine how easy it is to dump oil on it. | Source

2. Have you fueled your car recently?

If you didn’t tighten the fuel cap enough (or forgot to put it on altogether!), this could cause your "check engine" light to come on. All Honda fuel caps have a ratcheting device built into the cap to achieve a good seal and keep you from over-tightening the cap. When tightening your fuel cap, be sure to turn it enough to hear at least three clicks; that ensures the proper torque was applied. If your check engine light is on, simply check your fuel cap to make sure it is turned three clicks.

3. Did you possibly overfill your fuel tank?

If you’re one of those people who like to top off the fuel tank, you need to break that habit, especially if you own a newer Honda. When the gas pump shuts off automatically, the tank is as full as it needs to be. To keep gasoline fumes out of the atmosphere, modern United States cars are required to trap the fumes and recycle them into the engine to be burned. Overfilling the tank can spill fuel into into tiny vacuum lines and filters, which in turn can clog emission devices (like the "evap canister" being replaced in the three do-it-yourself videos at the end of this article). Soaking these devices in gasoline will cause the "check engine" light to come on. Replacing the damaged parts could be costly, but the time spent diagnosing the problem could be even costlier.

4. Have you installed any new electronic devices lately, or had them installed by a professional?

Everyone likes all the new gadgets available for cars these days, like back-up cameras, thunder-booming stereos, remote car starters, high-intensity-discharge headlights, and rear entertainment systems, to name a few. It’s just possible that the person installing your device may have blown a fuse, or worse, may have tapped into the wrong wire and caused that dang "check engine" light to come on again.

Check to see that all electronics in the vehicle are working properly (e.g. dash light, 12-volt power supply, interior lights). If everything is working properly, I would either test all the fuses (using a test light or a voltage meter is the fastest way to do that) or return the vehicle to the person who did the work.

5. Did your "check engine" light come on after driving through a deep puddle?

This isn’t common but it does happen. After driving for a while on the highway, your exhaust can get extremely hot; if you then happen to drive through a deep puddle, it is possible for water to cool the oxygen sensor too quickly and crack the material inside the sensor. The oxygen sensor is located under the vehicle, usually in or near the catalytic converter where the temperature can exceed 600 degrees. If this sounds like your scenario, take your car to the dealer or your local mechanic.

You can see both oxygen sensors, front and rear, one in the front pipe before the catalytic converter and the other is in the center of the catalytic converter. If you hit a puddle deep enough, you could actually submerge the sensors.
You can see both oxygen sensors, front and rear, one in the front pipe before the catalytic converter and the other is in the center of the catalytic converter. If you hit a puddle deep enough, you could actually submerge the sensors. | Source

What Is an Oxygen Sensor?

6. Do you have excessive humidity in your car caused by a water leak?

Water on the front or back carpet in your car will often be coming from the front of the car somewhere; water flows towards the back because of acceleration, and because the floor is tapered towards the rear of the vehicle. If the water is only visible on the rear carpet, the leak may be in the rear of the vehicle.

The most common cause of a water leak is the windshield; sometimes a newly replaced windshield will leak.

If a leaky windshield drips water on an ECU (Engine Control Unit) fuse box or any other control unit, this willl cause a ECU failure and your “check engine” light will come on. Water is very damaging to all electronic devices (just drop your smart phone in water and see what happens).

7. Do you live in a rural area where there are lots of critters?

Critters can cause all sorts of problems in cars, from horrible smells to chewed wires. If you live or work in an area where mice, rats, chipmunks. or squirrels can get into your car, they can wreak havoc on your cars’ electrical systems. Given the chance, critters will build nests and store food for the winter, and for some reason they like to chew wires. In fact, some car manufacturers assemble wire harnesses wrapped with mouse-deterrent tape, no kidding. It’s not completely effective but it’s a start. If a critter chews the right wires in your vehicle, it will cause the “check engine” light to come on, and an expensive bill! Replacing a wire harness is daunting and time-consuming.

Signs of critters in your vehicle are:

  • bad odors
  • acorns and nuts (or dry dog food) stored in the engine compartment or glove box
  • chewed carpeting
  • loud noises when the heating or air conditioning fans come on. Critters are notorious for building nests inside blower motor assemblies, causing all kinds of problems.

Rodent deterrent tape for wire harnesses
Rodent deterrent tape for wire harnesses | Source

Check Engine Light on Clogged Catalytic Converter

8. Are other warning lights illuminated on the dash?

In some cases, a failure in another part or system can cause your "check engine" light to come on. Multiple warning lights illuminated on the dash don't necessarily mean multiple problems, so don't panic. The lights could all be caused by a single problem: For example, if your alternator is not charging, or if it’s over-charging, it could cause low or high voltage in the system, which would cause many lights to come on.

9. Did your car sit for a long time without anyone driving it?

Cars that sit for a long period of time are susceptible to a plethora of problems. Critters move in, batteries go dead, tires go flat, brake rotors become rusted and cause a pulsation when applying the brakes, pulleys rust and cause belts to squeak, and the list goes on. If you car sat for a while, your "check engine" light could come on because a sensor or solenoid is stuck, or for other reasons. Have it checked out by an honest mechanic; they are out there, you just have to find them.

10. Were you the last one to drive your car?

If you were not the last one to drive your car and the "check engine" light is on, you need to start asking questions. Sometimes family members or friends who borrow your car spill soda or coffee on the console without telling you. On some Hondas, the ECM/PCM (engine control unit/powertrain control unit) is located below the center of the console, and sugary drinks can destroy this expensive control unit.

Write Down the Code

If you have a buddy, friend, uncle, or cuz that can check the code because they have a scan tool, make sure you write down the code, because if you decide to erase it, you’ll want to know what it was when the light comes back on (and if it’s an issue other than a loose gas cap, the problem will usually come back). It’s good practice for you, and good information to give your mechanic.

Check Engine Light P0303 Cause

Buying a Scan Tool to Interpret "Check Engine" Codes

If you want to try and diagnose the problem yourself, you will need to figure out with the diagnostic code is telling you. Here is a guide to understanding the codes.

You will also need a scan tool. If you decide to buy on, choose one that will last for years. Vehicles are only getting more sophisticated each year, so plan for the future. The OBD2 system covers 1996 and later cars (the OBD1 system that covers older ones may be included, depending on the device). I recommend looking for these four time- and money-saving features:

  1. A display that includes a description of the cause of the warning light, as well as the code. This saves you time from having to look up the description that goes with the numerical code in a book or on the computer.
  2. LED display for state emissions readiness check and drive cycle verification. This feature will let you know if it will pass an emissions test.
  3. Battery backup that will keep the code in the device after you disconnect the scan tool, so you can review it and analyze it away from the car (even if you forgot to write down the code)
  4. A USB cable to update the information in your scan tool from your own computer. If you can't update the scan tool, it will be obsolete in three years.

INNOVA 3040 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader with Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles, Grey Screen
INNOVA 3040 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader with Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles, Grey Screen

The Innova 3040 scan tool has the features above and more, and should last for years.

 

DIY Repairs to Fix Evap-Canister-Related "Check Engine" Codes

I Have a Favor to Ask

Leave me a comment or a question, don’t be shy. I just might have the answer you’re looking for.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tandreamel,

      The code P3400 is a generic code, what did the dealer pull for a code? It sounds like you may have a problem with the fuel emissions system, possible a Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor? I recommend you bring it back to the dealer so they can run tests on that system. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Tandreamel 

      8 days ago

      2014 Honda Pilot (76k miles): check engine light came on after refueling (no top off) followed by a heavy acceleration on to highway. Had codes run by autozone; returned a P3400. Took car to dealership, inspected VPS system. Returned no problems with VPS system. Changed oil, got car back. Following day (today) on highway 5 hours into 8 hour drive. Stopped for refueling (topped off this time - generally we do not). Back on road with no heavy acceleration. About 45 minutes later check engine light comes on. Two hours to nearest city. Thoughts??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Masya,

      If the O2 sensor was submerged is would cause a problem, I recommend you drive the vehicle for a few days and see if the problem persists. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • profile image

      masya 

      11 days ago

      Honda CRV 2.4, 2015 first start and drive is fine. For about 10 miles Check engine light on and engine shake and die, after a few minute start again check engine is off. And check engine show up again for about 10 miles, shake and die, again and again. This situation happen after I pass flood. Is it O2 sensor having problem or somehing with another sensor..? Thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Susan,

      The TPMS system usually only has a yellow light, are you sure this is associated with the TPMS system? What does the icon look like?

    • profile image

      Susan Poellet 

      11 days ago

      2 weeks ago, my tpms light was on, i was told my passengers back tire sensor was not working, a week later, the yellow symbol came on, so i had the air in my tires filled. A week later, a red engine symbol light is on now?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Mike :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anton,

      The check engine light will always come on with the key in the run position regardless if the engine is running or not, it's a system light check so you'll need to at least get the engine running to see if the light is truely on with a code. If you're low on fuel, start by adding some fuel and see what happens, if the light goes out you're in business, if not, you'll have to dig deeper. We are a world apart from each other lol, cheers from New Hampshire USA :)

    • profile image

      Mike 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank toy!

    • profile image

      Anton Husselmann 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie, will the check enjine light come on when their is little fuel in tenk, its a Honda Ballade 180E. I check the battery, will it solved the problem if I put in more fuel, the car is not starting, is it lack off fuel? I would like to see if the light goes away after I restart it, where to I start? Greetings from Cape Town. RSA

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Woody :) Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.

    • profile image

      Woody 

      3 weeks ago

      That was very helpful. Just bought a 2010 Honda Pilot. Thanks gor the info

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Justin,

      Can you hear pressure building up inside the exhaust when the vehicle is losing power? It sounds like your catalytic converter may be clogged so maybe try disconnecting the catalytic converter and see if the problem persists. I know this can be difficult and loud but it's only a test. The reason I think it's a clogged catalytic converter is that the engine temp is getting hot and you're losing power, these are common signs of a clogged cat. Let me know if this works.

    • profile image

      Justin 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi.I have Honda Civic 2008 CTDI 2.2l .Engine light come on and its start loosing the power them the engine getting warm.Computer scan show that is barometric pressure senson but we change both sensor and its still the same.What you think about that?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zoran,

      If you can pull the code from the computer I can help pinpoint the problem. Let me know.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hstanf,

      I would contact the shop, they may not have secured the afiter housing properly or you could check it first to save you a trip. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jeff, you're welcome.

      It's possible you may have had something caught in the mass airflow sensor causing the issue (if your car is equipped with one, it's usually located in the fresh air intake tube). Keep an eye on the light for now, hopefully it doesn't come back on.

    • profile image

      Hstanf 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie! I have a 1999 Honda CR-V. The check engine light just came on after getting my oil changed and fuel filter replaced. Should I just wait a couple days to see if it goes off or contact the shop? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Zoran Boshkovski 

      4 weeks ago

      I own a honda jazz from 2003, 1.4 petrol automatic. While i was driving the car , sudenly, it was not working like it should, the check engine light went on and the car died.. after a few minutes i started the car and the same thing happened only a minute after.. what can be the problem? Please...

    • profile image

      Jeff 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      Thanks for getting back and answering my questions. I wasnt able to check through obd to get the code but after replacing my engine air filter it just disappear after an hour of driving.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jeff,

      I recommend you have the code checked to see if it has anything to do with the work that was just done, it may be something totally unrelated. Let me know what the code is and maybe I can help figure out the issue.

    • profile image

      Jeff 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie. I have 2010 honda civic coupe. I just replaced water pump and radiator as water level/ coolant got drained easily and suspectd there was a leaked which im right thats. Now those issue have been resolved but today check engine appeared on my dashboard a steady one. I wonder what will be the cause? My sprak plug was brand new. Battery was still ok.My car still running normally my only concern was the engine light. Mileage: 100k..

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi JP,

      Honda engines need the valves adjusted about every 100k miles if they start to get tight it can cause the valves to stay slightly open causing a misfire/skip (engine shake) and eventually burn the valve. I'm not sure if driving in the rain is the cause of the problem, or if the skip was caused by driving through a big puddle and getting the engine wet. It is possible a coil has failed as well so there a lot of reasons for the engine skip. Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.

    • profile image

      JP 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi i have 2003 hond element. Son drive it in the rain. Maybe through a puddle. Grey smoke coming out of exhaust. Engine shakes. Parked it. Few days later started it. Smoke eventuallu stoped but still shakes. Turned it off.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terri,

      That is a generic code and I'm not sure but it has something to do with vehicle speed control and idle control systems. What is your vehicle doing?

    • profile image

      Terri 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi I have the code 1508 on a 2001 CRV. Any guesses ?

      Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ali,

      You'll need to have the code read to verify the problem first, then you can devise a plan to repair it. The code will point you in the direction of the problem.

    • profile image

      Ali Bhanini 

      6 weeks ago

      Engine light turned on suddenly when I'm driving my CRV 2008 model

      I changed the doors latch 10 days ago , I'm wondering what's the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      It's a good possibility PJ, keep me posted on if it goes out :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cameron,

      That sounds about right to me, just make sure to check all your fuses and wires first to be sure you don't have rodent damage or a blown fuse.

    • profile image

      Cameron Allred 

      6 weeks ago

      Have a 2001 Honda Civic and the code is p1298 could the be a faulty eld

    • profile image

      Pj Mamites 

      6 weeks ago

      This is very well explained and very informative. Hope that my Check Engine Light-ON is just a loose fuel cap cause it just turned ON after I drove about 4 or 5 kms after I stopped for fuel.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Summer, No that wouldn't cause any issues. You need to find out if it's the same code as before. When were the engine valves adjusted last, or have they ever been? That could be your issue.

    • profile image

      Summer Evans 

      7 weeks ago

      I just put a new vtec valve on my 06 Odyssey, cleared the code, and then drove for about 25 miles. The light just came on. I am right at the empty line for gas. Could this be causing it? There’s a little studder now.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amy,

      The check engine light will trigger the other two lights. There are a lit of things that can cause the check engine light to come on but the fastest way to know what's causing the problem is to have the codes read with a scanner. Let me know what the code is when you find out and maybe I can help.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gavin,

      Does the engine turn over? Do any lights come on in the instrument cluster?

    • profile image

      Gavin 

      7 weeks ago

      I have a honda brio 2014 model,it was running fine n wen i stopped n returned to start up,it wont start,, did some checks i have no spark,no fuel...i noticed that wen i switch ignition on,my battery n oil light dont illuminate,i have checked fuses,earth even had computer box tested...

      What else can i check

    • profile image

      Amy 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you for all of the info in your article. It was very helpful. When I started my Honda Accord 2008 today, the check engine light, VSA light and "exclamation point in a triangle" came on. I needed gas anyway (had 1/4 tank) so after i turned it off and back on, ONLY the check engine light remained on. It has not and is not flashing though. I havent gotten codes read yet but am curious what your theory may be...???

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Suci,

      Sorry for the late reply. If the object that you hit caused the issue, most likely the light would have come on immediately unless you damaged the canister or any part in the evap system, that system works on a 2 drive cycle failure system. I recommend you have the underside of the vehicle checked and the code pulled just to be safe.

    • profile image

      Suci 

      2 months ago

      Hi

      I ran over something small that was in the highway last night. Today my check engine light is on. Could this be related?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lynn,

      If the valves have never been adjusted, I highly recommend you find a qualified mechanic who can do the job for you, it usually takes about 5 hours plus the gasket sets, typically around $800-$1000 but it's a maintenance that is usually done around 100k miles. It sounds to me like some valves are tight and are starting to stay open slightly causing your issue, or you have a failing coil in cylinder #6. Let me know what you find out, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tee,

      Usually, that is a light for the traction control, did you happen to turn off the traction control by accident, it's usually a button on the dash with the same icon.

    • profile image

      Lynn 

      2 months ago

      Hi. Recently, my 2006 Honda Odyssey engine check light came on. It has approximately, 169,000 miles on it. The first two attempts of starting the car, I saw flashing engine check light. When I start the car the third time, the flashing light stopped. However, the engine check light is still on. I drove to closest mechanic for diagnostic. The diagnostic mentioned that the following "DTC P0300 to P0306, misfire on all cylinders. Check data list and there were misfires on all cylinders with #5 being the highest. When I drove to mechanic shop, there was no cranky noise or power steering issue.

      I already changed my timing belt around 2 years ago. Changed spark plugs in 2017. Recently, got alternator fixed and refilled Freon.

      I was planning to get valve adjusted, but while talking to mechanic, he mentioned that I may have valve depth issue with my car, which will require valve replacement rather than adjustment. Another mechanic also didn't think the engine check light issue will not be resolved by adjusting the valves. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Tee 

      2 months ago

      I have a triangle with "!" In the middle showing up on the dash can someone please let me know if they have the same issue and what it could be please.!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi TN,

      Sounds like you have a misfire in one or more cylinders. There are a lot of things that can cause this. I recommend having the code pulled and let me know what it is. Have you had the valves adjusted yet?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Lori, let me know if you have any questions :)

    • profile image

      Lori Carson 

      2 months ago

      Thank you, this article was very informative!

    • profile image

      TN Honda 

      2 months ago

      Hi, I have a 2010 Honda Pilot with 125k. My check engine and vsa lights are both on. The car seems vibrate upon acceleration. Have had an oil change within the last 300 miles. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      Ajith 

      3 months ago

      in my Honda civic 1919-2000 model there is a exhaust leak can this be the reason for the check engine to come on?

    • profile image

      CaptR 

      3 months ago

      I recently changed my starter on my 2008 Honda Accord, Did disconnecting my battery and other connectors cause my Malfunction light to come on after driving about 10 miles?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Adinah,

      I highly recommend you have the spark plugs checked for their condition and their torque, they may be loose. If the plugs and coils look ok it may be time for a valve adjustment. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Adinah Shahminan 

      3 months ago

      Hi , im driving a 2007 honda fit. the check engine light just came on and its in orange. there is a slight jerk if i press the accelerator pedal after stationary. please advise

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tony,

      How does the transmission fluid look?

    • profile image

      Tony 

      3 months ago

      my Honda pilot 2009 shows check engine emissions light so I scanned it and changed the injector nuzzle it worked fine but at a point it jerks please what else should I do

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rob,

      Sorry, I've been on a sabbatical for the past 13 days. Is the light still on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Moe,

      I'm not sure of the vehicle make and model but usually, the module is solid-state and is not repairable. You could try locating one at a salvage yard, it would be a lot less expensive.

    • profile image

      Moe 

      3 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      This is Moe again :) climate control panel stopped so AC and heater not working at all right now. I bought new relay and replaced it. Did not work. (By the way the fan works)

      Do you think the problem with climate control panel module itself? And if the problem climate module there is anyway to fix it.

      Thank you very much

    • profile image

      Robgotti 

      4 months ago

      Changed spark plugs and all coils those codes are still on after 100 miles

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dave,

      There is a service news article about these codes, they recommend not changing the transmission because this is usually caused by a clogged pickup screen. I recommend replacing the transmission fluid or having it flushed with a transmission flush machine, also, only use Honda Genuine fluid when doing the flush. Let me know how you make out, and if you have any other questions I'll be right here, sorry for the late reply.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Moe,

      Two possibilities, one is the AC relay in the under hood fuse box, sometimes they intermittently stop working.

      The second check would be the

      AC compressor clutch, it is either worn or rusted to the point that it stops working intermittently. I recommend you replace the relay first, it's cheap and easy to get to, the clutch is expensive and difficult to replace and needs special tools. Keep me posted on how you make out, thanks Moe.

    • profile image

      Moe 

      4 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      I have a honda accord 1999 i have a problem with climate control panel AC or heater sometimes stop working then start working after while or sometimes stop working for one day maybe more then start work again.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Dave 

      4 months ago

      Good Day Eddie, we just had the check engine light come on, we have a 2004 Honda Odyssey, 186,000 miles in her.

      The codes we have are.

      P0740

      P0705

      31-2

      34-2

      61-1

      The light is not flashing and the van runs just fine. We had the transmission replaced 5 years ago, could we have a bad PCM or a major issue. Thank you very much.

    • profile image

      donald lee 

      5 months ago

      the 2005 honda engine light came on after we changed the spark plug coil could that be the problem

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Elizabeth,

      It could be several things, the most common is the evaporative emission system but you'll need to have the code checked to be sure if the light doesn't go out on its own within 3 days.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jody,

      Have the valves ever been adjusted, not cleaned? I believe you have a few tight valves which are causing low compression in the cylinders and they just need to be adjusted to bring them back into spec.

      I recommend you start there and see if the condition improves. I see this very often on high mileage CR-V’s, but you need someone who knows how to adjust valves on Honda’s to do it correctly.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

    • profile image

      JodyWild 

      5 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      Thank you for your expertise!

      Honda CRV 2002

      Engine light on and cuts out if revs drop below 1

      Computer diagnostic came up with crank and cam sensor

    • profile image

      Jody Wild 

      5 months ago

      Hi

      Engine light came on and SRS light

      Replaced cam and crank sensors as they came up on diagnostic

      Cleaned throttle unit and vtec valve

      Light still on and engine cuts out if revs below 1

    • profile image

      Elizabeth v pery 

      5 months ago

      My check engine light just came on its running good could it be my fuel cap gone bad its got me worried i have 2008 honda obyssey it just popped on outta the clear blue

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Norman,

      Sounds like your ignition coil may be the issue, I also recommend checking inside the distributor cap for any rust dust, if you find rust dust, it may be time to replace the distributor base. Let me know what you find Norm, thanks.

    • profile image

      normanshahdy@gmail.com 

      5 months ago

      Honda civic so4 year 1997, engine light on while driving and suddenly car stop running,if re start car runs normally unable discover and get it fix the problem

      please advice what will be actual problem

      Thanking you in advance.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Teresa,

      I don't blame you for taking fuel while it cheap lol. Has the light gone off yet? If so the fault fixed itself, if not, there is a code stored and it will help identify the problem. Let me know what happened, thanks.

    • profile image

      vasu 

      5 months ago

      My car honda civic 1.6 model so4 -year 1997. some times the engine light on while driving cause engine stop and i restart back its run normally. this happen only sometimes

      what could be the reason, my mechanic unable to get this fix

      please advice many thanks

    • profile image

      Teresa Fields 

      5 months ago

      My check engine light came on last night after fueling up. I checked the gas cap and the oil , coolant and tranny fluids. My car is running normally so I might have over filled the gas tank (hey it was 1.99 a gallon)

      Any other suggestions?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Emma,

      Check your oil level, you may be very low on oil and the V-tec will not work causing a lack of power and a lot of noise on startup. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Harvester Jones,

      I recommend you check your EGR and EGR ports. I made this video on a 1998 civic but you may have a similar problem. Let me know what you think.https://youtu.be/L73GB_I3YAw

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dawn,

      If the code is a p0301- p0304 it's possible you'll need to have the piston rings changed under warranty, Honda has a service bulletin for a misfire and on some vehicles the warranty is 10 years unlimited mileage, you just need to find a Honda dealership that will be honest enough to explain this to you :)

    • profile image

      DawnCockrell 

      5 months ago

      I have a 2011 Honda Pilot Touring. I've experienced a "shudder" between 1st and 2nd occasionally for a while but nothing too serious. Yesterday the check engine light came on and Check Transmission on the screen with no code. The check transmission is gone but the engine light is still on. D is NOT flashing. Thoughts?

    • profile image

      Harvester Jones 

      5 months ago

      Hello -

      I have a 2004 Civic. The check engine light has started coming on and going off intermittently since last year. It is a steady light when it comes on. I noticed whenever the light is on, the car idles higher, runs rougher than usual, and is slightly more sluggish on acceleration. But then it goes off again. It has come on again after a recent timing belt/tensioner change and I know it's something serious, but I just scraped up the money for a timing belt/tensioner change so I'm not looking forward to the answer :(

      Like other people have said, my light does come on occasionally after filling the tank. I suspect it's something in the exhaust system. Had plugs replaced last year too. Thanks in advance for your helpful comments!

    • profile image

      Emma 

      5 months ago

      Hello,

      We have a 2003 Honda CR-V. Yesterday the car drove fine and parked after work. This morning it started up to a very loud engine sound, solid check engine light and no driving power. This may be unrelated, but for the last week before this incident I’ve noticed the AC never gets cool.

      Any thoughts on what could be causing these symptoms and also, is it something for which I should hire a to truck to haul to mechanic?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sam,

      It may come back on, if so you'll need to have the code checked.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Larry,

      That is odd! I recommend you check all your fuses with a test light (to speed things up) The green key is the immobilizer telling you the key is not programmed. Are you sure you didn't bypass the alternator? I know, silly question but this is really weird!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tolu,

      Try driving it for a few days and see if the light goes off. If it stays on, have the code checked, it could be something altogether :) Let me know how you make out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Tolu 

      6 months ago

      Hi Eddie, i will sadly admit i am one of those who overfill their vehicle at the gas station, and right now i have my check engine light on and after reading this i have a good idea why that is because of the overfilling, now my question is is my car canister damaged and will be needing change for this act or will the check engine light turn off automatically over time ?

    • profile image

      Larry 

      6 months ago

      I was backing up my Honda 2004 civic XL in smoke came out my Hood car was acting funny pulled back in the driveway shut car off open the Hood seen belt burnt AC pulley was frozen Put new belt on Bypassing the ac check engine light came on and Green key light was flashing no rpm reading no temperature reading Car running with little power I’m guessing people call it limp mode.

    • profile image

      Sam Gujadhur 

      6 months ago

      My Honda Accord 2008 2.4 engine light came on and the car was driving fine and then took out the battery terminal and engine light goes away

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sam,

      A mechanic can test the O2 sensors at the Honda dealership or just a really good mechanic. The problem is you have 4 O2 sensors and 2 catalytic converters and a lot of times the O2 sensors are stuck in the catalytic converter and get damaged while trying to remove them (in my part of the country NH). If you live in the southern part of the US you'll have a lot fewer problems. The first thing to do is to find a really good mechanic.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bertha,

      If the engine is running good and the light doesn't go off after 3 days, I recommend you get it checked by a reputable mechanic.

    • profile image

      Bertha 

      6 months ago

      Light check engine light comes on hit a bump last night in the light jumped on

    • profile image

      SAM 

      6 months ago

      Hi, my engine light on my 2009 Honda Pilot went on code says front Catalytic Converter is the problem. However, an emissions person asked if the Dealer had first tested my Oxygen Sensors to determine if it's truly the Catalytic Converter despite the code that fired. I know for a fact they did not check, what should I do? Do I have a mechanic check the Oxygen Sensors and replace or just get the Catalytic Converter replaced. I'm a single woman and finances are tight so want to be smart on how to approach and limit unnecessary costs if any. Your expert guidance would be appreciated.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jose,

      No, as long as your oil level is ok the engine should be fine, you probably overheated the catalytic converter and the O2 sensor tripped a code. Drive it for about 3 days and see if the light goes out.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mo,

      you should be able to turn the temp knob to lower the temperature, no? Try pulling the fuse for the HVAC system, it may reset itself.

    • profile image

      Mo 

      7 months ago

      I reset the check engine light by unplug battery’s wire and the light gone.

      Now i got another problem. the heater blows out hot air even when it's turned off!

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Jose a medina 

      7 months ago

      I was driving and my music was up so I didn’t realize I was still in 3rd gear for about 2 miles when I realized it I shifted into normal gear for speed but my check engine light came on. I pulled over to listen to the engine and I heard nothing new that my car already makes. My question is this since is was at 4000 rpm for a couple of miles did I really damage something

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Liam,

      Could be a lot of things. Is the engine running ok? Any rough idle or skipping?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Loud

    • profile image

      Loud 

      7 months ago

      Very helpful log thanks for posting this.

    • profile image

      Liam 

      7 months ago

      I was driving just finished overtaking...shortly after check engine light came on...spark plug?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mo,

      The check engine light came on because you have an emissions problem, not because you hit a button on the dash. Have someone read the code and it will point you in the direction of the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jane,

      If all this happened after driving through large puddles, it's possible you blew a fuse and it's causing all your problems. Hopefully, that's all it is.

    • profile image

      Jane 

      7 months ago

      Thank you. The check engine light came on during a real gully washer, drove through deep and fast flowing puddles with almost no viability the rain fell so hard. I have an appointment with the mechanic tomorrow, but i hope it turns off by itself. It may have been the puddle driving. Sadly it was hit earlier today, and thats when i discovered that the a.c. blows hot. Now what? Thank you for your help!

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