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

Updated on May 30, 2018
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 33 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?

Ten 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 Ten 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
INNOVA 3040 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader with Live Data for OBD2 Vehicles

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

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Questions & Answers

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Starkhead,

      Sorry so late with my reply. If the light is not flashing, no need to be too concerned, just get it checked out at some point. If the check engine light flashes, get the code checked asap and try not to drive the vehicle until you know the code.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Andrew,

      I'm not sure that would trigger the check engine light to come on. Check the code and let me know what it is.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Everett,

      Try turning the cruise control main shtick back on and see if the cruise works now.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Paula,

      The "D" light is flashing because you have a fault in one of the solenoids on the transmission, I recommend trying a Honda dealer for diagnosis and replacement of the solenoid.The check engine light is on because the "D" light is on. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Crissy,

      The "D" light is flashing because you have a fault in one of the solenoids on the transmission, I recommend trying a Honda dealer for diagnosis and replacement of the solenoid. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 hours ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Umesh :)

    • profile image

      Umesh 

      24 hours ago

      Helpful site and video.

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      Crissy 

      2 days ago

      My 2015 honda pilot has 90,000 miles and has been driving great. My drive lights started flashing and check engine light came on. After a day it went off. Almost 5 days later ithas came back on. I took it to oreillys and they checked the code and it said the transmision pressure sensor was reading high. Btw i just had my oil changed last week before this started. Once you turn the car and back on the drive light stops blinking. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Paula 

      3 days ago

      The check engine light is on and the "D" is flashing. 2007 Honda CRV

    • profile image

      Everett 

      4 days ago

      My 2006 Honda civic Check engine light came on and the cruise control stopped working with brief power cut.

    • profile image

      andrew 

      5 days ago

      honda civic 2011 used 5w20 conventional oil instead of synthetic and oil engine light came on

    • profile image

      Starkhead 

      7 days ago

      Hello, I have noticed the last few fuel-up I am losing 20-40 miles on my tank of gas on my 2008 Accord manual transmission. This morning I was driving on snow covered roads to get to interstate and my check engine light came on. I have a 70 mile commute to work and it drove completely normal on the all interstate drive and the gas mileage was not worse. Do your have any thoughts ? I don’t know the code yet. Just wondering how worried I should be and if it is urgent.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sandra,

      Do you know the code? Is the engine running smooth, no hesitation or bucking? Is the only problem the light being on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ki,

      I think the mechanic may have forgotten to plug something in like a sensor. Do you know the code? The brakes have nothing to do with the light.

    • profile image

      Ki 

      13 days ago

      I had my clutch work done on honda city . While removing bolts, one bolt was clogged and had to be cut. After the clutch job done, the engine check light is on. What cud be the reason? The mechanic says something to do with the silencer.the vehicle has done 135000 kms.also had brake pad changed a day earlier.help

    • profile image

      Sandra Martinez 

      13 days ago

      Hi I just took my vehicle to a mechanic because one of the ignition coil was burnt out and a couple fuse blown out. The mechanic change fuse and one of the ignition coil that had the problem. Light came off. Driving it around for couple of days and the light came back on. We took it for a scan, the mechanic says it is the gas in the vehicle. He took off the light and it came right back on. What do you think is the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ronnie,

      You'll need to et the code stored in the computer but it sounds like you may have a failing coil or spark plug. Once you know the code it will point you in to the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amy,

      You could visit the Honda Dealer and have them check you vehicles in service date and all check for recalls. You may have a piston ring problem that may be covered under warranty, but it all depends on your vehicle service history.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ali,

      Do you know the code?

    • profile image

      Ali 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi! 2011 Honda pilot mileage 220.000 check engine light is on if i want to fix how much cost?

    • profile image

      Amy Carsten 

      3 weeks ago

      I have a 2010 Odyssey . The light comes on and is flashing , van is shaking. The mechanic changed the spark plugs and it was running fine. It happened again and he said the spark plugs were bad and damaged with oil . What does this mean ?

    • profile image

      Ronnie 

      3 weeks ago

      Eddie, I have a 2000 Honda Accord. While driving, the light flashes (light with the pic of an engine) and hesitates and looses some power momentarily. Only blinks maybe 2 or 3 times and everything is back to normal. Any experiences with what this could be sir?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Teresa,

      Do you know what the code is?

    • profile image

      Teresa 

      4 weeks ago

      Bought brand new 2018 Honda Accord 2.0 on 11/03/2018 engine light came on and they reset it and said if it came on again bring it back well it came on and they can't figure out the problem. Had car about 2 weeks now. What can be done

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Andy,

      First I recommend checking their level and condition, low oil can cause this to happen. If the oil is ok, you may need to replace the VTEC screen or solenoid. I recommend having a Honda mechanic check the operation of the solenoid before replacing it.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Calvin,

      The light may go off after a few weeks if your lucky. When you overfill the fuel tank, it forces fuel into vacuum lines and evaporative components. Sometimes it dries out on it's own, but sometimes the emissions system needs to be taken apart and drained.

    • profile image

      Calvin 

      2 months ago

      Eddie,

      My malfunction indicator lamp came on after I overfilled by about 1 litre.

      is something permanently damaged?

    • profile image

      Andy 

      2 months ago

      Im biuing q second hand honda civic,the engine light is lighted and the seller said VTEC will not kick yo because the engine light is on, any solution to fix to male VTEC kick in again?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brandon,

      If the light will not come on it usually means that the bulb is burnt out. I know that sounds like a simple answer but it really think this is your problem.

    • profile image

      Brandon 

      2 months ago

      Hi Eddy I have a 2003 Honda Accord V6 and Malfunctions Indicator Light won’t come on which is preventing it from passing Smog. Do you have any suggestions.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danny,

      If the light is flashing, you need to get it checked asap. The light is flashing because you have a misfire and you could be doing damage to the catalytic converter.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danielle,

      I think you brake fluid reservoir is low on fluid causing the brake light to come on or your emergency brake is slightly on. The check engine light could be anything. I recommend having the code pulled at an auto parts stories you can afford a mechanic to diagnose it. If the engine is running smooth and no noticeable running condition it should be ok to drive, as long as the light is not flashing.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jaime,

      You'll need to remove the distributor cap and dry out the inside of the distributor. When you washed the engine, water or moisture most likely entered the distributor cap and is causing your problem. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Neil,

      Yes, the purge control valve is very common. Thanks for the feedback :)

    • profile image

      jaime 

      3 months ago

      hi! i just both 01 crv. it has engine light and low idling. i just put coolant and engine wash and start the problem.

    • profile image

      Danielle 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2004 Honda Accord Ex that I purchased recently. Car runs great but the engine line & brake light came on at the exact same time while driving. Any idea if these are related or just a possible coincidence? I’m a single mom with two kids and I’m worried.

    • profile image

      Danny 

      3 months ago

      Hey Eddie my 2005 honda civic check engine light is on and flashing then stops and periodically starts flashing again and it’s starting to act sluggish when taking off. Any ideas Eddie? Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sorry for the late reply Porscha, if the light is not flashing then it is still drivable. Don't freak out just yet, it could be something very simple. When you have time, have someone pull the code from the computer.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sam,

      If you have someone pull the code from the computer I may be able to help with the diagnosis.

    • profile image

      Sam 

      3 months ago

      Hi I drive 2006 honda car recently my car not picking up speed also the engine light came on as well

    • profile image

      Porscha 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2010 Honda pilot, the engine light came on this morning, its not flashing...Im out of town and freaking out

    • profile image

      Bhavesh 

      3 months ago

      on my honda 2015 odyssey , engine light came up right after the service for which I went to dealership , only thing I didn't noticed is for while...there is nothing unusual I noticed so far, but not sure if dealership will be honest on this or not... can you give me idea pls

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Susan,

      The "D"light flashing is warning you that there is a fault in one of the transmission solenoids, possible 3rd gear shift solenoid (very common). I'm not sure of the clicking noise tho, I would have to hear it. The check engine light will go out when you fix the "D" light.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Abdul,

      You need an oil and filter change, that's it :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      That should not have cost you anything Omar, the shop should have known it's under warranty.

    • profile image

      Omar Hussein 

      3 months ago

      Got the malfunction indicator lamp on my new Crv only 12000 miles on i rushed to the dealership the problem was that i left the fuel tank without cover for a while. I regretted since I lost $150 . For no reason just to check

    • profile image

      Hi, I am Abdul. 

      3 months ago

      My Honda Civic Ex 2013 displays "SERVICE DUE SOON A1". What does it mean and what will be the problem? Thanks in advance

    • profile image

      slugrose 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2011 Pilot, the check engine light came on with the D flashing. I read that it could be the gas cap. I tightened the gas cap, the D stopped flashing but the check engine light is still on. It has been raining hard here for the past few weeks. There is water leaking from the front of the car as well. Its not oil, the liquid does not smell. Could this be radiator? Or just condensation?

      To top it off, in the console when I start the car, it clicks for approximately 10 seconds then goes away. I have taken it in to the Honda dealership and they don't know why it's clicking. It happens more in the summer months, intermittently.

      Thanks for any advice,

      Susan

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Don,

      It sounds like you may have a problem with the trailer hitch wire harness. Try unplugging it first, it's usually located behind the left rear panel (drivers side) in the cargo area.

    • profile image

      Don 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2011 honda pilot. I was having issues with my trailer main fuse so i removed the fuse to check if it was bad. When i went to put the fuse that was still good back into the fuse box i noticed a bunch of lights were lighting up on my dashboard. Im not sure of all of the lights but i do know the drive light was flashing green when it was in park. Is there an easy reset fix for this problem, or should i seek a professional.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kevin,

      I believe you have two coolant temperature switches in your vehicle, one in the engine block and one at the bottom of the radiator. I recommend checking the input from both sensors with a scanner.

    • profile image

      Kevin Kelley 

      4 months ago

      Check engine light is on in my 2007 Accord. Code is P0128 (cooling system malfunction). Car does not overheat, and air conditioning works fine. Mechanic says thermostat looks good. What else could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      It could be a lot of things Amanda. It may be worth getting a $20 code reader at this point so you at least know what the coed is.

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      4 months ago

      So I drove my fiance to work this morning and on my way out of his work parking light I noticed the check engine light on I know I just had to put oil in a few weeks ago. My car is a 2000 Honda accord and has 174k maybe a little over on it. We are running the high milage oil in it any ideas?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi George,

      It's most likely not an O2 sensor, but something else causing the problem. Have you ever had the valves adjusted? How many miles are on the engine? Does the engine run smooth?

    • profile image

      george 

      5 months ago

      3 week nightmare.i have a 2011 honda element.engine light came on.mechanic checked it rear oxigen sensor replaced it 4 days later engine light comes on again.this time front oxigen sensor. my mechanic replaces both.two days later it comes on again. He reset it again after another oxigen sensor reading,15 miles later engine lights on again.HELP

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Albert,

      You may be starting to hear a wheel bearing noise, check out this article and videos I put together and let me know if this could be your noise. https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/What-is-a-wheel...

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Linky,

      Not worried but concerned. I recommend having the code read by either an auto parts store or mechanic. Once you know the code, you'll have an idea of what is causing the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anico,

      If the light is not flashing it is OK to drive but there is something causing the light to come on. If you have the code pulled from the computer it will point you to the parts that are failing and causing the light to come on.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joanne,

      You're talking about the maintenance light not the check engine light. The check engine light has a symbol of an engine, the maintenance light has a wrench. You probably have never seen your maintenance light because most mechanics reset the light after every oil change, so if you're early for your oil changes, the light will be reset before it has a chance to illuminate.

    • profile image

      Joanne Baird 

      5 months ago

      That flashing yellow light on your Honda means it will be due for an oil change. When it stays on without flashing that means get your oil changed!. This light never went on under I hit 100,000 miles. I have a 2006 CRV.

    • profile image

      Anico jr 

      5 months ago

      Sir how about the steady light of check engine... no flashing... no check engine if i start the engine but while on driving when the rpm goes to 2000rpm the light of check engine was visible again and take note there is no flashing its only a steady light.. how about that sir

    • profile image

      Linky 

      5 months ago

      I was driving home and noticed my engine light went on. The car jerked and started to slow down, then I stepped on the gas petal to regain the speed. Should I be worried?

    • profile image

      albert 

      5 months ago

      hi sir, i have a honda city 2010 automatic transmision. i have o idea what is goin on with it.my car run very fine except that i notice when i am driving at a speed of 70km/h up to 100km/h the sound comming from the car change,compare to 0 to 70km/h and to 80km/h which is veru smooth.the 70 to 100km/h is a little diffirent higher sound.no warning light or.engine check.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi John,

      The light will go off after 3 days of driving, so it may be off now, it came on because you unplugged the sensor with the engine running. Is the engine skipping?

    • profile image

      mariostation24@gmail.com 

      5 months ago

      My 2008 Honda accord check engine light came on my dad takes my car for service I left him a note about the problem

    • profile image

      John 

      5 months ago

      I had an acceleration problem. I thought it could be the mass air flow sensor so i attempted to disconnect it while the engine is running to see if the engine goes off so it's not the mass air flow sensor. and it did go off so i just connected it back on and turned on the engine to find my engine check light on for the first time. Honda accord 03 v6 3.0 i bought it 6 months ago from its original owner. Thank u.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cliff,

      Those are generic codes but it is a powertrain code and most likely fuel related like your fuel trim is too lean or rich. How is the engine running?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jose,

      No Sir, the check engine light comes on when there is a malfunction in the emissions system or something that will affect the emissions system like an O2 sensor or mass air flow sensor.

    • profile image

      Jose 

      6 months ago

      Hey my engine light turned on yesterday and I did my oil change on Friday,,my mechanic told me I had to change my air filter I have yet it I will do it on Wednesday is that why my light might be on because of the air filter

    • profile image

      Cliff 

      6 months ago

      Codes 61-1 and P2251 in 2005 Honda accord EX 3 liter V6. Interpretation??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks Mitch,

      Let me know if you have any questions :)

    • profile image

      Mitch 

      7 months ago

      Really helpful - particularly bonus question 2 - thanks!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kimberly,

      If you think the car may be a flood victim there are signs to look for like corroded connectors that are close to the floor, signs of any water lines under the dash or lower pars of the seats, musty smell inside the vehicle, etc...

      If you take the vehicle to a Honda garage or a garage that can look at the O2 sensors operation while the engine is running, they will be able to diagnose the issue, P0420 is a catalytic converter code not an O2 sensors code, but an O2 sensors can trip this code if one is not working properly, are you totally confused now? LOL. Find a garage that can read the code and test the O2 sensors and go from there. Keep me posted on what you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Kimberly 

      8 months ago

      Hi Eddie, first I'd like to thank you for posting and answering questions as a professional that has been in the Honda business for a long time. I just bought a 2009 Honda accord from an individual and the check engine light is on. The owner told us about this light and even had a reader that read 420 which he said was was the catalytic converter sensor. Well 3 days after I bought the car I was driving to work and my whole car broke down we take the alternator off and took it to O'Reilly to be tested and it tested bad since then we replace the alternator however the check engine light is still on and the car seems to be a little jerky how would I know if the car has been a flooded vehicle. Also how would I know if it's an electrical problem or not

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sandi,

      It is unusual for the eps (electronic power steering) control unit to malfunction but they can fail without warning. I had a eps control unit fail on my Crosstour and we had to replace it but I don't think there is any need to replace the vehicle because of it, a eps control unit is a lot less expensive then a new car lol. If you don't feel safe in your vehicle and you can afford a new one, the new CR-V's are very nice.

    • profile image

      Sandi 

      8 months ago

      I have a 2014 Honda CR-V with 56,611 miles on it. The other day I lost power steering function on the parkway and by the time I got home the engine light was on. Took it to the dealer service center and they said that the PCM needed to be "rebooted", they did that and everything seems fine. I am trying to decide if I should have the PCM replaced or just go ahead and get a new car while this one is still worth something. I am terrified that this will happen again, and the results won't be as good as the last time.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kim.

      Do you know what the code is?

    • profile image

      Kim 

      9 months ago

      I have a 03 Awd Honda Element. Drive shaft went bad. Currently doesn’t have one. Car has developed a jerk going from 1-2 gear. Engine light isn’t on. Transmission fluid was changed.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Noor,

      It could be just an emissions code but you will need to have the code read by a garage or mechanic to know for sure.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi George,

      If the check engine light is on the computer usually stores a code. The code will direct you on what system has the failure, without this code you don't know what is causing the problem. You need to have someone with a code reader plug into your cars computer and retrieve the code.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cs 1,

      Do you know the code?

    • profile image

      Cs 1 

      9 months ago

      Engine light came on driving, when revs went over 2,500 engine felt lumpy and as if would stall. Checked fluids ( Water was low) light stayed on ??

    • profile image

      George 

      9 months ago

      Gday Eddie

      No idea what you mean by the code, where would I see this?

      Cheers George

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi George,

      Do you know what the code was?

    • profile image

      George 

      9 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      Honda Jazz over 12 years old. Check engine light has baffled several Honda garages here in Australia. Today the light was on as I drove to station. 10 hours later, after sitting in full sun at over 30 deg C the light came on briefly when firing up. I drove home without seeing the light, parked in garage and stopped engine. Restarted engine many times and still no light shows. I checked fuel cap and pressure in tank was high. Still no light!

      Any thoughts?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Janette :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jean,

      2-4 driving cycles, so that means the engine will be stone cold, driven until it reaches operating temperature, then back down to cold 2-4 times.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Josh,

      Premium fuel will not make a difference. The light flashing is not just a gas cap, if it were just a gas cap the light would go out within 2-4 driving cycles. If the valves have never been adjusted and the mileage is over 100k, I recommend having a valve adjustment done and replace the spark plugs. The check engine light will leave a code in the computer so I highly recommend getting that checked first just in case it an O2 sensor is kicking the code. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Jean Billington 

      9 months ago

      Filled up the car a week ago. Light came on yesterday. Checked the gas cap and it was loose. Took it off and then

      Put it back on and did three clicks. Light is still on and I have driven it. How long before the light goes off? There were no codes displayed by the light.

      Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      Janette Admiss 

      9 months ago

      This check list has been extremely helpful. Thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hafiz,

      Most likely it is the IMA battery determination but I recommend getting the code checked before jumping to conclusions

    • profile image

      Hafiz 

      10 months ago

      Hi,

      I have a 2008 Civic Hybrid, No issue with IMA but Engine light show up, what might be the cause?

      Thanks,

      Hafiz

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      No Gus, the canister is located near the gas tank usually near the drivers side rear door, it may be hidden under a plastic cover.

    • profile image

      Gus 

      10 months ago

      Is the canister located inside fuel tank? 2004 LX Civic

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dre,

      Do you know the code? It's probably either the O2 sensor or an evap leak in the canister system. Let me know, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hannah,

      Did you replace the distributer cap and rotor or did you replace the distributor base? On those older cars the bearing used to wear out in the base of the distributor and when you removed the distributor cap you would find orange rust all over the inside. The cylinder position sensor is located in the base as well. Let me know what you replaced, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dolores,

      If you look on the paperwork (repair slip) the service advisor should have written down the codes they found in the computer, can you tell me the codes? I may be able to point you in the right direction, thanks.

    • profile image

      Dolores 

      10 months ago

      I have a Honda Accord lx 2001, it has 184k miles and the check engine light came on. Took to aamco and they have replaced the thermostat, transmission flush and Honda dealerships changed the ECM with used ECM, but still the check engine light I still on. Don’t know what to do

    • profile image

      Hannah Fox 

      10 months ago

      I have a Honda Accord 96,

      engine light came on, i took to mechanic, they said it was the distributor.

      I replaced:

      distributor, air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and wires.

      engine light came back on instantly leaving shop. they said to bring it back,

      replaced:

      adapter.

      engine light remained on. a got engine light checked out again at Autozone said its cylinder position sensor.

      i also changed main relay.

      engine light still on, what could the issue be? maybe electrical fault?

      Car doesnt start properly some days, well engine running but parked, sometimes a little revy and jumpy

    working

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