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

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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

  • Could a broken PCV valve cause the "Check Engine" light to go off?

    Yes, if the PCV valve is broken your engine will have a rough idle because of the vacuum leak, and it will cause the check engine light to come on.

  • The check engine light came on in my 2005 Honda Accord. What may be wrong?

    There are a lot of things that can cause the check engine light to come on. Some common issues are O2 sensors, evaporative emissions leaks, a loose gas cap, a misfire, spark plugs, low coolant, etc. I recommend having the code checked; it will point you in the right direction.

  • After driving for about 20 miles on the freeway, the check engine light on my 2010 Honda Accord started flashing. When I stopped the car, I felt the car shake and rumble, but it operated fine while driving. I looked up the symbol in the manual, and it says something might be wrong with the emissions Is this possibly it? Should I take my car to the local mechanic I use or to Honda? What do you think might be wrong and what are the possible costs to fix it?

    There are a few possibilities for this scenario. It could be a fouled spark plug, inoperative coil, faulty fuel injector, piston rings, etc. The check engine light is flashing because there is a misfire and it could be causing damage to the catalytic converter. I recommend having the Honda dealer check the code and give you an estimate of the cost of the repair.

  • I "topped off" my gas tank and my engine light has been flashing along with the non-flashing, triangular VSA warning for five days and approximately 45 miles. My car runs fine, no unusual noises, etc., though I do not get the usual ECO light for economy fuel use. If this was caused by overfilling the gas tank, will the problem vanish on its own? If not, how do I find a mechanic familiar with the computerized warning system?

    If the check engine light is flashing, this means you are doing damage to the catalytic converter, and the car should be towed to a garage. I recommend the manufacturer's garage because they have the tools to diagnose the system. The problem you are having is not caused by overfilling the gas tank. Your engine is misfiring and is not burning all the fuel that is going into the cylinder, that's why the light is flashing: it's warning you that there is a damaging problem.

Comments

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ben,

      You could have your local auto parts store, garage or dealership check it or you could buy a cheap scanner and check it yourself. There are a lot of things that could cause the check engine light to come on so it's best to check the code without guessing.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mo,

      On the hood or front radiator support, you'll find a rubber bumper on each side that is adjustable by turning. I recommend you just unscrew the rubber bumper to apply a little pressure to the hood and the noise should stop :) The gas pedal is a little more in-depth. If you remove the rubber intake hose coming from the air cleaner box and look inside the throttle plate housing you'll see the throttle plate. Open the plate manually with either the linkage or a long screwdriver and you'll notice carbon built up where the throttle place sits. Take some carburetor cleaner and a clean rag and remove the carbon or both upper and lower parts of the intake, if you can manage to clean the edges of the throttle plate that will help as well but your main focus is the intake housing. Once it's clean the throttle will stop sticking :) Let me know how you make out Mo, thanks.

    • profile image

      Mo 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie

      I have a honda accord 1999. I have two problems. This problem has been awhile driver side vibrates when stopped and makes noise. When press on drive side hood goes away the vibration and noise.

      i just noticed gas pedal is kind of sticky not going all the way when i press so i have to press it harder after that i do not feel it when driving. It happens when car parked a while.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Ben Ghana 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you for this information, my Honda Civic 2017 check engine light came on a week now, car drives prefect, how do i check the code, thank you and what could be the issue

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tapson,

      What happens when the key is turned to the start position? Does it turn the engine over? Does it click? Do the dash lights come on? Let me know everything you observe, thanks.

    • profile image

      Tapson Paul kubvoruno 

      3 weeks ago

      My honda crv 2000 model dnt want to start there is no engine checklight smd key green light on thr dashboard if I put key on what could the problem and what can I do

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marius,

      It sounds like you and your family are safe from the COVID19 so I glad about that. The check engine light comes on when there is a hiccup or failure in the emission system, even a loose gas cap can cause the light to come on. I recommend you drive it for a few days as long as it's driving normal and there are no unusual noises and notice if the light goes out on its own. Sometimes the failure will correct itself and the check engine light will go out and stay out. If the light stays on, have the code pulled to identify what may be causing the problem, the code should point you to the system that has failed or hiccuped. Let me know what you find, and if you have more questions, Marius, you know where to find me :)

    • profile image

      Marius 

      6 weeks ago

      Excellent articles and I think helped me to diagnose the yellow engine light warning problem- History: Honda Brio 2014 model, was recently in for service - garage told my wife they have changed something in the engine to better fuel consumption and 95000 km service - had 2 trouble-free weeks and today problems. Car would start for few seconds sounded like the engine will go but died instantly - I checked all lights, battery, hooter enough fuel, loose cables to spark plugs etc Battery all looked OK - then lightbulb moment!! - I took off the red battery cable for few minutes in hope to reset the computer and... it worked!! engine started normally but then with yellow light constant on - its serious lock down time in South Africa and we needed to get home - no mechanic's working let alone Honda dealer! Slow home because manual says possible engine damage - normal power no funny sounds! - so after an hour start it up again, and no yellow light! -

      -so my question now: could it be a loose sensor cable? or they fiddling with the engine may be damage O2 sensor? No water problems or critter- relative new car no critters! exhaust and catalytic converter shoud be ok look undamaged.

      I really enjoyed the videos and instructions and comments very nice guys!

      Regards Marius

      George South Africa

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Philiswe,

      Do you know what the code was? If you look at the paperwork it should state P0301 - P0304 or something like that. Let me know, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sunbeamskid,

      There are two things to look at but I recommend you pull the code first because it may point you directly to the problem. The V-Tec solenoid system has two screens that become clogged over time and may need to be cleaned or replaced. I don't suspect the engine valves have ever been adjusted and that is a common problem with CR-V's, the valves become tight over time and will need to be adjusted to bring back into spec. I recommend you start will pulling the code and go from there. Let me know if you have additional questions, and keep me posted on what you find please, thanks.

    • profile image

      sunbeamskid 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi Sir,

      I have a 2002 CRV and my car runs normally. However, I'm just bothered that the check engine light turns on when I reach 2,000 RPM. I don't feel any change in the engine nor do I hear any sound coming from the engine. The mileage is less than 93,000 miles and I don't normally use it for long drives. I just use it from point A to B and back.

      Thank you Sir and I look forward to your reply.

    • profile image

      Philisiwe 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi. So my Honda ballade 1997 suddenly showed the check engine sign while driving. I took the car to a local mechanic,he checked the car and said he sees nothing wrong. He replaced 1 spark plug that was burnt. The car sounds fine and everything in place but the check engine sign is still there.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jessica,

      It sounds like your alternator is not working or you have a loose battery terminal or connection. Have you had any work done to the engine recently? A quick check for the battery terminals would be to tighten the terminal nuts and check for looseness. Let me know what you find Jess, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome, Steve let me know if I can answer any questions you might have :)

    • profile image

      Steven J. Diamond 

      7 weeks ago

      Great info. thank you.

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you for your vast knowledge! After having my 2007 Honda Accord washed at a drive through, my car tried to shut down three times in the short 10 minute drive home. By “shutting down” it seemed to be turning itself off when I stopped at a corner the brake light, check engine light and another flashed. Once I turned off the ac and turned the car off and on the car again it was fine for a few miles and then act up again. Just in front of my garage I had turned the ac back on and then it completely died for about three minutes. And then I was able to turn it back on again.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Devota,

      As long as the engine is running normally you shouldn't have an issue. You could stop at an auto parts store and have them pull the code just so you know what is causing the light to come on or buy a $20 code reader from Amazon. Let me know if you have any other question I can help with :)

    • profile image

      Devota 

      2 months ago

      My 2011 Pilot has an emissions light on. It has been in the shop (Honda dealer) recently and had filters changed as well as routine maintenance. Can I drive the pilot, currently they are closed d/t the pandemic.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Denise,

      The selling dealer will need to repair it until the light stays off. The CR-V is a very reliable vehicle and will serve you well for years to come, but the problem needs to be fixed permanently first. I recommend you be adamant the vehicle is fixed before you drive off again. How many miles are on the vehicle?? There are a lot of things that can cause this code, not just catalytic converters and O2 sensors, a problem causing an out of spec long term/short term fuel trim can also cause this code. An example of this is the engine valves being out of spec or a number of other things that could cause this issue. Keep me posted on what they do, thanks.

    • profile image

      Denise 

      2 months ago

      HI,

      I just bought a used 2011 Honda CRV and 2 days after the enigine light came on. It was right after the first time I got gas and I read the cap and to turn to 'click' and I know it didn't, so I undid it, clicked and waited. Still on the next day, and had code read by my reg mechanic done and it was P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Theshold - he cleared it in case of sitting, etc. Came back on the next day, called dealer that sold it, drove it up and they looked at it and ended up replacing converter 2 days later day (had to wait for part and they are out of town for me). That even after having replaced, it is on again. I am waiting to find out if it was new or aftermarket convertor, I did not ask when I was there. Any ideas? I bought this after being rear-ended and my reliable car was totalled, and I live in a location that has "no-fault" insurance, and I just need a reliable vehicle being a single parent, one special needs child. Thank you for help.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Barb,

      The lean fuel ratio is your problem and it has nothing to do with the gas tank :( The lean fuel ratio is caused by too much air mixing with the fuel going into the engine and something is causing it like MAP sensor, ECU, EGR valve, false reading from a sensor, etc. You're going to need to find a mechanic who understands how to read the DATA list in the vehicles ECU, someone who knows the system parameters and can pick out a faulty reading. I think your best bet is to find a Honda dealer with master-level Honda Technicians, plus Honda may have a service bulletin on that particular problem. Once it's fixed, maybe you can get some money back from the last shop that changed the fuel tank for no reason except lack of knowledge. Let me know what you decide to do, thanks.

    • profile image

      Barb 

      3 months ago

      My 2017 Honda CRV check engine emissions light went on...took it in and a diagnostic didn’t show anything but lean ration. I had an inspection about one week prior. They reset it and then It went back on 2 days later. I let they gas get low and got a new tank. They said the scan came out fine. Reset again and now 1 day later it is on again. The car is driving normally. What else should I suggest they check besides the codes?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dusti,

      A lot of issues can cause the light to come on. The first step is to have the code pulled from the computer so you'll know what system is not working properly, without knowing the code is like throwing darts at the possible cause. Have the code pulled and let me know what it is and I can help guide you to a solution :)

    • profile image

      Dusti Perkins 

      4 months ago

      My 2003 Honda Pilot. Check engine light came on this morning. What could be going on

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Irene,

      Do you know the code? What is the year and mileage of the vehicle?

    • profile image

      Irene 

      4 months ago

      My honda crv when the engine light comes on i doesn't accelerate but its idling normally

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Awesome news Ad Taylor, Sometimes it's not the sensor it's a component the sensor is monitoring like a fuel injector, spark plug, ignition coil, etc. Thanks for the update and keep me posted if it happens again.

    • profile image

      Ad Taylor 

      5 months ago

      Thanks Eddie, found a great honda mechanic who ran diagnostics..po139 (i think!)..was showing oxygen sensor 2 had had a hiccup, but it was also showing that it was running fine and within the correct parameters. We cleared the error and the car has been running fine since...if it shows again we’ll replace the sensor. He also said its possible a voltage hiccup might have caused the glitch.

      Fingers crossed its all sorted!

      Thanks again for the advice

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ad Taylor,

      If everything is running normal then you may have an issue with the emissions system but the only way to know what's going on is to have the code pulled, once you have the code it will point you to the system that is causing the light to come on. If the light goes out after several drive cycles that means the fault has corrected itself but if it stays on something isn't working properly and needs to be repaired. Let me know if this helps and let me know what the code is, maybe I can shed some light on the issue.

    • profile image

      Ad Taylor 

      5 months ago

      Useful info, Eddie...thanks. I have 2012 crz, the engine light just came on and won’t go out.

      I can answer no to all the questions, so i’m now a little stuck in knowing what might be the cause.

      It was driven normally for 40mins left for 2 hours, then 2mins into new journey it came on.

      Car drives fine, no work done recently, fuel cap is tight enough, roads are damp but not excessive, no water leaks!

      Light is constant, no other warnings on.

      Any ideas,?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Erika,

      It sounds like you have a loose connection on a ground wire or something. Has this vehicle ever been in an accident or have you had any extensive work done on it recently? Did all these lights illuminate on the same day or did this all happen on different days?

    • profile image

      Erika 

      5 months ago

      My 2013 Honda CrV cruise stopped working. Then my check engine light, Power steering light and traction control lights all came on. The cruise came back on once or twice and then all the other lights shut off but didn't stay off. Never had a problem with this car til now. Any thoughts?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Mike :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months 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 

      6 months ago

      Thank toy!

    • profile image

      Anton Husselmann 

      6 months 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 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

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

    • profile image

      Woody 

      6 months ago

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

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      7 months 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 

      7 months ago

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

      Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months 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 

      7 months 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 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

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

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months 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 

      7 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Pj Mamites 

      7 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gavin,

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

    • profile image

      Gavin 

      7 months 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 months 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

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

    • profile image

      Lori Carson 

      8 months ago

      Thank you, this article was very informative!

    • profile image

      TN Honda 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tony,

      How does the transmission fluid look?

    • profile image

      Tony 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 months ago

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

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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 

      10 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

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