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

Updated on February 27, 2017
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Eddie spent 33 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE certified master technician.

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

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

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.

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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    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mallory,

      So you will most likely need to replace the rocker arm actuator on the rear bank , its is a little difficult to replace but I highly recommend having a mechanic do it. Is there a Honda dealer in your area?

    • profile image

      Mallory 8 days ago

      I have a 2007 Odyssey. Bought a few months ago. All of the sudden while driving about 35 mph, the check engine light, VSA and the triangle with the exclamation point came on. It will barely let me accelerate above 20 and I have to really push the pedal to go faster and there's no still not much power. Took it to a shop. Can't get me in until next week, but did scan it and it came back with a code. P2647 Rock Arm Actuator stuck on bank 1 variable cylinder management. I have no clue what that means or what l can do on my own to get it fixed sooner. I'm stuck at work now and don't even know if I can chance driving it home. The mechanic said it didn't sound internal and cleared it and when I drove away it was fine for all of 2 mins and then everything came back on again.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mahmood,

      If the light came on when the key was first turned on and then it went out once the engine was running, this is normal. If the light stays on steady, there is a code stored in the computer and needs to be checked and fixed before you buy it.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Debra,

      There was a fault in the emissions system but it seems to have corrected itself. I recommend driving it for now, if the light comes back on, have the code checked.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Art,

      You can drive the car for a few days and see if it will go out on it's own, if the problem is corrected then the light will go off. If the problem persists, you will need to go back to have the code rechecked and they should clear the code with their code reader.

    • profile image

      Art 9 days ago

      Check engine light went on. Went to Auto zone and they said it needed a gas cap. I bought one, now how do I turn the check engine light off

    • profile image

      Debra 9 days ago

      My 2006 Honda Pilot (130k miles) has been sitting for 4 days after a snowstorm. On Day 2, I started the engine and cleared the snow from the car. I moved the car back and forward again in the parking space. Today, Day 4, I started the car and saw Check Engine VTM-4 displayed. Once I reached my destination (20 minutes driving), I shut the engine but needed to adjust the car, so I restarted it. The VTM-4 is no longer displayed. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

    • profile image

      Mahmood 10 days ago

      Hello Eddie,

      Many thanks for providing this great site and service.

      Im considering to by a Honda Jazz 2006 114,00 miles (in UK) and when I went to see it I saw the engine management light come on.

      At start, the car started without problems and the engine seemed to run fine and not rough. Any ideas?

      Much appreciated

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dean,

      If the engine is running rough, you may have something else causing the light to come on like a faulty spark plug or injector.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Debbie,

      If the light is not flashing and the engine is running ok then you can drive to a garage to have it diagnosed. If the light is flashing or the engine is running rough then I recommend you have it towed.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Josie,

      possible O2 sensor, do you know the code?

    • profile image

      Josie James 13 days ago

      I have a 96 Honda LX and it runs great. The check engine light has been on for a couple of years now and its time to pass smog. Any ideas what it could be.

    • profile image

      Debbie Lombardo 2 weeks ago

      l have juat seen the engine light come on and have not driven my car for four days what should l do.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      dean 2 weeks ago

      I had them check it at the oreilly parts store and all it showed was bank one sensor one. I changed the top sensor first and it didn't help so I changed the bottom one and still have the light on.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dean,

      Do you know the code?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dawn,

      P0420 is a catalytic converter code, most likely it will need to be replaced.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Elizabeth,

      If the code is for a reflash but it's not a recall then you will need to pay the cost of the reflash. I have never heard of such a code tho, do you know what the code is?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Halima, do you know what code was stored in the computer?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Godsend,

      What is the code stored in the computer?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ann, Are you sure the code was P0499? I have no information on that code.

    • profile image

      Maggie 2 weeks ago

      Sitting in the a Honda dealer service shop. Running to an appointment and car started shaking at 70 mph. Dropped speed and kept shaking. Then engine light started flashing and car started shaking at all speeds. All of this happened in the span of 5 minutes. Missed appt but fortunately was right near my dealership. So feel blessed we got off the highway and are so close to help. Let’s see what dealer says and the proposed cost☹️

    • profile image

      Halima Diaz 2 weeks ago

      Hi, my 2009 honda accord with 200,000 miles would not drive past 30 mph vsa light and engine light flashed. Took it to two mechanics and honda no one knows what was wrong. honda switched some wires and coils car worked ok but they didnt charge me because they said they werent sure if that was the fix. Now its doing it again.

    • profile image

      Elizabeth Osborne 2 weeks ago

      I have a 2009 Honda Accord 4-cylander manual and the check engine came on. It drives fine but I took it in to find out what code is coming up. The mechanic said it is a code to have the computer reconfigured as Honda sent out a notice that the computer may send out a check engine light due to a quick fix of reconfiguring the computer. Will this cost me since Honda sent out the notice that this needs to be done?

    • profile image

      Dawn 3 weeks ago

      My pilot 06 has the following codes: PO-420, 83-1, and 61-1. Do you know what this might be?

    • profile image

      dean 3 weeks ago

      2011 civic bought with 3400 miles now has 56000 check engine lite on when air temp below 70 degrees. have changed both oxygen sensors, car runs fine 36-39 mpg. over 70 degrees lite will go out.

    • profile image

      godsend 3 weeks ago

      My Honda Accord check light flash continually and the car sound change i have check the plugs and nozzle but all seems To be OK. Please wants the possible cause and solution.

    • profile image

      Ann 4 weeks ago

      P0499 is the code for my 2010 2 door Honda Accord. I was told I need a part. But wasn't told what part I need. I have to get car inspected

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Arua,

      How many miles are on the engine? Have you ever had a valve adjustment? This might be the cause of the misfire if the rocker arms are out of spec. Valves should be adjusted every 100,000 miles.

    • profile image

      Aura 4 weeks ago

      Hi -

      My 2007 Honda Fit manual tranny was having some slight misfiring (no Check Engine Light), which I diagnosed to mean needed new spark plugs (it was past time). I changed them out for Bosch Iridium, and the misfiring got worse - skipping and misfiring all the time, and the CEL came on. I went and got codes read at Autozone (P0300, P0301, P0303, P0304). After doing some online research, I realized I should not have used Bosch plugs as they cause problems for Fits, so I replaced them with NGKs. Now, there is no detectable (to me) skipping or misfiring, car drives smoothly, except for low power on hills or when pulling a load. However, CEL remains on, and it has started flashing whenever it is pulling a load - as soon as it isn't having to work so hard, it goes back to solid. I had the codes read again after a few days, and they are all the same. I'm so confused! No more serious codes than the misfire codes, yet I don't feel it misfiring, and the CEL blinking intermittently has got me spooked. Any ideas? I'm a DIY type and can't afford the dealer but scared to drive on my upcoming holiday trip...

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gina,

      If the light is flashing, have it towed to a shop to have it checked out. It's possible you have a catalytic converter problem. Have the code checked by a reputable mechanic and it will give you an idea of what is going on. Let me know what you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Gina 4 weeks ago

      Hello, my 2005 Honda oddessy check engine light came on and it won’t go over 35 mph. When I stop it feels like it’s going to die. It was driving just fine earlier today?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brian,

      You may have damaged the O2 sensor during the wash. I recommend checking the code to verify the cause of the light being on. Knowing what the code is will help you repair the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Samantha,

      I recommend bringing it back to that shop, I think your engine timing is off and they may have mad a mistake when putting it back together.

    • profile image

      Samantha lowery 5 weeks ago

      My husband has a 2003 Honda Civic ex 1.7 liter it had a bad crank sensor so he got it changed well when they changed it the emissions control lamp came on and stayed on and when you go down the road and hit the gas pedal to go over 50 it's like it's misting and don't wanna take the fuel idk plz help.

    • profile image

      Brian 5 weeks ago

      Hi, my honda city idsi 2006 has been showing “check engine” sign after i conduct under chassis and engine cleaning. What should i do.? Thank you for your response

    • profile image

      Sheryl 6 weeks ago

      I have a Honda Element 2003 check engine light flashing had to the dealer 2x drove away 1 mile and light is flashing again what could possibly be the problem ? Dealer got code I would think they could have fixed it...

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Good deal Abhishek, thanks for the update :)

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      Abhishek 6 weeks ago

      Reopened and closed petrol cap issue solved

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Philip,

      Do you know what the code is?

    • profile image

      philip 7 weeks ago

      Hello,Honda low on power but in vtec mode goes ok,Check light is on.

    • profile image

      Rita 8 weeks ago

      I have a Honda Fit 2007. The last service I had was to replace a broken stud on the right front wheel. But after a week, everytime I turn my heater on, my radio flickers for a second and even the has gas gauge hand goes to empty. Is this the battery. And today the Malfunction Indicator Lamp came. Is this a check engine? Is the battery needs changing? Are both issues related? Thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mapenzi,

      There are a lot of failures that can cause the light to come on, you need to have a Honda garage pull the code, most likely it's an evap code, but there is no way to diagnose it unless you know the code.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dvine,

      It sounds like there is a problem in the transmission (D light flashing) The check engine light is on because the D light was flashing. You'll need to have the code pulled to find the cause. Most likely it's a shift solenoid or something external on the transmission.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Nathaniel,

      Black smoke is usually caused by a rich mixture, too much fuel.

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      Nathaniel 2 months ago

      My Honda accord Accord 2005 bring out black smoke from the exhaust what is the major cause of the black smoke?

    • profile image

      Dvine 2 months ago

      My car made a loud sound while I was driving and the D started blinking and the check engine light came on. When u turned my car off then back on the D was no longer blinking but the check engine light is still on. My car is driving normally, there are no weird smells or sounds either. I have a 2009 Honda CR-V

    • profile image

      MAPENZI 2 months ago

      Hi, my brother's Honda Airwave 2008 model has been showing the ''Check Engine'' sign for quite a while. Diagnostics machine are not showing any fault but upon removal of one battery terminal the sign disappeared only to return after two weeks.The car is functioning well but iam worried because of this sign. What could be the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Foudil,

      If you never had this problem before you had the catalytic converter replaced, most likely it's the new catalytic converter causing the problem, it could be partially clogged.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Randy,

      Most likely the O2 sensor, but have a shop pull the code first, there are shops that pull codes for free.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Steve,

      There are a lot of things that can cause a P0420, but the most common cause is a deteriorating catalytic converter. You'll need to measure the inlet and outlet temperature with a laser thermometer, inlet temp should be about 100* cooler than the outlet temp. So if the inlet temp is 250*, outlet temp should be around 350*. Hope this helps.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ashlei,

      I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with the new alternator if the problem didn't exist before the repair. It's also possible the mechanic didn't plug something back in after the repair.

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      Foudil 2 months ago

      Hi, thank you so much for your explanations, my honda jazz 2002 1.4 petrol has the emission indicator on, came on straight after my mechanic replied the old cat converter to a non genuine one. When driving, occasionally it feels like I run out of petrol, like its going to stop, then as I pressed deeper on the accelerator it eventually comes back to speed. Could you please let me know what could be the problem? Kind regards Foudil

    • profile image

      Randy Samson 2 months ago

      My check engine light has been coming on and going off and my gas milage has really gone to crap. The car runs fine? 1996 Honda accord with 190,000 miles. Hate to spend money because it runs fine. I'm thinking 02 sensor?

    • profile image

      Steve 2 months ago

      Code p0420. Catalyst system efficiency bank one. What does it mean, EXACTLY. What parts does that mean. How is it diagnosed. Need specific info.

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      Steve 2 months ago

      05 odyssey. Overruled gas tank several times. Lite came on. Replaced a.c. canister and canister air filter. Drove 450 miles lite still on. Code p0420. Any ideas?

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      ashlei 2 months ago

      Hi my emission lamp is blinking after i changed my alternator, its bogging/sputtering whats the cause?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amanda,

      There has to be a code in the system if the check engine light is on, are you sure this is not the maintenance light?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Raul,

      There is something wrong, you'll need to have the code pulled from the computer so you know what is causing the problem. Let me know what code you pull.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alicia,

      I'm not sure what I did, but I'm glad I did it lol. You're welcome :)

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      Amanda 2 months ago

      My 2007 Odyssey engine emission light came on. I checked for a code, and there is no code. It is an older car. I hate to take it to the shop, they charge sooo much. Anything else I can check on my own?

    • profile image

      Raul moreno 2 months ago

      My 2010 civic si check engine light came on while driving I dont know why

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      Alicia 2 months ago

      Dang! That was so helpful! Thank you so much!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Randy,

      What is the year make and model?

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      randy 2 months ago

      I pulled up a coat po3400-cylinder deactivation system bank 1 any idea what this could be.thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Katrina,

      Sorry so late with my reply. It's possible you have a leak in the evaporative system. I recommend having a Honda garage pull the code from the computer and do a little diagnosing. It shouldn't cost more than an hour to diagnose, then the cost to have it repaired.

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      Katrina E Perrin 2 months ago

      I have a 2011 Honda Accord. The gas cap light started coming on. Now the check engine light is on. What should I do?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Darshil,

      I think you have a problem with your EGR ports being clogged. I recommend removing the plenum and checking the EGR port, if it's clogged, that's your problem. If it looks good, it may be time to have the valves adjusted if they have never been adjusted before. How does the engine run?

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      Darshil Shah 3 months ago

      I have a 2003 Honda Accord V6. I bought it in Dec 2015, got check engine light in Nov 2016, my mechanic said the oxygen sensors need to be replaced. I replaced all 4 O2 sensors. The engine light went off for next few months. The engine light came back in August 2017 and it's still on. The codes are P0172 and P0175. The mechanic who replaced the O2 sensors last year says that the O2 sensors need to be replaced again. But now I am not sure why every year I need to replace the O2 sensors. I am thinking to replace all the spark plugs and mass air flow sensor first before thinking of replacing the O2 sensors. But I am not sure what actually need to be replaced. Please advise. Thanks much in advance.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Corie,

      It means you have a code stored in the transmission computer and you'll need to have it checked. Let me know if you have more questions.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lisa,

      You'll need to bring it to a Honda garage for the electronic power steering code. The tire pressure light may be because you have a low tire? The check engine light may be on because of the EPS light.

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      Lisa 3 months ago

      Hi

      I found your information very helpful. I recently had my 2014 Accord serviced for battery charging issue which was over a month ago. Now check engine light is on along with power steering light and tire pressure light? Any suggestions?

      Checked gas cap and it’s sealed tightly.

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      corie 3 months ago

      what does the flashing D for drive mean .. the D in my car doesnt stop flashing

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sharon,

      No, there is no catalytic converter software update on a 2017 pilot. Not sure what they are talking about. If you find out the code, let me know and I'll let you know what caused it, thanks.

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      Sharon 3 months ago

      I found your blog very informative. Thank you.

      My check engine light turned on while driving home from Honda dealership - got an oil change. (2016 Honda Pilot) I came right back to check it out and the Honda guy initially said its a coincidence - Honda just issued a 2017 catalytic converter software update. Really? Coincidence? I don't know anything more as I am currently waiting for them to figure out the problem.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tony,

      Have you checked all your big ground wires on the engine and transmission? There are about 3 and if one is loose or broken it can cause all kinds of problems. Let me know, thanks.

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      Tonyvuegle 3 months ago

      Hey Ed, thank goodness you're providing valuable info here.

      So I've got a similar problem with my 2003 Civic Ex.

      I am the original owner, great car it is - only two issues since owning the car...had to replace the alternator about ten years ago and car had transmission issue that was never fixed but nonetheless, I have been driving the car for over fifteen years without major issue.

      Recently, car went into limp mode. I spent the last four weeks diagnosing and researching for an answer. I finally replaced the PCM purchased on Ebay, swapped it out and problem seemed to have gone away. I drove it for about 3 days (around 100 miles) and then the same problem came back, now the car is back in limp mode.

      I don't know what else to do, I've checked everything I can possibly think of - battery, alternator current, fuses, air inlets, vacuum pressure, bolts, wiring.

      On both occasions, the battery light would come on, then the engine would run erractically losing power as the relay clicks (relay that is under the glove compartment that is). It goes on like that for about ten to fifteen seconds then battery goes out and Check Engine light comes on, car then goes into limp mode - tachometer, temperature gauge goes dead. Speedometer and fuel gauge would still read however. Car is drivable however acceleration is weak, car slams in gear when in limp mode.

      Any ideas/thoughts would really help. Perhaps someone else here has had the same problem and found the common cause? Thank you in advance.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Most likely you have a small leak in the evaporative emission system. Because it was a fuel cap code, most likely it's on the tank side.

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      Honda CRV 2011 - Emissions light 4 months ago

      I had the oil changed a week ago, the next day the engine light came on. I went to the mechanic where they did the oil change and attached a computer to the car. It was the fuel cap. They cleared the error and the care has been fine for exactly one week. Today the light has come on again and the last time I fueled was 1 week ago. Please could you help me?

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you Guru for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it :)

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joe,

      That is a generic code and I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it either has something to do with the ECU or the Alternator/Generator. I recommend having the charging system checked first, if everything is working as designed, you'll need to dig a little deeper. Let me know what you find, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sam,

      If the light hasn't gone out yet, you'll need to take it to have the code read from the computer. Once you have the code, you'll be able to plan the repair. Let me know what the code is when you get it, thanks.

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      Guru 4 months ago

      Good hints and suggestions!

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      joe 4 months ago

      hi eddie please can you help with this code po607 04 Honda jazz dsi engine hard to start stopping while driving has to be jumped started new battery fitted many thanks

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      Sam 4 months ago

      The "Check Engine" light came on in my 2011 CRV yesterday. I have tightened the fuel cap though I had filled up the tank a week ago and driven around all week. Should I drive around a bit to see if the light goes off or take the vehicle to a mechanic for a check?

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Harley,

      Most likely it's the starter, but I recommend having it checked first so you don't spend money if you don't have to.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi George,

      You need a code reader, you can purchase one from Amazon for about $20.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zoe,

      If they can guarantee to fix the problem if it comes back on within 90 days, the guarantee has to be in writing!!!!! Then buy it :)

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Do you know the code?

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rod,

      That is a generic code so I'm not sure exactly what it's pointing at, but it's a transmission code if that helps. You'll need to either have the code pulled by a Honda dealer or transmission shop to know exactly what it means, sorry I can't help any more than that.

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      Harley Q 4 months ago

      I own a 2005 Honda Civic that has pretty much stopped starting. However, I have noticed it will make a little zippy electrical sound and then will start? All lights and radio will come on when I try ignition just won't start no clicking or any noise.

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      Zoe Ronald 4 months ago

      Hi, I test drive a Honda CR-V 2002 and the engine was quiet and drive was smooth. Then the engine light came on. I told the salesman and he got his device and got a code. He then explained that his mechanic would look at it. He has now looked at it and says there is no fault. I am unsure whether I should go ahead and buy the car or just walk away.

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      Rod 4 months ago

      Hi Eddie, I have 2012 Honda pilot having problems on emission system and transmission as per check engine light. I extracted the code P0848 and P0848 p/d. But everything on vehicle operations are fine. Prior to, I used the vehicle to jump start other vehicle, then I spray water to the engine compartment just to clean it. I tried resetting it by OBD, still coming back the code P0848 (check emission system). Please help and thanks.

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      YouAreLoved 4 months ago

      Great info and easy to understand. Thanks for posting

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Aruni,

      Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it very much ;)

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Pam,

      Sorry so late with my reply. You should not drive your vehicle when the oil light comes on, it means you are extremely low on oil. I recommend adding oil to the engine to the top of the dipstick before you drive it or you may seize the engine. Yes, Most likely the check engine light is on because your oil light is on.

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      Pam 4 months ago

      Hi. My oil light turned on a few days ago so I’m gonna get an oil change. Now, my check engine light turned on. It’s not blinking. But I’m not sure if the oil light has anything to do with the check engine light. Also my car skipped/sputtered a little when I was on the freeway- that’s when I noticed the light had turned on.

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      Tanveer Hussain 5 months ago

      hi Eddie,

      please can you help me to guide i have Honda accord 2003 i replace the alternator but on board light shown engine sign (Yellow) and battery (Red).

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      Ashley 5 months ago

      Hello! I have a 2005 Honda Civic- I had the dealership run diagnostics for my check engine light, and it came back with the code P-0139. They replaced the oxygen sensor and everything was fine for a few days, but then it came back on again. Before I could go back it turned off on its own and the mechanic said it probably just had to go through a drive cycles. Unfortunately, a few days later and it's back on. Nothing's changed otherwise, checked the fuel cap, etc. I haven't noticed any problems driving other than maybe a little resistance when accelerating.

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      Ruby 5 months ago

      Hi, i have a 2006 Honda Accord. My check gas cap light came on and blinked for like 30 minutes. Then the check engine light came on after the 30 minutes. My dad says he ran a test on it and the code says its the transmission but my dad is getting old and i honestly dont believe he is right after reading this... Is that possible? He wont even tell me what the code is.

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brian,

      Have you replaced the fuel filter? is there only fuel in the tank? no mixture of diesel or water?