Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. The is an ASE Certified understand Technician and has bruised knuckles come prove it.

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Your “check engine” light come on when your car’s onboard computer system (or PCM, Powertrain manage Module) records some type of problem. This onboard computer runs your car so the it has actually optimum fuel economy and low emissions. The PCM creates a code indicating what part or system is malfunctioning (electrical system, oxygen sensors, and so on). Your technology can obtain the code from the vehicle and look up its meaning.

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

The very first Two inquiries to Ask you yourself if the check Engine irradiate Is On

Is the car running normally?Is the "check engine" irradiate flashing?

10 Diagnostic inquiries to asking If her "Check Engine” Light come On

After you've figured out if your auto is running normally and whether the irradiate is on or flashing, questioning the remaining questions.

Has your auto been in the shop for organization recently?Have you fueled your car recently?Did you maybe overfill your fuel tank?Have you mounted any brand-new electronic tools recently?Did her “check engine” irradiate come on after ~ driving with a deep puddle?Do you have too much humidity in your car caused through a water leak?Do you live in a landscape area whereby there are several critters?Are other warning lights illuminated top top the dash?Did your auto sit because that a long period of time without anyone control it?Were friend the last one to drive your car?

What go the inspect Engine light Look Like?

Don’t confuse her "check engine" light v your maintain reminder (a light the goes on instantly to remind you it’s time for a regime service). If you’re no sure, check the index in her owner’s manual, under “warning lights.”



This small yellow irradiate (labeled "maintenance indicator") is not the "check engine" light (1991 Honda Accord)


How Long deserve to You Drive v Your check Engine light On?

Is the automobile running normally? If your automobile is to run normally, and you have no trouble driving it, the trouble is no so severe that you should panic. The course, you should not disregard the light; the is warning you of some trouble with the emissions system. When the light is on, your auto runs top top default parameters, no optimized to minimize emissions and also increase mileage, and also so friend won’t obtain the gas mileage the vehicle is designed come get. Just speak to your mechanic or dealer to do an appointment within a reasonable quantity of time.Is the "check engine" light flashing? If it's flashing, it way you have actually a major problem and also you really should not be driving your car. It's flashing due to the fact that it's saying “STOP!!! Hey, Look in ~ Me!!!” It’s saying her catalytic converter is being damaged. It’s most likely a great idea to speak to a tow van at this point; friend don’t want to include to the cost of any repairs that will be needed.

What go the inspect Engine light Mean?

The examine engine light is a light the the engine computer system uses to represent that over there is something wrong. They space orange, amber, or yellow, and not to it is in ignored!

How come Reset the examine Engine Light

The only method to "reset" the inspect engine irradiate is by fixing the difficulty causing it. Thus, the 10 factors I list listed below may assist you reset your check engine light.

Why Is My examine Engine light on? 10 factors Why Your examine Engine light On

1. Has Your auto Been Serviced Recently?

If your auto has remained in the shop recently for service, it’s quite possible the technician has caused her "check engine" irradiate problem. Occasionally a technician will certainly forget come reinstall a connector to a sensor, or not snap the connector ago together completely. Or the or she may knock a connector loose while doing a boy service.

On larger Hondas, the oxygen sensor is directly listed below the oil filter, for this reason a technician removing the oil filter because that a routine oil adjust might spill oil onto the oxygen sensor. It’s just possible, though no common, the a technician wiping oil turn off the sensor damaged it somehow.


On this 1991 Honda Accord, you can see exactly how the oxygen sensor (little rat-tailed item) is situated directly below the oil filter. You deserve to imagine exactly how easy the is come dump oil top top it.


2. Have actually You sustained Your vehicle Recently?

If girlfriend didn’t tighten the fuel cap sufficient (or forgot to placed it top top altogether!), the can cause your "check engine" light to come on. All Honda fuel caps have a ratcheting device built into the cap to accomplish a an excellent seal and also keep girlfriend from over-tightening the cap. As soon as tightening your fuel cap, be certain to rotate it enough to hear at the very least three clicks; that ensures the proper torque to be applied. If your inspect engine light is on, simply examine your fuel cap to make certain it is turned 3 clicks.

3. Did girlfriend Overfill her Fuel Tank?

If you’re one of those civilization who prefer to optimal off the fuel tank, you need to break the habit, especially if you very own a newer Honda. Once the gas pump shuts off automatically, the tank is as full as it demands to be. To keep gasoline fumes the end of the atmosphere, modern-day United says cars are required to trap the fumes and also recycle them into the engine to be burned. Overfilling the tank can spill fuel right into tiny vacuum lines and filters, i beg your pardon in turn can clog emission devices (like the "evap canister" being replaced in the 3 do-it-yourself videos at the finish of this article). Soaking these gadgets in petrol will cause the "check engine" light to come on. Replacing the damaged parts can be costly, yet the time invested diagnosing the problem might be even more so.

4. Have actually You installed Any new Electronic gadgets Lately, or had Them set up by a Professional?

Everyone likes every the new gadgets accessible for cars these days, like back-up cameras, thunder-booming stereos, remote auto starters, high-intensity-discharge headlights, and rear entertain systems, to surname a few. It’s just feasible that the human being installing your an equipment may have blown a fuse, or worse, may have actually tapped into the dorn wire and also caused that dang "check engine" light to which again.

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Check to view that all electronic devices in the auto are working properly (e.g. Dash light, 12-volt strength supply, inner lights). If whatever is working properly, I would either test all the fuses (using a check light or a voltage meter is the fastest means to do that) or return the auto to the human who go the work.