Honda Check Engine Light On: What Should You Do?

Honda Check Engine Light

Is the Honda check engine light on in your Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey, or Ridgeline? The check engine light – that small, enigmatic symbol on your Honda’s dashboard that can elicit a mix of concern and uncertainty. It serves as a warning indicator that there is a potential issue with the engine or emissions system. But what does it simply mean? And what do you have to do whilst faced with this mysterious caution?

In this comprehensive guide, we intend to shed light on the Honda test engine light, unraveling its importance and equipping you with the know-how to navigate through this unusual automobile dilemma. Whether you’re a seasoned vehicle proprietor or a primary-time Honda driver, understanding to take a look at engine light and a way to respond to it is essential for keeping your car’s overall performance, protection, and sturdiness. Explore a detailed guide on Nissan check engine lights.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be empowered to decode its messages, take appropriate action, and ensure the well-being of your Honda. So, let’s embark on this journey together and demystify the Honda check engine light once and for all.

car dashboard
A detailed guide to Honda check engine light

What Causes the Honda Check Engine Light to Come On?

Here are some common causes for the check engine light to come on:

  • Faulty Oxygen Sensor: The oxygen sensor measures the oxygen levels in the exhaust system, helping the engine control its fuel-to-air ratio. A malfunctioning sensor can trigger the check engine light.
  • Loose or Faulty Gas Cap: A loose, damaged, or missing gas cap can cause fuel vapors to escape from the fuel system, leading to an emission-related issue and the illumination of the check engine light.
  • Malfunctioning Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF): The MAF sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine to determine the correct fuel injection. If the sensor fails or gets dirty, it can cause incorrect fuel delivery and trigger the check engine light.
  • Catalytic Converter Issues: The catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions in the exhaust system. Problems such as a failed converter, a damaged oxygen sensor, or a misfiring engine can cause the check engine light to turn on.
  • Spark Plug or Ignition Coil Problems: Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils can lead to engine misfires, reduced performance, and eventually trigger the check engine light.
  • EGR Valve Malfunction: The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve helps reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by recirculating some exhaust gases back into the engine. If the valve becomes clogged or fails, it can trigger the check engine light.
  • Transmission Issues: Problems with the transmission, such as slipping gears, shift solenoid malfunctions, or low transmission fluid, can cause the check engine light to illuminate.
Honda Pilot check engine light
Depending on your level of know-how and the complexity of the problem, you could select to restore it yourself or take the automobile to a certified mechanic for maintenance.

It’s crucial to notice that after the test engine light comes on, it’s beneficial to have the car’s onboard diagnostic to retrieve the particular error codes.

Diagnostic Questions to Ask If the “Check Engine” Light Comes On

When the “Check Engine” light is on, asking the following diagnostic questions can help you gather useful information and assist in troubleshooting the issue:

Is the check engine light flashing or solid?

A flashing check engine light often indicates a more severe problem that requires immediate attention, while a solid light may indicate a less urgent issue.

Are there any noticeable changes in vehicle performance?

Pay attention to any abnormal behavior, such as rough idling, loss of power, stalling, or strange noises. Note down these symptoms as they can help diagnose the problem.

Did any specific event or circumstance trigger the check engine light? 

Consider whether the light came on after refueling or any recent repairs or maintenance performed on the vehicle. This information can provide clues to the underlying issue.

Have you noticed any other warning lights or messages on the instrument panel? 

Check if any other warning lights are illuminated or if there are any accompanying messages displayed. This can help identify if the check engine light is related to a specific system or component.

Have you experienced any recent changes in fuel consumption?

 If you have observed a significant drop in fuel efficiency, it may indicate an issue with the engine performance.

Have you checked the gas cap?

 Ensure that the gas cap is tightly secured. A loose or faulty gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If it was loose, tighten it and see if the light goes off after a few driving cycles.

Has the vehicle undergone recent maintenance or repairs? 

If you recently performed any maintenance or repairs on the vehicle, it’s worth considering if any components or systems may be related to the check engine light coming on.

Providing answers to these questions can help you communicate relevant information to a mechanic or technician. This will enable them to better diagnose underlying problem causing the check engine light to illuminate.

Check engine
It’s generally recommended to have the check engine light diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to address the underlying issue.

What Should You Do if the Honda Check Engine Light is On?

If the check engine light is on, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Check for obvious issues: Ensure that the gas cap is tightly secured. A loose or faulty gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If the cap is loose, tighten it and see if the light goes off after a few driving cycles.
  2. Assess vehicle performance: Pay attention to any unusual behavior or performance issues. For example reduced power, strange noises, or abnormal smells.
  3. Consider immediate actions: If you notice any severe issues like engine overheating or flashing check the engine light. It’s then advisable to pull over, turn off the engine, and seek professional assistance.
  4. Check the owner’s manual: Consult the owner’s manual of your Honda to see if there are any specific instructions or recommendations.
  5. Scan for error codes: Visit a local auto parts store or a mechanic who can perform an onboard diagnostic using a diagnostic tool.
  6. Evaluate the severity: The error codes will help decide the severity of the hassle. Some problems may also require instant interest, whilst others can be addressed at a later time.
  7. Decide on the subsequent steps: Based on the severity and your level of consolation with car diagnostics and maintenance, you may decide whether to address the difficulty yourself (if it is inside your competencies) or take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic.
It’s always best to consult with a qualified mechanic or technician to assess the severity of the issue and determine the appropriate course of action.

Remember, it is typically endorsed to address the reason as soon as feasible. Address these issues for the Honda Accord check engine lightHonda Odyssey check engine light, Honda crv check engine light, Honda Pilot check engine light, and Honda Civic check engine light. 

How to Check Honda Check Engine Light Codes?

When the check engine light is on, it typically indicates a problem with the vehicle’s engine or emissions system. To diagnose the specific issue, you will need to retrieve the error codes stored in the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system.

To obtain the check engine light codes, you can follow these steps:

  • Locate the diagnostic port: The diagnostic port is also known as the OBD-II port. It is usually located under the dashboard on the driver’s side. It is a standardized port that allows for connecting a diagnostic tool.
  • Connect a diagnostic tool: Obtain an OBD-II scanner or code reader, which can be purchased from an auto parts store. Plug the scanner into the diagnostic port.
  • Retrieve the codes: Turn the ignition key to the “on position without starting the engine. The scanner will communicate with the vehicle’s computer system and display the codes on the screen.
  • Note down the codes: Write down the codes displayed by the scanner. They are usually in the format “PXXXX,” where “X” represents numbers and/or letters.
  • Interpret the codes: Refer to a Honda-specific or generic OBD-II code reference guide to interpret the codes you obtained. These guides will provide you with information about the possible causes and recommended actions for each code.
  • Address the underlying trouble: Based on the codes and their descriptions, you could decide the appropriate steps to address the hassle.
Check engine light
Error codes can provide valuable information about the specific issue causing the check engine light to come on.

You can check these codes for the Honda Accord check engine light, Honda Odyssey check engine light, Honda crv check engine light, Honda pilot check engine light, and Honda Civic check engine light. 

Can Honda Check Engine Light Reset Itself?

In a few cases, the test engine light can also reset itself if the underlying issue has been resolved. However, it’s crucial to be aware that this is not always the case. The check engine light is designed to remain illuminated until the problem is addressed.

Certain temporary issues, together with a loose gasoline cap or minor sensor fluctuations, may also motivate the test engine light to turn off on its very own after a few force cycles if the trouble no longer persists. However, if the root cause of the check engine light remains unresolved, the light is likely to turn on again.

It’s important not to rely solely on the check engine light resetting itself. It’s always best to address the issue promptly to prevent potential damage and have the car inspected.

How Much Does it Cost to Get the Engine Light Checked?

The cost of getting the check engine light checked can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the type of repair facility, and the specific diagnostic procedures needed. Here are some common scenarios and associated costs:

  • Free Code Reading: Many auto parts stores offer free code reading services. They will use a diagnostic tool to retrieve the error codes saved on your car’s onboard laptop device. However, it is vital that code reading on my own may not provide a whole analysis of the issue.
  • Diagnostic Fee: If you are taking your automobile to an expert restore facility, which includes a dealership or an unbiased mechanic. They will rate a diagnostic charge. This charge covers the time and expertise required to carry out a thorough prognosis. Diagnostic fees can range from $50 to $2 hundred or greater, depending on the complexity of the trouble.
  • Additional Testing or Inspection: Once the error codes are retrieved, further testing can be required to pinpoint the problem. This can involve extra charges, consisting of hard work fees for component testing or inspection of precise engine systems.
  • Repair Costs: The price of repairing the issue inflicting the check engine light will depend on the precise hassle. The restoration charges can vary from minor costs for easy fixes to extra widespread costs for complicated repairs.
Honda check engine light codes
To get an accurate understanding of the costs associated with checking and repairing, it is encouraged to contact nearby vehicle repair centers.

It’s crucial to consider that those are general estimates, and the real costs can range. Moreover, the cost may differ for the Honda Accord check engine light, Honda Odyssey check engine light, Honda crv check engine light, Honda pilot check engine light, and Honda Civic check engine light.

What Does the Check Engine Light Look Like?

The appearance of the check engine light can vary slightly depending on the model and year of your Honda vehicle. However, in most vehicles, the check engine light is typically represented by a small symbol of an engine. Here are a few common variations of the check engine light symbol:

  • Engine-shaped Light: It is a small, illuminated symbol of an engine block. It is usually amber or yellow and may have the word “CHECK” or “CHECK ENGINE” displayed nearby.
  • Outline of an Engine: Another common representation is a simplified outline of an engine, often in amber or yellow color. It may be accompanied by the word “CHECK” or “CHECK ENGINE” as well.
  • Combination of Symbols: In some models, the check engine light may be a combination of symbols. It may include an engine icon along with other symbols like a wrench or a gear.
Honda Accord check engine light
Ignoring the light for an extended duration may additionally result in decreased gas efficiency and drivability troubles.

Regardless of the specific design, the check engine light alerts you to potential issues with your vehicle’s engine. When you start your Honda, the light should briefly illuminate along with other dashboard lights as a self-check. If the check engine light remains on while driving, it indicates that there is a problem that should be diagnosed.

How Many Miles Can You Drive with the Check Engine Light On?

The number of miles with the check engine light on can range depending on the problem causing the light on. In some instances, the problem can be minor or brief. However, it is critical to understand that riding with the test engine light on for an extended duration can have outcomes.

Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • The severity of the Issue: The check engine light can come on for several reasons, from minor faults to more extreme troubles. If the light is flashing, it indicates an extra urgent problem that could require immediate interest.
  • Vehicle Performance: Pay interest to any adjustments in your automobile’s performance, which include reduced power, rough idling, or uncommon noises. If you observe enormous adjustments in how your car operates, it’s beneficial to have it checked as quickly as viable.
  • Emission Regulations: In some regions, driving with the check engine light may result in a failed emissions test during inspections. It’s important to comply with these regulations to avoid potential fines or penalties.
  • Long-Term Consequences: Ignoring the check engine light can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and potential damage. Over time, this can result in more costly repairs.
Honda check engine codes provide information about the component or system that is experiencing the problem.

When the check engine light comes on, it’s advisable to have the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system scanned. Further, the miles count differs for the Honda Accord check engine light, Honda Odyssey check engine light, Honda crv check engine light, Honda Pilot check engine light, and Honda Civic check engine light. These codes can provide valuable information about the problem and help guide the necessary repairs.

Is it Safe to Drive with Honda Check Engine Light On?

Driving your Honda with the check engine light on is generally not recommended for an extended period. If the light is flashing or if you notice severe engine performance issues. While it may be safe to drive for a short distance or to get to a nearby repair facility.

It’s generally recommended to have the issue diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. Once the underlying problem has been addressed, a mechanic can reset the check engine light.

To ensure your safety and prevent further damage to your Honda, it’s best to consult with a qualified mechanic. A technician can assess the severity of the issue on whether it’s safe to drive or whether immediate repairs are necessary.


Q: What should I do if my Honda’s check engine light is flashing?

If the check engine light in your Honda is flashing, it indicates a severe problem that requires immediate attention. It is advisable to reduce your vehicle’s speed and avoid hard acceleration or heavy loads. It’s recommended to have your Honda inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to diagnose and address the issues.

Q: Can I disconnect the battery to reset the check engine light?

Disconnecting the battery may temporarily turn off the check engine light, but it will not resolve the underlying issue causing the light to illuminate. Additionally, disconnecting the battery can reset various systems in your vehicle, causing loss of certain settings and may even require resetting the radio code. It’s best to have the check engine light diagnosed and repaired to address the root cause.

Q: Can a faulty gas cap cause the check engine light to come on?

Yes, a loose, damaged, or faulty gas cap can cause the check engine light to illuminate. The gas cap helps maintain the proper pressure in the fuel system. If it is not securely tightened or if there is a leak, it can trigger the check engine light. Ensure the gas cap is tightly secured, and if the light persists, it’s recommended to have your Honda inspected.

Q: Can I drive my Honda if the check engine light is on?

You can drive your Honda if the check engine light is on, but it’s recommended to have it inspected as soon as possible to determine the underlying issue. If the light is flashing or if you notice severe engine performance issues, it’s advisable to limit driving and seek immediate attention to prevent further damage.

Q: Can the check engine light indicate a problem with the transmission?

Yes, the check engine light can illuminate transmission-related issues. Problems such as slipping gears, faulty solenoids, low transmission fluid, or other transmission malfunctions can trigger the check engine light. It’s important to have the transmission system inspected and diagnosed by a qualified mechanic.

Q: Can a loose battery connection cause the check engine light to come on?

A loose or improperly connected battery can potentially cause various electrical issues in your Honda, including the illumination of the check engine light. It’s advisable to ensure that the battery terminals are securely tightened and the connections are clean and free of corrosion. If the check engine light persists, it’s best to have the vehicle inspected to rule out any other potential causes.

Written by tech33560

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