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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2004, 07:23 AM
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Default "Check Engine" light on Honda Civic

I changed the fuel filter on my daughter's Civic yesterday and a few miles up the road, the amber "Check Engine" light came on. Not believing in coincidence, I'm assuming that the two are related. Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be going on? I rechecked the fittings and there aren't any leaks. NOW WHAT?!!
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After a good hard ride.....oil pressure is over 50, temp is below 190, she idles and no new dents. LIFE IS GOOD!
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:14 AM
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Open the hood and see it it's still there. Then check the gas cap - remove it and replace. Crank the car and see what's up. If it's still on take it to a garage and let them plug into the computer and see what's wrong.

My Pathfinder light came on and I found the gas cap was off, put is on and the light went out. About 500 miles later the light came back on - it was the sensors for the intake cam. All is well now, and I'm $376 poorer.

Randy
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:36 AM
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Tony, How old is the Civic, or how many miles? It could be the Oxygen sensor in the exhaust needing replacement. You can go buy that and R&I it yourself.

Shin
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:49 AM
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Probably an evap system code - P0440 ? If so, this is a code that will allow the MIL to go out on the next check cycle (assuming that what caused it to come on - loose fuel cap or fuel system open to atmosphere etc has been rectified) so I would drive the car for a couple of cycles and see if the light comes on again.

A cycle is from car cold to warm up and driven for a set distance...

If it doesn't, just keep on motoring!

If it does - take it in and ask them to check for codes - then you can look up what the code is and go from there....
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:51 AM
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Any Autozone will plug their code reader into your Civic and download it to a printer, for free, then sell you whatever it takes to fix it.

Before you do that though, remove one of the battery cables and reinstall it. Many vehicles will reset minor faults with that alone.
My Ford van resets like that if the gas cap is left loose, and it causes a 'check engine' lite.

HTH, Ed
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:02 AM
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Randy, first thing I did was to fire it up, pop the hood for a leak search and open the gas cap. It's still on. Why aren't you at the Mitty?

Shin, it has 100K or so miles, but I can't believe it would concidentally come on right after I changed the filter.

Pat, the light has never gone out since it came on yesterday (while the engine is running of course).

Edbo, sounds good. I will attempt the battery cable reset right now. I didn't know that about Autozone. I'm very reluctant to have that done at Honda because it always results in big bucks like Randy's experience. Been there too many times!
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After a good hard ride.....oil pressure is over 50, temp is below 190, she idles and no new dents. LIFE IS GOOD!
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:54 AM
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Tony,

It can take up to 5-7 days of normal driving for the light to cycle back off. Removing the battery cable and recycling is a good idea before you take the time and trouble of having the codes read. Then just drive it for a week or so.

Even if it doesn't go off, you probably can keep on motoring. The only problem is that some states (MD for example) will not test a car for emissions with the check light on. I just went through this whole exercise with my daughter's 99 Mustang V-6.
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:09 AM
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Thanks Clay. I did as Edbo suggested (removed cable) and it reset. The wife and daughter just left on a mall safari with the civic so I will get to see whether it stays off. Of course by the time they've run through the mall, buying a new car might seem like a cost effective compromise.
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After a good hard ride.....oil pressure is over 50, temp is below 190, she idles and no new dents. LIFE IS GOOD!
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:57 PM
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Hey, been a Honda tech for 15 years now, if you have any more problems, let me know, i can probaly help ya! by the way, what year is the civic?
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:07 PM
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Hey Wrench. Thanks for the offer. It's a '96 EX. It really has been a great daughter-car. I bought it for her when she turned 16 (six years ago). Except for the usual maintenance items, no problems. Incidentally, the light never came back on. HAPPY DAY!
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After a good hard ride.....oil pressure is over 50, temp is below 190, she idles and no new dents. LIFE IS GOOD!
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Old 05-02-2004, 04:27 PM
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just a tip, all 96 and 97 honda's, (excluding passports) have a 10 year, 150000 mile emissions warranty extension. any thing that makes check engine light come on is covered by warranty.
good luck
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Old 05-02-2004, 04:29 PM
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Wrench,

Now that's one hell of a tip! Honda is a class act. Ford just laughed at me when I asked about something similar.
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Old 05-02-2004, 04:58 PM
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It just applies to the check engine light, but the automatic trans can cause a check engine light! this is costing Honda a bundle, but helps customer relations.
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