You’re cruising along the highway in your Honda, not a care in the world and then you glance at the dashboard only to see that the check engine light has popped on. Now you’re confused because you don’t know whether your car will stop running on the highway or how much it would cost to fix the issue. If you find yourself in this situation, the best course of action is to drive to a trusted auto repair shop.
If the check engine light if flashing, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and shut off the engine – running the engine at this point could cause significant damage
What does the check engine light mean?
When the check engine light in your Honda illuminates, it could be due to a variety of things. Here are some common reasons to know:
Loose gas cap
This is a surprisingly frequent cause of the check engine light turning “on”, so it should be the first place you check. It could be that you didn’t screw the gas cap all the way or it’s faulty and needs to be replaced.
The oxygen sensor monitors and measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. When it’s faulty, it can cause your Honda’s computer to supply the engine with too much or too little fuel. The solution here is to replace the sensor.
Failing catalytic converter
Catalytic converters are responsible for reducing the emissions of your vehicle and changing the toxic gases from your engine’s emissions into safe compounds. Fortunately, catalytic converters rarely fail, but when they do, the repair is quite expansive.
Spark plug or ignition coil failure
When one of your spark plugs or ignition coils fails, your check engine light comes on to let you know that they need to be replaced. You may also notice that the engine misfires, or it may even stall.
Dirty or failing mass airflow sensor
The mass airflow sensor helps your Honda’s computer inject the right amount of fuel into the engine for optimum performance. Like other parts of your vehicle, this sensor is also susceptible to oil and dirt buildup. When this happens, a variety of issues emerge such as rough idle, trouble starting, reduced gas mileage – and the check engine light will be illuminated.
It can be hard to tell exactly what your Honda is trying to communicate when the check engine light is on, because there are literally hundreds of conditions that cause the light to be turned on. We highly recommend taking your Honda to a professional mechanic who can diagnose the root cause of the problem.
At Toole’s Garage in San Carlos we offer complete check engine light diagnostics and repairs. Our technicians are nationally ASE certified, and we equip them with state-of-the-art digital diagnostic tools. So if your Honda’s computer turned on the check engine light, give us a call.