What To Do When Your Honda Accord’s Check Engine Light Comes On?

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The check engine light on your Honda Accord can be confusing and concerning. But there’s no need to panic – this comprehensive guide will walk you through common causes, what to check, when to seek repair, and how to reset the light yourself. 🚗

Common Causes Of The Check Engine Light In A Honda Accord

Several issues can trigger the check engine light to illuminate in a Honda Accord. Being familiar with the most frequent causes can help you determine the likelihood of a minor or major repair being needed when this warning appears.

Loose or Faulty Gas Cap

One of the simplest causes of the check engine light coming on in an Accord is a gas cap that is loose, damaged, or missing altogether. The cap creates an air-tight seal on your fuel tank. So if it develops cracks or no longer fits tightly, fumes can leak out.

This activates sensors that detect evaporative emissions escaping. The light turns on as a result. Replacing a faulty gas cap typically costs $3-$10 and solves the underlying issue.

Failing Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter plays a crucial emissions control role in your vehicle. This component gets inserted into the exhaust system to transform hazardous exhaust gases into safer byproducts before they exit the tailpipe.

But over time and accumulated mileage, it can become restricted with built-up sediment or internally damaged. This reduced efficiency turns on the check engine light due to the detection of abnormal exhaust readings. Replacing a failing catalytic converter often runs $1,000 or more.

Faulty Spark Plugs and Wires

Spark plugs ignite the fuel-air mixture in your engine’s cylinders. Meanwhile, the spark plug wires (or ignition coils) supply the spark plugs with the electrical current needed to create those sparks.

Over many miles, the spark plugs can foul or wear out. The wires also deteriorate from heat and vibration. These factors can cause misfires, rough idle, poor acceleration, and subpar fuel economy. The check engine light illuminates due to cylinder misfires.

Replacing worn spark plugs and wires varies from a few hundred dollars for basic 4-cylinder models to over $1,000 for more complex V6 configurations.

Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensors

Your Accord has oxygen sensors positioned both before (upstream) and after (downstream) the catalytic converters. They constantly provide exhaust data signals to the engine control module.

Check Engine Light Honda Accord
Check Engine Light Honda Accord

But after tens of thousands of miles enduring extreme heat and exhaust residue, they lose calibration accuracy. The result is improper fuel mixture levels, triggering the check engine light. Plan to spend around $150-250 per sensor when replacements are due.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow (MAF) sensor analyzes the volume of air entering your Accord’s engine. Using this data, your car’s computer modulates fuel injection appropriately.

Contaminant particles or oil buildup on the MAF sensor can impede its readings over time. The resulting incorrect fuel trim levels activate the check engine light. Addressing this could cost $250 or more when diagnosed.

With these common causes overviewed, you can have greater insight into your Accord’s situation when the check engine light appears. Pinpointing the source issue allows for quicker repairs, too. Consult a Honda specialist for exact diagnostics.

What To Do When The Light Comes On?

When your Honda Accord’s check engine light first appears, try not to fret. ☺️ Here is a helpful guide on responding based on the light’s behavior:

The Light Only Comes On Sometimes

If the light only flashes occasionally, pay attention to any performance changes when it’s on. If you notice differences, reduce driving and have it checked ASAP, as a part likely needs replacement.

The Light Stays On Constantly

A constant light indicates your Accord’s onboard computer continuously detects an issue. Drive cautiously to a mechanic to diagnose and address it, even if your car seems fine.

The Light is On With Performance Problems

If you have performance problems (reduced power, poor acceleration, etc.) along with the warning light, your Accord may be in “limp mode” to minimize damage. Stop driving and have it towed to a shop right away.

The Light is Flashing While Driving

A blinking light signifies an urgent issue. Safely pull over and have your car towed to avoid engine failure or other breakdowns. This warning level should not be ignored.

Getting even minor issues addressed quickly can prevent subsequent breakdowns and costly repairs down the line!

How To Reset The Check Engine Light In A Honda Accord?

If the light was triggered erroneously after repairs or a false alarm, follow these simple steps to reset it:

  1. Turn the ignition to the “On” position without starting the engine
  2. Locate the trip meter reset button near your speedometer
  3. Hold down the reset button for about 10-15 seconds
  4. Still holding the button, turn the ignition fully to the “Off” position
  5. Release the reset button
  6. Restart your Accord’s engine
Check Engine Light Honda Accord
Check Engine Light Honda Accord

The light should now stay off if no issues are detected. If it comes back on or resets every time you drive, further diagnosis and repair is needed.

When NOT To Reset the Light?

Only reset the light after:

✅ The underlying problem has been properly repaired

✅ A mechanic has found no issues upon diagnosis

✅ It was an erroneous fault code or loose gas cap

If you simply reset the light without addressing the root cause, you risk ignoring serious mechanical problems and causing further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is It Safe To Drive With The Check Engine Light On In My Accord?

It depends on the cause and if you experience any noticeable problems while operating it. Minor issues likely pose little short-term risk. But if the light blinks, your car loses power, makes odd noises, etc., stop driving it ASAP.

How Much Does It Cost To Diagnose And Repair A Check Engine Light In A Honda Accord?

Diagnosis fees typically run $100-$150. Repair costs vary dramatically based on the underlying problem. Minor fixes like a gas cap or oxygen sensor replacement may cost a few hundred dollars. But engine issues can require thousands in repairs if severe.

What Should I Do If My Honda Accord Check Engine Light Keeps Coming On After Being Reset?

The continuous reappearance after resetting likely signals an unresolved mechanical problem. Take it to a trusted Honda repair shop for a more thorough diagnostic investigation to uncover and address the culprit issue.

Can I Pass An Emissions Test With My Honda Accord’s Check Engine Light On?

Most states prohibit vehicles from passing emissions tests if the check engine light is illuminated. Certain codes may allow a pass, but you risk failing. Fix any identified issues first before attempting testing.

Final Words

While seeing your Accord’s check engine warning come on can cause concern, understanding what it means and how to respond is critical. 💡 With this helpful guide, you now have the key steps to identify the likely underlying cause, determine if it’s safe to operate your vehicle, properly reset the indicator light, and seek service when appropriate. Equipped with this knowledge, you can confidently address your Honda Accord’s check engine light issues. Your ride depends on it!

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M Waqas Saeed

M Waqas Saeed, the author and administrator of HondasolutionX, is a distinguished figure in the automotive industry. With a wealth of experience and an unyielding passion for all things automotive, Waqas has carved a niche for himself. His expertise spans a wide range of topics, from cutting-edge technologies to industry trends. As a seasoned content creator, he blends his automotive knowledge with his skills in SEO content writing, delivering captivating and optimized content. Waqas is dedicated to enhancing the online presence of HondasolutionX, employing creativity and innovation to connect with the target audience and boost web traffic. He's a driving force behind the company's success.