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Posted: 2/8/2006 2:22:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 2:22:54 PM EDT by yobo]
My wife drives a 1998 Honda CRV with 140,000 miles on it.
The car has always been very reliable and never had any problems with it. It has always been well maintained and still looks and run like new. While driving home from the store today the “check engine” light came on… first time that happened.

What exactly does that red light mean? Does it mean something is wrong with the engine and is going to need some major repair? Is it possible that there is nothing wrong with the engine other than perhaps some minor maintenance? Do I have to take it to the dealer to find out what is wrong?

We spent about $1,000 to replace the radiator, timing belt, water pump, etc. about 6 months ago hoping to keep the car until May of 2007.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:26:27 PM EDT
It could mean dozens of things. The most common is the O2 sensor has failed. Take it in and have them put it on the old analyzer. May be a fairly cheap thing to repair.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:28:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:29:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 2:30:47 PM EDT by arfreak74]

Originally Posted By yobo:
My wife drives a 1998 Honda CRV with 140,000 miles on it.
The car has always been very reliable and never had any problems with it. It has always been well maintained and still looks and run like new. While driving home from the store today the “check engine” light came on… first time that happened.

What exactly does that red light mean? Does it mean something is wrong with the engine and is going to need some major repair? Is it possible that there is nothing wrong with the engine other than perhaps some minor maintenance? Do I have to take it to the dealer to find out what is wrong?

We spent about $1,000 to replace the radiator, timing belt, water pump, etc. about 6 months ago hoping to keep the car until May of 2007.




take it to your local autozone, have them pull the codes. they'll do this for free (unlike the dealership) and hopefully shed some light on what the problem is. Could be something minor, could be major. If the vehicle seems to otherwise be running fine, its probably minor.



and btw, wrong forum.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:30:35 PM EDT
Could mean a bunch of things. Mine comes on if I dont tighten the gas cap enough. Get it checked by a professional tech
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:32:38 PM EDT
I'd just put tape over the light, it can't be serious. A number of members here believe that if a car says Toyota, Honda or Nissan on the side, they are somehow imune to any problems at all. Only U.S. cars have problems.

I am not one that subscribes to that belief.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:32:55 PM EDT
Okay, so if I take the car to AUTOZONE they'll pull the code for me?

BTW. just how do they "pull" the code? How is that done?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:36:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 2:36:37 PM EDT by DoubleFeed]
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:38:54 PM EDT
It's part of the emissions control. Do it! Have the car towed. For God's sake don't drive it or you will risk exposing children to second hand toxic emissions!!!
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:42:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yobo:
Okay, so if I take the car to AUTOZONE they'll pull the code for me?

BTW. just how do they "pull" the code? How is that done?



They use an OBD-II reader to pull the code. You can get a simple one for less than $100 nowadays.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:44:10 PM EDT
Please. Do it for the children!
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:45:39 PM EDT
AutoZone pulls the code for free? I was told that it cost like $80?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:49:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By txwxgirl:
AutoZone pulls the code for free? I was told that it cost like $80?




at the dealership maybe. . I've used two different local autozones and they both pull codes for free.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:51:16 PM EDT
I always buy a code reader for any car I have. 'Bout a bill for one.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:54:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arfreak74:

Originally Posted By txwxgirl:
AutoZone pulls the code for free? I was told that it cost like $80?




at the dealership maybe. . I've used two different local autozones and they both pull codes for free.


Somebody is dead meat.....
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:57:27 PM EDT
I just called AUTOZONE and here is what they said.

They have the OBD-II reader that they let you take out to the parking lot but you have to leave a credit card behind so you don't run off with the reader (makes sense). However, they can not come out to plug it up and get the reading... you have to do it yourself. So, my next question is, where does it fit into? I assume the car has to be running when you take the reading?

Sorry but I know nothing about car mechanics and I haven't slept at a Holiday Inn recently.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:58:50 PM EDT
with that amount of miles I would also say o2 sensor. It will prob. be code 41. The o2 sensor has a heated wire and they usually fail. Take it to autozone and they will check it for free but go to the dealer for the part. Trust me
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:00:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 3:01:15 PM EDT by al_bundy]
Just saw your post above. They will tell you where to plug it in. I think it is on the left side near the firewall under the hood

edit cause I no can spell
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:14:47 PM EDT
Okay, so the reader will give me a numerical code then I use a book or something that tell me what that code means?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:21:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 3:22:17 PM EDT by MNGuns]
I wouldn't let AutoZone "pull my finger". Find a good mechanic, and have him take a peek. For the $1000 you paid for the work you had done, I would not go back to that shop for the CEL. Little steep if you ask me.



Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:34:23 PM EDT
7yr old car with 140K on it? Ignore it and just keep driving it. If you are only keeping it till may 07 i wouldnt spend a dime on maintainance.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:34:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 3:40:40 PM EDT by arfreak74]

Originally Posted By yobo:
Okay, so the reader will give me a numerical code then I use a book or something that tell me what that code means?



actually, once you have the code, autozone should be able to tell you at least what it means, and possibly recommend a solution.


the connector is probably under the dash on the drivers side. actually a little digging and I found this "Data Link Connector (DLC) locations. CR-V Behind passenger side of console, below dash to the Right of glove box." if that helps. it'll be a funky looking squarish connector.


before you do that, check and make sure the gas cap is tight. the obd II vehicles will definitely throw a code for that. (obd II is on 97-up vehicles.) I'm pretty sure that's a "soft code" which will reset after the system sees it "good" for a period of time. probably three "warm-up" cycles.


and its MIL, not CEL.


(Malfunction Indicator Light)
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:36:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yobo:
I just called AUTOZONE and here is what they said.

They have the OBD-II reader that they let you take out to the parking lot but you have to leave a credit card behind so you don't run off with the reader (makes sense). However, they can not come out to plug it up and get the reading... you have to do it yourself. So, my next question is, where does it fit into? I assume the car has to be running when you take the reading?

Sorry but I know nothing about car mechanics and I haven't slept at a Holiday Inn recently.



That's weird. Go to another autozone, or try Advanced auto.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:38:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:53:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arfreak74:
and its MIL, not CEL.

(Malfunction Indicator Light)



In my POS, that LED is aCEL......

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:55:10 PM EDT
honda codes.

http://www.troublecodes.net/honda/hondaobd2.shtml
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:55:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
7yr old car with 140K on it? Ignore it and just keep driving it. If you are only keeping it till may 07 i wouldnt spend a dime on maintainance.





That 7 year old car is well worth maintaining. My 13 year old Accord has 300k+ on it, and rides, drives, and looks like new. No major maintenance, but maintenance as needed.



Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:58:02 PM EDT
just buy a damn OBD2 reader.

Im betting that for a car with those miles the code is gonna telly you the O2 sensor is bad.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 4:14:08 PM EDT
Is the car running normal otherwise?

If so, almost 100% likely the problem is the O2 sensor--and probably the O2 sensor heater which is part of the sensor itself.

Just be sure that when you change the bastard, use lots of PB blaster or the like on the threads BEFORE you go trying to remove the old senor. You will strip those threads damn quick without it, even with a proper O2 sensor wrench. I'd even spray it and let it sit overnight before trying to remove it. If it's still stuck, which it could be, use a propane torch on the manifold to loosen the threads. Just be careful.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 4:25:54 PM EDT
I would not jump to a hasty conclusion about the O2 sensor.
I do automotive diagnostics for a living. You can replace the sensor
but did you find out what caused it to fail? Age, fuel mixture to rich...etc.
We have a lot of customers come in that have been to Autozone and
have already made their minds up about not wanting to pay for
diagnostic service and just want a part replaced. 90% of the
time this does not fix the problem and they end up wasting money.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 4:30:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jj:
I would not jump to a hasty conclusion about the O2 sensor.
I do automotive diagnostics for a living. You can replace the sensor
but did you find out what caused it to fail? Age, fuel mixture to rich...etc.
We have a lot of customers come in that have been to Autozone and
have already made their minds up about not wanting to pay for
diagnostic service and just want a part replaced. 90% of the
time this does not fix the problem and they end up wasting money.



Do you sell them the engine etching, undercoating and "stuff I can't see but costs $1,000" package, as well?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 4:43:59 PM EDT
No I don't sell. I just tell you whats wrong with your vehicle
and then I fix it if you want the work done.
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