Monday, February 04, 2008

Honda Check Engine Light

I recently had a little problem with my check engine light on my 1997 4-cylinder 2.2L Honda Accord EX Sedan. The check engine light stayed on before and I new it was just an emissions problem. When the light went off, I thought it was a false alarm, but the bulb had burned out. I searched for a bulb at every auto parts store, just to find out it is a Honda only part. I went to the Honda dealership and to the parts department to order a new bulb. They pulled up a diagram and said they didn't know which one it was. I took my dash apart and brought the bulb in and they still didn't know which one it was. Finally they found it and I was able to replace the bulb, then order my EGR valve and O2 downstream sensor, but not from Honda. I found the emissions parts I needed for a good price at Advance Auto Parts. To answer some questions, the O2 sensor was the downstream also called Bank 1 sensor 2 and the bulb was Part #35505-SA5-003 for $3.87 and it is the same bulb for the high beams, brake, turn signals, srs, and seat belt lights. Another thing, I noticed significant improvement in horsepower after replacing the O2 sensor as well as much better gas mileage.

1 comment:

bestonline323 said...

The proper way, of course, is to repair the problem that caused it to come on. Another way I read on a website was to bring your car to an Autozone who will diagnose the problem and reset the light for you (and hope you buy the part to fix the problem). The quick and dirty way is to remove one of the battery cables for about 10 seconds (when the engine is off of course) then reconnect it.

I just had the EGR valve replaced on our 98 Accord for the second time in two years. At least the price of the part has come down a huge amount in this time - from $300 to $70 - I suppose since it is a mass produced item since so many 98 Accords have this problem. The last time the car had under 80Kmi so was under warranty but this time I paid an independent mechanic $170 which included the part. He said it is a poor design since even a speck of carbon in the EGR valve can cause it to stay open and the check engine light to come on. And he expects it will happen more often as the car gets older.

An guy who is a mechanic where I work said he thought it was best to clean out the deposits and a good product to do this was Marvel Mystery Oil (at Walmart for about $2 per pint). He said to use 4 oz in the gas tank when filling once per month for a few months. Besides possibly preventing the valve from fouling as often, this should also allow the car to run longer without needing premium fuel, according to him.

Every Honda I have had (and all I have had is Hondas for well over 20 years) has required midgrade fuel at about 120Kmi then premium at around 160Kmi to prevent it from pinging, no matter how many times I had it tuned, the plugs replaced, and the valves adjusted. The guy said the Marvel Mystery Oil will fix this, too - use it once per month until the premium fuel is no longer needed, which will take 3 to 4 months. I have no idea if this will work (it's a Mystery to me! ) but I will give it a try since otherwise this is still an excellent car.

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