Honda CRV Check Engine Light: Causes and Solutions

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Honda CRV Check Engine Light

Is your Honda CRV Check Engine Light turned on? The check engine light is illuminated when your vehicle’s dashboard computer detects an issue in the engine emission system. Keep in mind that the check engine light is a warning signal that alerts you about the potential issue that needs your attention.

In this article, we have a detailed discussion of the common causes that trigger the check engine lights and how to solve them.

Common Causes of the check engine light coming on in a Honda CRV:

Here are some common causes that can illuminate the Check Engine Light in a Honda CRV:

1: Faulty Oxygen Sensor:

Honda CRV Check Engine Light illuminated due to oxygen sensor malfunction

The oxygen sensor in a Honda CR-V checks how much oxygen is in the exhaust gases. When the oxygen sensor becomes faulty or damaged, it can activate the check engine light.

Common symptoms of a faulty oxygen sensor can include decreased fuel economy, engine hesitation or misfires, and rough idling.

2: Loose or Damaged Gas Cap:

Honda CRV Check Engine Light illuminated due to a loose or damaged gas cap

A loose gas cap is one of the most common causes of the check engine light. When your vehicle’s gas cap is loose or damaged, it can illuminate the check engine light.

Symptoms of a loose or damaged gas cap can include a hissing sound from the fuel tank area, decreased fuel economy, and difficulty starting the engine.

3: Catalytic Converter Malfunction:

Honda CRV Check Engine Light illuminated due to a catalytic converter malfunction

A catalytic converter is responsible for converting harmful exhaust gases into less harmful emissions. When the catalytic converter fails, it can cause the check engine light to activate.

A failed catalytic converter symptoms have decreased engine performance, decreased fuel economy, and a sulfur smell coming from the exhaust.

4: Malfunctioning Ignition Coil:

The ignition coil produces the high-energy electrical spark required to start the combustion of fuel within the engine. If the ignition coil isn’t working right, the check engine light will come on in a Honda CR-V.

Common symptoms of a malfunctioning ignition coil can include engine misfires, rough idling, and decreased fuel economy.

5: New Spark Plugs or Plug Wires:

Honda CRV Check Engine Light illuminated due to improper installation of a new spark plug

If new spark plugs or plug wires are installed improperly or are of poor quality, It has the potential to trigger the illumination of the check engine light.

Symptoms of improperly installed spark plugs or plug wires can include engine misfires, rough idling, and decreased fuel economy.

6: Battery is Low or Dead:

A low or dead battery has the potential to activate the check engine light in a Honda CR-V.

Symptoms of a low or dead battery can include difficulty starting the engine, dim or flickering headlights, and slow power windows or locks.

7: Issues with Aftermarket Items:

Improper installation or low-quality aftermarket parts or modifications can lead to the activation of the check engine light. This warning light may illuminate as a result of incorrectly fitted or subpar aftermarket component.

For instance, if you install an aftermarket exhaust system that’s not made for your car, it can make the check engine light turn on because it increases the exhaust flow.

8: Vacuum Leak:

A vacuum leak occurs when there is a hole or cracks in the vacuum system, This may lead to the engine running ineffectively and causing the check engine light to turn on in a Honda CR-V.

Symptoms of a vacuum leak can include rough idling, stalling, and decreased fuel economy. 

1: Common Honda CRV Check Engine Light codes:

Below are some of the most common Check Engine Light codes in a Honda CRV:

1: P0300 – Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

This code means that the vehicle’s Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) system has identified a situation where the engine is misfiring in one or more cylinders without a specific pattern or order. When an engine misfires, it means that one or more of its cylinders do not ignite or fire properly, not following the usual combustion process. This leads to a bumpy ride, reduced power, and a risk of harming the catalytic converter if you don’t address it. Common causes of this code include faulty spark plugs, ignition coils, fuel injectors, or a vacuum leak.

2: P0420 – Catalyst System Efficiency

The P0420 code suggests that the efficiency of the catalytic converter in Bank 1 has fallen below an acceptable level. The catalytic converter has a vital job: it helps reduce the harmful pollutants coming out of your CRV’s exhaust system. Possible causes for this code include a failing catalytic converter, oxygen sensor issues, exhaust leaks, or engine misfires.

3: P0171 – System Too Lean (Bank 1)

When your Honda CRV generates a P0171 code, it means that the air-fuel mixture in Bank 1 is too lean. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as a vacuum leak in the intake manifold, a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor (MAF), clogged fuel injectors, or a faulty oxygen sensor.

4: P0442 – Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected 

The P0442 code signifies that there is a small leak within the evaporative emission control system. This system prevents harmful fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. A loose or damaged gas cap is often the culprit behind this code. However, other potential causes include damaged hoses or valves within the evaporative system.

5: P0135 – O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction 

This code indicates that there is an issue with the heater circuit of the upstream oxygen sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 1). The oxygen sensor keeps tabs on the oxygen levels in your CRV’s exhaust fumes to make sure your fuel usage is efficient and emissions are under control. Possible reasons for this code could be a defective oxygen sensor, wiring that’s been harmed, or problems with the heater circuit of the sensor.

2: Honda CRV Check Engine Light Reset

To reset the Check Engine Light in a Honda CRV, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Locate the OBD-II Port

OBD-II Port

The OBD-II port is where you will connect a diagnostic tool or code reader to communicate with your vehicle’s onboard computer. In your Honda CRV, the OBD-II port is typically located beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side. It may be hidden behind a small cover that can be easily removed.

Step 2: Connect the Diagnostic Tool

Connect your diagnostic tool or code reader to the OBD-II port. Ensure that it is securely plugged in and properly seated.

Step 3: Turn on the Ignition

Turn on your car’s ignition without starting the engine. This will power up the diagnostic tool and establish a connection between it and your vehicle’s computer system.

Step 4: Read and Clear Codes

Using the menu options on your diagnostic tool, navigate to read and clear codes. This process may vary depending on the specific model of diagnostic tool you are using. 

Step 5: Confirm Reset

After clearing any stored fault codes, confirm if the check engine light has been successfully reset by checking whether it remains off when you start your vehicle. 

Also recommended: Transmission Problems but No Check Engine Light: What Can Cause This?

3: Conclusion

Knowing the common causes of a Honda CRV check engine light being on is essential to getting your car running smoothly again. From faulty spark plugs and oxygen sensors to loose gas caps and vacuum leaks, there are many potential culprits that could trigger this warning indicator.

Fortunately, you can determine what’s causing the issue and respond appropriately with a little research and, if necessary, professional assistance. With the careful inspection of your vehicle’s components and maintenance schedule as well as some troubleshooting techniques, you can get back on the road without too much hassle.

4: FAQs

Q1: Why is my Honda CRV’s Check Engine Light on and off?

A1: The Check Engine Light can illuminate for various reasons, and intermittent on-off behavior may indicate a minor issue or sensor glitch. It’s essential to diagnose the problem.

Q2: Is it safe to drive with the Check Engine Light on and off?

A2: If it’s on and off intermittently, it might be safe for short trips. However, prolonged driving with a persistent Check Engine Light is not recommended as it can lead to more significant problems.

Q3: Can a simple sensor problem cause the Check Engine Light?

A3: Yes, a faulty sensor (like an oxygen sensor) can trigger the light. It’s one of the common reasons for its illumination.

Q4: How often should I change the oil in my Honda CRV?

A4: Typically, oil changes are recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but consult your owner’s manual for Honda-specific recommendations. Regular oil changes help prevent engine issues and can indirectly impact the Check Engine Light.

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