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2001 accord check engine light blinks and no power

the check engine light will pop on an off rapid fire and the car will shake violently when you put it into drive or reverse for a minute, then the light goes off and its fine. then you’ll be driving fine, and the light blinks on and off rapid fire again, and even if you have your foot to the floor, you cant get much power, then it kicks in and lurches into being fine again. i tried “tune up in a bottle” and it seems worse.i’m scared its transmission or something…i took it and had it put on the diagnostic machine at autozone and they said there were no codes, which i find hard to believe since my check engine light is blinking on and off so much now. there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it happens and when its fine. it will be fine for hours of driving, then in a small period of time, it will go through a whole bunch of spells of this happening.also: when this happens, the light that shows what gear you are in on the dash board goes black, then goes back on again when the check engine light goes off.what is going on with my car!!!

Driving This Vehicle, In Its Current Condition, Could Cause Many More Expensive Problems Than You Have Now.


There should be a code. Try somewhere else.

Driving a car with a flashing check-engine light can cause serious damage, as your owner’s manual probably says. I wouldn’t do that.

Because Of An Unusally High Number Of Transmission / Torque Converter Problems With 2000 & 2001 Accords, Honda Extended The Warranty On These Units To 7 Years, Nine Months / 109,000 Miles, But I’m Afraid That Ship Has Sailed.

You could be describing a transmission / torque converter problem.


Have you been losing any coolant?

When you went to Autozone was the check engine light on at that time? There are codes. You may need to get it onto a scanner that will read “history” codes. Not all code readers will do this. Call a couple of other auto parts places to find out if their code readers will pick up those codes.

Or better yet, since you do stand a good chance of causing serious damage to the car, just get it to your mechanic. You need a good, local, independent shop to have a look. Any decent one has the right scanning equipment.

If you want more suggestions/ideas from this board you’ll need to provide the vehicle’s mileage and everything you have in terms of info about maintenance history - spark plugs, wires, filters, etc. Also provide error codes from the computer when you get them - the exact codes such as “P1234” not what someone said about them.

A flashing Check Engine light indicates a misfire or multiple misfires in the engine. This can be caused from many things and can cause damage to the engine/catalytic converter(s).

You need to bring the vehicle to someone who has a scanner that can check for history codes, pending codes, and freeze frame data. Most auto parts stores have code readers that aren’t capable of retrieving that type of data.


thank you everyone! i took it to the garage and they say its a bad A and B selenoid…the garage is charging me around $700 for this…does that seem reasonable? they kept driving the car from monday until friday and THEN came up with the diagnosis…which is upsetting because i dropped it off monday because of your replies as to it hurting the car if i kept driving it. he kept driving it all week and i believe it made the trouble worse…he claims it didn’t show the code until friday, which i find hard to believe since the check engine light kept flashing and flashing for me. anyway…any insight for me?? thanks! :slight_smile:

Well, the diagnosis of bad A and B solenoids would be consistent with the probable transmission symptoms that you described.

I don’t know where those solenoids are located in a Honda transmission, but if they are internal–as they are with GM transmissions–then make sure that when he drops the pan he also changes the trans fluid and the trans filter. This would be a great opportunity to do this vital transmission service.

Just be sure to specify that you want only genuine Honda fluid used in the transmission. If he uses anything else, you will just wind up with more (and more expensive) transmission problems.

 Usually when the cel light FLASHES in a Honda it is directing you to a serious TRANSMISSION issue.  Any major tranny issue will affect the engine via the is in its design to severely cut engine power in the event of a trans issue.  I strongly believe should have a diganostic run on your transmission.  In Hondas when the tranny is having an issue it will cripple the engine to prevent any additional sounds as though your trans is having a fault and throwing your engine into limp mode.  It seems to be coming and going.  I would definitely get a diag run on your transmission.  Back in the older Honda days...i.e. in my 89 Prelude...if my D4 light on the dash would pointed DIRECTLY to the tranny...  This was the way Honda pointed you to the tranny....this was before OBDII

Aside from that try to reset both computers…the engine ECU and the trans. Remove the positive or neg batt clamp for say 5 minutes and re-connect. This will reset everything and force both computers into recalibration mode so they relearn how to properly run everything. Aside from a tranny diag Do this reset and see what you get.

I wish you had a hard CEL code for us to go on. Outside of that try to do what I have outlined…the reset is the easiest and anyone can do it.

BTW Honda shift solenoids are on the outside of the tranny case…they look like little “cans” on the tranny…with wires going to them…those are your shift solenoids.

!!!***!!! HEY at least I still know what I am talking about…as I ALWAYS answer these threads without reading everyone elses posts…It seems I was onto something… Sometimes I get it right…other times I get close…the great part of this forum is that you have A LOT of knowledgeable people here putting there heads together trying to help out.

After reading your description of the A and B solenoid issue I am not very happy with this description…AND you received an expensive estimate…the solenoids are about 100 each…held in by one 10mm retaining bolt…they can both be swapped out before you are done reading my post…very EZ. Since you only have TWO shift solenoids…the possibility of BOTH of them failing at the same time doesnt hold water for me…What I would lean toward is the Tranny computer since it is in DIRECT control of both of those solenoids…I dont like for one second that they are trying to tell you that they both failed at the SAME TIME…the chances of that happening are ASTRONOMICAL…I’d be looking at the trans computer FIRST…it is central to both of those solenoids. Or perhaps the failure of one is throwing the computer into a tizzy and thus affecting the other…I do NOT believe they failed at the same time…NEVER saw that B4

ok…so the new situation is that they replaced the a and b selonoids, and now the car won’t run enough to get it off the lot. the light is still flashing and i’ve paid $740. what do i do? now they are saying it is the computer!!! is there any way that is the case? i feel like they are scamming me and i can’t get my car off of this garage! any help??

hey there…can you read my latest post? i’m very upset…i wish i would’ve read your post before! this guy doesn’t know what he is doing with my car. he got his money so i’m sure now he doesn’t care and i have no car. still. its been over a week he has had it and is no closer to finding what is wrong with it and i just paid all that money for nothing. what can i do at this point? he is looking for a computer like you said…but i’m scared he is going to charge me like…$500 more for it…when i see that they should only be around $125. i don’t know how to even extract my car from his garage. i’d like to have someone else look at it but i don’t know how to get it.