2008 Honda Civic Hybrid - Check Engine Light After Flashing Drive Indicator

I have a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid with 95,000 miles. Today I drove to the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (this is at about 11,500 feet). At the top I was attempting to parallel park and the trouble began. I slowed and stopped the vehicle and shifted in to reverse. I put my foot on the accelerator to back up and the car started rolling forward. I looked at the gear indicator and the R was lit up but the D was also lit up and the Check Engine Light had illuminated and the car would not move at all. I shut off the vehicle and turned it back on and was able to shift in to Drive and drive away but the Check Engine Light was still on. No other problems with the driving, car sounds and feels the same. I drove off the mountain back in to the Denver area without any problems and was able to parallel park. Check Engine Light is still on - any ideas what might be going on. I do need an oil change shortly, but I don’t know if that would cause these issues.

When both the R and D were lit up the D was blinking.

Since this is a hybrid you likely will need to go to a Honda dealer to have the car’s computer read for trouble and fault codes. The flashing transmission lights mean a transmission fault was detected and that will set off the check engine light until the computer codes are read, cleared, and the problem(s) corrected.

From the mountain driving situation you describe I suspect the transmission “overheated” and set off the flashing lights and the fault code(s). The high altitude could also be a factor in this.

I agree with Uncle Turbo that it is likely that the trans overheated as a result of mountain driving.

Going up a long, steep grade is hard on both an engine and a transmission, especially if the transmission has not been serviced properly. This trans should have had its fluid changed at least once already, so when it is the shop in order to check the source of this problem, I would strongly suggest a trans fluid change at that time.

On a related note, whenever I see a car with a bumper sticker saying, “This car climbed Mt. Washington”, my reaction is…that is a used car that I would avoid !

Look in your owner’s manual and see if it tells you anything about the lights you saw. It may help you understand what the dealer tells you.