Check engine light came on, car stalled

hi there – today my girlfriend reported to me that the check engine light came on in her 1996 honda civic (manual transmission), and then the car stalled. any thoughts on what this can be? we’re nervous to drive it.

Her car has an electronic brain called a computer that will have much better thoughts on what it might be than I can. Since it’s apparently now capable of being driven, she should drive to the nearest Auto Zone (or similar) and they can download the fault codes. For free!

It could be lots of things. Check the fluid levels before you drive it, but if it runs take it somewhere and have the computer scanned for trouble codes. Most parts stores will do it free, although if all they give you is the code number you still won’t know what’s wrong.

The computer will tell a mechanic where to look for problems. Has the maintenance schedule been followed for this car?