Check engine light

I have a 95 Honda Odyssey. 225k mile. I told my trusted mechanic that I wanted to continue to drive this car. Told him to look it over and do whatever he thought was neccesary. He did a number of things including 3 front shaft seals and balance shaft o-rings. Shortly after that me check engine light started coming on.

I took it back and he replaced the oxygen sensor, new spark plug cables and fuel injector cleaner. The check engine light continued to come on.

Next he said my engine is older and “tired”. My fuel pump is old…etc, try putting a higher grade of fuel in. Maybe I should think about a new car.

Any suggestions? Could it be the O-rings he installed or the front shaft seals?

From this distance, it is not easy to figure out what is wrong with your car. However, some opinions come to mind:

A 13 year old car with over 200k on the odometer can have any number of problems cropping up at any given time. I doubt that putting in new seals would cause your check engine light to come on, and most likely you are experiencing new problems that you have to assume will come about with a vehicle of that age.

It does sound like your mechanic is simply “throwing parts” at the car in a random attempt to fix whatever the problems are. Since it sounds like you have lost confidence in him, and since he may not be as competent as he should be (“higher grade” gas to compensate for a weak fuel pump??), I would recommend going to a new mechanic.

Get your car’s OBD system scanned (free) at Auto Zone or Advance Auto, or another parts store, and post the resulting codes on this thread. At this point, without these codes, none of the skilled mechanics on this site can give you specific guidance.

i have a car that had a bad gas cap that kept setting off the check engine light. for about $10 I bought a new cap and it fixed the problem. if you have not replaced the gas cap within the last 5 years, replacing it may be a cheap fix.

I agree with VDC that the CEL is probably unrelated to the work and that the mechanic seems uninterested in doing an in depth diagnosis, however I’m getting a slightly different impression from the post. It sounds to me like the things he found may have been all legitimate and the farther he looks is the more work he finds. It’s possible that this is what he’s trying to convey to you, the idea that the car may need a lot more work than it’s worth.

The fuel pump can be tested. A higher grade of fuel clearly won’t help. But the car may be too tired. It is possible that too much work would be needed to make it worth fixing. It would appear from his changing the O2 sensor and putting fuel injector cleaner in, and from his commenst, that something is causing fuel starvation (or a lean mix) and he thinks the car isn’t worth sinking any more money into.

At any rate, follow VDC’s advice. Get the codes read and post them here.

the obd2 readers that autozone have wont help this one, this is vehicle specific to read the codes. (obd1)

any honda owners from this year have the skinny on how to read the codes?

It sounds like your mechanic isn’t very competent and is having too much trouble working with a 13 year old car, which is pretty basic relatively now in the auto world. I tend to get real irritated with mechanics who throw parts at cars without reason or logic. I lost respect for anything he has to say after he mentioned using better fuel, which will help nothing. An old fuel pump is also BS-it works correctly or it doesn’t. He may be an honest person who happens to be nice as well, but he just sounds like he doesn’t know Hondas or how to properly troubleshoot a car.

If you like this car I see no reason to get rid of it. If you have kept up with regular oil changes I’m sure your engine still has life in it. It is possible for a Honda to go 300K and sometimes even 400K miles, although it takes diligant maintenance. Find a Honda specialist who deals ONLY with Honda and sort out your engine light and then discuss your goals. Try the mechanic finder at this website.

thank you all for your input. The gas cap is good. It was replaced two years ago. My mechanic was not throwing parts at it. I took it to him after I got the car back from one of my kids and I gave him the green light to address anything he felt needed to be done. He replaced hoses, gaskets, all sorts of things. It was after the seals and o-rings that the light started coming on. When he did he seal and o-rings he had the engine apart fairly deeply. When he was done he said everything looked good. About a month later the check engine light started coming on. Thats when he did the O2 sensor, etc. Then the light came back on again. Thats when he told me that the motor may be tired. I was just wondering if the light was a result of the prior fix.

I like the car a lot. It suits me. I would like to solve this. At some point I may consider a rebuild or a new motor. But I want to put that off as long as possible. The car runs smooth on the road. Starts well. Gets 23-27 mpg. Once warmed up it does not idle well at traffic signals, just slightly rough. A Thanks Again

You have stated two symptoms: the CEL light, and a rough idle. That’s not much information. The technique for getting the code for the CEL are in the Haynes, or Chilton’s, Repair Manual. Your mechanic should use the repair manual to pull the trouble code.
Your mechanic may need more information. Here is a link he can check out to fix the misfire: Then, click on the particular problem.

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Frankly your mechanic he told me that the motor may be tired. does not sound like he it the right man for this job.

try putting a higher grade of fuel in I missed that one the first time. That is not going to fix what is wrong.

I have a 99 Odyssey with about 150K miles on it. The check engine light has been coming on repeatedly and every time I take it in it comes up as the fuel cap leak (P1456). I bought a new cap at Walmart the first time, then bought a Honda cap the second time. Today I took it in and the technician asked if I had a transformer box plugged in. Turned out my son had plugged the transformer box (that allows you to plug regular electrical plugs in through the lighter) into the lighter slot in the back of the van and was using it regularly to charge his Nintendo DS. Apparently it has been plugged in for months. Anyway, the technician said that when the transformer is plugged in it draws energy and makes the car’s computer think that it is on. So when you go to pump gas, the computer detects a leak at the gas cap and turns on the check engine light. She said it can happen if you leave the accessories on when you’re pumping gas, like if you leave the car on so the kids can listen while you pump the gas. I didn’t see anything about this on any of the forums I looked at, so I thought I’d put it out there in case it helps anyone.

Some 1995 Hondas had OBD I, and some had OBD II. If your Odyssey has OBD II, some auto parts stores will scan it for free. If it has OBD I, a connector in the passenger’s footwell kick panel/glove box area will have to be jumpered with a paper clip, and the number of flashes of the check engine light counted to yield the trouble code. Have the codes read, one way or another, and bring them here for cussing and discussion.

Strange things can happen, at times. I’m not convinced that this is one of those times. DTC code P1456 is for a leak detected in the fuel tank system. Evidently, it’s NOT the fuel cap. It must be something else. The mechanics should be using the DTC Charts to troubleshoot this. Either, they can’t, or won’t. Take your choice. Take it to an independent shop.

A current draw can fool a PCM (or whatevers Honda equivalant) that a engine is running? What about the lack of a crankshaft position sensor signal? how are you fooling the PCM here? Really if this was possible a Technical Service Bulliten would be out. About all these people and their spark plug wire replacements. Cant they visually inspect the wires for defects and then OHM the wires to make sure they need them. We get so many posts that say “car didnt run right so I put spark plugs wires on it”. These kind of things can be tested and then you wont be accused of "throwing parts at it