Hey there guys. This might be obvious to many out there but I was hoping someone would help a newbie out. I have a 2000 Honda Accord with 110,000 miles and the check engine light came on recently. I’ve had bad experiences with my local Honda dealership maintenance dept and would rather not go back. Can someone OTHER than the dealership tell me why my check engine light is on? I would love to use one of the mechanics listed on the Car Talk list if I don’t have to go back to the dealership.
AutoZone and Advance Auto will read the check engine light code for you, for free. Get it read and post back here. someone here can probably help you. there is no need to go to a dealership for anything other than warranty repairs. Find a good independent mechanic from either mechanics files on cartalk home page, or by references from friends and relatives, etc.
Yes 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. Chances are you will be better off avoiding the dealer for anything other than buying the car or repairs covered under warranty. However don't use a quick oil change place, while they don't tend to charge as much as the dealer, they do tend to sell unneeded stuff and are generally not very good at fixing anything. Don't even let them try to change your oil.
Once you do what these folks recommend, or find yourself a trusted mechanic. Ask friends, or use the Car Talk Mechanics File. Any good mechanic should be able to read the codes.