Check Engine Light

I have a 99 Honda Civic and the check engine light comes on and off randomly. The dealer says the light is related to the emissions system, and that my car doesn’t respond well to ethanol blended gasoline, but the five county metro-area around Milwaukee (where I live) requires 10% ethanol.

The owner’s manual says to stick to 87, but I’ve found that 91 octane from BP shuts the light off temporarily sometimes.


A '99 should be able to handle E10 without any problem. Has anyone actually bothered to read the codes? Even if the light goes off, there should still be a code stored. Autozone is one place that will read them for free, if the dealer wouldn’t share the actual code with you (P0123, etc.). It may be written on the work order somewhere. It may be something as simple as a loose or defective gas cap.

You say that 91 octane seems to shut off the light? Do you hear any pinging or knocking when using 87 (regular)?

I haven’t had the code read in the last few instances. I do not hear knocking with 87, just a slow-down, almost stall and then a slight vroom-- this is when the light comes back on. I’ve noticed, too, that when it’s off it for a bit, it returns when it’s got a 1/4 tank or less. When I got an oil change two weeks ago, I asked them to read the code and was told there was no association to the code. I didn’t get that, but I let it go because the light went off.

Thanks for the tip-- I will look for an Autozone.

I have the code! 1362 (no sensor circuit from the Top Dead Center)
Do I need to replace the whole distributer? The mechanic where it’s at wants around $500 (including some new spark plugs).

The three Honda dealers I called basically all said that with an uncommon code like this, they’d do their diagnostic (with flow charts! sounds deluxe) for $105.

I don’t have a list of codes, but I’m sure someone will chime in soon to confirm the meaning of 1362. If it is the crank angle (position) sensor, I wouldn’t think you’d need to replace the whole distributor, but who knows. If this is the same dealer who told you that it was the emission system and E10 gas, I’d avoid them. As for the mechanic wanting to replace all the plugs, if it still has the originals, or he sees that they’re badly worn or fouled, it would be worth replacing them. I don’t know why this particular code would come up with a low gas tank – were there several codes (not just one)?

P1362 is related to the TDC sensor in the distributor. Apparently, only the whole assembly is sold, so yes the whole distributor must be replaced to replace the sensor. The gamble is whether it is really the TDC sensor, or the wiring between in and the engine computer, or the engine computer itself. That’s what the $105 diagnostic charge would resolve.

.I’ll assume that your 1999 Honda Civic has an automatic transmission (A/T). The code, P1362 is listed, in the repair manual for a certain sensor.
The HX 1.6L engine, with manual transmission (M/T), uses a TDC/CKP/CYP Sensor (three sensors in one package).
Check the connectors, and wiring, from Sensor to the PCM. Do the listed checks (in the repair manual) of the sensor.
Changing the distributor should give you the fix you want

You are right about this being a rare code,this is a Honda specfic code,any sympton related to the code? You will need someone who has specfic Honda data and system operation.

FYI: For the three-in-one-case sensors (TDC/CKP/CYP) inside the distributor, it’s best to change the whole distributor on the Honda Civic 1.6L engine.
TDC > Top Dead Center sensor.
CKP > CranKshaft Position sensor.
CYP > CYlinder Position sensor.