"Check Engine" Light

I recently had the air conditioning on my 1994 Honda Accord wagon (103,000 miles) repaired. A new condenser was installed and the system recharged. The radiator was also replaced with a new one.

The car was returned to me with the “Check Engine” light on. It wasn’t lit when I bought the car in and even though it was on while being driven back to my house by the garage owner, he didn’t bother to mention it to me until I called. Unfortunately, it was closing time on a Friday so the conversation was postponed till Monday.

I’m curious to know if anything could have happened while making the above repairs that would cause a new problem and the engine warning light to appear.

Or is it more likely to be an unfortunate coincidence. (P.S. The car was last serviced 12/22/08 at 101,859 miles) and is regularly maintained.)

Thanks in advance for any insights.

There may be any number of reasons the ‘Check Engine’ light (CEL) came on. Because of the huge number of reasons, I would not guess, but would retrieve the codes first. This car being 15 years old, it could be a coincidental problem with no connection to the repair.

This is an ODB-I car, and requires a simple, yet special technique to retrieve the codes. An ODB-II universal scanner will not work. Here is a website with the procedure and code list. http://www.freeautomechanic.com/diagnostictroblecodes2.html. Post the code here with the meaning after you pull them.

I agree with Busted, but I will add that something the mechanic did while working on your car could have triggered the light and the light may go away after a you have driven it for a while. (Not sure about this on ODB-1 system).

Thanks so much for your help. It’s because of folk like you that the Web is such an amazing place.

I made one attempt to access the ECU but it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Will give it another shot on Sunday.

See reply to Busted above. Ditto for you.

Apologies for the late follow-up but this is how the issue got resolved. I couldn’t loosen the bolts on the plate covering the ECU so I ended up bringing the car back into the shop to have the codes read. Was told that one of the oxygen sensors had gone bad and that they would replace it without charging me labor. Considering that I had just spent a bit under $1000 to have the air conditioning system fixed, I was relieved that it wasn’t another major repair and I’d only be out another $140.00.

Thanks again to BustedKnuckles and Joe Meehan for helping me troubleshoot the problem.