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Check engine light!

So I drive a 2001 civic 5-speed and recently my check engine light doesn’t go off right away after I start my car. It’ll blink for a good 5-10 seconds then stops. Thought it might be the oil, changed it didn’t do anything. Does anyone know what it can be???

It won’t have anything to do with the oil unless it is a maintenance reminder light. If it is, then it has to be reset after an oil change. Presumably it stays on after its been blinking? Describe the light exactly including what, if any, words it has. Look in your owner’s manual for what that light indicates.

If it is indeed the “check engine” light, the you need to find out what error codes are being set in the computer. Many auto parts stores read these codes for free. Have them read and post the exact codes - they look like “P1234.” When you post those give full info about the vehicle - mileage, and details about maintenance history (e.g. last time it got new spark plugs, wires, filters, etc).

When a Check Engine light flashes it indicates a major engine misfire.

When was the last time the engine had a complete tune-up?

Tester

When the MIL blinks 5-6 times before turning off, it means no DTC is currently present, but the engine has not gone through enough cycles to verify that no emission problems exist. Am I the only one who knows this?

Tester

The OP wrote: “my check engine light doesn’t go off right away after I start my car. It’ll blink for a good 5-10 seconds then stops”.

I repeat: When the MIL blinks 5-6 times before turning off, it means no DTC is currently present, but the engine has not gone through enough cycles to verify that no emission problems exist. Am I the only one who knows this?

A legend in your own mind as always Mechaniker. Frankly, the OP hasn’t said enough for anyone to know anything yet. You may be right. We also may never know.

The OP stated the MIL blinks 5-6 times and then turns off.

I am saying that this is the ECU’s method of saying that all monitors have not been cleared.

If the OP continues to drive for about two weeks, and no emission problems re-occur, the blinking will stop.

I am as sure of this as the sun rises in the East.

I have not found any confirmation of this on the internet.

Which goes to show how ill-informed the automotive world is.

No. The OP stated, “It’ll blink for a good 5-10 seconds and then stops.”

Tester

I got the car wrecked at 100k miles, since I’ve changed the radiator, hoses, alternator, battery. That’s about all I can think of. Car currently has 140k miles and is my daily driver an I put on about 80-100 miles a day. And sorry it is indeed the maintenance required light that blinks!

The maintenance required light is a whole different story - so all of that above was a big for-nothing.

Look in the owners manual where it will tell you what that light covers. Its probably for oil changes and has to be reset after an oil change. The manual will tell you how. If you don’t have a manual its a good idea to find one.

Yah, sorry about that. I know how to get rid of it when it’s on just never blinked before. Thanks though!

@ cigroller:
MIL means Malfunction Indicator Lamp, or what you shade-tree mechanics call the “Check Engine Light.”

You should look into a shop manual to find out what a blinking MIL, KOEO means.
“The manual will tell you how. If you don’t have a manual its a good idea to find one.”

On Acura and I believe Honda, you can reset the maintenance required light for oil changes and level 1 servicing. When it hits level 2 like for services at higher mileage like air cleaners, trans fluid etc., it takes the dealer computer to reset it. The owners manual should tell you the level 1 and 2 services that it would indicate. At any rate it probably means a trip to the dealer to have it read or reset. I do my own service normally but would go in for an oil change and have them reset the level 2 at the same time.

@Mechaniker :

“@ cigroller: MIL means Malfunction Indicator Lamp, or what you shade-tree mechanics call the “Check Engine Light.””

Yes. Thank you for the “education.” Though I’m neither sure why you think I need it nor what point you are trying to make. A maintenance reminder light and a MIL are two completely different things. This thread isn’t about a MIL. You’ll notice that I was onto that possibility in my very first post.

You jumped off to two unwarranted conclusions. First, you assumed the OP was talking about an MIL and it seems clear now that this was a poor assumption. Second, you assumed that the light blinked and then went off. The post does not say that it goes off - only that it stops blinking.

The only thing you’re showing in this thread Mechaniker is that you’re quite “green” on these boards, and tend to be quite arrogant and argumentative.

You were wrong about the whole thing from the beginning. Its time to just shrug and move on.

P.S. I am not alone in my interpretation as I am not the one that flagged your post.

OP: So I drive a 2001 civic 5-speed and recently my check engine light doesn’t go off right away after I start my car.
Implying that it goes off later, but not “right away.”

OP: It’ll blink for a good 5-10 seconds then stops.
The OP does NOT say that it stops blinking BUT STAYS ON. That is your assumption."

There is a lot of bad information on this board, and on the radio show as well. There are some informative gems, but one has to be smart enough to know the good from the bad.

No poster on this thread has actually acknowledged that a MIL may blink 5-6 times before turning off at KOEO, and that this blinking indicates the readiness codes have not been reset. If the MIL turns abruptly off with no blinks, that means the readiness codes have been cleared. In some states an emissions test cannot proceed if the readiness codes have not cleared. I honestly think no poster on this thread, cigroller especially, has the slightest idea of what I am talking about.

I know exactly what you’re talking about, and it wasn’t at all relevant to the OPs question. But if constructing mythical pictures of yourself as an expert in a world of dolts helps you maintain your own delusional sense of self-grandeur then have at it. I don’t actually see any point in this discussion, and can’t figure out why I didn’t ignore you to begin with. Having learned better I shall now commence.

Perhaps all of us shade tree mechanics with our bad advice who call “Malfunction Indicator Lights” by the nomenclature “Check Engine Light” should go away and let Mechaniker answer all the questions. And all this time I thought two (or more) heads were better than one.

Mechaniker, I haven’t even been a party to this post and some of your comments have left me feeling offended too.

Perhaps someday you’ll realize that terminology varies between manufacturers as well as regionally and definitely internationally and as long as we all focus on solving the OP’s problem it doesn;t matter. Personally, I like dropheads. Known elsewhere as droptops. And in other areas as cabriolets. And in still other areas convertables. Some would even call them ragtops. Do you?

And, frankly, I also realize that everyone has areas of knowledge and areas of weakness, and we can all learn from one another of we just listen with an open mind.

It seems to me this thread got off wrong with the use of the check engine light phrase by the OP when it’s apparently a maintenance minder light being referred to and which Bing addressed.

Unless I missed it, I did not see the part where Mechaniker mentions this possibility in his first post as claimed and I’m not the one who flagged it either.

I’m going with the samemountainbike on this. If I could add though, Honda has a perfectly normal warning light system on there vehicles. Why not stop by the Honda dealer and let them reset the light? At the same time they can read the latest information that the computer has and advise what if anything needs to be done. You could do the same thing at a local autoparts store.