Cold Engine Light - Brand New Honda Civic

I Just bought a new 2015 Honda Civic on Wednesday of this week. Yesterday, when I started the car the cold engine light came on. I drove slowly through my neighborhood and the light went off after about a minute. When I came out of work, same thing, light on again, but then went off after about 30 second of driving.

Since it’s the weekend the dealership’s service center isn’t open so I haven’t called them yet. Does anyone know why this is happening? I’m assuming this is not normal for a brand new car right? Could the coolant level just be low?

This IS normal. Same as on my Insight.

Unfortunately car mfgrs are moving away from gauges that tell you something to indicator lights that do not tell you much. When you first start the car it is not warmed up yet so the cold engine light is on till the car warms up. You probably also have a red light that tells you that the engine is over heated, hopefully you will never see that light. If you had a gauge, it would sit on cold for a few minutes then move up to mid range in the first few minutes of driving.

It is normal. It takes a short while for the engine to warm up. I wouldn’t go onto a highway until that light goes off. Other than that, there’s nothing you need to do.

Also, it should say something in your owner’s manual about that and all lights on your dash and what they mean. There’s a lot of good info in the manual that will answer most of your questions.

My dad and my brother both owned 1963 Buick LeSabres. These Buicks had cold engine lights. I have no idea why the cold light was necessary. In zero degree weather when you started the Buick, you didn’t need an indicator light to tell you it was cold.

It sounds like they’ve replaced the engine coolant temperate gauge with two LEDs, one if the coolant is below a certain temperature (120 degrees maybe), and one if the coolant is above a certain temperature (220 degrees maybe). It’s a mixed bag. It’s not as good a way for the driver to tell the coolant temperature, but there is not dash gauge to go haywire and require an expensive fix.

@JoeGuy — Get serious, who reads the Owners Manual ?

Take a peek in the owners manual. Back in 1963 our neighbors bought a new Chevy. It had the cold engine light. Drive it for a few blocks and the light would go off indicating the engine was warming up.

I wonder if the thermostat were stuck open the cold engine light would remain lit or the engine would eventually warm up just enough to turn off the light?

Some cars won’t upshift past second gear until the light goes out. In the old days, stupid car makers had those indicator lights; Now, even “good” ones have that kind of junk excess on their dashboards. The money would be used better if it were spent on good cup holders.

I had a 1965 Chrysler and a 1965 Oldsmobile and both had “cold” lights. They made a comeback on the New Beetle and now Honda has them too.

I’m probably in the minority here but I find warning lights much more useful than gauges, other than for the fuel tank.

Thanks, all! I actually DID read the owner’s manual and all it says is: “The engine coolant temperature is low. If the indicator stays on, there may be a problem with the temperature sensors.” Since the light goes off pretty quickly I guess it’s okay.

@GeorgeSanJose is correct in that there are two temp lights, one for cold and one for hot.

I’ve just never had a car do this before so I was very worried!

Kudos to you for paying attention to warning lights and taking time to ask about and understand their function.

It’s normal. The light is just as annoying as my upshift light on my HHR. It’s not needed but it’s there just the same.

I agree with Volvo. Manuals have grown in size over the years. My new car manual is 350 pages of difficult to read technicaleze.


This coolant temperature low indicator light/coolant temperature high warning light has the following three functions.
. Illumination in BLUE indicates insuffi- cient warming up of the engine
. Blinking in RED indicates that the engine is close to overheating
. Illumination in RED indicates overheat- ing condition of the engine

For a system check, this indicator light/ warning light illuminates in RED for approximately 2 seconds when the igni- tion switch is turned to the “ON” position.

After that, this indicator light/warning light changes to BLUE and maintains illumina- tion in BLUE. This BLUE illuminated light turns off when the engine is warmed up sufficiently.

If the engine coolant temperature in- creases over the specified range, the indicator light/warning light blinks in RED. At this time, the engine is close to overheating.

If the engine coolant temperature in- creases further, the indicator light/warning light illuminates in RED continuously. At this time, the engine may be overheating.

When the indicator light/warning light blinks in RED or illuminates in RED, safely stop the vehicle as soon as possible, and refer to the emergency steps to take in the case of engine overheating. Refer to “Engine overheating” F9-12. After that, have the system checked by your nearest SUBARU dealer.

Also, if the indicator light/warning light often blinks in RED, the electrical system may be malfunctioning. Contact your SUBARU dealer for an inspection.

Bill, I was being sarcastic. Most people just drive and never read the Owners Manual. Cars are equipped with so many things the manual has to cover. And no, they are not that hard to understand no matter what you think.

old Hondas had no cold engine light. Millions of owners just drove cars. With seemingly NO issues? What is Hondas goal with telling owners that motor is not warmed up initially? Reduced cold engine wear? Better emissions? Better mileage? Honda obviously has an agenda here.

@GeorgeSanJose: " It’s not as good a way for the driver to tell the coolant temperature, but there is not dash gauge to go haywire and require an expensive fix. "

–Who’s to say the two-LED system won’t go haywire? It’s likely every bit or even more complex than a gauge would be.

I have a 2007 Honda Fit. It also has the blue Cold Engine light. It’s normal.

There appears to be no temperature guage on the 2015 Civic so they have a hot indicator and a cold indicator instead.

A few car makers have gone to removing the temp guage from the analog set. The good ones still offer an alternate display in the dash screen(s).