Did I destroy my car

I was backing out of a driveway with my 2001 Honda Civic on a big hill. I then pressed the clutch and turned the steering wheel down and let the car coast down the hill, nor remembering to take the car out of reverse. I then slowly removed my foot from the clutch as I drifted down the hill, with the intention of using the normal gears to slow myself down. The car made a grinding sound and stalled. At first it wouldn’t start but then it started and seemed to run fine. The problem is that the malfunction light went on and stayed on.

What in heavens name did I do to my poor car?


I don’t think you did any permanent damage. The clutch took most of the stress, and you didn’t help any part of the drivetrain either. Apparently nothing snapped so you may be ok. As for the dash light it should stay on for a few days and eventually will turn itself off if there are no further problems picked up by the car’s computer and sensors.

If you want the light off sooner. You can have the computer scanned (many part stores will do for free) and reset to turn off the light.

How fast do you estimate you were going when you released the clutch?

You may not have damaged anything. If you’re lucky the light will go off after a few start/drive cycles.

If the light is still on after a few days have someone scan the computer for trouble codes. Many parts stores will do this free.