Engine Light

Not sure if this is a direct correlation being stuck in the snow. I have a 2005 Honda Accord, and my engine light came on while I was trying to get out of my parking spot. I contacted the dealership and they recommended tighting the gas cap, and driving it for a couple of days. If the light is still on bring the car in. So the question I have is, did I ruin my transmission this AM trying to get out of my driveway.

Well, the CEL (check engine light) is probably not an indication of transmission problems, but that doesn’t mean that you didn’t trash the transmission.

When you were stuck in the snow, did you spin your wheels a lot and did you change gears from Drive to Reverse and back again while the wheels were spinning? If so, you did not do your transmission any favors. I would suggest that you check the color and the odor of your transmission fluid. If it is red and not strong-smelling, then your transmission was probably not harmed by your maneuvers. If the fluid is brown and it smells bad, then you may have damaged the transmission.

Regarding the gas cap, it usually takes a cycle of a few days of starting the engine and shutting it off before the CEL goes out. Hopefully you will luck out.

And, when filling your gas tank, try to remember to stop pumping gas the first time that the pump shuts itself off (your Owner’s Manual has information on this issue!). Forcing more gas into the tank will inevitably damage the evaporative emissions system–and that is another possibility regarding the CEL. Also–remember to tighten the gas cap until you hear it click at least 3 times.

Good luck!

Yes, my tires did spin but I would stop the car before changing gears. Do you think it’s coincidental the the CEL came on? The car seems to be driving fine, but did notice somewhat of a noise (alomst overheating sound)when I was in park, but that may be my paranoia? It just boggles my mind why that light came on.

The best thing to do if you want to eliminate guesswork is to have the stored trouble codes “read” by Autozone or another parts retailer for free. After they give you the code (for example, P1234), post back and someone can probably give you specific advice regarding that code.

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.

If your car was seriously high sided in deep snow its possible a wire connector got pulled loose. The most vulnerable connector would be for the down stream O2 sensor. As stated above getting the codes read will lead you to the problem.

On my Subaru if you spin the wheels due to being stuck(rare) it sets off a xmas tree of a flashing ABS, flashing cruise control and check engine light. Its due to false reading of speed sensor on my car. Could be similar on yours. Only way to tell is have code checked if they don’t go off.

It all disappears after 10 miles or so on my car. I personally would wait a bit before rushing in unless its flashing.