Honda CR-V VSA + Engine Light

I drive a 2003 Honda CR-V. Just today, as I was pulling up to my apartment, both the VSA (Vehicle Stability Assistance) and Check Engine lights came on, and the car started shaking back and forth, as though it was slipping out of gear. After I turned it off and back on, the VSA light is now off, but the Check Engine light is still on.

There’s been nothing wrong with the car thus far, except that I accidentally left the headlights on two days ago and drained the battery. I don’t think these two events are related but I’m mentioning it here just to be safe.

Any ideas what might be wrong with it? Is it still safe to drive?

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.

I can’t speak for your Honda, but when I partially discharged the battery on my 2000 Blazer, it started having driveability problems (high idle and torque converter lock up not engaging). The battery voltage was ~12.1 V or about 25% charged. I used a battery charger (Battery Tender) to charge the battery to 12.6 V (100% charged). After that I had no more problems.

If your battery is fully charged, then it’s probably a coincidence. Otherwise recharge the battery before taking more drastic measures.

Good luck,

Ed B.