1996 Civic Check Engine Light

Page 1 of 2  
The Check Engine light came on and it stays on while driving on a highway two days ago. The car was running fine except in the past 2-3 months in which I had some repairs on it.
1996 Civic, 4DR LX, 239K km The radiator, fuel line and brakes lines have been replaced 2 months ago Distributor and wires were changed less than a month ago. Most recent oil change was done 2 weeks ago.
Reading from this forum I have got an idea that I should get the code read and reset and wait if it comes again. Manual says its related to emission control system.
The car is excellent on gas mileage but recently I have noticed a lack of power (pressing gas more to get speed).
Any idea will be good. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ExtremeValue wrote:

You need to take it so that the codes can be read. Autozone and other stores do this for free.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I forgot to mention that I am in Ontario, Canada. Is there any store like Autozone who does it for free. Googling did not show much.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call some of your local auto parts stores and ask them if they can read codes. Don't reset the code until you have diagnosed the problem since you have drivability problems. No parts stores check with local service shops on the cost to read it for you.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

PartSource.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks!! I will talk to my nearest mechanic tomorrow (Monday) if he does it for free (there is a possibility that he will do it). If not, I will call PartSource. There seems to be two partsource in my city, nice!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On newer models there are as many as 200 causes of check-engine on newer models. Probably a couple dozen on 1990s models. Could be anything from a new $15 gas cap to a couple hndred dollar engine sensor replacement.
In my state you cant pass the emission tests and get your new license plate stickers with the yellow light on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Okay, so here is the code:
P0420: Catalytic converter efficiency low on Bank 1.
The mechanic then checked on some website he subscribes to and fond that it could be anything from O2 sensor to catalytic converter and ....few more. I left the car with him to do some specific diagnostics, that he said, needs to be done to narrow down the exact cause.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Copying from Tegger's reply to another post :
********************* Might not even be the cat, but instead poor connections inside the igniter in the distributor.
Believe it or not.
Visit your local Honda dealer and ask them to look up TSB 05-027. *********************
Could this be applied to my 1996 civic, LX?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Another update:
My mechanic says I need to replace the catalytic converter costing around 300 dollars. The code as been reset and I have left with an option to change the converter at a suitable time (money wise). And he did all these for free!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Treat him well as you found one of the few.....
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ExtremeValue wrote:

get the code read, then report back.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I already posted this, but you somehow overseen it. Here is the code again:
P0420: Catalytic converter efficiency low on Bank 1.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
P0420: Catalytic converter efficiency low on Bank 1.
So, the code was reset two days ago and it re-appears today. Thanks. Last time, as I have mentioned, the mechanic said I have to replace the catalytic converter. Any thought on this?
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A 4cyl. Civic isn't going to have a Bank 2.

I'd want somebody to do an exhaust emissions check before I spent big bucks on a new cat.It could just be a bad O2 sensor.O2sensors get sluggish when they get old. But they are much less costly than a new cat.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

May simply be poor connections at the igniter. Believe it or not.
Check that before replacing the cat.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ignition connectors are reconnected and tightned as per my request. The code was reset and it came back again in 2-3 hours after the car was driven for sometime to make the engine warm. The mechanic said he checked both O2 sensors and the second one (after the Converter) shows fluctuation on the readinds meaning that the cat converter is not functioning efficiently. Ideally the the readings from the second O2 sensor should stabilized after sometime. (this is what he said).
Thanks for all the comments.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Looks like your cat is in fact no longer good. Replace it. Happens all the time.
With legislated emissions limits at incredibly low levels, cats these days are operating close to their limits. A cat that would have been deemed in fine shape in 1990 is considered junk now.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Original problem: Check Engine Light came on Secondary problem: Engine was vibrating when put on drive but resting. Problem might have been resolved!!
I think I should thank Tegger for his key comment that helped me solving the Check Engine light problem. Tegger mentioned that it is related to ignition and since I noticed this problem after replacing the distributor caps and the wires, there was a high probability that it is related to ignition.
I tried to convince my mechanic saying about the this group and also mentioned that one experienced guy (Tegger!) suggested to check all the ignition connections. In the mean time, I noticed another problem which, to my mechanic, looked like a "misfire" (I dont know what it is). He then spent about an hour on my car after connecting the engine to his "Scope" and tested rigorously but did NOT find any proof of misfire.
He then put a new set of distributor cap and wires and again tested for about half an hour. By this time he reset the Check Engine Light.
Now that I am driving it without any trouble and the light did not came on again! Seems like the problem is solved!!!!
Thanks to Tegger for his comment that lead to the solution. Thanks are due to my mechanic (who spent about 3 hours on my car in total without charging me a single dollar). And he is the one who I was able to talk to regarding my thoughts (which obviously came from this group) and he gladly considered my opinions. This is kind of unusual for a person with 30 years of experience! Seems like learning has no limit.
I put all this information here so that others might get benefited.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the credit, but I'm a bit confused...
So then there wasn't anything wrong with the /igniter/ connections, but problems with /other/ ignition componentry?
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.