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I let someone drive my insight and they killed the engine on a steep hill and the check engine light came on.

What could have caused this?

Do you think I can reset it via the battery cable?

Any input would be appreciated!
 

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I let someone drive my insight and they killed the engine on a steep hill and the check engine light came on.
The check engine light is on cos you have a trouble/fault code registered in the ECU. Probably from one of the exhaust gas sensors. Most likely the engine stalled while the throttle was full open and fuel got dumped into the exhaust maifold. Should be easy for the dealership to check the error code and reset.

I had a similar thing happen when I stalled my engine on a very steep hill several weeks after I had just purchased my Insight.
 

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Should the dealer charge $80 to check the engine light?

My wife's Insight turned the check engine light on her way home yesterday. She may have driven through some smoke, as they are burning the fielids after the harvest. But she checked the gas cap and it was tight. I drove it around this morning, and the light stays on.

My dealer said I had to make a diagnostic appointment and there was an $80 charge. This sounded high, but I don't know. Should I find a different dealer?

Brendan
 

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If it's running normally, it's probably not something bad. You can take it to Autozone and they will read the code for you and reset the light for free. And if it was a brief emissions burp, it will reset itself after a few on/off cycles.

If you get the code, let us know. There is a list in the service manual.
 

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Just back from AutoZone. He connected the OBDII code reader in and it came up with a P0420. Something about the catalytic converter operating below (above?) threshhold. Anyone have any more info and help before I shell out too much at the dealer?

Speaking of the dealer, I stopped by on my way home to ask more about "what they do for $80". The service writer explained that they hook it up to the PGM (?) computer which does a diagnostic and lets them know what's wrong. Then they can replace/fix the part that is awry. The $80 is from their flat-rate labor book--just what it costs to hook up to the PGM machine.

I mentioned that I had AutoZone read the P0420 code for me, and the service guy didn't have much to say--they weren't going to take any word on that, and make any allowance or adapt their procedures any on that knowledge. I asked if it wasn't a little early for the catalytic convertor to need replacement after only 72,000 miles. He said sometimes that happens. Whatever.

What do you all think of this? Is there any experience with the check engine light, code P0420, and the catalytic converter? I don't want to get socked for a $600 cat that I don't need...

Brendan
 

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New update. Called the dealer service place in a "smaller" town where the car was originally purchased. We're the second owners and have been trying to get "service" at our "larger" dealer.

The service guy that answered my call is the son-in-law of the dealer's owner. He wanted the last 6 digits of the VIN to look it up on his computer, but I didn't have the VIN available. I told him the name of the previous owner--maybe he could look it up by their name. He remembered the previous owners, remembered the color of our Insight, told me they took very good care of it (and that we got a good car), and he would diagnose it for free. He'll even send my wife to work in a loaner car! Dang--I think I know which dealer I'm going to from here on out, and I think I know which dealer has heard the last from me!

I'll update this thread with the problem resolution.

Thanks,
Brendan

P.S. Just joined to ask about this problem. Have lurked without a username for many months (since and prior to buying the car) for details, things to watch for, and tech tips. Very impressed. Thanks for a great resource.
 

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Where are you? I think that dealership deserves some free advertising, eh?

That code is not specific, and the manual states that some other things can trigger it, and they will cause codes of their own that apparently require a special tool to download.

Anyway, the codes for the O2 sensor are included, and that is the more likely source. The manual describes specific methods to test, and they involve only resetting the ECM and then putting the engine through a specific routine. Sounds like you have a good shop to help you.
 

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check engine

Don't give up! The first time I took my son out to teach him to drive a 5-speed, my check engine light came on after about 20 minutes of stalls, lurches, and general beginner abuse. I took it to Autozone and they read an o2 error (I think a P037??). I drove it for about 400 miles over the next few days, filled the tank and the light went off the next day. That was over 6000 miles ago. I haven't seen the light since.
 

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I also had the check engine light come on. It would reset itself after a while and then come back on again. I brought it to the dealer and they got a P0420-catalyst deterioration code. They went through the standard procedure to reset the CEL and took it on a short test drive. They said if it came on again they would need to replace the catalytic converter. It came on again within 10 miles. Fortunately, it was replaced under warranty. The Cat carries the same warrenty as the rest of the hybrid system, 8yrs/80K miles. I have 66k miles on my 2001 5 spd. FYI, I drive a lot of highway miles between 70-75mph, so I am not in lean burn a lot. I get high 50s low 60's mpg at that speed. I also have a 10 mile trip to work where I sometimes get in the low 80's. Since the cat problem, the car seem to be hesitating at light throttle and mileage has dropped a little bit (low 70s). Anyone have any suggestions on a possible cause? I still like my Insight, but between replacing cats and batteries, I don't think it is going to turn out to be as economical as I had hoped. I tend to keep my cars a long time (last car was a 86 CRX HF, 241K miles and still going strong when I sold it).
 

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Thank you all for the kind words.

Yes, Dealer #2 came through for us. They analyzed the readings which did indicate the catalytic converter, but their procedure says to clear the code and then turn the car on and drive it around. If the check engine light comes back on, and the code again indicates the cat, then they will replace the cat. Otherwise they chalk it up to an errant sensor. Supposedly a true problem wil continue to set the code over and over.

The cleared the code, started the car, and it did not come on again in the last 80 miles. This is exactly what I didn't want to pay $80 for. Or a misdiagnosis that said we had to pay money for all kinds of new parts. Dealer #2 also said that if the code comes back, they will replace the cat under warranty. Hooray for Dealer #2.

As for the free advertising, if you are in the lower Willamette Valley in Oregon, I highly recommend Bill Rogers Honda in Albany. They even gave my wife a loaner car (a 04 Civic) at no charge so she could get the rest of the way to work.

Brendan
 

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BR - I was also charged for the original diagnosis and CEL reset although I argued rather forcefully that it should be handled just like any problem on a system (catalytic converter) that was still under warranty. After I had to bring it back to get the cat replaced, the manager agreed to refund the original diagnostics charge and claimed that I should have never been charged in the first place! BTW, mine did set and reset itself a couple of times before I brought it in (also dreading the service fee for a light that kept turning itself off).
 

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hmm, That's the code I had on my car (which I started a new thread for).

The Autozone near me makes you buy the ODB2 scanner, but return it within 90 days if you want a code cleared. Apparently there is some law to prevent them from clearing it themselves. The hardest part about using it is finding the scanner port, which is behind the cupholders on the passenger side of the car.

The dealer I went to charges $90 to hook a scanner up to a car. Kind of steep considering you can get a code scanner for about $35 on eBay.
 

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hi all.
lately, my insight has been flashing the engine light when i would start it. it would go for about 30 secs and then go away. now it is on solid. it is running the same it always has though. i am the second owner and i have les than 5000 miles on it. the car has about 45000 on it total and the LMPG is 53 (LOW). since i have had it, i have been getting 63-64 MPG on a tank average. i drive it for max gas mileage and it is loaded with about 400lbs 97% of the time. (my wife and i carpool daily)
do i take it in asap or let it possibly go away by itself?
thanks
 

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Check engine light? Or service required light? The service required light flashes and then stays on every service interval, 7500 miles I think. It's just a reminder.
 
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