Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2001 Honda Accord Check Engine light is on, how do I turn off the Check engine light

2001 Accord Check Engine Light is on, How do I turn off the check engine light?

The proper way, of course, is to repair the problem that caused it to come on. Another way I read on a website was to bring your car to an Autozone who will diagnose the problem and reset the light for you (and hope you buy the part to fix the problem). The quick and dirty way is to remove one of the battery cables for about 10 seconds (when the engine is off of course) then reconnect it.

-It is actually illegal for Autozone employees to just erase the engine code because they did it before and got sued by several people because they erased the engine code and then something went wrong with the car and the people got hurt in accidents. so they arent actually supposed to.

I just had the EGR valve replaced on our 98 Accord for the second time in two years. At least the price of the part has come down a huge amount in this time - from $300 to $70 - I suppose since it is a mass produced item since so many 98 Accords have this problem. The last time the car had under 80Kmi so was under warranty but this time I paid an independent mechanic $170 which included the part. He said it is a poor design since even a speck of carbon in the EGR valve can cause it to stay open and the check engine light to come on. And he expects it will happen more often as the car gets older.

An guy who is a mechanic where I work said he thought it was best to clean out the deposits and a good product to do this was Marvel Mystery Oil (at Walmart for about $2 per pint). He said to use 4 oz in the gas tank when filling once per month for a few months. Besides possibly preventing the valve from fouling as often, this should also allow the car to run longer without needing premium fuel, according to him.

Every 20001 Honda I have had (and all I have had is Hondas for well over 20 years) has required midgrade fuel at about 120Kmi then premium at around 160Kmi to prevent it from pinging, no matter how many times I had it tuned, the plugs replaced, and the valves adjusted. The guy said the Marvel Mystery Oil will fix this, too - use it once per month until the premium fuel is no longer needed, which will take 3 to 4 months. I have no idea if this will work (it's a Mystery to me! ) but I will give it a try since otherwise this is still an excellent car.

Here is more input from others:

When I bought the 2001 Accord the salesmen told me that the Check Engine Light would come on at about 7K miles and not to be alarmed. This would be freindly a reminder to bring it in for the 1st service he said. Well just as the guy said at aproximatly 7K the check engine light came on. I called the service department and he insisted on me bringing it in so that they would perform the normal oil/filter changes then reset the light. After a bit I convinced the guy to tell me how to reset the light.

THIS IS HOW YOU RESET THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON THE 2001 HONDA ACCORD. 1. With the Car Off, Press and hold down the Odometer Trip Reset Button. 2. While still pressing the Trip Reset Button, Turn the Ignition Key half way on where all your oil, check engine lights etc.. turn on. Don't turn it as far as you would to normally start the car. Wait a few seconds and the Check engine light will turn off. 3. Turn the key back to the Off position and you're done. What a scam Honda has with the BS Check Engine Light.
In the repair book it says to remove the number 13 (clock back up) fuse on the passenger side while the ignition is off for 10 seconds. That should work according to the repair. If the light comes back on then u might have a problem.
Two different things being addressed on this whole topic.

1. To reset the "Maint Rqrd" light, you push and hold the reset knob and then engage the accessories via the the ignition switch.

2. To reset the "Check Engine" light, you need to either pull the fuse already mentioned in previous answers or disconnect the negative battery cable for a while. (Then make sure you know the Radio Code to reset your radio unit so it works).
The previous steps for resetting the service light and the check engine light also work on the 2001 Honda Accord. Excellent insights! Thank you! Just a note for the novice repairmen: the fuse panel is inside the passenger door on the side of the dash assembly (not under the hood).

First you need to determine if it is a "check engine light" or a "maintainance required light" A check engine light is usually an amber light with the picture of an engine with a line through it. If this light is on you should take it to a QUALIFIED REPAIR TECHNICIAN who is capable of working on a Honda. They have all the tools needed to diagnose your repair.If it is a maint. required light new Honda"s are reset by holding the trip reset button down and turn the ignition switch to "on" while holding the button. wait until the light goes out (about 15 seconds) before releasing the button. This light will come on every 7500 miles.


All you have to do is disconnect the Negative battery terminal. It is not necessary to disconnect both. Once you've disconnected the terminal, let the car sit with no power for a few minutes, then reconnect the battery terminal. Your light should not come on, unless your engine sensors throw another code through your car's computer.

You DO NOT need to disconnect the battery terminals. All you have to do is turn the key to the "on" position (not running, but so that the radio etc. come on) and hold the trip reset button for about 15-20 seconds. KEEP IN MIND - that the light could be an indication of needed service as opposed to just coming on based on mileage.

To be clear, you must hold in the trip odometer reset button and THEN turn the key to the "on" position. If you prefer the battery disconnect method, be sure you have your radio code handy to re-initiate.
A couple things real quick. The MAINTENANCE LIGHT can be reset by holding down the odometer while turning the key. You can reset the CHECK ENGINE LAMP (technically the "MIL"...stands for "MALFUNCTION Indicator Lamp") by removing the power supply to the "ECU"...stands for "Engine Control Unit" or "Electronic Control Unit" depending on the manufacturer. This will clear all OBDII (On-Board Diagnostic II) codes without question (I'm assuming we are working on a 1996 or newer vehicle when I reference the OBDII, but even if not the codes will still be cleared.) This can be definitely be accomplished by removing the negative cable for a couple minutes and probably by removing the radio fuse like the manual says (in Hondas the two general share that constant power source for memory functions such as fault codes, radio stations, and whatnot.) If you are doing this to get through an emissions inspection where they hook up to the computer via the OBDII connector you'll have to wait anywhere from 5 to 50 miles, rarely longer, for the computer on a 2001 honda to run a series of diagnostic self checks on the different systems. Until that happens the inspection will not even initiate because, guess what, the EPA that mandates the OBDII system is not a bunch of idiots. They require manufacturers to meet specific requirements when programming these rascals and the self-checks (known technically as "Readiness Monitors") are one of them. For this type of inspection two (2) of these "Readiness Monitors" can be left unchecked when inspected on vehicles up to 1999, from 2000 on only one (1) "Readiness Monitor" is allowed to be unchecked for the inspection to initialize. Also, you should know that when a diagnostic query is made on that computer a block of time before and after the error is stored. This block contains all of the vehicles streaming telemetric data at the time of the fault(s). When you erase the code you erase that data too. This information is extremely helpful to anyone trying to diagnose your problem. They'll be able to tell if the engine was hot or cold, what your speed was, what RPM range, how much air and how much fuel the engine was using, the position of the throttle, how hot the air coming into the engine was, and a lot of other stuff that they'll definitely be billing you for should they have to take the time to recreate the problem to regather a large enough data set to make a proper diagnosis. Should you clear the codes, they'll be able to see that too, by looking at how many key starts/warm up cycles and how many "Readiness Monitor" checks have occurred since the car had the battery disconnected/codes cleared. The mechanic in me gets thoroughly irritated when Jiffy Lube or some parts store clears the code after checking it and not knowing how to fix it or even what it is besides what the scan tool in their hand or their computer tells them the description is...and not the slightest clue how to properly go behind the computer and manually check the systems (after all car computers can go bad too and report false positives). It'd be ashame to replace even just a hundred dollars worth of sensor(s) only to find out you actually needed a $200-$1200 computer [don't know the year]). When the customer comes to me with only a code in their hand and says I need this fixed, I just shake my head...okay, all you have is the code guess the entire system will have to be checked instead of keying in on specifics within the fault data set. This can be most frustrating to a mechanic, but the businessman in me just wants to laugh...SURE, Heck yeah, must be a tough one, if Joe Bob Partscounterman with his high dollar scan tool can't figure it out then we'll probably have to spend awhile on it (I really don't gouge in this scenario, but there are plenty who do...by the way Joe Bob's scan tool is what we call a generic scanner and probably cost the store about $300-$600...pretty expensive right, NOPE a shop that services your type car should have something a bit more specific to your car, such as our $2200+ Teradyne Tester w/ Honda software [1])...an hour & half or three later in real time, if you come out on the lucky side of this I tell you, you need a set of plugs and somebody misrouted a vacuum hose and you just wasted good money and hours of our time (mainly trying to get it to act up/set a code/etc.), and yes, believe it or not most mechanics do feel like it's a waste of time regardless of whether or not you're paying. On the flip side of this I come back to you and say yeah your torque converter is starting to come apart and clogged up some of the fluid passageways in your transmission which led to some of the other internal components burning up and we'll need to take it out, tear it down, and make a list...but it shouldn't be too bad though considering there doesn't seem to be any obvious symptoms, all the gears stills function so the hardparts should be good. At this point, the customer asks how much and I tell him around a $1000.00 since we caught it early. EARLY! they exclaim...$1000.00! they cry, but it doesn't feel like anything's wrong, and I tell them, "That's because ingenius Honda engineers programmed an alternate shift pattern for events such as this to save the hard parts. That way it can make it to the shop when the "MIL" comes on without doing huge amounts of damage running the bill up even higher for a full overhaul. Generally we'd just have to replace the torque converter for $400-$600, but this one must have come apart too fast and now we're dealing with internals," I say. IT'S AT THIS EXACT MOMENT THAT EVERY SHOP OWNER/MECHANIC/SERVICE WRITER/ETC. CAN SEE IT IN THEIR FACE, THEY WANT TO KICK THEMSELVES SO HARD IN THE . "WHY DID I PUT IT OFF! WHAT DOES A PARTS GUY AT SUCH & SUCH AUTO PARTS KNOW ABOUT THE INSIDE OF A TRANSMISSION, IF HE'S SO SMART HE'D BE DOING THIS NOT THAT" AND IT'S AT THIS EXACT MOMENT THAT EVERY ONE OF US CAN'T HELP BUT FEEL WHAT THE GERMANS CALL
"SCHADENFREUDE" (look it up). It's the truth, a human being in that scenario might outwardly show some empathy or at least professionlism, but inside the mischievous little voice in our heads is laughing it's rear-end off. Unless you personally unplugged something and right after that the light came on, don't disconnect the battery to reset the light, especially if this is for a state inspection and it's due this month. By the way I used the transmission example because I just dealt with this for fella on his Toyota 4Runner. He was so man he was going to take me to court because he thought I was trying to rip him off. I ended up making a deal with him. He'd take it to a dealer (I'm an independent), have them check it, and if I was wrong I'd give him a refund and reimburse him for the tow to the dealer. After the dealer looked at it and told him they didn't rebuild transmissions he was informed he'd need to buy another for well over $2,000. Needless to say we did that for him, and now his little around town beater (again his description) is in having an entire list (mostly his list LOL) done to it. It's actually pretty funny, in my experience it's situations like these that make the best customers.

All you do is take a key and push the little black indent part, and light goes back to green.
Fuse 13 worked like a charm. When I plugged it back in the headlights came on. I use auto-off and had to cycle them manually once. Check Engine is off. We'll give it 50-100 miles and see. THANKS

The best and only true way to reset a "check engine light" is not to go to Autozone or any where that has a scan tool or OBD II and have it turned off just fix the problem then a auto technican will turn it off or it will just come back on in a matter of time,

DON'T disconnect the battery or your just going to reset your 2001 honda memory and reset all emission monitors and have to go through a drive cycle and by time it resets its going to trigger the "engine light" agian. So that is the basics on a 2001 honda check engine light and turning off the check engine light.


  1. that was a good read..its kinda confusing me at first since im not that familiar with it but thanks to this it makes my understanding clearer..

  2. if you ever need any help with your vehicle, feel free to get in touch an pot a question. Ill do my best to get you a quick answer

    1. Hey Jeff. I wonder if you have a clue to why my 2001 Honda smokes and seem to be shaking when its turned on. The shaking goes away when the car starts driving.

  3. jay.torbet@gmail.com thanks for the info .... I'm currently in a bad situation . 2001 Honda low on oil check engine light comes on at the same time the car begins to run ruff and has trouble stabilizing idle . Still runs and starts . Parked it as soon as it happend . Help! Only things in the manual say emission control system problem . Does that mean I didn't fry the engine ? Could I have gotten lucky and o2 is out or just needs a tune up ?

  4. jay.torbet@gmail.com thanks for the info .... I'm currently in a bad situation . 2001 Honda low on oil check engine light comes on at the same time the car begins to run ruff and has trouble stabilizing idle . Still runs and starts . Parked it as soon as it happend . Help! Only things in the manual say emission control system problem . Does that mean I didn't fry the engine ? Could I have gotten lucky and o2 is out or just needs a tune up ?

  5. 11/9/12 - The odometer trick didn't work. Tried it several times. I simply removed the negative battery cable and voilá, it's gone. For the ladies out there doing it on their own, I'm a woman and did it!