How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Eric Your Own Question
Eric , Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 29412
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
Type Your Honda Question Here...
Eric is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2005 Honda Civic: Indicator Light..Sedan..gas cap..emissions controls

Resolved Question:

My Malfunction Indicator Light just came on. I amdriving a 2005 Honda Civic Sedan.

I do not think I had a loose gas cap (one posible cause according to my manual), thoughI did fill up a couple of days ago.

My dealer is about 25 miles away, but I am hesitant to drive the car in because the manual says driving could damage emissions controls or the engine.

Advice? Suggestions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Eric replied 4 years ago.

the MIL comes on when the onboard computer detects a fault in the engine management system, transmission system or evapaorative emissions system. there are over 800 fault codes that can set and cause the MIL to come on. They range from a loose gas cap, vacuum leak, engine misfire, transmission slippage, and a wide range in between.

The only way to know the area of concern is to have the onboard computer read with a diagnostic scanner. at that point pinpoint diagnosis can be done to isolate problem and then repair.

as there are no outward symptoms such as engine running rough, transmission slipping or harsh shifting, it is safe to drive the 25 miles to your local dealership for diagnosis and repair.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Before I got to you, I did enter "Malfunction Indicator Light" into Google, and I read a couple of post suggesting I go to Auto Zone to get the diagnostic check. Is that a good idea?


My local garage is just a mile down the road--would they be able to diagnose? Just wondering if Honda requires special diagnostic equipment?


If I take a couple of short trips (less than a mile), and the light goes off, then is that an indicator that it is a gas cap problem?


Will I be able to drive to and from work (30 miles each way) before taking the car to the shop? Not saying I will, just asking....


Is there anything I should be looking for besides the symptoms you have already mentioned?

Expert:  Eric replied 4 years ago.

any shop with a diagnostic scanner is capable of retreiving the fault codes, so if you have a local shop nearby that you have used, they will be fine to do this. No Honda specialty equipment is needed.

If you take short trips and the light goes off, it can be either due to loose gas cap or there is an intermittent fault.

As long as there are no outward symptoms, it should be safe to drive that mileage for a few days.

Look for anything unusual- engine misfire, hard starting, idling up and down, harsh or delayed shifting of the transmission, transmission slippage, fuel odor when idling, stalling out
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 29412
Experience: 20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
Eric and 7 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you very much for saving my daughter and her family a lot of money on her Honda. You are definitely on my list for future help. Thanks, again. Fred USA
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you very much for saving my daughter and her family a lot of money on her Honda. You are definitely on my list for future help. Thanks, again. Fred USA
  • I just heard from my mechanic. You were right...a $45.00 job. THANK YOU!! Your response was received in less than 10 minutes!! Linda B. USA
  • Your answers were clear and the diagrams were perfect. Dealer wanted $87 for an hour of labor and even I did it in 15 minutes. Ed USA
  • HONDA PLATINUM was great. I really appreciate his help. I was ready to trade my new Honda until he told me to wait until I got 3,000 miles on it and my gas mileage would get much better. Summer USA
  • I took the Power Steering O-Ring service bulletin linked from JustAnswer to my Acura dealer, and not only did they no-charge the o-ring, they also replaced the power steering pump at no cost. Gary R Stevenson Ranch, CA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA

Meet The Experts:

  • Kyle N.

    Kyle N.

    Honda Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Honda Dealer Tech, ASE Master Auto Tech
< Last | Next >
  • Kyle N.'s Avatar

    Kyle N.

    Honda Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Honda Dealer Tech, ASE Master Auto Tech
  • John G.'s Avatar

    John G.

    Honda Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Dealership tech since 1982. ASE and Honda Master Technician.
  • Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience
  • Marty's Avatar


    Bosch Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Bosch Certified Master Technician
  • Amedee's Avatar


    Former ASE Master Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • Ron's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Certified Tech 34 years.
  • thebesthonda's Avatar


    ASE MasterTechnician

    Satisfied Customers:

    26 years experience