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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 32041
Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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Honda: 000 miles..previous owner..intermittently..light comes

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I have recently bought a 2002 (25) Honda Jazz in immaculate condition and with nearly 40,000 miles on the clock.

The previous owner said that intermittently, the 'engine' light comes on. He was about to have this checked, but it had gone out by the time I bought it.

About 300 uneventful miles after getting the car, the light has come on, on a very wet day when I was stationary, waiting for my wife in a car park, and it stays on. When I switch on the ignition and turn over the engine, the light goes off briefly, then re-lights and stays.

Apart from an engine juddering (like an old fashioned carburettor 'flat-spot') when the engine is pulling hardly at all (it's CVT auto) at low speed (round about 30 or a bit less), the car runs smoothly and behaves perfectly, averaging about 44mpg overall.

Is there a known problem with false alarms with this model; is the process of diagnosis expensive, and just how accurately does it diagnose the problem to the servicing staff?

Terry Meadowcroft



the check engine light comes on when the onboard computer detects a fault in either the engine performance, emission control systems, or transmission systems. There are over 600 diagnostic trouble codes that can turn on the check engine light, and range from the minor such as loose gas cap or vacuum hose leak, to major such as loss of engine compression or internal transmission failure. There isnt an issue on this vehicle of false check engine light settings. While most of the trouble codes will have outward symptoms, many do not have any noticable symptoms. By your description, there are symptoms associated with the check engine light being on, which could range from a vacuum leak, engine misfire, fuel delivery issue, or possible transmission sensor.


The onboard computer has to be read with a diagnostic scanner, and once the fault codes are retreived, then the associated troubleshooting steps will need to be performed as most fault codes have multiple reasons for being set.


If the diagnostics are done in order and correctly, then it will be repaired correctly the first time.


As far as costs, average diagnostic time is 2 to 3 hours labor, but may be less or more, depending on what fault codes are retreived and how far into the troubleshooting process the tech has to go to find the root cause of the problem. With hourly labor rates around $100 or more, you can figure on $200-400 for diagnostic time, and then cost of repair



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