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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Honda Tech -
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 19049
Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Honda Diagnostics
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My accord (2004 or 2003) has the check engine light on and

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My accord (2004 or 2003) has the check engine light on and mainetenance light on..they were on sporadically before but now on all the time..i heard that could be a built in thing at a certain mileage. I got the oil changed recently..someone mentioned 120,000 mile tune up and timing belt..mileage is 127000. Thanks
Welcome! I'm Ron Z! Make sure to use Reply if needed! And PLEASE remember to RATE my answer at the end!

The Maintenance light and the Check Engine light are 2 different things. The maintenance light is pre-programmed to come on at certain intervals to remind you when it is time to change the Engine Oil. This light can be manually reset by using the procedure below. Try to reset the light after every oil change to keep the light and the actual oil service schedule in sync.

  1. -Turn off the engine.
  2. -Press and hold the select/reset button in the instrument panel, then turn the ignition switch ON (Position II).
  3. -Hold the button for at least 10 seconds, until the indicator resets.

As for the Check Engine Light- When the Check Engine light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are literally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions control/recovery) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running can set the light. Check the underside of the fuel cap for any cracks or signs of defects that may keep the cap from sealing correctly. If there are any doubts about the inspection of the cap, replace it. Keep in mind, you will need a cap that meets OE Specs. Those "universal" or "locking" fuel caps sold at after market parts stores do not meet OE specs, and will not seal the system correctly. Check the top of the fuel filler neck for any signs of damage or debris. Check under the vehicle, around the rear areas of the vehicle, looking for any vacuum lines that have dry-rot cracks, holes or loose/missing connections. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (aka "p-codes") read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor, in which system, has the fault. There isn't a Mechanic on the planet that can tell you what is wrong with the vehicle just by "looking" at the Engine Light. Every single Mechanic's first course of action WILL be to obtain the p-codes. It's standard diagnostic procedure. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the correct repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, PepBoys, Advanced, etc). If you still need help after retrieving the codes, you can bring them here and any of our Techs can walk you through the diagnostic procedure.

As for the Timing Belt- If this is the 4-cylinder, you do not have a Timing Belt. This has a Timing "Chain". There is no service schedule to replace the Chain, as it is designed to last the life of the vehicle. If this is the 6-cylinder engine, it is recommended that the belt be replaced at intervals of every 105,000 miles. However, the belt needing to be changed will set neither the Maintenance, nor the Check Engine light. It is simply part of a "recommended" service schedule. If this belt were faulty, you'd experience performance and drivability issues, or a no-start condition.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the info. Gonna hit autozone tomorrow to check on p codes
Sounds good. Bring those p-codes back to me and I'm certain I can help you get to the bottom of this problem. Hope the rest of my answer also helped!