1998 Honda Civic DX check engine light

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Old 03-24-14, 05:01 PM
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1998 Honda Civic DX check engine light

I own a 1998 Honda Civic DX, automatic transmission, only 52,000 miles. Check engine light went on a few weeks ago. Had a free diagnostic test done at O'Reilly's. Code said the O2 sensor was bad. Car was running a little rough (the day the light went on) so we replaced the forward O2 sensor. Roughness went away but light stayed on for over a week, then mysteriously disappeared. We thought the problem was solved. A few weeks later, the check engine light came again. The car is still running fine but I took it back to O"Reillys for another diagnostic test. Code said a transmission problem. I had another O'Reilly's store do a check just to confirm "transmission problem" code. Employee at the second O'Reilly's store said his check showed three possible problems, but due to limitations of his testing equipment couldnt be more specific. He also said that with such low miles, it couldn't have been a faulty O2 sensor the first time. He suggested a diagnostic check at a Honda dealership as Honda's diagnostic testing equipment is specific for Hondas. Anything I can do/check prior to a (most likely spendy) diagnostic check at the Honda dealership? (I am the second owner. I purchased it when it was 13 years old with 24,000 miles. I am almost positive the transmission fluid has never been changed. Should we start there, as it is overdue because of the car's age?) Also wondering why the two free diagnostic checks did not come up with the same codes....... thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:28 PM
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Cuz they using generic code readers at O'Reilly's. Either buy a decent one, run codes, and return it, say - from Harbor Freight, one that read OBD2 and Can codes, or fork for full blown diagnostic at dealer. Many codes can not be read even by pro shops, as good scanner is about $5,000.00 and some are simply proprietary, only Honda s/w will read them.
Old 03-25-14, 04:24 AM
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But I would start with a good independent garage before I went dealership. The good ones run Snap-On scanners which should be able to diagnose the problem. Do some research on who the good independents are in your area. FWIW, the relatively low mileage is no guarantee that there was not an O2 sensor problem.
Old 04-10-14, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I'd say try an independent shop, and also the Hondaship. This way you know one or the other isn't lying and it checks out. Usually it's fairly cheap or even free to have the codes checked.

As far as transmission fluid, if you plan to ever do it do it now. It's supposed to be flushed every 50k miles. If you wait until 100k or more then you should never flush it. You can dump what's in the pan(if it's not sealed) and change the filter, but don't do the flush. The flush can dislodge debris and jam ball valves etc. So you can start now and do regular flushes every 50k, or settle with dumping the pan and changing filter later without flush.
Old 04-11-14, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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If you could get the actual trouble codes that would help us with figuring out whats going on with your car. Since you put the 02 sensor in and the light went off itself a few days later I would feel safe saying that that problem is fixed. The computer must run an 02 sensor test quite a few times to shut the engine light off itself. As far as getting a more expensive scanner that would really only apply to newer cars. In 98 there werent any CAN BUS systems.
Old 11-12-15, 12:31 AM
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When your Engine Light comes on

When your Engine Light comes on, the computer in your car is alerting you with a problem through the sensors located in various locations within your car. If the problem is not corrected soon, it can lead to more serious issues.

The Engine Light is also associated with error code(s) that can help you identify your problem. You can go to your local auto parts store to borrow (buy) an On-Board Diagnostic 2 scanner to determine the error code(s). This handheld device comes with a cable that you plug into a port underneath the drivers dashboard. Once you start your engine, the error codes will show up to help you identify your car problem.
Old 11-12-15, 04:29 AM
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Year and a half old thread. We hope he's fixed it by now.
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