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In the fuel injection world, breaking electrionic code is the first step toward eliminated the nasty(check engine) light. Understanding the code can also pinpoint the nature of malfunctions and other hiccups in the system. Armed with this information, the proper steps can be taken to track down the problematic part and keep the light off.

Breaking the code is easy once you are armed with the right information. Deciphering codes requires reading the light sequences forwarded by the ECU. WIth the ignition in the "on" position, the (check engine) light will emit a few different types of flashes. If the light starts out with a long extended flash this is an indicated as digits of 10. If the light blinks rapid flashes immediately after the long flashes , there quickies would be considered digits of one. Example: one long flash and five short flashes would represent 15. By refering to the chart supplied at the end of this write up. Plugging in the flashed numbers the savvy honda enthusiast would find the 15 indicates the problem is the ignition system.

If there is a pause between flashes, then it's on to the next code. Example: If there is a long pause between our first two numbers, then our first code will be 15 and our second set of numbers would be our next code. Unfortuantely, this means your problems are pilling up. AS the Honda Ecu has evolved, the methods of detecting the dagnosis codes has changed.

1988-91 honda/1986-93 Acura

By far the easiest to read are these models. The Ecus are eqipped with a window on the topside of the computer. On the other side of the window is Honda's code breaking machinery- well, more like an LED. This little Light Emitting Diode holds the key to unlocking the codes and explaining for certain why that stupid check engine light is on. Simply put the ignition in the "on" position and watch for the flashing sequence on the LED.

1992-00 Honda/1994-00 Acura

An upgrade from the early model hondas, these Ecus no longer have the access window with an Led. Replacing the LED is a flashing check engine light. All that is needed to pull trouble codes is a jumper wire.. Locate the factory diagnostic plug located next to the Ecu for Integras and Civics or by the center console for Preludes and TL or other related vehicles. A two pin connector contains a brown and black wire. Jump the two tires together and put the ignition in the "on" position. Watch the light then check the flash code chart below.


Knowledge is power and in this case knowledge will allow you to shortcut any troubleshooting problems thats may arise when you build power into your honda. Breaking the code means much less trial and error antics and more focused approach to diagnosing the status of your engine. So go forth an and tune.

Code Breaking Chart

1 Oxygen Sensor
3 Map Sensor
5 Map Sensor
6 Crank Angle
7 Throttle Angle
8 TDC Position
9 No. 1 Cylinder Position
10 Intake Air Temperature
12 Exhaust Gas Reiculation (EGR) System
13 Atmospheric Pressure
14 Electronic Air Control
15 Ignition Output Signal
16 Fuel Injector
17 Vehicle Speed Sensor
20 Electronic Load Detector
22 Vtec System Malfunction
23 Knock Sensor
41 o2 Sensor
43 Fuel Supply System
45 System Too Rich or Too Lean
48 Primary Heated o2 Sensor
54 Crankshaft Speed Fluctuation Sensor
61 Primary o2 Sensor Circuit
63 Secondary o2 Sensor Circuit
67 Catalyst Sytem
70 Automatic Transaxle
71-74 Random Misfire
80 Exhaust Gas Recirculation
86 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit
90 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected
91 Fuel Tank Pressure Circuit
92 Evaporative Emission Control System Insufficient

NOTE Some trouble codes are not listed for Certain models and some codes only apply to California cars

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