Engine malfunction light flashing
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Thread: Engine malfunction light flashing

  1. #1
    plr
    plr is offline
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    Engine malfunction light flashing

    My wife called me yesterday to report while driving, the engine malfunction light started flashing and she was hearing engine noise. She managed to drive it a bit further to a safe place to park it. I had it towed to an indi today. The tow guy started it up and drove it onto the flatbed. I could hear a ticking sound that matched engine RPM. (I was not happy he drove the thing on the flatbed but I do not think he caused any more damage than was done)

    The good news is it is not the transmission since he was able to back the car up and drive it onto the flatbed.

    The other good news is it is not the timing belt because I assume if that blew, the engine would not start at all.

    So I am left with a stuck valve?? The engine sounded almost like a diesel engine and when he drove the car to park it I could smell unburned gas coming out of the exhaust. You could also see the exhaust modulating between "smoke" (regular looking steam visible exhaust) and "clear" pulses.

    I read thru this link
    2005 Rocker Arm Seized and the symptoms seem similar but it seemed like those in the know thought that was a very unusual breakdown so I am posting again to see if anyone has new thoughts on this matter.

    I do get the oil changed at a local shop, not a dealer. I am not sure what kind of filters they use. I will call and ask.

    Thanks for your help.

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  3. #2
    Registered User mjody's Avatar
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    The flashing check engine light means there is a serious misfire occuring and possible engine damage. I beleive the owners manual states to turn motor off immediately and not run till repaired.
    Possible spark plug came out of the head. Would cause rough run, misfire, gas smell in exhaust...
    2004 TL
    2000 Ody

  4. #3
    Registered User MTPockets08's Avatar
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    Yes, a *FLASHING* check engine light indicates a random misfire condition. The main reason manufacturers recommend you don't run the vehicle with this is because of emissions system damage that will eventually occur.

    All the unburnt fuel caused from the misfire will overload and sour the catalyst in the catalytic converters and you'll be out a good $1200+. This usually won't happen with 20mi worth of driving, but something like 200 would be bad.

    Joel
    2008 Honda Ody LX babe magnet.
    2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i CVT.
    Vehicles of the past: 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2007 Chevy Cobalt LS, 2001 Windstar, 2005 Trailblazer 4x4, 2002 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4 and lots more

  5. #4
    plr
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    Ok here's the story....Spark plug exploded. Pieces from the plug went into the cylinder and damaged the piston and cylinder to the point of needing a new engine.

    Got quotes for used engines - installed price
    -46k engine - $3050
    -83k engine - $2800

    Could be worse I thought and then the guy called back - it is worse. Because this car is an EX-L, it needs and EX-L engine with the VCM (or whatever it is). New price:
    72k engine - $3950.

    So I asked how much to do the timing belt with the engine out of the car - $375 (with water pump and serpentine belt). Price to do it in 1 year when I have 90k miles on the car - $650. So, to save $300 I am doing the timing belt now. I put 20k miles per year on this car so I thought I would save $300 for getting 1 more year out of the belt that is in there.

    I also asked him to replace the plugs in the used engine so I do not have this problem again.

    He said this is the second one of these that he has done.

    He did a compression test and actually re-tapped the plug hole and put a new plug in to see if the engine was OK and it made the same slapping noise as before so that is why he thought the engine was no good.

    So, you can tell me if I am getting ripped off on the used engine install. It comes with 6 mo part warranty on the motor.


    Thanks for your replies. Good luck to all. Go check your spark plugs. Get them replaced well before 100k miles!

  6. #5
    Registered User mjody's Avatar
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    plr, the spark plug issue is not unusual Search the forums here and you will see it has happened before. Was not a wild guess on my part.
    Where did you service the van? Can you get a dealer to got o bat for you? Twist Honda's arm and get them to pay for it, or a portion of?
    2004 TL
    2000 Ody

  7. #6
    Registered User MTPockets08's Avatar
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    Originally posted by plr
    Ok here's the story....Spark plug exploded. Pieces from the plug went into the cylinder and damaged the piston and cylinder to the point of needing a new engine.


    So, you can tell me if I am getting ripped off on the used engine install. It comes with 6 mo part warranty on the motor.


    I personally wouldn't spend upwards of $5000 on any used car repair given the transmission, a/c system or whatnot could go at any time and cost you more thousands of dollars.

    I'd drive it as-is into a dealership and drive out with something different.

    Joel
    2008 Honda Ody LX babe magnet.
    2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i CVT.
    Vehicles of the past: 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2007 Chevy Cobalt LS, 2001 Windstar, 2005 Trailblazer 4x4, 2002 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4 and lots more

  8. #7
    plr
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    Thanks to both of you for your replies.

    Regarding the dealer- I have not been going to the dealer for anything other than warranty work and I am a one time customer for them. I do not think they would offer much help to me on this.

    Joel, I understand your comment that something else can go wrong next week and cost me another $3k+. It is certainly a risk getting this fixed.

    Thanks again for your contributions to this site.

    -Pete

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