How to Check Codes for a 1990 Honda Accord

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If the "Check Engine" light comes on and remains on after the vehicle has been started, it indicates a problem with the emissions and/or fuel injection system. You will need to check the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). This model uses the check engine light to flash trouble codes. A common mistake is to assume that the part indicated has failed--a trouble code could simply mean that the electrical circuit for the failed part has a problem and is not functioning properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Code chart
  • Paper clip
  • Locate the service connector under the right side of the dash, below the glove box. It is located beside the passenger door, and it should be blue or green. This connector has two terminals.

  • Unfold the paper clip to straighten it out. Bend the paper clip into a large "U" shape and insert one end into each of the terminals on the service connector.

  • Turn the ignition on without starting the car.

  • Watch for the check engine light to flash. Codes 1 through 9 are shown as a series of short flashes. Two-digit codes are shown with a long flash for the first digit and a short flash for the second digit.

  • Write down the codes that you find. Count them several times for accuracy. Multiple codes are alternated: A code 4 and 15 would be shown as four short flashes followed by a pause, then one long flash and five short flashes for code 15.

Tips & Warnings

  • Refer to the code chart to determine which component has a problem.
  • Remember to remove the paper clip before driving the car.

References

  • "Chilton's Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-95 Repair Manual"; Will Kessler, A.S.E., S.A.E.; 1995
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