Check Emission System is On Honda Civic

The Honda civic has a system of intricate parts that ensures your engine runs without any noise and prevents harmful gasses from leaking into the environment. When vehicles burn fuel, they emit foreign particles containing impurities, into the environment, threatening nature, human beings, and animals alike. Fumes escape into the air even when pumping gas into the tank or adjusting the filter cap. Honda’s emission system decreases these harsh gases released into the atmosphere. The system works in conjunction with the exhaust system to reduce air pollution and ensure the engine’s operating condition is safe, clean, and quiet. Various sensors, computer, exhaust components, and fuel system components work jointly to regulate the emission output of your Honda civic.

The emission system contains isolated gas within a closed system, referred to as an evaporative emissions control system. Your Honda Civic emission control system has various components. These include the fuel tank pressure sensor, fuel filler cap, fuel tank vapor control valve, and canister vent valve. It also has a vapor recirculation tube, evaporative emission canister, and evaporative canister purge valve. It also has a two-way evaporative valve.

The emission system must be in good operating condition and regularly maintained as required by the law. There are more than 1.4 billion cars worldwide; the amount of impurities released into the environment every day is staggering.

What Are These Pollutants?

Hydrocarbons (HC)

This is a toxic hydrogen and carbon compound. It is the fuel that is not fully burnt or not burnt at all due to the misfiring of the engine. Misfiring inhibits combustion from happening correctly. Therefore, it causes a lot of hydrocarbons to be released into the surrounding from the combustion chamber.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

This, too, is a result of partial combustion. When the carbon in the fuel does not burn out thoroughly in the combustion chamber, the mixture of fuel and air not having sufficient oxygen during the process of combustion will be released into the atmosphere. This gas has no color or smell and is very poisonous.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx)

Oxygen and nitrogen react to create the high pressure and temperature of the engine during fuel combustion. Pollutions by nitrogen oxides are rampant in areas with a high motor count, such as the big cities.

Particulate Matter (PM)

Tiny particles like elemental carbon, sulfur dioxide, organic matter, nitrogen oxides, mineral dust, and carbon monoxide form particulate matter. The particles are harmful to human beings as they deeply penetrate the lungs. The diesel engine is a major cause of pollution by particulate matter.

What Does Check Emission System Mean On Honda Civic 2012?

If you’re seeing the check emission system lights on your Honda Civic 2012, then there’s a problem with your emissions system. The emissions system is anything used to limit the discharge of noxious gases from the internal-combustion engine and other components. If this light is on, chances are there’s a problem with the following:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Damaged EGR hoses, valves, or pipes
  • Damaged PVC valve hoses
  • Loose gas cap
  • Clogged catalytic converter
  • Faulty spark plugs

If you want to what part of the emission system is actually faulty, then you can use an OBD2 scanner (view on Amazon) and find out what the problem is. Using an OBD2 scanner will allow you to read the trouble code so you know what needs fixing.

How to Reset Check Emission System Honda Civic 2012?

If you’re receiving the check emissions light on your Honda Civic 2012, you can reset it by doing the following:

  1. Make sure you go to the dealership to have your Honda go through a computerized check up. Once you find out what the problem is, fix it and have the car scanned so that the emissions light turns off.
  2. Turn off your engine and disconnect the positive battery cable using a wrench. Once you’ve left it off for 15 to 20 minutes, put your key in the ignition and turn your car on. Turn off your ignition and reconnect the positive power cable. After a few minutes, turn the ignition on again and the light should be off.
  3. Turn your car on and off 3 times in quick succession and the light should go off. If this didn’t work for you, the best way to have a Honda Civic 2012 check emission system light reset is to diagnose and fix it. Once the problem is fixed, your car should no longer receive signals from that part of the car for the emissions light to turn on. Trying to turn the light off without fixing the actual problem doesn’t get down to the root of the issue and it could cause the light to turn on again.

What Does It Mean When The Emission System Light Comes On While Driving?

If you’re seeing the check emission system lights on your Honda Civic, then there’s a problem with your emissions system. The emissions system is anything used to limit the discharge of noxious gases from the internal-combustion engine and other components.

The emission control system consists of the gas cap, fuel tank, canister vent valve, evaporative canister purge valve, evaporative emission canister, vapor control valve, fuel tank vapor control valve, evaporative two-way valve, and vapor recirculation tube. If there’s a problem with any of these components, because they’re part of the emission system, it’ll trigger the emission system light to come on. Even if there’s an engine-related problem that affects the emission control system, then the emission system light will turn on. If you want to get to the root of the problem, then you need to scan your car using an OBD2 scanner.

What Does It Mean When Honda Civic Says Check Emission System?

If your Honda says check emission system lights, then there’s a problem with your emissions system. The emissions system is anything used to limit the discharge of noxious gases from the internal-combustion engine and other components. If it says check emission system light, chances are there’s a problem with the following:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Damaged EGR hoses, valves, or pipes
  • Damaged PVC valve hoses
  • Loose gas cap
  • Clogged catalytic converter
  • Faulty spark plugs

If you want to what part of the emission system is actually faulty, then you can use an OBD2 scanner and find out what the problem is. Using an OBD2 scanner will allow you to read the trouble code so you know what needs fixing.

How to Fix Emissions Light On Handa Civic

1. Damaged Positive Crankcase Ventilation Hoses

A crankcase ventilation system removes unwanted gases from the crankcase of an internal combustion engine. The system usually consists of a tube, a one-way valve, and a vacuum source. The unwanted gases, called “blow-by”, are gases from the combustion chamber which have leaked past the piston rings. If the crankshaft ventilation system gets broken or becomes clogged, then the check emissions or check engine light will turn on in your Honda. If you want to know if the PVC valve is damaged, remove it from the hose or tube and shake it. If you can hear a metallic rattling noise, it’s likely in good working order. If you do not hear anything when you shake the valve, it is likely that it is no longer opening and closing like it should. In this situation, you’ll need to get it replaced.

2. Dirty Air Filter

The air filter on the air cleaner system filters dirt, dust, and debris from getting into your car engine. After some time if it can get clogged and can cause the check emission system Honda civic 2013, 2014, 2015, or even your 2012 to come on.  For this Honda Civic emissions system problem, you have two options of fixing it.  To fix the issue, you can either decide to clean the filter or you can as well have the air filter replaced.

When the air filter is clogged, the flow of air is impeded, which can cause the check emission system light to turn on in your 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and even 2016 Honda Civic. The air filter prevents any insects, dust, particles, sand, or debris from reaching the engine and ensures a good mixture of air and fuel to support performance. If you want to fix the problem with your air filter, you’ll need to clean it or have the air filter replaced.

If you want to clean the air filter, it’s best to use a vacuum. Then you need to:

  1. Connect the air filter hose attachment to your vacuum cleaner. Using an air filter hose attachment that will fit into the air filters ridges would be perfect for vacuuming the dirt away.
  2. Vacuum both sides of the filter for around 3 minutes while ensuring that visible dirt and debris are being vacuumed out. If you have a flashlight, clean the air filter above this as it’ll allow you to see the dirt on the air filter that hasn’t been cleaned yet.
  3. Once you’ve cleaned the air filter, put it back into place, start your car and see if the light turns off after a while.

Another way to clean your air filter would be with water. Although this takes a little longer, it still gets the job done. The longer time is mainly caused by how long the air filter takes to dry, but despite the long cleaning period, you’ll still get great results.

To clean the air filter with water:

  1. Fill a bucket with clean water and a small amount of detergent.
  2. Grab your air filter and dip it into the buck.
  3. Use your hands to remove any dirt and dust from the filter material till it is completely clean.
  4. Take the air filter out of the water and shake.
  5. Dip it back into freshwater to give it a final rinse, then share it again to get rid of excess water.
  6. Once clean, put the air filter on a clean cloth and let it dry. The drying process could take up to 24 hours so leave it someone that’s relatively warm. Make sure that you do this when you don’t need your car.

3. Damaged Evaporative Emissions Control System

The Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) is used to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere from the fuel tank and fuel system at all times. The hoses, canister, and fitting can become damaged over time and affect the emission control system. If you can tell that your evap is bad, then you need to fix it.

4. Loose Or Bad Gas Cap

The gas cap prevents impurities or contaminants such as dirt, water, or debris from getting into the fuel. Loose-fitting gas cap or completely no gas cap will leave the fuel exposed to contamination. This can cause the emission system light to turn on. Regularly check your gas cap to make sure that it fits and is in place. If not replace it immediately, this is inexpensive and easy to fix.

5. Damaged Gas Recirculation System

The hoses of the EGR can get worn and tear, the valves could get faulty and the pipes can get clogged. If any of its parts are faulty or damaged, then you’ll need to replace these parts. The EGR system works by returning a small portion of exhaust gas to the engine’s combustion chambers through the intake manifold, lowering combustion temperatures and therefore reducing the amount of NOx emitted.

6. Damaged Air Cleaner Intake Hose

The air intake hose’s function is to connect your car’s factory air box to the intake manifold bolted to the engine. Over time, this can get worn and it could trigger the emission system light to turn on. If it’s damaged, you’ll find that dust and debris will make their way into the hose and affect the engine. If the hose is damaged, you’ll need to buy a new one and replace it.

What Causes Visible and Smelly Exhaust Fumes?

Engine Mechanical Problems

Your Honda civic will have stinking exhaust fumes if the oil is burnt due to faulty valve stem guides or seals, crankcase ventilation system, or worn piston rings. A smoke, grayish blue in color may come from the tailpipe.

Coolant Exhaust

Engine coolant is a sweet-smelling, sticky substance that may contaminate the engine oil if it leaks into the combustion chamber when you have gasket failure or when there is overheating in the engine. Grayish white smoke from the combustion chamber indicates the likeliness of coolant burning.

Failing Catalytic Converter

During the combustion process, Sulphur, which is a component of gasoline, is changed into hydrogen sulfide. The catalytic converter then transforms it into Sulphur dioxides, which has completely no smell. A faulty converter stops converting hydrogen sulfide into Sulphur dioxide, which has no odor. A stench of rotten eggs will alert you to the possibility of a faulty catalytic converter.

Poor Engine Performance

A fuel-like smell in the exhaust and an engine that is not running correctly indicates that the fuel and air mixture is not favorable in the engine as excessive fuel is added to the little amount of oxygen, leading to an improper rich condition. This problem will be accompanied by a check engine light. The tailpipe will produce black smoke that is a sign of rich fuel conditions. Rich fuel condition causes immense damages to the vital emission components.

Diesel Engine

Exhaust smells from diesel engines are stronger and more visible than gasoline engines. Diesel exhaust contains high amounts of particulate matter and is often darker.

The emission control system wears and tears over the years and needs repairs. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a faulty emission system to help you detect and fix the problem.

You Treat Your Car Like Shit

If you fail to look after components in your car, it can lead to several components failing which can cause the check emissions system. Maintaining your vehicle is a crucial process that needs to be done by every car owner and it prevents you from experiencing a lot of problems. Failure to look after just one component can cause a knock on effect and this can be felt in other areas of the car.

If you want to avoid emission problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.

A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.

Why The Emissions System Light Turns On

When the emissions light, check engine light or check emission system light turns on, the problem could be down to replacing the gas cap, or even tightening it. If the check emissions light is on or the check engine light, it could lead to your emissions system being damaged which will lead to a damaged engine. Depending on the year of your Honda Civic, the emission light will either illuminate or blink. If it’s flashing, this could be that there’s a more severe problem and if not attended to, you may be left with a damaged engine. If the light is just it, it typically means something less important is going on.

Your  Honda Civic has a vacuum leak. Leaks often cause higher fuel consumption because the vacuum hoses are cracked, split, or otherwise damaged, or have loose clamps. Higher fuel consumption causes higher EGTs which means the system is not receiving enough air. A vacuum leak could cause the emission system light to turn on. If over time your vacuum has been worn down, you’ll need to get it replaced.

Important: If you want to save $100s in servicing, diagnosis, and repair costs, improve your car's performance significantly and increase its value by 1.2x with little effort, download our Beginners Auto Maintenence & Repair Manual now. 

Bad Spark Plugs on Honda Civic. your spark plugs are the component that ignites the air fuel mixture and causes the pistons to move up and down. The spark plugs get electricity from the ignition relay and it needs to be able to spark the air-fuel mixture for the process to go down smoothly. If the spark plugs are worn out due to prolonged use and poor maintenance, they will be unable to ignite the air fuel mixture and this could trigger the emissions system light or check engine light to turn on. In this case, you’ll need to get the spark plugs replaced because they are a crucial part of the combustion process. If you fail to get them replaced, it could lead to further problems.

Your catalytic converter is bad or going bad. The catalytic converter has oxygen sensors and changes the harmful elements from the exhaust into elements that are less harmful elements by using palladium and platinum as the catalyst. When the converter goes bad, it directly affects the rate of acceleration and your car will consume more gas. The catalytic that is damaged or worn out the converter does not burn the hydrocarbons in the exhaust. This means that the sulfur breakdown that comes from the engine is not occurring anymore. If you have an issue with your catalytic converter and you don’t fix it, your Honda Civic will not pass an emissions test.

Using After Market Parts. If an after-market item isn’t installed properly, it can cause the emissions system light to turn on. After-market parts can prevent your car from starting and can dump the battery. Try to think back to items you may have installed such as the exhaust, cat converter, etc. If this is the case, and you notice the emissions system light is on after installing, you’ll need to take it to the dealership and get it fixed. Using after-market parts and accessories could save you more money, but you could save even more from having to fix a poor functioning emissions system in your car.

Your O2 Sensor needs to be changed. If you have an oxygen sensor that’s bad, then it can cause a lean air-fuel mixture which can trigger the emission system light to turn on. The oxygen sensor is the part in the engine that takes in air from outside of the vehicle and this gets taken to the combustion chamber. If too much air is collected because the oxygen sensor is bad, then you’re going to have an air-fuel mixture that’s too lean because it lacks something. In this case, you’ll need to make sure that you get the oxygen sensor checked because your car will eventually experience more problems when your O2 sensors are bad. A bad O2 sensor can also cause a car to fail an emissions test.

Honda Civic gas cap is loose, damaged, or missing. The gas cap prevents impurities or contaminants such as dirt, water, or debris from getting into the fuel. A loose-fitting gas cap or completely no gas cap will leave the fuel exposed to contamination. Regularly check your gas cap to make sure that it fits and is in place. If not replace it immediately, this is inexpensive and easy to fix. If your check engine light or check emission system light turns on right after you put gas in your Honda Civic, the first thing you should check is that the gas cap isn’t loose or isn’t on the top of your car.

The battery is low or dead. Everything that requires power in your car is provided power by the battery. This means the battery needs to have power so that it can be given to other components, especially the ones related to the emission system. If no power is provided to other components, then they won’t be able to function properly. In most cases, because power can’t be sent to your ignition relay, your car won’t be able to start. This is the same with the fuel system. If you find that your battery is dead and you receive the emission system light, you need to recharge the battery.

Your mass airflow sensor needs to be changed. MAP sensors are subject to getting clogged, damaged, or contaminated. It’s hot under the hood of your car and sometimes the extreme heat can damage the sensors and crack the lines. When the MAP Sensor goes bad, it can cause problems in other parts of your car. The fuel system may give more fuel than what is needed. More importantly, if the MAP sensor does not read correctly, it can cause you to fail the emissions test.

Signs Your Honda Civic Emission System is Failing

Light Indicator on the Dash

If the check engine lights of your emission system come on, then something is wrong with your Honda civic. This is quite a common occurrence that might be caused by several other things besides the emission control sensor. Your mechanic should check into this to determine the probable cause of the check lights going on.

Performance Loss

If your Honda civic uses more gas than usual, fuel evaporates rapidly when the Honda is not moving; the emission system could be the culprit. The emission system decreases the release of gas through vapors, trapping them within the evaporation emission control system. If one component of the emission system fails to function correctly, your Honda civic may burn high amounts of gas more rapidly than it deeds before.

Fuel or Gas Smell

If you happen to smell gas or fuel in your Honda Civic, stop as soon as you possibly can and call for a tow. The impurities released into the atmosphere are detrimental to your health and need not be taken lightly. A strong smell of gas or fuel is high risk and can ignite. Be careful, be safe, step outside, and call for a tow.

How To Check the Emission System in Honda Civic

The emission control system in your Honda civic is responsible for reducing the amounts of harmful gases released into the environment that poses a considerable danger to nature, animals, and human beings. It is, therefore, essential to check your emission system regularly and keep it working effectively. Here are steps on how to check your emission system.

1. Check the Air Filter. The air filter is a crucial paper element that filters dust, dirt, and any unwanted particles going in the engine from the air stream. It is located on the air cleaner system. Clean any debris and dirt from the air filter using a dirt-free shop bag. Replace blocked or clogged filters immediately. Yearly replacement of the filter is mandatory.

2. Check the Positive Crankcase Ventilation System. This system reduces sludge buildup and environmental pollution by redirecting blow-by gases from it to the intake manifold. Inspect the positive crankcase ventilation valve for any missing hoses. Also, confirm that they are not broken or clogged.

3. Inspect the Evaporative Emissions Control System. This is the system responsible for preventing harmful fuel system vapor from going into the environment. The general maintenance for this system is less expensive. Examine the canister, fittings, and hoses for any faults. The canister, in the Honda civic, has a replaceable filter in case of clogging or blackness.

4. Check the Exhaust Gas Recirculation System. This system is responsible for reducing nitrogen oxides that are produced under extreme temperatures during the combustion process. The exhaust gas circulation system reduces combustion heat by letting exhaust gases go to the intake system.

5. Inspect the Air Injection System. This system helps to consume incompletely burnt and unburnt fuel by injecting clean air into the catalytic converter or the exhaust ports hence reducing carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon. Watch out for any faulty belt tension, hoses, lines, and check valves. The air injection system in your Honda civic uses a replaceable pump inlet filter (view on Amazon).

6. Check the Connecting Pipes and Catalytic converter. Not much maintenance is needed for the converter. However, connecting pipes and exhaust pipes that lead to the converter should regularly be checked for leakages. Have catalytic converters that have stayed up to 5 years checked to ensure that they are still in good working condition and not clogged. Overheating and reduced engine power occurs if the converter is blocked.

Emission System Light/Check Engine Light on Different Honda Civic Models

Honda Civic Check Engine Light 2012

The check engine light mostly comes on when there’s a problem within your vehicle that affects the engine. If you fail to maintain and service the vehicle often, you’ll find visiting the mechanic a lot because parts will get worn out and start to fail – if these problems aren’t attended to, over time it could damage your engine.

The check engine light in your Honda Civic could be as minor as a loose gas cap or something as serious as the ending knocking. This light is part of your vehicle’s diagnostics system and illuminates it in either an amber or red color.

The computers onboard your Honda have controlled and monitored your car’s performance since they were implemented so if the engine light is flashing, it means that there’s a problem that needs addressing right away.

Check Emission System Honda Odyssey 2012

The check emission system light on a Honda Odyssey 2012 will come up when there’s an issue relating to the emission system.  will only come up when the sensors have detected a problem that it needs you to solve.

On your Honda Odyssey 2012, the most common reason for the emission system light is a faulty or loose gas cap. If the gas cap is just loose, then the light should turn off once it’s tightened. For a loose gas cap, tightening it should turn off the light.

You’ll need to diagnose the emission system light using a diagnostics tool. The diagnostics tool will let you know where the problem lies and from there, you’ll know how to fix it.

Check Emission System Honda Civic 2013

If your Honda says check emission system lights, then there’s a problem with your emissions system. The emissions system is anything used to limit the discharge of noxious gases from the internal-combustion engine and other components. If the light is on, then you need to run a diagnostics test asap and get the problem fixed.

Because there are tons of components within your car that can trigger the light to come on, it’s virtually impossible to guess where the problem is unless it’s something obvious like a loose fuel cap while the vehicle is running. For Honda Civic 2013, the most common reason for the check emission system light is a faulty or loose gas cap. If the gas cap is just loose, then the light should turn off once it’s tightened. For a loose gas cap, tightening it should turn off the light. If the light doesn’t go off, inspect the gas cap for defects like cracks and worn edges. If you find any then your gas cap is bad and needs to be replaced. Once the bad gas cap is replaced, then the check emission system light will turn off.

Check Emission System Honda Civic 2014

If your Honda says check emission system lights, then there’s a problem with your emissions system. It could show up in a variety of ways. For example, it could say check emission system or show an engine’s symbol. If the light is on, then you need to run a diagnostics test asap and get the problem fixed.

The check emissions system light is part of your car’s diagnostics system and it could either illuminate, red, or amber. The computers onboard your car have controlled and monitored your car’s performance since they were implemented and your Honda Civic can benefit from it.

Check Emission System Honda Civic 2015

If the engine light comes on in your Honda Civic 2015 model, then there’s an emission failure. The engine light comes on to alert you that there’s an emission-related failure and you’ll need to diagnose it using a diagnostics tool. The diagnostics tool will let you know where the problem lies and from there, you’ll know how to fix it.

How To Maintain the Emission System

Watch Out For Warning Signs

In the case of a faulty emission control system, your engine will start giving warning signals, including strong fuel or gas smell, reduced engine power, or black exhaust fumes. If all the signs are coupled with check engine light turning on, then you have a faulty emission system. Do not ignore the warning signs.

Install the Gas Cap Correctly

The modern fuel systems are sealed entirely to stop vapor from escaping to the atmosphere. Ensure that the rubber seal has no cracks, firmly tighten it as per the instruction. Choose your Honda’s correct type to fit in properly in order to prevent more vapor from escaping.

Perform Regular Performance

Keenly follow your manufacturer’s guide on changing the air filter and the engine oil and filter. Use high-quality fuel and oil as instructed by the manufacturer. Blocked filters and unclean oil will impact negatively on your emissions.

Tune-up your Honda Civic

Good spark plugs give good results on reduced emissions, complete combustion fuel, better performance, and improved fuel economy. Ensure to replace them regularly. The correct fuel-air ratio is vital in maintaining a tuned-up engine. Check out the recommended service interval on your manual.

Take Your Car to a Repair Shop

If you don’t have the OBD2 scanner, or you’re not so sure about removing the emission system light yourself, take your car to an automotive repair shop as soon as possible. An emission system’s light that’s on means that the vehicle is in need of some type of attention. If your vehicle has not been serviced regularly, these types of problems can escalate into major problems which are more expensive to fix.

Check Engine Light Awareness

Your Honda will use the on-Board diagnostics to determine the probable cause of the check engine light coming on and if you have a faulty emission control system. When the engine is on, ensure that the check engine light is not coming on. The proper functioning of the check engine light can also be determined by turning off the engine and putting the key in ”on” position.

Take proactive actions to combat emission failures. Here are the common causes of failed emission test.

  • Worn spark plugs increase the number of gases being emitted into the atmosphere.
  • Leaking gas cap. Be sure your gas cap is the right size and is functioning correctly.
  • Faulty EVAP system. Vents and leaking hoses cause this failure.
  • Rich air-fuel mixture. This is mostly due to faulty oxygen sensors and injectors.
  • Defective check engine light. You may flop the emission test even if all the other components and functioning correctly.
  • Dirty or clogged air filter. This causes high levels of hydrocarbons.
  • A damaged catalytic converter. You may want to check your catalytic converter before your emissions test. A faulty catalytic converter won’t effectively transform harmful gases into harmless gases. A damaged catalytic converter will cost you the test.

The emission control system of your Honda Civic is equipped with various components such as a catalytic converter, vapor canister, EGR valve, oxygen sensor, all major playing roles in protecting nature and ensuring smooth operations of the engine. All of them should function properly because one faulty one interferes with all activities. It is, therefore, advisable to have these components checked regularly.