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CEL Checking
Author _ Katman | Created_ June 2005

SYNOPSIS

This article explains how to check your vehicles check engine light for MIL/CEL codes.
MIL = Malfunction Indicator Light
CEL = Check Engine Light

MIL & CEL basically mean the same thing - your idiot light is on and you need to check it.

88-91 CIVIC/CRX & 90-91 INTEGRA MIL/CEL CODE CHECKING :

Info coming soon...

92-00 CIVIC / 92-01 INTEGRA MIL/CEL CODE CHECKING :

OBD1 & OBD2 Honda/Acura vehicles both use the same CEL checking procedure.
With a flashlight, you'll have to get yourself situated under the passenger side of your dash board and look to the right of the glove box. You should see a green colored rubber block stuffed up under there [Fig.1]. Pull this block down. You should see two plugs residing inside of the block. Pull out the smaller of the two plugs (either a light grey or blue colored 2 wire plug) - this is the diagnostic plug [Fig.2]. Now, you can either make your own plug to "jump" the diagnostic connector[Fig.3-4] or you can use a paper clip to arc the diagnostic connector [Fig.5], so that your CEL light will begin to blink.


Fig.1
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Fig.2
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Fig.3
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Fig.4
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Fig.5 p/p clip image soon
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I've always found that it's easiest to have the vehicle running while the CEL is ON before I "jump" the diagnostic plug. Once the diagnostic plug is "jumped", take a look at your gauge cluster [Fig.6] and your CEL light should begin to blink [Fig.7].

Fig.6
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Fig.7
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Once you get the CEL light to blink, here's the how the light is read:
  • 1 long blink(s) = an incriment of 10
  • short blink(s) = incriments of 1
  • short pause = continuation of same code
  • long pause = a break between codeis (if more than one CEL code being thrown)
Video Example: Below is a video clip showing a sample of how to read a few CEL codes. The clip shows codes 22 (vtec solenoid), 41 (02 heater), and 19 (lock solenoid) being thrown, then repeats. You may want to watch the video a couple times to familiarize yourself with how the CEL light flashes numeric patterns, pauses, then flashes numeric patterns again.

It may take you a few minutes to figure out what CEL code(s) and patterns are being thrown by your ecu.



Special thanks to Jameson Malpezzi for this video clip.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information in this article applies to:

  • 88-91 civic/crx
  • 90-91 integra / 92-93 integra
  • 92-00 civic & delsol
  • 94-01 integra
  • Information could apply to Accord & Prelude's as well.