Intermittent Engine Light / Trying to Obtain CEL Code

Tiny
VILLARRJ
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA PASSPORT
  • 3.2L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 230,000 MILES
Last August (2015), my 1995 Honda Passport failed to accelerate when I shifted into drive. I took it in to the automotive shop and was told that my transmission needed to be rebuilt. Had that done. Parts on the invoice list include: Master Overhaul Kit, Filter, Solenoid Set, Low Reverse Band, Bushing Set, Torque Converter, Update Boost Valve, and Transmission Fluid. A week later I experienced similar issues. Brought it back and had the PRNDL switch replaced.

Since then, the vehicle seems to run well. No lurching, struggling, etc. However, for the past week or so the Check Engine Light has been coming on intermittently (though increasingly more often), especially when I drive on the highway and hit speeds at around 60 or 65 MPH. For the record, I never force this vehicle anymore than I have to. I don't punch the gas or drive over 65 MPH if I can help it.

Money is really tight, so today I thought I'd try checking the CEL code myself, which I've never done before. Inserted a jumper wire into the diagnostic connector and turned on the vehicle (did not actually start it). My CEL lit up for only a couple of seconds, like it normally does, before disappearing. My transmission light, however, began to blink steadily but never seemed to generate a code/pattern.

Is it possible I'm attempting to obtain these codes incorrectly?

I'm a novice when it comes to car repairs, but I'm always willing to learn. If you can give me some tips or steps to follow so that I can obtain a code and save myself a trip to the shop, I'll be happy to give it a go.

Sincerely,

Jason
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 9:06 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Try an auto parts they scan for codes for free. Most major auto parts stores.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 10:19 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If you want to do this yourself see pics code 12 is normal. Then get back to us and we can try to guide you through the problem.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 10:23 AM
Tiny
VILLARRJ
  • MEMBER
Hmac,

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

Unfortunately, none of the auto part stores in my area offer free code scanning for a 1995 vehicle. That's what prompted me to give this a shot myself before taking it into a mechanic.

Looking at the pic you sent me makes me wonder whether I was using the correct connector. I just did some digging around near the floor panel and pulled out a corroded 3-pin connector with yellow, black, and red wires (see attached pic). This was *not* the connector I attempted to jump earlier. Instead I used the 2-pin connector, which was already exposed when I searched under the steering column earlier today.

Can you confirm which of these is the proper connector to jump in order to get a code readout?
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 1:51 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It is a white connector with red yellow and blk/grn wire to it you jump the 1and 3 on connector they may be marked and turn key on count flashes a 12 code is normal.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
VILLARRJ
  • MEMBER
Hmac,

Tried jumping the 3-pin connector but didn't get any flashing from the dash lights. CEL and the other lights just stayed lit. I wonder if it's because the connector's contacts are corroded.

I'll try cleaning them and see if anything changes.

I also read somewhere else that it can be difficult to get a code if the CEL doesn't stay lit when the vehicle is moving at lower speeds or idling. That seems to be what's happening in my case. The light really only comes on at highway speeds (60-65 MPH). It shuts off when I'm idling or driving at slow speeds.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 2:26 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Make sure the key is on and engine is NOT RUNNING that may be the reason or it's an intermittent problem. A lot of those will not show due to not happening long enough where the computer can store it. Also check fuel pressure with a gauge should be 41-46 psi key on only. There should be a tap on fuel rail for it.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 3:29 PM
Tiny
VILLARRJ
  • MEMBER
Will do, Hmac. Thanks again for the advice.

No worries, by the way. I kept the engine off. Just switched the key to the on position, but didn't start her up.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2015 AT 6:45 PM

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