If you get the message “check system” alert each time you start your Honda Civic. This article aims to provide clarity regarding its significance, potential causes, and suggested solutions.
Without further delay, let’s jump into the matter!
What Does “Check System” Mean on a Honda Civic?
I can see why the “check system” light might be confusing, since it doesn’t say much.
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But let me explain it to you in plain English. When your Honda Civic’s “check system” light comes on, it means that the engine control unit found a problem somewhere.
It could be any of the following:
- Defective starter coils
- A hole or leaks
- Worn/used-up spark plugs
- Stuck filters
- Injector issues
- Battery is dead
No matter what. The point is that something isn’t right with some structure.
Now, I know that sounds like a headache, but here’s the good news: these Japanese sedans and hatchbacks are very stable.
Most of the time, it can be fixed easily and cheaply. So, even though that check system light sounds like something bad is going on, it’s usually not.
What Causes Honda Civic “Check System” Warning Message?
From my experience as a technician, here are some of the most usual reasons why the “Check System” message comes up on your Honda Civic:
1. Bad Battery:
Most of the time, a bad battery is what makes the check system light come on in a Honda Civic.
This can happen for two reasons:
- A dead battery cell or cells because the battery is old: If your battery is over three years old and has been used a lot, it’s possible that one or more of the cells have died. This can mess up the electronics and make the check system light on your dashboard light up.
- Low battery charge from not driving often: If you don’t drive your car often, the battery will slowly lose its charge. The computer will let you know when the battery’s charge level has fallen below a certain point.
2. Corroded Battery Terminals:
The second thing that can cause the check system light to come on in a Honda Civic is a battery connection that is corroded.
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Because electrons don’t move as well through corroded connections, the voltage can go down.
When the battery charge is low, the computer might think that something is wrong and show the “check system” message to keep the battery from going dead completely.
3. Loose Battery Terminals:
Loose battery connections are the last thing that could cause this alert on your Civic.
When you drive over bumps, hit potholes, or do anything else that makes the battery wires move around, you can loosen the connections.
This can also cause the voltage to drop, which sets off the “check system” signal.
As was already said, this message can have more than one cause. From what I’ve seen, the most usual reason is a problem with the battery, but it’s not the only one. It’s best to use an OBD reader because it can quickly find the problem.
Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Table
|1||Evaluate the age and condition of the battery||Check the battery for cracks or leakage.|
Take note of the manufacturing date on the battery.
Assess the battery voltage and charge.
|2||Examine the battery terminals and cables||Examine for corrosion or loose connections.|
If corrosion is present, clean the terminals.
If connections are loose, tighten them.
|3||Reset/Power down the ECU||Take 30 seconds to disconnect the battery cables.|
To re-attach battery cables:
|4||Look up the codes for diagnosis||Scan with an OBD-II device|
Observe the occurrence of any error codes
|5||More testing and repair||Read the manufacturer’s instructions.|
Troubleshoot code-detected problems
How to Fix and Reset the Check System Message
Let’s speak about how to solve the problem now that I’ve described what the check system message actually means.
1.Check the Battery for Corrosion:
Examining the battery for signs of corrosion should be your first step.
If any is found, it can be removed using baking soda and hot water.
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Rust on the terminals can prevent a good connection between the battery and the cables, thus this is a good preventative measure.
2.Make Sure the Battery Cables are Tightened:
Disconnecting and reconnecting the battery connections should reset the system if the battery terminals are free of corrosion and appear clean.
Reconnect the cables using a wrench if necessary to ensure a snug fit, but don’t overtighten them. This may reset the electrical system and get rid of the ‘check system’ warning.
If the alert still appears after the battery cables have been checked for tightness and reconnected, it is likely not the battery.
3.Have the Battery Tested & Replaced:
The “check system” warning on the dashboard should not persist if the battery terminals are clean and tight.
A defective battery cell could be the blame.
Any Honda dealer, auto parts store (like Autozone), or mechanic should be able to test your battery for you.
Battery replacement is necessary if the voltage reading is less than 12 volts.
4.Take your Civic to the Nearest Honda Dealer/Independent Repair garage
If the “check system” warning on your dashboard still persists after attempting the instructions above,
Your Honda Civic’s onboard computer can be scanned at any Honda dealership or independent repair shop.
Once the technician figures out what’s wrong, the “check system” warning on your dashboard should go away.
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If your car’s “check engine” light begins flashing, it’s time to pull over and get it checked out. If you don’t, you can end up with even more expensive repair bills for your car.