Question about 2004 Honda Accord

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Check Engine Light Comes on Intermittently

Whenever I fill up my gas tank on my 2004 Honda Accord, a few days later the "check engine" light comes on. It stays on for a day or two, then goes off. It never comes on again until the next time I fill up the car.However, the next time I fill up the tank the whole pattern repeats. I called the dealer and they thought the problem was due to a loose gas cap. I was suspicious about that because I was sure I was tightening the gas cap as much as I have ever tightened it. However, I nevertheless did what they said and took off the gas cap, then replaced it again. Sure enough, a few days later the check engine light went off, so I thought they had diagnosed the problem correctly. However, it did not make sense that it would come on again a few days after every fill up. Surely I was tightening it properly on at least some occassions!!! I had a scan of the check engine light run at Autozone, and they said that the check engine code was indicative of a defective oxygen sensor. Can anybody think of any reason why a defective oxygen sensor would result in symptoms like the ones I have described, with the check engine light coming on and going off with a pattern that seems tied to the amount of gas in the tank???

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  • ckerncrab2 Dec 31, 2008

    The code revealed by the scan was P0141.

  • ckerncrab2 Jan 01, 2009

    Is there any significance (in terms of symptoms or adverse effects) associated with a faulty O2 sensor being after the catalytic coverter rather than before it?

  • ckerncrab2 Jan 02, 2009

    A secondary and somewhat more important question related to my problem involves the precise fuction of the Bank 1, Position 2 O2 sensor. I have found inconsistent information about this on various forums and/or car automotive related web sites. Some people (like StormStrikes) say that this sensor is located after the cat, measures the functioning of the cat, and has no relevance to the fuel mixture. Others say that it is located on the cat and that it plays a critical role in the performance and/or fule efficiency of the car. The answer to this question is very important to me because I am currently visiting relatives 200 miles from home and would rather wait until I return to deal with the problem unless it might jeopardize my chances of making it home. In addition to spoiling part of my holiday with car repairs, I would rather have the car diagnosed and/or serviced at my normal dealership than to take a chance with getting it repaired by people that I have never dealt with before. The car has had no problems whatsoever with performance or fuel efficiency during the couple of weeks when the CEL has been coming on intermittently. Any information about these latter issues would be greatly appreciated.

  • ckerncrab2 Jan 02, 2009

    4 cylinder

  • terryakt Apr 26, 2009

    I have a similar problem. And yes i have refused to be limited just because my vehicle is a Honda Civic 2001 Liftback.

    The check light is indeed on...has been for a while. The repairman identified the code p0141 and 'intelligently' revealed that is the O2 sensor. However, i was also informed that my exhaust might have a leaking point (this i believe from the sound it makes).

    But with someone's comment here that the P0141 code could also be the result of a faulty O2 Sensor, i am getting reasonably confused. I had intended changing the exhaust completely. Is that the best approach? Another question, how difficult is it to obtain these O2 sensors? My dealer has taken long to get me what he calls ' the real one'.

    thnx

  • Scotty
    Scotty May 11, 2010

    Can you post up the specific code they found with the scan tool?

    A loose gas cap can cause a check engine light to come on as the computer will test for vacuum leaks in the Evaporative system and if the cap is not on tightly or if it is worn and leaks, it can cause a code to be set.

    If you post up the code they found I may be able to offer further assistance.


  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2014

    Check engine light not gas cap

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The P0141 code points to the O2 sensor heater circuit. It could be that there is a short in the wiring to the O2 sensor or it could be that the O2 sensor heating element itself is bad. The code is for O2 sensor Bank 1 Sensor 2. Bank 1 means its the O2 sensor connected to the exhaust pipe that runs to cylinder #1. Sensor 2 means that it is likely the O2 sensor after the catalytic converter on the same exhaust pipe.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008

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  • Scotty
    Scotty Jan 01, 2009

    Is there any significance (in terms of symptoms or adverse effects)
    associated with a faulty O2 sensor being after the catalytic coverter
    rather than before it?

    Not necessarily other than you will fail an emissions inspection if you have them where you are at if they use ODB II checks as part of the inspection. The O2 sensor after the catalytic converter simply checks the function of the catalytic converter and does not play a role in engine fueling as does an O2 sensor before the catalytic converter.


  • Scotty
    Scotty Jan 02, 2009

    Do you have a 4-cylinder engine or a V6 in this vehicle. It will be easier to answer your question with that information.


  • Scotty
    Scotty Jan 02, 2009

    In that case you have just two O2 sensors. If it had been a V6, you could have had three O2 sensors and a V8 likely would have had four sensors depending on the exhaust configuration.

    However, with your 4-cylinder you just have two which simplifies things. B1S1, or Bank 1, Sensor 1 is the first O2 sensor that the exhaust flow hits and that sensor is used in fueling calculations and if it went bad there would likely be some driveability issues, not the least of which would be a sharp decrease in fuel economy and possibly some idling issues.

    B1S2, or Bank 1, Sensor 2 is the sensor after the catalytic converter and is used simply to check the function of the catalytic converter. Which is the sensor the code you have is pointing to.

    So you should be fine driving back home with that particular sensor being faulty. I would, however, take it easy though. No hard accelerations, stuff like that. Hope this helps out.


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Thats called lazy oxygen sensor replace it.

Posted on Mar 10, 2015

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I have a similar problem with my Honda Accord (2006). For the last 5 years my check engine light has come on and gone back off a couple of days later. I have had it checked, it was supposedly the O2 sensor. They replaced it, twice. Still happens, and you know what? It happens a couple of hours after it either rains or I wash the car. Now explain that!!

Posted on Sep 05, 2013

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Ckerncrab2 - My car, 2004 Accord LX 4Cyl, has the exact same problem. P0141 - O2 sensor B1S2. If you fixed your could you please post as to how much it costed? I saw online that part costs $75.

thanks,
--rah789

Posted on Nov 01, 2009

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I would be tempted to have fuel pressure tested & recorded when light not on, and when it does come on. It's a long shot, but if filling the tank is stirring up excessive dirt in tank, and it takes a day or so to settle back at pump screen area, where it causes partial plugging, thus lower fuel pressure, thus, leaner mixture of fuel detected by oxygen sensor. ? If you have a low fuel pressure situation, it can lean out the mixture.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 02, 2009

    Personal opinion only, If not causing driveability problems, I'd drive it home and take my chances, and get it to the dealer I trust and know to rectify it. Maybe a tank full of a little higher octane, just to see if that helps at all, other than that I'd go for it. That's what cell phones are for anyway aren't they? Good Luck, keep us posted, safe trip.

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I Have a 2001 Toyota Tacoma Pick up truck, 6 cylinder, Everytime i fill up my tank it does the same thing. The first time it did it i changed the fuel filter and the light went out. The second time I changed 1 out of 2 O2 sensors and the light went out. The check engine light came on again yesterday after filling up the tank and I am getting really sick and tired of this so i'm bringing it in to toyota today and getting the problem resolved. The gas we get nowadays sucks. Let you know what the end result is.

Posted on Dec 28, 2009

  • tinkerbel325 Dec 28, 2009

    My toyota O2 sensor depending on which one is 99-135.00 dollars. They are very expensive.

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The gas tank is vented in a controlled manner. If the vent is not working properly, when you remove your gas cap the tank is sucking in a relatively large amount of air all at once then as you use gas creating a vacuum inside the tank. If you leave the cap loose the check engine light should indeed come on after the computer detects a problem for multiple driving cycles, the light then goes out after detecting no problem for several cycles. You could try replacing the gas cap, but I would only give that a 50% chance of solving your problem permanently.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008

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