If the check emission system light appears on your dash, you shouldn’t ignore it. It warns you of a potential problem that goes against excessive pollution prescribed by the government in which you can be penalized. I’ll discuss Check Emission System Acura warning light causes in this article.
A faulty oxygen sensor is one of the most common causes of the Check Emission System Acura warning light. This sensor monitors the exhaust system’s oxygen level. If the oxygen levels are too high, this sensor will activate the Check Emission System warning light.
When this warning light is on your dash, it indicates that the emission control system of your Acura is malfunctioning. This means your car is polluting the air beyond the acceptable standards of the government. If your vehicle undergoes a smog check or emissions inspection, it will likely fail the test.
Read on to learn more about the Acura Check Emission System warning light and what you can do if it suddenly appears on your dash.
Check Emission System Acura Warning Light Causes
Common Cause: A Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor
There are many reasons why the warning light of your Acura’s Check Emission System is activated on your dash. One of the most common reasons is a malfunctioning oxygen sensor.
This sensor tracks the oxygen levels in your car’s exhaust system. If the oxygen levels in the exhaust are too high, this sensor will activate this warning light.
So, if you see this light on your dash, your Acura’s emission control system is malfunctioning. In other words, your car is emitting dangerous gases beyond the level that federal standards allow.
If you have to go in for a smog check or an emission inspection, your Acura will most likely fail the test. They will charge you with an appropriate fine; the authorities may impound your Acura.
Can You Still Drive Your Acura?
You may ask: can I still drive my Acura? Yes, of course. Since this is the first time this warning light has appeared on your dash, you have every right to drive your car. But, since you know this is an emission issue, you need to go to a qualified mechanic so they can perform the necessary fix.
How Long Can You Drive with Check Emission System Acura Warning Light?
It depends on the reason why your car’s warning light is active. Indeed, you can only drive your car for a few days, not indefinitely.
Hopefully, by driving your car from 50 to 100 miles, your car’s ECU will be able to recalibrate the sensors responsible for triggering the light. That may resolve the issue. But to be safe, it is better to have your Acura checked by a qualified mechanic.
Causes of Check Emission System Acura Warning Light
Several reasons can trigger the warning light of your Acura’s emission system. Here are the most common causes of why this warning light is activated:
1. ERG Valve Leak
Your Acura uses an exhaust recirculation gas valve which recirculates exhaust gases back into the engine’s intake valve. If the EGR system or this valve develops a leak, water can escape into the exhaust gas that recirculates.
It will go through the engine and find its way out of the exhaust pipe. This issue has no visible symptoms except for the gradual reduction in the coolant level. But this may lead to reduced engine performance, including:
- Power reduction,
- Poor fuel efficiency, and
- Reduced acceleration.
2. Malfunctioning Emission System
The emission control unit controls the volume of carbon monoxide that your Acura emits while driving it. A critical component of this system is the sensor. It must monitor the engine if it is not burning enough fuel or if it is burning too much fuel.
If this sensor fails, it cannot fulfill its function. You will see the Check Emission System Acura TSX light turned on.
3. Dirty Air Filter
If your engine’s air filter is also dirty, it can trigger the Check Emission System warning light. Only clean air should be allowed to enter the engine’s combustion chambers. But if the air filter is already dirty, impure air can get inside the engine.
If this unclean air gets inside the engine, it will cause the restriction of airflow inside the cylinders. This will trigger the Check Emission System Acura MDX warning light on your dashboard.
4. Bad Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is essential in the efficient operation of the engine of your Acura. It converts harmful gases emitted by the engine to safe gases such as steam before they go out of the exhaust pipe.
The cat converter splits the toxic molecules in the gases from the engine before releasing them into the atmosphere. So, if it is malfunctioning, instead of harmless gases, your exhaust pipe will emit toxic fumes, which are the things that pollute our atmosphere.
The Check Emission System Acura RDX warning light will alert you of the situation.
5. Leaking Exhaust Manifold
The exhaust manifold of your Acura engine is subjected to extreme stress whenever you are driving it. If you have already driven your Acura for hundreds of thousands of miles, the exhaust manifold may have cracks, or some clamps are already loose.
When this happens, there’ll be small openings in the pipes, allowing exhaust gases to escape before reaching the cat converter.
So, the engine will emit dangerous gases into the atmosphere. The Check Emission System warning light will warn you that your exhaust manifold is leaking.
6. Bad Ignition System
The ignition system of your Acura takes care of the burning of the fuel inside the engine. If there are issues in this system, such as failing spark plugs, or malfunctioning coil cylinders, your engine will misfire.
To alert you of this issue, the Check Emission System Acura TL warning light will appear on your dashboard.
7. Bad MAF Sensor
Your Acura uses a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, which collects information from the air filter. If the air filter is clogged or is not installed correctly, it will cause damage to the sensor.
When the sensor fails, it won’t be able to perform its function. And your Acura’s Check Emission System warning light will appear on your dash.
8. Clogged Diesel Particulate Filter
If you are driving an Acura powered by a diesel engine, its Check Emission System warning light will turn on if you have a clogged diesel particulate filter.
This filter is also important because it traps soot and other particles from the exhaust so the exhaust gases will be free of these toxic substances before they are released into the atmosphere.
Is It Safe to Drive with the Check Emission Warning Light Turned On?
Perhaps you’re wondering if it is still safe for you to drive your Acura even with this warning light turned on. Since this issue has no connection with the safety features of your car, then yes, you can still drive it.
However, while this is not an urgent life and death matter, you are still advised to have your car checked and fixed so that you can fix the issue.
But whether you like it or not, you have to fix this issue if you want to drive your Acura on the streets of the United States. Emissions laws in your state prevent you from driving a car that does not follow the standards. Don’t be caught by the police before you fix this problem.
Again, what does the Check Emission System mean in Acura? Suppose you see the Check Emission System message on Acura’s dashboard. In that case, you have an improperly working emission control system caused by a damaged ERG valve, oxygen sensor, or catalytic converter.
How to Fix the Check Emission System Acura Warning Light
It is not advisable to ignore it when the Check Emission System warning light appears on your dashboard. This warning light is telling you that you got to do something to resolve the issue. Don’t get frightened because there are several known fixes to this issue.
Here are some of these fixes:
1. Pay Attention to the Light
First, observe the light and the other lights that may appear on your dash. This light was turned on because it was activated by your Acura’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
It turned on because it sensed that something in your emission system was not working correctly. But the ECU can also trigger other lights on your dash so take some time to observe the lights on your dashboard.
If only the Check Emission System warning light is illuminated, then your emission system should be checked. The best person to do this is a competent mechanic.
2. Check the Gas Cap
Sometimes a loose gas cap activates the Check Emission System warning light. Tightening the cap will reset the light on your dash. Also, check the rubber seal of the cap. It may also trigger the warning light if it is damaged or cracked.
3. Don’t Overwork Your Acura
Be observant of the way your Acura acts on the road. If you sense that it is acting differently and its performance is lagging, avoid loading it with heavy stuff, and don’t drive it too fast.
4. Drive Your Acura to a Car Service Shop
You should take your Acura to your trusted mechanic to determine why the Check Emission Service warning light appeared on your dash.
Ask them to examine your car, diagnose the issue and pinpoint the problem. Once they have fixed the problem, they will then reset the light.
How to Reset the Check Emission System Warning Light
It is possible to reset the warning light without going through the diagnostic and repair procedures, although that should be your best route.
But if this light suddenly appeared on your dash without warning, there is a way you can reset it. Here is how to reset the Check Emission System Acura warning light.
Drive your Acura the same way you drive it every day, and just let your car’s ECU make the necessary adjustments. Hopefully, this will cause the warning light to turn off by itself. Do this for about three days until the warning light resets.
However, if, after three days and the warning light is still staying solid on your dash, then you can perform the following procedure:
- Turn the engine on and off three times, one after the other.
- You must stop the engine and disconnect the battery if the warning light does not go off.
- As the engine is not running, disconnect the positive (red) power cable from the battery.
- Leave the cable disconnected for 20 minutes.
- Then turn the ignition key to the “On” position.
- Then reconnect the positive battery cable.
- Turn the ignition key to the “On” position again.
- Wait a few minutes.
- Hopefully, the warning light has reset and will no longer appear on your dash.
After performing this procedure and the warning light refuses to fade away, you must take your Acura to your trusted mechanic. You’ve done all you can, and it appears that’s not enough. Only the mechanic can help you reset this warning light by performing the necessary fix.
Frequently Asked Questions
If this article has sparked some questions in your mind, maybe you can get their answers from the ones listed below:
What Is the Most Common Cause of the Check Emission System Warning Light?
A bad oxygen sensor is the most common reason for this warning light appearing on your dash. This sensor monitors the exhaust system’s oxygen levels. If it finds that the oxygen levels are higher than usual, it will activate the Check Emission System warning light.
What Can Cause the Check Emission System Warning Light to Turn On?
There are several reasons this light can turn on your dash. Here are some of the reasons:
- Leaking ERG valve
- Failing emission system
- Dirty air filter
- Damaged catalytic converter
- Leaking exhaust manifold
- Malfunctioning ignition system
- Bad MAF Sensor
- Clogged diesel particulate filter
Can I Still Drive My Acura Even If This Check Emission System Warning Light Is On?
Yes, it is safe to drive your Acura even if its CES warning light appears on your dash. It is not connected to any of your Acura’s safety features, so your safety is not compromised.
However, if your Acura is producing emission levels that are more than what was prescribed by your state, if you are caught, you may be fined, or worse, your Acura impounded. So, it is best to have your Acura checked by your trusted mechanic as soon as possible.
How Long Can I Drive My Acura with This Warning Light On?
It depends on the reason why this warning light is turned on. You may be able to drive your Acura for a few days.
Hopefully, if you cover from 50 to 100 miles after this warning light shows up on your dash, it may give the ECU of your car time to recalibrate the system, and the light just might reset itself.
Could a Check Emission Warning Light Be False Positive?
The warning light may be falsely positive. In other words, the light is turned on even though there is no issue with your Acura’s emission system. This can happen if the calibration of the computer is not done correctly.
However, if you suspect this is your emission system’s problem, you need to bring your Acura to the dealer or your trusted mechanic so they can correctly diagnose and fix it.
Should I Get the Emission System of My Acura Examined Regularly?
Yes, if you could get your Acura to a mechanic for a regular inspection of its emission system, it would be better because you are sure your car will not pollute the environment.
The experts recommend having your Acura’s emission system inspected every two years. This periodic check will vary according to how you drive your car and where you usually drive it.
What Can Happen If I Ignore the Check Emission System Acura Warning Light?
If you don’t fix the issue and resolve why this warning light appeared on your dash, it will likely worsen over time.
It may lead to severe damage to your engine. If you notice that your car’s performance is not the same as before, then you need to have your vehicle examined by a professional mechanic.
In Closing: Causes of Check Emission System Acura Warning Light
There are several reasons why the Check Emission System Acura warning light appears on your dash. One of these reasons is a bad oxygen sensor.
This sensor keeps track of the oxygen levels in your Acura exhaust system. If the oxygen levels are too high, the Check Emission System warning light will be triggered by this sensor.
Don’t ignore this warning light. If you do, it could lead to a more severe engine problem. One of the consequences you will face is a failed emission test. When that happens, you will be fined. Or worse, your Acura may be impounded.