Honda Wrench Light Meaning and How to Reset

The dashboard of a typical Honda vehicle is equipped with indicator lights for information and warning. One of them is the yellow wrench light. If this light comes on, is it giving you a severe warning? In this article, I’ll discuss Honda’s wrench light meaning and how to reset it.

The yellow wrench light in a Honda car is the Maintenance Minder Indicator. When it lights up on your dash, your Honda vehicle is up for routine maintenance. It is not an emergency warning like the Check Engine light.

There are also instances when the yellow wrench light turns on, which can mean that the ECU of the Honda car has detected a problem with the car’s powertrain. If this is the case, you need to have the system checked by a Honda dealer nearest you.

Read on to learn more about what it means when the yellow wrench light comes on your Honda dash and how you can reset it.

Honda Wrench Light Meaning

honda wrench light meaning

Time to Take Your Honda to a Dealer or a Mechanic for Routine Maintenance

All Honda vehicles have warning and information lights on their dashboard. One of these lights is the yellow Honda Accord wrench light.

Honda calls this light their Maintenance Minder Indicator. When this light comes on your dash, it tells you that you must take your Honda to a dealer or a mechanic for its routine maintenance.

So, it is not a warning light but more like an information light that instructs you on something your car needs on a routine basis. It is not an emergency need for your vehicle, so it is something that you don’t need to panic or worry about.

Powertrain Issue

The ECU or the computer unit of your Honda caused this wrench light to turn on. Perhaps it has also detected a problem with your vehicle’s powertrain and triggered it. Whatever the case, you must bring it to the nearest dealer for a checkup.

You are advised not to drive your car when this light turns on for long distances. Driving with this light turned on may cause damage to your vehicle. On the contrary, turning it off will help conserve the juices of your car battery. 

Monitor Car’s Operating Conditions

The Maintenance Minder system Honda has on their cars uses sensors to monitor your car’s operating conditions. Its purpose is to inform you when you need to take it to the dealer for regular maintenance.

For instance, if the motor oil inside the engine has reached just about 15% of its lifespan, the Honda Civic wrench light will turn on and stay lighted until you reset the oil life. The life of your motor oil is not just dependent on its mileage but also on how you drive your car.

Another example is if you frequently drive in the city, the engine oil deteriorates quicker than if you always drive on the highway. So, you need to change your motor oil more often.

What Is Honda’s Maintenance Minder?

Honda helps its vehicle owners maintain their cars regularly so they can use their units for a long time. That’s why this car manufacturer has designed the Maintenance Minder system to remind you of the time you need to have your vehicle checked by the dealer or mechanic.


This system uses several sensors to track the operating condition of your Honda. It will inform you if it’s time for a tire rotation, an oil change, or any other maintenance work your car needs.

Standard on All Hondas

If the yellow Honda CRV wrench light comes on, you need to take your Honda to your trusted dealer or mechanic for its regular maintenance. All Honda cars are equipped with this Maintenance Minder system. It’s a great way of keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape.

Reading the Maintenance Minder Lights

Knowing what it means when the wrench light turns on is good. This orange light comes on when the ECU has determined that it’s time for your car to have its routine checkup and maintenance.

This light may appear with an accompanying message that will tell you precisely what to do to the car. Several bars will appear with the light. The numbers of bars indicate how soon you need to take action. So, if you see more bars, you need to act quickly.

How to Reset the Honda Wrench Light

honda wrench light reset

You can turn off the wrench light of your Honda by resetting it. However, you can’t do a Honda wrench light reset just like that. You should first try to resolve what caused it to turn on in the first place. Only then can you safely reset this light.

Once you have performed the routine maintenance required by your Honda or whatever is needed to turn it on again, that’s the right time to reset the wrench light.

If you’re done with the task, here are the steps on how to reset the wrench light on a Honda:

  1. Start by turning on the ignition key of your Honda, but don’t start the engine. You only need to turn on the lights on your dashboard to see all the instrument lights. The wrench light will turn on, along with the other dashboard lights.
  2. Find a small button on the dash a couple of inches away from the wrench light.
  3. Push this button down and hold it there for about 15 seconds. The light on the dash will turn off and on again. If all is well, the wrench light will not come on after you do this.
  4. Release the button once the light comes back on.
  5. You have successfully reset your Honda’s Maintenance Minder system.

What Causes a Wrench Light to Come On?

There are several reasons why the wrench light will illuminate your Honda dash. You are driving your car frequently, so you should expect your Honda to be affected somehow, even in small ways. 

Your Honda’s wrench light will turn on the dash when it needs one or more of the following:

  1. Oil change
  2. Battery replacement
  3. Tire rotation
  4. Automotive fluid checkup
  5. Brake pads replacement

As you can see, you need to perform all these tasks on your Honda from time to time. If you are conscientious about this, it will help you avoid potential problems in the future. But if you ignore this light, minor issues can grow more serious, resulting in more expensive car repairs.

Again, what does Honda Wrench Light mean? When the Honda wrench light is lit up, it means your car needs a routine checkup and maintenance.

Is It Safe to Drive with the Wrench Light On?

You can still drive your Honda while the wrench light is turned on. But it is not advisable. Indeed, you can still drive your car for short distances, like driving home from work. It is unsafe to drive your Honda in this condition for long distances.

The best you can do is to check the meaning of the wrench light in your Honda owner’s manual. You can only safely decide how far you can still drive your car. For instance, if the meaning of the wrench light is to change the oil, you have to change its motor oil the soonest as you can.

Driving it with degraded motor oil for long distances may result in more severe engine damage.

Why Should You Pay Attention to the Honda’s Maintenance Minder System

If you are prompt in paying attention to the wrench light of your Honda each time it comes on, you will take advantage of the many benefits. What can you get by paying attention to the Honda maintenance wrench light?

1. Safer Driving

Giving prompt attention to whatever the wrench light means will always give you a safe driving experience. Every component of your car, especially the major ones, will continuously operate efficiently and safely.

2. Fewer Major Repairs

Not ignoring the wrench light no matter when and why it lights up will help you avoid experiencing significant problems that cost big money. You can spot and fix issues before they get more serious.

3. Raise Honda’s Value

If you maintain your Honda very well, when it is time for you to sell it, it will command a higher price than if it is not maintained correctly.

4. Save Money

Maintaining your Honda properly will make sure that it will always be in tip-top shape. Its fuel efficiency will be up, so you won’t be spending too much on gas if you don’t maintain it properly.

honda wrench light

The topic of the Honda wrench light is not complicated, but it covers many aspects of car problems that you may still not be so clear about. Perhaps the answers listed below can help clear the questions in your mind:

Is the Honda Civic Wrench Light Only Telling You to Go for a Routine Maintenance?

When the wrench light in a Honda car comes on, it informs you that you need to take your vehicle to your trusted mechanic or a Honda dealer for a routine checkup.

Honda calls this light Maintenance Minder Indicator Light. It is typically a yellow light in the shape of a wrench. It will show up on your dashboard each time your car’s ECU or computer unit senses that it’s time for your vehicle to get its routine maintenance work.

Specific issues can also trigger the wrench light on your Honda’s dashboard. One of them is if your Honda car might be experiencing a powertrain issue.

Perhaps your Honda ECU computer unit has detected a problem somewhere in your Honda’s powertrain, so it turned on the wrench warning light. If this happens, you must have a mechanic check your Honda immediately.

What Other Causes of the Honda Wrench Light Coming on the Dashboard?

  • Perhaps your Honda needs an oil change.
  • Maybe the car battery is already juiced out and needs a replacement.
  • Perhaps the schedule for tire rotation is already up.
  • It could be that the fluid levels of your Honda needs checking.
  • Maybe the brake pads of your Honda need to be replaced.

Can You Still Drive Your Honda If the Wrench Light Is Turned On?

You can, but you are not advised to do it. The best way is to have your Honda checked by a qualified mechanic before driving it. Perhaps you can still drive your Honda home from work.

But certainly not for long distances until you have resolved the cause of why the Honda CRV wrench light turned on in the first place.

You can’t drive your Honda without risking its integrity simply because you still don’t know why the wrench warning light lit up in the first place. The best thing you can do is to drive your car to the nearest mechanic or dealer so they can see what’s wrong with it.

Have them fix the specific reason why the wrench light turned. Only then can you drive your Honda without worrying about the consequences.

How To Reset the Honda Wrench Light?

If you have already fixed the original issue, you can reset the wrench light by following these steps:

  • Turn on the ignition key, but don’t start the engine. You are just turning on the lights on the dashboard so you can see the instrument lights. The wrench light will turn on right after.
  • Locate the small button on the dashboard, which is a couple of inches away from the wrench light.
  • Push down this small button for around 15 seconds. The light on the dash will turn off and on again. If everything is Ok, the wrench light will not come on after you have done this.
  • Once the light comes back on, release the small button.
  • You will successfully reset your Honda’s Maintenance Minder system if you have done it right.

If you ignore the light, it could be a serious issue. Instead of just a minor issue, you might be facing a problem that is more expensive to repair. The best thing for you to do is to pay attention to this light when it comes on.

You need to reset the Maintenance Minder light each time it is serviced. In other words, every time a service is done to the light, it must be reset. However, there is no need for you to reset it if there is no service performed on the light.

In Closing

Every Honda vehicle comes with a yellow wrench light on its dashboard. It is the Maintenance Minder Indicator of the car. When this light comes on your dash, you must take your vehicle to the dealer or mechanic for its routine maintenance.

In other words, it is not an emergency warning like the Check Engine light. But be careful not to drive it for long distances until you find out the cause of why this light turned on.