Ask a Mechanic: Don’t Disable These Warning Lights

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I have this annoying problem with my 2009 Honda Fit and I hope you can help me. The check engine light has been on continuously for at least three years, even though I have had major work done on the car as well as regular maintenance. Mechanics don’t seem to know how to turn it off, not even Honda mechanics.

The D (driving) light has been flashing for at least that long, and lately the wiper fluid and anti-lock brake system indicators have also been constantly on. I don’t trust any of these lights anymore. Is it possible to turn them all off? This is important as I am trying to sell the car, which is otherwise in excellent running condition and has low mileage.

Lights on

Without being able to run a diagnostic scan to see which systems are reporting problems – and if there are any commonalities between them – it’s hard to do much more than speculate. Solely based on what is shared by these systems, the gauge control module connects to most of your Honda’s electronic components via a pair of communication networks. Theoretically, a faulty module could cause false indications. It’s unlikely, however.

A flashing drive light in a Honda indicates a problem with the transmission, which could also illuminate the check engine light. Some anti-lock brake system faults may affect multiple systems and illuminate multiple malfunction indicators. I’ve encountered this before, including in a Fit with a faulty rear wheel speed sensor. The washer fluid light could be related, or just due to a sensor float not floating fully anymore.

I still believe that a qualified technician, using proper equipment, should be able to determine the cause of the warning lights.

A serious concern here is your desire to disable these lights in the name of making the vehicle more salable. Even putting aside the moral arguments, there are potential legal ramifications to turning off a safety system warning indicator, such as the anti-lock brake system.

Unfortunately, with so much variation in test equipment and displays, even if a buyer were to bring the car in for a pre-purchase inspection – which is always a good idea – it’s entirely possible that a technician did not notice that secondary indicators were gone.

Also, while this does not apply to your 2009 Honda, vehicles built on or after September 1, 2011 must have their warning light and stability control system – which incorporates the anti-lock braking system – functioning to meet standards. Ontario Safety. certificate check.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Brian Early, a Red Seal Certified Automotive Technician. You can send your questions to [email protected] These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before performing any work on your vehicle.

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