Emissions System Problem Honda: Causes and Solutions

While Honda models are famous for their dependability and performance, they are far from being free from such faults. Like any complex mechanism, Honda cars also have some gathered emissions system problem. Regardless of whether you have a Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, or any other Honda model, there is a chance of having problems with the emission system. Let’s look deeper at the Honda emissions system problem and understand how to deal with it using our tested methods.

What Does Emission System Problem Honda Means

emission system problem honda

If your Honda shows an “emissions system trouble” display, you have encountered a problem or malfunction in the vehicle’s emission control system. Like always, Honda emission system has the function of reducing the amount of harmful pollutants produced during the combustion process with the aim of protecting the environment from the negative effects of carbon.

The structure of the emission control system in a Honda can be considered as a combination of several composing parts and functions designed to reduce the outflow of carbon oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC), and carbon monoxide (CO). The features that comprise oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, EGR valves, EVAP systems, and others fall under these components.

Once the onboard diagnostic system initiates its diagnostic function, it prompts the malfunctioning of emission control components or causes the appearance of a light failure on the dashboard to signal the problem message as “emissions system problem.”

When the “check emission system Honda” light in the Honda’s dashboard comes on, it’s not that the Honda diesel emission system is not operating correctly. There could be many different issues, such as forgetting to fasten the gas tank cap or other complex problems that need rapid diagnostics.

What Does an Emissions System Problem Honda Pilot Means

A big issue like that of Emission Control would lead the system to log the fault automatically. This emissions system problem will be highlighted to the driver by a Honda Pilot, which is an indicator of a certain problem through an illuminated warning light that appears on the dashboard. Therefore, the lights don’t even seem to interpret any meaningful words.

Many things can trigger a warning light issue, so you will require an OBD-II scanner to learn more detailed info about the origin of the problem. Along with features like VCM and direct fuel injection, the engine of the Honda Pilot performs well in terms of efficiency. However, these components also bring along the extra complication and risk of a point failure to the emission control mechanism of Honda.

What Are the Causes of the Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem

emissions system problem honda pilot

The Most common causes are :

Reduced fuel efficiency

Another sign of the failure of Honda’s emissions system problem may be a reduction in fuel efficiency. When you see that your Honda consumes more fuel than usual or you refuel it more often than you did before, it might be an indication of a problem with the emission system.

 Failed Emissions Testing

In case you live in an area where an emission test is periodically undertaken, if your Honda fails the test due to an emission system issue, it might become difficult to drive it. The major reason for the failed emissions tests is that the average vehicle typically emits higher levels of pollutants, which directly tells that the emission control system is not functioning properly.

Leaking in the exhaust system

An exhaust system leakage can cause gases to build up inside the vehicle, and these gases are not only harmful to people inside but also extremely dangerous. It can also lead to partial or open airflow and hence decrease engine efficiency, which ultimately increases emissions levels.

Faults in catalytic converter and fuel injector

An improper functioning of a catalytic converter can lead to extra emissions. This is possible since the catalytic converter is in charge of changing the harmful exhaust gases to less harmful ones.

Checking Engine Light 

The most obvious symptom that can be observed with a Honda emissions system problem is the glow of the check engine light on the dashboard and a message like “check emission system.” The primary check engine light notification indicates that the in-vehicle diagnostics system has found an issue. However, this diagnostic system is not specific and shows only the problem, not the actual reason for it; therefore, the car must be scanned for DTC to detect the real problem.


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Fault in cylinder deactivation system

A cylinder deactivation system failure will lead to other system failures, such as emission control system faults.

2016 Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem

The 2016 third-generation Honda Pilot model is a story for a different day due to direct fuel injection being employed on these cars. This may cause multiple problems in the combustion cylinders. It can cause a fault of rich-running conditions (such as in error code P0430) and misfires. As a result, the spark plugs will be fouled, which will damage catalytic converters. On the other hand, it can cause a lean-running condition on one (or even more) of the cylinders, possibly worse, the pistons or cylinder heads.

VCM (VCC) problems are a bit less of a problem in the short run, and there should be enough time before they get to the level of secondary damage that causes serious problems. Be focused on the fact that this is still a gasoline engine, and there will be the possibility of poisoning the catalysts and increasing engine wear with every mile passed. The main problem of VCM, which is the most crucial one, is oil leakage outside the engine, which may fall on the alternator, yielding damage to a very expensive component, the alternator, and, as a result, the loss of the oil pressure inside the engine and its consequent damage of bearings and camshaft.

How to Fix Emissions System Problem Honda

honda pilot emissions system problem

Recover diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)

The engine light was alarmed when triggered by the onboard diagnostic system, which detected a problem in the vehicle. The first thing to do is to read out the DTCs related to the emissions system problem with the help of a diagnostic scanner. These codes tell the detailed information about the system or the component that are malfunctioning.

Examine Other Components of the Emission System

Take a look at different parts of the emission control system in order to detect anything visually wrong or broken. This could involve testing the EVAP system, EGR valve, catalytic converter oxygen sensor, as well as other related components.

Clear DTCs and test

The next step is to do the repairs or replace the components and then delete the DTCs from the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system.

Next, the car will be checked to make sure that the problem with the emission system has been fixed. This may include a road test or utilization of specialized equipment to determine that the system is working correctly and emissions are within the required limits.

How to Fix emissions system problem Honda pilot

emissions system problem honda accord

The Honda Pilot does not have any one solution for the emissions system problem Honda pilot. Some emissions system problem repairs are easy for a mechanic with modest proficiency, but problems like VCM and faulty fuel injectors are unlikely to be handled by non-professional mechanics. Some of the Guidelines are:

Check for HPFP failure or Fuel injector

To respond to the fueling injector or HPFP issue of the third-generation Honda Pilots, Honda issued a number of service bulletins for 2016-2018 models. These models will have their injectors and high-pressure fuel pumps replaced. This is not a recall, though, so Honda will pay no more than the cost of the repair if the vehicle is still under warranty; otherwise, the owner will have to pay at least $500 for the repair.

Check for wiring harness faults

The wiring harness error is often the cause of the emissions system problem, and it is difficult to identify the emissions system problem if the errors result in an issue within the wiring harness. The wiring harness of the Honda Pilot is made from soy-based phenolic, which is environment-friendly. Rodents may enter the heating duct and eat the insulation while doing that. You will then be left with something that requires a professional to fix.

Check VCM problems

The frequency of failures for VCM problems is high, but this is not a typical problem that regular mechanics and technicians can fix, as it is complicated to access the VCM unit in the rear cylinder head. The air intake manifold would be disassembled entirely to reach the VCM (Variable Camshaft Module). It is better to bring the problem to an expert mechanic rather than dealing with it yourself.

 Check the sensors and actuators

In the case of an emissions system problem, which includes an actuator or sensor, it is very simple to be replaced by the driver. The engine and oxygen temperature sensors are inexpensive and fuel-efficient. They also have quick start-up times. If the OBD-II scan leads you to one of the sensors or actuators being the reason for the error, then their replacement is a simple task.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix the Honda Emission System Problem

The price of replacing the VCM gasket is about $550, including the parts and labor. However, the OEM VCM solenoid unit that is brand new goes for a retail price of $500. The injector for a 2016 Honda Pilot with a new set of four direct fuel injectors will cost approximately $260 from the dealership.

While for laboring, it would cost as much as the parts themselves at the dealership as well as in the aftermarket. Hopefully, the high-pressure fuel pump won’t need replacement as well because that part alone will cost over $600, minus the parts kit. There are elements like oxygen sensors, which are minor, and the agents sell these for $125, while these are so easy to replace yourself.

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