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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'97 Honda Civic, 14 Year Emissions Controls

Q: Our '97 Civic is under a 14 year extended Emission Control Warranty. The "Check Engine" light activated; I read the manual...which said that this indicates an emission control system problem. I contacted Honda; they said any repair would be covered under the extended warranty. However, at the dealer, they requested I sign an authorization for a $40 diagnostic charge if it should turn out that the light activated due to a problem with the transmission torque converter and the position control sensor. I'd like to know if this is true. There is nothing in the manual regarding this at all...and the transmission is absolutely fine. Any way of finding out if the engine light activates as well if there is a transmission problem?

A: Yes the transmission on your Honda can cause the Check Engine light to come on. Before we go there you should know that Corp Honda got themselves into trouble with the US EPA & California’s Air Resources Board. The result was an emission warranty extension to 14 year 150,000 warranty on all emission related parts. ALLDATA Information Systems has Technical Service Bulletin # 98-081 listing the following vehicles covered under this program as‘95 Accords with V6 engine, ‘96 & ‘97 all except Passport. Under this warranty the effected vehicle will have any emission related parts that cause the Check Engine to come on, be replaced at no cost to the owner. This also includes ignition components such as distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs and wires. An oil change and filter is included in the warranty.

There are some automatic transmission components that are covered under this warranty and there are some that are not. There is no way of knowing what is causing the Check Engine light to come on until a computer scan tool is plugged into your vehicle’s computer. If it is not an emission related item then there will be a fee for connecting the scan tool and collecting that information. But, if it is emission related there will be no charge if your vehicle falls within the terms of the extended warranty. There’s no way of telling until you plug in.

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