10 Causes for Check Emission System in Acura + DIY Solution

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So your Acura automobile dashboard suddenly shows a Check Emission System warning light. Should you drive now or stop the car and go to the mechanic? You wonder what Check Emission System Acura means and how to fix it as soon as possible.

DIY Fix for “Check Emission System”

When your car’s “Check Emission System” warning appears, you have two options. First, try cleaning the sensor that manages emissions flow. Buy a cleaner for about $5 from Walmart or AutoZone.

Step-1 Disconnect the left side of the battery.

left side of the car battery

Step-2 Locate the sensor (usually near the exhaust pipe) and carefully remove it. Avoid touching the top part.

near the exhaust pipe

Step-3 Spray the cleaner inside the sensor and wait for it to dry.

Spray the cleaner inside the sensor

Step-4 Reconnect the sensor and the battery.

Step-5 Start the car to check if the issue is resolved.

If cleaning doesn’t work, consider replacing the sensor. Similar ones can be found on Amazon for around $40 or at a dealer for about $180.

What does check emission system mean in Acura TL, MDX, RDX, ILX, & others

Checking the Emission System in an Acura means looking for issues in the car’s emissions, fuel, ignition, and exhaust systems. If something’s not right in any of these parts, a warning light pops up.

This feature is here to make sure your car doesn’t release too many harmful emissions. When it does, that warning light appears. This isn’t just bad for the environment; it’s bad for your car too. So it’s important to get it fixed right away.

The Emission System is responsible for controlling how much pollution your car lets out. It keeps those emissions at a level that the government says is okay. This system includes parts like a catalytic converter, PVC valve, EGR valve, evaporative control, Air pump, tailpipe, and oxygen sensor.

If anything goes wrong with these parts, the Emission System fails, and the warning light comes on. You might notice your car using more fuel, releasing extra pollution, losing power, and causing environmental harm by releasing bad gases into the air.

Should I drive with the check emission system light on?

You can keep driving your Acura if the check emission light is on, but it’s better to be safe. I suggest visiting a mechanic soon to check and fix the issue. Ignoring this warning might damage your car’s emission system and engine.

It can also make your engine weaker, increase emissions, and harm its performance. Plus, you might end up with a fine for high emissions during testing.

Causes of Check Emission System Acura

Check Emission System Acura

Many reasons are responsible for showing the Check Emission System warning light. Here are those,

1. Loose cap

A loose cap may seem an insignificant element of the car but it plays a vital role. It prevents fuel from evaporating and keeps the emission in control. When the cap is not sealed or tightened properly, pressure escapes, the air is mixed, and the light goes on.

2. Faulty Oxygen Sensors or other sensors damage

The oxygen sensor controls the fuel-air ratio in the exhaust system by monitoring and controlling the oxygen level in exhaust gasses. A failed sensor cannot do that, resulting in fault reading and inaccurate air-fuel mixture. It triggers the warning light.

The same goes for other sensors related to emission control systems. Damage in sensors will provide faulty readings and signals to the ECU and lead to a warning light.

3. Damaged catalytic converter

The Catalytic converter is responsible for controlling pollutants in exhaust gasses. If the converter is clogged with dust, debris, or greases, or if it gets damaged with time, it will fail to control pollutant levels. Consequently, the emission rate will be higher and the light will show up.

4. EGR valve problem

Acura Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve controls the recirculation of exhaust gasses back into the intake manifold. It keeps the combustion temperatures cool and reduces the emission of nitrogen oxide. When the valve malfunctions, fails or gets clogged, it will disrupt the recirculation and increase the emission. So the light will show up.

5. Exhaust leakage

Damages or leakages in the exhaust system will release exhaust gasses before they pass through the emission control system. This causes inaccurate readings and triggers the light.

Cold weather can play a vital role in damaging the exhaust system. Condensation builds up with time which corrodes and damages the system.

6. Vacuum leak

Vacuum leaks in the engine manifold or hoses will lead to improper air-fuel mixture and disrupt fuel combustion. It will impact the emission and lead to warning light.

7. EVAP issues

EVAP controls the fuel vapors and prevents them from escaping into the environment. Leakage, damage, or other issues in the EVAP system can allow the fuel vapor to escape and thus increase emissions. 

8. Engine misfire

Continuous engine misfires let the unburned fuel enter the exhaust system. It increases emissions and triggers the warning light. Faulty ignition systems, spark plugs, coil cylinders, and glow plugs are responsible for engine misfires.

9. Damaged air filter

Clogged, dirty, or damaged air filters will disrupt proper air-fuel mixing which leads to improper combustion. It also causes higher emissions.

10. Electrical issues such as wires, circuits, and so on

Problems in electrical wiring, circuits, or others can lead to false warnings. Many times, false warning lights show up and trouble the car owners.

How to fix Check Emission System Acura

To fix the “check emission system warning” light on Acura, you should follow the steps below.

Keep driving

Most of the time, Check Emission System Acura comes up for software glitches, temporary problems, or sensor problems. Driving for a while can fix the problem in most cases. So if you are in the middle of the road, do not be afraid. Keep driving and see whether it fixes it or not.

Reset the Check Emission System

But driving does not bring the result all the time. You need to take things into your own hands to fix them. Resetting is a good option to remove the warning light if it shows up for temporary glitches or software issues.

#How to reset check emission system Acura MDX and others

To reset the check emission system in Acura Max and other models, follow the steps below.

  • Place the car in a safe place, turn it off, and wait for the engine to cool.
  • Open the hood and locate the battery.
  • Find the negative battery terminal and remove the wire from it.
  • Wait for a few minutes and then attach the wire back.
  • Now start the car and the warning light should go off.

Remember that resetting will delete any stored error code. So be careful about it.

Tighten fuel cap

A loosened or damaged fuel cap causes the Check Emission System light to come on. You may find a fuel cap warning message on the dashboard sometimes. To tighten the fuel cap, follow the steps below.

  • Open the fuel cap completely.
  • Now attach it and keep tuning until you hear three clicks.
  • Once you hear three clicks, the cap is tightened enough. The warning light should go off.

Inspect the parts visually

You can also check all related parts possible to identify the problem. Check these

  • Air filter
  • Exhaust system
  • Pipes
  • EVAP
  • Oxygen sensors and other related sensors
  • Catalytic converter
  • EGR valve
  • Spark plug
  • Ignition system

What if the warning is not gone?

If none of the methods work for you, chances are high that there is an underlying problem. It is better to visit the nearest auto part shops as they will scan the car for free with an OBD II scanner. This is the best way to find and fix the real problem. You may need to 

  • Replace air filter
  • Replace fuel cap
  • Repair or change the Exhaust system
  • Repair Pipe leaks
  • Change the entire EVAP system
  • Repair or replace Oxygen sensors and other related sensors
  • Repair or replace the Catalytic converter
  • Change EGR valve
  • Change Spark plug
  • Repair Ignition system

How much does it cost to repair or replace the emission system on the Acura?

The cost of repairing or replacing the emission system will vary depending on the problem. Replacing a fuel cap will cost a few bucks while changing the EVAP system will cost between $200 and $560. Besides, the labor cost will be between $35 and $140. Other important parts will cost $150-$440.

⚙️ Get to know your Acura Dashboard:

FAQ about checking the emission system light on the Acura

How long can you drive with a check emission light?

You should not drive more than 50-100 miles if you see the check emission light on Acura. More than that will damage the car and environment heavily.

What to do if the “Check Emission System” light is flickering?

“Check Emission System” flickering also indicates a problem in the emission system. So inspect and diagnose the problem as soon as possible.

How much does it cost to check the emission system on an Acura?

The cost of checking the emission system on an Acura will be 55-70 dollars. However, the rate may vary with the states you belong to.

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