Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem: In-depth Details & Fixing Tips

Just like the other car models, the Honda Pilot emissions system problem is one of the most obvious challenges to Honda pilot car owners.

The emission system problem is caused by a faulty OBD2 sensor that is commonly known to exist on your car’s exhaust.

Honda Pilot is equipped with sensors that generally help to measure the oxygen capacity level in your exhaust. Moreover, it helps to estimate how much fuel is being consumed.

Normally, if one of the equipped sensors stops functioning, then this behavior can cause your car’s engine to use a lot of fuel, leading to an increase in emissions.

Honda specialists say that increase in emission can be harder on your catalytic converter and sometimes cause it to wear down faster than expected.

Honda pilots owners recommend that if you notice your car has emission lights from your dashboard.

Thus you should consult your car’s special mechanic to run an OBD II scan tool to identify and determine the possible solutions on the part detected.

Most Common but Important Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem

Many drivers reported that their Honda pilots developed emission problems, particularly in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 models.

As well, they continue to say that the emission light eventually starts to show while driving.

01. Worn out spark plugs or plug wires

After some time, new spark plugs and plug wires are needed for your Honda Pilot.

The spark plug is located as part of the engine that normally helps ignite the fuel. Also, the air quality in the combustion chamber of your vehicle.

However, the combustion helps to facilitate the movement of the pistons and therefore making the engine run.

The plug wires help distribute the spark from the ignition coil and transfer it to the spark plug. In the case of ether, the spark plug or the plug wires are detrimental.

Normally there are more chances of experiencing reduced per and poor performance. Moreover, there are some extreme cases of your engine not starting or maybe continuing to run.

It would be best to understand that worn plugs and wires cause clogging of the catalytic converter, damaging the ignition coil and the 02 sensors.

02. In case the catalytic converter is detrimental.

Normally the catalytic converter is known as part of the Honda pilot exhaust system.

And it helps in the conversion of carbon monoxide produced during combustion to carbon dioxide.

The car owner should not consider neglecting your vehicle’s maintenance because it is the main cause that leads to damage to the catalytic converter.

If the catalytic converter is damaged and not repaired, the Honda pilot’s emissions problem may lead to this.

The problem can result in poor engine performance and unnecessary spending on fuel. More so, it can lead to an increase in temperatures causing issues on overheating.

03. Oxygen sensor problems

The o2 sensor helps in measuring the consumption of oxygen in the exhaust system. If your o2 sensor is worn out, it should be replaced.

And if not replaced, normally, it affects fuel consumption in terms of a mile per gallon. It can also ease the damage of the catalytic converter, spark plugs, and spark wires.

If your car’s o2 sensor is damaged, your car will automatically not pass the emission test.

Since the sensor sends data to your vehicle onboard computer about the amount of oxygen that enters your engine’s cylinder, it should be replaced if worn out.

04. Mass airflow sensor problem

The mass airflow in the Honda pilot helps to estimate the amount of fuel needed to run in your car’s engine. Therefore helps in budgeting on fuel consumption.

The mass flow sensor is considered part of the engine management system, therefore helping to adjust to the needed changes such as the altitude.

Suppose you experience your car having trouble starting.

In that case, you need to consider the check-up of the mass airflow since the detrimental of this sensor brings about problems in the emission system of your Honda Pilot.

05. Leaking of the vacuum system

Like any car model, Honda Pilot is equipped with a vacuum system that generally performs various types of functions.

Normally, the vacuum system helps lower the harmful emission.

This can slow down its function if it is leaking, causing Honda pilot emission problems limiting the routing out of fumes like gasoline, which normally evaporates through the engine.

06. Loosening of the gas cap

It is regularly experienced, whereby the gas cap for your Honda pilot serves many functions to prevent gas fumes from being released while driving your vehicle.

Also, it helps to seal the fuel system and maintain the pressure within the tank.

Honda pilots owners are advised to know that if your car’s gas cap has a ruptured seal, this is a bigger challenge because, primarily, you may lose your car’s fuel through evaporation.

During gas refilling, you may see the engine lights turn on instantly, leading to problems in emissions.

Honda Pilot Emission System Solutions: Fixing Tips

Just in case you are driving your Honda pilot, then suddenly you experience problems.

Method 01:

To resolve the Emission issues, first, you need to stop your car and park at the roadside in case you are driving or when at home.

You will need to park at your garage then check whether the gas cap is tightened properly or in case you lost it you will have to replace it.

Disconnect the battery for five to ten minutes then you will be needed to reconnect the battery once again.

And in case the problem is not solved, this will indicate that your Honda pilot can have a variety of reasons why the car’s engine lights are not illuminating.

Method 2:

You are advised to ask for assistance from your favorite Honda pilot repair and tell him to run a definitive diagnosis on your car via the OBD II scanning tool.

That helps to understand the exact problem your car is experiencing and the possible solution to the problem. Sometimes is better to check the readiness codes of the emission system.

First, consider turning the ignition without starting the engine.

The malfunctioning indicator lamp should show on in less than 20 seconds, and if it probably goes off, it means the readiness code is set.

But if it blinks five times, that means the readiness code is not set.

You may also decide to reset the engine light of your Honda pilot by turning off the engine, then hold or press the reset knob on the odometer located at the instrumental panel and turn on the ignition switch.

Honda Emissions System: What & How it Works

It is part of the Honda pilot engine that normally helps make sure the engine runs efficiently and clearly as needed.

Honda’s emission system helps in the containment of deadly exhaust fumes like carbon monoxide.

Types of Honda Emissions System

Generally, the emission system is differentiated into various classes that enable it to perform a different function supporting an efficient Honda emissions system. The classes are;

  • Computerized controlling unit
  • Series of sensors
  • The exhaust components are like the catalytic converter

The computerized controlling unit is responsible for the engine light and the on and off switches. Also, the ignition system is based on the control system of a Honda Pilot.

However, the series of sensors are divisional into two types, oxygen sensor, and the mass airflow sensor.

The oxygen sensor is responsible for measuring oxygen deposit in your exhaust system by sending data to the onboard computer system to show the correct amount of air collection.

Moreover, the amount of fuel entering the cylinder in your car’s engine support combustion.

At the same time, the mass airflow sensor helps determine the mandatory fuel that is supposed to run your engine perfectly by measuring the amount of air deposit entering your Hondas pilot engine.

As the catalytic converter, the exhaust component is responsible for converting carbon monoxide fumes produced during fuel combustion to carbon dioxide.

Additionally, it helps the Honda pilot model car to pass the emissions test.

What does a Check Emission System Mean?

It is also known as the check engine light illumination; normally, it signals that the onboard diagnostic system has been discovered concerning the vehicle malfunctions.

This can be either ignition, fuel or the exhaust system, or vehicle emissions. Your car’s computer helps to check and detect any issues with your Honda Pilot.

It is believed that all cars have an onboard computer that diagnoses any engine-related issues that can positively or negatively affect your car’s emission system.

When the light shows on more than once, the diagnostic trouble code is stored in the car’s computer until the problem is immediately solved.

Addressing the issue to your mechanic is best considered because he will retrieve the codes sent using the OBD scanning tool.

How to Check the Honda Emission System: Step-by-Step Procedure

Step 1: Observing

You should check whether no other symbol on your onboard shows any additional issues like overheating and low oil pressure.

If you notice these behaviors, you should pull over, shut down the engine and consider contacting roadside service.

Step 2: Checking the gas cap

You should check the gas cap, tighten it or maybe consider replacing it if it is broken, and a loose rubber seal can trigger the lights to come on.

Step 3: Consider reducing pressure

If you think your vehicle performance is different on the road, you should consider reducing speed while driving and avoiding the transportation of heavy goods.

Step 4: Checking whether the engine light is flashing or constant

A constant glow of the light engines should always tell you to consider having a check-up on your Honda pilot soon.

However, if a blinking light shows, it tells that your vehicle should be immediately checked up by a professional.

Important Q&A of Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem

01. What does the emissions system problem mean on a Honda Pilot?

In most cases, the emissions system problem on a Honda Pilot is brought about by the exhaust’s spoilt O2.

The major function of these sensors is to measure the level of oxygen in the exhaust so that fuel usage will be determined.

02. How much does it cost to make sure the engine light is checked?

The most appropriate check engine light diagnosis and testing expenditure range mostly from $88 to $111.

The check-up helps to designate the cause of your check engine light.

Moreover, the check-up helps warn you about issues like gas cap troubles to a more deadly failure such as a bad catalytic converter or problems with the car’s sensors.

03. Is it safe to consider driving my Honda pilot with the check engine lights on?

It is always advisable to consider the severity of the problem with your vehicle.

If it’s a minor issue like losing the gas cap, then your can should be able to travel to work. In case you notice a difference in the performance, then this should be an indication of a tougher problem.

Although the engine light is flashing, then you should understand that your Honda pilot needs immediate attention from a specialist.

04. What can be the cause to check engine lights come on for a Honda pilot?

There are various reasons for the engine light to come on in a Honda Pilot, and this may be due to authentic or replacing your car’s gas cap.

If your check engine light is flashing, you are strongly recommended not to drive this vehicle and get a check-up specialist for the car diagnostic.

There are natural reasons for your check engine light like;

  • If the plug wire and the spark plug is needed to be replaced
  • If the vacuum system leaks

In case the mass airflow sensor needs to be replenished, in case the catalytic converter is bad, bad battery, and if the oxygen sensor needs to be replenished.

05. Can the check engine light reset itself?

The check engine usually automatically shuts off if there is an issue and shuts itself on whenever the issue is resolved.

For example, if your car’s problem is a loose gas cap, then you tighten it, the check engine light will automatically turn on.


Is your Honda pilot emissions system having problems? However, it is best to understand that Honda vehicles are not immune from experiencing problems.

Generally, the Honda Pilot is known to develop problems likely, and the common problems can be associated with the Honda pilot emission problems.

It is always advisable that if your Honda develops issues.

Therefore, it can be easily detected with immediate servicing from a specialist to run an OBD scanning to help determine the exact code of the issue.

And understand what is needed to be done to make sure you solve the issue completely. It is believed that driving a car without issues is a guarantee of safe travel.

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