How to pull Honda codes without a scanner

Honda car owners and DIY auto repairers, get in here! You’re about to know an easy peasy alternative to using on-board diagnostics (OBD) scanners in reading check engine light (CEL) codes.

You’ll be surprised by how straightforward the method is, in addition to the fact that all you need for pulling the codes is just ONE thing to be discovered in this article. The installation of a software application on your devices won’t be necessary.

Reading our simple guide to the end will help you when practicing what you’ll learn here.

What does “check engine light” in Honda mean?

A check engine light is also referred to as a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL). This means that the OBD of your Honda car is showing you a sign to warn you of a vehicle fault. You should conduct a diagnosis to read the CEL codes stored in the engine control unit (ECU) or engine control module (ECM) whenever you see the notification. The codes are used to report the root of a malfunction.

Check engine light in Honda
In Honda vehicles, check engine light shows up to warn you of a fault. You can diagnose and read the codes with an OBD scanner to know the root of the malfunction. Check engine light can be symbolized variously.

CEL indicators usually appear on dashboards or instrument panels (IPs) of Honda vehicles. They’re typically illuminated by a brightly colored amber, orange, red, or yellow “engine” symbol and/or legend. See some variations below.


Check engine alerts will specify a minor fault when the light is stable. However, if the light is blinking, it indicates a major issue that requires your urgent attention.

Don’t panic when you see the MIL come on. It’s only a warning that you should act on as quickly as possible. A delay in diagnosing and fixing the problem may negatively affect other parts of the Honda vehicle.

Read more: Why is my “check engine” light flashing and my car shaking?

Is it possible to read the Honda check engine light codes without a scanner?

is it possible to read Honda check engine light codes without a scanner
OBD scanners are produced to conduct a diagnosis to read CEL codes. However, they are quite expensive. If you don’t have any scanners, you can still be able to check the codes.

Yes, reading your Honda’s CEL code without a diagnostic tool is doable. Therefore, it can save you a lot of money when you don’t need to buy an expensive scanner.

Checking the car with an OBD scan tool requires the use of a wireless adapter and a compatible software application installed on your mobile device or PC. The following reasons are why people use scanners for vehicle diagnosis:

  • Some can provide very comprehensive results—even suggesting having “verified expert repairs”. A number of them can be linked to databases and proprietary CANs (Controller Area Networks) of car manufacturers via internet connection.
  • It’s a more sophisticated and user-friendly technique since you’ll utilize the screen or monitor of your mobile device or PC to activate the process and get well-presented feedback.

How to read Honda CEL codes without a scanner

It is possible to read Honda check engine light code without a scanner. Read through the steps below for more details.

The method we’re about to describe is a manual approach that involves linking a small metal wire to your car’s OBD. A small metal wire, we say? It’s not magic—just a simple trick. Pun intended.

The tips used for the connection have to be metallic for this procedure to work. Plugging the wire into the system will put the latter in auto-mode. Follow the steps below.

Read Honda CEL code without a scanner
Make sure to have a small metal wire to connect to your car’s OBD when following these steps. This is a trick for you to read CEL code on a Honda vehicle without a scanner
  • Switch the car off.
  • Bend the wire in a “U” shape.
  • Locate the OBD’s point of connection directly below the glove compartment. You’ll find this area shielded.
  • Open the covering to reveal the diagnostic system’s connector. Normally, you’ll find a pair of connectors. Your target is the one that features two holes for plugging the wire. The other one would have a design that’s compatible with a scan tool.
  • Plug each point of the wire into the holes in the target connector.
  • Put your car in ignition mode without putting the engine on.
  • The CEL will come on or blink if a part of your car is defective. There’s nothing to worry about if the light doesn’t brighten up or start flashing.
  • Focus on your dashboard to read the codes by observing the lengths of the flashes. Short flashes are indicative of codes that are below the number 10. Long flashes mean that the figure is higher than the number 9. Thus, you should take note of the numbers during pauses.
  • Unplug the wire after the diagnosis.
  • Return the connectors to their normal locations in the compartment.
  • Close the compartment correctly.

View the Honda check engine light codes (Honda CEL codes) or trouble codes list to see the meanings of the numbers shown in the scan results. The range of the numbers is 1-54. Each of them is a reference to a specific part of your car.

Results usually show a five-digit CEL code in any combination of single or paired numbers. The codes may mean different things depending on the model of your Honda or the present time, so ensure that the Honda CEL codes list you’re using is up-to-date.


Learning how to pull Honda codes without a scanner allows you to know what’s wrong with your vehicle. You’ll be preventing unnecessary charges and scams by doing so. You can decide whether or not to hire a mechanic if the code indicates the need for a minor repair. Choosing to go DIY might be a cost-effective method, provided you know what you’re doing.

Read more:

Autophix OM123: Check engine fault OBD2/CAN code reader review

VeePeak VP30: OBD2 Check Engine Light Code Reader Review

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