Modern automakers produce cars with amazing features for human safety and the environment. And Honda car manufacturer is one of these great automakers. In 2002, Honda released a mid-size crossover SUV named Honda Pilot. Although the manufacturer primarily aimed at the American market, the 2016-2018 car models have shown some serious faults with the emission system. Emissions standards are legal requirements that protect the environment from pollution. So, know that you are breaking the law when your Honda Pilot indicates an emission system problem. Unfortunately, there have been no recalls for the Honda Pilot emission system. But the most promising thing is that the system requires a little fix, and you’ll have your car on the road again. But what does it mean when the fix emission system honda pilot light illuminates? One of the major problems is the fuel injectors. But there are several other causes of this warning. Read on and learn how to fix them.

What Does the Emissions System Problem Mean On A Honda Pilot

Emission System problems in Honda Pilot mean the emission control system is not working correctly, and the car may release toxins into the environment. Some toxins include carbon monoxide and may cause health risks like asthma, headaches, nausea, and other respiratory diseases. Honda Pilot: photo

How Did The Honda Pilot Emission System Problem Start?

Back in 2002, when Honda Pilot's first generation debuted, there was a minor emission system issue with oxygen sensors and catalytic converter failures. When the second generation Honda Pilot was released, its features gave hope to the new owners. But unfortunately, it came with an advanced but troublesome cylinder deactivation feature. This feature allows the engine system to shut down three cylinders when there is a low power demand to save fuel. Although the third-generation Honda Pilot had more engine upgrades, it brought about unique troubles to the owners. The most common issues when you see emission system light in these models are fuel injection and high-pressure fuel pump problems. Honda Pilot Injector: photo

How to Fix Honda Pilot Emission System Problem: The Checklist

Although the above causes are common among the Honda pilot models, other issues can cause the check emission light to illuminate. Take a look at the list:
  1. Examine the sensors - the oxygen sensors are the most proble cause of the warning light. You can use the OBD-II scan to read the error code for the oxygen sensors and replace it. If you have no basic knowledge of how the sensor works, you can take the car to a mechanic to help you fix it.oxygen sensor: photo
  2. Examine the air filter - the paper element in the air filter helps to prevent dirt and dust from entering the engine. But when it gets clogged with dust, it can limit the oxygen required to mix with the fuel. Check the air filter regularly and have it replaced during car service.
  3.  Inspect the Positive Crankcase Ventilation system(PVC) - it helps to remove unwanted gases from the crankcase. Unfortunately, the PVC valve can get clogged and illuminate the emission system light. This may require a specialist to fix, so take your car to the repair shop.
  4. Check the Variable Cylinder Management system(VCM)- this system helps save fuel in the i-VTEC system by deactivating some cylinders when driving on low power. The Electronic Control Module can signal the emission problem if the system fails. If this is the issue, you will have to seek professional help.
  5.  Inspect the Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) System - this system prevents dangerous fuel fumes from evaporating into the environment. If its canister or hose connections are damaged, the ECU can show the honda pilot check emission system light.
  6.  Check the Wiring Harness - If rodents damage the wires, wiring harness issues can occur. Most wires connect from sensors to the ECM. Check if there are disconnections and fix them.
  7. Check fuel injectors - if you drive third generation Honda Pilot, this is the most common cause of the emission system warning light. Thankfully, the Honda manufacturer caters for the injector and high-pressure fuel pump replacement bills if the car has an active warranty. However, if the vehicle warranty has expired, be ready to pay around $500 for the replacement.
How can you know when the fuel injectors start to malfunction? Read on the next topic:

What Are Signs the of Faulty Fuel Injectors?

There are several indicators that your fuel injectors are faulty. One of the signs is rough idling and poor fuel economy. Read all the signs below:

The car has a rough idle

You can feel the engine vibrate when you start your car in the morning or slow down in traffic. This is caused by poor oil and oxygen ratio due to less fuel injected into the combustion chamber.

Check Engine Light

If the injectors are faulty, the Honda Pilot emission light will illuminate. And secondly, the check engine light will also illuminate as the ECM interprets specific engine sensor data.

Poor fuel economy

Faulty fuel injectors will affect the fuel timing, thus excess fuel into the combustion chambers. This results in poor gas mileage, especially if you drive for long distances.

Engine misfire

You will notice delays when accelerating because the injectors cannot deliver enough fuel to the combustion chambers. This unbalanced fuel-air ratio causes the engine to misfire.

Difficulties when starting the car

You will usually have a hard time starting the car if the injectors cannot deliver enough fuel;n to the combustion chambers. This occurs mainly in the mornings when the engine is cold.

Will Cleaning My Fuel Injectors Work?

Cleaning your injectors can clear the warning sign for a few weeks. But because you haven’t fixed the damage, the light will eventually illuminate. To avoid the troubles, have your injectors replaced.

Is it Safe to Drive with Emissions System Problem Message on Dashboard?

It isn’t safe to drive a car with an emission system problem. First, you are breaking the emission law, and second, the car engine may fail at any time, even on the highway. However, if the light shows in an area with no repair shops, you can drive carefully to the nearest mechanic. Else, if you fear you may risk other road users' lives, you can call the mechanic to your location.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix an Emissions System Problem?

The costs may vary depending on the repair shops. But normally, you can pay around $ 500 for injectors, and labor charges may apply to install them in the engine. Luckily, the dealer will cover the repair costs if injectors fail when your car warranty is active. This is if the car has done less than 150000 miles. Fixing other causes we have discussed above has different charges.

How to Reset Check Emission System Honda Pilot

Sometimes, you will fix the problem, but the emission system light won’t go off because it’s set to go off after certain miles. In this situation, you can use Honda diagnostic reset tool to put off the light. However, if there is no repair shop around, you can carry out the following procedure: Step 1: Turn off the car engine and allow it to cool. Step 2: Open the car hood and locate the car battery. Step 3: Disconnect the negative battery terminal for around 60 seconds and reconnect.   How to Reset Check Emission System Honda Pilot: photo   The light must go off when you disconnect. Else, visit the mechanic to diagnose the issue.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Long is Honda Emissions Warranty?

Back in 2020, Honda announced a service bulleting on Honda Pilot models due to their injector of high-pressure fuel pump problems. As such, the warranty goes for 10 years, or if the car has traveled less than 150000 miles, you can still have the bills covered by the dealer.

Can I Prevent the Emissions System Problem Warning Message?

Yes. Have your car system regularly checked and fix all the faulty components to avoid warning messages. You will; also save yourself from the stress of calling the emergency services or the flatbed.

What Is the 2017 Honda Pilot Emission System Problem?

Emission system problem Honda Pilot 2017 comes from faulty fuel injectors and high-pressure fuel pumps. Other causes can be faulty EVAP systems, problems with the wiring, or the sensors. These causes are common in all third-generation Honda Pilot models, like the 2019 honda pilot emissions system problem, the 2018 honda pilot emissions system problem, and other models from 2016 to 2022. However, always have an expert examine your car to know the problem rather than assuming the causes.

What Is the Meaning of the 2016 Honda Pilot Emissions System Problem Light?

The 2016 Honda pilot fuel injector recall with leaky fuel tanks was reported for 2WD and AWD models. The faulty high-pressure fuel pump is also an issue with the models. However, I recommend visiting the repair shop for diagnostics if you see the emission system light.


The first-generation Honda pilot has the most common problem of oxygen sensors and catalytic converters failures. The second generation has an issue with the cylinder deactivation feature, which was introduced to save fuel. And the third generation, with the most improved engine, has the issue of high-pressure fuel pumps and fuel injectors. As a rule of thumb, any time you get the emission system wearing message, drive your car to the nearest repair shop or call your mechanic to diagnose the problem. By taking this step, you will prevent further car system damage.