How I fixed the “Emissions System Problem” on my Honda

So less than four months after buying my Honda, an “Emissions System Problem” showed up on my dash when I started up the car one morning before work.

Wut?! How can a brand new car already have problems?

Turns out there’s an easy fix.

I texted Sandy (who’s an automotive service writer), who calmly replied:

Did you just put fuel in the car? Check and tighten gas cap.

Lo and behold, it worked!

Turns out (and the gas cap is actually labeled as such), you need to twist the gas cap clockwise until you hear a click to properly close it. I twist it until I hear two clicks, for good measure.

All good now.

Lesson learned: always get a second opinion on car troubles before you take it in for service. Talk to a friend in the business. Google it. Save yourself time, hassle, and most importantly, money!

15 Replies to “How I fixed the “Emissions System Problem” on my Honda”

  1. I drive a 2016 and it doesn’t have a gas cap. The fuel door basically works as the gas cap in a way.


  2. I took your advice on my 2018 Honda Fit. I recapped the gas and it didn’t work… at first. I started the car 3 times. It worked on the 3rd try. I’m not sure if it was the gas cap or the “economy” button on the dash… between the 2nd and 3rd start, I pushed it too. That’s why I’m commenting: at least one of the two things I did worked and, if you have this common problem, you might want to start your car more than once to see if the warning goes off!


  3. I have a 2014 Pilot – that worked on the first try! Would have been nice not to have paid Honda $150 for a diagnostic test only to have the light come on 2 days later. Thank you!


  4. Our 2016 Pilot “emission system problem “ light would come on shortly after a gas fill up. Started holding the nozzle in the center of the fuel fill opening (had been inserting and letting it hang) emission light has not come on since!


  5. On Honda Accord Sport–uses midgrade gas(87 octane) but at times the emission systems problem appears. Or if you use 85 octane the message will appear. So the octane may not be sufficient. Topped off with 91 octane and problem goes away. Maybe the midgrade octane is not always 87 or above at some stations.


  6. My check engine light came on so had jiffy lube to have code read. The code said emission problem. After reading about Problems checked out things myself. My gas cap was loose. I tightened but my check engine light is still on. How do I get it to turn off?


  7. Hey I was reading everyone’s comments on emission light coming on. My 2016 pilot don’t have a gas cap. But what I did was put my finger in the gas hole to move the flaps around and came back to turn the engine on and the emission system and engine light went off lol. Probably something faulty with those flaps.


  8. Thank you!! Just bought the car less than two months ago. Was pretty upset. It has flaps instead of a cap. Just adjusted them a bit and the warning is gone!


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