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5 Common check engine light errors with the Honda Talon and Pioneer

Jan 3rd 2022

For those of us that are a certified home made garage professional, our Honda Talon or Pioneer tends to reap the benefits of our weekend projects.

We all enjoy modifying and upgrading our side-by-side and finding ways to improve its performance, ride and aesthetic. Sometimes, though, things can go awry. After certain modifications, or even after a simple ride down the trail to your favorite fishing spot, the frustratingly ride-ruining Check Engine Light can bare its ugly teeth.

Honda Pioneer 1000

What causes a Honda Pioneer Check Engine Light to trigger in the first place?

I won’t bore you with every answer to that question, but we will discuss some of the most common CEL errors that you may encounter as the owner of a Honda Pioneer or Talon.

Thankfully for us all, Honda has made it almost simple to figure out the CEL code that your Pioneer or Talon is throwing. The light will blink in a specific pattern of short blinks mixed with longer blinks. Pair these with your Honda owners manual, and a little digging online and you can find the root of many issues in no time.

Now let's dig in to some of these Honda Pioneer and Talon Check Engine Light causes!

Honda Pioneer Check Engine Light

Electrical Anomaly’s

When searching online or even talking to your dealerships mechanic, a common theme of electrical issues seems to come up in regards to check engine light error codes.

As it turns out, there are numerous issues that can arise in the electrical system of your UTV.

Honda Pioneer Spark Plugs

Bad Spark Plugs

Spark plugs seem to be an increasingly common factor when a CEL is thrown, and for more reasons than you might think. Not only can spark plugs fail out of nowhere, but replacement spark plugs can even come out of the box faulty. Damaged or faulty spark plugs inevitably lead to the engine misfiring, causing a severe decline in performance. Many times the Honda side-by-side’s engine will even shut down in these cases, in order to prevent further damage.

The spark plugs also can be compromised due to the cables, boots and caps that link them to the system. These cables and parts get damaged through constant use, overheating, and even branches or debris breaking them loose, again causing misfires in the engine.

Honda Pioneer Battery, Terminals and Wiring

As it provides power to not only the spark plugs, but the entire vehicle, your Honda Pioneer battery upgrade can also be the cause of a CEL.

When we install a Honda Pioneer replacement battery on our own, it is easy to accidentally forget to tighten the terminals properly. A short can occur at this point, leading to that dreaded light to come on again. Many Honda Pioneer and Talon owners also tend to install a Honda Pioneer Dual Battery Kit in order to run their Honda Pioneer winches and other accessories without draining the main battery. This is yet another DIY situation where a failed installation can result in throwing a CEL error code.

If you’re going to tackle the dual battery mod, be sure to check out this blog where we outline the process for you!

During my research, the most common electrical issue I found causing owners a ton of grief, was the one I never thought of:

A branch.

More specifically, a branch or stick that had somehow lodged itself into the engine bay during a trail ride or trip through terrain with a lot of brush and debris. The branches would damage wires on the way in, and even sever them completely. In some cases damaging the engine cooling fan and causing the UTV to overheat! Nature can certainly be unforgiving in the least expected ways. 

Honda Pioneer Fuel System Problems

Your side-by-side’s fuel system is known for being another leading cause of check engine lights appearing.

Some issues maybe self inflicted, such as a fuel line being pinched from an incorrect installation or incorrect part even.

Other problems can arise, though, that you had no control over. Your Honda Talon fuel filter element being clogged or damaged can throw a CEL out of nowhere due to excess contaminants in the gas tank. Fuel injectors can fail, and the fuel pump itself may sometimes be in desperate need of Honda Pioneer fuel pump rebuild kit to get it functioning properly again.

Fixing Honda Pioneer and Talon Check Engine Light Causes and Issues

When it comes to diagnosing and repairing any of these common check engine light causes on your Honda Talon or Pioneer, sometimes it is better to err on the side of caution. Because although you can certainly find a wealth of information online these days, you may not always come to the correct conclusion.

Imagine taking apart a vital part of your precious Pioneer or Talon, only to realize you had the wrong diagnosis and have mucked things up even further!

The safest bet sometimes is to defer to your dealership or mechanic that specializes in these Honda UTV’s. Not to mention, if your side-by-side is still under warranty, then your best bet is to drop it off and have the pros take care of everything for you!

Just whatever you do, don’t ignore the Check Engine Light!