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Q:

check engine light on 1991 Honda Civic

Rookie cbe0621eac06868b3efe0d8d1d3611e23c60d3114864ea2ec19a68cfbd3eebab
after washing the engine the check engine light comes on shortly after the engine is running and will not advance over 3500 rpm
(1) Answer
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Allow the engine to dry off and see if the engine will run correctly when it has dried. Water has probably gotten into the ignition system, after the engine drys let it idle for a while to get the water to evaporate pull the spark plug wires out (see if water is down the spark plug tubes, blow away the water). Disconnecting the battery for ten seconds will reset the memory of the computer if the engine runs properly after the water has evaporated.
This site may help you further
http://www.troublecodes.net/honda/