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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been searching for a long time on this forum and the internet itself and I cannot find the answer. I have seen similar problems on here but the poster never came back to say if they found what the problem was and the fix. Also, everything is stock, no aftermarket parts have been installed.
When my car is cold or has not run for a few hours, it will stall when starting up. I have to keep my foot on the gas pedal until the temperature gauge on the dash reads it has fully warmed up which will take about 4-5 mins. If I let my foot go the engine will stall and will not start right away. The starter works good because I can hear it trying to crank the motor over. After the engine is warmed up when I put the engine in gear it will sometimes stall again. Once I get moving it will sometimes stall when i slow down or come to a stop. This will go on for about 10-15 mins if I cannot drive on a road without the need to stop, for example the highway. The engine light has come on and will eventually shut off. The code that was pulled was P0172.
I have checked the vacuum hoses numerous times to make sure they are all hooked up with no leaks. I also checked by using carb cleaner to notice any rpm changes. I have replaced the air filter and spark plugs, the IAC Valve and TPS sensor with no changes. I have cleaned out the throttle body as well and replaced the gasket.
I dont want to take the car to the dealership being it is out of waranty and past dealings with the closest dealer for me has not been very good in the past.
 

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The code that was pulled was P0172.
P0172 is a Fuel System Rich DTC. Checking for a vacuum leak would be appropriate for a P0171 (lean) code.

"Rich" means that the feedback to the PCM indicates an insufficient amount of oxygen content in the exhaust gas.

This can be caused by too much gasoline getting into the combustion chamber (high fuel pressure, leaking injector, excessive EVAP purge, false sensor input causing the PCM to incorrectly calculate the correct injector duration, etc...) or an insufficient amount of oxygen content in the intake manifold - not so much an issue on vehicles that don't have EGR systems (like the E). Insufficient valve lift or inaccurate valve timing would affect the amount of air that can enter the combustion chamber, but that's not a very ordinary scenario on a vehicle that runs normally at times.

Keep in mind that a fuel-injected vehicle measures the amount of air entering the engine, then calculates and injects the correct amount of gasoline for the amount of air that was measured (so a dirty air filter would not cause a "rich" code, because although it could theoretically reduce the amount of air entering the intake manifold, the reduced amount of air is what is being measured and calculated for).

Feedback from the A/F and rear O2 sensor allow the PCM to modify the fuel trim calulation. If the PCM has to compensate more than 19% from it's initial calculation, a fuel trim DTC will be set.

What you will need to determine is whether your issue results from an actual, physical, fault that is affecting combustion efficiency, or if the PCM is being "lied to" by a skewed sensor (which could be a defective sensor or a resistance issue in the wiring, or conceivably a defective PCM - a rare occurance on Honda's, but a possibility)

I assume that you do not have a scan tool, so monitoring the MAP, TPS and ECT data parameters might be difficult, but if you have an ammeter, you can get a quick assessment of fuel pressure by measuring fuel pump amperage. 4.5 to 5 amps would be pretty much normal, but if you had over 5.5 amps the fuel pressure is too high (given the P0172 DTC - if the pump was mechanically binding the amperage would be high, but the pressure and delivery would be too low = P0171)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mook, thanks alot. You just cleared up some questions that I was thinking of to figure out what is wrong. I dont have a scan tool. All I have is a multi-meter. What I am going to do is try changing the coolant temp sensor, to see if that is the problem with the open/closed loop. I dont think I mentioned in my original post is that the colder the outside air temp is, the worse this problem is. If this doesnt work then from here I will look into picking up an amp meter to check the fuel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some Mook. I checked my multi meter and it does measure amps. Now for the dumb question, sorry in advance. Where do I hook up the meter to check the fuel pressure?
 

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Take the Driver's side fuse panel cover off, and check the Legend on the back side of the cover. I believe it's fuse # 17, but I'm too lazy to run out and look at mine right now. ;-)

Pull the fuse and use your meter to complete the circuit, just don't damage the terminals inside the fuse panel by jambing the probes into them - use adapter terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok, thanks. Im gonna try to get that done this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I measured the fuel pressure and i got a reading of 6.4-6.6 amps. I got those readings because I did it a couple of times, when the motor was cold and after it was fully warmed up.
 

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O.K., like I noted earlier you would expect to see 4.5 to 5.3 amps. Anything higher than 5.5 amps (like what you are reading) would indicate that there is an abnormality with your fuel pressure.

With the readings you post, it would make sense to have the fuel pressure checked with a gauge. (Just like hooking up a vacuum gauge is an easy first check before deciding to do a compression test - if manifold vacuum is normal, it makes no sense to do the compression test)

Electric motors do work. When they are doing their work properly, you will measure a certain amperage. (this is empirical data, no published spec, you just take measurements and compare those measurements to other vehicles, or, what I have done, is measure the fuel pump amperage on multiple Hondas while also measuring fuel pressure with a gauge.)

If the fuel pump amperage is normal (again, from empirical data) then there would be no reason to take the time and effort to hook up a pressure gauge. (Hondas are not the most friendly vehicles to test fuel pressure on :-( )

If the amperage is abnormal, then fuel pressure will also be abnormal.

High amperage means the pump is working hard = turning slow. This can be due to mechanical binding of the pump (which would result in LOW pressure and volume), or it can be because the pump is working against too much pressure.

Low amperage means that the pump isn't working hard enough. The pressure and volume will be low. Low amperage can indicate a worn out pump (internals worn and "loose") or it can indicate high resistance in the electrical circuit.

Since your amperage value is high, AND you reported a fuel system rich DTC, there is a very, very good probability that your fuel pressure is too high. I would advise you to get it checked before you spend any more time and money throwing parts at your vehicle in an attempt to resolve your drivability concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some Mook, thanks alot for taking the time to help me out. Now I have something solid to take to a mechanic for them to look into.
 

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Jstatic

Jstatic-
Any news on the Fuel Pressure? Did you find out what was causing your car's issue? I am having the same issue, except slightly milder (in that my car always starts). But in the morning when it is cold outside, my car will always stall out on stops. Let me know how your investigation is going...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
bennyboie, no i havnt had time to get it to a mechanic to check out yet.
 

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i'm also curious if you have found a solution. I replaced my IAVC and the problem remains.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I havnt found the problem yet. My E goes in tonite to a mechanic for him to check it out. I described my situation to him and the first thing he is going to check is if I need a valve adjustment. He tells me that he has seen this problem before, but not on a Element, and once he adjusted the vavles, the problem went away. Once I pick my E back up, dont know when because I told him to take his time with it now that I got my other car back, I will post up the findings.
 

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I was doing google searches and found someone with a K series CRV with the same problems. A valve adjustment fix their problem, so hopefully it fixes yours (& ours).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks, thats encouraging news.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Stalling is Fixed!!!!

I just got my E back yesterday from the mechanic. He adjusted all the valves. He told me all the intake valves were loose and the exhaust valves were very tight. He adjusted them to spec. Immediately the engine ran better, no stalling when warming up the engine, no stalling when trying to drive the E shortly after starting. Also any hesitation when idling is gone. I drove her for a short time after picking up yesterday and today to work, which is about 35 miles. Fairly cool morning in the high 30's for temps and absolutely no problems so far.
 

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I just got my E back yesterday from the mechanic. He adjusted all the valves. He told me all the intake valves were loose and the exhaust valves were very tight. He adjusted them to spec. Immediately the engine ran better, no stalling when warming up the engine, no stalling when trying to drive the E shortly after starting. Also any hesitation when idling is gone. I drove her for a short time after picking up yesterday and today to work, which is about 35 miles. Fairly cool morning in the high 30's for temps and absolutely no problems so far.
it reminds me about 2 years ago that my car has similar problem like yours. At that time my car has 50K, I sent it to dealer and they determined the fuel injection was too dirty, then after like a few months, problem happened again, then I went to the same dealer again, the dealer said it was the throttle valve problem. I thought the labor for second time would be free, but they refused it because they claimed it wasn't their fault. The whole charge for fixing this problem is around $700, but the part for that valve is only around $100.
It looks like Elment's throttle valve quality isn't good.
By the way, I think sometimes it is better to have a local mechanic you know to check the car first because they might know better than dealers. Just a few months ago, my driver side window pulling was broken, so the glass couldn't slide up, I took the car the local shop, it took them only 3 hours to fix it, and they did it very neatly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i took this to a local mechanic. I told him to take his time with it because I had another car to drive around in. He charged me $75 to do the job and that included buying a new valve cover gasket. He asked me if i wanted a new one, I told him ok since I have about 95k on the motor and its never been replaced.

I had refused to take the E to the local dealer, a long story short, in my opinion they are a bunch of bumbling fools and i didnt want to get charged $100 just to walk into the door and then be given a hard time about the parts i already replaced.

The mechanic I went to does this on the side and out of his house but is very thorough in what he is working on.
 
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