Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had two or three episodes of the CEL being on and then going off. First time I was told "maybe gas cap not tightened properly", so I've been careful with that. Last episode, light was off by the time I got to the dealer, but history showed that the light had been on in the past. Service guy said it had PO171 error, but couldn't find anything wrong, so it must be BAD GAS and you owe us $104.50!! I called BS, but they insisted.------------- SO, anybody else have trouble with bad fuel or is this just some "dog ate my homework" crap that the service dept. is selling when they can't find the real problem??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
If it is a cap issue, this may help you and I'm sure this is going to sound real silly to EOCr's----

I switched gas caps from the Element to the Silverado and the truck cap back to the E. The light stopped coming on. Apparently, the Honda likes the factory GM gas cap and the Siverado likes the new Element cap or just doesn't care that much about cap sensitivity.

Call it crazy, but it works. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Service guy said it had PO171 error, but couldn't find anything wrong, so it must be BAD GAS...
P0171 (fuel system too lean) can be caused by gasoline with excessive (like E85 excessive) alcohol content. Easy to do an alcohol content check on a gasoline sample if excessive alcohol content is suspected.

Since your vehicle is an '07 though, I'd be wondering if the technician bothered to read the July 2007 service news article that mentions a dirty MAF sensor (bugs, lint, etc...) causing that particular DTC. Another simple check, and simple fix if that is the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Light Coming on

Had this issue myself with 2006 Element - the same error code - the issue is not Bad Gas or a Gas Cap - the problem is you have a faulty Air-Fuel Sensor that needs to be replaced. Honda will charge you an arm and a leg just for the part - take it to a private mechanic and let him know about the problem and to get you an OEM part which works fine - it's just a part that plugs in right before the Catalytic converter . You will see the light will not come on again.

Hope that helps!

Jimy1M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
P0171 (fuel system too lean) can be caused by gasoline with excessive (like E85 excessive) alcohol content. Easy to do an alcohol content check on a gasoline sample if excessive alcohol content is suspected.

Since your vehicle is an '07 though, I'd be wondering if the technician bothered to read the July 2007 service news article that mentions a dirty MAF sensor (bugs, lint, etc...) causing that particular DTC. Another simple check, and simple fix if that is the issue.
Thanks, Honda Tech,
They did tell me they cleaned the MAF sensor. Is it normal for the sensor to get dirty? Can I do something to keep the sensor clean? The car only has 29K on it. Fuel tested 8% alcohol...they recommended that I not used ethanol-blended fuels....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Thanks, Honda Tech,
They did tell me they cleaned the MAF sensor. Is it normal for the sensor to get dirty? Can I do something to keep the sensor clean? The car only has 29K on it. Fuel tested 8% alcohol...they recommended that I not used ethanol-blended fuels....
Have you had a re-occurance of the P0171 since the sensor was cleaned?

Not using ethanol blended gasoline isn't really an option in the United States now, is it? :roll: Using gasoline with an ethanol content up to 10% would not cause a P0171 DTC.

As for keeping the MAF sensor clean, I can make two suggestions based on what I regularly see - don't allow unskilled people to remove/inspect your air filter and don't use cheap quality filters. I've seen plenty of loose, broken airbox covers, hoses disconnected from the air intake system, rolled or damaged filter seals, as well as cracked and degraded cheap filter seals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you had a re-occurance of the P0171 since the sensor was cleaned?

Not using ethanol blended gasoline isn't really an option in the United States now, is it? :roll: Using gasoline with an ethanol content up to 10% would not cause a P0171 DTC.

As for keeping the MAF sensor clean, I can make two suggestions based on what I regularly see - don't allow unskilled people to remove/inspect your air filter and don't use cheap quality filters. I've seen plenty of loose, broken airbox covers, hoses disconnected from the air intake system, rolled or damaged filter seals, as well as cracked and degraded cheap filter seals.
Service was last Friday, okay since. Did have a good local shop(not a quicky oil change place) change air filter during routine oil-change, but had two CEL's events before that.

In some mid-west states, the gas pumps are not even labeled regarding ethanol content and some stations don't have anything but ethanol blends. Good or bad ethanol is here to stay.

Thanks for your comments...I think this will be a very helpful forum!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top