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Discussion Starter #1
Is there anything simple or a sensor that I could clean/replace before I take this to a mechanic, that isn't spark plugs, coils, fuel injector to address a P0301 and recently a P0300 and P0303. I checked the valve lashing, seems fine, definitely not crazy tight. The engine only has 110k miles on it.

The idle is obviously wrong/missing when I first start it, that's when it will throw a code but once it warms up, or remotely rev's, it's fine. Even in stop and go traffic. I can clear the code, drive for miles, never get it back. Only when starting the cooled off car. Also, this is Tx, so cooled off is sitting in 70 degree weather.

That's the part that I don't get it. If it were a burnt valve, or worse, I would expect the performance to be all around poor. It's fine when driving. Like most owners of a 5 speed especially, I would definitely notice a difference.

Started out getting just a P0301. Read quite a few scary forum threads. Swapped coils and spark plugs 1 and 2 with 3 and 4. Replaced coils completely, still broken. Plugs look great, maybe slightly brown, but nothing that indicates a catastrophe. They're only 30k miles old. Cleared codes, drove for miles, the light will never come on when driving. But park it enough, let it cool, then start the engine again, get P0301. Swapped injectors, still P0301. Just recently, after a week of troubleshooting, now I get P0300 and P0303 as well.

I checked the valve lashing, it seems fine. I adjusted it 30k miles ago at 80k. Nothing is out of spec. I've set them too loose on a previous honda engine (b16) I know what that sounds like, and they definitely aren't too tight.

My mechanic took it for a day and couldn't find anything wrong (he unfortunately tried to drive it around and watch the OBD2 data, which everything was fine, since it was driving). He didn't want to tear it apart or worry about compression since it was fine on the highway, but I don't know what to do other than ask him to tear it apart.

Just thought I would ask. If it's only during startup, not even idle, let alone driving, I feel like it's a sensor, but I'm out of ideas on what would effect that.
 

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Is there anything simple or a sensor that I could clean/replace before I take this to a mechanic, that isn't spark plugs, coils, fuel injector to address a P0301 and recently a P0300 and P0303. I checked the valve lashing, seems fine, definitely not crazy tight. The engine only has 110k miles on it.

The idle is obviously wrong/missing when I first start it, that's when it will throw a code but once it warms up, or remotely rev's, it's fine. Even in stop and go traffic. I can clear the code, drive for miles, never get it back. Only when starting the cooled off car. Also, this is Tx, so cooled off is sitting in 70 degree weather.

That's the part that I don't get it. If it were a burnt valve, or worse, I would expect the performance to be all around poor. It's fine when driving. Like most owners of a 5 speed especially, I would definitely notice a difference.

Started out getting just a P0301. Read quite a few scary forum threads. Swapped coils and spark plugs 1 and 2 with 3 and 4. Replaced coils completely, still broken. Plugs look great, maybe slightly brown, but nothing that indicates a catastrophe. They're only 30k miles old. Cleared codes, drove for miles, the light will never come on when driving. But park it enough, let it cool, then start the engine again, get P0301. Swapped injectors, still P0301. Just recently, after a week of troubleshooting, now I get P0300 and P0303 as well.

I checked the valve lashing, it seems fine. I adjusted it 30k miles ago at 80k. Nothing is out of spec. I've set them too loose on a previous honda engine (b16) I know what that sounds like, and they definitely aren't too tight.

My mechanic took it for a day and couldn't find anything wrong (he unfortunately tried to drive it around and watch the OBD2 data, which everything was fine, since it was driving). He didn't want to tear it apart or worry about compression since it was fine on the highway, but I don't know what to do other than ask him to tear it apart.

Just thought I would ask. If it's only during startup, not even idle, let alone driving, I feel like it's a sensor, but I'm out of ideas on what would effect that.
I think you got a good start. IIRC, service info says start by swapping around coils, plugs, and fuel injectors to see if misfire follows the component or stays with the cylinder. Seems like you haven’t swapped the fuel injectors yet.

Next, consider valve adjustment (you already did), and cleaning the IACV if you have one (not sure what year your element is). Next is looking for a head gasket leak with the compression / leak down test although a radiator pressure test/ exhaust fumes tester might be a substitute (looking for oil in coolant or coolant in oil along the way).


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Oh, one edit for post #2. Just reread and saw that you replaced coils. What brand coils did you use? I would have relied on the coil swapping information more than the coil replacement info, because sometimes new aftermarket coils are bad.


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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. I did swap injectors, that part is buried in a wall of text though.

The first thing I did was swap coils, which I thought fixed it before I understood that just driving it doesn't get it to throw codes. So I ordered new ones. Then I got the new coils, and figured might as well throw them on after double checking valves. The originals are old anyway.

It's a 2003, I didn't even know it had an IACV, but apparently it does. Thanks. I guess I can try to clean it and order one. I was thinking I might try o2 sensors, and maybe buy something to check fuel pressure, although I'm not sure how that is even supposed to look the first 5 seconds of running.

Edit: exhaust is completely clean, coolant is perfect. I just replaced the water pump last year after it was slightly leaking.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I did swap injectors, that part is buried in a wall of text though.

The first thing I did was swap coils, which I thought fixed it before I understood that just driving it doesn't get it to throw codes. So I ordered new ones. Then I got the new coils, and figured might as well throw them on after double checking valves. The originals are old anyway.

It's a 2003, I didn't even know it had an IACV, but apparently it does. Thanks. I guess I can try to clean it and order one. I was thinking I might try o2 sensors, and maybe buy something to check fuel pressure, although I'm not sure how that is even supposed to look the first 5 seconds of running.

Edit: exhaust is completely clean, coolant is perfect. I just replaced the water pump last year after it was slightly leaking.
Since I learned the hard way, I suggest going OEM on the IVAC. Its work the extra $100, trust me!
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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Is the cold idle speed above 1200 rpm?
 

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Do a compression test. This is very often a tight valve, requiring a valve adjustment. Honda owners are normally total slackers on this specific maintenance item.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Is the cold idle speed above 1200 rpm?
Yes, the first few minutes after it's cold are above 1200. That being said, it isn't 100% consistent. I started it yesterday after sitting for days and it started and ran fine. I started it on the way to Costco this morning and it was perfect. 1 hour later, starting it to go home, it idled rather low because it wasn't that cold but it still misfired for 5 secs.

Edit, so im just confused. Sometimes it does it cold. But lately it seems to happen after warming up then cooling off for an hour, like at the gym or costco.

It's completely perfect warm. Got 25mpg last tank, which was a good one, lots of hwy driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Do a compression test. This is very often a tight valve, requiring a valve adjustment. Honda owners are normally total slackers on this specific maintenance item.
I did, figuring i should stop wasting my time if it's broken. The autozone rental doesn't really lend itself to a DOHC engine, unless I'm missing something tightening the tester into the head was sketchy.

155, 170, 155, 170. Ish, the ticks are pretty small.

I guess what I don't understand is if that's remotely the problem, why it runs fantastic at 4k rpm and not randomly at idle.
 
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