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Newby here, just wanted to comment about this problem. After days of changing everything others have mentioned and still having the problem I discovered most aftermarket parts won't work for this problem, more specifically Dorman parts. I tried two of the Dorman variable valve assemblies with the solenoid valve and oil pressure switch included, neither worked. Eventually I tried putting a different brand of oil pressure switch into the Dorman valve assembly and the problem is solved. Honda has actually updated the original switch but I didn't buy it because it was expensive. I ended up trying another aftermarket oil pressure switch that was not made in China and it works great. - Don't buy Dorman, just clean out your original variable valve assembly and install another decent quality switch - problem solved.
I've been dealing with this problem all weekend ever since replacing a gasket to take care of a small oil leak. On Monday I'm going to have my mechanic replace the oil pressure switch with OEM Honda and update. Thanks for the info!
 

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So this problem came back for me....

After a low oil pressure test, we switched to a high capacity oil pump and it does drive much, much better.

However, now the check engine late came back on with various warnings about high and low voltage. So they think it is the control computer so we are gonna replace that.

I am at almost 240K miles, so its safe to say at 200k miles and up you need to change the oil pump as a matter of course if it hasn't been done before. (and you might as well to a high capacity pump)
 

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2007 EX AWD AT; 2008 LX FWD AT
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So this problem came back for me....

After a low oil pressure test, we switched to a high capacity oil pump and it does drive much, much better.

However, now the check engine late came back on with various warnings about high and low voltage. So they think it is the control computer so we are gonna replace that.

I am at almost 240K miles, so its safe to say at 200k miles and up you need to change the oil pump as a matter of course if it hasn't been done before. (and you might as well to a high capacity pump)
How low was your oil pressure? Define "high capacity"; do you know how much extra flow vs. OEM? Do you have any numbers for how it improved the oil pressure? The high voltage warning is just that the control sees 12 volts when it expects zero; the low voltage warnings are when the control sees zero volts when it expects to see 12 volts. I've solved (at least for 3500 miles) VTEC problems resulting from low oil pressure by switching to 5W40 oil (lot cheaper than dropping the pan and changing the pump). I've been trying to come up with a way to measure the oil flow (on engine) to determine if the oil pressure problem is low pump flow or too much leakage in the engine.
 

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How low was your oil pressure? Define "high capacity"; do you know how much extra flow vs. OEM? Do you have any numbers for how it improved the oil pressure? The high voltage warning is just that the control sees 12 volts when it expects zero; the low voltage warnings are when the control sees zero volts when it expects to see 12 volts. I've solved (at least for 3500 miles) VTEC problems resulting from low oil pressure by switching to 5W40 oil (lot cheaper than dropping the pan and changing the pump). I've been trying to come up with a way to measure the oil flow (on engine) to determine if the oil pressure problem is low pump flow or too much leakage in the engine.
IIRC it was at "20" when tested. The high capacity oil pump should have added another 10 alone. Ideally when tested it should have been at 40. I haven't got it re-tested since the new high capacity oil pump, but it drives WAY better even with the engine still in error code. (before it would knock and stutter all the time)

(So I think there were 2 distinct problems. 1. old and not so good oil pump and 2. bad computer causing this error code.)

So this has me thinking owners of high mileage Elements should change to this kind of oil pump (and of course get benefit of a new oil pump) at 200K Miles and above.

Mechanic did not like the idea of going to 5W40 (due to freezing conditions, said it would be fine in like a warm place, which we are not)

So we are going to replace the computer, which he's certain is the reason for the voltage problems. Guess we will know in a few days on this theory.
 

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20 psi at what engine speed? With the engine fully warmed up, it should be a minimum of 44 psi at 3000 rpm and 10 psi at idle. Do you have the specifics of the oil pump that was installed? Many members have well beyond 200,000 miles with their original oil pumps.

Lowest temperature around here since changing to 5W40 has been about 30 deg F - I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in cranking speed so far.

Keep us up to date on how things turn out.
 

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I think those numbers were for engine at almost full normal type go, so probably around 3000 rpm. Of course it was measured before the new oil pump so I do think the old one which was at over 200K miles was definitely worn.

Edit, looks like it was a Honda OEM one they used, but either way, drives way better now.


It does get colder than just 30F here, but if that's the coldest you ever get you might be just above the freeze type line. :)
 

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2009 LX, Auto, AWD, Omni Pearl Blue
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Tovey7, I’ve read through all your posts and it sounds to me like you’ve simply been throwing parts and labor at this problem. You’ve found a “solution” several times only to discover that it was not the solution.

I suspect that over the 200K miles of your car, oil change/filter intervals have not been adhered-to. In my book that means every 3K for dino oil, or every 5K for synthetic oil. And, contrary to what some people here assume, just doing one fresh oil change will not reverse the effects of years of inattention (" . . . I changed the screens and did an oil/filter change and the DTC came back . . .").

As such, I suspect that your engine is either worn-out, or sluged-up, resulting in reduced oil pressure to the VTEC system.

As you have done, you can replace individual parts in the hopes that that is the only part causing your DTC. But as you have seen with your previous fixes, those sure fixes may not last. I suspect replacing the oil pump will be a longer term fix than others, but I suspect there are many other areas of your engine that are worn-out or sluged-up.

Fleetw00d’s idea of increasing the hot-weight of the oil is another good idea and that may get you another 25K, 50K, maybe 100K trouble-free miles, but again, it does not solve the actual problem.

Good luck.
 

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What you say is possible. Honestly, I am not too far off getting a new engine!

That said tho, I did have the oil pan replace and oil passages cleaned a few months ago and word back was they were pretty good looking age of the car factored in. I expected much worse. And other comments from the mechanic indicate the engine does look good! Other aspects of the car show very good tender loving care over the years (it is a 2005). So at this point I do go with it being the oil pump and computer malfunction as being the two fundamental causes of all the problems, and previous techs just went with fixing what the error code said was wrong, not the actual CAUSE of the error code at its root. :)

But yeah, if this doesn't fix it, I will replace the engine, and either way will come back with an update after the computer fix and in another 25K and 50K so we will all know in the end if it is worn engine or if I finally got to the bottom of this one pesky and hard to sort down problem! The one tech is highly certain of the computer malfunction issue at this point FWIW.
 

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Update. Have now had my Elements Computer replaced and its driving just great, in fact much better than before when just the oil pump was replaced.

So TLDR on this long and hard to sort down problem (the P2646 error code):

1. Would recommend all Elements replace their oil pumps at 200K miles.
2. Mine also had a bad computer. If you are getting and other things have failed to fix the problem, change the computer.
3. Always use Genuine Honda parts for anything to do with the engine.

So I am now happy after a lot of time and money my Element works great, thanks to those who have contributed on this issue on this forum.

Final comment: Others have said and I agree it takes a whole lot to actually take down a Honda engine. I don't think the core engine itself will be the problem for the vast amount of people here (I am talking the valves themselves here not the actual parts that someitmes get swapped out like the selonoid), even with age. It will still run just not perfect, but will still run, which will not cause a check engine P2646 code IMHO. That is just my opinion as a non expert FWIW.

EG. you can fix even a much older Element that has the P2646 error code, an old engine need not stand in the way.
 
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