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Stalled after rain storm

A couple of times element has acted weird after driving in rain. Last night it stalled while driving.. then worked enough to drive home after a rest and now today did the same thing. Could it be we have a seal leak to the computer system? All the lights come on like a disco
 

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In Florida with 2007,
The engine has shutdown / stalled and will not restart until it ‘rests”.
This has been happening after driving rain storm. And day after driving in rain storm. Had our great mobile mechanic come by and for not the first time no issues, no codes.. so what now? We can’t drive in rain in Florida?
Please help, We think something in the computer / sensors are getting wet when driving in puddles. I do not feel safe.
Again all the lights go on and engine misses and putters and then does not restart. Then after a while is fine. Dried out?
 

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How many miles are on your Element? What kind of maintenance history does it have?
 

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Element has just over 100k we just had recalled airbags replaced & broken electric window..a air flow sensor about 11/2 years ago. This intermittent mechanical / electrical has been going on for months. It seems to be after driving in rain / puddles..
I drove through pouring rainstorm last week and it was fine..but later on my BF drove to grocery store & it broke down out on the way.. it started up later on but sputtered the next day..a few days later no signs of problems..no codes
 

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With just over 100k, and problems of the engine shutting down intermittently, and then restarting later on, I would get a valve adjustment done if it hasn't been. Not saying that it's the cause, but the symptoms are similar, and it's due on your Element so you might as well rule it out. It's a very common issue on the K24 at that mileage. The symptoms can get worse as the engine heats up, and then it's fine once the engine cools a bit (allowing normal restart).

Next, and this may sound obvious, I would check that your battery connections are tight. Also, check the ground cable terminal on the engine end (opposite the battery connection end). These have a tendency to corrode/get gunked up and cause electrical issues. Easy check/fix.

Start there and report back!
 

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When I had problems with previous cars shutting off in the rain it was a distributer cap, but the element does not have one of these. I would suggest changing the spark plugs wires. At 100 k you should get new spark plugs and wires...it won't hurt and they are cheap. Good luck. Ghost's are the worst.
 

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When I had problems with previous cars shutting off in the rain it was a distributer cap, but the element does not have one of these. I would suggest changing the spark plugs wires. At 100 k you should get new spark plugs and wires...it won't hurt and they are cheap. Good luck. Ghost's are the worst.
Where are these spark plug wires you speak of in an Element??
 

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It's been a while obsandi, but wondered if you ever found the cause. I ask because we're having similar issue with the wife's 2010 EX (2WD, automatic) with 69k miles. It only happens when she drives (as in it has never happened when I'm driving), maybe 5 times in last 7 months, not always during a rain but roads are still wet with puddles after a rain. At first she said brakes and steering locked up on slow speed right turns in the rain, usually after a puddle. One time she was going straight at 30mph. I stressed 'observe everything' when it happens. Well, a few nights ago it happened and she noted HVAC quit, dash indicators lit up like when you start the car (her headlights were on) and the car shut off about 3 seconds, but restarted when she gave it gas (did not have to use key to restart). She was going 7 or 8 miles an hour turning right (yes, she ran the stop sign) and part of the turn was through a puddle. So I assume the steering/brake condition she initially described is loss of power steering/brakes. I had already flushed all fluids 6 months prior to the first event along with a serpentine belt (Gates) replacement, but repeated the brake flush after it first happened thinking maybe a little air left in lines, but all was clear (and it's clearly not a brake issue now). Battery and air cleaner are about a year old, Mobil 1 synthetic every 7,500 miles, tires rotated every 5k. The engine starts and runs flawlessly, and she said it ran fine after it shut off the other night. Only previous problems are ones since car was delivered, namely a TPMS light Honda could never keep dark more than a month at a time (despite a half a dozen new sensors); and a heater that I must manually thrown 2 valves to work (which since it never tripped a code- the mechanics insisted there couldn't be a problem!). But I digress... Location is Hilton Head, SC. So it's a typical hot, humid, southern environment. It has happened during the winter and summer.

Moisture/electrical problem is my first guess. Valve adjustment is second since it's so popular around here. Third and a long shot, I was wondering if anyone ever suspected water on the serpentine could cause a temporary slip. There is no wheel well protection in that area and if it did get wet it would dry out quickly as the pulleys and belt are pretty warm. My main doubt with this idea why would it suddenly start now, unless this new Gates belt is not the best (but I've had a lot of success using their products). And the key issue would be another but her keyring is barren, however, when I'm test driving her car when it rains I realized I'm using either the spare key or valet key (of course it just rained and she's at work with the key in her purse). Right now I'm replacing plugs, dielectric grease sealing, checking from the battery on down- the obvious stuff. Any constructive thoughts and suggestions are appreciated!

One last 'side' question that has nothing to do with above. Can anyone explain the function of the air intake by the battery? It looks like there's a handle that could divert the air intake from the engine compartment to the wheel well, but I removed the 'handle' and there's no flap or damper, rotating it does nothing. It looks like it draws air from both locations at once, but it also looks like there's a reservoir below that housing. I was just curious and thinking if the reservoir had a drain and it was plugged it could induce water into the intake. Thanks in advance!
 

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On your belt theory, if the tensioner is weak, I suppose it could allow the belt to slip when wet. A slipping belt wouldn't affect power brakes, they are operated by engine vacuum. A slipping belt wouldn't cause an ignition problem, the battery should still operate the ignition and everything else electrical for a few seconds. So the belt slipping shouldn't cause the engine to shut down. Valve adjustment wouldn't be affected by moisture and likely wouldn't be intermittent. You might try using a water spray bottle under the hood to try to replicate it.

On the side question, the "handle" is not supposed to have a hole in the end. The large reservoir by the battery is a resonator to reduce intake noise.
 

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You're right, I thought about the brakes after posting, except I think the '10 has a servo on the proportioning valve and is not vacuum assist, at least that what it looks like. As far as the belt theory, I was thinking if the belt slipped, it wouldn't be turning the alternation, but the way she's describing it the car is shutting off for a few seconds. As far as valve adjustment, a lot of contributors keep recommending that as a cure-all for everything. You'd think it also cures eczema and baldness as much it's recommended on this forum. But I'm with you, it's too coincidental that it would only happen with moisture/rain. So far my plan is cleaning and dielectric grease on every connector I can get to, then seal with CRC 5104. I went ahead and replaced the plugs and lubed the seal on the coil-on connections. I'm trying to seal the bottom of the fuse box where the harness comes in since it's so close to the drivers wheel well opening. The irony here is there's a fender well in front of the tire but none in back, exactly where the tire's going to disperse water in the tread. But, it's worked fine for 10 years up to now. As far as the 'handle', there is no hole. I speculated if what was below it was a air/water separator, would it have a drain hole? But you enlightened me as to it's actual function, a resonator.

Last note, as I've talked to friends about this, 2 of them related the same problem with their Accords (2006 and 2009). The only difference is their cars won't restart until it dries out and our local (Honda) service department was unable to fix the problem. Thanks for your comments and suggestion.
 

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Just to follow up. I kept the car a week in our dehumidified garage while I tinkered, detailed, and did the following. First, thorough cleaning under hood and remove windshield plastic cowling and clean out drainage through wheel wells (which required removing plastic wheel well fenders). After 10 years of parking under a pine tree there was about a 1/4 bale of straw in cowling area and wheel wells. The passenger side drain was almost completely clogged. Replaced plugs (NGK Iridium), sealed boots to coil-ons with dielectric grease. Applied contact cleaner then dielectric grease, and applied silicone grease to oval harness gaskets to all under hood harness connections and sealed wires into every harness with CRC wire sealer/dryer. Removed, wire brushed, greased, sealed battery ground-to-body wiring. Battery terminals were good but lubed with plenty of grease. Just as I finished we had an inch of rain so I put it though every puddle I could find at speeds up to 50 mph for about 20 minutes, but also slow speed turns which is when it previously occurred. It ran like a champ with no problems- so far. We'll be getting some fallout from Hurricane Sally this week so this should be the real test. It's been such an intermittent problem (4 or 5 times over 8 months with plenty of rain during that time) so I won't know for awhile if this is successful. Fingers crossed!
 

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OK, one more last note! Over the last few years on occasion I would feel specks of water when we were driving in the rain. I would look around to see if it was coming in the door gaskets or maybe around windshield gasket but there was never any evidence of either. Now as I think about it and after cleaning out the cowling area and drainage, I suspect it was coming in the fresh air inlet, especially since that side of the cowling was covered with debris and that drain area was almost completely blocked. The air inlet is about the size of a 6" x 9" speaker with no baffles, you're literally looking at the cabin air filter when you remove the 2 piece cowling below the windshield (which also requires removing the windshield wipers first). The lip around the intake is no more than a 1/4", so if you have accumulated debris water could easily run into this opening. And we're pretty much always running the A/C down here, and defroster when it's raining. So it's conceivable this could blow that moisture into the ductwork which could end up dripping on electrical components under the dash, causing my problem and a lot of other electrical issues. Maybe, maybe not. But if you're reaching for straws, it's worth eliminating all possibilities, especially if you park outdoors under trees. Removing the cowling isn't hard, but getting it back in requires some patience. There's 4 plastic rivets along the button rail and the others simply snap out from underneath as you carefully lift it out. The hardest part about replacing it is aligning the hidden snaps without them coming out of their slot, then getting the rubber gaskets back around the hood hinges. If you need to remove wheel well fenders to clean drainage area, it's just 4 screws holding the mudflaps and a couple of plastic rivets. Just turn the wheel till it's out of your way to access the screws and area. I pulled the styrofoam blocks out as well (on the passenger side) to access a silver dollar sized where the water drains through. A long nozzle on a wet/dry vac proved invaluable! LP
 
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