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Hello! First time posted, occasional googler of the site.

My wife's 2003 E (EX, FWD, Auto) has 193,000 miles on it, and over the past two weeks I've been learning all sorts of ways to DIY on repairing a starting issue, replacing an O2 sensor, a vtec solenoid for the second time, fuel injector, spark plugs, coils, and an oil change (from a reputable shop) etc.

Right now I'm trying to diagnose a persistent P0301 issue. After replacing/inspecting all the aforementioned parts, I got a compression tester and ran the test today.
Results:
#1: 15 (yes, fifteen)
#2: 160
#3: 180
#4: 180

Put a couple tablespoons of oil in #1 and the PSI jumped to 30. From what I have read, this is pointing at piston rings and not the valves, although those have also not been looked at since we got the car 150k miles ago (I know, we aren't good car owners, and are paying the price for it).

I'm calling a couple mechanics in the morning, but I always feel less nervous going into a conversation well informed. What steps should we take next? Have we likely pin pointed the issue, or do we still need to do a leakdown test, vacuum leak test, etc? What sort of price should I be expecting/is fair to replace piston rings, if it's that? I've seen a wide variety of answers here from similar threads and not sure what to prepare for.
Is it even salvageable, or should I be looking into replacing an engine/shopping for a new vehicle?

Thanks for your time!
 

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Hi,
Actually you're test would point me to the valves as the compression on #1 was still very low with the oil?

Were the valves ever adjusted prior to this?

Just wondering if you burnt a valve?

I'm afraid any way you cut it, you are looking at $$$!

Forgot to mention, a blown head gasket can come into the mix also?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spoonard

Thanks for the assist. Got the valves adjusted, unfortunately that didn't solve the issue, and we are looking at a 1800$ repair for a vehicle probably worth half that. Probably time to say goodbye.
 

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Thanks for the assist. Got the valves adjusted, unfortunately that didn't solve the issue, and we are looking at a 1800$ repair for a vehicle probably worth half that. Probably time to say goodbye.
Preventive maintenance, is all you needed to do... You would still have a running vehicle. Now you have junk, and looking at buying into another overpriced vehicle.

Sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Preventive maintenance, is all you needed to do... You would still have a running vehicle. Now you have junk, and looking at buying into another overpriced vehicle.

Sorry!
You may consider this as helpful, but it comes off as condescending. If you aren't going to genuinely contribute, please keep your sentiments and advice to yourself. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
 

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Hi,
The valve adjust will not help now it is to late with no compression in the # 1 cyl.

I was just trying to point out a reason for a burned valve?

An air or smoke test could tell you more, what exacty is leaking on that cylinder.

If it is a burnt valve, a head removal and rebuild is the next step and doable?
 

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Thanks for the assist. Got the valves adjusted, unfortunately that didn't solve the issue, and we are looking at a 1800$ repair for a vehicle probably worth half that. Probably time to say goodbye.
Rebuilding an engine isn't that bad. I have a shop do the mill work, have a different shop for heads, and have made projects come together for 1000-1400 bucks for stock rebuilds that have lasted over 100k (still running, so no more record than that).

However, you also have the option that few seem to remember: get a used engine, and be done with the project in a relaxed day in the garage.

Used engines run $500-$600 with 100k on them, lots of them are available, and many of them have warranties. I've gone that route before and watched my nephew roll over 300k on a Sentra I did that for. No muss, no fuss. A pressure washer, engine hoist, an hour and a half to yank the old engine, an hour to move odds and ends from the old engine to the new engine, and a few hours to get the new one in and running. I have not done it to a Honda (yet), but plan on it when the time comes.

Think about that often overlooked option. It could save you a lot of cash, you'll be able to look forward to a couple hundred thousand miles more, and will be a lot less than another car.
 

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You may consider this as helpful, but it comes off as condescending. If you aren't going to genuinely contribute, please keep your sentiments and advice to yourself. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
As for 'helping" I sure am. Anyone reading this post, will now know that valve adjustment is a necessary preventative maintenance. It's too late for you, with burned valves and dealing with a overhaul that could have been avoided.

Hopefully other newbies to the K24 engine will read this, and learn from your mistake.

Once again, Sorry.
 

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Hi,
There are different ways to go and...

I'm not saying a used engine is a bad way to go, but...

For me if the bottom end is good, pulling the head and at the same time replacing anything else easy to get to.

Gives you an almost new engine and can be done with the engine in place.

That way, I know what I've got, and not dealing with an unknown history???

Just sayin, a lot of different ways to go?
 

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I think this is whats happening with my element. I noticed it was running rough last couple days, then the P0301 code is thrown...so if its a leaky or burnt exhaust valve, what should I be doing? Most likely taking this to a mechanic if I cant do it myself but want to be informed.

Edit: Exhaust wasnt sucking in air, so for now I assume its not a burnt valve. Will swap ignition coil to a different cylinder and hope the engine code follows the coil
 
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