Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a pain in the neck problem with my 2003/automatic 4wd EX. Every blue moon when I start my Element the car won't idle. If I drive and come to a stop, or brake and go real slow, or let the foot off the gas, the car cuts off (stalls) the engine and my steering locks up and I coast. Other than not idling, it runs just fine. But this happens every blue moon. It normally just fixes itself after starting at a later time.

Anyone have any ideas?

Also, I want to get a better battery for my E, what is a stronger battery then the OEM Honda batt? I would like to get some more power from the battery. I heard Diehard Platinum Group Size 35 is good. What do u all think? Thanks for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
If it is sitting for a period of time between uses it is highly possible that it is the battery. If you are looking at any diehard batteries go to autozone or walmart and get one, they are made by johnson controls just like the diehard batteries are. this is straight from a friend that has worked at the sears tire and battery center for over a decade.
 

·
Moderatorium
Joined
·
6,408 Posts
No, probably not the battery. Given the age of the vehicle I would be looking at throttle body issues (dirty), fouled injectors, or sensors approaching end-of-life but still within spec just enough to not "throw a code", thereby lighting the dreaded "Malfunction Indicator Lamp" (MIL).

Pour some Techron fuel injector cleaner into the tank with the next fill-up or two and see if it helps. It's cheap enough, and certainly couldn't hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
If you are looking at any diehard batteries go to autozone or walmart and get one, they are made by johnson controls just like the diehard batteries are.
I work at a Wal-Mart, and I know JCI picks up our batteries for recycling, but I can't verify for a fact that they are manufactured by them.

This does not sound like a battery issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
I concur with MikeQBF...throttle body issues could be causing the stalling. Dirty throttle body and/or throttle positioning sensor (TPS) could be getting ready to expire. It is probably not the battery. However, If you do need to replace the battery the Everstart at Wal-Mart is a good one. No need to spend extra bucks on a big CCA battery unless you live in a frigid climate as some folks do. Just my TCW,:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
No, probably not the battery. Given the age of the vehicle I would be looking at throttle body issues (dirty), fouled injectors, or sensors approaching end-of-life but still within spec just enough to not "throw a code", thereby lighting the dreaded "Malfunction Indicator Lamp" (MIL).

Pour some Techron fuel injector cleaner into the tank with the next fill-up or two and see if it helps. It's cheap enough, and certainly couldn't hurt.
times three ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
x 4 :D.

For things you can do yourself at home, I'd check your spark plugs and throttle body as others have suggested. If everything checks out okay, you may have to bring it in to have the Honda scantool hooked up and see if it's anything electrical. The ECM/PCM software may need to be updated as well.

As I posted in another thread, with the electronic controls on the Elements it's sometimes difficult to diagnose idle problems and/or repair them without a scantool. I know here at work one of the first things I do after checking for Service Bulletins or Shop Talks and doing a basic physical once-over, is hook up the scantool to make sure everything is working as it should and the ECM is up-to-date.


P.S. I have had vehicles in the shop with abnormally low battery voltage (or batteries that have gone dead) cause the immobilizer system to malfunction and have to be reprogrammed. It's not often, but it has happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
i have the same problem

orange peelin - the same thing happened to me last week. i have a 2003 EX in manual. i was approaching a stop light and my engine cut out and i lost power steering. a week went by without incident, but this past weekend it happened again, but this time i couldn't get it to restart. i got it jumped, but it cut out again, so i got it jumped a 2nd time and was able to drive it to a repair shop, all the while in 1st gear so i didn't have to stop.

the repair shop reset the computer chip and told me everything was fine. i got back my car but my idle is still low so i took it into the dealer this morning. so far they haven't been able to come up with anything but they are still looking...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
thanks issue resolved???

Hey everyone thanks for your help and thoughts on what could be causing this. So far, heres what I did. First I cleaned up the engine t o get rid of dirt and dust that has accumulated over the last year. Then, on referral from my auto shop the last time I had an oil change when they told me that my battery was low and should be replaced, I went to sears and bought a Diehard Platinum battery based on another Forum user. I can't stand the low output and small battery size of the Honda battery. After installing that, my car was working 'as normal' as i have come used to it doing. No hesitation, no cut outs. It's only been 3 days so far, so lets see in a week right. I also performed an idle learn procedure and that seems to be normal now also. My next fuel stop I will also add some Techron fuel injector cleaner just incase there was air or gunk built up. Wether it happens again with a new battery is anyones guess. But so far so good. My thinking is that the battery was dying out and could not give enough charge to the alternator to keep the car running. I hope this is the case, in lew of super expensive repairs that is. Thanks again, any news i'll let you all know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
idle control valve!

so i took it into the dealer and of course it wasn't acting up at all yesterday, so they couldn't find the culprit. however, they just called and finally got the engine to stall out on a somewhat consistent basis. the culprit was the idle control valve (and not the battery or alternator), which is a relief to know...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
You never mentioned how many miles are on your Element. I had the same problem and solved it with adjusting the valves. It was due to be done and the previous owner never did it. My valves were very tight. After adjusting them back to factory spec my Element hasn't stalled in 6 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
This forum is great! I have the same problem with my wife's '05 EX Auto. It has stalled about 3 times in the past few months. I was certain it wasn't the battery since I had a new Optima installed a couple months prior. Whenever the E acts up, I can only keep it running if I keep my foot on the gas and keep the revs over 2k rpm for about a minute.

Following the advice of other members above, I will invest in a bottle of injector cleaner and have my mechanic look into the idle valve at next oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
This forum is great! I have the same problem with my wife's '05 EX Auto. It has stalled about 3 times in the past few months. I was certain it wasn't the battery since I had a new Optima installed a couple months prior. Whenever the E acts up, I can only keep it running if I keep my foot on the gas and keep the revs over 2k rpm for about a minute.

Following the advice of other members above, I will invest in a bottle of injector cleaner and have my mechanic look into the idle valve at next oil change.
If you have to hold the pedal down a bit to keep the car running (the car immediately stalls if you let it go) then to me that would signify either your idle air system is plugged/not functioning properly (bypass air to the intake is being restricted somehow) or the TPS sensor may be sending an improper signal to the ECM.

I had a '98 Accord that would only run if you held the gas a little bit. Soaked the idle air control valve in carb cleaner over my lunch hour and the car ran normal after.

I know the CRVs had a TPS issue so the Elements may too since they share the same engine.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top