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My 2005 Element has 186,600 miles on it and I'm starting to have a lot of problems. I thought it was the transmission but AAMCO doesn't think so. They are getting a P2646 code which is the same code that caused the dealership to replace the VTEC Oil Pressure Switch two times previously, the most recently was in Feb. '10. AAMCO says the code is a circuit fault and not a part malfunction and they are questioning the dealership in replacing the part when root cause appears to possibly be an electrical issue. When I'm accelerating the car starts jerking and trying to stall around 40 mph then settles down above that. Also at 70 mph on the Interstate it's like the transmission has shifted to neutral... there is a slight jerk then I have no acceleration until the car decelerates to 60 mph and the ability to accelerate returns. That's why I thought it was a transmission issue. There is also a tapping coming from low in the engine when the car is idling that isn't constant but seems to come and go in frequent cycles. I've been losing oil for about a year now and cannot go between 5K mile oil changes without adding a quart. I know all this sounds really bad but I love this car and I don't want to get rid of it. Has anyone with a high-mileage Element had similar issues? AAMCO thinks the tapping is thrust bearings in the motor and they want to take the pan off to see ($660). The dealership says I need a whole new motor! ($5,000) (no surprise there) Not knowing much about cars, I'm at a loss as to what I need to do...
 

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Well, AAMCO doesnt have the best reputation to start with so I would find a good local mechanic. My friends dad used to be the AAMCO spokesman until he himself had the AAMCO experience. Im sort of confused as well since AAMCO thinks its an electrical issue and not a faulty/clogged/dirty part. It almost sounds like a rev limiter kicking in which could be a sign of low oil pressure putting it into limp mode.

A low mileage used engine can be had rather cheap and installed by an independent. No Exasperated dealership fee's need apply.
 

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Both the 40 mph jerking and the loss of power at 70 sound to me like the torque converter bypass clutch is failing. Your first line of attack on this is to have the transmission fluid changed, and changed to absolutely nothing other than the official Honda transmission fluid. If you have been using non-Honda transmission fluid previously or let the original fluid go too long, it would be not a surprise to have the problems here. If the fluid change alone doesn't help, then you're going to need this clutch replaced, which requires removing the transmission.

As to the tapping and the oil use, yes, you have an issue. Honda engines that burn oil are worn out or close to it... although truthfully, 1 quart per 5000 miles is not what I would consider excessive in an engine with nearly 200,000 miles on it. Like Rob said, find yourself a reputable independent mechanic. Then when the sense of impending doom it is more than you can take (or it finally dies), let him or her shop the junkyards for an E engine with low miles on it and do the deed for a whole bunch less money than the dealer wants.
 

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Thanks

Thanks for all of your input. For now I've had them replace the VTEC oil pressure switch, for the third time, which has fixed the drivability issue. I'm going to try to make it through the end of the year and stay on top of oil changes in hopes of getting a few more miles out of the engine until I have no option but to replace it. I've seen the engines on ebay for $500-$1000 but I am leary of buying something so large and high-dollar from ebay. I guess as long as I go with a seller that has good ratings it would probably be ok, right? Still makes me nervous though...
 

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Hey there. I'm at 150,000 miles and my car is doing the same exact thing at 70+ mph, regaining itself back at 60mph on the Highway. As for the 40mph thing, that is probably your Idle Air Control Valve. All the K series suffer from it at higher mileage.I bought one at NAPA and it solved that problem. My wife is currently on a roadtrip with the Element and is having the 70mph problem, gonna tackle that when she gets back I guess because she is just staying at 60mph and everything seems to be fine so far.

How did you resolve this?
 
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