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2007 EX AWD AT (two!); 2008 LX FWD AT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My daughter finally got tired of repeated P2646 (low oil pressure) and catalytic converter codes on her 2008 LX FWD AT with 223,000 miles. She replaced it with a 2018 CR-V with 24,000 miles. My neighbor graciously allowed me the use of his 2005 F250 diesel, rented a tow dolly, drove from southwest OH to Des Moines, IA (600 miles) Thursday evening, loaded up Friday morning and got back home about 7:30 PM. The truck got about 16 mpg for the whole trip - it didn't really seem to care that it had the Element behind it.

After the initial diagnosis of low oil pressure (about 5 psig at idle), she started running 5W30, which reduced but didn't eliminate the P2646 issues. I confirmed today that the last oil change they didn't remember this and put 5W20 back in, so P2646 started cropping up again more frequently. She didn't have a problem until it was good and warmed up and she'd back out of the throttle at highway speeds.

First thing I'm going to do is install an oil pressure gage so I can monitor the oil pressure. First with the 5W20 that's in it; then maybe switch to 5W40 (Mobil 1 makes one that is advertised for turbodiesels - I suppose because of the heat). I'd like to avoid jumping right to a 20W50 if I can. I did a partial rebuild (honed cylinders, rings, rod bearings) in summer 2019 to get the oil consumption from a quart almost every tank of gas to not needing any between 5,000 mile changes. Since then I've been trying to figure out a way to replace the crank bearings without removing the engine. I have also been trying to figure out a way to tell if the low oil pressure is a worn out pump, or the engine itself.

Still very little rust underneath for a vehicle that has spent most of its life in the midwest. The rear bumper beam is rusty, but still feels solid - may pull it and have it derusted and powder coated to preserve it.

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20210626_180559.jpg 20210626_180740.jpg 20210626_180630.jpg
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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My daughter finally got tired of repeated P2646 (low oil pressure) and catalytic converter codes on her 2008 LX FWD AT with 223,000 miles. She replaced it with a 2018 CR-V with 24,000 miles. My neighbor graciously allowed me the use of his 2005 F250 diesel, rented a tow dolly, drove from southwest OH to Des Moines, IA (600 miles) Thursday evening, loaded up Friday morning and got back home about 7:30 PM. The truck got about 16 mpg for the whole trip - it didn't really seem to care that it had the Element behind it.

After the initial diagnosis of low oil pressure (about 5 psig at idle), she started running 5W30, which reduced but didn't eliminate the P2646 issues. I confirmed today that the last oil change they didn't remember this and put 5W20 back in, so P2646 started cropping up again more frequently. She didn't have a problem until it was good and warmed up and she'd back out of the throttle at highway speeds.

First thing I'm going to do is install an oil pressure gage so I can monitor the oil pressure. First with the 5W20 that's in it; then maybe switch to 5W40 (Mobil 1 makes one that is advertised for turbodiesels - I suppose because of the heat). I'd like to avoid jumping right to a 20W50 if I can. I did a partial rebuild (honed cylinders, rings, rod bearings) in summer 2019 to get the oil consumption from a quart almost every tank of gas to not needing any between 5,000 mile changes. Since then I've been trying to figure out a way to replace the crank bearings without removing the engine. I have also been trying to figure out a way to tell if the low oil pressure is a worn out pump, or the engine itself.

Still very little rust underneath for a vehicle that has spent most of its life in the midwest. The rear bumper beam is rusty, but still feels solid - may pull it and have it derusted and powder coated to preserve it.

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Car prices being what they are these days, I'll bet that 3 year old CR-V cost nearly as much as it sold for new!

And yes, that under-body looks great for being in a road salt state! It's definitely able to go many more years.

Hope the thicker oil works out for you. Keep us informed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cleaned it up some today. The panels look good when they're wet.
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2003 EX AWD auto
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Shell Rotella 5w40 is popular with the turbo Subarus which are notorious for oilling issues. It's competitively priced on Amazon but a little bit hard to find locally.

Honestly, for the price of a used k24a4, I'd just look into swapping the engine before going through the trouble of replacing bearings. Then you could take the time to properly rebuild it for your other E!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Found a jug of Mobil 1 5W40 "for European cars" at WalMart.

You never know what you're going to get with a used engine, unless you know the previous owner. I actually have a spare K24A8 engine (torn down) that has a scored cylinder wall. If necessary, I'll rebuild that.
 

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2004 Element EX-S AWD 6MT = “Zippy”
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Now I'm watching... ;) (y)
I have lower mileage K24a4 in Zippy (70k miles) and high mileage (250k miles) K24a8 still running in the SC parts donor...
(That K24a8 engine is destined for offroad vehicle use... after I pull it and swap timing chain/water pump...)

I have three Elements, and none of them have good rear bumper structure... <sigh>

As an aside, I really like the blacked out E-series pillar between the tinted windows... Looks like something I would do, was that you?

Cheers!
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The bumper is relatively easy to remove. I installed a new beam (not that expensive in the realm of things) in my son's 2007 EX, then took his old one and had it stripped and powder coated at American Metal Cleaning on Northland Blvd and installed it in my 2007 EX.

Yes, I just used some black vinyl to black out the pillars on the E350, both sides and between the rear door windows. I didn't do the corner pillars - I thought about it, but never got around to it. Now it is rusting off the frame and I am half heartedly looking for another one.

Edit: Wheel covers were showing their age; sanded 'em down and repainted them.
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Also ordered an oil pressure gauge last night - project for next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oil Pressure Gauge (Glow Shift) arrived yesterday. Installed it today. Toughest part was finding an existing grommet in the firewall to pass the electrical harness through. I thought the one near the brake master cylinder would be could, but finally realized that it just leads to the trough that catches water off the windshield. I was finally able to route it through the grommet with the throttle cable.

Quick test in the driveway (didn't take it on the road yet because it is not legal yet). On initial start, oil pressure exceeded 70 psi, dropped to 15 as the engine warmed up at idle. Raised the rpm to 2000 for about 30 seconds, then 3000 for maybe a couple minutes. Pressure dropped to about 11 psi at idle (picture below). Repeated the exercise at 2000, and 3000 rpm (about 60 psi @ 3000), pressure settled to 7-8 psi at idle.

Once I get a plate for it, I'll take it for a drive and see where it ends up at idle. Then try the 5W40.

210379
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The dealer that diagnosed it for my daughter did all that and extensive testing with an oil pressure gauge installed. The code typically trips after extended highway driving and you back out of the throttle quickly. The dealer could see the pressure drop below what's needed for the VTEC system under these circumstances. They wanted to pull the engine - I want to extend this engine's life some using higher viscosity oil if I can. I am measuring the pressure at the engine oil pressure switch location which (I believe) is before the VTEC system.

P.S. I pulled the cluster when trying to fish the wire through from the engine compartment; there were some kind of white spots all over the clear face of the gauge cluster that cleaning had no effect on. Got out my little buffing wheel and they came right out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Did the 5W20 to 5W40 oil change today. I did about a ten mile drive with the 5W20, then checked the pressure at idle, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4,000 rpm. Then changed the oil and repeated the process with the 5W40.

RPM5W20 (whatever the Honda dealer put in)5W40 Mobil 1 (for European cars)
Idle7-8 psig11 psig
10001216
20002737
30004861
40006672

Check engine light is on for some reason; I'll have to diagnose that next. Ran fine during the test drives. I'll have to try a longer drive and see if P2646 comes up again.

NOTE: I also posted this information in the stickied thread on P2646.
 

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For reference, what should pressures be @ idle, cruise and vtec?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OEM service manual indicates oil pressure should be 10 psi minimum at idle and 44 psi at 3000 rpm. Someone previously reported that they installed an LED to show them when the VTEC solenoid was energized - he indicated it turns on at 2200 rpm and off at 2000. Based on measurements I did, the valve and pistons in the rocker arms need about 35 psi to operate and that was the pressure that the one switch I tested opened. So my 27 psi at 2000 rpm is likely the source of my issue. I may add an LED myself to verify and correlate to oil pressures.
 

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OEM service manual indicates oil pressure should be 10 psi minimum at idle and 44 psi at 3000 rpm. Someone previously reported that they installed an LED to show them when the VTEC solenoid was energized - he indicated it turns on at 2200 rpm and off at 2000. Based on measurements I did, the valve and pistons in the rocker arms need about 35 psi to operate and that was the pressure that the one switch I tested opened. So my 27 psi at 2000 rpm is likely the source of my issue. I may add an LED myself to verify and correlate to oil pressures.
On at 2200, off at 1800. On the '07, the wires for the circuit are behind the glove box door.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
On at 2200, off at 1800. On the '07, the wires for the circuit are behind the glove box door.
Your post #424 in the stickied P2646 thread said off at 2000; was that an initial assessment and the 1800 is after further experience?
 

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Your post #424 in the stickied P2646 thread said off at 2000; was that an initial assessment and the 1800 is after further experience?
Been a while, so just checked my notes in the manual.

on @2200 off @ 1900. Vtec pressure switch opens circuit @ 35 psi. The pressure value is from the guy on utube.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Check engine light was on since I got it. Checked it at AutoZone and it had the P2646 and P0420. After leaving there, the light was off. I pulled to O2 sensors to look into the converter with my bore scope. First picture is the inlet side of the converter from the front O2 hole. Kinda ugly looking, hard to tell how much is actually blocked; the 45 degree mirror for my scope doesn't do well for trying to look sideways. Second is the downstream side of the front half (didn't focus well for this one). Third is the upstream side of the second half of the converter. I put a short spacer in the second position just because I had it ready to go and it was easy. Still the original converter - I'm tempted to replace it with an aftermarket CC and sell this one (legally!). Is there any way to "clean" a CC? Run wide open throttle up a long steep hill to get it REALLY hot?

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2004 Element EX-S AWD 6MT = “Zippy”
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Is there any way to "clean" a CC? Run wide open throttle up a long steep hill to get it REALLY hot?
I don't think that will garner the desired effect...

Short story time: (my personal experience, I was towing my Heep, it was my drill we used)
A friend was using his truck to pull small-ish trailer with Suzuki Sidekick on it... He was eventually loosing power over time (and through hills of KY) after several stops we theorized that the CC was getting clogged up (though in his case I recall the culprit to be rust)... This theory was eventually supported by our actions... We drilled several holes through Catalytic Converter to relieve the blockage and performance dramatically improved (with the accompanying increase in noise, of course) ...but to the point, I can think of no better way to increase exhaust temps than to tow something... and in his case it certainly wasn't helping the flow through the Catalytic Converter...

Tangential at best, but it is all I have...

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can understand that if rust was clogging it one wouldn't be able to burn that, but if it is coked oil and fuel byproducts getting it really hot might burn that stuff off. I need to make a long controlled trip to check the fuel mileage. Driving it yesterday I was trying to compare it to the acceleration of our two 2007 EXs.
 
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