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I accidentally let my 03 Honda Element get very low on oil (still on the stick, and no oil light on, but pretty low). The car started acting weird: once the engine warms up, if I try to accelerate hard, it won't respond, it just slows down. Even if I accelerate slowly, it will only let me get to 70mph and then it immediately starts slowing down until it's down to 60. If I only accelerate slowly and I keep it below 70, it acts fine. I've refilled the oil, but that hasn't fixed the problem. Does anyone know what might be wrong with it or how much it might cost to fix? From doing some research on my own, it sounds like it might have "jumped timing," but I don't know what that means. Will I definitely have to replace the timing belt, and have all of the valves checked, etc.?
 

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The Element has a timing chain. It is possible for the chain to stretch, and it used to be a common repair on hi mileage American cars. It caused no damage to them. Honda has an interference cylinder head that would cause the valves and rods to be damaged if the timing belt broke or the chain jumped significantly. The engine would have to get extremely hot to have the chain stretch. It is easily checked by any decent shop, and should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. Good luck!
 

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No "check engine" light? Even without it, have error codes read first before concluding anything.

My edu-guess from your overall symptom description and especially your admission of inattention to oil is a clogged VTEC solenoid screen. This can sometimes be fixed with an oil change; it might take two (change, run a bit, change again).
 

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I agree with Mike....especially if your oil changes don't normally come too often.

Check the codes, its prolly a VTEC problem.
 
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