Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, so if something like this has been posted before and I didn't see it so sorry, but I feel like this is probably specific enough that it's fairly unique to me.

So I got my E ('07 AT 4WD) roughly 9 months back. Got it home, worked fine with all the usual things you'd expect a 170k mile car to have. Few little things broken or needing attention, etc. IIRC, the only things I did myself were the O2 sensors that had gone bad, nothing else majorly mechanical done. Took it to a mechanic, and so far the major things I've had done are new shocks put in (originals, yikes), front brake calipers, front timing cover resealed for an oil leak, front ball joints, and the catalytic's gasket (which caused the E to scream like a bat out of hell). Minor things I had done were the rear sway bar links and the bending back of an impacting backing plate for the wheel, for anyone curious. The mechanics have mentioned that both my transmission fluid and brake fluid could use a flush, which I won't disagree with since I haven't fully checked those out yet, but I'm going off on a tangent, here.

Long story short, my CEL came on a few days ago. Took it to Autozone, had the codes read. Tried to tell me I was driving a 2012 Wrangler, as if, but it pulled the following codes:
-P2271: O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Rich- Bank 1 Sensor 2
-P2624: A Rocker Arm Actuator System Performance or Stuck Off Bank 1
-P2A00: O2 Sensor 1/1 Circuit Performance
-P0133: O2 Sensor 1/1 Slow Response
-P1009: Humidity Sensor LIN Bus Assembly Internal
-P0141: O2 Sensor 1/2 Heater Performance (for some reason this was listed twice?)

I've also felt like my E has had a loss of power, especially on the hills, along with a tanking (pun intended) gas mileage. Even with as hilly as my daily commute is, when I first got the E I was getting roughly 19-20mpg, which while lower than I know it had new is not out of reason. Just today I measured my mileage that was almost exclusively on that stretch of road, and even driving specifically to try to stretch my mileage, I measured 14.8mpg. Speaking of those hills, however, I've also noticed that, frankly, the E does not like any incline whatsoever. Even at what I estimate is a 5, maybe 10% grade, it will need to downshift (going to roughly 3,000-3,500rpm after shift) to maintain 65mph, and anything that one could consider an actual hill would easily force it up to 4,000rpm and it still can't hold above 60mph. When I first got it, it could handle those hills at roughly 3,000rpm.

So, is any of this normal, or is it all connected? Is there perhaps some part I should be looking into replacing, or a service I could have done that would restore my E's power? Would the fluid flushes be enough to return at least some of that kick? I'm surprised the O2 Sensors are throwing a code, considering I replaced both of them myself less than a year ago, but I had the thought that since the catalytic's gasket was fixed, and thus more gas is being forced through them, maybe they're out of tune and throwing the fuel mixture off? And if that were the case, what would be the most cost effective way to get this sorted out? I'm a rookie DIYer at best, so I don't know how much this could affect things, or where to even begin. I'm just sick of throwing money at these various little fixes just to see if they have any effect, only for it to hardly matter, if at all. Thanks for any input you guys have.
 

·
Registered
2007 EX AWD AT (two!); 2008 LX FWD AT
Joined
·
1,717 Posts
The P2646 will cause the engine to go into limp mode which will not let it go much above 3000 rpm. Are you sure all these codes are recent? They are retained in the computer for some time before they are cleared. Do you know if the valves have ever been adjusted? They should have been done at 100,000 miles - if not, they are way overdue and can cause drivability issues; particularly the exhaust valves which tend to get tighter as the engine ages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The P2646 will cause the engine to go into limp mode which will not let it go much above 3000 rpm. Are you sure all these codes are recent? They are retained in the computer for some time before they are cleared. Do you know if the valves have ever been adjusted? They should have been done at 100,000 miles - if not, they are way overdue and can cause drivability issues; particularly the exhaust valves which tend to get tighter as the engine ages.
I had thought some of the codes may be old, and I did have one time where the P2646 popped up, but just needed an oil change from what I saw. Fixed the issue and the CEL went away till now. I don't know if the valves have been adjusted, though if I had to wager I'd say probably not, if my judgement of the previous owner at sale was any indication. Seemed the sort to drive the car and get oil changes, but that's about it, judging from the fact my poor E was probably sitting in the sun for weeks, if not months, unused before I got it. If I were to get the valves adjusted, though, and the lack of power persisted, what would you think would be a next step?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Your Cat Converter may be clogged, or the VTEC valve is stuck. Pull the front O2 sensor out and drive it, if power is restored, it's a clogged Cat. Pieces may have gotten lodged in the exhaust pipes and muffler downstream as well. Might have to replace more than just the Cat. Maybe. If power is the same, move on to the VTEC block.

If you used an aftermarket O2 sensor, get an OEM one. Also look for tiny rust holes on the Cat Converter at the heat shield welds. Any dilution of the exhaust will cause O2 codes.

-P2624: A Rocker Arm Actuator System Performance or Stuck Off Bank 1
-P1009: Humidity Sensor LIN Bus Assembly Internal(Wrong code definition!)
These codes indicates the VVT advance control is malfunctioning, leaving the engine timing stuck advanced. I'd replace the VTEC block on the back of the cylinder head and do another oil change. If you look at the gasket (looks like a snowman waving!) the middle has a filter screen. It is probably full of junk.

Don't flush the transmission. Drain and fill it up to four times. If your drain plug is stuck like it's welded, it has never been removed. When draining, put the plug back in just as the fluid coming out is going straight down. When it first comes out, the stream goes to the left(towards the center of the car), as it nears the end of draining it just goes straight down, then for the finale, it starts going to the right(towards the driver's side front). If you plug it up before it goes to the right, you can put in exactly three quarts. If you wait too long you will have to crack open bottle number four. Repeat every week or so until the fluid looks better or you are on the fourth service. Don't forget to replace the in-line filter(ok, you may have to add a bit more when you replace that, or just put the plug in when the fluid is still coming out to the left on that service) Look at your radiator trans cooler fittings carefully before changing the filter, they may be rusted to the point of breakage, in which case you may need a new radiator. Only use DW-1 fluid. I bought a case of 12 quarts from OEM Honda Parts at Majestic Honda | Majestic Honda Automotive Parts for $95.00 including shipping. Honda transmissions are fluid fussy!

Get a quart of Dual Pump Fluid for the rear differential, too.

Brake flush- use a vacuum pump to suck out as much as you can from the master cylinder, pour in fresh fluid. Next time you are rotating the tires, open all of the bleeder screws and let them drain into small pans for about half an hour. Make sure the master never goes empty. Tighten the screws(ALL of them!) Top off the master to the index line, never overfill! Repeat every three years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your Cat Converter may be clogged, or the VTEC valve is stuck. Pull the front O2 sensor out and drive it, if power is restored, it's a clogged Cat. Pieces may have gotten lodged in the exhaust pipes and muffler downstream as well. Might have to replace more than just the Cat. Maybe. If power is the same, move on to the VTEC block.
There was one thing I forgot to mention in that regard, actually. There has been black soot in the tip of my exhaust since I bought it. Would this be a potential symptom of a clogged or failing Cat? I heard before (but after I got it) that it happens when fuel isn't burned entirely, but I had just thought that replacing the O2 sensors would fix it. Granted, I've not cleaned the soot out, but still.
 

·
Registered
2007 EX AWD AT (two!); 2008 LX FWD AT
Joined
·
1,717 Posts
Soot happens! The engine runs rich when first started. All three of our Elements have a certain amount on the tail pipes and my 08 is averaging 27 mpg (so I figure it is running fairly well).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hah, how I envy your mileage! Mine got 20 highway when I first got it, but again that's on hilly terrain. Still, would be a dream to get it back to even 20, but honestly it's hovering around 15 highway at best thanks to, well, whatever is causing the constant rich mix and/or power loss. Tried the sparkplugs, too, but while they needed replacement they didn't do much besides increase city responsiveness. So the hunt for the true problem continues! Haven't had time to get my fluids, valve adjustment, or cat looked at yet, but hopefully soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, small update! Finally got to testing the converter by unplugging the front o2 sensor (I'm hoping this was enough, or should I actually remove the sensor fully?) And I got no power difference. Also replaced the sparkplugs before that, and they didn't give much difference (was suggested by another friend). I did realize my tires were pretty low, and I filled those up too. That did have a pretty big effect on performance, as one would expect, but it's still not to a level I'd deem reasonable. So it looks like fluids and valve adjustment is going to be my next step.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, another small update. Actually went and removed the O2 sensor from the Cat after doing more research and realizing that I needed to release potential back pressure from the converter. Lo and behold, she held 60mph at 3k uphill, just as when I got her. So it seems the converter needs to be replaced. Now my question becomes this- does anyone know of reliable aftermarket converters that won't break the bank? I've looked and can't find a lot of information about long lasting cats, so if anyone has some stories or opinions on ones that are ideally below $300, it would be appreciated. Also I'm not in Cali, so no need for full CARB compliance.
 

·
Registered
2007 EX AWD AT (two!); 2008 LX FWD AT
Joined
·
1,717 Posts
Find a reputable catalytic converter recycler and you can probably get more for your old OEM one than a good aftermarket one will cost.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top