First thing this morning I took the Element over to the nearby Honda dealership. I was so anxious to get there, I even skipped breakfast.
Even though the “Check Engine” light was still blazing away on the dash, the car ran perfectly. Hmm.
Arriving at the dealership, the service manager attached his code reader to check out the problem. It indicated a stuck solenoid on the variable valve timing mechanism in the engine.
He decided to query his top engine tech about the issue. A few minutes later he came back and asked when was the last time I had the oil changed. I told him just 300 miles ago, just before we left Missouri.
He then said that it possibly could be caused by a cheap oil filter not allowing enough oil to pass through and affecting the oil pressure because the solenoid is activated by oil pressure.
Nope, not a cheap oil filter because I only have the car serviced by Honda dealers and it was a genuine Honda filter.
So we double checked the oil level, which was fine. With nothing further to do, he cleared the light and said see if it happens again. Nice guy that he was, he wouldn’t didn’t charge me for his time and wouldn’t even accept a tip.
Off I went and the car drove like its usual self, perfectly, and the light stayed off. So I’ll have to see what happens, maybe it won’t happen again, possibly an air bubble or a piece of dirt caused the solenoid to act up. I hope I’m lucky.
I did call my son, Corey, who is the service manager for a Honda dealership in New Jersey. He concurred with what I was told here in Ohio. I’ll keep an eye on it and when we get to NJ in July, I’ll have him do a good double check of the car. I’m thinking the smart thing to do is replace that solenoid then just in case, when you only have one car and you drive all around the country, you need it to be reliable.
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