Q: Overnight change in operation. 2009 Honda Element EX AWD ran perfect last night. This morning it started rough and ran rough.

asked by on

When I started the vehicle it ran it started rough and ran rough despite running perfectly the night before. The CEL came on solid, then after a while the VSA light came on solid and the CEL changed to blinking. Once the VSA light came on the VSA switch no longer worked to turn on or off the system. A reset/restart resets the sequence. The VSA switch works but only until the VSA light comes on. I pulled the code and got P0303 for cylinder 3 misfire. What is the most likely failure point for a sudden failure? I am leaning toward replacing the coil, but am not sure if that is the most likely fault. I noticed that when I turned the key on the electronic sound I hear each morning (perhaps fuel pump?) seems to run a bit longer than usual. Do you recommend an OEM replacement coil or other? Overall car is in great condition.

My car has 66580 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. An ignition coil would definitely be a very good guess. However, that is exactly what it would be: a guess. When a misfire code is stored, the ECM reads a slow down on that particular cylinder. Why this has happened, the computer does not know; it only knows that the cylinder moved slower. When the check engine light flashes this is a warning to the driver that possible catalytic converter damage may occur from the misfire; continued use can result in an expensive part replacement. The misfire you have can be caused by many different things and truly needs to have an inspection performed. Without viewing scan tool data and performing the appropriate testing procedures, we are pretty much throwing darts at a dartboard and we may get lucky enough to hit the target. I strongly suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a check engine light inspection.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Overnight change in operation. 2009 Honda Element EX AWD ran perfect last night. This morning it started rough and ran rough.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Truck stalling at 1/4 tank of gas.

It sounds like you are having an issue with either your fuel level sending unit in your gas tank or a problem with your gauge. This is not an uncommon problem. Generally it is the sending unit in the tank...

Q: How much does it cost to replace à lowered ball joint on a 08 Honda Accord

What you are describing sounds like a failing CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to the wheels. The CV joint...

Q: How do the side air bags work?

In addition to front air bags, your Accord has side air bags designed to inflate during a moderate or severe impact. Sensors detect the impact and calculate the force, sending that information to the car’s computer. Only one...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.