Preparing for the Dragon

Yooper Camping

Protecting Yourself from Online Scams: Red Flags and Tips

No matter the time of year, scammers are always hard at work. Therefore, we must be vigilant as well. Recently, I’ve had several people reaching out to me after falling victim to scams within our community. Here are some red flags to keep in mind:

1. Unrealistically Low Prices:

  • If the price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Exercise caution with unbelievably low prices.

2. New or Suspicious Profiles:

  • Examine the seller’s profile. Scammers often have new or suspiciously sparse profiles. Check their group membership duration, friends, and recent activity.

3. Inconsistencies in Location Details:

  • Be wary of inconsistencies in location details. If a seller claims to be from Texas, but their friends are not, consider it a red flag.

4. Lack of Product Details:

  • Beware of sellers who are unclear or evasive about product details. Scammers often use images from other posts without having the actual product. Ask questions and be skeptical if details are unclear.

5. Easily Offended Responses:

  • Scammers may react defensively when questioned. If someone claims offense instead of addressing your concerns, it could be a sign of a scam.

6. Repetitive Images:

  • If you notice that the same images are used repeatedly by different sellers, it’s likely a scam.

Additional Tips:

  • Use PayPal goods and services with anyone that you don’t know.
  • If in doubt, consult the group for advice. Honest members often share their experiences and insights.
  • Tagging trustworthy members in the comments can help others identify reliable sellers.

Remember, our community is built on trust, and by staying vigilant, we can protect ourselves and others from falling victim to scams.

Troubleshooting Honda Element’s P2646 and P2647 Codes: A Comprehensive Guide

Owning a Honda Element comes with all kinds of wonderful things, but encountering the P2646 and/or P2647 codes sure isn’t one of them.  The resulting “limp mode” can ruin any drive. Tracking down the issue can be a daunting experience. Don’t fret; let’s dive deeper into understanding and troubleshooting this persistent issue.

If you’re facing the persistent P2646 and P2647 codes in your Honda Element, causing the engine to enter “limp mode” at approximately 3,000 RPM, you’re not alone. Contrary to common misconception, these codes aren’t linked to a speed governor but are a result of low oil pressure at the VTEC oil pressure switch.

Troubleshooting Steps

Here are suggestions, ordered from least complex and costly to more involved solutions:

1. Check Oil Level: Inadequate oil levels can trigger these codes. Sometimes, a refill or oil change followed by code reset can resolve the issue.

2. Reset the Code: If you’re sure you have enough oil in the car, using a code scanner to reset the code can buy you some time.  It can get you to your destination and allow you some time to investigate some more.

3. Moisture-Related Electrical Checks:

    • If the problem arises post-rain or exposure to moisture, it likely involves an electrical issue compounded by water.
    • Examine wire harnesses for loose connections, seal wire entry points with high-temperature sealant like Hondabond to prevent water from getting in the connections.
    • Disconnect harnesses, use compressed air to remove moisture, and apply dielectric grease for better connections.
    • Consider harness replacement if needed

While on the topic, let’s address a common entry point moisture; wiper fluid nozzle.

      • The passenger-side windshield wiper nozzle it located very close to right above the Vtec. 
      • The rubber gasket around the plug can deteriorate allowing water to pass though the opening in the hood and settle on top of the Vtec.
      • Remove the nozzle and seal around the opening using silicone or another sealant that you have one hand (I actually use roofing tar tape)
      • Replace the nozzle and wipe away the excess with a clean rag.

4. Potential System Clogs: Clogs might exist in various parts of the Vtec system, particularly in two screens.

    • First Screen (VTEC Solenoid): Remove the solenoid using a 10mm wrench or socket.  There are three bolts holding it in place.  You’ll have to feel around to locate them (picture). Inspect the screen for debris or damage, and replace if necessary (part number: Honda 15815-RAA-A02 Filter Assy., Spool Valve).
    • Second Screen (Behind Power Steering Pump): Accessing this screen is more complex, requiring belt and pump removal. Check and clean if the first screen indicates significant clogging (part number: Honda 15845-RAA-A01 Filter Assy., Vtc).

5. Solenoid Replacement:

6. Beware Counterfeit Solenoids

    • Only buy from trusted sources or authorized dealers, as cloned parts flood the market.
    • Genuine replacements can cost around $245 or more.
    • Your best bet is to get it from a dealer (I also have them on my site).  If you start surfing amazon or ebay, you’re taking a gamble.  There are a lot of clones out there that claim to be OEM but they are not.
    • They are becoming unavailable at many providers so I would expect the price to keep going up. If the price is significantly lower than $200,  you’re likely being scammed. 
    • You used to be able to tell the OEM one apart from the others based on the star shape of the head of the bolt at the top of the unit, but even that it’s always enough anymore. (picture)
    • Scammers may show an OEM one in the picture but ship you a clone.


Regular maintenance and diligent troubleshooting are key to addressing the P2646 and P2647 codes in your Honda Element. By paying attention to oil levels, moisture exposure, and potential system clogs, you can effectively resolve this issue and restore your vehicle’s performance without breaking the bank.