2003 Honda CRV - Engine Light/knockback on accelerate/wont pass 60mph



“Ok, went to autozone and got code P2646.”

“A” Rocker Arm Actuator System Performance / Stuck Off (Bank 1)

(“B” rocker arm actuator is P2651)
(P2647 & P2652 = codes for “stuck ON”)

Honda published a 3 page TSB (Technical Service Bulletin 09/16/2015) to help Honda Technicians diagnose this problem.

It is possible that the rocker arm oil pressure switch has failed. A half to 1 hour labor to replace that is about right.



That 3000 miles could be significant, depending on how long the recommended interval is. For normal driving, changing the oil at 7000 to 7500 miles is OK. If the recommendation is 3000 miles, that is probably no issue. If the recommended interval is 7000 miles, she went 10,000 miles, and no one checked the oil level in between changes, that could be a big problem. I don’t know you or your wife and just offer this information in case it applies.


That 3000 miles overdue for a change could well be the problem. Honda’s variable valve timing depends on clean pressurized oil to hydraulically control rocker arms.


I have to wonder if timing chain failure is the next malady that will occur because of an apparent aversion to maintenance on the part of the OP’s wife. As the old saying tells us, Timely maintenance is invariably cheaper than the repairs that result from lax maintenance.


The experts above seem to have pretty much narrowed it down to something in the valve area. Using the correct oil spec, and keeping the oil & filter fresh and clean on these VTEC engines (variable valve timing) is critical to their health and performance. Engine technology before variable valve timing technology was introduced was much more forgiving. Hopefully the problem is just that rocker arm oil pressure switch. A problem with the variable valve timing actuator might be involved too tho.

I was surprised to discover a 2.4 L inline 4 engine uses rocker arms. Overhead cam, right? I’ve have guessed the cam lobes would just push down on the valve’s cam-follower directly, as on my 1.6L Corolla. So I’m trying to imagine how this engine valve train is configured. If the cam lobe pushes down on one end of a rocker arm, then the other end would move up. There must be a second mechanism that converts that upward movement to a downward movement which presses the valve down.


I’m not going to jump to any conclusions about an overdue oil change or speculate on low oil, because…

First, I just don’t have sufficient information on that.
Second, that technical service bulletin covers lots of Honda vehicles AND gives the part number of a replacement oil pressure switch.

However, I will speculate (based on many years of experience) that Honda had some sort of defect with the original switches and the part listed in the bulletin is a Revised oil pressure switch.

Most mechanics could use that DTC to determine that a faulty switch is likely the culprit and not need the help of a TSB, but not all/many mechanics would be aware that a revised part is available and is to be installed.

I’ve seen this happen many, many times. I’d bet that is the reason behind the TSB!

The originally installed oil pressure switch was a ticking time bomb! :bomb:

Anybody wanna bet? :wink:


I’d need big odds on that one … lol …


I would have liked to have been there when the mechanic was told the engine has a knockback and a dropping sound. I hope the OP does let us know what was really wrong and the solution.


Push down on the middle of the rocker:


Tech says its the VTEC Solenoid near the timing cover

he said so much oil leaked out he couldnt tell if anything else needs to be replaced, he says he’ll call me back in 30 minutes.

does this sound legit?


believe me i was flipping out and try as I did… couldnt get a better description. ughhhhh


Tech just said he warned my wife a YEAR and a HALF ago of the oil leak she ignored it. Never told me either…



Deferred repairs are never a good idea.
Tell her that you can’t afford to save money that way.


Yeah did that already, believe me.

So what do you think of what the tech said it was? how much should this cost?


It sounds like a reasonable statement. As for cost, a guess from the cyber space is worthless. The mechanic is the one to talk to. Besides more problems might be found after solving this one.

From now on you need to choose one day a week to check oil level in all vehicle and at least look around for signs of leaks of any kind.


To a great extent, the cost will depend on whether the mechanic uses a genuine OEM Honda part or an aftermarket part (I recommend the genuine OEM part), and the region of the country where you live.

However, just to give you some idea of the potential cost, between the cost of the part and the labor charge (accessing that part on the back of the engine is…a bitch), I think that the total bill could vary anywhere from $200 to $400.

Obviously, you want to have that long-overdue oil change done at the same time, and you should consider how many other maintenance procedures are also overdue and should be done at the same visit, so the final bill is likely to be higher than the $200-400 for the repair itself.


Boy oh boy you guys are GOOD.

Tech will charge $300

says the solenoid is in front of the timing cover so easy to get to. He said he had to replace the entire Solenoid. he said thats all it should be but is concerned about motor. he said since its been running without any oil, if wife had a chevy we’d need a new motor. says hes 80% sure my wife got lucky.

he said theres so much oil under the car that he says its impossible to se if its leaking anywhere else. he said after he clean everything up he’ll let me know. he thinks that replacing the solenoid should be the solution though.

When i asked him if their is any further maintenance he would recommend, he suggested to replace the timing belt. he said every 70,000 miles honda suggests to replace it and car has 156,000 miles.


hmmm he says hes using an “oem quality part” … so that means aftermarket. says he has no trouble with the brand and hes confident with it.

he says im not going to like the price of the oem part, hes calling the dealer.


Assuming you still have the manuals that came with your vehicles ( online if not) it will list all service items by miles and time. They usually go to 100000 miles, at that point rinse and repeat.


$375 just for the OEM part.

willing to do the whole job for $300 with aftermarket part and he states hes confident with the brand he uses.

The brand is … oh wait he needs to call me back for the brand name…

Shouldn’t he know the name of the brand that he is “confident” about?

Why am I a bit nervous now.

UPDATE: ok he says its EQUINE it has a 3 year warranty