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Honda Element Maintenance and Repair



  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    An 'Oklahoma Credit Card' is a three foot rubber hose... :-)

    OK, you can make the argument that a full size SUV is still plenty high off the ground. But If you compare say the location of '72 Buick's gas tank and compare it to a comparable 2006 Buick I would venture the tank to sit lower. These few inches are crucial when working with the OCC. As you aptly stated its straight forward physics.... Naturally one can still suck from an older car. There the disadvantage is too that the needles not always return to zero. No matter what the dash looks on a modern car, they are all digital dashboards that just happen to display the information in an analog fashion, just because people like the analog gages better...
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    You don't have to suck to start the siphon on a gas tank; you can wrap a plastic bag tightly around the hose and pressurize the tank by blowing into it. Then you pay attention when you remove your mouth from the hose and in theory you never get gas on your lips, or fumes down your throat when the gas gets sent down the hose to your holding tank by the pressure.

    Naturally the practice cannot be recommended since gas is poisonous and just inhaling the fumes causes respiratory distress. Plus pressurizing your gas tank is probably bad for the injectors and the vapor recovery system (CEL anyone?).

    If gas were invented today, the regulators probably wouldn't let us burn the stuff in our vehicles!

    Steve, Host
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Be careful when you ask me that question...I might just take you up on your offer. LOL
  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    That opens a whole new segment of insanity. Just imagine if cars would be introduced today.... Anyone proposing to simply guzzle highly volatile gas through a rubber hose into a bucket (tank) and then simply put a screw cap on and then drive this life bomb at 80 miles an hour down the street using nothing more then they huffs and claws to steer, direct and stop a two to 4 ton cruise missile... All the safety experts would turn ashen to such a totally wild proposal.... But then, -- we do it every day... :) :) :)
  • pleiadespleiades Posts: 38
    Ever see those little accordian shaped things used to start a siphon? They sell them at fishtank stores.

    "If gas were invented today, the regulators probably wouldn't let us burn the stuff in our vehicles!"

    Wonderful point! The inventor would be considered insane or criminal! I owned horses...they are a lot more work for a lot less speed and distance.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    I've never played with those things, or the bulb squeezer ones or the little pumps you stick on the end of an electric drill. Anything to keep your mouth away from the fumes would be good though.

    I ran across Dweiser's CarSpace album yesterday - he's got a great looking Cargo Khaki Element. Check it out here.

    Steve, Host
  • pleiadespleiades Posts: 38
    Very Nice! I really like the color! The landscaping isn't bad either. Wish-I-was-there instead of cleaning house today.
  • cmiles97cmiles97 Posts: 17
    I have a 2003 Honda Element EX AWD with 61,852 miles on it. It has been a good vehicle. Recently the yellow engine warning light came on. I referenced the owner's manual to discover that it is a problem with the emissions controls. After the $85 diagnostic test (non negotiable), the dealer determined it was the oxygen sensor. The replacement cost will be $327.95. With the $85 diagnostic fee this repair will be well over $400.00. By the way they did not have one in stock which allowed me to shop the repair price a bit. It turns out that there are two O2 sensors. The dealer conveniently forgot to say which one. Have others had this issue with the 02 sensor? Are they really that expensive to replace or am I being taken advantage of? Will it be a reoccuring issue? I had the same problem on my 99 DC 300M. It was replaced four times during the life of the car.

    I convinced the wife to buy this vehicle in part on Honda's rock solid reliability record and am a little disappointed to be paying a repair bill on a Honda with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer. I am a fanatic about performing preventive maintenance and adhere to the severe duty schedule. Yes it is just a bad sensor but now I can't brag about never having to pay a repair bill while still making car payments. I have a friend who feels that Honda's reliabity reputation is just "yuppie" hype since he has taken his 2001 Chrysler Minivan and 97 Chrysler Seebring both over 100k with no repair bills beyond maintenance. Both of course are rated much lower in reliability than any Honda. He still owns is first car, a 1983 Pontiac Fiero which still runs great. I can no longer argue the statistics with him.
  • extech2extech2 Posts: 120
    Call a couple Honda dealers and ask for the price of the O2 sensor, part only. Also check the warranty booklet because I believe the emissions warranty is longer than 3 years on any new car now.
  • cmiles97cmiles97 Posts: 17
    Thanks for the advice. I did shop it around with a second dealer. The first dealer wanted $150 for the front O2 sensor and the 2nd $138. The first dealer wanted $160 for installation, the 2nd $80. The second dealer only knew I had the diagnostic done at the 1st dealership.

    Hopefully the 1st dealer gave me the correct information, after I called them back to determine which sensor was bad. It was the "front" one. I went to the autozone and advanced auto parts websites to see if they had them. They do! Advanced had it for around $83 after taxes. I ordered it tonight and will put it in myself this weekend. The 2 late teen or early 20's clerks said it was an easy change out. We will see.

    A local mechanic shop (Ice Cold Air) that I use often for things I can't do myself said they would put it in for $20 once I got the part. They are my backup.

    Summary: Dealer 1 estimated $413. They got $85 out of me for the diagnostic. That I assure you will be the last time. Dealer 2 wanted $298 before taxes. I can do it myself for $83 or $103 if I prove not up to the task.
  • dglundydglundy Posts: 1
    I bought a 2005 LX 2WD last August. Everything is fine, except for an engine surge problem. The engine will speed up without the accelerator being pushed. Disconcerting to say the least. It appears to happen mostly when the engine is cold, but it happens at operating temperature as well. The engine speed does not increase a large amount, but enough to cause problems if you are not quick on the brakes. Anyone else heard of this problem?
  • lezablezab Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 honda element and my check engine light came on at about 50,000 miles and my mechanic said it was a service light. He did my service and turned it off. Only reason I question the O2 sensor is Ice cold air doesn't have the best reputation here in Florida for repairs. I would skip the dealer, and Ice cold air next time and find a mechanic recommended by friends.
  • When I make a sharp or full turn a clicking noise occurs at the rear of the vechicle. I called the dealership to get some hints on what it could be and the rep informed me that perhaps the rear differential fluid needs to changed. Any ideas?
  • haikunaluhaikunalu Posts: 8
    Does anyone have any solutions /advice in getting wax off the Elements plastic panels? I find it hard to wax my car without leaving a few places with wax residue.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
  • zabethzabeth Posts: 3
    I bought a 2005 Element last year and have loved it. Recently the air conditioning stopped working. I called the dealer in Seattle who said it was under warranty unless something had blown into the condensor from the road. Sure enough, they claimed that something had flown in and tore up the air conditioning system. The repair bill was $835. Even more difficult is the fact that another rock from the road next week could blow out the air conditioning again. The attendant I worked with said he's seen in before in an Odyssey and a CRV, because the condensor is unprotected. He suggested taking it to a body shop to have some kind of grill fabricated that would protect the condensor but not impede the flow of air.
    Anybody have such troubles or hear anything like it?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    You may want to contact Honda and question the diagnosis. See this discussion:

    CR-V: AC Compressor Issues
  • gonzo3165gonzo3165 Posts: 3
    I have seen discussion of this problem on another Element Forum. Basically, people are buying Home Depot gutter guards (usually the black ones) and using black zip ties to attach it to the lower grill, either directly to the outside or from the inside if you want a little bigger challenge. It doesn't look that bad, allows air flow and saves you an $835 repair bill. The gutter screens are to keep leaves out of gutters on your house and can be had for around $5 or so. That and 10-15 minutes of your time are well worth it. More expensive options exist if you really worry about appearance.
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 705
    Why can't Honda make an "add on" grill to solve this problem? After paying for a NEW vehicle, the customer, has to go to "Home Depot" to purchase "gutter guards" to solve a Honda design issue! Is this the image that Honda wants to portray in the "new vehicle marketplace"? ---- (Honda and Home Depot perfect together)! ---- (or)---- (Get your Honda fixed with Home Depot parts)! ---- What is wrong with this picture? ----- If "gutter guards" can solve the problem, why can't Honda make a grill to do the same thing, and look better in the process?------- Best regards. ----Dwayne :confuse: ;) :shades: :)
  • zabethzabeth Posts: 3
    Thank you for your responses. I contacted American Honda who stated it was probably a rare occurrence and had no intention of being responsible for the problem. I became a squeaky wheel and so a case was opened on the issue... They also indicated that they don't endorese modification of the car in such a way to protect the exposed condensor, covering themselves further from liability, in case leaves or something gets caught in the added parts and a fire starts... They siad that it has also happend to Odysseys and CRVs. A service person at a dealer in McMinnville, OR suggested I look at billit grilles that kids use to soup up there cars. I found plenty on line, made to fit my car precisely, $46. plus shipping. I'm going to talk to my mechanic about installing one.
    It's unfortunate that Honda doesn't design retrofits. It looks like the 2007 Honda has a new front grill design. I'm drivng my Element tentatively and I guess the honeymoon is over.
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