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Honda Element



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Harness the dog to a seat, maybe even the back seat.

  • schweikbschweikb Posts: 111
    Not a bad idea! The times he scratches things are not when I'm driving along with him on the passenger seat - I did train him to sit there and not jump around or on me. However, if I leave the windows down and go in to have a Big Mac or use the rest room that's when he'll try to jump around and watch for me. All very innocent, but still it can scratch up the interior.
    What I'm thinking of is leaving the air travel cage I have for him in the back of the Element (if I get one). Then I can stick him in there while I'm gone for a few minutes. BTW I always leave all the windows down at least 3 inches, leave him water in a plastic dish and put a note on the dash with my cell phone in the event someone well meaning thinks I am being cruel. I have a clip on battery powered fan I turn on in warmer weather to circulate some air. He actually loves being in the car and when I visit certain relatives (with kids) he prefers to sleep in the vehicle overnight and has never done anything bad. Many years ago I had a Norwegian Elk Hound (a dog) and one time when I left him alone in the car for about 10 minutes I returned to discover he had chewed all the covering and padding off the steering wheel, thoroughly ripped apart the passenger bucket seat and chewed off the fake leather shift knob from the stick shift (this was a Chevy Monza). Needless to say he never went anywhere in the car again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We have a 12 lb dog and pretty much do the same thing. He doesn't scratch up our Forester, but he did get car sick once...wished I had vinyl seats!

  • purduealum91purduealum91 Posts: 238
    when the doggie got sick? :)
  • ikelimikelim Posts: 4
    We have a 80LB American Bulldog. My Element is her car. She sits with her head between the fron seats her front paws on the cup holder thingy.

    Scrathes are everywhere because of her but we expected that. That's why I got the Element.
  • schweikbschweikb Posts: 111
    Not sure what you mean by "that's why I got the Element." Is it because the Element is easily scrathed, because it doesn't matter so much because of the utilitarian nature of the vehicle or something else? Not being in any way critical - there are so many things I have let me dogs do over the years I totally "get" where you're coming from. Just curious. Sounds like a cute dog. I could tell you about my 209 lb English Mastiff who used to pull my VW Beetle down the street when I tied him to the bumper, but would walk obediently on the leash and listen to every word of my 80 lb. stepdaughter. Dogs are great!
  • prolnickprolnick Posts: 4
    Bought an EX Element, manual transmission, AWD a week ago and for the first 200 miles the gas milage is 16.5 miles per gallon. Been driving mostly around town at 30-40 mph and one highway trip of about 75 miles at 60-70 mph. Any suggestions on why the milage would be so low? Thanks.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Give it time. Honda engines are notorious for taking about 10K miles before they really deliver their best fuel economy.

    Good Luck.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I think robr is right. Shortly after I took delivery of the EX FWD 5MT in February, around town gas mileage seemed to be around 18 - 19 and I was driving it very easy.

    I took it on a 700 mile road trip in April and got around 24 - 25 on the highway (as I remember).

    But I've noticed as the weather has warmed and now after 4000 miles, around-town mileage is around 21 and I am driving it harder too.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, he got sick on the fabric seats. I think the Element also has fabric seats, right?

    He's a small lap dog so I harness him in to a seat belt in the passenger area, not the cargo area. The harness works - I was slammed from behind by a Saturn (no ABS on a rainy day) and the dog was hardly even startled. The Saturn was not driveable!

    2 reasons for the mileage: green engine, and your right foot. :o)

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Join us! Have fun! Win stuff!

    2004 Honda SUV Olympics
  • michael4michael4 Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 Honda Element with 1500 miles on it . During the test drive we both felt a slight pull to the right. Now, when we go down the road or freeway and you let go of the steering wheel the Element pulls to the Right Quickly. We took our Element to Honda service and they checked the front end alignment and it checked out ok. We are frustrated in having to turn the wheel to the left to keep the Element going straight. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Take it back and have them check for a tire out of spec.
  • sebski21sebski21 Posts: 10
    Thanks to all for posting on this forum. I read a lot before I got my very own Silver Element EX 2WD. This is my third Honda (after 1988 Civic and 1998 Isuzu Rodeo - yes!, it's the old good Passport).
    I already enjoy this car a lot. It's huge, versatile, as every Honda dependable. The gas mileage I get is 24MPG in 50-50 driving (not bad for a new engine). I hope I'll get even more. ;)
    I used almost all cubic inches once - there's a lot of them!
    I paid 18,4K (20,03 in-the-door) for 2WD EXS, they also threw in cargo cover and carpeted floor mats. Afterall my buying experience was B at Continental Honda in Countryside, IL (these guys are bloodsuckers, but I guess it's all them).
    Now I hope my glass won't crack, my MPG will reach 30 ;) with declining gas prices.
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    Is it true that four 175 pound passengers overload the Element? Is it a problem? Somehow I would think it would be for any active group of four persons, even without bikes, camping equipment--and of course gasoline.

    We are interested in the Element mostly for hauling two people and two (maybe three) dogs; therefore payload is not a major issue most of the time. But when the family assembles, the four of us surpass the 675 payload limit by about 20 pounds. Add the dogs, and we're way over.

    True, I suppose we could all stand to shed a few pounds or put the dogs in a trailer, but more to the point, is Honda seeking to rectify this shortcoming for 2005?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I hear Atkins works...


    -juice (who needs to diet!)
  • lalagimplalagimp Posts: 61
    I wouldn't see how the passenger weight can be anything that would overload the car considering that it's cleared for towing up to a certain weight PLUS crew and cargo.
    The only issue is people might want a little more power to the front so just turn off the A/C and open the car up down the road, as with any 4-cyl vehicle
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, when you tow you have to account for the tongue weight. If that's 200 lbs, you subtract 200 from your payload and you have 475 lbs left of capacity inside the vehicle..

    The trailer itself has its own axle, that axle is withstanding the rest of the weight, i.e. all except for the tongue weight. Check your trailer's GVWR and subtract the weight of the trailer itself to find out it's payload.

    I'll be honest, if you have to ask questions about payload this is probably not the vehicle for you. The CR-V has an 850 lb rating, the MDX is rated for 1362 lbs, for comparison. There are heavier duty choices out there if you tow and haul heavy loads.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The Manual for our 2004 Element says the gross vehicle weight rating is 4,450 pounds.

    The FWD/MT weighs 3391 per Honda's web site. That would leave a payload of around 1050 pounds.

    The manual says to include the tongue weight along with occupants and cargo.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe they list the minimum payload, perhaps for the heaviest model (EX, 4WD)?

    I never understood why that number is so low.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I forget which magazine it was (C&D, MT, or R&T), but one of them did a long term test on the Element. During that test, they loaded the vehicle up. In the next issue, they had a letter asking about overloading the E. In their explanation, they used the same GVWR minus curb weight to figure max payload.

    2004 Honda SUV Olympics
  • dal1222dal1222 Posts: 4
    Unfortunately, you are not making a fair comparison. You are pricing the Element AWD against the Highlander 2WD. If you compare the Element EX 2WD to the Highalnder the price difference is substantial. As a reference, I just bought an '04 Element EX 2WD Auto for $18,195 +ttl. That makes the Highlander $4000 more.
    Just food for thought!!!!
  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    I finally placed my interest of a 2004 Element EX w/ side air on the net, giving local dealers a chance to compete for my business. So far, the best deal is $20,950 and I got them to throw in a few options adding up to about $1000.

    I haven't brought up my trade-in yet since I'm working on lowering the price of the Element first (divide and conquer). Once I get them to agree on a price, then we'll talk trade. Is this a good tactic?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Alize - It depends on how you feel about your current car. I've read two schools of thought.

    #1. Negotiate the trade value first. The theory being that you are still attached to your current car. If you already have a price on the new car, you might be tempted to give away old-n-busted and speed up the process of getting into the new hotness.

    #2 Negotiate the sale price of the new car first. This theory assumes that you will introduce the trade in vehicle late in the game, thus taking your salesperson by surprise. "What? You're not paying cash?" This would (theoretically) place the drool factor in the other court. The salesperson is supposed to be willing to give ground on the trade because they are salivating over the $ale of new hotness.

    Personally, I think it depends on how well you regard your current car. If it's a scrap heap that you hate more than the voice of Elmo, #1 may not work for you.

    The deal also depends on the kinds of skills you bring to the table as a negotiator. Some people are better at playing hardball, while others go further with a little sugar and spice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    See if there are any no-haggle Honda dealers in your area. That takes care of #1 so you only have to negotiate the trade-in value, #2.

    Or go through a Credit Union, often they negotiate a price near invoice for you, even finance the loan.

    Finally, there are buying services, too.

    Haggling isn't for everyone. I've purchased cars both ways and left much, much more satisfied with the no-haggle experience.

    Good luck.

  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    Thanks. I forgot how difficult it was to play the pricing game w/ car salesmen. I haven't bought a "new" car in almost 10 years. I placed my 4Runner in an online ad last night and posted some flyers today. If I don't get any bites within a week, I'm giving in to good ole Carmax. Their offer has been the best so far.
  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    Thanks! I too agree about the "no haggle" dealers. The vehicle I purchased 2 years ago was from a no haggle dealer and it was so easy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Locally, Koons Honda bills themselves as being that way, but I've found that more often than not their price is not listed, it just says "call/e-mail" instead.

    Kind of a bummer. I checked their Elements for you and sure enough, no pricing is listed.

    Honda might lose a few sales to people that don't want the hassle. Locally, Toyota does have such a place, and they always list their price up front. It's so much easier than getting a low ball price and walking in and finding out that your car has a bunch of dealer installed stuff you didn't want *cough* College Park Honda *cough*.

  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    If you don't want to hassle, just use a buying service and pay a pre-negotiated price.
    No haggling.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yup, my credit union offers that service. However prices for Toyotas are lower at the dealer that just does no-haggle in the first place.

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