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Honda Element



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think this is par for the course, my Forester battery was quite wimpy. My new one required a bigger base and has very nearly double the CCAs as the OE battery. Starts are much smoother now.

  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    You might call Honda's National Headquarts, customer service at 800-999-1009. See if they have any suggestions.
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    I have an AWD Element.
    It came with Goodyear Wranglers.
    Let's make believe it needs new tires.
    I don't go off-road. I'd like a set of decent-handling long-wearing tires.
    Any recommendations from real-life experience?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Go with a quieter touring tire, rather than the A/T tires that are overkill for your type of driving. CR rated the Falken Ziex 512s as a Best Buy but check if they come in that size. I have a set on my Miata and they've been great.

    Traction was so good at first that I had a little tram-lining, i.e. following the grooves in the road!

  • I hope the 2006 RAV4 is reliable, as I ordered one. I still think the Element has a lot to offer, but I wanted the seating for 5, the RAV4 seems to have more power, and my Wife will be a lot happier with it.
  • little3little3 Posts: 31
    Fair Market Value is just another dealer "add on" to the price of the car. It is entirely bogus. Suntrup Hyundai in St. Louis uses it all the time to jack the cost of their vehicles then uses this FMV as a bartering tool. Don't waste your time...either flatly refuse to negotiate from the inflated price or simply go to another dealership. Also never pay a documentation fee. This too is a bogus expense. Check with the local DMV to find out the actual cost of title transfer and pay that but not a "doc fee". BTW the costs associated with clerical preparation of purchase agreements, etc. are already included in the dealership's overhead.
  • 00joe00joe Posts: 1
    Hello, I'm planning to buy an '06 Element EX soon, and wonder if anyone could provide feedback about some of the accessories. In particular, looking at the following: splash guards; floor mats (carpet vs all season); bumper trims, and; honda music link for iPod. Thanks, double-o.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Were there any added accessories with the "Fair Market Value" mark up? If not then it truly is bogus. Also, fair market value can still be negociated. I'd go to and find out what the invoice is and make them an offer. If this is bogus that dealer should be ashamed of themselves. I'd look for another dealer, even if you have to drive a bit further.
    Then I'd call them on the phone and tell them why you didn't buy from them. Maybe it'll teach them a lesson.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I noticed through research that the Element has a 110,000 mile tune-up interval. I am looking at getting one, but wonder if it really is OK to go 110,000 miles, or if this is just part of a selling point (making it appear low maintenance). I can't even find on the maintenance schedule where it calls for the auto tranny fluid to be drained before then. Seems like going more than 30K on auto tranny fluid is asking for problems. Just looking for some feedback from Element owners as to what kind of maintenace you are doing on yours. Thanks
  • As I was looking at new vehicles, my co-worker made a good point. Look at the crash-test ratings for less costly insurance. My replacement car is a RAV4. Its insurance rating was very low, as is the Xbox. But the Element, has a very high rating making the insurance rates lower than other vehicles in the same catagory. Plus the Element is way more fuctional than either the Xbox or the RAV. Luv the bump'in stereo in the Element!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For gear, I'd agree. That clamshell rear gate is nice, and the side doors open wide.

    For people, no, the RAV4 is easier to load full of people (and up to 7, vs. 4).

  • What happened? The HP spec on the 2.4 dropped from 160 in 2005 to 156 in 2006. Anyone know what was changed and why?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Happened to the Pilot and Civic Si and other makes/models too because of a change in the testing - for example "stated power output for the Pilot's V6 engine has dropped slightly due to Honda's adoption of a new SAE horsepower-rating procedure." link

    Steve, Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's just how it's measured now. It makes the same power as before, so it'll feel the same.

  • parnoparno Posts: 1
    Any traps in earlier Elements? I'm thinking of one 2 or 3 years old.

  • At 31,000 rear brake pads are 100% used up while front pad have more than half a life remaining. Even wear side to side and all components functioning normally. Dealer acknowledges front to back difference not logical but says that this is not unusual on Elements and crv's. Any thoughts or information?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Emergency brake not completely disengaged by driver?

    Cable too tight on emergency brake, causing slight engagement of rear brakes?

    I don't think these are the likely cause, since there would be overheating of the rear brakes and an odor; also, once some of the brakes had worn down, there shouldn't be further wear (no contact).

    Final (possible) cause - carrying a lot of weight in the rear, if the brake system has an automatic proportioning system to direct more braking to the rear brakes in such a situation.
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    .... of what the brake wear should be in a FWD vehicle.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    That is true but my experience with a 98 Accord was that the rear pads are thinner than the front pads. That was confirmed to me by both the Honda service department and an independent shop.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Weird, the front do 90% of the braking, since weight shifts forward no matter what.

    31k seems awful soon, have them inspect the parking brake to see that it's not stuck.

  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Looking to purchase an 06 EXP with the 5-sp (if i can find on in minnesota). Just wondering what the fuel mileage is on these real world. Thanks for any input :)
  • trout2trout2 Posts: 13
    We are getting around 20 mpg on our EXP 5-sp with AWD. It is only 1 month old, with 300 miles. Around town driving only.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Saw this on today. An Element with under 29K miles on it that the dealer replaced the rear brakes before reselling the car. ill try to add the link but i dont know if or how long it will work. Worth cheking it out, im thinking this may be more normal than you think. W0QQitemZ4611986193QQcategoryZ80742QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
  • The '05 & '06 Element EX come with XM. What are your comments about XM? Did you subscribe after the 90-day trial? Do you still subscribe? Are you concerned about the 250+ salellites floating in space, mamy of them space junk? Do you think satelite radio will ever be profitable? If the price of XM doubles to $25, whould you still subscribe? Finally, what is your favorite XM station? Mine is XM101 The Joint. Keep it burning.
  • Emergency brake not completely disengaged by driver?

    Cable too tight on emergency brake, causing slight engagement of rear brakes?

    I don't think these are the likely cause, since there would be overheating of the rear brakes and an odor; also, once some of the brakes had worn down, there shouldn't be further wear (no contact).

    Final (possible) cause - carrying a lot of weight in the rear, if the brake system has an automatic proportioning system to direct more braking to the rear brakes in such a situation.

    Unfortunately it's the braking system that is causing the issue, the "brake force distribution" system or whatever Honda calls it. The end result is more even braking and it seems rear pad wear at an accelerated rate. I hear the rear pads are thinner than the front but don't know this to be a fact. At 31k miles my '04 ACCORD has about 25% left on rear pads and something like 60% front, that's what the dealer is telling me anyway.
  • All,
    I have an 04 Wrangler (hard top) that I'm considering trading for an E. I've done some price shopping, and I put quite a bit down when I bought the Jeep, so I'm not upside down (of course trade-in will vary by dealer). However, I've been reading this board and I see some of the same complaints I was hoping to get away from with the E. Basically, I've recently found myself driving all over the city each day, and the off-road capability I wanted suddenly wasn't so necessary. Plus, I get 16mpg. So I needed better mileage, a smoother quieter ride, and solid reliability. The E seems to fit this bill, but I do see some complaints. In the city highway loops, I always feel in the Jeep that I'm forced to go faster than the Jeep feels comfortable with by the speed of traffic. It's pretty aggressive. I'm certainly not a fast driver, but I'd like to have the ability to keep some of the "pushers" off of my bumper as well. Also, less road noise would be good, as long as I'm at it. I'd like to stay in a more utility-type vehicle rather than give up all my utility and buy a car. Is the Element too much like the Jeep?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    See if you can track down the February issue of Car and Driver. It might be on-line now too. It has a good review of the Element and some other "box" competitors.

    If you can wait until the fall (probably late November), there should be a major upgrade to the Element, it's that time in its model cycle.

    I am personally hoping to see the following upgrades (the lack of which has kept me away from the Element so far):

    1. 5 occupant seating capability (can't have it now because the rear seats are designed to swing up and off the floor to the sides to open up a cargo area). I don't need the ability to haul 5 adults (and the Element's total weight capacity is a measly 650 pounds or so), but I do need the ability to haul a toddler in a car seat, a pre-teen, my wife, and at least one friend - 3 adults (two of whom are small and light) and a couple of kids, plus camping gear.

    2. Rear seats slightly closer to the front seats (or which can move forward and back) so the rear seat passengers aren't sitting exactly over the rear axle which is probably the harshest ride position in any vehicle.

    3. Upgrade from the current 4 speed automatic to at least a 5 speed automatic transmission like in the CR-V. This would drop cruising RPM and probably help gas mileage, which is 4 mpg lower on the highway (EPA ratings) than the CR-V.

    4. Inclusion of stability control like on the CR-V.

    5. Inclusion of standard combination side airbags (it's hard to mount side curtain airbags in the roof rails of the Element, but there are a lot of airbags that come out of the sides of seats that also include head protection, presently missing in the Element). Also knee airbags, which are starting to emerge as an important part of the front airbag set (too many reported knee and lower body injuries in many vehicles due to sliding out from under the seat belt and air bag).

    6. Inclusion of standard floor mats. Yeah, we hear the hype about washable "hard" floors, but most owners need mats so they or their dogs or children aren't sliding or slipping, plus the hard interior increases the noise level.

    7. Modification of the "suicide" rear doors so either you don't have to open the front doors to let rear passengers out (hard to do this redesign) OR repositioning of the front shoulder belts so you don't have to take off your seat belt to let a rear passenger out.

    8. Inclusion of a cargo cover, either standard or as an option, for the "trunk."

    Now from the list you'd think I don't like the Element, but I like it a lot more than the CR-V we have now (which is boring). I like the clamshell rear hatch; the FCX durable seat treatment; the upright, "look over" seating position; the "illegitimate love-child of a Hummer and MINI" looks; and the passenger car bumper compatible height (lower center of gravity for the Element).

    The Element really, really needs some of the goodies that are stock on the CR-V, since there really isn't much price difference - better air bags, standard ABS, stability control.

    Now for the real heresy - I'd be perfectly ok if they kept the "box" shape but deep-sixed the suicide doors. The suicide doors add about 200 unnecessary pounds to the vehicle (and increases GVWR), but little functionality. Honda claims you get a wider opening for cargo, but what's wrong with using the hatch for cargo loading? Meanwhile, parents everywhere get mad everytime they have to open their door and unbuckle to get the rear seat passengers out.

    I am SO glad I didn't follow my impulses and get an Element when it first came out. In theory, it has a ton of neat features, but when you examine the features, they turn out to be inconveniences in many cases.

    What I'd like to see is a new engineering team assigned to the Element, and told to make the Element into a bigger, meaner, MINI - give acceleration, handling, sportiness a higher priority. Ditch the "swing up" rear seats in favor of a solid bench with 3 position seating, but one that can be easily removed for cargo. Keep the FCX, and the floor, but add "padded" floor mats that can be removed and hosed down. Get rid of the "cladding" and adopt the EX-P "fully painted" look.
  • goltgogoltgo Posts: 54
    I haven't been in a hard-top Wrangler at speed, but I have been in a soft-top one. I don't know how much difference the hard top makes, but I suspect the E will do better than it as far as road noise goes. I know two people who have had some sort of sound-dampening stuff sprayed on the bottom of their Es by the dealer. Both report a quieter ride. I didn't think there was an excessive amount of road noise to begin with, especially (1) compared to a Civic for example and (2) if you've got some music on. I also don't really notice the ride being much quieter now, but these aren't my cars and I don't ride in them often, so I'm not the best judge. Anyway, bottom line is that it's at least worth a test drive to see what you think.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I think there will be one more year (2007 model year) prior to change in 2008 MY.
  • I'm not sure what is left of the Element after all your changes are made. It sounds like a CRV with a different look on the outside. I'd have an easier time buying one if it at least didn't have the suicide doors so I can feel good about offering to drive 2 other adults to dinner without being worried how nimble they are at getting into the back. A bit more speed would be nice too.
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