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Honda Element Maintenance and Repair



  • Did you ever get an answer for the pump problem, my 03 E has the same problem, any suggestions? Thanks
  • rlmntrlmnt Posts: 3
    After my '04 Element's A/C stopped working last week, the local Honda Dealer's service manager informed me that the A/C system was "full of metal" - indicating a complete internal breakdown. He could flush the system and replace the compressor but wouldn't recommend it because the metal pieces couldn't be totally eliminated and the system would fail within a year - probably sooner. So, his repair estimate? $3,500. He claims that only by replacing the entire system (all parts) could A/C capability be restored. This strikes me as 1) extreme and 2) expensive. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? Thanks!
  • That service manager is no help! I've worked on AC for many years, mostly american cars though. You have experienced a compressor failure and resultant system contamination, I have seen and repaired it many times. It is called "Black Death" on Fords. The system becomes full of tiny metal particles and black sludge, which is actually powdered metal. This all comes from the failure of the compressor, the compressor blows it through the system, and this stuff keeps circulating in the system, contaminating and destroying everything. the metal particles and sludge clogs the system. It is expensive to fix, but I think less than what you were quoted. It will require what it called a "Firewall Forward Replacement". The only thing that will remain original is the evaporator. It will require the removal and replacement of the compressor, condenser, all hoses, refrigerant control (which could be an orifice tube or expansion valve), reciever/dryer or accumulator (whichever applies), in other words, everything except for the evaporator must be replaced. The evaporator would need to be thoughly flushed. I would be concerned about WHY the failure occured. If the AC was properly serviced with the correct refrigerant and correct amount of correct oil, and not allowed to leak down with out being serviced, the compressor should last for many years. Does this happen in Hondas often, or is this a common problem? To help prevent this from happening again, there are "Inline Filters" that are available to install in different parts of the system, that will catch and filter the metal particles. They are not stock items, so the Dealer will not endorse them. Several different companies make them, and they come in different styles, the "Pancake Filter" being the most common. They are made for different applications, so that come with different types of ends and adaptors. They also come with generic hose ends, where you would simply cut the hose and splice and clamp the "pancake filter" into the hose. Several locations are possible, depending on the layout and how much room you have. The best location is in the discharge hose from the compressor, before the condenser. This location offers the most protection as it will catch any metal that comes out of the compressor before it has a chance to get into the condensor or the rest of the system. The next best location is in the hose between the condenser outlet and the refrigerant control, this will catch any metal before it has a chance to plug the refrigerant control, get into the evaporator and back to the compressor. The airflow through the radiator and condenser must be checked also. Be sure the fans are working correctly. Poor airflow overheats the condenser and causes high head pressure on the compressor, which can shorten it's life. When putting back together, be sure to insert the correct amount of the correct compressor oil, Evacuate the system to a deep vacuum for at least an hour, and charge with fresh refrigerant to the correct amount and pressures.
    I would suggest you locate a reputable independant AC shop in your area and discuss the subject with him, and discuss this e-mail with him. He will be able to give you direct advice and quotations. I would suggest using NEW parts, not REBUILT or REMANUFACTURED parts. And of course, check prices around at several shops. Look for a shop that is busy and clean looking and gives a good warrenty.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • The lighting for the gear shift failed; anything I need to know to change the light/bulb/diode???
  • I have a fanatstic Bentley's Manual for my BMW.
    Is there a similar publication out there for the Element??
    (Chilton manuals aren't nearly as good as Bentley's).
  • can anyone please tell me what's wrong with this 03 element ex, the engine light came on about two days ago. The code is reading p0442 evap emission control system leak(small).
  • Most likely cause is loose gas filler cap. Other than that, there could be a leak in one of the hoses in the fuel evap system. It would need to be checked by a mechanic, they would test it by putting some pressure in the system, or pull vaccum on the system, and see if it holds, If the pressure or vaccum leaks down, it confirms a leak. If it is a big leak, it may be easy to find by pressurizing the system with smoke and see where it leaks out, or you may be able to hear the leak. If the leak is small, if could be a lot harder to find. Hopefully, your problem will just be a loose gas cap, tighten it down and see if the check engine light clears after a few start ups.
  • I have an 03 and the Drive indicator light started blinking. What does this mean? I do not have an owner's manual. Can anyone "enlighten" me"
  • This may be a strange question but here goes. My husband while we were tailgating fell backwards and hit his head on a ladies 05 Honda Element tailgate. It was the very top of his head and it was the very far left side of her tailgate. She then went to shut her tailgate and her rear cargo light wouldn't shut off. An officer came over and got it to shut off after closing it. Now she's got an estimate to repair and they are saying they have to replace the whole tailgate for this sensor. Can this be true? What really gets me is she admits to being rear ended at a light with a car that didn't stop like 6 months prior and had it repaired/replaced. I just can't believe that him hitting his head could cause such a problem. Any input is greatly appreciated.
  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    You are getting scammed!!! One would incur a skull fracture and NOT knock the tailgate outta whack! Nothing here makes sense....
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I agree with cwalti.

    If the sensor is so deeply embedded that replacing it requires the entire tailgate to be replaced then the sensor is certainly protected adequately to prevent being damaged by a bump on the head. Simply opening and closing the tailgate would impart far greater trauma on that little sensor.

    The woman should be looking elsewhere for the source of her problem.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • My friend has an 07 element sc, purchased in april. loves it with 1 exception. 2 weeks ago he turned on the heat/defrost in the am and watched the windshield form a crack all the way across from left to right.
    took it to the dealer to be replaced, asked if it was a common ailment, as he deemed it suspect, and the only response was "merry christmas" as they were replacing it for free.
    anyone else heard of this happening?
  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    ...there were earlier models that had a known windshield issue, his musta been a fluke. As long as the dealer does not give your buddy a hard time and replaces it, it is likely an odd occurrence. My '07 is OK, -- love it too!!!
  • Of course turning on any heat is a very rare occurence. However, it actually is getting below freezing here tommorrow night.
  • hi 03 element is doing the same thing...i went through the manual forwards and backwards and can't find anything explaining what it means...sorry this couldn't help you but you're not alone...please repost something if you can find answer=]
  • cwalticwalti Posts: 185
    ...yer tranni is going on the fritz, or if yer lucky it is just a sensor....
  • enzwteenzwte Posts: 7
    I just reversed and broke :mad: and bent forward my mirror.Its hanging looking at it
    closely it looks like it broke on the bottom .Would it be adviseable to glue that portion
    back on .also I tried to remove the 3 screws on the bottom of the mirror and I just
    couldn;t any help on that or any advice I would appreciate .....image
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Your photo isn't showing up because Digg requires registration to see it. You can park it on your CarSpace page in an album there and avoid photo hosting problems from other sites.

    fwiw, I dropped a canoe on my driver's side mirror and glued the housing back together. That usually lasts two or three years until I have to reglue it.
  • enzwteenzwte Posts: 7 try to see if you see the picture in albums now thks for checking
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Ok, I'm seeing it in your album (link).

    I don't know why the bolts won't come off.

    Mine looked a lot like that, but the three bolts holding mine on just backed right out. The glue (epoxy) works ok but I don't try to fold the mirror housing back and forth anymore. The connections for the power and heat still work on the mirror too. (Mine's a Nissan btw).

    Have any of you Element owners taken your mirrors off?
  • enzwteenzwte Posts: 7
    Any suggestions on removing them there on the bottom of the case 3 screws...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I just got from running errands and I remembered that to get to the bolts holding my mirror housing on, you have to remove a plastic trim piece on the inside of the door. I'm not sure how you are attacking your problem but I think you may need to remove the entire assembly from the side of the door and proceed from there.
  • enzwteenzwte Posts: 7
    Thks I did remove the whole mirror. On the bottom are 3 screw the plastic insert is
    what got broken. And I was able to suceed in removing the 2 screws the last one
    I am having hard time. I just stripped the screw and you can imagine what I was saying...... :D
  • mikexmikex Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem. Do you start by removing the 3 screws on the bottom of the housing? I am having a hard time doing this. Thanks.
  • enzwteenzwte Posts: 7
    No you remove the black panel which is located on top right or left of the window. (Whichever one was damage).with a screwdriver and you will see the 3 screws.On mine it broke on the inside.Once I removed the whole mirror on the bottom are also 3screws once I removed the bottom screws there is a plastic support that holds the mirror upright. That part was damage I couldn't glue it together. I had to replace the whole componet. I am still waiting for the part. Best of luck
  • How do you reset the audio system on a 2003 Element? I replaced the battery and can't use the system now.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Check out Fezo's Honda Radio Codes guide. Hopefully that'll get you listening again.
  • That was what I needed. And it was oddly easy to get the answer here, when I work at Mitchell 1 and I could not find out with all the access I have to OEM info! Thanks!
  • My son has a 2007 Element EX which has stalled twice on turns. It starts right back up, I understand. Car has about 15 thousand miles on it. We're taking it back to the dealer this weekend.

    My point: Did you ever discover what was causing this problem? Is your car still doing it?

    Anything you can tell me/us will certainly help as we make a one-hour trip to the dealer and try to convince him that this stalling is not imaginary.

    Thanks in advance!
  • kevinb4kevinb4 Posts: 2
    03 automatic transmission reverse lockout. Has anyone experienced this wonderful feature? Any solutions other than taking it to the dealership?
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