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Old 11-15-2018, 04:26 PM   #1
CyborgGT
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Honda Element advice?

A friend needs a more practical car, and he's always thought the Elements were cool, so we're going to look at one tomorrow. Just wondering if anyone in here knows about any common faults, or what to look for. I will be doing some Googling, but since it's such short notice... thanks.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:11 PM   #2
fleetw00d
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My daughter has a 2008 LX, now at about 200,000 miles. Problem with piston slapping at 135,000, replacement engine has persistent oil consumption (at least one valve seal leaking). She just had to have the timing chain replaced. It has needed brakes, tires, and maybe shocks (normal maintenance) in the 2.5 years she's had it. I'm looking for another for my son/youngest daughter to replace the 92 EX coupe my daughter just wrecked. One thing I'm trying to make sure of is that the transmission has been serviced regularly - I think the biggest problem with Honda transmissions is that people don't have the fluid changed - if AWD, try to find out if the rear differential has been serviced. Check the underside for excessive rust (the top sides seem to do pretty well).
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90 LX 4dr 5 spd 375,000 - MRT: http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=201450
93 LX wagon auto 253,000 - MRT: http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=208490
92 EX coupe auto 171,151 - MRT: http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=205114 RIP
92 EX coupe auto 190,000 - MRT: http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=210341
07 Element EX AWD 174,000 - MRT: http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=210623

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Old 11-16-2018, 04:46 AM   #3
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You should check out www.carcomplaints.com too.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:28 PM   #4
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Yeah, I checked out a couple sites like that. It's just hard for me to trust them, because you don't know what kinds of owners were behind the complaints. I saw lots of dumb things like brake vibrations from warping - typical poor maintenance stuff you'd find on any car. Found a few common denominators, though, as well as an Element forum to explore a bit.

But now this friend is having second thoughts. He knows he needs a more practical car and the Element is a top choice, but his Mustang will have to be traded in for it, and he's of course enjoying that car too much. Winter is a bad time to try to sell a car like that, anyway. Personally, I'd rather he not rush into the sale if he can hold out until spring and get a better return on the Mustang.

fleetw00d, did your daughter get hers new or used? The fact that you're interested in finding another says a lot.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:01 PM   #5
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I actually bought it (with her money) at about 135,000. During the test drive, the engine sounded fine, a little ticking I heard I figured was just the valves needing to be adjusted. After the 2 hour drive home, it was more like knocking at idle. Of course for the age and price, there was no warranty - so the bargain was no longer a bargain - worked with the dealer to get the replacement engine installed. I still have the old engine in the garage; on my list of rebuild projects.

I'm just a little wiser now. I was looking at Elements (ideally 2007+) and Pilots (2008 and below); both have pretty good safety ratings, but the Pilots seem quite thirsty. I got 28 MPG when I drove my daughter's Element to TX (LX FWD). I think the Element has more cargo space as well with the seats up. It is also more "interesting" looking than the Pilot. One of my complaints is that the seats don't have much side support and no arm rests (that I remember).

There's a nice 2007 SC FWD 130k here; he recently discounted the asking price to $8900 - still pretty steep. Another one, 2007 EX AWD 176k, in Indy for $6900; $3000+ in preventative maintenance (tires, wheels, brakes, trans & differential service, etc.) in the last two years.

Also tempted by a couple older ones; they would be significantly cheaper to offset poorer fuel economy and potential service issues because of age.

Last edited by fleetw00d; 11-17-2018 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:21 PM   #6
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Bought a 2007 Element EX AWD last week - did your friend buy the one you looked at?
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:58 AM   #7
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How do I roll my eyes on here? Haha, no, he didn't. He didn't say a thing to me and just went out and picked up, of all things, a '10 Odyssey. I don't know what happened there. The J is nice, at least.
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