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View Poll Results: What should I do?
Get a new garage 6 85.71%
Get a lower mileage Element 0 0%
Get something other than an Element 0 0%
Just suck it up and pay 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
busadreamer
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2006 2WD EX-P AT
Tangerine Metallic (TM)
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Suspension issues, fix, get lower miles Element, get something else

Our 2006 EX 2WD Element (209K miles, 75K of them from me in last 3 years) apparently needs new rear struts and has cracking in the bushings on the rear trailing arms.

I was told the rear trailing arms would cost $1000 each side just for the parts in order to replace the bushings, or I could get used ones from a 100K Element for $1450 all-in with labor and rebalancing.

The struts are another $1000, incl labor for the two of them.

Should I:
- Get a new garage (any suggestions in bay area/peninsula/south?)
- Get a lower mileage Element
- Get something other than the Element (a Pilot? a Kia Soul?) and put up with our inability to carry back drywall and 2x4s from Home Depot or with a Pilot, ever to find the car in the parking lot again.
- Just suck it up and pay

My husband is concerned that "the price of Element parts is rising because they don't make them any more and these parts are going to become more and more expensive and the repairs less and less affordable". How bad is that part of the situation?

Thanks

Grace
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:31 PM   #2
zebra007
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2003 4WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: NJ
Posts: 29
You could do your own research for the cost of parts thru Rockauto, hondaautomotiveparts and even local auto parts stores. Quality parts do cost more and sometime honda parts are worth the extra expense. Parts for out of production vehicles are no more than others. Those prices seem high to me, I'd get a second opinion at another garage.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:15 AM   #3
AWD
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2005 4WD EX AT
Magnesium Metallic (MM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 261
It's a tough call, I have spent thousands on fixing suspension issues. I have decided I plan on keeping my E for a while. I own my E and justify my expenses in that I don't have a car payment. I am also loyal to the E. To a lot of people, however, the money I have put into my E does't make sense. I recently spent over $2000 having my E's front suspension overhauled at the local Honda dealership. New struts, new, ball joints, new compliance bushings. I did my rear suspension about two years ago including the trailing arms. Right now my E runs awesome and I am happy but it it has been a process. Some people simply trade in the E when maintenance gets too costly for them, but others on our forum are in the 200,000 - 400,000 mile range, and still going strong. I would pass on putting used suspension parts on your Honda, considering the labor costs, I don't think it is worth the risk.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:57 AM   #4
sacandagadave
EOC Rank: Helium
2005 4WD EX AT
Rallye Red (RR)
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY, Torrington, CT
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD View Post
It's a tough call, I have spent thousands on fixing suspension issues. I have decided I plan on keeping my E for a while. I own my E and justify my expenses in that I don't have a car payment. I am also loyal to the E. To a lot of people, however, the money I have put into my E does't make sense. I recently spent over $2000 having my E's front suspension overhauled at the local Honda dealership. New struts, new, ball joints, new compliance bushings. I did my rear suspension about two years ago including the trailing arms. Right now my E runs awesome and I am happy but it it has been a process. Some people simply trade in the E when maintenance gets too costly for them, but others on our forum are in the 200,000 - 400,000 mile range, and still going strong. I would pass on putting used suspension parts on your Honda, considering the labor costs, I don't think it is worth the risk.
"If I only knew I would be keeping my Element this long, I would have taken better care of it...." Me

231k on the Chassis now, and I've spent tons of money rebuilding the entire suspension over the past few years, and have learned the hard ( expensive ) way, that I should have used Genuine Honda suspension parts once, instead of after market parts twice ( at least). And right now my Monroe Quick Struts up front are junk after less than 2 years and 20k miles. Going to spend the money and buy Honda assemblies this time. Lesson learned.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:34 PM   #5
Mrselfdestruct
EOC Rank: Helium
2005 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 123
Ive done the 'loaded' struts...kinda want to take them off and try for a refund on that 'lifetime' warranty.
About to drop 800 on oem struts for the Mdx.
Even having a Honda only shop do the struts on the element was only going to be 900ish, with oem parts.
Your shop is trying to take you for a ride.
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:13 AM   #6
zenbuilder
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2004 4WD EX AT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Highlands, N.C.
Posts: 340
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I agree with AWD . For one, I dont want or can justify a $ 600.00 plus a month car payment for 4 years on a used 3-4 year old car with 50,000 miles on it.( Pilot or 4 Runner) So if I have to invest $ 500.00 - 600.00 now and again, it's what I will do. I do like these cars, for me it's a perfect vehicle. It amazes people with all the stuff I get in the back ( my seats are out). Hand tools, saws, lumber, you name it.
As for the prices that people get for repairs, I guess thats about the way it is these days. I live in a fairly rural area, an hour or so to the nearest Honda dealer. My local mechanic is good, and we are pretty good friends, and he charges around $70.00 and hour. Not sure what Honda dealers charge, but it has to be similar.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
vadim
EOC Rank: Helium
2003 4WD DX AT
Atomic Blue Metallic (ABM)
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 103
Trailing arms for 1K a pop is too much. They can be had mailorder for $645 https://www.hondapartsnow.com/genuin...0-scv-a00.html. Quality aftermarket trailing arm bushings can be had for much less than that, do a search on this site, plenty has been written about it.

OEM struts are $273 https://www.bernardiparts.com/Honda/...assembly=11111, it's hard for me to see how a shop can tack on $450 worth of labor to swap them out.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:55 AM   #8
busadreamer
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2006 2WD EX-P AT
Tangerine Metallic (TM)
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Trying another garage! Thanks for your votes

Thanks for all the votes and comments. Labor is expensive in the SF bay area, $125/hr in the next place i am trying but I think this shop is a bit more Honda-heavy so they may "work smarter". And I am hopeful that they might be a more reasonable option.

The encouragement to "keep going" with the 208K car rather than plumping down another $10K for an 80K car is helpful too.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:50 PM   #9
Mrselfdestruct
EOC Rank: Helium
2005 2WD EX AT
Alabaster Silver Metallic (ASM)
 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by busadreamer View Post
Thanks for all the votes and comments. Labor is expensive in the SF bay area, $125/hr in the next place i am trying but I think this shop is a bit more Honda-heavy so they may "work smarter". And I am hopeful that they might be a more reasonable option.

The encouragement to "keep going" with the 208K car rather than plumping down another $10K for an 80K car is helpful too.
Since youve mentioned where you are, my answer changes.
Cant imagine what shop rent is there lol.
__________________
"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."
—Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle
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Old Yesterday, 11:51 PM   #10
Baker7
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2008 2WD EX AT
Galaxy Gray Metallic (GG)
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 38
I'm in the process of doing exactly those two things. Trailing arms and rear struts. I rebuilt both rear suspension for $180 with genuine Honda parts, reusing the springs and mounts, ordered from Majestic Honda. I just rented a spring compressor from local auto parts store. After some cleaning it looks exactly like the new assembly you'd get for almost $300 each.

I also got trailing arm bushings for both sides for $95 from Majestic Honda. You don't even need the expensive special tools for the job. There are tons of videos on YouTube to do this. Get your husband to get some tools and a floor jack to fix everything for less than $300 in parts. All you need is to get it aligned afterwards. I guess that'll be about $2600 saved.

I can tell you the exact parts you'll need to rebuild the rear suspension. The springs are so tiny for the rear shocks it's not even dangerous for a first timer to do.
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