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A few days ago, the missus took the E out to go run some errands. While she was driving, somehow her necklace came undone and the pendant on it slid right down between the driver's seat and the console/cooler.

Several searches with a flashlight under the seat turned up no results, although I did notice that there are some cutouts in the flooring material under the seats. I figured that if I removed the driver's seat and pulled up some of the flooring, I'd probably find the pendant. After unbolting the seat, removing the door trim (necessary to remove the flooring) and pulling back the flooring itself, I found... nothing. :x

At this point, the cooler was still in place, and I noticed that some of the cutouts in the floor seemed to lead right underneath it. I removed the cooler, unscrewed the three screws holding down the console, and lifted the console out of the way. Lo and behold, there was a gum wrapper, a few quarters, a balled-up receipt, and of course the elusive pendant.

BOTTOM LINE: If something disappears between the seats in your E, save yourself a whole bunch of time by checking underneath the console first--it seems to be some sort of Bermuda Triangle for small lost objects.
 

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aseriesoftubes: I am very interested to hear what you found when you removed the center console. Does the floor continue under there? Or is there a hole?

I ask because I am on the verge of buying an '09 but I'm worried that the center console/cooler holder may interfere with the way we move our dogs around in the Element (my SO has an '05). In her Element, our two big greyhounds travel on the floor of the back seat (on a soft pad of course). It is a terrific arrangement, and unique to the Element: in short stops, or in at least a moderate speed crash, there is really nowhere for them to go. Very safe compared to any other place they could travel, in our view at least.

But the '09 console is much taller and extends much further back than in previous years. It may be too prominent to allow these big, leggy, somewhat dorky dogs to ride comfortably on the floor. If it's necessary to remove the center console (and perhaps shorten it and then replace it), it would be great to know what we will find underneath it.

Thanks for any info! I don't suppose you took any pictures :)

Bill
 

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Hey Bill,

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures, but I don't think you'll need to remove the console for your dogs. The console itself protrudes a couple inches past the back of the front seats (note that this photo from the Honda website shows the seats pushed all the way forward). Under the console is a combination of the flooring material and some exposed metal. There aren't any holes per se, but if I recall correctly there are some recesses in the metal.

As for space in the back, my dog can fit on the floor back there, but he'd rather sit on the seats (his preference) or in the cargo area with one of the seats folded up (my preference). Then again, the wife and I are both 6' plus, so our seats are always pushed all the way back.

After the long weekend, I'll take some pictures with the console on and off and post them here.

Have a great weekend!

Brent
 

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Thanks, Brent! Very kind of you to offer to get some photos. If you are able to, that will be most useful as well.

As for where to carry the dogs, it's most definitely personal choice and I don't know of anyone who does it the way we do in the Element. But greyhounds are very easily injured with those long legs and paper thin skin. So we just feel better with them tucked in between the back and front seats. They seem to like it down there just fine. We are both vertically challenged, so there's a huge amount of floor space back there. If we were your size, it probably wouldn't work.

Thanks again!

Bill
 

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Good to know!
 

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But the '09 console is much taller and extends much further back than in previous years. It may be too prominent to allow these big, leggy, somewhat dorky dogs to ride comfortably on the floor. If it's necessary to remove the center console (and perhaps shorten it and then replace it), it would be great to know what we will find underneath it.
I too need to do something with the 09 center console -- it's too long! I have a couple issues:
1) I want to be able to slide in a cooler lengthwise behind the passenger seat (when pushed forward) and
2) the console is too slick for my own awkward dog when she's walking between the front seat and the back section (when we're car camping or just tailgating).

I'm thinking of replacing it or at the very least removing it and sawing off the part that extends too far back. I know that would be ugly, and hope to find a more elegant solution. WAS: I'll be interested to learn what you ultimately do, please keep me posted if you're willing.

Thanks in advance Brent for the pics. Turns out I'm currently missing the one socket needed to go poke around it myself!
 

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pidpot: I'll be sure to post back here with any developments. And if you do manage to get your console out I'd appreciate hearing about or seeing what you find and your thoughts about how to modify the console. I'm not certain what unintended effects cutting it down might have (e.g., sharp edges, loss of rigidity). Would rather avoid that if possible.

The new console is a negative for me in contemplating an '09 purchase, but not by itself likely to be the deciding factor since I'm pretty sure it can be made to work somehow. Still haven't decided, since the new 2010 Subaru Outback was very impressive on a short test drive, especially the new CVT transmission and greatly improved mileage. And around here at least it is almost impossible to find a manual transmission Element; for me, conventional (torque converter based) automatics are not desirable.

Thanks.
 
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