Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my 2005 Honda Element EX since around 12,500 miles and it now has ~318,000 miles. Being a NASA / Missile Defense Engineer and Consultant and an auto enthusiast, throughout it's life I have been on point with preventive maintenance and addressing things here and there such as tires, brakes, oil, front suspension, starter, radiator (developed a small leak), dash led's, and honestly that's about it. It has been an incredible ride for many years from hauling my drum gear to gigs, my mountain bike on weekend adventures, to performing as a flexible hauler of all kinds of things for home improvement, college daughter (two) moves across multiple dorms, and so on. But alas time has come for the inevitable I guess so here it goes. The vehicle has started to maintain a high rev at start up and during driving, the valves are making a bit more noise than I am used to over the past few years, and when I started it this morning, while idling there was quite a cloud of intermittent "white"smoke from the exhaust. When I drove it a short distance it had limited power, it sputtered a bit, died on me once, then I parked it. Any ideas out there?
 

·
Premium Member
2007 Element EX TRP
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
With the "white smoke" comment, my first thought was the head gasket. Check your oil for "milky-ness" and your radiator level. If either (or both) is the case, you might need a new head gasket. :( In regards to the valve noise - when was the last time they were adjusted? I have found no more than 100K between adjustments is about right. High revs could mean cleaning your IAV or TCM (Sea Foam makes a great product that may take care of that) or replacing your PCV valve. That will give you something to start with, good luck in getting her back to health (and congrats on the mileage!!). :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks much for the detailed response, I too was thinking head gasket, the additional things to check is very helpful - I assume that the head gasket route is significant from what I've researched often leads to engine replacement - If that is worst case, I would likely sale it "as is" and begin the challenging hunt for another - It has been my second favorite Honda ever, with the first being my beloved 1988 Honda CRXsi I purchased right after college graduation and locking in my first aerospace engineering gig - Would love to have another but too many years have passed - CRXsi and Element production were stopped way too soon...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Thanks much for the detailed response, I too was thinking head gasket, the additional things to check is very helpful - I assume that the head gasket route is significant from what I've researched often leads to engine replacement - If that is worst case, I would likely sale it "as is" and begin the challenging hunt for another - It has been my second favorite Honda ever, with the first being my beloved 1988 Honda CRXsi I purchased right after college graduation and locking in my first aerospace engineering gig - Would love to have another but too many years have passed - CRXsi and Element production were stopped way too soon...
If the overall health of the vehicle is good, you should consider engine replacement, keep the E another 15 years, who knows. A reputable shop can do the job for way less than complete vehicle replacement. Your call. GL!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
Give the Element to some kid to tinker with and find a low mileage one to love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Head gasket job is about $500 including planing the head and takes about 4-5 hrs not including machine shop time. Youtube videos show the complete job. The only hard part is setting the timing. When you release the tensioner the chain jumps... the trick is preloading the cam position so it will jump to the right place... usually takes me 2-3 tries.
Antifreeze stops up cats so the cat absolutely has to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Head gasket job is about $500 including planing the head and takes about 4-5 hrs not including machine shop time. Youtube videos show the complete job. The only hard part is setting the timing. When you release the tensioner the chain jumps... the trick is preloading the cam position so it will jump to the right place... usually takes me 2-3 tries.
Antifreeze stops up cats so the cat absolutely has to be replaced.
Thanks for the note, I am having it checked by my persona mechanic and good friend and want to isolate for sure if it is a head gasket issue and will note the cat as well - Thanks mate...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Probably the head gasket, plus low cylinder compression. An oil test would tell you if the oil got contaminated.
A lower mileage used engine+transmission would be a possible option, if you don't want to shoot the horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks mate, having it towed to my local mechanic for verification of issue(s), then will decide if euthanasia is warranted... :unsure:🤷‍♂️
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Any thoughts on what a used engine plus installation cost might run?
I’d say around $2000-2500 in Southern California. I did mine for $2000, but I waited 6 months until I was able to find the “right” price / engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Plan on about 15 hrs of labor to do that, plus the cost of changing out old accessories, like the starter, while they are easy to replace with the engine on the hoist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I have owned my 2005 Honda Element EX since around 12,500 miles and it now has ~318,000 miles. Being a NASA / Missile Defense Engineer and Consultant and an auto enthusiast, throughout it's life I have been on point with preventive maintenance and addressing things here and there such as tires, brakes, oil, front suspension, starter, radiator (developed a small leak), dash led's, and honestly that's about it. It has been an incredible ride for many years from hauling my drum gear to gigs, my mountain bike on weekend adventures, to performing as a flexible hauler of all kinds of things for home improvement, college daughter (two) moves across multiple dorms, and so on. But alas time has come for the inevitable I guess so here it goes. The vehicle has started to maintain a high rev at start up and during driving, the valves are making a bit more noise than I am used to over the past few years, and when I started it this morning, while idling there was quite a cloud of intermittent "white"smoke from the exhaust. When I drove it a short distance it had limited power, it sputtered a bit, died on me once, then I parked it. Any ideas out there?
I'm getting ready to replace the head gasket on my E.I've got one with 200K and a band clamp let loose lost all the coolant. I'm interested if you decide to the do a head gasket.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top