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2010 Honda Element
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we've had an extreme amount of heat & humidity up here recently (like a lot of others), & yesterday i was driving a short distance when i turned the a/c on (it was only 82 out then), & it just seemed i could barely hear/feel the fan until i almost had it halfway up.

even the settings on the far right (going thru max a/c to defrost) didn't seem to make that much difference.

there was a time in the past when i felt the fan was rather weak also, so should i have this checked out at the dealership if it's even an intermittent problem? (my warranty will be up in february)

thanks
 

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I have nothing to contribute other than to chime in saying I have the exact same problem with my 2003. When having to accelerate rapidly (merging on the interstate), the fan just seems to almost die and there seems to be almost no A/C coming out at that time. If I drive for a while the, the cabin will cool off eventually. But when making short trips in the Summer (I live in Alabama--our summers are brutal) the A/C just doesn't seem up to snuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
this was when i was just going down a city street at around 25-30 mph.

never changed any cabin filter? (know nothing about it) this is a 2010 vehicle about to be out of the warranty - i just want to make sure that if i can take it in to have it looked at, i can.

it will be extremely hard for me to afford repairs ($$) afterward.
 

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If you have never changed the cabin air filter, you're probably past due. It's a normal maintenance item (like belts and hoses), not covered under warranty.

According to page 249 of the 2010 owner's manual, Maintenance Minder Sub Item 2 includes this:
Replace dust and pollen filter
If you drive primarily in urban areas that have high concentrations of soot in the air from industry and from diesel-powered vehicles, replace every 15,000 miles (24,000 km).
Has your Maintenance Minder never indicated "2"?

Changing the cabin filter is finger-in-nose easy. See: Cabin Filter Replacement
(listed in Maintenance and Service > Read through this before posting your questions and also in "FAQ/How To" Archive and Information)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
nope.. i've followed the minder but i drive half in the city but put on more overall miles driving up north in the summer...

i maybe have 11,000 miles on my vehicle, so there'd be no reminder for something that doesn't show till 15,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
uh.. well hopefully i'll know how to do that. as i've said many times here, i don't even like opening the hood.

i kinda looked at that link, but just trying to get that one thing open seems confusing to me (clips or whatever). i'm not mechanically minded in the least - always have trouble getting things apart, & certainly don't wanta get stuck having to get something back together that might even be a little tricky. sounds lame, but i'm not a car person at all.


can't i just ask honda to check it out, since still under warranty? i mean, will they charge just to evaluate something (that i believe would be covered under the warranty)? not everyone's a car person - tons of vehicle owners don't do any work themselves.
 

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Some things are covered by warranty, others are not. If your HVAC fan is malfunctioning, the repair should be covered by warranty. If the problem is a clogged cabin filter (and that's still just a guess), they will charge you for replacing it—much, much more than it would cost to buy the part and change it yourself.

Putting aside the warranty question, in general the choices with car maintenance are 1) do it yourself, 2) get a friend to do it for free or for beers, and 3) pay a mechanic and don't cry about it. Where a particular job falls on the scale varies from one person to the next, but IMO it's very empowering to do something super easy like changing the cabin filters or a dome-light bulb, either of which are only slightly more difficult than changing wiper blades or topping off washer fluid or oil.

I have a friend who, because her dad was a shade-tree mechanic, never had to check the air in her tires. Well dad is gone now, and now she has to either learn to do it herself or ask others to do it for her, which I think is rather embarrassing and antifeminist besides.

Please let us know what Honda says about the fan.
 

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can't i just ask honda to check it out, since still under warranty?
Sure.
i mean, will they charge just to evaluate something
Yes, probably almost $100.
(that i believe would be covered under the warranty)?
Your belief is unfounded. The cabin air filters are normal wear items and not covered by warranty.
not everyone's a car person - tons of vehicle owners don't do any work themselves.
Quite true, unless they want to save $100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
well i check my air, & even add some! :p

had a friend help change the whole corner back light unit (after somebody caused me to need to last summer) - but would not have taken that on myself. i was gonna throw out my other light unit, but thought there might be something i can salvage from inside - light bulbs? (since the bulbs weren't affected - the outer plastic side thing was just cracked & had a small hole)

a friend of mine (unfortunately now dead) who actually helped me pick this element out.. well he'd known this guy who works for the dealership & years ago had that guy work on his honda during the guy's spare time (guess the dealership would let him use their space etc on his off time). he was supposed to hook me up with the guy so he could help me after my warranty ended, but alas that's not going to happen now. i've tried to leave a message w/the guy but never got a call back. i almost feel i have to go in there & try to introduce myself, cuz i won't be able to afford the regular cost of repairs...



===
oh, & gary? i was never talking about any filter - i was specifically talking about the a/c. but the last time i turned it on, it was working as usual.. so not sure what was up with it that one day. intermittently my passenger airbag will go off (w/nothing on the seat) - real sporadic. but i sure as hell am not gonna pay the dealership anything to check ANYTHING out, especially something that should be covered under warranty. (what the hell is a warranty for then?)
 

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well i check my air, & even add some! :p

had a friend help change the whole corner back light unit (after somebody caused me to need to last summer) - but would not have taken that on myself. i was gonna throw out my other light unit, but thought there might be something i can salvage from inside - light bulbs? (since the bulbs weren't affected - the outer plastic side thing was just cracked & had a small hole)

a friend of mine (unfortunately now dead) who actually helped me pick this element out.. well he'd known this guy who works for the dealership & years ago had that guy work on his honda during the guy's spare time (guess the dealership would let him use their space etc on his off time). he was supposed to hook me up with the guy so he could help me after my warranty ended, but alas that's not going to happen now. i've tried to leave a message w/the guy but never got a call back. i almost feel i have to go in there & try to introduce myself, cuz i won't be able to afford the regular cost of repairs...



===
oh, & gary? i was never talking about any filter - i was specifically talking about the a/c. but the last time i turned it on, it was working as usual.. so not sure what was up with it that one day. intermittently my passenger airbag will go off (w/nothing on the seat) - real sporadic. but i sure as hell am not gonna pay the dealership anything to check ANYTHING out, especially something that should be covered under warranty. (what the hell is a warranty for then?)


It is standard procedure for most dealers to advise of a diagnostic charge that may apply if the repair needed is not covered under warranty. If a clogged filter is causing the problem that most like will not fall under warranty since it is a maintanace item.

If you don't want to take it to a dealer find a local garage to take a look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yeah, i was thinking of doing that if anything seems off before the warranty ends.

do you think i should not be concerned about the intermittent passenger air bag light (signaling off/on at the wrong time occasionally)? if i have my (light) purse on the seat, at times the light will go off, but then it will remain on when i have a heavy sleeping bag on the seat, so it's not related to me having something sitting there. the light is usually on (when no one's a passenger I mean), but occasionally it'll go off...

thanks
 

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if i have my (light) purse on the seat, at times the light will go off, but then it will remain on when i have a heavy sleeping bag on the seat...
2010 owner's manual, page 32:
How the Passenger Airbag Off Indicator Works

This indicator alerts you that the passenger's front airbag has been shut off because weight sensors detect about 65 lbs or less ...

Be aware that objects placed on the front seat can cause the indicator to come on.

the light is usually on (when no one's a passenger I mean), but occasionally it'll go off
This part concerns me, if you mean that the light comes on when there is nothing on the passenger's seat at all. OM says that light should normally be off when there is nothing on the passenger's seat:
If no weight is detected on the front seat, the airbag will be automatically shut off. However, the indicator will not come on.
...
If the indicator comes on with no front seat passenger and no objects on the seat ... something may be interfering with the weight sensors. Look for and remove:
* Any items under the front passenger's seat.
* Any object(s) hanging on the seat or in the seat-back pocket.
* Any object(s) touching the rear of the seat-back.

If no obstructions are found, have your vehicle checked by a dealer as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ok.. now i'm getting confused.

i'll have to watch it better. the light indicates the airbag is off i think, right? (so if no one's in that seat, it should be ON, meaning the airbag is OFF) sometimes when there's little to nothing in that seat (it would always be way below 65#), the light will indicate....

oh i'm way too confused now, but i'll be going somewhere it a bit & i'll report back later. but the weirdness is so intermittant that sometimes it'll just be at stop lights, & other times it'll go on for minutes at a time (the weirdness, not necessarily the light).
 

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ok.. now i'm getting confused.

i'll have to watch it better. the light indicates the airbag is off i think, right? (so if no one's in that seat, it should be ON, meaning the airbag is OFF) sometimes when there's little to nothing in that seat (it would always be way below 65#), the light will indicate....

oh i'm way too confused now, but i'll be going somewhere it a bit & i'll report back later. but the weirdness is so intermittant that sometimes it'll just be at stop lights, & other times it'll go on for minutes at a time (the weirdness, not necessarily the light).
If the seat is empty, the airbag will be disabled, but the light will also be off. The off light only illuminates when there is something in the seat that is not heavy enough to activate the airbag (for example a young child). My Jetta also has an off light, but it is lighted at all times when the airbag is disabled. I can see how Honda's setup could lead to confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
actually my light illuminates as OFF.

sometimes the OFF light goes off, meaning the airbag is on - & this is while something very light is on that seat.

it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen for no apparent reason (it's random, & seems to be 'sticky' or something).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
btw, i did buy cabin & engine filters a couple months ago & did manage to change them myself. none of them were that dirty, but at least it's done. unfortunately the a/c wasn't needed very much after that, so i don't know if it's running perfectly all the time or not (or whether the filter changing had much effect i mean).

thanks anyway.
 
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