Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 20 of 74 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
When I am driving, the steering wheel block the view of my guages slightly.

I find myself looking over to the shifter to determine the current gear, but the lights on the shifter do not indicate this very well (none of the gear numbers/letters appear brighter or darker where the shifter is placed). Is this the same with all Elements ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,278 Posts
The gear markings on the shifter console itself are backlit but *do not change to indicate* which gear you are in.

Some people complained that they weren't lit at all, that is, that the console was completely dark. If that's the case, there's a bulb or wiring problem (as above).

Currently the only way to tell what gear you put the automatic shifter in to look at the instrument cluster in front of you.

-brendan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Gear Shift Lights Wont Work----Short Maybe?

Hello everyone, I have 2003 EX, and lately I noticed that the lights on the gear shift do not come on when I turn the lights on like they are supposed to and I have to hit the side of the assembly near the speaker three or four times to get it come on and stay on. I also noticed that hte light for the temperature gauge appeared to have went out, like a blown bulb or something, but then, i hit the top of the dash and VOILA, it was back on. I am thinking a wiring problem or a short somewhere. Can this be an easy fix that I can do myself? Also I noticed that it has only been doing it since the temperature has dropped. Not crucial, bue extremely irritating and embarassing, any help would be nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Light Bulb for Shifter Console Burned Out

We have 2 E's, one is an '03 and the other an '04. I noticed that the console where the shift lever is located is not illuminated on the '03, therefore I have to look at the dash to verify what gear I am in at night. I ordered a new bulb from the Honda dealership but can't figure out how to install it. Does anyone have any idea how to replace the bulb in the console that houses the shift lever? I would hate to have to bring it in to the dealership and pay shop charges for a burned out bulb.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Think I found the answer.

I think I found the answer on another thread right after I posted my question. I found a link to a car alarm installation guide that I think will solve my problem. I will post the result.


Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Got the bulb changed

I was able to successfully change the bulb in the shifter console, but not without significant effort. I took pictures of the process and will see if I can muster the will to post some pics. In short I had to:
1.) Remove the sub woofer cover.
2.) Remove the sub woofer.
3.) Pry out the cover from around the shifter lever.
4.) Remove the cover around the CD player and air vents.
5.) Remove the secondary cover directly around the shifting lever.
6.) In the secondary cover there is a small bulb holder which holds the light. It pops out very easily the new bulb just slides into the socket.
7.) Re-assembled everything in reverse order, which only took about 10 minutes.

I have to say that was a tremendous amount of effort in order to change one tiny little bulb. If I had to do it again I could probably do it in 20 minutes now that I know the best way in which to remove all of the components. However, I think Honda should have made the bulb much more accessible for maintenance purposes. I hope it does not burn out again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
failed state inspection due to gear shift indicator bulb burnt out by shifter?!

Help!

I got the disappointing news today that my well-kept 2003 EX failed its Maryland state safety inspection (as performed by Ourisman Honda of Bethesda) because the lightbulb that illuminates next to the gear shifter (automatic) is burned out. The quote for repair was $170 (2 hours labor.) I've read on here that it is time-intensive to get to that bulb... but I have not authorized the repair yet because the gear shift indicator on the dash works fine. I don't see why the car is failing inspection if I can clearly tell what gear I'm in.

Even more annoying, is this: if I recall correctly, even when the bulb was working next to the gear shift, nothing lit up brighter nor was there any sort of indicator next to the gear shift that verified what gear I was in. I had to look onto the dash for verification of my gear anyway.

Help!

Can anyone else (the more who do, the better for me!) please respond and let me know if the gearshift indicator by the gearshift on their '03 actually specifies what gear they are in (besides just lighting up with a soft glow behind the numbers/letters?)

If it actually specifies what gear I'm in with brighter lighting for the selected gear or something, I'll consider getting it repaired. (Although the gear shift indicator on the dash clearly works--so I still don't think it's right that the car failed inspection for not having a proper gear shift indicator.)

Otherwise, I'm going to report the dealer's service department/technician to the Maryland State Police Automotive Safety Enforcement Division (they help regulate the safety inspections) for failing my vehicle for not having a cosmetic interior light working.

Also, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas on the matter, I'd really appreciate it. I desperately need to register/title the car a.s.a.p. (recently moved to MD and my old tags are expiring!), but this is holding me up!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
But I need to know if fixing that bulb will then specify what gear I'm in

Thanks for the diagram... but any of you '03 owners out there... what I really want to know is whether or not having that bulb working will specifically light up what gear I'm in.

I just called the VA dealer I bought the car from and talked to the service department. They don't think having the bulb will tell me specifically what gear I'm in... they said that as they recall, the '03s have an indicator on the dash, so there's no need for an indicator next to the shifter.

Anyone?

I'm about to give Ourisman Honda an earful for failing my car!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Moderator Eh?
Joined
·
12,102 Posts
beachhearted said:
Thanks for the diagram... but any of you '03 owners out there... what I really want to know is whether or not having that bulb working will specifically light up what gear I'm in.

I just called the VA dealer I bought the car from and talked to the service department. They don't think having the bulb will tell me specifically what gear I'm in... they said that as they recall, the '03s have an indicator on the dash, so there's no need for an indicator next to the shifter.

Anyone?

I'm about to give Ourisman Honda an earful for failing my car!!!!!!!!!

The only light up indicator for the shifter is in the guage cluster as you have already stated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Thanks for people's prompt replies. I just talked to Honda of America and they verified that even if I replace that bulb, it will not specifically indicate what gear I'm in--that the gear shift indicator is definitely considered to be on the dash.

My next step is to find out if my car really failed for not having a way of showing exactly what gear I'm in, or if it was more along the lines of not all the interior lighting that originally came with the vehicle are working.
 

·
EOC Rank: Crankypants
Joined
·
14,898 Posts
lizzurd said:
The only light up indicator for the shifter is in the guage cluster as you have already stated.
You mean that next to the shifter, there's no little moving box (contrasting color or outline) to indicate the selected gear—not that the entire PRNDL strip isn't illuminated. Yes?
 

·
Moderator Eh?
Joined
·
12,102 Posts
ramblerdan said:
The headlights are adjustable vertically, not horizontally.


You mean that next to the shifter, there's no little moving box (contrasting color or outline) to indicate the selected gear--not that the entire PRNDL strip isn't illuminated. Yes?
Thats what i meant to say.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Update: A MD state police inspector called Oursiman Honda and told them: pass my car

Dear all,

Here's the update:

Friday night:

When I picked the E up after it failed inspection Friday, I looked at the inspection sheet. The car passed on every single item on it. At the bottom right of the page under "Notes" there was a note that the backlighting bulb was burned out on the shifter column. Then in yellow highlighter they highlighted that the car needed to be repaired and re-inspected within two weeks or whatever.

I told the service dept's assistant manager that it wasn't right that the tech failed my car for something that wasn't even on the inspection sheet as something that needed to be inspected. He told me that according to MD state law, every single lightbulb in the car (original or aftermarket) has to work. Then he changed the subject and went off on tinting and how customers try to customize their cars in unsafe ways—and that it’s his job as a manager to not pass unsafe cars, whether the customers agree with it or not. I found this comment puzzling, because my car is 100% stock—no aftermarket parts or non-manufacturer tinting. I couldn’t believe he was trying to hint that I was pressuring him to pass an “unsafe vehicle.”

Saturday:

I had a friend, a Toyota mechanic, fix the dang bulb Saturday. It took about half an hour, not two hours as Ourisman Honda said it would. But it was a huge waste of my Saturday morning.

Monday:

I took the day off of work Monday to finish straightening things out. In the morning I took the car back to Ourisman for re-inspection. (The original tech who failed the car has to visually re-inspect it, according to the law. Fortunately, it was a visual re-inspection... but it still wasted yet more of my time as I waited for him to have a chance to look at the car.)

I told the assistant manager it took half-an-hour to fix, not two hours, and that I was not amused by their overblown estimate to repair a $2 bulb. He didn’t really say anything in response. In fact, he may have brought up tinting again.

In the meantime, the MD state police inspector called me. (This is the police officer who helps to regulate the county’s inspection stations.) He said that Ourisman Honda was definitely "fishing,” and that they should not have failed my car… that it’s not their job to read into and interpret the law the way they did in the case of my inspection. He said that if I can see what gear I'm in from the indicator on the dash, it doesn’t matter that the light is burned out on the console, especially if the console lighting doesn’t specify what gear I’m in. (Too bad I already went and got it fixed!) He told me he’d speak to the tech at Ourisman and straighten him out and tell him my car should have passed in the first place.

Right before I left, after passing inspection, the assistant manager told me that the police inspector just spoke with the tech. In a cheerful manner he said, “The tech says he’s failed hundreds of cars for bulbs being out just like that.” No apology. I told him I didn’t appreciate any of this, he changed the subject back to how people with tinting have to be very careful in Maryland. I almost hauled off on him for bringing up tinting again, but I took my keys and left instead.

I’ll never go back to Oursiman again… way to treat a fairly new customer! I’ll just take my car all the way back to Brown Arlington Honda in VA where I bought the car. Their service has always been excellent.

Within three more hours (and $495 later) I had MD license plates and was on my way home. I felt like I had just won an Academy Award when they handed me the plates.

The whole thing was even more frustrating because my VA registration had expired 12/31/06… but MD has a long titling process, so I couldn’t even register my car until last week when they sent me a letter saying they’d processed my title. I started the registration process in mid December not realize they couldn’t just issue me temporary tags. At that time, the MD MVA/DMV associate suggested I just renew my VA plates to prevent my car from being totally unregistered. I tried to, but VA wouldn’t let me because I had already changed my license over to MD. I had to restrict my driving for fear of getting pulled over and having the car confiscated!

So then when Ourisman failed my car for ambient lighting, I had just heard enough.

What a mess.

Thanks for all of your comments. And don’t let your safety inspectors take you for a ride!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
It Ain't too Dificult

My center temp. control knob light is out also... Quite frankly its getting very annoying. The dealer quoted me $240. Does that not sound insane?!!!

Does anybody know if there is a quick access way to get to that bulb or which panels to remove? Thanks in advance guys..
Let's see if I can remember. Leave the ignition key in the on position so You can shift the Auto into N. Grab the top edge of the face plate with your finger nails and pull real darn hard (don't talk to me about broken finger nails and such, I just don't care) It will pull forward and come lose around the edges. Once it is lose all the way around there is an electrical plug on the right side. Place shifter in park and Turn the key off and unplug the plug. You will have to press in the side tabs on the plug to get it to separate. You should then be able to pull the faceplate and the knobs and all that stuff clean off. The round part under the shifter stays in place. And the faceplate comes off around it. The vents also stay in place. Use a good screw drive and Unscrew the bulb that is out, replace with correct bulb, ordered with a one-week wait, always order two or three.

Place the faceplate back in the general area where it goes. Turn the key on and move the shifter into the N position. Plug in the plug that was unplugged before. Make sure the faceplate is lined up all the way around and press in firmly.

Vacuum out the inside of the element, give it a bath and you should be ready to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
AT Shifter Lights

Hey, Just noticed that the lights are out in my shift console. AT Transmission
UKnow the PRHD21 Lights. DIdn't look at the manual yet to check the fuse location. Just figured I'd ask. Thanks for any info.-GoodE:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
I'm not familiar with the AT shifter, but chances are you can replace the light if you pop off the center piece. The hazard switch has a bulb which can be replaced by unlocking the bulb holder (identical to the HVAC and gauge cluster lights) and replacing the bulb or the entire unit. I'm willing to bet the shifter light is the same...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Easier for MT's than AT's I would imagine. I've never actually seen anyone talk about how hard it is to remove the center console with the AT but I would imagine its not terribly hard.

The procedure is quite easy actually. For an MT, you twist off the shift knob first then proceed. With an AT, you may have to do the same thing or pop out the lower part... *shrug*. All I know is that you need to put it into neutral. After you handle the shifter - with a medium sized flathead screwdriver wrapped in a terry cloth, carefully wedge it between the lower left corner and pry it up until the piece snaps out of that area. The plastic can be easily damaged and so take your time doing this. Repeat for the lower right side. At this point, you can just grab the piece with your hands (gloves are a good idea if you're doing this for the first time, its very stiff) and pull in an upward/towards you direction slowly to pop out the remaining pieces. Keep in mind that the HVAC controls and the hazard button is still connected. You'll have to maneuver it with the AT shifter somehow. Once it is free, reach behind and remove the two plugs (press in the tab then pull). Once those are free, the whole thing should be loose.

Turn it around and you'll see 6 holes in the HVAC unit with grey plastic circles with flathead screwdriver inserts and two pieces of metal sticking out on each end. All you have to do is take your screwdriver and twist to the left until it unlocks. Flip the unit upside down and gently shake it out. The bulbs are built into the post and if you goto Honda you can buy it as a whole unit. There are two for each face - one for the button and one for the face. Replace as necessary. Shouldn't cost very much...


If you want to change the colors, that's a whole other ballgame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Hey wasted, did you know for us MT's you can remove the center console without using a screwdriver to pry it off?

After you get the shift knob off, you can grip the console through the shift boot to pull it off. No chance of dinging up the console with tools that way. I wish I had known about this before I tried it the first time...
 

·
EOC Rank: Crankypants
Joined
·
14,898 Posts
Thanks for the tip, Dives. The manual says to remove the subwoofer cover and subwoofer; remove the shifter knob; push the shifter boot bezel out from below with a wooden hammer handle (or similar); and finally remove the center panel. That was a fair amount of work; I'll try the snatch-and-grab method next time!
 
1 - 20 of 74 Posts
Top