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Hi. I'm Jay. I have a 3 year old son. I test drove a 2003 Element yesterday and i enjoyed it. Manual. I go camping often and will take my son more and more. The space is great and if my work truck is ever in the shop the element can handle ladders, tools and materials. Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, biking you all know the possibilities with this and i am excited for it all. The timing chain was changed at 100,000 and then 9 thousand miles ago at 200,000. Is there anything i should know about this? Also, how is it for my son's front facing car seat? Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Edit
It was not a new chain. It was a valve adjustment also new
Radiator fan
V tec sensor
Exhaust

I enjoy driving manual, but can anyone say?
I found an automatic 04' with 24,000 less miles. Any advice would be appreciated
 

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Welcome aboard EarthJay.

Getting an Element with a good set of maintenance records is a real plus. Especially when you can pinpoint when valve adjustments were done; which is an often overlooked (even deliberately ignored by some) maintenance issue on these Hondas.

And yes, the Element is as good as a multi-purpose vehicle as you are likely to find! Good choice!

A three year old is always statistically safer in the back seat, regardless of what the air bag situation is. (I kept my son in the back seat until he was ~ 9 years old.) With that said, the back seat of an Element is perhaps a little less user friendly than other similar sized SUVs. But once you get a routine established. it shouldn't be a problem.

I wish you well on your search! : - )
 

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Thank you te1966. Yes the sellers took good care of the Honda and used Honda parts and oil. Good energy from them and the element. Also agreed. My son's seat always goes in the back unless there is an emergency. I stated front facing because he is 3 now and its no longer installed rear facing. Thanks for the welcome
 

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don't buy an automatic transmission, just my opinion but manual is way more reliable
Also, a manual trans will likely get you better gas mileage if you drive conservatively. A manual will also get you faster acceleration; but if you attempt to get that faster acceleration, the better gas mileage will go away!

If the Automatic trans has had regular maintenance, it will prove to be quite reliable as well.

Every time I get stuck in stop & go traffic (which happens often here in FL), I thank myself for buying an automatic! : - )
 

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Three notary attempts later, the element is mine. My son and i love it. Only problems are (the owner told me about both prior) the back lights on the dash go off and on. At night so far it's been just black with the red needles. Also, the e-brake needs tightened he had said. Usually, not a hig deal it works fine, but i live on a steep hill so i had to park down the road last night and carry my 3 year old up most of the way. I had parked it facing upward, put the brake on and kept in 1st. It slid a few inches every 20 seconds or so. I have a less steep driveway i am clearing out but if anyone has any tips or things for me to be aware if regarding these things, please let me know. (Maybe i shouldn't park it on my hill even after the e-brake is tight? Thanks
 

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Hi. I'm Jay. I have a 3 year old son. I test drove a 2003 Element yesterday and i enjoyed it. Manual. I go camping often and will take my son more and more. The space is great and if my work truck is ever in the shop the element can handle ladders, tools and materials. Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, biking you all know the possibilities with this and i am excited for it all. The timing chain was changed at 100,000 and then 9 thousand miles ago at 200,000. Is there anything i should know about this? Also, how is it for my son's front facing car seat? Thank you
Buy it. It’s a good car all around. I’m 18 and I’d love a fast Audi but the element is super easy to work on, it’s really tough against like hitting stuff and just strong in general, great speakers, it’s all waterproof so you can hose it down on the inside, you can lay the seats back to make it a bed, or you can push the back seats up and it almost fits a queen size bed.... sweet car also really easy to put after market speakers into
 

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Buy it. It’s a good car all around. I’m 18 and I’d love a fast Audi but the element is super easy to work on, it’s really tough against like hitting stuff and just strong in general, great speakers, it’s all waterproof so you can hose it down on the inside, you can lay the seats back to make it a bed, or you can push the back seats up and it almost fits a queen size bed.... sweet car also really easy to put after market speakers into
Hey. Am i able to tighten the e-brake myself? Thanks
 

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Hey. Am i able to tighten the e-brake myself? Thanks
Yes...you can take the slack out of the cable by pulling up the console and tightening the cable tension nut -or- if cable slack is not the issue, you can remove the rear wheels and adjust the e-brake shoes thru the small (rubber plug covered) port on the disc rotor hat.
 

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Yes...you can take the slack out of the cable by pulling up the console and tightening the cable tension nut -or- if cable slack is not the issue, you can remove the rear wheels and adjust the e-brake shoes thru the small (rubber plug covered) port on the disc rotor hat.
Thank youjjrphs. I will try removing the console
 

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don't buy an automatic transmission, just my opinion but manual is way more reliable
I have a 2003 Automatic with 247K miles, I've done some minor repairs, radiator fans, starter, ac compressor. Other than that no problems. If there is a choice I might get a manual, but finding a good 2003 is hard these days.
 

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Three notary attempts later, the element is mine. My son and i love it. Only problems are (the owner told me about both prior) the back lights on the dash go off and on. At night so far it's been just black with the red needles. Also, the e-brake needs tightened he had said. Usually, not a hig deal it works fine, but i live on a steep hill so i had to park down the road last night and carry my 3 year old up most of the way. I had parked it facing upward, put the brake on and kept in 1st. It slid a few inches every 20 seconds or so. I have a less steep driveway i am clearing out but if anyone has any tips or things for me to be aware if regarding these things, please let me know. (Maybe i shouldn't park it on my hill even after the e-brake is tight? Thanks
Oh, yeah my dash lights do that occasionally. Whacking the dashboard always brings them back on.
 

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o
personal vehicle is a 03 with 318,000 miles. manual. I have a work vehicle, 2005, automatic with only 130,000. I prefer the manual. old school. I like to control the rpms during snow events.
 

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....
If the Automatic trans has had regular maintenance, it will prove to be quite reliable as well.

Every time I get stuck in stop & go traffic (which happens often here in FL), I thank myself for buying an automatic! : - )
Bought my 2006 Element as a way to get my (bluegrass) bass and my wife to gigs.
Went with auto trans to replace the stick-shift pickup that was my first try for a bass buggy.
Grew up with stick and love it dearly. Unfortunately, my wife did not have that pleasure. The choice of auto is a compromise for safety — just in case she needs to drive it.

Added K&N cold air intake that improves acceleration, a “spring kit” that lowers ground clearance by 1/2”, but firms up the ride nicely, and a pioneer AVIC-7000NEX gps & sound system.
Uhh ... off road ground clearance is not an issue for me.

Only 63,310 miles so far.
At this rate the car will easily out live me.

The auto trans has worked out well so far. Don’t do my own work anymore, but have an excellent service department at the local dealership.
Also don’t get into stop-and-go that often, but do appreciate auto when that does happen.

Thanks for the chance to share.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's not waterproof inside. B
It's not waterproof inside. Bad idea.
Chrus948
Whats not waterproof and a bad idea? Removing the center console? Please elaborate a little if there is something i should avoid. I removed it and put it back. I have oiled the entire undercarriage of the element (as well as all if the joints and anything that can possibly rust) also to prepare for winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bought my 2006 Element as a way to get my (bluegrass) bass and my wife to gigs.
Went with auto trans to replace the stick-shift pickup that was my first try for a bass buggy.
Grew up with stick and love it dearly. Unfortunately, my wife did not have that pleasure. The choice of auto is a compromise for safety — just in case she needs to drive it.

Added K&N cold air intake that improves acceleration, a “spring kit” that lowers ground clearance by 1/2”, but firms up the ride nicely, and a pioneer AVIC-7000NEX gps & sound system.
Uhh ... off road ground clearance is not an issue for me.

Only 63,310 miles so far.
At this rate the car will easily out live me.

The auto trans has worked out well so far. Don’t do my own work anymore, but have an excellent service department at the local dealership.
Also don’t get into stop-and-go that often, but do appreciate auto when that does happen.

Thanks for the chance to share.
Thanks te1966
That sounds great. I love bluegrass and the like! My favorite musician does some bluegrass. John Butler Trio, based out of Australia. Very talented, loves the earth and his family, helps people that need help, and loves to play his music. Please check him out if you haven't!
 
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