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Hey! I found an 05 element awd with 117k miles... i talked him down to 3k but this is the info in the add and i have NEVER owned an element? I am beyond nervous that i'm gonna make a mistake buying this thing but maybe someone here knows what these repairs mean and if there's any glaringly obvious issues i should worry about based on the ad? If this isn't okay i apologize in advance!! Here's the listing...

"Very low miles for the year . New rotors calipers brake pads . Valve cover gasket replaced . custom stereo . New radiator. New power steering pump . New high amperage alternator.new ball joints. New wheel bearings. I just put in platinum laser sparkplugs which last 80k miles. Mechanic owned. Super reliable super maintained."

the valve cover gasket and new spark plugs sound scary... but if this is a crazy stupid deal to pass up I would so appreciate anybody's opinion! I know nobody can know for sure... but if anyone has insight?
 

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As long as it’s not rusty underneath, sounds like a good buy. All those maintenance items are listed as suggested maintenance items in the service manual. Sounds like it has been maintained.
It still is worth an independent mechanic looking at but for $3,000 and all of the recommended services having been done, risk is low I would say.
 

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Agreed with WestCoastE, and FYI, The valve cover gasket and spark plugs are no big deal :) . Pretty basic maintenance.
 

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As long as it’s not rusty underneath, sounds like a good buy. All those maintenance items are listed as suggested maintenance items in the service manual. Sounds like it has been maintained.
It still is worth an independent mechanic looking at but for $3,000 and all of the recommended services having been done, risk is low I would say.
You're awesome thank you so much!
 

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Agreed with WestCoastE, and FYI, The valve cover gasket and spark plugs are no big deal :) . Pretty basic maintenance.
Ahhh this makes me feel wayyyy better. I was shocked at the price for those miles. Around here in Wisconsin they go for way more. Thank you so much
 

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Drop the tailgate and lift up the flap at the hinge- that area is a rust magnet and should tell you how much rust is underneath- but at that price, assuming it runs , shifts and drives OK the downside for you is minimal. Make sure the check engine and ABS lights are off- was the airbag recall done in the past few years?
ALSO- make sure the ignition key operates both doors and tailgate-- if it doesn't have keyless remotes, that can be added for about $100
 

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You're awesome thank you so much!

Maybe this will help when I bought my 2003 2WD EX in 2018 w/103k it was all original.

Since then I have replaced the starter, new battery, trans filter & flush, minor work done on the rear exhaust, new brakes, rotors, and complete struts/shocks all around. Rear sway bar links, end links and ball joints. Also a new set of tires. All told it was an additional 3500 in cost on top of what I paid for it.

For me it was worth it the car is in fantastic condition body wise and interior wise.

The last time I bought it to Honda to have it inspected the mechanic couldn’t get over the condition of the car- What I mean by that is the small investment I made in repairs was well worth it because he has one himself and is close to 400,000 miles on it.

in the spring I plan on getting the valve adjustment done

If you buy the vehicle I would suggest you keep tabs on these forums because it’s been a great help to me
 

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Maybe this will help when I bought my 2003 2WD EX in 2018 w/103k it was all original.

Since then I have replaced the starter, new battery, trans filter & flush, minor work done on the rear exhaust, new brakes, rotors, and complete struts/shocks all around. Rear sway bar links, end links and ball joints. Also a new set of tires. All told it was an additional 3500 in cost on top of what I paid for it.

For me it was worth it the car is in fantastic condition body wise and interior wise.

The last time I bought it to Honda to have it inspected the mechanic couldn’t get over the condition of the car- What I mean by that is the small investment I made in repairs was well worth it because he has one himself and is close to 400,000 miles on it.

in the spring I plan on getting the valve adjustment done

If you buy the vehicle I would suggest you keep tabs on these forums because it’s been a great help to me
Damn just 3500? .. how much were the struts which ones did u get?.. I would think Honda would have killed ur pockets replacing them .. own struts are like 487 each out here :/
 

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Everything OEM/Honda, do not get aftermarket, more than likely you will run into problems. The investment is better than a car payment, for me anyway.

I just got my valve adjustment at the Honda Dealer for $450. Lehigh Valley Honda.

Now I just tipped over 115,000. When I was there the service rep showed me an 04 with just under 500,000 on the clock. This car will outlast me at this rate. Ha.
 

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I have 1800 miles driving on my first oil change and the oil is just below the full line- 235,900 miles. The previous owner had all his repairs done at his Honda dealer- and it shows. As soon as my tax refund comes this spring, I will be getting a valve adjustment, too. May last fill up was 22.6 mpg. I like the idea that my 2005 Element still has 50% life left to go!
 

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Everything OEM/Honda, do not get aftermarket, more than likely you will run into problems. The investment is better than a car payment, for me anyway.

I just got my valve adjustment at the Honda Dealer for $450. Lehigh Valley Honda.

Now I just tipped over 115,000. When I was there the service rep showed me an 04 with just under 500,000 on the clock. This car will outlast me at this rate. Ha.
Damn I messed up I put after market struts that said that they were basically just like oem from advanced auto.. and an axel too
 

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On Scotty's youtube car repair channel, he explained how crappy the aftermarket struts for his Lexus turned out to be- a way worse ride, so he put the old ones back on.
All springs are not created equal! I suspect the aftermarket struts use a generic range of springs that in some cases are not the right calibration for the vehicle.
While it's a pain to just replace the shock part of the strut and keep the original springs, that may the be better way to go, if you don't want to use genuine Honda quick struts.
 

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My mechanic did put my old springs on .. they weren’t quick struts .. they had it all but the springs that he put on from my old struts that were fine .. but yeah update I went back to pep boys Bc my wheel wasn’t straight and she’s pulling yo the right... they did the alignment and the wheel is totally cocked to the right so off center I’m like wtff worst then before so he did it again and says oh your right strut is crooked that can cause it .. I’m like u know what I give up .. I love my element but not knowing when she feels so off is frusterating :/
 

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Hmm, nothing is worse, than a mechanic working on flat rate who screwed up a job and is trying to avoid redoing his work- for "free".
So they try to turn the mistake into - "Sorry, but you have different problem now." So, as an experiment--
Measure both sides on the top outside edge of the front fender- center of the wheel well over the center of the tire- they should measure about the same- if they are way off, there is a chance one of the strut springs was improperly installed.
I measured my Element - 2005 LX- factory size , almost new tires- Drivers side= 30-7/8", passenger side 30-5/8".
 

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Getting back to the question of struts...aftermarket is fine if they are KYB. I believe they are probably the OEM supplier to Honda for the Elements in any case, and much cheaper than the ones from the dealer.
 
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