No. Synthetic oil is not specified in the owner's manual.I know there are a lot of threads on oil, but I only found info on preference and mpg gains. Today, I got my oil changed at Valvoline Instant Oil Change and they had a new sales line I had not heard before: "According to our computer, your engine needs a synthetic oil or the pistons won't be lubricated properly...we can continue to give the conventional oil, but you will have to sign a waiver releasing us from responsibility." I think this is total crap and have found oil change places to be some of the most dishonest...Anyone else think there is any validity to their claim that Elements NEED synthetic?
Synthetic oil is specified for other cars--althought I'm unaware of a single Honda. Maybe they got mixed up. I'd ask to see their computer or a printout.