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My doors won't stay opened!!

I am so sick of my front doors smashing me in the back of the legs that I can scream. Have the newer models addressed this problem? Does anyone have a solution? Thanks. Kevin
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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I have more of a problem with the rear doors swinging shut on me than with the front doors.

There is no door spring to adjust.

The door checker originally was intended to impede the door's opening and closing. The early designs had a bulge in the middle that fed between pinch rollers in the door hinge. The bulge and rollers were supposed to keep the door open and slow it as it opened or closed. Since doors have become much heavier, recent designs only use the checker to stop the door from opening too quickly. The only way a mechanism could slow a heavy door from closing would be to use something like the dampers on the rear hatch.

So, the only things that keep a door open are inertia, friction, and gravity. Two you can't control, but you can avoid over- lubricating the hinges.
 

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The "spring" is not adjustable, but a worn one can be replaced.
If it were a matter of wear, new vehicles would not have the problem. Mine has from the beginning, especially when parallel parked between two vehicles when I can't open the door fully. The problem is the same with both front doors, even though the drivers door is used more than twice as often. If the springs were shot, the checker wouldn't hold the door in position when fully open., which it does.

If you look at the arm, you'll see that although it has detents, it's tapered. The spring works progressively more as the door is further open, less as it is closed further. In the last half of the closing cycle it isn't effective and may actually aggravate the problem.

If someone wants to replace the checker, though, at least it's a reasonably priced part. Here's the checker for the front door:

It's always been a tradeoff between how easy it is to open and how hard it is to close a heavy swinging door. Without an active system to selectively apply damping, you can have easy open or easy close and cushion against slamming open or slamming closed - pick any 3.
 

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The price of having an opening the size of a barn is having barn doors to cover it. The E has giant heavy doors and if the springs could hold 100% of the weight 100% of the time then small children and girly men would be complaining that they can't open or close the doors without help.

It's like the whole cold weather/hatch strut issue. Be prepared to have your E grab your a$$ occasionally. Really, it's a sign of love.
 

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Couldn't the shape be changed to make it stick better when half-open? I keep thinking of making new detents with a dremel. Or maybe a thicker section the whole way with detents where needed. I think the taper helps the door close once it starts heading that way anyway.
 

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Door checker revealed.

I pryed open one of my old checkers to take a look. Two nylon pieces are pressed against the long rubber piece using two cubes of rubber. The nylon wears down, the rubber looses its elasticity and sudden your doors don't stay open. Would have been nice if they used spring-loaded steel rollers like other checkers I have seen.

There were a few comments regarding grinding deeper indents on the long rubber piece, but I don't know that this would do anything. The problem isn't the long rubber piece but rather the cheap internal materials that are doomed to fail at some point.
 

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Fortunately the door checkers are an inexpensive part and easy to replace. I just did both of my front door checkers yesterday in about 30 minutes and they seemed to make a big difference. I was able to freely open/close the old ones with my hands when it was removed but couldn't get the new ones to budge at all. The back of my calves look forward to not being smashed in the future. Next time I order more parts, I'm going to get the rear ones as well since they are so inexpensive.
 

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Instructions to replace by myself?

Hello! I'm having this same problem. Was annoying when it was just me that the door kept slamming into. Became a HUGE worry when it slammed right into my one year old's forehead as I was getting her out of the car! I had no idea it would slam into her or else I would have blocked it. Needless to say, I was very concerned as she had a gash and major bump.

Is this something that I could purchase at an auto parts store and do myself? Well, obviously YOU guys can do it yourself... was wondering if you could give me some directions/instructions so that I could do it myself and save myself some cash (instead of having the dealers charge me an arm and leg for labor)?

Thank you kindly!
 

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Hello! I'm having this same problem. Was annoying when it was just me that the door kept slamming into. Became a HUGE worry when it slammed right into my one year old's forehead as I was getting her out of the car! I had no idea it would slam into her or else I would have blocked it. Needless to say, I was very concerned as she had a gash and major bump.

Is this something that I could purchase at an auto parts store and do myself? Well, obviously YOU guys can do it yourself... was wondering if you could give me some directions/instructions so that I could do it myself and save myself some cash (instead of having the dealers charge me an arm and leg for labor)?

Thank you kindly!
No - you need to purchase these parts from the Dealer. You can likely buy them cheaper online from Majestic Honda or one of the other online Dealers - here's a link for the front door checkers for your E:

Majestic Honda Front Door Panels

The door checkers are parts #13 (R) and #14 (L) and are $13.07/ea. Check out this link for the rear door checkers:

Majestic Honda Rear Access Panels

The rear door checkers are parts #14 (R) and #16 (L) and are $13.45/ea.

Replacing them is really easy - you just need to remove each respective door panel to do it. I would really advise you purchase an official service manual for your E to give you all the details on doing this, along with all other needed maintenance and repairs in the future. Links to buy one of these were provided above by RamblerDan. You can also see a how-to on doing here:

Door Panel Removal

The only tricky part with the fronts is getting that triangular piece of trim off that's on the lower rear of the door glass - it's not difficult at all if you do it right but if you just try to pry or force it off you'll break it...just ask my dealer, they broke mine last time my E was in for some lock repairs. There is no tricky part to the rear panels - they are simple to remove. If you're concerned about breaking the front trim piece, just purchase new ones when you place your order - they are only $9/ea and that's a lot cheaper than going to the dealer to have all this done and cheaper to order them now rather than have to place another order after you do break one - the link for these is here:

Majestic Honda Front Door Lining

Trim pieces are parts #9 (R) and #10 (L). This is probably overkill to order these but I figured I'd post the info on them here as someone eventually will break one doing this and want to buy new ones.
 

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I got around to replacing my drivers door checker the other night and wow what a huge improvement. I didn't see it mentioned, but when you do this job make sure to apply some blue thread locker on the single bolt that attaches the checker to the jamb.
 

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I didn't see it mentioned, but when you do this job make sure to apply some blue thread locker on the single bolt that attaches the checker to the jamb.
Why? Are you worried it will back itself out otherwise? I didn't do this and they are still tight as of yet but just curious why you have a specific concern here?
 

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Why? Are you worried it will back itself out otherwise? I didn't do this and they are still tight as of yet but just curious why you have a specific concern here?
I'm not worried, it's just that when I removed mine I noticed that it had blue thread locker on it's threads, so I figured that if Honda thought it was a good enough idea to use it when they were assembling our Elements, that it be a good idea to use it for reassembly.
 

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Both front doors now flapping like a dead bird on the side of the road that you have to pick up and throw away.
Anyway, been looking to replace these babies. I just hit 150k, got a new set of Michelins, and plan on keeping her for another while. 2 questions:

1. Do you need to take off the whole door panel to do it?
2. Do you need to have a name like Cleetus to git er done?
 

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Ok, what do you remove first? is there any how to links on the site for it?
 
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