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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - New to the forum!

So - I am in the market for a 2006-2008 model. I've had a few craigslist fails...sketchy. So am looking at dealerships now. I found this one below...I have not gone to see this car yet - covid/transport concerns. Do you guys see any red flags? Dealership has good reviews (from light digging).


The only thing that really concerns me is the engine photo. It doesn't have the i-Vtec engine plate that I have seen on all the others I've seen online. I do not know much about engines besides adding oils/fluids. But plan on learning - youtube and forums like these are incredible helpful!

Thanks!
 

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It's not uncommon at all for the I-Vtec plate to be missing as it is only glued on. I wouldn't worry about it in the least. I took a quick look at the ad and here are my comments. Driver's seat is not cracking or split which is pretty unusual for any of the 2003-06s that used that seat material. So that's a positive. In reading the Carfax, it shows good service records earlier in the car's life, but the service history is pretty thin later on. It's possible the previous owner did their own service, or they went to a facility that doesn't report to Carfax, but in any case, it's worth noting. Carfax doesn't show any work on the suspension or a valve adjustment, all I could see beyond routine maintenance was a wheel bearing/hub(s) being replaced.

If you drive the vehicle, listen carefully for suspension clunks and other noises. The vehicle may need new struts and various other suspension components with the miles it has. Also listen for any strange noises from the starter and engine. Without being able to inspect the vehicle in person I can't say just how clean it is, but it does look to be in nice condition from the photos. The price also seems reasonable from a dealer. I would look under the vehicle to make sure there's not too much rust. Some surface rust will be normal for an east coast car, but just try to make sure there's no rust through on subframes and etc. I did see some rust on some of the engine fittings underhood, but again that's consistent with an east coast car. If you can arrange to have a pre-purchase inspection with a mechanic you or someone you know trusts, I would definitely consider it, because even though the purchase price isn't that high, it might be a good chunk of change to you personally. Good luck!
 

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I agree. No big deal on the engine decal missing. Mine went missing at the dealership when I had the 100k valve adjustment service, so it might actually be an indication that that service was in fact done.
However, I would be most concerned with underbody rust, based solely on i your pictures of the engine bay. I bet this one has been through some tough winters in upstate NY.
I would only buy it if I could see it in person and/or have someone I trust check it out.
On the plus side, it looks like the previous owners repaired/maintained the driver seat left bolster.
 

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Thank you for your thoughtful response! I also posted to a facebook group and heard much the same regarding the plate. I am working with the dealer to arrange a test drive. It's difficult at the moment with covid guidelines. I also contacted an autoshop nearby and they said they'd look it over for $75. Which doesn't feel back for NYC prices...maybe.
 

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Another thing I should've mentioned regarding rust -- check out underneath as stated, but also look along the bottoms of all the doors. They are known to get rusty in the salty states. Also the rear bumper beam or whatever it's called is a known rust spot.
 

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Thank you - the dealer sold it to someone else while I was waiting for a curbside appointment. Ah well. Super disappointing but that you for all your advice! I feel better armed for the next...
 

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I really hope it wasn't someone on a forum that bought it out from under me. I posted on a few - but on the other's I did not include location. The car was on the lots for months, so. Ugh.
 

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I really hope it wasn't someone on a forum that bought it out from under me. I posted on a few - but on the other's I did not include location. The car was on the lots for months, so. Ugh.
I wouldn't worry about losing that one. If it was on a lot for awhile that is not good. These go fast when in good shape.
I own 4 currently. Take your time. The more you look the more you learn. You will eventually see what you want in an Element as there are many models. our 03 and 04s seats fold forward. our 08 doesn't. our 08, which is my wife's daily driver is an EX-P tango red pearl which looks rich. the other 3 have the black panels which I like anyway. keep looking be patient and you'll get the one you will enjoy ✌ :)
 

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Hi all - New to the forum!

So - I am in the market for a 2006-2008 model. I've had a few craigslist fails...sketchy. So am looking at dealerships now. I found this one below...I have not gone to see this car yet - covid/transport concerns. Do you guys see any red flags? Dealership has good reviews (from light digging).


The only thing that really concerns me is the engine photo. It doesn't have the i-Vtec engine plate that I have seen on all the others I've seen online. I do not know much about engines besides adding oils/fluids. But plan on learning - youtube and forums like these are incredible helpful!

Thanks!
Hello,

It is important to know that these re not maintenance-free cars.

Here are some issues I have had over the years with my 2005 Manual AWD now with 225,000:
--The head gasket will go. This was expensive as I needed a whole new engine block.
--clutch replaced twice
--radiator replacement
--alternator replacement
--starter motor replacement
--rear brake calipers
--one transition mount replaced
--exhaust pipe re-welded
(water pump, strangely, has not gone yet)

Some tips:
--it was clicking when starting and would not turn over. It was the ignition switch, not the battery
--it made a knocking noise in the rear differential when going around corners--replaced differential fluid with Honda fluid. It has never done it again.
--stalling when stopped: it was a valve adjustment
--air filter on motor and interior air filters--available on Amazon and EZ to replace: You tube videos!
--knocking in rear suspension: fixed by replacing rubber spacers in bar under rear. You tube video, again!
--rear tail light assembly: available on Amazon and you can replace it in ten minutes or less.

I have beat on this car since I bought it in 2005. It does 350 miles round trip and climbs to 7000 feet every other weekend. I have had it in all manner of snow from blizzard to making it up 1/4 mile through 10" of fresh powder on a mountain tract--repeatedly. I would say it's a little underpowered--but it is a really versatile vehicle in terms of space. It has really slammed me bad when I had to pay out for the big jobs. However, the cost of AWD vehicles and "the devil you know..." view have kept me re-investing in it.

Best of luck with your Element search.

T
 
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