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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up until purchasing my Element (2003 Certified Pre-owned with 42K miles) 2 years ago, my opinion about Honda was very favorable. I've had two accords (92 & 99) and two cruiser motorcycles. Quality was superior for all those vehicles.

The Element is another story. It may well be bad luck, but I see users in this site with so many problems related to quality, which makes me think that this may be one of the worst vehicles Honda has ever produced.

I have to mention that I am a car care freak. Here's a summary of the issues I've had in the last two years:

Cracked Seats
Rocking passenger seat
2 engine mounts replaced
2 struts replaced
Annoying noises (seat belt restraint system)
4 different oil leaks (Oil pan gasket, VTEC solenoid, valve cover gasket and another one yet to be identified.)

Major issues with alignment. Need to do it twice as often to avoid damage to the tires which are expensive nowadays.

After all this, I am finally fed up and this weekend will go and get a Toyota truck or something with better quality.
 

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Could be due to the fact that you bought a used one. The previous owner may have beat on it and not maintained it. Also some of the items that you note are small details (cracked seat, rocking seat (addressed with TSB), and clicking noises). Most of these are easy fixes that you can do yourself. And making the generalization that a lot of members have quality issues is a bit of a stretch. There are a ton of members (probably the majority of us) that have never had a problem. We have had our Element since December 2005 and besides the TSBs that we have had fixed, there has not been one issue with our car. We have put 32K on it and we have done regular maintenance and taken good care of our baby and we couldn't be happier. Enjoy your toyota truck, I hear they never get recalled :rolleyes:
 

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Over 100K on mine and I love it as much today as the day I bought it
I'd buy another one
 

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I see users in this site with so many problems related to quality, which makes me think that this may be one of the worst vehicles Honda has ever produced.
I'll bet that if you go to any car club site with as many active members as the EOC, you will find people with problems with their cars. In other words, no car is perfect. It sucks you have had many problems, but I think you are in a small percentage. Bad luck indeed.
 

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I've got nearly 74,000 on my '05 and there are some things wearing- suspension bushings in the rear- small tear in the driver's seat etc-but nothing out of the ordinary for the rough roads in PA.

Toyotas are not any different. We owned two 2004 Camry's and had many issues with both. Rattles, failed a/c, water leaks, transmission trouble, knocking steering shaft, warped rotors, back brakes that would not self adjust. Rust, struts worn out at 50K miles- and these are the cars everybody raves about as being perfect.
 

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Wow! Sorry to hear about your bad luck and good luck travling to the dark side that is Toyota lol
 

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I've heard this story a hundred times. Someone buys a used vehicle, then blames its quality on the the manufacturer. Certified is only as good as the piece of paper it is written on. You don't REALLY know the maintenance history, vehicle abuse, true odometer mileage and accident history of the vehicle. A very, very small percentage of people trade in a perfect vehicle. Best of luck with your Toy----buying used?:rolleyes:
 

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It is on 03, first year model right? My 08 is performing great.

As for quality, i feel like it's just a basic set up because of what the element is used for.
 

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el_mequetrefe-

Sorry you've had such a seemingly bad experience with your E, especially since you were a previous fan of Honda vehicles!

I've purchased 2 used Es and one brand new E and I have to agree that your issue may be a combination of how it was treated by the previous owner as well as some of the first-model issues.

My last E ('04) was purchased at approximately 85k miles but was properly maintained and I have to say I even think it was as good if not better than my brand new '07. The first, an '03, was virtually new when I purchased, but it just seemed to have problems from the beginning- I probably could have been happier with it had I known about this site at the time to help troubleshoot issues!

Good luck with your decision. While the E is a lot of things, it just isn't a truck; if that is what you need, a Toyota is probably one of the better options- that is unless you are considering a Ridgie instead ;-)
 

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I've heard this story a hundred times. Someone buys a used vehicle, then blames its quality on the the manufacturer. Certified is only as good as the piece of paper it is written on. You don't REALLY know the maintenance history, vehicle abuse, true odometer mileage and accident history of the vehicle. A very, very small percentage of people trade in a perfect vehicle. Best of luck with your Toy----buying used?:rolleyes:
I bought an 03 last year, with 54,000 miles on it. Now it has 87,000.
I consider myself lucky that I did buy a "used perfect" vehicle.

And to add, both my kiddos bought used E's last year, 03 & 04 and no issues with theirs either:)

Best Auto Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
 

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Sorry to hear about all the troubles with your E. I have 47000 on my 2005 and she's almost as new as the day I bought it. Yes. I've replaced the back brakes. And it's on it's 2nd set of tires. But that it. No other problems. Unless your buying a new Toyota truck. Be aware. Toyota did a major recall of their small pickup due to frames rusting through prematurely.
D
 

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Yep

I've heard this story a hundred times. Someone buys a used vehicle, then blames its quality on the the manufacturer. Certified is only as good as the piece of paper it is written on. You don't REALLY know the maintenance history, vehicle abuse, true odometer mileage and accident history of the vehicle. A very, very small percentage of people trade in a perfect vehicle. Best of luck with your Toy----buying used?:rolleyes:
"Certified just equals more money out of pocket for same thing" IMHO I've purchased 7 vehicles in my 30 years of driving. SIX were/are Hondas. Never had a bad one. Never bought at Honda dealership, except one, and that was the most expensive car to date, and I've bought two more since that one.

I PREFER to buy used. I get a full history of use/abuse and maintenance from previous owner. ALWAYS. Even if it is at dealership. I won't deal with a dealer who will not give me this information. I know I'm NOT getting a NEW lemon, by buying used, you see. Having the maintenance history lets me know if it's worth looking into to buy AND what I may have to fix/repair/replace/service to make it worth my buying and using it.

Sometimes, it takes me 3 to 9 months of looking, at various levels of serious to half-interested, and then making wholesale-price offers, before I'm successful. All used cars are not equal, of course, and THEN, I keep the car for 5 to 13 years and then sell it myself for good money.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, but if that 'certified' doesn't come with an inclusive warranty to cover, I'm not buying it at that 'certified higher' price. Do you get it inspected by your regular mechanic before agreeing to buy, or did you just expect they did mechanical and cosmetic service and repair before slapping 'certified' on the sales tag?
 

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Wow-----it looks like I need to explain further. I have been suckered a few times on vehicles I have purchased for resale (too many to count), but I have never purchased a bad used car for myself. I take more time inspecting and researching my personal vehicles because I know it is most likely to be sold later at a loss and not at a profit. I make great attempts to minimize my loss.
The small percentage of "perfect" used cars, traded in, still amounts to a large number and they are available. A smart shopper, like those of you I've offended in this forum, are most likely to find these.
In general, the average shopper just doesn't take the time to research what they are purchasing.
The secret to financial freedom is not how much you make, but making smart decisions, knowing when to cut your losses when you make a mistake and pay as little or no interest as possible.
I should have just targeted the thread starter instead of trying to generalize to avoid hurt feelings. I got some dander stirred up, though, didn't I?;-)
 

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Up until purchasing my Element (2003 Certified Pre-owned with 42K miles) 2 years ago, my opinion about Honda was very favorable. I've had two accords (92 & 99) and two cruiser motorcycles. Quality was superior for all those vehicles.

The Element is another story. It may well be bad luck, but I see users in this site with so many problems related to quality, which makes me think that this may be one of the worst vehicles Honda has ever produced.

I have to mention that I am a car care freak. Here's a summary of the issues I've had in the last two years:

Cracked Seats
Rocking passenger seat
2 engine mounts replaced
2 struts replaced
Annoying noises (seat belt restraint system)
4 different oil leaks (Oil pan gasket, VTEC solenoid, valve cover gasket and another one yet to be identified.)

Major issues with alignment. Need to do it twice as often to avoid damage to the tires which are expensive nowadays.

After all this, I am finally fed up and this weekend will go and get a Toyota truck or something with better quality.
Sounds like previous owner did an excellent job of abusing, & dealer did a good job of hiding it, before sell to you. ;-)

Element is NOT a truck. It is very functional utility car/van-hydrid. If you want a truck can take a lot of abuse, specially off-road, look for SUV/Truck with Body-on-frame.
Personally, I would not consider any unit-body construction vehicle, w/o Body-on-frame, is truck. All Honda vehicle are unit-body.
I had a Toyota 4Runner for more than 10 years. Personally I don't believe Toyota has better quality than Honda, as long as the owner understand the capability of the vehicle, & use it properly without abusing it.
 

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Sounds like previous owner did an excellent job of abusing, & dealer did a good job of hiding it, before sell to you. ;-)

Element is NOT a truck. It is very functional utility car/van-hydrid. If you want a truck can take a lot of abuse, specially off-road, look for SUV/Truck with Body-on-frame.
Personally, I would not consider any unit-body construction vehicle, w/o Body-on-frame, is truck. All Honda vehicle are unit-body.
I had a Toyota 4Runner for more than 10 years. Personally I don't believe Toyota has better quality than Honda, as long as the owner understand the capability of the vehicle, & use it properly without abusing it.
VERY well said.
 

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Its sad that some cars have been abused and the next owners get the outfall. I bought mine used and its been great except one rear shock failed and they didn't disclose that there was slight damage on the drivers side by the door edge but the repair was really great so I didn't complain. It has been one of the best vehicles I have had and for me to say that means a lot. I sent 2 Ford trucks back under the lemon law.:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sounds like previous owner did an excellent job of abusing, & dealer did a good job of hiding it, before sell to you. ;-)

Element is NOT a truck. It is very functional utility car/van-hydrid. If you want a truck can take a lot of abuse, specially off-road, look for SUV/Truck with Body-on-frame.
Personally, I would not consider any unit-body construction vehicle, w/o Body-on-frame, is truck. All Honda vehicle are unit-body.
I had a Toyota 4Runner for more than 10 years. Personally I don't believe Toyota has better quality than Honda, as long as the owner understand the capability of the vehicle, & use it properly without abusing it.
Oh, it is not a truck?
I thought I bought a truck. They tricked me. I swear it had a 7 ft bed in the back.

Seriously, I did my homework when I bought it used. It only had 42K miles, which is nothing. None of the problems existed then. They clearly broke after I bought the car. The struts, there is no way you cannot notice them when they go bad. Same thing for oil leaks (you normally know when your garage is clean) cracked seat also occurred later.

Toyota and Honda have similiar quality. The problem is when a new vehicle comes out (like the Element did in 2003). It is a box full of surprises.

I AM OUTTA HERE ANYWAY.
GOT A TOYOTA TACOMA. I'LL FIND THEIR FORUM
 
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