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Discussion Starter #1
Really want to know if I have to buy OEM parts or if aftermarket will do. I was going to try www.rockauto.com.
What do you think?? I live in Canada and need to start working on this bad boy. Thank you in advance. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have bought all Honda fluids. I haven't bought engine oil because that was the one thing he had done recently (and also windshield-nothing else) but I may do it anyways. What do you say about OEM coolant?? I was very unsure if that mattered. Some say youre wasting money to buy premixed. What do you think?

I bought an air filter and a cabin air filter but they were the only ones they had and I dont know if they're good quality.. I find in cars if the heat is on it is hard to breathe so I really want a good one. I have a weird condition also where I can't produce saliva so just any heat is bad. Do you know a good brand? The only other one I saw there was a different kind which was made to last forever and it cost $75 CAD. Can I get any cheaper. Is there one I can buy yearly for now that is really high quality?

-My practicing-mechanic friend came by and showed me my rear left sway bar link popped off with him moving it around and the other about to go also.

-the axle bearings are all cracked and need redoing but I want to just buy new axles with new bearings(hopefully already installed-first time working on cars really dont quite have all the equipment to get those loose from the axles but will eff with the old ones after they are out and replaced)

-tie rods - probably the back too?

-brakes-haven't checked rotors(how likely are they going to be bad also would you say % wise?)

-sway bar bushings

-crush washers

..hold on.
 

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I use only Honda coolant.

Its only $21 a jug Canadian.

Did I see in another post you bought the other fluids at Canadian tire?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm and also going to try and find a mechanic that will do a compression/leak test. They would include that in an inspection right?

The struts and springs my friend said there is no oil so they are fine. And someone else said they are probably shot by now. It is 299km. He didn't service it. Guy before him, he didn't have any service records. So what do you think? What other ways could I test the springs/struts? Could I freshen them up without removing them?

What else do you recommend I check? I hear mounts.. are a common problem. I will have to look up what those even are.

Thanks so much for your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay. And where do I buy original?

Where would I buy aftermarket? Not sure where to buy !

Yes at Canadian Tire - all Honda fluids

And all the filters I bought are Fram. What do you think? Are there any superior brands? Really want a good quality air filter
 

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I looked it up. The name on the bottle may say OEM but that is just the name the company is using. They are not original Honda fluids.

You can get originals at the dealer.

I use Napa,Carquest and occasionally Parts Source if you have them near you for aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Eeek.. I feel like the dealer will be expensive. Is there any other way? And any reputable online stores as well to compare prices?
 

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I already looked. The dealer prices are not that much more than the stuff you bought at crappy tire.

I wouldn't use them. I had never even heard of that brand and I have been in the automotive business for 35 year's.
 

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I think you’re being well advised by the Lizard. Or Is it the Lizzurd? In any case ... His posts are sound advice and I think the majority of Element owners would do the same as he says.
 

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-the axle bearings are all cracked and need redoing but I want to just buy new axles with new bearings(hopefully already installed-first time working on cars really dont quite have all the equipment to get those loose from the axles but will eff with the old ones after they are out and replaced)
you may consider doing this later, until you get more experienced with the car work. part of changing that out will be separating the lower ball joint. It was a challenge for me in the home garage, partially laying on the floor.

my text conversation with a mechanic friend went like this:

Me: Hey, I’m having some trouble getting the ball joint separated.
Him: Hit the control arm with a hammer.
Me: I am.
Him: Hit it harder.
Me: I’m hitting it as hard as I can.
Him: Get a bigger hammer.

later ....

Me: Hey, now I cant get the ball joint back into the control arm.
Him: Use a pry bar.
Me: I am.
Him: Pull harder.
Me: I’m hanging on with all my weight off the ground.
Him: Get a bigger pry bar.

Yes, I now have a 6 pound hammer, and a 5 foot long pry bar.
 

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Hi,
For alternators, I use REMY and have never had a problem.
For starters, I rebuild my own cause Honda wants $350 and that is a rebuild!
You can buy the OEM Honda brush box for $50 and do it yourself, not that hard.
Harder to get the starter out under the intake manifold!
Fluids, I use Honda only and get them from the Dealer.
Window parts, radiator fans I use TYC made in Tiawan and buy at a local mom and pop Auto Parts Store.
Brake parts are bought local also, but try to stay with a major brand.
This is just some things off the top of my head from doing my own maintance for years now.
Everything is a judgement call but we are better informed now than say 40 years ago.
Really a cakewalk now as far as information compared to then!
 

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HI, I recently had the “shudder” issue in my 03 AWD. I had aftermarket CV axles installed thinking that was the problem. The shudder was still there. I then did more research on the problem and started troubleshooting other areas now that the axles were replaced. I had bushings, mounts, ball joints, driveshaft and the torque converter replaced. Still had the issue. After getting the torque converter changed, the mechanic at the transmission shop asked about the CV axles. He said he would order OEM and try them out without charging me the labour to swap out and replace if it didn’t fix it. The aftermarket axles were the issue from the start. Go with OEM for driveline issues, they are expensive but mine now drives like new. If I wasn’t planning on keeping it until the wheels fall off, it would have been gone right away.
 

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As far as fluids go:
•Engine Oil: 5W-20 conventional or synthetic its up to you. I choose to run conventional but religiously change it every 3k miles.
•Powersteering: You don’t have to buy it from the dealer, but the Element does use a special honda/acura compatible powersteering fluid. DO NOT use regular powersteering fluid or ATF ever!
•Coolant: Just make sure its the blue stuff (don’t know if I’ve ever seen it available as full strength)
•Brake and Clutch: dot3 or dot4 brake fluid. Not dot5 as I believe it’s silicone based.
•Transmission: If it’s a manual gearbox I recommend the Honda MTF from the dealer. If it’s an automatic you can use store bought fluids as long as they meet the factory honda spec. I think its Honda z1 but it might be the acura dw3 I can’t remember.
Rear Differential: Honda dual pump fluid from the dealer.

Other then that I try to use Honda OE parts for things like engine and transmission solenoids as I’ve had better luck with them at my shop. Honda engine and transmission mounts are often very close in price to aftermarket ones but fit much better. I’ve had some bad experiences with a few aftermarket cv axles so if it isn’t clicking when I turn the wheel or shaking on acceleration I replace the boots and use the axles as long as I can. EMPI makes some good quality boots. Only use NGK or Denso spark plugs Honda ignition systems can be picky. As far as air and cabin filters, I buy cheap and replace more often. Oh and I feel like the most overlooked service is a good valve adjust every 100k miles. That one’s a little more involved, but there’s lots of good info out there on how to correctly do this job.
Good luck with your Element!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow thank you. What do you recommend for control arms? I am having a tough time deciding. Honda sells for $310 each from where I am (Canada). The internet has as cheap as $55. I hear Moog is a decent brand but I hear not for arms. So I'm really stuck as thats my most costly part.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am thinking for control arms(and other parts too expensive to buy at Honda), between :

Moogparts.ca
RK622174 and RK622173

NAPA
NCT 2607588 and NCT 2607589

PartSource
BJ59355XL

Opinions???
 

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Unless your control arms are bent or damaged in some way, you can always just buy the bushings from honda and have them pressed in. Much much cheaper!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is there a way to tell if the arm is bad? Do you know how much it would be to refurbish it? And do you know how much it would be to have someone push them into my old arm? Just a guesstimate. I live in Canada so there's that difference too. I dont know any mechanics here so I would not want to pay him 100 an hour or something. I just want a guesstimate as with buying the arm I have everything together and buying the bushings, I'd have to refurbish the old arm and get the bushings and pay someone to put them in. So if I'm not saving a lot for the hassle, although I dont have much for funds, I don't want to do a job that is out of my league.
 
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