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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i put 250 down on a element and now read about these dagnab plastic panels. i'm very concerned, and its about breaking my wifes heart. question - to those who have had one for a while, how does it hold up to rock chips, regular driving debris, etc?

help, this is about causing me to cancel this. anyone???
 

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yoda,

There is a lot of talk on both sides of the fence on this one.

With the Elements not being out for much more than a few months, the only thing we can go on is little driving experience that the members on this board had talked about.

I have had my E for just about a month and a half. I love it, and have no problems with the panels.

Other people have complained about how easy it can scratch with a finger nail, but also said that the wonders of the E make up for any potential.

I don't konw of anyone who has had the Element (remember is has only been out for a few months) who has had any major problems with the panels from rocks, etc.

If someone has had a problem, please speak up and let yoda know.
 

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We've had others on the board who expressed concern about this prior to purchasing an Element. It's your call, but most people on this board (so far) are saying that any scratching is minimal.

Most recently, BigWaveDave was probably the most critical of the panels and his concern. He posted just this past weekend that he's not as concerned. Take a look:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=316

Again, this is YOUR call and because the Element is new, none of us can tell you what the panels will look like one year from now, etc. But I know people are scratching, pawing and sniffing these panels very closely lately and most aren't bothered with what they see so far. Then again, some are.

Good luck to you whatever you decide. And if you decide to wait, I'm sure this site will be a good place to ask the question again down the road.
 

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I've had mine for a month today (yea!) and have a little over 1600 miles. no issues at all with the plastic panels...
 

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I have had my Element since Jan 31. So far my panels are fine. I have driven in two snow storms and one left over two feet of snow. I would even punch thru snow banks made by the plows or cut into the side backs to make the road a bit wider. Hope this helps. Oh yeah, I love my E
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
48 views but only 4 replies and 2 of them are the moderators? (nothing against moderators, you know what i mean)

whats up people, give me some feedback, this is disappointing! :cry:
 

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I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience.
You must unlearn what you have learned.


In other words,
Have patience. There are at least two other threads on this topic (plus one poll).... I believe one of the moderators pointed out one of those threads.... Hoping your answer to come to you as opposed to having to wade through all the other threads may not be the "best" way of getting your question answered.... Or, maybe it is. Hard to say, it is. Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.
 

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Yoda,

If you look thru some posts you will see I am strongly for Honda to find a better material than whats on the Element now. That being said, since its been only 2 weeks I've had my E I don't think thats long enough to come to a definite conclusion.
I do have a few superficial scratches at this time. Nothing that is worth thinking about though. But like I said, time and situations are going to be the factor, since the more time you have the car, the more potential scratch situations you will be in. I'm sure people will reply "With any car, the more situations you are in the potential for scratches are greater."
I think in the Elements case its different because I've never owned a car in which a painted fender scratched as easily as these composites do.
Please read "Composite Fender Scratches" in Exterior Forum. The discussions are better documented. If you have time there are many different threads on this topic. Read them all.
In closing let me say, its been 2 weeks and I really enjoy my Element. Everytime I go someplace, I can't wait to get in my Element! I do love this car. Its a cool ride!
I personally could not wait for a better Element2 for 2004. So the choice is yours. You can wait for a new and improved model or take a chance on being a tester.
Time will Tell.
 

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Yoda,

Nothing against moderators :D No offense taken.

You also may not be getting the number of replys as it is a weekday, and some good people do work for a living. :wink:

Give time to things. Do check the other threads, you will see quite a few people have put their 2 cents worth in. They may just not like repeating the same thing over and over again.
 

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RML,
you are right about both things. Today I just so happen to have the rest of the day off :D
and there it LOTS of discussion "threads" about these fenders in other forums.
We're kinda repeating ourselves.

Yoda, let me tell you, I was one of the most verbal avocates of :
"Honda needs to change the material the composites are made of." And I still stand by that. But it would be nice if I'm proved wrong.
So, if you can wait, wait for Sep. 2004. they may have some fixes in the works.
At this time, if I had to do it over again, I would buy the Element.
I just love the car!
 

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ibutchman,

Thanks. :D

If I had to do it over again, buy any SUV I wanted, I would still buy the Element. It is a fantastic vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i saw the posts, but i drive in cities, urban interstates at about 75mph in heavy traffic, and wondered how they hold up to rocks, road debris, etc, ewtc, especially even the front plastic. (a bit different than does the fingernail scratch it) :oops:

and with 40 folks looking at it, i thought at least 2 non-mods would /could reply. I'm a guy in need ya know? when your green, small and smelly its kinda tough.... and wheni ask my dealer they play jedi mind games with me! :shock:
 

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yoda,

Perhaps if you trusted the members of this board as much as you trust the force, people will respond. Give people time. Most people are on at night. Not everyone has the ability to be on during working hours. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok moderators, wheres your fellow readers? no one here to help a newbie. sad. lots of readers, but few posters.

ANYONE - does the plastic chip or mark when it by rocks form the car in front of you?
IN the winter does the front end plastic get brittle and break like cheap mudflaps?

key issues, ANYONE - HELP!
 

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Okay, I'm going to take a shot at these fenders. I have had my element for two weeks and it has been darn cold so I've only washed it once. As I said, it has been cold and my fenders seem fine, although I have not hit them with a hammer. The fender material seems to be the same as the early years of the nissan frontier and I have seen a number without scratches or cracks. I have the Y model, (EX) and the finish is different the the dx. I am not anticipating any problems. Most cars and trucks on the road are mostly plastic and I think cracking is rare. If there is problems with these fenders, it will probably show up in canada first, as I said, it is darn cold. I'm not sure what the fuss is about the fenders. I had plastic fender flares on my dakota and they held up fine.


I am sure that this did not answer any of your questions, but I like to hear myself type. If you not comfortable with the fenders, wait a year and see what happens. Or talk to someone with a frontier, the new ones are still plastic, just color coded.
 

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I stalk everyone I see in an Element and I've talked to plenty.

Treat the composite panels like an expensive paint job and I think you won't have any problems. If you want to go 4 wheeling or drive to remote cabin sites - be aware the panels aren't as durable as advertised.
The people that commute in this vehicle and don't lean anything against it, are careful when they pump gas, etc generally have no problems.

"Normal driving" is not a problem to these panels.
 

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I have about 1300 miles om my E with no scratches yet. I live on a gravel road (hill) and drive my E back and forth to work. I cannot foresee that the front panels will have any cracking. It's been very cold and snowy here! Hope that helps :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
it does help, the last 3 posts really did. were moving fwd with getting the element! ex 2wd blue...supposed to be here by end of the month... thanks again everyone! :shock: :D
 

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ive had some minor scratches from ice. the real problem im having is the road salt will not come off. even with warm water and soap. the only way it comes off is if i rub it rigorously with my thumb then it beads up and comes off. but im not gonna do this for the whole car. does anyone have any suggestions? has anyone tried S100 motorcycle cleaner?i know that stuff will not harm paint or plastic.
 
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