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Discussion Starter #21
I am not a mechanic by any way shape or form, how much of a job is pulling the cover, what could I screw up in the process, and what am I even looking for once I do pull it? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Haha, did! That’s how this whole post started, BOTH the Honda dealership techs and my ASE mechanic say it’s perfectly normal 🤷
 

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I listened to the last vid again, this time with headphones.
To me it sounds like a valve that needs adjusted.
 

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To answer the question - pulling the valve cover isn’t super hard. Plenty of videos on YouTube.

The follow up question for me is, once you remove the valve cover, what are you looking for, and how do you know if it is good or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I listened to the last vid again, this time with headphones.
To me it sounds like a valve that needs adjusted.
Okay, which somebody else has suggested as well. But it was done BY HONDA 3k ago. Let's say it is a valve that needs adjusting, is it detrimental to let it go for awhile? Somebody told me they'll actually tighten with time and if it's not throwing codes leave it alone?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Two more videos. Sorry this is hood closed but I started the E cold and then realized crap I should film this. Notice you don't really hear the sound strong until about 30 seconds in when the engine warms enough to lower the RPM:

Then here, you can hear that the noise is dependent on RPM and goes away with anything above 1,400, I can only hear the knock below 1,400 rpm or so and this is while driving, even once warm, everytime I come to a stop I hear it from inside, windows up:
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I listened to the last vid again, this time with headphones.
To me it sounds like a valve that needs adjusted.
Something else I just added this to the original post that I forgot:

Also, looking back in the service records, I do see that off and on for the last 2 years/20k miles they've been chasing a Cylinder Missfire code. It started as a P0304, but then the missfire followed the plugs, coils, etc. when they moved them around. Could something still be off with ignition somewhere causing this knocking sound?
 

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Elements are noisy, they have been from the beginning due to the design. When I bought my 06; I went back because I thought the left front wheel bearing was smoked. I replaced the left front tire....the rumble was gone. So I put 4 new sneakers on ( don't be cheap- get good tires) and problem solved. So far I put 55,000 miles on, and I'm confident it will go much more. Its a great truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Elements are noisy, they have been from the beginning due to the design. When I bought my 06; I went back because I thought the left front wheel bearing was smoked. I replaced the left front tire....the rumble was gone. So I put 4 new sneakers on ( don't be cheap- get good tires) and problem solved. So far I put 55,000 miles on, and I'm confident it will go much more. Its a great truck.
So I’ve had other people say this too and I get it, they’re noisy. But what about when you are sitting right next to another one and your knock sounds different/more pronounced 🤷
 

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Hey Club,

I just picked up my first E, it's an 07' EX 4x4 with 122,000 miles. The guy "said" he took great care of it and it's in immaculate shape visually, but you never know. So he agreed to meet me at the local Honda dealer where he said he always had it serviced. This dude was not joking! He's the original owner and I have a stack of records documenting EVERY single oil change EVERY 3k mile since it rolled off the lot in 2007! I couldn't believe it! The mechanics there obviously knew the vehicle very well and after a thorough pre-buy, review of paperwork/things done recently, I bought it! But you know how the story goes, within a few days of driving it home I notice........NOISE. So I mainly have 2 noises I'm trying to figure out:

Video #1 is the engine noise. I get that Honda engines are loud, and I understand that the tiny fast clicks are the ignitors? But what about the louder, almost knock sound? Honda tech absolutely assured me it was totally normal and showed me good compressions checks, etc. But it was warm when I saw it, and now when I first start it up cold, it's definitely more noticeable. I don't have a Honda shop in the town where I live, but I do take all my vehicles to a very reputable ASE shop, first thing when I got it home I took it in and had my guy do a fresh oil change and give it a good look over. He knows my style, I buy good vehicle brands, take great car of them, and literally drive them forever. So, my mechanic who I highly respect, assured me the same thing, the noise is nothing abnormal but he did comment that it could be just a normal amount of "piston slap" and "harmless". I reviewed what piston slap is, and i don't see how it's harmless? I'll also add and you can see in the video, the engine is smooth as can be, no vibration at idle on the motor or in the steering wheel, just sounds like a diesel, lol. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I find it hard to believe that I have a sick engine with 122k meticulously maintained miles, but do I?


Video #2 the low-pitch thump/rumble. This is looking at the left-rear wheel. Ignore the engine noise from above for this video, what is that low-pitch sorta rumble I hear? Exhaust leak? I have no CEL or codes showing.


Here's what's been done recently to the E before I got it, all at the Honda dealership:

04-2020: New Fuel Pump
01-2020: New Rear Brakes
12-2019: New Starter (2,000 miles ago)
09-2019: Valves adjusted (4,000 miles ago)
08-2018: New Spark Plugs (13,000 miles ago)
05-2017: New Injectors (23,000 miles ago)
Then the valves were adjusted back in 2016 and other routine maintenance done, I'm just giving you the major stuff for the last 2 years/20k miles.

At this most recent service after I bought it, my mechanic did switch me to M1 Full Synthetic 5w20 and then I filled the tank with premium gas (not sure what the previous owner used) and added a thing of injector cleaner. After that, the knock I'm concerned about honnestly did seem to be less intense and go away much sooner after start, but still there.

Also, looking back in the service records, I do see that off and on for the last 2 years/20k miles they've been chasing a Cylinder Missfire code. It started as a P0304, but then the missfire followed the plugs, coils, etc. when they moved them around. Could something still be off with ignition somewhere causing this knocking sound?

Thanks for any advice, love the E already, want to run it for a long time!

It sounds normal to me. Honda Elements are not quiet compared to new suv’s. If both Honda and your trusted mechanic said nothing is wrong believe them. We tend to get ocd over our Elements. I have a 2004 ex with 325,000 and it runs great but not quite. Mine also had been dealer serviced and I am the original owner. SOP color. Just drive it and enjoy it.
 

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I listened to the video, and I have to say it doesn't sound 'normal' to me; my E is a little clattery and tappety on start up which quiets down as it warms up. The OP's noise is much more markedly loud and sounds too metallic to be considered normal in my opinion. Unless the video sounds is exaggerating the 'knock.' But, as OP said, he can hear the sound echoing off cars he's next to. And if it doesn't go away as car warms up I think something is amiss.
 

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Hey Club,

I just picked up my first E, it's an 07' EX 4x4 with 122,000 miles. The guy "said" he took great care of it and it's in immaculate shape visually, but you never know. So he agreed to meet me at the local Honda dealer where he said he always had it serviced. This dude was not joking! He's the original owner and I have a stack of records documenting EVERY single oil change EVERY 3k mile since it rolled off the lot in 2007! I couldn't believe it! The mechanics there obviously knew the vehicle very well and after a thorough pre-buy, review of paperwork/things done recently, I bought it! But you know how the story goes, within a few days of driving it home I notice........NOISE. So I mainly have 2 noises I'm trying to figure out:

Video #1 is the engine noise. I get that Honda engines are loud, and I understand that the tiny fast clicks are the ignitors? But what about the louder, almost knock sound? Honda tech absolutely assured me it was totally normal and showed me good compressions checks, etc. But it was warm when I saw it, and now when I first start it up cold, it's definitely more noticeable. I don't have a Honda shop in the town where I live, but I do take all my vehicles to a very reputable ASE shop, first thing when I got it home I took it in and had my guy do a fresh oil change and give it a good look over. He knows my style, I buy good vehicle brands, take great car of them, and literally drive them forever. So, my mechanic who I highly respect, assured me the same thing, the noise is nothing abnormal but he did comment that it could be just a normal amount of "piston slap" and "harmless". I reviewed what piston slap is, and i don't see how it's harmless? I'll also add and you can see in the video, the engine is smooth as can be, no vibration at idle on the motor or in the steering wheel, just sounds like a diesel, lol. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I find it hard to believe that I have a sick engine with 122k meticulously maintained miles, but do I?


Video #2 the low-pitch thump/rumble. This is looking at the left-rear wheel. Ignore the engine noise from above for this video, what is that low-pitch sorta rumble I hear? Exhaust leak? I have no CEL or codes showing.


Here's what's been done recently to the E before I got it, all at the Honda dealership:

04-2020: New Fuel Pump
01-2020: New Rear Brakes
12-2019: New Starter (2,000 miles ago)
09-2019: Valves adjusted (4,000 miles ago)
08-2018: New Spark Plugs (13,000 miles ago)
05-2017: New Injectors (23,000 miles ago)
Then the valves were adjusted back in 2016 and other routine maintenance done, I'm just giving you the major stuff for the last 2 years/20k miles.

At this most recent service after I bought it, my mechanic did switch me to M1 Full Synthetic 5w20 and then I filled the tank with premium gas (not sure what the previous owner used) and added a thing of injector cleaner. After that, the knock I'm concerned about honnestly did seem to be less intense and go away much sooner after start, but still there.

Also, looking back in the service records, I do see that off and on for the last 2 years/20k miles they've been chasing a Cylinder Missfire code. It started as a P0304, but then the missfire followed the plugs, coils, etc. when they moved them around. Could something still be off with ignition somewhere causing this knocking sound?

Thanks for any advice, love the E already, want to run it for a long time!
[/QUOTE
Your Honda sound is just like mine. And, I haven’t made any major repair on my 06 Element. Just oil change, brake pads and replaced the catalytic converter that was stolen 5 years ago. Am the original owner and odom. is at 79k as of today.
Because this is your first Honda and an Element, get use to a very noticeable engine babble. Perhaps your former vehicle doesn’t emit this Element character. Other suvs and cars have its own +s and -s, this is Element’s. (Bit noisy). I use full synthetic oil that makes it run smoother and to me faster. As I drive not that often anymore like 2k annually. For Your Information, I bring (always) my Element to the Honda dealer for oil change annually. Believe it. Read the owners manual it is there.
Use ordinary unleaded, its in the manual, too. I do not add any additives to the engine as the synthetic oil is the king for a sound engine.
The Honda rep I deal with over the years advise me personally, since i do not drive as often as before to add STP fuel additive (as needed) in the gas tank when i make a full tank to remove/clean whatever gunk accumulate in the fuel system.
I’ve read that the former owner of your Element did many upgrades or replacement of parts, therefore worrying is waste, sir. Enjoy your Element and do get use to a babbly and reliable Vehicle.
 

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So I’ve had other people say this too and I get it, they’re noisy. But what about when you are sitting right next to another one and your knock sounds different/more pronounced 🤷
I can empathize, as I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the years chasing noises. My local Honda Dealership knows both me and my car very well and I am pretty sure they think I am crazy. You probably have nothing to lose by taking your videos and going back to the dealership that did the valve adjustment. Just because the valve adjustment was done by Honda does not mean they did not make a mistake. I had to make the Honda dealership put dye in my oil to prove that I was leaking oil after they looked at it and said it wasn't. Then they looked with the UV light and admitted it was leaking. This was after me paying a lot of money to have them fix an oil leak. They then resealed everything again free of charge because of their mistake. They are supposed to warranty their work for a year, so have them redo the valves again and have them take a picture of before and after. You will need to be assertive, but don't let them tell you that you are crazy. However, if you have lost confidence in the dealership because you believe they are not competent then I would ask around for a reputable master mechanic who can take the time to diagnose it with the right listening tools. Elements are noisy but I would trust your gut on this one.
 

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Very good advice, AWD. Yeah, I'm having a hard time believe they let that out the door after a valve adjustment and then declared the sound normal. It can't help make you question their competence or worse, commitment to doing things the right way.

EDIT: I just reread the OP's first post and the valves were adjusted in 2016, so no comeback for that. And, as I understand it, he didn't notice the noisy motor until a few days after he bought the vehicle. In any case, as others have suggested it might be worth pulling the valve cover and having the valves inspected.
 

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Very good advice, AWD. Yeah, I'm having a hard time believe they let that out the door after a valve adjustment and then declared the sound normal. It can't help make you question their competence or worse, commitment to doing things the right way.

EDIT: I just reread the OP's first post and the valves were adjusted in 2016, so no comeback for that. And, as I understand it, he didn't notice the noisy motor until a few days after he bought the vehicle. In any case, as others have suggested it might be worth pulling the valve cover and having the valves inspected.
I'm confused. Cut and pasted this below from OP's first post. Were the valves done twice?:

Here's what's been done recently to the E before I got it, all at the Honda dealership:

04-2020: New Fuel Pump
01-2020: New Rear Brakes
12-2019: New Starter (2,000 miles ago)
09-2019: Valves adjusted (4,000 miles ago)
08-2018: New Spark Plugs (13,000 miles ago)
05-2017: New Injectors (23,000 miles ago)
 

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Only 2 things i can add from what you mention (no videos available).

You can switch to 5w-30 to have a quieter engine. 5w-20 gives you a 1mpg gain, but 5w-30 protects your engine better.

And you can use 87 octane as the owners manual states. Anything higher is useless.
IMHO All fuel is not equal and I think the fuel depends on the source. Some gas stations like Kroger, kangeroo, and CostCo have really bad gas ( car is sluggish in response in general) so I go mid(89). Exxon I use 87 and the car seems very happy and fun to drive.
 

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I've chased the same noise for months on my 08 EX auto
it's hard to tell from the videos but if my description matches your case then I assume it's the same noise, if that's the case I might have an easy fix for you!!!

from a cold start the engine sounds smooth for like 5 seconds and then the tapping begins! , fades a little when engine is fully warmed up but never completely goes away, and it doesn't get louder with revving or load so it's not a bearing/rod knock

I've done multiple short interval oil changes (5-20 and 5-30) , adjusted the valves twice , removed valve cover and oil pan to check oil pump,chain and guides, chain tensioner, camshafts, balance shafts.... all checked out ok so I guess its just piston slap

Here is the fun part, I noticed that the noise goes away when I drive hard, like really hard!! put here in D3 and let her rip ( that's some real Honda DNA in there ) and after about a year of hard driving the noise became much quieter (just the tapping noise, other engine noises are the same) and continued to quieten even further during the three years I've owned my element, I almost don't hear it now except for a couple minutes on a very cold start.

my theory is that these engines never got broken in properly, they were driven easy at a steady rpms early on especially on the 07+ elements with the 5 speed auto were you can stay around 2k rpm on the highway

Please take it back to the dealer and have them double check everything, make sure it's not an actual engine problem (valves/rods/bearings/chains....) that will get worse if you drive harder. if you rule out everything else maybe give my method a try(at your own risk!)
 
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