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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I bought an '09 Element a few years ago to do a cross-country road trip and fell in love with it. It's my daily driver and I've used it for countless adventures. Whenever I've had an issue or two I've come here looking for others with similar issues and resolutions. I've often come across people who are knowledgable in DIY fixes offering their help to other members all over the country, but haven't come across one in the NYC/NJ area. I'm now between jobs and money is super-tight so I'm hoping to find someone who's an Element enthusiast who has done work on their own Element that I can befriend, pay, offer random trades, beer, whatever to help me out, teach me a few things, or just random adventure around. I - like hopefully many of you - am obsessed with my E so I feel like even Honda dealers/service don't have a lot of people still working there who have a lot of Element experience considering the last new one was sold 8 years ago and even regular shop mechanics deal with so many cars across so many brands, it's hard to share the love for the Element. Even if you're not from the area and can chime in on the following issues I'm having, I would love to hear it. Apologies for the super long post, but hoping to provide as much information as possible! Here's a few photos of my E on various adventures just to introduce you to her!

Key cut/program
A few weeks ago, my gym locker was broken into and they went through my bag and took my laptop and car & house keys. I had a spare set of Element keys at home that I was able to recover but now I'm worried about losing THIS set which is my last. I bought a $6 key on eBay I was hoping to have cut at Home Depot but didn't do my research first. I've found others on the forum who had the machine to program and/or cut or found dealerships to do it in the $50 range, but every single dealership and locksmith I've called (and I've called a bunch) around the area wanted $150. Anyone know or have any idea of where I might be able to get one cut for cheaper? I learned how to program the keyless fob (to lock/unlock) myself but it's the key itself that apparently can't be programmed without a special machine.

Ratting noise from engine or AC compressor belt? (video and audio)
For the past few months, well really since I started using AC again this season, I've noticed a rattle that sounds like a bean bouncing around a metal can when my AC is on and my car is in gear (reverse or drive). Parked or in neutral with the AC, the noise goes away. With the AC off and car in gear, no noise. I took it in to Firestone since they offer a $10 multi-point inspection and the head guy there put it on the lift and said the noise sounded like it was coming from inside the engine and suggested it could be camshaft sleeves, the crank shaft, or one of the lifters (which I don't know what any of those things are!) But it stumped him why the AC would have anything to do with that. He did say that engine issues wasn't something that Firestone did anyway, so I was hoping from my reading and research that it has something to do with the AC compressor or the serpentine belt instead. (I did have the belt changed about a year ago as well.) Also, the noise seems to go away (or I otherwise can't hear it) when the car is actually driving. I only seem to notice it when the car is not moving but in gear.

Here's some audio and video of what I'm hearing:
Audio: (phone is held outside my passenger window with car in gear, stopped, and the AC on. You can hear the rattle and a rougher engine(?) noise. I turn the AC off at 13 seconds, rattles goes away and engine noise gets quiet.)
Video: (only 4 seconds long and hard to see but the AC compressor - which according to this post is the farthest one down at the bottom - shakes a little more making noise than when the AC is off.)

Rough idle
Not sure if this has to do with the above issue, compressor or belt, but my car idles a little rougher than I've been used to. I know she's 10 years old and now has 230K miles on her. It's definitely not terrible but it's noticeable when the car is stopped at a red light. With or without the AC on she had a very low shake to her. (The actual RPM idle isn't high and it's below 1000 and stays consistent) but the low shake goes away immediately if I put the car in neutral at a red light (also, no change to RPMs when I do that). I've gotten into the habit of going into neutral at a long red light and throwing back into drive right before the light turns green. The shake also seems to go away - or at least I don't notice it - when the car is moving.

My E was making the "swish swish swish" noise in the rear when braking or when driving low speeds and I learned she needs rear brakes and Firestone told me the guide pin for my passenger/rear caliper is semi-seized but could most likely be saved by lubing it. I have a friend from Virginia that said changing brakes is one of the easiest things you can do on a car yourself and one of the biggest money makers for shops and he said he could teach me how to do it so I ordered new brakes from eBay. Again, if anyone around the area can teach me how to do it and save me a 6 hour trip each way, I'll bring the beers or whatever!

Power steering
My E makes a squealing noise when I turn the wheel to either extreme. Valvoline also told me my power steering fluid is very dirty and wanted $125 to change it. I'd like to change it myself and learn how to do it. I've watched a few YouTube videos on it and hoping to rent the tools (hose clamp and tray and whatever else I need to drain the existing ones) from Autozone, but again - just like the brakes - if anyone can help me/teach me/supervise me, I've got the beers. ;)

Motor mount/car ticking at cold start
I had 3 of the 4 motor mounts replaced about a year ago. The 4th (or biggest one) wasn't replaced because the shop I brought it to said the part wasn't right and it didn't fit. The guy I bought from eBay insisted that even though the part was for the CR-V, it would fit. So I never replaced the big motor mount. But since then I've always put the car in neutral, applied the e-brake, and let it "roll and lock" into place before putting the car in park so when I started it up the next time, it didn't jerk when I put it into gear. (I live on a grade so it would normally jerk when I left my house.) When I start the car, I always let it "warm up" for about 30 seconds before driving and lately in the past few weeks after I start the car and it warms up (RPMs drop to about 1/1.25) there is a quiet ticking noise coming from the engine which lasts about 30 seconds before it goes away. Is that something I should worry about?

Again, so sorry it's long, but really hoping to get as much information as I can. Thank you all so much in advance.


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