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OK, just as a follow-up to my post on August 24: I've now installed the instrument cluster. Very easy job, and so far the vehicle hasn't shown any symptoms. Started perfectly first time, drove around the block with no gauge/other issues. Started again multiple times without any problem.

Now, to try driving it on a regular basis. I'll report back...
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Congratulations Johnula!!! You just saved yourself a lot of money, time, and aggravation! My E is still going strong with absolutely no problems associated with the immoblizer problem. Be sure and look up the odometer
sticker on the internet and print it out if you wish.:):):)
 

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Thanks, Elementary. Following your experience on here was really valuable for me: So far, no issues at all. Great stuff! Thanks.
 

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...Still no problems!

I just wanted to let you all know that it's been about a year since I replaced my instrument cluster and I still have absolutely no problems.
 

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Thanks Everyone

Thankfully I found this forum after deciding I just couldn't take this problem anymore and had no faith that the dealer would be able to fix it if I took it there again. I was astounded to see that so many had the same bizarre problem. It used to be dampness that set mine off, now it just seems random, but always early am or late pm. After I got a new battery it didn't act up for a couple of weeks. After the dealer reset some codes it did fine for about a month, now episodes are more frequent. I will be ordering the part right away and will repost. Special thanks to Elementery for taking the leap that has helped everyone else.
 

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Thanks CIDEMARAP

Have ordered the part and will let others know if this smart but non-mechanical lady can do the job! Reviewing the posts I see it was CIDEMARAP who spent 2 years looking for the solution that has helped everyone else and insisted others try it.
 

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Instrument Cluster Part Number

I'm having trouble locating the instrument cluster at Bernardi's. Does anyone have the part number?
 

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The clusters on Ebay, as far as I can see, are used. I don't think I want to go there. Anyway, I called Bernardis and got the part number. The instrument cluster is actually referred to as a Meter Assy Combination and is listed under meter components. But alas and alack, I think I'm giving up on my E and am going to go for an S (Soul). Sorry for bailing out, I really do love my Element. I'd get a new one, but Honda bailed on me.
 

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Thank You Elementary

Thanks to you I know right where to go for the problem I too have this issue and am wondering how many more out there that haven,t found this thread.
I've just recently bought this vehicle and really like it a lot, so I am very happy that I found this thread. Now to purchase the cluster and do the install myself and save $$$.
I'm glad to know that all of you who have replaced your clusters are not having issues any longer.

Edit:
Thanks to Elementary for starting the thread and thanks to CIDEMARAP for providing the solution.
 

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Gauge Cluster, intermittent starting, now nothing

Hello all,
I'm about to order the gauge cluster assembly thanks to your combined persistence. I appreciate all of the effort and energy put in to helping each other out here.

I too have an '03 E and have (had) been dealing with the same inconsistent problems for at least 8 months. Diagnosed that the battery, starter, alternator were all fine. Tests revealed nothing and any further work would be explorative and potentially expensive.

Sadly without tremendous means $$ I just continued to deal with the issues, getting jumps or just getting lucky on occasion. I live in the city and bike to work, so my car would sit for sometimes a week or more unused. I figured that attributed to the problem. Especially because once started, if I drove for say 30-45 minutes or more, the problem would go away. Meaning off/on like new. But if I drove local, like 15 minutes and turned the car off, it would not restart without great effort.

Late last year (yeah this is the sad part.) My E decided that was it. No more starting at all. It's been sitting in front of my house. New battery, jumps, etc., to no avail.

I'm nervous that the cluster may not be the full issue and worry about spending money on something that might not solve the problem.

So with all that back story... has anyone had their element simply not start anymore following these issues, and if so, did swapping the cluster help?

Also, if I pop the dash before ordering, is it possible to see evidence that the cluster has failed? like disconnected solder, or a "burnt" look?

Thank you so much in advance.
Cheers,
-Doug
 

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Dear Neverlookdown, Just want to encourage you on the cluster fix. Our Ellie Mae is my daily driver and since we did Elementery's fix we have never had a minutes trouble with our vehicle. We had our Element cluster replaced at the local Honda dealership (after much insistence that this WAS indeed the problem) so we can't really speak to what you would find behind the dash. We had all kinds of repairs done before we found this forum, to no avail. Elementery is, and will always be, my Element hero! Fear not! If the cluster is the problem, this is your fix!

Happy Trails, themama
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
Way back in this thread, someone removed their cluster and used a toothpick or match stick at a connector. I personally did not do that fix as I had my own routine by that time. Check it out. You will see how easy it is to remove the cluster and that trick may solve the problem short of a new cluster. I do not know. Be sure and order your new cluster, if you decide that is your problem, on line at Bernardi or other dealer for OEM part.
Most importantly, what is your actual millage on your '03?
Yes a big thanks to CIDEMARAP for actually going ahead and changing out the cluster. It is obviously a group effort to solve some of these problems! Thanks to you all!!!:):)
 

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Dear Neverlookdown, Here is Dandydog's wiper fix that may let you start your Element until you get the cluster replaced. It worked for us and we drove straight to the dealer and actually demanded that the cluster be replaced. It is certainly worth a try.
" For anybody who's got this problem . . .
. . . and would like to lead a (slightly) less surreal life until he can come up with a new instrument cluster:
There may be an over-ride built into the Immobilizer software. When your (2003?) Element won't start, and the relays start clicking, and the little green key-light starts shining, try this: 1) Turn off the ignition; 2) Move the windshield-wiper wand down 2 clicks to the On (Slow) position; and 3) Try starting the car again.
If your E is like mine, it'll fire immediately, and you can return the wiper wand to the Off position without killing the engine. The instrument panel will be dark, as described by others, but no driving functions will be affected; you'll be able to proceed with your life, and when the car has decided that it's given you enough crap for the day, it'll 'wake up' with a series of beeps.
Good luck!"
Happy Trails! themama
 

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Thanks!

Thank you the mama and elementary. mileage is just over 130k. I saw the wiper trick, but that didn't work for me.

Is Bernardi the most reputable? I think it was you who made a handful of suggestions and some of the links were $20-30 cheaper. A good thing, but not worth a headache.

I'm planning on taking the cluster off tonight and ordering the part. Battery is dead at this point and the car has been sitting for months, so I'm hoping I haven't exacerbated any new problems. (fingers crossed.)

Thanks again!
 

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Glad to see this

We bought our daughter a 2003 element in Oct. and are having same problem. So glad to see this thread. Looks like changing cluster is the fix for everyone. Just wondering if it hasn't fixed anyone's problem?
 

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Part is ordered! Took an extra week to make room in the budget. Should have it in a week or less. Here's to hoping there are no other issues because it's been sitting (old gas etc.)

I'll let you all know. Thanks again for putting this info out there!
Cheers
 

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Put the cluster in tonight. The install was even easier than I imagined. Got a Zipcar and and connected the battery for over 45 minutes. Headlights and interior lights were super strong, hope was high, but nada. Didn't even try to turn over. Barely even a slight click.

Any suggestions?
I'm at my end here. Many thanks
 

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Just had AAA back out and this driver beat on the starter and she started right up.... wondering if I threw $300 away on the cluster, but my mechanic seems to agree that there are electrical issues in the 03's and that an issue like that could have led to the starter issue... that's why they are really expensive, there supposed to last. $600 on the starter replacement and I'll have her back Monday with 0000001 mile on it. Thanks all!
 
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