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Discussion Starter #1
My firs post. Hope it works. I just got a used 2003 EX AWD with 68 k mi on it. Sold my trusted 1997 Explorer. This E is in good condition and runs well. Installed new rotors and pads, changed all fluids, cleaned it up, took care of the paint chips, clayed it, put on Klasse sealer on it – it is ready for the coming North-East winter. The thing I noticed when re-breaking it were the openings into the engine bay in the wheel wells on both sides. As I have not driven an E ever before, my question is to the E-owners in the snow belt – is this design a problem with slush and grime from the road accumulation on the steering box and inside of the engine bay in winter? If so, has anyone figured out a solution? I understand the referenced openings are there to allow for air flow through the engine bay thus dispersing the heat and to enable the tie rods to move. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah-ha! There is inteligent design...

I thought so, I should take a look if Accord has them, wonder why my Explorer did not, should start a new thread on the best desigh elements on the Element.
 

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I lived in north idaho for years and it was not an issue with all the snow there. It makes it easy to grab the oil filter through the passanger side also. It may allow more dirt to enter the engine compartment because it gets dirtyer than all the cars I've ever owned if you drive on dirt roads. I dont drive on dirt roads anymore and it stays a lot cleaner.
 

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My Civic had the same pass-through condition. Come to think of it I think the wife's Versa and mom's Altima look about the same...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks! oil filter - never thought of that.

Honda could have mastered some hard plastic removable panel to protect the stearing box - it's right there in the open - strange, but the brainy engineers at Honda chose to leave it that open way right through the current model - it must be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
E is not alone then?

Interesting, I also have a 07 Fit and a 96 Acura TL - no such thing there, come to think of it - E is the first car / truck I've seen it on.
 

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All cars have some sort opening for the steering linkage. What's different on the E is that the links are above the axle, and hence the opening is visible. For many other cars the links are below, so you can't readily look through. The Element has roughly the same front suspension and steering geometry as the CIVIC and CRV which were designed a few years earlier. So those have the same sort of opening.

I have an 03, and haven't noticed any unusual accumulation of gunk in that area. Even after going through mud holes, there isn't much. When I take the car to the coin-operated wash, I shoot water through the opening.

I recall from a CRV forum that you could (or still can) buy flexible rubber flaps that are cut to fit the opening - in the Philippines.
 

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All cars have some sort opening for the steering linkage. What's different on the E is that the links are above the axle, and hence the opening is visible. For many other cars the links are below, so you can't readily look through. The Element has roughly the same front suspension and steering geometry as the CIVIC and CRV which were designed a few years earlier. So those have the same sort of opening.

I have an 03, and haven't noticed any unusual accumulation of gunk in that area. Even after going through mud holes, there isn't much. When I take the car to the coin-operated wash, I shoot water through the opening.

I recall from a CRV forum that you could (or still can) buy flexible rubber flaps that are cut to fit the opening - in the Philippines.
That huge opening just seems to bug me.... Do you have a link to those flaps?
 

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While you were under there - did see any entry points for a mouse

While you were under there did you happen to see any places a mouse might get in the car?
 
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