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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 03 Honda Element ex auto and I think that the awd added weight could be the culprit for the cars bad gas mileage and performance. My goal is to get better gas mileage and better off the line acceleration. Is it possible for a mechanic to simply disconnect the driveshaft to covert it to 2wd? I’ve seen videos of the manual awd element being converted to 2wd but idk if this applies to the auto awd.
 

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Driveshaft is only a few pounds, so no. Taking the driveshaft out doesn’t convert it to 2wd, since you’d still have all the rear diff and axles etc.
To really improve your mpg, sell it and buy a civic.
 

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Lots of work for almost no gain. Yup! See post number 3, above. Sorry! Our vehicles are just very heavy and the engine is someone thirsty you are not going to get a low 20 miles per gallon highway cruiser to go 30 or 35 miles a gallon by removing the all-wheel-drive function.
 

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2008 Element LX
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98 Posts
It's OK to drive the auto AWD Element with the rear driveshaft removed. I did it for a few weeks when the rear U-joint failed. Didn't notice any change in the gas mileage, but I also didn't check it specifically. If you want to experiment, it takes about 15 mins. to remove the shaft. the bolts take a 10mm 12 point socket ... Just be sure not to bend the flexible part much further than normal. The joint can come apart. There are jigs for this, but I improvised a splint out of scrap wood and bungee cords. 😄
 

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2008 Element LX
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98 Posts
Did the car feel more peppy after reliving driveshaft?
Not really. It was definitely quieter, but I think it was because the original driveshaft was ready to go. That rear u-joint was dry as a bone and was probably wobbling and crying for help before it ultimately gave up... The new shaft did not increase the noise level again.
 

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2008 LX FWD AT
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3,360 Posts
Did the car feel more peppy after reliving driveshaft?
It won't because you're still hauling all the weight of the rear dual clutch, differential, and axles. All that stuff is still being driven by the wheels which creates the same drag as if you still had the driveshaft installed. You would have to remove all that hardware to get the 1-2 mpg benefit of a FWD Element.
 
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