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Wondering if anyone has any feedback on the following... Have lived in Illinois for many years and bought the 2003 Element. As it started to get cold this year, I noticed that it seemed to be having some difficulty starting. As it had ~80,000 miles on it, I figured I just needed to get the battery replaced. So, I did exactly that. It did seem to help, but I still was not getting the immediate burst that I would have expected from a new battery.

In the past month, I have moved to North Carolina. It is definitely not as cold down here. However, this morning it just barely cranked over and started. It got down into the 20's last night. That's not all that cold. When it was turning over this morning, it felt like there was no juice in the battery, like a light had been left on overnight. I've checked and that scenario does not exist. The battery is less than 2 months old.

I have been reading some previous posts and just wondering if there was something I should take a look at before I take it in to a dealer to have this looked after? Should I look at fuses? Could this be something unrelated to the battery? Suggestions for next steps? Thanks.
 

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Bubba,

You may want to get your battery load tested to determine what condition it is in. New batteries can go bad too. If your battery tests OK then perhaps there is a problem in your charging system (alternator, loose connection, etc.) I would do the load test on the battery first and go from there. Advanced auto parts and Autozone do these tests for gratis. Hope that helps you out.
 

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It might be nothing but... Last time I was in Florida getting an oil change in a truck that required 5w-30 oil, the owner of the oil change shop swore up and down that I need 10w-40 in that engine or it'd burn up in the heat. I finally got him to agree to put in the oil I asked for, only to drive back 1100+ miles and discover that he'd ordered the 10w-40 put in anyway. How'd I find out? The temp back home was a balmy 20 degrees and the engine wouldn't turn over. When the sludge that drained out didn't look like 5w-20, I looked at the receipt and he'd actually penned a notation on the bottom of the work order which was covered over by the cash register receipt.

My point is, are you sure of your 5w-20 oil?
 

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5 W 20 Oil

Honda says use 5 W 20 oil in the engine so that is what I use. The 2 fluids I do not compromise on is the oil and transmission fluid. I am nearing the 100K mark and I have had no engine or transmission issues so I am thinking using the recommended fluids may have something to do with it.
 

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Honda says use 5 W 20 oil in the engine so that is what I use. The 2 fluids I do not compromise on is the oil and transmission fluid. I am nearing the 100K mark and I have had no engine or transmission issues so I am thinking using the recommended fluids may have something to do with it.
Okay. Since you didn't say if you did the oil changes yourself or not, my question was whether or not you actually had 5w-20. The incident I mentioned, I was told that my engine had the recommended oil when it didn't, and the reason was the idiot oil change place decided I needed (and got) the thicker oil for the warmer temperatures down south. BTW, the engine had to have new camshafts and rockers shortly after because it really really needed to have the 5w30. The thicker oil didn't flow through the tiny passages well enough to protect the engine.
 

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10=40 will lubricate any engine just fine. The reason for lighter weight oils is for higher mpg ratings. You don't clog up an engine by going up 5 to 10 on the oil.
 

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Wondering if anyone has any feedback on the following... Have lived in Illinois for many years and bought the 2003 Element. As it started to get cold this year, I noticed that it seemed to be having some difficulty starting. As it had ~80,000 miles on it, I figured I just needed to get the battery replaced. So, I did exactly that. It did seem to help, but I still was not getting the immediate burst that I would have expected from a new battery.

In the past month, I have moved to North Carolina. It is definitely not as cold down here. However, this morning it just barely cranked over and started. It got down into the 20's last night. That's not all that cold. When it was turning over this morning, it felt like there was no juice in the battery, like a light had been left on overnight. I've checked and that scenario does not exist. The battery is less than 2 months old.

I have been reading some previous posts and just wondering if there was something I should take a look at before I take it in to a dealer to have this looked after? Should I look at fuses? Could this be something unrelated to the battery? Suggestions for next steps? QUOTE]


It's time for the starter replacement. When the starter starts to go the symptoms are the same as a low battery.
 

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Okay. Since you didn't say if you did the oil changes yourself or not, my question was whether or not you actually had 5w-20. The incident I mentioned, I was told that my engine had the recommended oil when it didn't, and the reason was the idiot oil change place decided I needed (and got) the thicker oil for the warmer temperatures down south. BTW, the engine had to have new camshafts and rockers shortly after because it really really needed to have the 5w30. The thicker oil didn't flow through the tiny passages well enough to protect the engine.
Yes, I change my own oil for the reasons you mentioned. I love it when folks tell you what YOU need based on their opinion, so I do not give them a chance. I tried Jiffy Lube one time and the idiot who changed the oil in my Tundra pickup failed to put the oil filter on tight enough and the crankcase was nearly drained by the time I got home. I went back to Jiffy Lube and they tried to put it off on me by saying they ALWAYS tighten the oil filter to the factory specs. That is why I change my own oil. If a problem creeps up because of something I did, shame on me. Anyway, sorry to hear about your trouble and expensive repairs
 

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10=40 will lubricate any engine just fine. The reason for lighter weight oils is for higher mpg ratings. You don't clog up an engine by going up 5 to 10 on the oil.
Nope. The Chevy 305 V8 engine got a bum rap for years because of camshafts failing until the owners started wising up that when GM said that the engine -needed- a 5w30 weight oil, they really meant it. The upper passages were smaller and the heavier oils didn't flow through them in sufficient quantities to take care of lubrication. People like you who insisted that the thicker oil was just fine would blame everything from soft camshafts and bearings to defective rockers instead of just following directions. Once they did, the engine performs just fine.
 

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Getting back to the original post, I too had to replace the battery this year on my 03 E. OEM battery finally gave up the ghost and I had to go provide a jump start for my son.

We put it in the garage in anticipation of changing it out and while sitting in the garage, it would start no problem.

Replaced the battery with a new one that has more CCA than the oem and so far so good.
 

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I am having the same problem... Recently purchased a 2004 EX 4x4 5mt with 125k on her. When we test drove it, she cranked over really slow.. which worried me, but i figured it just needed a new battery. First thing i did was take the battery in to be tested, checked out fine. Took the car to the honda dealer to check the charging system, again everything was fine. Even put the Red top Optima battery from my accord in to the E to see if it made a difference in the cranking speed... nothing :( She always starts, regardless of how long we let her sit.. the temperature outside etc. Just cranks over very slow as if the battery was low. The dealership listened to it, but said it was fine. I am not willing to just take their word for it (this is the same dealership that left suspension bolts loose when they replaced the transmission on my 03 ex v6 accord) I am wondering if anyone else has any ideas as to the cause (other than the battery or charging system!)
 

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I am having the same problem... Recently purchased a 2004 EX 4x4 5mt with 125k on her. When we test drove it, she cranked over really slow.. which worried me, but i figured it just needed a new battery. First thing i did was take the battery in to be tested, checked out fine. Took the car to the honda dealer to check the charging system, again everything was fine. Even put the Red top Optima battery from my accord in to the E to see if it made a difference in the cranking speed... nothing :( She always starts, regardless of how long we let her sit.. the temperature outside etc. Just cranks over very slow as if the battery was low. The dealership listened to it, but said it was fine. I am not willing to just take their word for it (this is the same dealership that left suspension bolts loose when they replaced the transmission on my 03 ex v6 accord) I am wondering if anyone else has any ideas as to the cause (other than the battery or charging system!)
I had to replace the OEM battery less than a year from new. Could've gone with another warranty replaced junk Honda battery but put in a better one instead at my own expense. The engine still starts like my old John Deere tractor with the hand crank - slow, but it does kick in after a few seconds. Do a search for other threads on the subject as there are so many...
 

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I have searched and searched for answers regarding this issue... however i always seem to come across the its the battery answer. I have ruled out the battery.. yes i know those tiny batteries are junk.. but even with a better battery, it still starts so slow. I test drove several others.. and they all fired up normally. I am wondering if my starter is going out.. but there is no way to test it :(
 

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Yes, it's your starter. Learn how to do it yourself and you will save a bundle. If you just take the plastic cover off which covers the intake manifold you will see it. Now it won't look so hard. My "junk" battery still works and starts the car perfectly and it's an 03 with 65,000 miles.
 

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The previous owner told me that it has always started that way... i didn't know if that was just a weird quirk of that car.. or if the starter was getting weak. We plan on taking it camping.. and just took it on its first snowboarding trip up to stevens pass last night.. these are not places i want to be if the starter dies on me lol. I hate to spend all of that time and money and just hope its the starter.. i wish there was some way to test it.. process of elimination tells me the starter is the only other thing it could be... but it still sucks! Fortunately.. or unfortunately for me.. i know how to replace it.. it just does not look like fun. :(
 

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The clue is that you have 125k on a starter. Who knows if it's the original? My friend bought an 03 six months ago. Same symptoms, until it would not start at all. I came over and tried to jump it and nothing not even a click. He just said he would take it to Honda. He had to have it towed and it was $800. I suffer from the same thing as you in that I know how to do these things. I never look forward to doing these kind of jobs but at least on the Element you can do the whole thing standing up.
 

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lol i am 6'2" Unfortunately anything having to do with working under the hood of a car has me bending over at a very painful angle for hours.. the end result is me usually feeling like i am 60yrs old at the end of the day... which is sad because i am only 25 lol. As for the car.. according to the previous owner, the starter has never been replaced. (He is the original owner of the car) My 03 Accord V6 sedan has 135k on it.. with the original starter.. no problems there. .. But i guess its apples and oranges.. I do know that if i break down and replace it.. the Honda dealer will not be getting anywhere near the car!! I hate having anyone work on my car but me.. they never seem to put things back together correctly. So we will see how she does.. i just know that i cringe every time it starts. Since you appear to live about 20 min away from me.. when are you coming over to help me replace it? Hehe jk. I appreciate all of your advice.
 
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