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Discussion Starter #1
I've been lurking around for a few weeks, knowing I would be getting a "new to me" Element soon, and I really like the general vibe here. A lot of helpful folks here and good instructions. Today I finally got my E, and I'm really, really happy with my decision.

It's a 2007 EX AWD and has about 43,000 miles on it--there were no maintenance records from the previous owner. I'm the type to do everything at the scheduled time or before, but I'm not sure where to start with on this car...maybe because the maintenance minder thing is throwing me off.

So, my questions to you all--what would you do if you were in my position to make sure the maintenance is up to date? What sort of things might need to have been done by this point other than your typical oil changes?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
 

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At that mileage w/ no serivce records, I would do the following:

- Change oil
- Change engine air-filter
- Change cabin air-filters
- Change trasmission fluid (auto or manual)
- Change rear diff fluid
- Change brake fluid
- Save receipts ;)

Personally I use all OEM fluids. Simply because it's guaranteed not to corrode anything. Honda/Acura brake fluid can be found very cheap on eBay (I bought 10 cans for ~$20 (I have 4 cars).

For the rear diff, ONLY use Honda's Dual-Pump II fluid. Search on here for good how-to's involving a funnel and tube procedure. Otherwise, you can simply use a hand pump that screws onto a quart bottle...

For an Automatic, use Honda's ATF. If your really anal, change it 3 times while taking a short drive between each change. This is to get the most old fluid out...

For a manual, use Honda's MTF. If your having any trouble getting into any gears, you can also use General Motors "Sychromesh Friction Modified" manual transmission fluid. It's friction modifiers allow the synchros to work much smoother and will pretty much cure any difficult shifting problmes. People have been using this stuff in Hondas for MANY years now w/ no issues (warranty or otherwise). I use it in my Element since a dealer-rebuild left me with a stiff/crappy 3rd gear. Works wonders so far. Cost a lot at $15 a quart though and you need about 2 to 3 (depending on how long you drain the case)...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks

Thanks to both of you for the replies. I've changed the cabin air filters--nasty. Also the oil and air filter was changed at the dealer right before I got it. I changed the rear differential fluid--easy and quick. Plan to do the brake fluid this week. I think they probably sucked some of that out and topped it off too because it looks really good, but I'd rather be safe. Ordered a transmission filter and fluid from HandA and will do it soon. Also started a log book for maintenance and also to keep track of gas mileage -- and a folder for receipts.

It was nice to not have to drive up on ramps for the differential fluid change...definitely going to be different to work on than my little Del Sol was. Thanks again.
 

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VS the Del Sol, the Element will be a much nastier oil-change. For whatever reason, they designed the oil filter to pour oil all over the CV Boot and sub-frame as it's removed. It runs down into holes in the sub-frame, and starts dripping from all sorts of random places for an extended period of time.

Before you do your first oil-change, research here about "Messy oil changes". You can cover the CV boot with foil, and use a plastic jug that's been cut in half to channel the oil right to your funnel or drain pan. I've yet to do this since I've just joined the site, but I'm FINALLY looking forward to changing the Element's oil now.

Hope you enjoy your new vehicle. Mine's been a blast. Especially with the 5-speed... :cool:
 

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Don't forget to do your HD grill guard! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just did the grill guard 2 days ago. I really like the way it looks. Used the aluminum screens from Home Depot. Getting the bumper off made things go easier, and it really wasn't hard to do...now getting it back on by myself after the sun started going down...that was fun. :D

I got the Honda Repair Manual in just now, and it's great. I've always had Chilton or Haynes manuals for other cars that try to cover multiple models in the same book. This is nice.
 
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