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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! New to the thread.. and heereeee we go again haha.
I'm looking at a used (obviously)
2010 Honda Element 4WD 5dr EX (link)

Besides normal stuff ,brakes/tires.... what should I be looking out for .. especially when test driving?
Can you still get parts for these things?

  1. Is that a good price
  2. How many miles are people getting out of this?
  3. Are parts easy-ish to order.
  4. Is it terrible hard to do some maintenance yourself?
  5. Any maintenance that needs to be done on day one as an avoidance of disaster?
  6. What tires are people using in NY/NorthEast? (link/price?)
Depending on advice, I will let you know what i find/see!
Thanks everyone
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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I'll do my best to answer your questions in order:

1). The price is rather high for one with 154K miles. But, times being what they are and considering the high cost of new cars, and Elements seeming to be maintaining (perhaps even increasing) their popularity; well it may not be that far off! BTW, if you really like that color, it's rare and hard to find. I have actually seen only one in person. (Something else to consider.)

2). If well maintained, an Element can easily go 250 - 300K miles. EOC member locksmith has a fleet of Elements for his business; some with over 500K miles. But maintenance is the key!

3). Most anything you would need is still available. I've had my '03 EX for over 2 years now and got whatever it needed without any trouble. But, some of the original Honda add on accessories are getting hard to find.

4). Most of the maintenance and simple repairs can be done by the average DIY'er. The only real exception is the Starter is much harder to change compared to most other vehicles.

5). By 154K miles, it should have had a valve adjustment done. There's plenty of info on this site on the subject. Perhaps of the most importance is getting a good set of maintenance records with a used vehicle.

6). You'll probably get as many different opinions on this subject as there are different tires available out there! My .02 worth: Go with the 225/75R16 oversize tires. They will fit nicely on a stock height Element and they greatly improved the ride quality on my Element. Do a search on this site; and pick a favorite. But, with the ~ high asking price; it should have a good set of tires on it already!

Hope this helps!

Let us know if you end up buying it. :)
 

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Get underneath this one before you even think about the other things. A bad/rusty structure would kill it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
@te1966 TY. Where do you recommend buying (and installing) tires? Also what would you offer for this car?
@WestCoastE I will check under the car (maybe even bring to a mech?....) and see whats up with the seats. Also I can ask about the seats but is there a pic of what the seats should look like on this year?

PS what is that weird rust spot on the trunk?
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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@te1966 TY. Where do you recommend buying (and installing) tires? Also what would you offer for this car?
@WestCoastE I will check under the car (maybe even bring to a mech?....) and see whats up with the seats. Also I can ask about the seats but is there a pic of what the seats should look like on this year?
Well, I'm definitely going to be the exception rather than the rule on this one! :)

I bought my tires online through............ Walmart of all places! They had the best price and delivered them no charge to my house! I got 225/75R16 Cooper Evolutions with outline white letters and mounted them myself. I have one of those great Harbor Freight manual mounting machines in my garage. I did get them spin balanced at a local mom & pop repair shop though. Saved a lot of $ in the process! However, most people probably won't do it like I did!

While the Cooper Evolutions are near a perfect match for my 2WD Element living in Florida and never going off road, you having 4WD and living in New York will have much different requirements! So you'll be much better off getting tire input from someone on this site who lives closer to you. Do avoid big chain tire stores, as they are always trying to up-charge you for anything and everything, and find an honest local shop to do your tires and alignment and such.

What to offer? Try to find another Element for sale for a much lower price and within a reasonable distance from where you are. Then use that asking price as a bargaining point with the seller. If I had to pick a number for the one you are looking at with 154K miles, I would pay no more than about $7000 tops; and that would be only if I was head over heels madly in love with the particular Element for sale! But that's me; I'm always quite content to wait around for a really good deal.

FWIW, I paid $4650 for my '03 EX Auto in excellent mechanical condition, spent it's entire life in FL (no rust anywhere) only 111K miles, 4 really good tires and with just some minor appearance issues (all of which I fixed or improved greatly myself). That was 2 years ago.

And yes, follow WestCoastE's advice and check the underbody for rust. A lot of rust would be a definite deal breaker.

Let us know how this works out for you. :)
 

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The rear seat design really isn't that different from what I can see (I have an '05) - I can tell because the seat fabric on this one for sale should be the same as the front seat. I would just want to know why the seats had to be replaced.
 

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I think the rear sets are correct/original. They match the overall design of the seats in my 2010 E and the pattern - barely visible in one of the photos - matches the pattern of front seats and those in my car.

But I second WestCoastE's concern about rust. One of the photos shows what looks like a rust spot on the roof. That's not good.
 

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I think the rear sets are correct/original. They match the overall design of the seats in my 2010 E and the pattern - barely visible in one of the photos - matches the pattern of front seats and those in my car.

But I second WestCoastE's concern about rust. One of the photos shows what looks like a rust spot on the roof. That's not good.
The back seats to me look like the gray ones with the vinyl material like in the pre '07s. Maybe it's just the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@WestCoastE @te1966 @chelement3 Ok the dealer was closed today but my car fanatic friend took at look at it with me.
He went underneath that much to his surprise say NO rust.. he was like "wow I'm surprised.. it looks VERY clean". He is very anal about under-rush.
There was some rust where it looks like the door edge hit a few times plus at the bottom of it (drivers ) He said that was just surface.
The tires on there were crappy so he told me I would have to pay $ to buy new ones (especially because of the rear ones..).. How much should 4 tires installed be around?

Should test drive tomorrow. I edited a pic of where my buddy said was only "surface" rust. I enlarged the pic and you sorta see it but I drew a bracket around it. (thoughts?)
PS My friend agrees about paying 7k, especially since the (expensive) tires need to be replaced (don't look at the road rash there..) also rust stains from the bolts used to screw on the rear plates.... weird.
204379
 

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Did you have it up on a rack? Only way to tell for sure. Besides the usual suspension areas are inside surface of rear bumper beam and (with the tailgate down) the little flap that bridges the tailgate to the rear compartment.
Just be absolutely sure - I looked at a number of Es that from the top and cosmetically looked great but underneath had bad structure.
Good luck with purchase - it’s a rare color but I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
@chelement3 @WestCoastE @KoolBlue @te1966 Trust me before I buy it, its going up on a lift :)
  1. In person it looks more like grey and not white.
  2. I wonder why the rims are so beat up.
  3. I saw in this thread from @te1966 a walmart link where he picked up very affordable tires, my friend was scaring me that they would be 200+ each at least
  4. No comments on the surface rust I pointed to? If it were your car, would you get that fixed, DIY or to a shop?
  5. What type of gas does this thing take? I'll be doing most around-town. I work from home but am a homeless advocate who hands out food/clothes on the streets.
  6. In case this one doesnt work out there is this one for sale at a Honda Dealership... about 2 hours away in NJ (not excited about the drive..)
 

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Tires are no problem. They are no $200. They are small diameter at 16" and not low profile. Plenty of choice at or less than $100 I would think - haven't bought in awhile. Surface rust on door tells me that underneath there is more issues. That door rust would need to be fixed before it spreads. 87 octane gas. Maybe salt ate away finish of wheels or some type of abrasive cleaner was used.
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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WestCoastE is right on again on all counts. I never put anything but the lowest price 87 octane in mine and it never missed a beat.

I like the second one you linked a lot more than the first one; but Hey, I have this thing about Orange Elements! (LOL)

A two hour drive (Mine was a 2 hour drive away also) is not a whole lot if you end up with a better deal!

 

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Agree about the rust; if there is surface rust and/or bubbling on the exterior skin, the lower seams on the inner part of the door may be even worse. Make sure you look on the lower, inside part of the doors when you get a chance to open them.
 

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For me, ball joints, shocks, battery, tires, etc is one thing. Gonna have to replace them sooner or later and the cost of owning a car. Rust is quite another. Even surface rust. It only gets worse and is expensive to fix. With the price being at a huge premium, it's an easy pass for me. In 2 years that rust is gonna be hideous. But that's just me. Rust is where I draw a line in the sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
@chelement3 @WestCoastE @KoolBlue @te1966 @sdn4022 @Maxey I totally decided against the rusting one. When I starting look around... it was not in great shape.
Seems like alot of molding got busted off due to a rear hit, and someone glued it on,, it fell off when I brushed my leg on it,, seems like no one took care of it .. what a shame. Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4
Pic5

Now before I drive to NY (I live in NY) 2 hours away to look at this burnt orange 2010 $9,995 (seems very high..?) with 129,123 miles , I looked around for some closer and chatted with these guys on FB who seem very UPSET they are letting it go and seem like they babied it like it was a human child.. they are the current owners.. Any thoughts on these below? The owners were ADAMANT that they drove "beautifully".
Private Sale Option 1: 2010 with 228k miles for 6k (not 7k as listed) link . The owner says "they are so reliable , I have two and they never have issues like other cars. These cars go for ever. I bought this for girlfriend "but she aint coming back and I don't need three""

Private Sale Option 2: 2010 with 228k miles for $5,800 The owner says "Test drive this , it’s amazing , smooth ride " link

update: Ok I just noticed these are the same seller I think he used the same pics for the Tan one (maybe by accident), as I think he selling a Grey one too. I asked for pics
Apparently he's keeping the RED one :-(
 

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I think it is worth your while to look outside of this area of the country if you really want an E and want it to be long-lived. These are all NY/NJ cars with typical use/mileage and the vast majority of them are going to have insurmountable rust. The orange 2010 for $9995 looks great, but I can already see structural rust (look a the small pieces of the underside you can see on picture of the wheel). The orange one has a great service history, but I looked at a 2010 with 160,000 miles with a similar service history, but it was falling apart underneath. Rust seems to be relative anyway - those who live in the northern areas have a different tolerance for rust compared to other areas.
The E is a solid car and does seem to "go forever" (mechanical reputation) but you can't overcome the structure degradation on any car.
 
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