Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bought a used 2005 Element EX, 78K miles, manual transmission, about 3 weeks ago out of state. I had to have it inspected in my state (PA) and took it to a local Honda dealership today to have that done.

I drove it off the lot and quickly noticed that it was suddenly grinding when shifting into 4th gear (as if the gears weren't synchronizing properly). At first I thought that maybe I didn't press the clutch the whole way in, but I tested again, then again, then again, and with the clutch fully depressed, it still grinds. It only lasts a fraction of a second, and once it's in gear it seems to drive fine.

I skipped 4th gear the rest of the way home and immediately called the dealership. I explained what was happening, and he told me that he couldn't think of anything they would have done during an inspection that would have caused that problem. I thought (and suggested) that maybe somebody drove it there and didn't shift properly, causing the issue, and he said that they don't test drive it, just move it in and out of the garage.

So, before I take it back I'd like to have some ideas of the things that could possibly be wrong so I know what to ask or suggest. Is there anything that could possibly been affected during a routine inspection (a cable bumped and knocked out of adjustment for example)? What type of problem causes a single gear to grind like this? Anything I can check before I get there?

Any help would be appreciated. I fear a battle with their service department. They've been great to deal with to this point, but I need to be prepared. Thanks,

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I doubt anything they did would cause the problem. Check your clutch fluid level as you may have a leak in either the main or clutch slave unit. It's possible that 4th gear is a little more sensitive than the other gears and is just the first one to show the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

It's dark outside now, but I went out with a flashlight and checked the fluid level. It's up to the MAX line, but it looks to be dirty (is a dark, cloudy brown?). What color should it be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
F***.

Dealer checked everything and says it's the synchros (for that gear in particular). They quoted $2100 to fix that one but suggested that once they got in there other parts may or should need replaced and that could drive the price up over $3k.

I might have some help. I bought this car in NY and it came with the 'lemon law' warranty that NY requires. 60 days or 3000 miles - I'm under both. The transmission and components are covered. I am concerned that they will call this 'normal wear' and deny the repair. I need to read the contract when I get home.

Does anybody have any experience with the NY lemon law and/or a situation like this?

If that doesn't work out and I'm forced to have it rebuilt at my cost, I'll be looking for somebody local to do the work--I imagine I can have it done for quite a bit less than what Honda's asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Why didn't you return immediately to the dealer , upon discovering the problem ? They didn't mention anything when you left ? I would check the receipt for their return policy on the bill of sale where you purchased the vehicle , contact them and see if they will come and take the vehicle back or pay for the repairs , out of state candidates might have some fun under the lemon law :http://www.ag.ny.gov/bureaus/consumer_frauds/lemon_law.html .
PA , might be different :http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?id=625
Sounds like you're in for some fun , I'm guessing that the vehicle was fine until you dropped it off for inspection ??? Drove from NY all the way home ....Used it for 3 weeks ?????
I wouldn't be 2 minutes from the inspection facility by the time I reached 4th gear and noticed something wrong ??????
Lemon laws have steps that need to be taken , first , work something out with the place you purchased the vehicle ...... CALMLY .........

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I noticed as soon as I pulled out of the inspection facility (Honda dealer). The first time I thought I didn't clutch all the way. It's 15 minutes from home, and I used the first 1/3 of the drive to verify that it was a problem. I had to get home for my kids, but called the second I got in the house.

I bought in NY (I'm in PA) - I was at a hockey tournament there and found it at a dealership nearby. Was not even a hint of an issue until I left the inspection.

NY's lemon law requires the dealer to give me a warranty. I'll be working with the dealer. The warranty covers "The transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter." I doubt they sold it to me knowing that there was a problem waiting in the wings (how could they have known?) but I worry that they'll try to dismiss it as a wear item or find a way out of an expensive repair.

I'll share the results of all this. Thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
I'm 100% behind you . With the Element not being made has made for slim pickings , congratulations on your purchase and I do think they should at least do something to make you happy .
And please keep us posted .....
P.S. "internal parts" is a broad statement in your favor . I would think the 4th gear synchro is part of that .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Good news - it's covered under the warranty. The service manager did mention that if once they got in there they determined that it wasn't the synchro and was the clutch, it wouldn't be covered & I'd be paying for it. I called Honda service back & given the symptoms and their inspection he's 90% sure it is they 4th gear synchro and says if it was the clutch it would be a problem in all gears, which I tend to agree with.

I'm 3-1/2 hours away from the dealer that I bought it from & who will perform the warranty. They are most likely going to come get the car, which is awesome and in my opinion going above and beyond.

Question: I considered asking them to put a new clutch in it while they have the trans out, at my expense. I could have the new parts ready and ask them to install if the clutch looks worn, or I could have them replace it regardless, or I could just leave it alone (78K miles but it seems fine). Opinions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
What a good way to start a saturday morning , I agree to leave it alone .

When you do get your element back , hope you enjoy many happy miles ......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,046 Posts
Clutch is cheap and sort of an ass pain to replace afterwards. Since they're going to be in there anyway, with the transmission out and all, why not have it replaced?

I would if I was you.
 

·
..
Joined
·
12,177 Posts
Clutch is cheap and sort of an ass pain to replace afterwards. Since they're going to be in there anyway, with the transmission out and all, why not have it replaced?

I would if I was you.

Agreed. Spend a couple hundred in parts now and not have to worry about for years to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Dealer sent a driver to pick the Element up. Didn't have to, I appreciate that. I'm at work, wife is home, and she informed me that she doesn't think he can drive a stick based off of his reaction and how he pulled out, plus he had no idea of the problem. She told him not to use 4th gear. 20 minutes later he calls me to tell me he left his sunglasses in the loaner car, I ask if he understands the problem and that he shouldn't use 4th gear, he tells me he's been using it the whole time. I guess the grinding noise and shaking shifter didn't give it away, or my wife telling him not to use it. I let the dealer know this, that it left my house with just one problem and hopefully it arrives with only one.

I'll be a nervous wreck until I hear from them that the problem is covered and fixed. This guy was going to drive it back down. Maybe they can find another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Dealer is replacing the whole transmission with a used one, similar mileage they found and bought. Not sure that I'm fully comfortable with that, but as long as it works and is warrantied I guess it's okay. They said that they would put a clutch in, but told me it's $500 for the kit, that the pressure plate needs cut down(?) and about an extra hour of labor. $500 for the kit sounds way high?

**EDIT**: Found the Exedy clutch kit for $160. Doesn't that include EVERYTHING they need to replace the clutch--nothing needs cut?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Did they explain why they decided to replace the whole unit ? I would think that by replacing the whole unit , they would cut time on labor having then to replace just the 4th gear synchro , so price should be cheaper ? I would not let them "cut" the pressure plate , which costs around $25 as opposed to replacing @ 125 , flywheel cut , yes , pressure plate , no ! Parts price here :http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/prddisplay.jsp?inputstate=5&catcgry1=ELEMENT&catcgry2=2005&catcgry3=5DR+EX+(4WD+SD+A/B)&catcgry4=KA5MT&catcgry5=CLUTCH+-+TORQUE+CONVERTER
Sounds like to me they want you to pay far more for your share then originally proposed .
Final thought , cutting labor on install .... not installing new parts , and the price went up ???????? I again would argue the fact that all you want is a vehicle in a good driving condition as to when you purchased , nothing more , nothing less will do , or they can KEEP it and refund yor money .....

PS they will not install NON honda parts so forget about that ......
What are they saying the kit includes ? since they're cutting the pressure plate , usually the kit includes , P/P , clutch , slave bladder , throw out bearing .
 

·
..
Joined
·
12,177 Posts
Dealer is replacing the whole transmission with a used one, similar mileage they found and bought. Not sure that I'm fully comfortable with that, but as long as it works and is warrantied I guess it's okay. They said that they would put a clutch in, but told me it's $500 for the kit, that the pressure plate needs cut down(?) and about an extra hour of labor. $500 for the kit sounds way high?

**EDIT**: Found the Exedy clutch kit for $160. Doesn't that include EVERYTHING they need to replace the clutch--nothing needs cut?
I think they meant the flywheel gets machined not the pressure plate.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top