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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys -

I am new to the forum, and although I don't own an Element...I am looking at buying a used 2006 LX from a Honda dealer.

This is the issue, I was looking at the Carfax and noticed that the transmission fluid was replaced at 31,714 and again at 42,899 when it was traded in. Also, at 31,714, the engine, power train, and computer module was checked. It test drove just fine, until I noticed the red airbag light came on. I asked the sales guy about, and he said they hadn't seen it before.

My mom seems to think they are red-flags, but I am not so sure. It does seem kind of early to have the transmission fluid replaced. And the air bag light was strange.

Well, guys, any input, or similar experience with the 2006 model would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Joshua
 

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Hey guys -

I am new to the forum, and although I don't own an Element...I am looking at buying a used 2006 LX from a Honda dealer.

This is the issue, I was looking at the Carfax and noticed that the transmission fluid was replaced at 31,714 and again at 42,899 when it was traded in. Also, at 31,714, the engine, power train, and computer module was checked. It test drove just fine, until I noticed the red airbag light came on. I asked the sales guy about, and he said they hadn't seen it before.

My mom seems to think they are red-flags, but I am not so sure. It does seem kind of early to have the transmission fluid replaced. And the air bag light was strange.

Well, guys, any input, or similar experience with the 2006 model would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Joshua

Run, run, run!!!! Look for water damage! It sounds like it could be a flood car, or if it has been wrecked it's been poorly fixed under the radar somewhere...
 

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Hey guys -

I am new to the forum, and although I don't own an Element...I am looking at buying a used 2006 LX from a Honda dealer.

This is the issue, I was looking at the Carfax and noticed that the transmission fluid was replaced at 31,714 and again at 42,899 when it was traded in. Also, at 31,714, the engine, power train, and computer module was checked. It test drove just fine, until I noticed the red airbag light came on. I asked the sales guy about, and he said they hadn't seen it before.

My mom seems to think they are red-flags, but I am not so sure. It does seem kind of early to have the transmission fluid replaced. And the air bag light was strange.

Well, guys, any input, or similar experience with the 2006 model would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Joshua
Is it a certified Honda? I know Honda supposably "investigates" the carfax on each Honda that a dealership is certifing. The damage can't be over 2500 with any accident, no frame dmg or airbag deployment etc. If the vehicle did have water damage then honda would not allow it to be certified. It is money out of their pocket because problems would start to surface stemming from an incident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey guys -

It is certified to answer your question. So if it is certified, then it wouldn't had been involved in a car accident that resulted in more than $2500 worth of damage? Could the airbag light be the result of a previous accident?

Also, what makes you think it was flooded?

Thanks again!

Josh
 

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A lot of people will throw molotovs at me for saying this, but I am doing so hoping that you take my advice seriously and that you buy another car.

The Honda Element is a high maintenance vehicle that has a lot of tiny little problems that will make you question if it really is a Honda or not. And considering you are buying it used, I would steer clear.

Buy a new Hyundai or something, just don't buy an Element. Seriously.

Tires in '07
Radiator in '08
AC Compressor in '09
Brakes in '09
Tranny Mount in '10 just this week
(and these are only things that I do not feel I should have had to change/replace on a vehicle with less than 62k miles on it)

I'll let you take a guess at how much I've spent on this car out of pocket...
 

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Hey guys -

.....what makes you think it was flooded?


Josh
Electrical gremlins. They will haunt you endlessly...
 

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Hey guys -

It is certified to answer your question. So if it is certified, then it wouldn't had been involved in a car accident that resulted in more than $2500 worth of damage? Could the airbag light be the result of a previous accident?

Also, what makes you think it was flooded?

Thanks again!

Josh
That is what I was told about honda and certifing their cars. Go with your gut, obviously you'd want the airbag light and the problem fixed before signing the paperwork but it does come with a 12mo/12k bumper to bumper warranty, (excluding brake pads and a few others) and the powertrain warranty is 7yr/100k. What I would do is get it checked out and a trusted mechanic. (the honda dealership might be bias so take it elsewhere) body shop/mechanic and voice your concerns to them.
 

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I bought a certified '06. They had a huge checklist of things they went over plus the warranty. I don't think I would have got it if I saw the airbag light come on. They should have fixed that before certifying it. If anything, find out why it's coming on or just move on and find another. My old Honda Accord's airbag light comes on when it's over 95 degrees outside and you first start it. I know it hasn't been wrecked but someone else buying it wouldn't know that. The tranny fluid being changed twice and way before it really needed to be changed would be a red flag. I guess they could have changed the fluid as an overall general maintenance that they do for all cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Huh, the overall consensus seems to lean towards not going with this vehicle. In all honesty, I am surprised no one has bought it yet (certified, 1 owner, clean Carfax aside from the tranny fluid, low miles, and good price.)

I appreiate the post regarding "high maintenance." I am dealing with an ultra high maintenance 2001 VW GLX New Beetle that sounds just like the other poster described. I am getting rid of it now just for that reason.

I was thinking Element = Honda = Easy maintenance = reliability. I am guessing this isn't the case with this model.

That's a bummer, I really like the Element otherwise. I really don't have the time or money to deal with another high maintenance.

Keep it coming guys, I TRULY appreciate every post!

Best,

Joshua
 

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I was thinking Element = Honda = Easy maintenance = reliability. I am guessing this isn't the case with this model.
While there are a few people who have had high maintenance issues with the Element, the vast majority of people on this site have just had routine maintenance and the usual Honda reliability. Take some time to look through the 'problems and issues' threads-- not a lot of major issues, and not issues that you usually find with 'high maintenance' cars.

And buying a used car is a crapshoot-- we just got a used Accord from a cousin who claimed to have maintained the car, but we just dropped $800 on routine maintenance that had not been performed over the last 5 years. Caveat emptor... buyer beware... of bad Latin spelling...
 

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Keep in mind, low maintenance not equal no maintenance, & more frequent & more detail maintenance will likely equal to less repair on the car with better quality track record. Still, I am not aware of any car company has 100% repair free record for each & every single car sold in the same model, it means some car will have more repair than other in same model.

Here is my list of "maintenance list", & still growing, for my E.

Oil filter & fluid change - 10% of oil life
Check Engine Filter & Replace if needed - every 10K
Check Cabin Filter & Replace if needed - every 10K
Tire Rotate - every 20K
Wiper Replace - every 20K
Brake Fluid change & lube - every 30K
Rear Diff fluid change - every 30K
Inspect Drive Belt - every 30K
Power Steering fluid change - every 60K
Transmission fluid change - every 60K
Coolant - every 60K
Spark Plug Replace, Idle Speed, & Valve Check - every 90K
Battery test & change If needed - every 30K (specially 1st one before end of warranty)
 

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A lot of people will throw molotovs at me for saying this, but I am doing so hoping that you take my advice seriously and that you buy another car.

The Honda Element is a high maintenance vehicle that has a lot of tiny little problems that will make you question if it really is a Honda or not. And considering you are buying it used, I would steer clear.

Buy a new Hyundai or something, just don't buy an Element. Seriously.

Tires in '07
Radiator in '08
AC Compressor in '09
Brakes in '09
Tranny Mount in '10 just this week
(and these are only things that I do not feel I should have had to change/replace on a vehicle with less than 62k miles on it)

I'll let you take a guess at how much I've spent on this car out of pocket...

Tires = Consumable
Radiator = Ext. Warranty would have covered if it had been purchased.
AC Compressor = Ditto
Brakes = Consumable
Tranny Mount = Another Ext. Warranty item.

Two of your five issues are considered consumables or normal maintenance items. The other three items would have been covered under an extended warranty program if it had been purchased.

For you to recommend against someone purchasing an Element based on three legitimate items in 60K+ miles and 5 years of ownership sounds like an excuse to me. I have scoured these forums pretty thoroughly and based my decision on buying an Element from the research I did here. I don't think it's fair for you to call the Element a "High Maintenance" vehicle.

My two cents....if you like it and it meets your satisfaction that it hasn't been wrecked, flooded, abused, etc.....buy it. Protect yourself with an extended warranty if you're so inclined. When I bought my 2010 I got the Honda Factory extended warranty for 10 yrs and 120K miles. They only list 8yr/120, but the finance dept. can adjust it to 10 yrs.
 

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I would agree that the Element is not a high maintenance vehicle at all. I've been a member for quite a while and seen an awful lot of Element stories. Other than the occasional lemon that you'll find from any manufacturer of any physical product, the Element is generally an extremely solid, dependable vehicle. Just keep up on your routine maintenance and it'll treat you well for a long time.

BTW I agree about tires & brakes, they're consumables. Quite literally, your mileage may vary depending on your driving style, weather, phase of the moon, etc.



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Of course have them see what is up w/ the airbag light but....

The tranny fluid changes could be considered a good thing...that is assuming they did other maintenace stuff too. Sounds very similar to my tranny maintenance. :)

Earlier today I posed in a thread about haveing brake service/maintenance performed every other oil change. Reading a carfax on that car next year would make some people think there were brake problems & issues, but someone else might be glad to see that the recomended services were performed.

What matters are the other things that go with it....just tranny fluid, or were oil changes and coolant changes and brakes service too?

If the only/primary maintenance services showing are tranny related I'd find another car.

You're in the right ballpark though...stick w/ a 2003-2006 model with the good seats. Stay away from the painted panels too....they are evil. :jump011:

Good luck with your search!
 

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I have a 2006 EX-P and it runs like a top. Knock on wood nothing has happened to it yet and it has 56,000 miles. I bought it used with 13,000 miles on it and I love it. If something should happen to it I would buy another Element. My 2 cents for what its worth.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks again everyone. All of the posts have been helpful. I have a hard time believing a lemon would be certified, but I guess you never know.

Thanks

Josh
 
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