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My element's radiator blew up

2816 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Simon
Hi Everyone. I have a problem with my Element, and I am hoping to get some advice from this forum.

I live in Boston, and I got my Element in February. I love the car, and as of yesterday I have put 2300 miles on it.

Yesterday (Friday,4/25), I had to take a business trip to meet with a client in Connecticut. About 2 ½ hours into the trip, I noticed a “pissy” smell in the car, and minutes later the check engine light came on. Within 5 minutes there was a lot of smoke and/or steam coming from under the hood, I pulled over at the next exit ( I was on I-95, and there was no safe shoulder to stop on). I popped the hood open to find that there was coolant splattered all over the engine compartment. There was also a white jelly like substance. A hose was blown off the radiator near the cap; I do not know if this was a cause or an effect of the problem.

I called Honda National, and was given the name of a local dealer in Milford CT, and I arranges to have the car towed to their service department. The service manager was great, and assured me they would take care of everything. The reaction I got from the mechanics was pretty funny...they could not believe that there was an Element with a problem in the shop. They said on first look that there was no coolant in the sytem. They set me up with a rental car, and I proceeded to my meeting, 1 ½ hours late.

Later in the afternoon, I spoke with the service manager, who told me that “something strange is going on” with the car, and They would need to keep it over the weekend. I drove the rental car back to Boston that evening.

So now it is Saturday morning, and I am wondering how things are going to go next week. I am in Boston driving a rental car, and my car is at a Honda dealer in CT. I really can not afford to take a day off from work to drive there and pick up my car and drop off the rental. Here are some questions I have that I would like some thoughts on:

Should I expect or demand that my local Honda dealer (from whom I bought the car) drive the rental back and pick up the Element for me when it has been repaired?

Should I expect Honda to cover the expense of the tow and the loaner car?

Should I be worried about the Element and any long term damage the incident may of had on the car?

Is there anything else I should be concerned about?

thanks for your thoughts.
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Prior to my Element, we had a 99 Dodge and a Honda.

The same thing happened to my 99 Dodge, and I came to find out that the car was produced (designed) with a bad Head Gasket. Dodge fixed all with less than 60,000 miles - if you had more miles - too bad. No adjustment - no help. They even redesigned the part.

Since I drive a lot, I was past the 60,000 miles. I had maintained the vehicle exactly according to the manual, etc. Just a bad design.

Will never buy another Dodge as long as I live. I spoke to everyone in that company in an attempt to get some $$ to repair the engine with no success.
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