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WARNING TO ALL 4WD ELEMENT OWNERS:

I just read my owners manual for the first time and came across this warning from Honda: If you break down or need to be towed for any reason, your vehicle MUST be put up on a flatbed truck ONLY and can not be towed, or else damage will occur to the drive train! :shock:

My apologies to any four wheel drive veteran's who already know this and are saying: Duhhh!!!........But, this is for the benifit of any other four wheel drive newbies like myself who had no idea that our E's cannot be towed. Let's all make sure not to park in a tow zone this summer, which could turn out to be very costly!! :-o
 

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The loophole here is that the AWD E can be flat towed safely according to the manual.

When I first saw the thread I was hoping it didn't happen to you and you were now looking at big $$$ repairs and/or litigation with a towing company.
 

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I knew it but i still dont see how putting the car in neutral would hurt it

:shrug:
 

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neutral won't work since the rear clutch is detecting the difference between front axle spin and rear axle spin. so having the front not spinning will engage the rear clutch.

you have to flatbed or tow on a dolly on the back with the front up.


btw, this is one reason to put an AWD or 4WD sticker/emblem on your element. that way, towing companies are warned, and there will be no disputing liability if they tow it and damage the rear drive.
 

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I for one, thank you for pointing this out. The Element is the first 4WD vehicle that I have ever owned or driven for that matter. Thus I wasn't aware of this. I could imagine there are a lot of other people, like me, that might not be aware of this also. Listening to your explaination, it seems logical. The AWD mechanisms in the Element are NOT driver controlled, thus you can't, say, disengage them. Since the system is activated to send power to the rear(?) depending on an absense of traction and assist when needed, if the wheels were lifted from the ground, that would be, "a loss of traction". Am I understanding that correctly?


This is a scary situation that I hope people will realize with any AWD vehicle that might have to have it towed. What are the odds or chances that, when calling for a tow, that the truck operator would recognize this. Or, here is one, living in the Chicago area and recent news stories and scandals.... What if you illegally park or even legally park but get towed anyways. What are the odds that the guy towing your car to the impound would know to flatbed it. This would terrify me about ever driving into the city.
 

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don't be terrified of being towed. just put an AWD sticker on it.

tow guys may be thick, but they don't make the mistake of front-towing an awd. they know it will cost the company big bucks and get them fired.
 

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Don't most tow trucks have a set a dolly wheels? I believe these could be put under one end of the Element, while the other is supported by the hydralic wheel craddle.

paulj
 

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Where do I get one of those "real-time 4wd" stickers for my 03 that I see on later models?

wmas- driving in Chicago isn't THAT bad! :) just very very expensive...
 

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If the truck is in park and the parking brake is set...they dont have much choice but to put one end or the other on dollies anyways.....
 

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Your local dealer or HandA.




jdiane said:
Where do I get one of those "real-time 4wd" stickers for my 03 that I see on later models?

wmas- driving in Chicago isn't THAT bad! :) just very very expensive...
 

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Uncle MIke said:
WARNING TO ALL 4WD ELEMENT OWNERS:

I just read my owners manual for the first time and came across this warning from Honda: If you break down or need to be towed for any reason, your vehicle MUST be put up on a flatbed truck ONLY and can not be towed, or else damage will occur to the drive train! :shock:

My apologies to any four wheel drive veteran's who already know this and are saying: Duhhh!!!........But, this is for the benifit of any other four wheel drive newbies like myself who had no idea that our E's cannot be towed. Let's all make sure not to park in a tow zone this summer, which could turn out to be very costly!! :-o

My manual states that towing behind a motorhome can be done safely as long as all 4 wheels are on the ground up to speeds of 65 mph.(page 198)
 

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well, they aren't really in opposition.

flat towing means towing with all four wheels onthe ground. i've never seen a tow truck flat tow a vehicle, ever.

of course, that would keep the two axles at the same rpm, so wouldn't mess up the awd clutch.
 

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Excuse me for replying to my own post, but I think the answer just came to me:

Technically, all E's can be towed flat, but you have to go thru a couple minutes of preparation, involving running the engine, shifting thru all the gears, etc., etc. (There's more to it that just that.) So, the web page is correct.

OTOH, the owners manual is probably warning about an emergency tow, perhaps where the engine is disabled. Thus, the needed transmission 'foreplay' could not be performed. So the manual is also correct.

Voila! The clestial spheres are back in harmony and all is well on on planet-E once again. Whew... I feel a lot better now.
 

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The manual is talking about tow truck towing, with one set of wheels in the air, and the other set rolling on the ground. That is the big no-no. Pulling it up onto tha flatbed and carrying it there is fine. Towing with the dolly probably is fine. And with care, towing with all 4 wheels on the ground is fine (what RVers refer to as a 'toad'). Tow bar attachments are available for the Element (and essentially the same as for the CRV).

paulj
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
paulj wrote:

The manual is talking about tow truck towing, with one set of wheels in the air, and the other set rolling on the ground. That is the big no-no.
Thank you for clarifying my post. That is exactly what I was referring to and the reason for my warning! Forgive me folks for not quoting Honda from the manual, but I was too lazy to go back and get it after putting it back my car.

Excellant points made here regarding the wisdom behind having a 4WD sticker, and the unlikely probability that a flatbed truck would be automatically dispatched in the event of an accident, breakdown, or tow zone removal. I see it being also very easy for US to forget to insist upon a flatbed tow truck during a traumatic event such as an accident or being stranded on a highway. I'll probably put some sort of reminder sticker on my AAA card as well as on the document folder I keep in the glovebox! :)

I'm hoping Honda's factory sticker: "Realtime 4WD" is enough protection for my E, since the red aftermarket 4WD sticker probably won't look good on my Rallye Red E. :roll:
 

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biocube said:
this is one reason to put an AWD or 4WD sticker/emblem on your element.
Good idea. Do you have a source for one that matches the ELEMENT text on the back well? I'd prefer raised chromy stickon if I can get it, but a decal will suffice. It's my first 4WD vehicle, and I'm kinda proud of it. :)
 

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unless you have an SOP or RR, HandA has a nice red-colored one.

i found my silver one on ebay. the font isn't the element font, but its nice i think.
 

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I'm sorry, but I don't know what SOP or RR stand for yet.

I'll check H&A to see what theirs looks like for my green E ... hm. Not sold on that one, but thanks for the link.
 

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SOP = Sunset Orange
RR = Ralleye Red
SMM = Shoreline Mist
FBM = Fiji Blue
EBM = Eternal Blue
GGM = Galopagos Green
SSM = Satin Silver
NBP = Nighthawk Black
Not sure of the full name or abbreviation for Cargo Khaki. Usually, I have seen it mentioned as Khaki. Nor have I seen an abreviation for Magnesium.

Also, I am probaby missing a color or two here. Just woke up so my brain isn't fully working yet.
 
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