Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my story. Any advice you guys have is greatly appreciated...

I had been dreaming about purchasing a 2007 SC and finally got a Certified Used one at a dealer. The dealer is 2.5 hours from where I live, but I was so happy because it had less than 17,000 miles and was in good condition, so I made the trip.
Exactly one week after I drove it off the lot, it overheated and I pulled over to find out that there was no coolant in the radiator. I called the dealer and told them to document the issue.
The next weekend, it overheated again and the radiator was empty but the reserve was full. I promptly called the dealer and made an appointment to come in.
I drove all the way up there and waited for 3 hours for them to tell me that it was merely "air bubbles". Annoyed, but relieved, I drove home.
The next weekend it overheated again and this time I didn't add coolant and called the dealer and said that they had to pick it up and fix it right this time.
They wanted me to pay for towing, which would have cost way more than the $100 that Hondacare covers, but I was pretty mad, so they had their people come and tow it up to their service center.
After not having the car for a week, the finally figured that they had to replace the engine head. (Mind you, I only owned the car for about a month and I was pretty pissed).
They brought the car back and the next week, the Engine Malfunction Indicator Light went on while driving, and then both VSA lights went on, then the car started to jerk and choke on the highway if I went above 2.5 rpms.
I had to pullover and call Hondacare, but they couldn't get the car towed back because it would entail driving across the state line or something. So I drove slowly home freaking out.
I called the dealer the next morning, and they wanted me to drive it up to them, but after speaking to several managers, they sent someone to drive it up and now they said "We found that when we sent the head gasket out to be examined and repaired, a few of the shavings (from cutting the metal) got inside and clogged the solenoid and that is what is causing the blockage."
So finally, this is the 3rd attempt at repair, and I am not optimistic at all.
I feel totally cheated and have experienced more problems with this car than I did with 3 years of my Nissan Altima, which I wish I kept. I know that most Elements are reliable, and that is why I purchased one, but I feel completely screwed and the car of my dreams has become the car of my nightmares. I owned it for less than 2 months and not sure what to do.
Please help ;(
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Here's my story. Any advice you guys have is greatly appreciated...

I had been dreaming about purchasing a 2007 SC and finally got a Certified Used one at a dealer. The dealer is 2.5 hours from where I live, but I was so happy because it had less than 17,000 miles and was in good condition, so I made the trip.
Exactly one week after I drove it off the lot, it overheated and I pulled over to find out that there was no coolant in the radiator. I called the dealer and told them to document the issue.
The next weekend, it overheated again and the radiator was empty but the reserve was full. I promptly called the dealer and made an appointment to come in.
I drove all the way up there and waited for 3 hours for them to tell me that it was merely "air bubbles". Annoyed, but relieved, I drove home.
The next weekend it overheated again and this time I didn't add coolant and called the dealer and said that they had to pick it up and fix it right this time.
They wanted me to pay for towing, which would have cost way more than the $100 that Hondacare covers, but I was pretty mad, so they had their people come and tow it up to their service center.
After not having the car for a week, the finally figured that they had to replace the engine head. (Mind you, I only owned the car for about a month and I was pretty pissed).
They brought the car back and the next week, the Engine Malfunction Indicator Light went on while driving, and then both VSA lights went on, then the car started to jerk and choke on the highway if I went above 2.5 rpms.
I had to pullover and call Hondacare, but they couldn't get the car towed back because it would entail driving across the state line or something. So I drove slowly home freaking out.
I called the dealer the next morning, and they wanted me to drive it up to them, but after speaking to several managers, they sent someone to drive it up and now they said "We found that when we sent the head gasket out to be examined and repaired, a few of the shavings (from cutting the metal) got inside and clogged the solenoid and that is what is causing the blockage."
So finally, this is the 3rd attempt at repair, and I am not optimistic at all.
I feel totally cheated and have experienced more problems with this car than I did with 3 years of my Nissan Altima, which I wish I kept. I know that most Elements are reliable, and that is why I purchased one, but I feel completely screwed and the car of my dreams has become the car of my nightmares. I owned it for less than 2 months and not sure what to do.
Please help ;(
Thanks!
Sorry that you are having the problems you stated. You are correct in saying that the Element is a reliable unit. I can attest to that after having driven mine over 104K with no issues. Reading between the lines it seems there are some inexperienced technicians doing the work on your E. You stated that the dealer said "there may have been some shavings in the system that was causing a clog". Any mechanic worth his salt would ensure the cylinder head was clean before it was re-installed. This is a sloppy work ethic. I cannot believe the vehicle is certified and this issue would have surfaced during the certification process. I would allow the dealer to repair the vehicle for you and if the problem persists I would demand a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle and dump it. Seems they have had ample opportunity to correct the problem for you. It is possible that you may have a lemon and that is the reason it was traded with 17K on the clock. Just a guess.
Just stand your ground and keep us informed on the outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry that you are having the problems you stated. You are correct in saying that the Element is a reliable unit. I can attest to that after having driven mine over 104K with no issues. Reading between the lines it seems there are some inexperienced technicians doing the work on your E. You stated that the dealer said "there may have been some shavings in the system that was causing a clog". Any mechanic worth his salt would ensure the cylinder head was clean before it was re-installed. This is a sloppy work ethic. I cannot believe the vehicle is certified and this issue would have surfaced during the certification process. I would allow the dealer to repair the vehicle for you and if the problem persists I would demand a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle and dump it. Seems they have had ample opportunity to correct the problem for you. It is possible that you may have a lemon and that is the reason it was traded with 17K on the clock. Just a guess.
Just stand your ground and keep us informed on the outcome.
You are so right about the sloppy work/repair that they have consistently been doing on the car. I have no doubt that a problem like this should have been found during their supposed 100 point inspection, but I remember getting a service brake/oil maintanance light the first week too and they just said that they forgot to reset it.
I just have no trust in anything that they are doing and at this point, I don't want the car ;(
I think that you're right and I have to wait and see if there is anything wrong after I get the car back tomorrow, but I really don't think that will be the end of it. Thinking of having a talk with Honda Motors America, my lawyer, and the press.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
The part below is what would have me worried. Did they find metal shavings in the VTEC solenoid screen? If they did you have a lot more to worry about. You now have little metal shaving in your motor tearing it up....not good at all!

PS...Honda's are great cars, this sounds like a crappy dealer

John

they said "We found that when we sent the head gasket out to be examined and repaired, a few of the shavings (from cutting the metal) got inside and clogged the solenoid and that is what is causing the blockage."

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
Something is not right here with the story. You stated that the Element overheated at least 3 times and you added coolant twice and didn't add any the 3rd time. Correct? Has the dealer said there wasn't any coolant in the radiator and engine? Do you have any leaks from the engine? If the head was clogged with metal shavings as claimed by the dealer why did this all come to being now and was never seen before?

I would ask the dealer where they got this car from. I would run a CarFax report on the car so you can see the history of ownership. Ask the dealer for a printout of all of the repairs or if they can get them from the servicing dealership. Unfortunately Honda Dealers are not tied together into a nationwide network so you can't see the repairs that were done at another dealer.

Did the mechanic(s) look to see where the metal shavings actually came from? There would not be enough metal shavings in the engine to clog this much from the manufacturing process for any modern engine. The metal shavings that are in the engine from the manufacturing process are all mostly caught by the magnet in the oil pan.

Good luck and please keep us updated on this.



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
So sorry to hear about your horrible experience. It seems you got a lemon, and made worse by a crooked car "stealership". Definitely talk to your lawyer and document everything that happened, including all the phone calls, receipts, etc. I hope you have a Carfax report handy too.

I hope this does not change your feelings towards Honda Elements. I got my E pre-owned with 48k miles, not certified, and from a Nissan dealer. It's almost at 60k now, and I've only done basic oil, fluid, filter changes. I'm sure given the right Element and trusted dealer, you'll enjoy driving your "dream" car in the future. I wish you the very best luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks so much for the supportive responses guys.
The dealer still has the car and I'm still waiting to hear more.

As far as questions about the overheating:
• I constantly checked for any leaks and there were none other than water from the A/C.
• I didn't fill the radiator with coolant the 3rd time because I wanted the dealer to see for themselves that it was empty and that the reserve was full.
• Metal shavings were found in the engine from when they replaced the head the 2nd time the dealer worked on it. They said the head had to replaced and it was why the car was overheating. Unfortunately, metal shavings got in the engine from the replacement, which is what they are saying. So in simpler terms, the last time it overheated, they replaced the head, but then shavings from the new head are clogging things.
• I wanted to take it to my local Honda dealer and build a dialogue with them, but they wouldn't even touch it because it was less than 30 days from purchase and they suggested that I go back to the dealer.


I have documented all of the issues, repairs, and incidents and have witnesses that were in the car each time.
Not sure how to proceed until I get the car back.
Still so upset that I have been without a car so many times since buying it in mid-June.

As far as my love towards Elements, if this one has to go back, I will find another Nighthawk Black SC and hopefully that one will be as reliable as my old trusted Nissan.

Thanks so much again guys. Everything I'm reading helps so much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Good luck!

I just bought an '08 SC in Black...no problems so far...I am hoping you get this sorted and enjoy many trouble-free miles.

-simpson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Thanks so much for the supportive responses guys.
The dealer still has the car and I'm still waiting to hear more.

As far as questions about the overheating:
• I constantly checked for any leaks and there were none other than water from the A/C.
• I didn't fill the radiator with coolant the 3rd time because I wanted the dealer to see for themselves that it was empty and that the reserve was full.
• Metal shavings were found in the engine from when they replaced the head the 2nd time the dealer worked on it. They said the head had to replaced and it was why the car was overheating. Unfortunately, metal shavings got in the engine from the replacement, which is what they are saying. So in simpler terms, the last time it overheated, they replaced the head, but then shavings from the new head are clogging things.
• I wanted to take it to my local Honda dealer and build a dialogue with them, but they wouldn't even touch it because it was less than 30 days from purchase and they suggested that I go back to the dealer.


I have documented all of the issues, repairs, and incidents and have witnesses that were in the car each time.
Not sure how to proceed until I get the car back.
Still so upset that I have been without a car so many times since buying it in mid-June.

As far as my love towards Elements, if this one has to go back, I will find another Nighthawk Black SC and hopefully that one will be as reliable as my old trusted Nissan.

Thanks so much again guys. Everything I'm reading helps so much!
One troubling thing here is in regard to the cylinder head. Do I read that the cylinder head was "new" or was that just a figure of speech? If the cylinder head was new there should not have been any metal shavings whatsoever in a new head. If the cylinder head was resurfaced and not cleaned properly before installation then I can guess the source of the shavings was from a machine shop. In any event it goes back to sloppy work habits on the part of the technician(s). Reading through your posts it amounts to a comedy of errors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
"BUBBLES" in the cooling sytem? What a load of S#!T!! You have an issue that this dealer cannot comprehend. If you need to contact another dealership or better yet Honda headquarters. I'm sure they would LOVE to hear that one! LMAO!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
"BUBBLES" in the cooling sytem? What a load of S#!T!!....
Actually, there may be more truth to this than you are giving credit for. The E is notorious for having trapped air in the cooling system. If you ever empty it, it takes a while to burp all the air out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,234 Posts
Actually, there may be more truth to this than you are giving credit for. The E is notorious for having trapped air in the cooling system. If you ever empty it, it takes a while to burp all the air out.
I agree, and it's not just Elements that can have this problem. A decent mechanic knows how to "burp" the cooling system after a fill. Obviously supersi1ent hasn't found a decent mechanic.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Guys,

I wanted to thank everyone for all the valuable feedback and advice.

Here's my update:
After the 3rd and last repair, I haven't had one problem since.
I did call Honda America and they were VERY upset and called the dealership to make sure the last repair was done right.
There were metal shavings from the prior repair and they cleaned them out and solved the other issues.
I've driven it over 1500 miles since and there are no problems as of yet.
I'm still in love with my black SC and now I can move beyond the lame dealership's incompetent personal and build a relationship with my local one.

I'll never ever go there again!

Now, where could I get a cheap matching roof rack for my SC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Hey Guys,

I wanted to thank everyone for all the valuable feedback and advice.

Here's my update:
After the 3rd and last repair, I haven't had one problem since.
I did call Honda America and they were VERY upset and called the dealership to make sure the last repair was done right.
There were metal shavings from the prior repair and they cleaned them out and solved the other issues.
I've driven it over 1500 miles since and there are no problems as of yet.
I'm still in love with my black SC and now I can move beyond the lame dealership's incompetent personal and build a relationship with my local one.

I'll never ever go there again!

Now, where could I get a cheap matching roof rack for my SC.
Glad you got a resoluion to your problem.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top