Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have excellent threads on maintenance issues. And, we have lots of threads on this problem or that. How about a preventive action thread for emerging failure trends. The nice thing here being I don't see that many of these trends on our tusty E's overall. (This is different from already scheduled maintenance..it's more of a..well, see below.)

Perhaps some input from those mechanically inclined on these subjects to start:
- Suspension: Seems to be a fair number of folks running into replacement needs especially on front suspension pieces.
--Ways to inspect, what to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Brakes: All over the map from needing them right away to lasting almost forever in a few cases. But enough posts of "early" brake pad and/or rotor wear.
-- Ways to inspect, what to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Transmission: IMO, only because Honda motors can run 300k mile without a hiccup does the tranny seem to be a "weak" link sometimes. But with past tranny design failures in some other Honda's the past decade...good to keep tabs.
-- What to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Batteries/Electrical: Another IMO: The electronics seem so sensitive now to the lower voltage of a failing battery, this once fairly straightforward issue becomes a bit more of a mystery nowadays of when to change and what else to do when putting the new one in.

Those are some to start with. Maybe we can label posts with whatever subject you are providing input about (Suspension Tips, etc.)

:cool:?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Perhaps some input from those mechanically inclined on these subjects to start:
- Suspension: Seems to be a fair number of folks running into replacement needs especially on front suspension pieces.
--Ways to inspect, what to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Brakes: All over the map from needing them right away to lasting almost forever in a few cases. But enough posts of "early" brake pad and/or rotor wear.
-- Ways to inspect, what to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Transmission: IMO, only because Honda motors can run 300k mile without a hiccup does the tranny seem to be a "weak" link sometimes. But with past tranny design failures in some other Honda's the past decade...good to keep tabs.
-- What to look/listen/feel for in pending failures
- Batteries/Electrical: Another IMO: The electronics seem so sensitive now to the lower voltage of a failing battery, this once fairly straightforward issue becomes a bit more of a mystery nowadays of when to change and what else to do when putting the new one in.

Those are some to start with. Maybe we can label posts with whatever subject you are providing input about (Suspension Tips, etc.)

:cool:?
I deal every day with preventive maintenance, typically from a OEM list on what to look for. I would say that you really cannot do a whole lot to any one of the items that you mention. The maintenance routines that Honda provides are straight forward, the intent is for someone, anyone to look at the vehicle at those intervals, any good mechanic will look at certain areas to try and find things wrong that is of course how they make there money. For the more mechanically inclined they are probably more guilty of knowing there is a problem and trying to get every extra mile that they can like I do, that is of course why I bought a Honda.

My Honda has not had its first oil change yet, but I will do the following when I get to it as I have done with every other vehicle I own(d). I will put it into your format. I typically do my work on a rack at my part time job but will work out of my driveway in summer. So whilst doing my oil change,


Suspension,
With a pry bar I check for worn ball joints, loose sway bars(links and bushings), both with and with out weight on the wheel, I check the wheel bearings, the differential(s), and brakes by spinning the wheels over by hand.
With weight on the ground I grab the front tires and feel for loose tie rod ends, and check the spring return rate of the suspension looking for bad struts/shocks and listening for squeaks. I would say that takes about 3 minutes mostly while my oil is draining or I am filling it back up.

Brakes,
I inspect at my tire rotation which is every other oil change, or 5,000 miles which ever comes first, the Honda will most likely get 5k oil changes, with Mobil 1. Not allowing corrosion to build up on aluminum rims is esp important which is why I follow this routine. I typically do this after I have changed my oil and inspected the above. Also relating to Aluminum rims I re torque my AL rims after 120 miles or so, another good way to get more miles out of your brakes, improperly torqued wheels will warp rotors.

Transmission,
My vehicles get there tranny fluid dumped at 30k mile intervals, regardless. Unless its a manual, in which case I don't think I have every changed it.
Typically I don't do this, most of my cars required means which I did not own, so a good friend would do this. The Honda has been done already after two days of ownership, it took 10 minutes, and was easier then an oil change and I did it on the ground. Not much else you can do. The only other thing with the trans I make sure there are not any leaks, and that the CV axles, U-joints and diffs all look good and work.

Batteries,
I semi annually VAT test my electrical system. This is not something that every one can do at home, but most of your better parts stores can do it on the car for you these days. It checks battery condition, and alternator output. I also annually clean the terminals, and at oil change if they need to be clean them up again. I also take great care to keep the area between the terminals spot less, this is wear a great deal of discharge can occur on older batteries. I also never ever use wire splices, I would rather die then use those. I always solder, shrink wrap, then tape anything I may repair on wires, inside or out. Those of us who live in the northern climates and work on older cars or outdoor wiring know exactly why that it is.

Just plain driving can give someone with enough car experience a good indication of any problems, for instance after taking a new E for a test drive I got mine which was used. I noticed a small clunk and a little too much body roll while turning. I check the rear sway bar bushings and found that not only were they loose but someone had put electrical tape around them. I looked further and found fairly new links installed. So I removed the old ones and the tape and spent the $8 to buy the new ones and installed them in about 6 minutes.

Chris
 

·
EOC Rank: Crankypants
Joined
·
14,898 Posts
Here's one for ya. The metal clips that hold the outer edges of the front bumper to the inner fender ("nut, clip, 6MM," p/n 90305-SM4-003) and their bolts ("bolt, fender," p/n 90501-SM4-003) are prone to rust.

The clip and bolt are #11 and #12 in this illo:


I've had my bumper off several times and never noticed a problem. Recently I changed my lower radiator hose and had to remove those bolts. No go! Even killed an electric screwdriver before I realized how tight they were on there. Because the clip attaches to plastic and can't be reached from outside, the plastic will tear, and the clip will just turn. I finally had to use a hole cutter to free the bumper. With the clips in a vise and despite liberal use of penetrating oil, the bolts sheared off:



The moral of the story: Any time you have occasion to remove the bumper or inner fender, apply anti-seize compound or grease to the clips and bolts before reinstalling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Good info posted already.

To better explain the concept here: Think of it as asnwering someone's question of: "So what do I need to keep an eye out for with my E?"

Thanks for the posts so far guys.

Best 2 things I just picked up: Check the lug nut torque to prevent rotor warp & ramblerdan's input has me getting new tube of anti-seize next trip to the hardware store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Ok along ramblerdans lines,

Don't put your drain plugs(rear end, trans, and oil) in as tight as it took to remove them or you will find yourself in a world of hurt.

Chris
 

·
EOC Rank: Crankypants
Joined
·
14,898 Posts
Air filter housing screw

On 2003–06 Elements, the upper part of the engine air filter housing is secured to the lower at four points, with captive screws in the upper half and nuts molded into the lower. Apparently water collects at the frontmost/lowest point, because on my car that nut rusted tight. Despite the application of penetrating oil, the screw sheared when I tried to remove it. So I had to drill it out and tap the nut for a slightly larger, non-captive screw.

The lesson: When you replace the air filter, lubricate that nut!

(Don't know whether this applies to 2007–11 Elements.)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top