Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 03 Element EX 2.4L with AT. I bought it used in 06 with approximately 37,000 miles, it now has 99,000 on it and has been virtually trouble free until the past few days. Other then routine fluid changes and brakes, the only thing I had to replace was the rear windshield washer motor (under warranty) and the battery in July 2007. The spark plugs were changed a few weeks ago and a diagonistic check run since the check engine light has come on twice. Both times the light went out after retightening the gas cap. The diagnostic check only showed one code for a bad gas cap. The past few days I've noticed its been "sluggish" when starting. Last night ran to the local convienence store and when I came out to leave it wouldn't start, fortunately I was only a short distance from home and walked back to get my son and the other car to jump start the element. When we got back the element started, but again it was very sluggish. This morning, nothing, wouldn't even crank over. I took the battery back to the parts store where I bought it and had them test it. Test said battery was good, but the fella at the store offered me a pro rated replacement for a new one. We discussed the fact that it might be the alternator and installing a new battery would rule out the battery as the reason it wasn't starting. Got home and tested the new battery with my meter to make sure it was O.K., 12.5 VDC so I knew the new battery was good. Put it in and connected the cables back. Turned the key, nothing, no clicks, no cranking just silence. All the indicator lights were on the dash. Turn the key to the off position and the little green key light was blinking until I took the key out of the ignition. Rechecked the cables to make sure they were on properly and tightened, everything O.K. there. I couldn't even get it started to check to see if the alterntor is/was doing its job of recharging the battery. I then checked all the fuses under the dash and under the hood, all of them were fine. I'm by no means a mechanic, and these new cars are all just wires and cable harnesses under the hood. I have no clue what might be the problem and could use any help you can offer before I have to call a towing service to have it flatbedded to a repair shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
sounds like the starter would be a good place to begin looking. A new battery should be able to get it started, the alternator just keeps the battery charged so that would rule out the alternator.

You have ruled out the obvious (Battery and alternator), the next obvious would be the starter motor. You can try hitting the starter with a hammer, don't break the housing! lol But if that allows you to start it then that is the broken part. If you still can't start it... I would still say it is the starter.



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

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
sounds like the starter would be a good place to begin looking. A new battery should be able to get it started, the alternator just keeps the battery charged so that would rule out the alternator.

You have ruled out the obvious (Battery and alternator), the next obvious would be the starter motor. You can try hitting the starter with a hammer, don't break the housing! lol But if that allows you to start it then that is the broken part. If you still can't start it... I would still say it is the starter.
Would definitely agree with the above statement. The mitsuba starters are not what they used to be and your at that age where this would be the lead culprit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I don't know Honda starter can be rebuilt with new contacts or not.
My old 4Runner I had to rebuild starter approx. every 70,000 miles or so. It was very easy to rebuild contacts, but pain of xxx to remove & install.
 

·
Premium Member
2007 Element EX TRP
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
Honda (and Acura) starters CAN be rebuilt, rebuilt one in my Acura Integra (QUITE a bit less than new). Most auto parts stores will test parts like the starter for free, so, try that first. Hopefully that is your solution to your problem, vice other issues..... :rolleyes::razz:

No, not the easiest to remove, tho...... :sad: :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,238 Posts
With no click, when you try to start, that's usually not the starter.

Look at all the connections, not just the the battery. See if you have a good ground to the block.

Do all of the dash lights come on? Do the headlights work ok? Do they look dim?


Also fill in your profile. It will help us out some.

Dom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The mechanic (one who I can actually trust) who has done work on it in the past stopped by last night and went through a bunch of checks. The dash lights all come on, headlights work and don't dim so the results of his checks/tests point to the starter as the culprit but he wouldn't rule out a relay or something. This is the first time that I ever purchased an extended service contract on a car and in speaking with the warranty company these types of repairs and towing are covered, so the element gets to take a ride on the flatbed to the shop today to get fixed. When he showed me where the starter was located there was no way I would even attempt to replace it myself. I'll leave it up to the shop to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
The mechanic (one who I can actually trust) who has done work on it in the past stopped by last night and went through a bunch of checks. The dash lights all come on, headlights work and don't dim so the results of his checks/tests point to the starter as the culprit but he wouldn't rule out a relay or something. This is the first time that I ever purchased an extended service contract on a car and in speaking with the warranty company these types of repairs and towing are covered, so the element gets to take a ride on the flatbed to the shop today to get fixed. When he showed me where the starter was located there was no way I would even attempt to replace it myself. I'll leave it up to the shop to fix.
My wife's 2005 CR-V has this happen on a rare occasion. I suspect it to be a contact in the gear lever interlock. When I rattle the gearstick, the car starts immediatly...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
My wife's 2005 CR-V has this happen on a rare occasion. I suspect it to be a contact in the gear lever interlock. When I rattle the gearstick, the car starts immediatly...
I am suspect of something electrical vs the starter myself. Just like mentioned above with a relay or the ignition switch itself where it is not engaging the starter relay/harness. (Granted it was long ago but I always encountered a couple of intermittent startingfailures before those starters would fully go out.)

Really looking forward to hearing the fix...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I've had the exact same problem and symptoms on two different vehicles- lights are OK, not dim, just won't start.

Neither time was it the starter- it was bad battery cables. The last time, the first set of replacement battery cables were also bad- so I had to change them twice.

FYI, as a general rule, whenever I do have to change a starter, I ALWAYS change the cables, too. They aren't that expensive (relative to a starter), and they are usually either bad or going that way rapidly when it is time to change the starter anyway.

Hope this helps...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the tips, the cables were checked last night and were O.K. The shop just called and after doing the diagnostic check it is the starter. One word of caution on extended warranties/service contracts your dealer may try to sell you, if your vehicle mileage is near the expiration mileage (1000 miles or less) most of the companies that offer these warranties will want to have a local "inspector" verify VIN and mileage before authorizing the repair. This could take days, fortunately the rep at the insurance company will accept a digital picture of the VIN and odometer reading. They said they like to resolve the claim asap rather then have to pay an "inspector". The CS rep I spoke with at the warranty company even told me that the shop had called and this was an acceptable solution. Hopefully the purchase of the extended warranty wasn't a waste of good money after all, time will tell, waiting to hear back from the shop that the work has been O.K'd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The E is back on the road. It was the starter that was the problem. It was a good thing we purchased the extended warranty coverage, it was $522.00 to fix, the major portion being the cost of the starter itself, over $300.00. the warranty covered every penny including the tow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Same problem just in the past 2 weeks

HI Jeff!

I also have an 03 Element, EX AT model. WHich honestly has been problem free. A year or so ago i changed the battery. But it definately is no more than 18 months. ANd in the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing the SAME PROBLEM! EXCEPT: on the first try to start the car, it sounds like it wants to kick over..but won't. so i turn it off, and go to turn it back on and usually on the 2nd try, it just clicks, then on the 3rd try it happens to start. Once it is started, there are no issues! ALso, please note this is not always happening every time i jump in the car to go. At first it happend once, then almost exactly a week later, now its almost every couple days. I am creeping up on 95,000 miles.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my mechanic to run the chargingi system check. Hopefully that will give me answers. I am leaning towards the starter. :-(

But our problem sounds very similar. ALso I live in NH and we have had some pretty cold nights in the past few weeks. And the first time this occured, my gas tank was almost on Empty (shame on me for letting it get that low), so i thought it just needed some gas. But now it's occuring with a full tank.

Good luck!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
HI Jeff!

I also have an 03 Element, EX AT model. WHich honestly has been problem free. A year or so ago i changed the battery. But it definately is no more than 18 months. ANd in the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing the SAME PROBLEM! EXCEPT: on the first try to start the car, it sounds like it wants to kick over..but won't. so i turn it off, and go to turn it back on and usually on the 2nd try, it just clicks, then on the 3rd try it happens to start. Once it is started, there are no issues! ALso, please note this is not always happening every time i jump in the car to go. At first it happend once, then almost exactly a week later, now its almost every couple days. I am creeping up on 95,000 miles.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my mechanic to run the chargingi system check. Hopefully that will give me answers. I am leaning towards the starter. :-(

But our problem sounds very similar. ALso I live in NH and we have had some pretty cold nights in the past few weeks. And the first time this occured, my gas tank was almost on Empty (shame on me for letting it get that low), so i thought it just needed some gas. But now it's occuring with a full tank.

Good luck!!!

Soemthing that happens rarely and then becomes more and more frequent is a classic sympthom of corrosion. I woulod agree with an earlier poster that you might want to look really CLOSE at all the cables and connections....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Starter it is!!!

Had the Element in my shop yeterday, my mechanic pulled apart everything. Everything is GREAT - EXCEPT the starter. He said it really isn't terrible yet, but still I am having it replaced this Tuesday. Total bill Parts & Labor: $367.50
Not to shabby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
A lot of the time the starter itself is not at fault. It is the copper contacts in the starter selonoid have worn out. The solid copper contacts are spring loaded and everytime you go to start the vehicle a little bit of the copper gets arced away. And the contacts also get blackened with oxidation. This is why sometimes wacking a starter will sometimes clean off the contacts allowing just a few more starts.

MrBill5
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top