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Hey guys, been a while since I posted... Just took my E into the mechanic for the first time since I got her. Here's my story <g> Hopefully it'll help someone out who is experiencing similar problems.

Firstly - I LOVE my E. Best 'car' I've ever owned!

I bought it used (06 AWD EXP) in January. I noticed 'breaks are bad' noises when stopping, other than that it was great. I took it into a Honda dealer (can I name the jerks here?) and paid $100 for them to give it a once over. They told me the serpentine was bad but everything was great. I gave them a heads up on the brakes (they say probably just rust from sitting, they're fine). I thought this was BS as I'd test driven it twice and the rust wouldve broken up, but whatever - I read on the forums that the brake noise is a known 'problem' with the E.

I also asked if the clunking from the back is normal going over bumps and such(they said yes. "We don't put all the insulation back there that we do in the Pilot. It's a loud vehicle") Never having been in an Element (and having in peoples Wranglers and such) I believed it. Oh, they did tell me the serpentine belt would need replacement. I negotiated this off the price of the car.

I started noticing an intermittent, light scraping sound. Mostly at low speeds, in a parking garage or next to jersey barriers. For a couple months I hoped it was nothing, but thought it was maybe a bad wheel baring.

A week or so ago it started making a "chain scraping on asphalt" sound when crusing down the highway. Again, intermittently. Then the other day it made a loud grinding / scraping noise making a sharp left turn. It then repeated this noise a few more times over the past 2 days (Yes, I procrastinate).

I checked the forum (you all are great) and saw the post on the struts and on the transfer case. Thinking my transfer case needed new fluid I freaked and brought it right into the shop (I don't want to have to replace a transfer case due to my negligence in changing the fluid).

Anywho, just got a call from my guy. $992.29 (and I threw in an oil change to push me over $1k)

* Rear brakes are shot
* One rear caliper is stuck
* E-brake shoes are GONE
* Rear struts are bad
* Serpentine belt still needs replacing.

So that's that. On the plus side, I'm excited to get her back and see how she should REALLY be handling! I loved her with bad struts, so any ride improvement is just gravy!

I can't blame this all on the Honda dealership, but I do harbor some resentment.

Yes, I should have done the serpentine belt right away. Yes I put 7k miles on it since I bought it. But I find it hard to believe that the rear brakes went from 75% to bad in that amount of time with no underlying issue to cause it (plus it's a standard, I downshift!). And I'm NOW certain the struts were bad when I bought it.

Anyways - the lesson I learned is bring the car to a trusted local mechanic and NOT some random dealer if you're buying used. Sadly the E I fell in love with was 50 miles out of town.

I still love my E and can't wait to have her back and better than ever.

:)
 

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Sorry to hear about your woes with your E, especially with a dealer telling you everything but the belt was OK. I'm sure you will not go back there again. I have 102K+ on my E and never had the calipers freeze up. I follow some of the posts on this forum that suggest you lubricate the sliding points on the caliper periodically especially if you live in the North where the road chemicals in the winter are bad for all exposed auto parts. Being from Virginia I do it anyway. So far so good. I can see the E brake wearing out especially if were adjusted improperly or if it was driven without the brake being released. The rear shocks are anyone's guess. It depends how the E is driven and road surface condition. Hope it is all better when you get her back.
 
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