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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There are quite a few discussions, in this forum and others, about Elements that develop a shimmy, and now mine has done so. It is a 2008 EX with 121,000.

a. There is a barely perceptible wobble felt when moderately accelerating from zero up to less than 10 mph.
b. There is a dramatic shimmy of the entire vehicle from 45-60 mph, but none to speak of in the steering wheel.
c. The shimmy only happens when the accelerator is depressed. There is no shimmy when it is not. I recently had the tires checked and rebalanced.
d. I've had two motor mounts replaced without any improvement.
e. A mechanic detached the driveshaft from the rear wheels and drove it without eliminating the shimmy.

I’ve just returned from the Honda dealer in Lexington, KY today, and they diagnose this:

“The axles may have dried up grease inside the boots. When driving the axles are turning against dried chunks, causing a vibration.” Also, “the left front strut is leaking excessively.”

The word “may” looms pretty big. My experienced independent mechanic says he has never seen “dried chunks” of grease inside boots, and he doubts this diagnosis. The fact that the dealer says “may” seems to leave serious wiggle room. Either there are chunks visible or there are not. If chunks are the problem, why between 45 and 60 mph, but barely at all below, and none at all at a higher speed? If that is the problem, can't chunks of grease be knocked away or dissolved?

Would anyone like to share an opinion about this problem and the dealer’s diagnosis?
 

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My first thought when reading the symptoms is a worn/failing CV half-shaft. One of my E's has a blown boot on one of the CV shafts and it developed the same symptoms - a bad shimmy right around 45-55 mph that is more noticeable if I am accelerating into that range - if I hit that speed and quit accelerating, it goes away.
 

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Sounds like time for new struts and axle shafts.

Not a big deal.
 

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Agree with the above 2, likely half-shaft issue. The dried up grease thing sounds weird, but from your description it definitely sounds like the shafts to me.
 

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Came here for exactly this issue. It appeared right after replacing my struts. I did notice a ripped boot and some grease leakage.

I'll start with the half shaft and report to the collective on the results.

So how dangerous is it to drive with this issue? It will be another week or two before I can conveniently get to it.
 

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So how dangerous is it to drive with this issue? It will be another week or two before I can conveniently get to it.
One of my E's currently has the same situation - torn boot and the car shimmies at ~45-55mph. It's my back up car so only use sporadically and haven't gotten around to fixing it...it doesn't seem to get any worse but not the most comforting thought wondering when the joint eventually seizes or totally comes apart, so ultimately I don't recommend relying on it very heavily in that condition.
 

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This was my experience also, and it turned out to be the drive axles. Had them replaced and the shuddering vibration upon acceleration went away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Repair

There are reports online by people who have had problems with non-Honda replacement axels. Non-Honda front axel replacement will cost me $500, but with Honda about double that. Should I risk the cheaper option?
 

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There are reports online by people who have had problems with non-Honda replacement axels. Non-Honda front axel replacement will cost me $500, but with Honda about double that. Should I risk the cheaper option?
OEM half-shafts are about $500 for the pair from Majestic Honda (likely a much cheaper price then what you'll get quoted by your local deal for the parts). In all likelihood you only have one axle going bad, so you have the option of just replacing that one for now unless both are having issues or showing signs of wear. I've never priced having this work done by a mechanic, so not sure what they would charge but I would like to think you could get one of them replaced for more in the $500-$600 range (?). Either way, if you have plans to keep your car for the long haul, I would advise OEM parts, especially for something critical like this and also something that has a reputation of not being great on the aftermarket realm.

Note - update your profile to include the year and model of your E and it will be easier for folks to give more accurate info on parts prices, repairs etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
OEM half-shafts are about $500 for the pair from Majestic Honda (likely a much cheaper price then what you'll get quoted by your local deal for the parts). In all likelihood you only have one axle going bad, so you have the option of just replacing that one for now unless both are having issues or showing signs of wear. I've never priced having this work done by a mechanic, so not sure what they would charge but I would like to think you could get one of them replaced for more in the $500-$600 range (?). Either way, if you have plans to keep your car for the long haul, I would advise OEM parts, especially for something critical like this and also something that has a reputation of not being great on the aftermarket realm.

Note - update your profile to include the year and model of your E and it will be easier for folks to give more accurate info on parts prices, repairs etc.
Thanks. Each of the three shops I’ve talked to told me I have no choice but to replace both axles. An independent shop told me that Honda axles would cost 700, while after market would be about 200 for the pair. The weird dealer evaluation about the hard grease don’t guide me toward one axle or the other. I don’t actually believe the diagnosis of hard grease, though.

I put my model year in the first post, but I’ll try to add it to the profile.

(I’m not familiar with the descriptions of the models in the profile. I guess AT is all-terrain, but I don’t know what MT is, and I don’t know what mine is aside from a 2008 4cyl EX 4WD. So, I don’t know what to select.)
 

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It makes same to replace both at the same time. It was a big investment for me. I think it was around $1200 through the dealer. I asked them for a discount and they gave me one just for asking, something like 15%. Told the customer service rep after the diagnosis that it was a lot of money for me.
 

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(I’m not familiar with the descriptions of the models in the profile. I guess AT is all-terrain, but I don’t know what MT is, and I don’t know what mine is aside from a 2008 4cyl EX 4WD. So, I don’t know what to select.)
AT - Automatic Transmission
MT - Manual Transmission
 

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inquiry

I have the same issue. I have not addressed it yet. Shimmy under load(weighed down) & accelerating 45-50mph. I did inspect the boots on the cv. They are in good condition and there is no play in the cv themselves.

Im still researching, before acting. People suggest either replacing the axles or mounts. Will inspect all the mounts next weekend.

If someone resolves their issue, im definitely curious. im at 118k.
 
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