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Conditions – cold and or wet weather. (low 50s and below if wet, under 40 if dry) Not 100% of time, intermittant, but getting worse as the temps get seasonal (Middle Jersey.)

Prior to start –
Green key light flashing. Dome light, if set to turn on when door is open, is also flashing intermittently prior to door being open.

Attempting to start –
Turn key to start, car tries but cannot. Key back to insert position – clicking sound under dash, near lower area of passenger door. Clicking continues while key is in insert position until car turns over and starts. May take several attempts.

Car is started –
All dash lights and gauges are inoperable, no lights, even when headlights are on. Clicking sound stops, no green key light. Only break light remains on, even if break is disengaged

Solution thus far has been to strike/rap dashboard above steering wheel – usually once – all lighting and gauges engage/light up, car drives as normal.
Is this indicative of a starter issue? Is this a starter issue plus something else? At 600-700 to replace the starter, I want to brace myself if I need additional work done. I have 105k on my car now. Dealer is guessing it is a starter and is already hedging it might be more.
 

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Sounds like you have separate issues. As for the slow cranking have the battery checked or try jump starting to a good battery and see if it cranks faster. As for the blinking lights does you E have a aftermarket alarm in it? As for the dash lights mine does the same and I heard that the module for the dash lights goes bad and causes this. Don;t know what its called.
Welcome to the club.
 

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i had slow crank on my e for about 2.5 year. I got a new battery same issue. Thought it was normal sometimes I also got a clicking sound from the dash and car wouldn't start. last week when the temperature dropped to -1c the car started like it was -50c, the dash clicked at that point as well. i know it wasn't the battery nor the alternator since my battery was always charged. I bought a starter and replaced it, issued fixed. When I took the old one out it was all back from the carbon. 75k on my e.
 

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Low voltage will certainly cause all of the listed items. If the battery is old, you should replace it, also make sure none of the lights are staying on after shutting the doors causing a battery drain.
 

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2008 Element EX AWD
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Conditions – cold and or wet weather. . . .

Car is started –
All dash lights and gauges are inoperable, no lights, even when headlights are on. Clicking sound stops, no green key light. Only brake light remains on, even if break is disengaged

Solution thus far has been to strike/rap dashboard above steering wheel – usually once – all lighting and gauges engage/light up, car drives as normal.
Is this indicative of a starter issue? . . .
No. How hard do you think you're hitting the dashboard, that the vibration would carry down to the starter?

Test the ignition switch. If there's no, or intermittent voltage present at pin V3 when the switch is in IG II, the switch or its wiring is bad. Re-seat each of the connectors you can reach on the underdash fuse/relay panel. Check the ground connection under the dashboard on the left side of the footwell.
 

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Dapollock - Check out this post "immobilizer problem without key even near ignition switch!" It's in this category - Problems and Issues - a few pages into it and I think that may address your problem. Have a great day!
 

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Starting issue fixed!!!!

Hi all, I'm new here but wanted to pass on the info that has help HUGE for our 2003 Element EX. Your starting problem is the "meter assembly", or as I would call it, your dash cluster. My wife and I had the same trouble for almost 2 years and it was getting worse with time. It took me a ton of digging to find the correct solution, but this worked!!!! If this is posted elsewhere on this site I apologize for reposting, but this should be a sticky because it is becoming more common with age of Elements and it is so darn annoying!

Symtoms:
-key would not start motor (would turn over but not start)
-green key light would flash in dash cluster
-dome light would also flash with the green key light
-after you waited (5-15 minutes), you would hear a click and then you could start it up
-dash lights would not work sometimes, but if you gave the dash a firm hit they would work again (this also includes your gauges, they would not work as well)

Solution:
When it acts up, turn the key to the off position, then turn on your windshield wiper blades to the 2nd position and now start it...should fire up (and you don't have to wait for the click sound or the green key light to stop flashing to start it). This helped us until I replaced the dash cluster. I found the dash cluster ("meter assembly" which has several product numbers at Honda, but the difference is the color) for below $300 shipped and this has solved our problem. We are just now over 1000 miles and there has not been another issue since!!!! I should also add that this is very simple to replace and took me less then 15min. The only problem is now our cluster is reading just over 1000 miles on it, instead of the 142,000. Cheers and Happy New Year!
 

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I'm having a similar issue with a new to me Element.

I drove the car last night with zero issues. When coming back to the car 2 hours later, I get:

a loud clicking, like from a relay, coming from the lower right (passenger side), near the passenger's feet.

green key immobilizer light is on

dash lights come on when key is in middle position and go dark after starting the car

car runs and drives but without dash lights, speedo, tach, nothing.


Is the above post on track? I need a new cluster?
 

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For me I placed a small mini fuse between the connectors top and bottom. There are two green connector plug-ins on the back and it seems to make it more stable from moving up and down. It's been about a month with no issues I guess time will tell.
 

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Can you explain that with a little more detail? You mean on the back of the instrument cluster? I don't understand the function of the fuse.

Thanks!
 

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No problem... Like I was saying on the back of the cluster there are two plugs that connect to the gauge. There is about 1/8" to 3/16" open gap that surrounds each plug. I just happen to have some spare MINI fuses in my E, I used a needle nose pliar to shove one fuse on the top and one on the bottom of the plug. This stopped the plug from having any type of play up and down. Once you remove the cluster you will have a better picture of what I'm talking about. If these directions don't help post back and I can snap some pics and post.
 

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Ok, I get it. After reading the other thread I "fixed" my issue by banging on top of the dash. :)

I already ordered a new console though.
 

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Ramblerdan, correct "wedge"... If this backyard idea works it sure beats spending 300 new cluster gauge. Before we know it half the E's out there are gonna have a milage marker on there door...
 

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So I replaced my instrument cluster and the problem hasn't returned.

I tried jiggling the connectors but couldn't see how shimming would help the situation. I couldn't reproduce the problem by jiggling or pushing on the connectors. Since I had already ordered the instrument cluster, I just installed it. So far so good.
 

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I was having the same problem especially when it had been cooler out. I discovered while replacing the bulbs on the back of my instrument cluster/gauges that the problem was the a worn connection of the male and female ends of where the instrument cluster plugs in more particularly the larger connection on the passenger side of the instrument cluster.

While waiting for my bulbs I had my cluster un screwed and loose for about a week. Once I couldn't start my Element and the other time my gauges went out while driving. I just pushed in the connection on the back of the cluster/gauges and bam! Back in business.

The longterm fix is to add electrical grease to the male and female ends of the connection. Watch this video on how to remove the gauges/instrument cluster. It's easier than you might think.
 
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