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My element only has 73k miles on it. Could the shocks or struts be bad already? I asked a shop how much it would be to replace the front shocks and they quoted me some stupid figure of $1500 or so. I balked.
 

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It could be a heat shield. Need to diagnose it first. I had a suspension squeak I needed to have the whole assembly (strut tower w/spring and shock) to get rid of (at 33k)

p3
 

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Did you ever get this issue fixed

Im having the exact same issue at 104k miles. Im taking my 2003 E to a mechanic in hollywood to get the transmission oil, the differential fluids, engine oil, powersteering, and spark plugs changed. And also getting my brakes checked. hopefully that fixes the rattling.
 

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transmission oil, the differential fluids, engine oil, powersteering, and spark plugs changed. And also getting my brakes checked. hopefully that fixes the rattling.
Let's go through what you are planning on doing:

Transmission oil: noisy tranny will not even come close to sounding like it's coming from the passenger front, the tranny is on the drivers side. Good idea to change if it's never been done before.

Differential fluid: This is a noise from the rear of the Element and will only be heard during slow speed turns. Needs to be changed every 35-50k, change if needed or if you hear a noise from the rear while turning slowly in circles.

Engine oil: Completely different type of noise. Only change if it's time.

Power steering: This will generally be a high pitched squeal, not a rattle. If you hear a rattle from the steering, STOP, it means something is going to not allow you to steer your vehicle.

Spark plugs: Seriously? These will never make noise, unless they have broken and are being crushed by the pistons. 104k and you've never changed them, good idea to change them.

Check your suspension, bushings, swaybar bushings, wheel bearing, brake pads, brake rotor... these items have a much higher likelihood of being the reason for your noise than any of the items on your list. Save your money unless you really need to perform the maintenance items you listed.

HTH



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actually i did most of those things because my E needed them not just because of the rattling. I only really wanted to change my power steering and Diff Fluids to see if that got rid of the noise but it didnt. Everything else was just due to my car needing it. Im convinced the rattling is probably coming from the right wheel rotor (looks rusted) hitting some brake shield (if that even exists on my E) I had a ford mustang that made this exact noise and it was the brake dust shield hitting the rotor. I took off the front wheels of my car and checked the brakes, and they looked fine, suspension feels good. spdrcr5 ill take your advice and check the wheel bearings and the bushings, (just need to find out how they look like). I did notice after lifting my car up that the right wheel wiggle just a bit inwards and outwards, towards the engine and outwards towards the sidewalk. as in if you grab the top and bottom of the wheel and pull the top and pull the bottom it moves just a bit and not the left wheel one. I may need to tighten something up here.
 

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actually i did most of those things because my E needed them not just because of the rattling. I only really wanted to change my power steering and Diff Fluids to see if that got rid of the noise but it didnt. Everything else was just due to my car needing it. Im convinced the rattling is probably coming from the right wheel rotor (looks rusted) hitting some brake shield (if that even exists on my E) I had a ford mustang that made this exact noise and it was the brake dust shield hitting the rotor. I took off the front wheels of my car and checked the brakes, and they looked fine, suspension feels good. spdrcr5 ill take your advice and check the wheel bearings and the bushings, (just need to find out how they look like). I did notice after lifting my car up that the right wheel wiggle just a bit inwards and outwards, towards the engine and outwards towards the sidewalk. as in if you grab the top and bottom of the wheel and pull the top and pull the bottom it moves just a bit and not the left wheel one. I may need to tighten something up here.

What you are describing are the symptoms of a loose lower ball joint....Something that you need to get checked out ASAP. There should not be anymovement at all.
 

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problem fixed. it was the wheel bearing making all the rattling noise. Cost me $100 per wheel bearing (i got each side replaced) My E still makes an occasional popping noise when going over bumbs, the mechanic said i need to change my struts.
 

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That is a really good deal, and yeah that kind of movement is a lower ball joint. Get the Moog replacement instead of the entire knuckle from Honda.
 
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