Honda Element Owners Club banner

41 - 60 of 72 Posts

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Alright, so last night I placed an order with Majestic Honda for a couple of maintenance items -- 2 quarts of Dual Pump II, crush washers for the differential and oil drain plugs, and a round of OEM brake pads. I was really considering the Hawk HPS pads but OEM was cheaper and I was trying to order everything from as few places as possible

I also placed an order on Amazon for a cheap pump to get the fluid into the differential and a billet battery hold-down to replace the bungee cord that's currently strapping down the heavy, upsized group 34 AGM battery.

I decided on Falken Wildpeak AT3W @ $127 each over Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S @ $149 each. The reviews were generally positive for the Falkens whereas the Coopers got a mixed reception. I do mostly city and highway driving which the Coopers seem better at but the Falkens seem to offer more bang for the buck. Then I read from a guy who apparently works for Cooper that both the Wildpeaks and Discoverers are produced at the same factory from the same rubber but with a different tread mold. So I dunno. Either way, the Wildpeaks win. But first I need to get that strut taken care of.

I forgot I've got a 5-year/100k mile extended warranty through Freedom Warranty. I should be able to place a claim with them and get the strut taken care of for $100 (the deductible) but I'd like to at least replace both front struts so I don't have one new strut and one original strut. Does anyone have any experience with Freedom? The reviews online don't sound to good.

I'll leave you with this shot I took this morning when I got to work.

EDIT: Canceled the battery hold-down with Amazon and got a different one off eBay. Roughly the same price but this one will get here sooner and is silver instead of red. Also made a local stop and picked up a new cabin air filter (Fram #CF10135) and can of Seafoam which I dumped half of (~8 oz.) into the crankcase since I'll be changing the oil later this month.

203480
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #42
So I just got off work, dropped the glove compartment to replace my cabin air filter for the first time since purchasing my E over 2 years ago, and this is what I find. No filter trays, no filter trays cover. :rolleyes:

Time to place another order with Majestic Honda.

203482
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
While waiting for all the other parts to arrive, I thought I would finally convert the factory 3.5mm aux jack to USB. I did this last night using nothing more than a cordless drill, a small file, and an Xacto knife. It snapped into place rather solidly -- no adhesive required.

203504


203505


203506
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #44
Right now, Amazon has 5 quart jugs of Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-20 for the insane price of $18.04 each. I'm a Prime member so I just picked up 3 jugs for $54.12, tax free (how I'm not sure), shipped free. I change my oil every 6 months regardless of mileage so that's enough for the next 18 months.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
Do you have the specific part? This is EXACTLY what I want to do to mine.
Yeah, its this one:


After installing it, however, I'm not sure I can recommend it. The USB ports are way too tight. I can't really use them as-is. I thought about trying to fix it but I prefer to keep my flash drive with all my MP3s tucked away in the glove box. There might be a better quality USB panel on Amazon that would work.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #50
Dropped my E off at the dealership last night so that it would be there first thing this morning. They're going to inspect the suspension as well as do a "multi-point inspection" and submit a repair estimate to my extended warranty provider. If the provider accepts the warranty claim, I'll leave the E to have the work done. If not, I'll pay for the inspection and do the work myself.

Fingers crossed!
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
Got an update from Greenway Honda of Florence, where the Element is now.

The service advisor told me the cause of the vibration is not the suspension as I suspected. What happened was a band separated in one of the tires. I planned on replacing the tires anyway but not with the tires the advisor mentioned so I'm not too concerned about that right now... unless I should be. I'm honestly not sure how dire a separated band is. My main reason for bringing the Element in is the suspension. Since I know I have a broken strut mount bearing, I wondered what else could be wrong. So here's what the advisor said:
  • Needs tires: Continentals, buy 3 get the 4th one for $1, mounted and balanced for $400
  • Needs alignment: $89.95
  • Mentioned rust
  • Front struts: $428 each (parts only, does not include cost of labor)
  • Lower ball joints: $326 each (again, parts only)
  • Tie rod ends: $57 each
  • Front and rear stabilizer bars
  • Rear struts
My writing couldn't keep up with the phone call so I wasn't able to jot down prices for the stabilizer bars or the rear struts. I know Majestic sells the rear struts for about $330 each but the local dealership I'm at is unusually high. I want to say the guy said $500 something each for the rear struts.

The advisor also mentioned brake pads and gave me a price but I already have a set of front and rear pads at home that I planned on installing myself.

So... just for the suspension components, I'm probably looking at about $2,000 just for parts and the Falken Wildpeaks I've been looking at will be another $600 or so after mounting.

I'm really hoping that the Freedom warranty people don't try to weasel out of a claim.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
Joined
·
836 Posts
OUCH! Yeah that sounds like a quote from a stealership alright! An OK deal on the the tires (to get you in the door) and Way High on everything else!

Here is at least some help on the struts. This thread has some very good reviews on some Gabriel struts; all 4 for under $600. Check it out:


BTW, any kind of band or tread separation on a tire is not good; its a dangerous blow out waiting to happen. So you'll want to deal with that right away.

Speaking of stealerships, I just got a card in the mail from a Honda dealer, who just happens to be 50+ miles away (there are 2 other Honda dealers within 20 miles of home), making it sound like I'm getting a Great Deal by paying them $14.95 to rotate my tires! No doubt all the while trying to up-sell me on anything and everything that they say is "wrong" with my Element! Yeah right!
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
OUCH! Yeah that sounds like a quote from a stealership alright! An OK deal on the the tires (to get you in the door) and Way High on everything else!

Here is at least some help on the struts. This thread has some very good reviews on some Gabriel struts; all 4 for under $600. Check it out:


BTW, any kind of band or tread separation on a tire is not good; its a dangerous blow out waiting to happen. So you'll want to deal with that right away.

Speaking of stealerships, I just got a card in the mail from a Honda dealer, who just happens to be 50+ miles away (there are 2 other Honda dealers within 20 miles of home), making it sound like I'm getting a Great Deal by paying them $14.95 to rotate my tires! No doubt all the while trying to up-sell me on anything and everything that they say is "wrong" with my Element! Yeah right!
So Freedom told me suspension components are not covered under the warranty. I must have misread my contract. I thought about canceling my policy which would have gotten me a partial refund but I decided nah because they way luck goes as soon as I do that, the engine or something that IS covered will go out

Yeah, I definitely don't like the idea of driving on a time bomb. They said it was the front driver side tire. $400 isn't a bad deal at all as long as the Continentals they're offering are any good but I already had my mind set on the Wildpeaks so I'm about to pull the trigger on those -- $522 delivered plus the cost of mounting and balancing.

The suspension is holding up for now and it's something I can repair piece by piece. I've been researching struts for over a month, ever since I noticed the torn strut mount, and I'm fairly confident I can replace those. The tie rod ends look easy. So do the sway bars. I may replace the sway bar links while I'm at it but I've read those can be a hassle. It's the lower ball joint I'm worried about. I wonder if it would be easier replacing the entire knuckle assembly, even though the cost would be much higher.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
Joined
·
836 Posts
So Freedom told me suspension components are not covered under the warranty. I must have misread my contract. I thought about canceling my policy which would have gotten me a partial refund but I decided nah because they way luck goes as soon as I do that, the engine or something that IS covered will go out

Yeah, I definitely don't like the idea of driving on a time bomb. They said it was the front driver side tire. $400 isn't a bad deal at all as long as the Continentals they're offering are any good but I already had my mind set on the Wildpeaks so I'm about to pull the trigger on those -- $522 delivered plus the cost of mounting and balancing.

The suspension is holding up for now and it's something I can repair piece by piece. I've been researching struts for over a month, ever since I noticed the torn strut mount, and I'm fairly confident I can replace those. The tie rod ends look easy. So do the sway bars. I may replace the sway bar links while I'm at it but I've read those can be a hassle. It's the lower ball joint I'm worried about. I wonder if it would be easier replacing the entire knuckle assembly, even though the cost would be much higher.
Yeah that sounds like extended warranty providers too! They cover everything except what goes wrong with your car! They're OK I guess if you have something catastrophic, like a blown engine or trans. Everything else is "normal wear & tear". Right!

Spend some time researching here for the suspension parts you need. You surely can get them at a way better price that a Honda dealer would charge. Just avoid all the cheap made in China knock off parts.

I just got 4 new tires, Cooper Evolutions, and saved considerable money, versus what any tire dealer would charge. Bought the tires from Walmart, got new valve stems at a flea market, mounted them myself, and got them spin balanced at a small local shop. All for just a little over $400.

So if you found the best deal on the Wildpeaks you want, go for it. In the end you'll save money doing it that way.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
Yeah that sounds like extended warranty providers too! They cover everything except what goes wrong with your car! They're OK I guess if you have something catastrophic, like a blown engine or trans. Everything else is "normal wear & tear". Right!

Spend some time researching here for the suspension parts you need. You surely can get them at a way better price that a Honda dealer would charge. Just avoid all the cheap made in China knock off parts.

I just got 4 new tires, Cooper Evolutions, and saved considerable money, versus what any tire dealer would charge. Bought the tires from Walmart, got new valve stems at a flea market, mounted them myself, and got them spin balanced at a small local shop. All for just a little over $400.

So if you found the best deal on the Wildpeaks you want, go for it. In the end you'll save money doing it that way.
I usually go to Walmart but they've closed all the tire & lube centers (thanks, corona!). The best deal, however, on 235/70R16 Wildpeaks was $508 no tax and free shipping from TH Motorsports. I ended up ordering from Amazon, though. $522 including tax and free Prime shipping. Their return policy is really good, should I need to use it, and I use Amazon Smile to help out the local Big Brother/Big Sister organization.

As for parts, I'm definitely a stickler for quality. I'm steering clear of Monroe and cheap eBay stuff. I'd like to stick with OEM but I just can't justify $1100 for struts when I can get Gabriels for half the price. And yeah, there's KYB but if I'm doing this myself then I want strut assemblies with new springs that I can pop right in. And then everything else will probably come from Moog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
I usually go to Walmart but they've closed all the tire & lube centers (thanks, corona!). The best deal, however, on 235/70R16 Wildpeaks was $508 no tax and free shipping from TH Motorsports. I ended up ordering from Amazon, though. $522 including tax and free Prime shipping. Their return policy is really good, should I need to use it, and I use Amazon Smile to help out the local Big Brother/Big Sister organization.

As for parts, I'm definitely a stickler for quality. I'm steering clear of Monroe and cheap eBay stuff. I'd like to stick with OEM but I just can't justify $1100 for struts when I can get Gabriels for half the price. And yeah, there's KYB but if I'm doing this myself then I want strut assemblies with new springs that I can pop right in. And then everything else will probably come from Moog.
Dude, I have been there and feel your pain. Have spent thousands on suspension over the last few years because not going OEM has almost always backfired on me, especially on suspension. My local Honda dealer knows me well.

Check out: Front Shock Absorber for 2005 Honda ELEMENT 5-DOOR | Honda Car Parts Direct

I just bought a OEM power steering pump from them. Have not installed it yet but they the company answers my emails promptly and the parts look legit to me.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
To compare prices, I added Moog tie rod ends and front and rear sway bar links to the cart @ Summit Racing. Came out to around $126. I added the same OEM parts to the cart @ Majestic Honda. The OEM parts were only about $10 more. I've heard mixed things about Moog both here on the forums and on other sites. Some say Moog is great, others say Moog has gone downhill. Really, the only reason I was considering Moog is because they're parts look beefier than OEM. Also, their sway bar links don't have that annoying 5mm allen socket. But considering the low cost difference, I think I'm going to go OEM with those components.

As for the ball joints, I'll probably go Moog and take the knuckles to my mechanic to have him press them in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
To compare prices, I added Moog tie rod ends and front and rear sway bar links to the cart @ Summit Racing. Came out to around $126. I added the same OEM parts to the cart @ Majestic Honda. The OEM parts were only about $10 more. I've heard mixed things about Moog both here on the forums and on other sites. Some say Moog is great, others say Moog has gone downhill. Really, the only reason I was considering Moog is because they're parts look beefier than OEM. Also, their sway bar links don't have that annoying 5mm allen socket. But considering the low cost difference, I think I'm going to go OEM with those components.

As for the ball joints, I'll probably go Moog and take the knuckles to my mechanic to have him install the ball joints.
I bought some Moog sway bar links once a while back and then went back to OEM. Perhaps it was my imagination but I felt like the ride was harsher.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
I just got the E back from Shoals Tire. I meant to have them install new valve stems but forgot to ask them. The total cost for mount and balance was $80 ($20 per tire). Only time will tell how the new tires perform but here are my initial thoughts:

RUBBING? I can confirm that the 235/70R16 Falken Wildpeak AT3Ws has zero issues with rubbing on stock wheels with stock suspension. I had to do a hard left turn, steering wheel all the way over, to get out of the parking lot. I don't really have the back of the E loaded down with anything except what I usually keep back there. When I get a chance, I will take a peek at the wheel wells to see what kind of clearance I have.

ROAD NOISE? There is an increase in road noise over my cheapo Primewell Valera H/Ts which I completely expected. After all, I'm going from a highway tire to an all-terrain tire. The question I wondered prior to the installation was how much of an increase. I have to say that it's not bad at all. The Element is naturally a noisy car anyway with it's plastic panels creaking and lack of insulation. Not to mention I've got a storage cabinet with cookware and stuff rattling around so my E is probably a little noisier than others anyway. Even if I didn't get AT tires put on, I was planning on sound dampening anyway mainly as thermal insulation.

DRIVING? The short drive back to work was a straight shot on a dry, paved city road. No curves. Temperature right at 70 deg. The new tires didn't really feel any different compared to my old tires in terms of performance. Having said that, it's not like I went off road or pretended I was driving a sports car. The slight increase in ride height was noticeable, though. I can only imagine that the ride height will increase a little more once I get around to replacing the struts.

APPEARANCE? I'm definitely a "function over form" guy but as a degree-holding graphic designer I can't honestly say that I don't care about aesthetics. The Wildpeaks are definitely a big improvement over the factory-sized highway tires. They fill the wheel wells much better and it give the E a more rugged, commanding look.

203736
 
41 - 60 of 72 Posts
Top