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Hello all,

I am new to the boards and slightly new to Honda Elements. My wife and I are currently looking for a used to slightly-used Element. We came across a 2005 EX yesterday, and I had a really funny feeling about it after test driving and visually inspecting it. I would really appreciate it if you could please let me know if I’ve gone mad or if I have some validity to my funny feelings. I would like to purchase an Element in the near future and knowing if these concerns are normal or abnormal would greatly help!

(1) When visually inspecting the car, there seemed to be a tad more rust than expected. There was rust where the rear-passenger side door (the half-door) latches on the bottom of the car (the little loop—sorry for my non-technical jargon!) The loop was almost completely covered by rust, so were both of the screws. :? There seemed to be an unusual amount of rust where the wheels attach to the car, and there was some rust in the engine bay.

(2) The floor liner seemed like it was not attached to the floor, as there were large air pockets/bubbles. In other words, I could have pinched the floor liner and lifted it. It made me think of older cars where the fabric hangs down from the roof of the car, only this was the floor liner. I didn’t think was right, so I asked the salesman about it. He said the Element was meant to be washed out with a hose, if needed, and that there was nothing wrong with the floor liner.

(3) When looking in the spare tire area, there was some dried mud and silt. I know there is going to be some amount of dirt and grime, but I did not expect to find dried mud and silt in the spare tire area.

(4) The Carfax indicated that the “air/outlet” was replaced several times for the past owners, and there was an accident reported. (The accident report threw up a red flag right away!)

Do you think this is a possible water damage/salvage car? Should I steer clear from this used car?
 

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I used to be in that business. The title should say if it was a salvage, but sometimes they don't. The Elements where not made to hose out, so don't believe your salesman. Water damage can be removed if done properly, but NOT salt water, your will continue to have problems if it was salt water. My take on your car, is to walk away and find another. Sounds like some body has been off roading in that car and was too rough on it.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply SD80! I appreciate your helpful comments!

Given what I saw, the decision was kind of already made in my head to walk away, but my heart did not want to let the car go! :-( I'll find a different one.
 

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(2) The floor liner seemed like it was not attached to the floor, as there were large air pockets/bubbles. In other words, I could have pinched the floor liner and lifted it.
It indicates rust underneath.

(3) When looking in the spare tire area, there was some dried mud and silt. I know there is going to be some amount of dirt and grime, but I did not expect to find dried mud and silt in the spare tire area.
Do you think this is a possible water damage/salvage car? Should I steer clear from this used car?
It sounds like it has been in a flood. Run away.
 

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It indicates rust underneath.



It sounds like it has been in a flood. Run away.
I appreciate the comments, GaryS! This will be my third post here, and already everyone here is so friendly and helpful! :)

It's funny... For some reason, my gut reaction to seeing the car was that the car was in a flood, but I had no idea what signs to look for to indicate this. I wanted to bring it up to the dealer immediately, but I would not have had any clue how to describe it--and the salesman would have vehemently denied it. Now I know! 8)

My wife and I reviewed the list of things we didn't like about the car after initial price negotiations on the ride home (e.g., floor liner, rust, mud/silt by the spare tire), and we both came to the conclusion that we were not comfortable with the car. The salesman just left me a message with "great news" on the price negotiation side of things. I have a feeling he won't like my "great news"! ;-)
 

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"The salesman just left me a message with "great news""

Yea, probally do anything to sell that one. :boat:

Good luck on finding the right Ellie ;-)
 

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Sounds like you're getting dead on good advice already on this. Do you have running shoes? Put them on and run away from this "opportunity".
 

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"The salesman just left me a message with "great news""

Yea, probally do anything to sell that one. :boat:

Good luck on finding the right Ellie ;-)
Sounds like you're getting dead on good advice already on this. Do you have running shoes? Put them on and run away from this "opportunity".
Thanks! :grin: The salesman wasn't very happy to hear I wasn't interested anymore. Go figure.

Where in PA are you? There are several used elements (at dealers) around the Mechanicsburg area.
Inklegg, I'm in the Harrisburg area. The Element is for my wife, and she really likes the older style as compared to the newer. She saw the car and wanted to test drive it. :)

The scary thing is that this dealer is somewhat reputable in the area--BUT, it was actually located at a Suzuki dealership. I've only heard good things about the Honda dealership (and I was treated very well at their Subaru dealership). I figured the Suzuki dealership would live up to the same reputation.

It's a long, involved story. After reliving it in my mind, I realize that I spent way too much time at the dealership! :oops:
 

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Try calling Dulles Honda in Va, they had a lot of new ones and a 2007 SC I turned in on a new 2010 SC. It's near Dulles Airport, thats not to far from where you are. It's worth a phone call.
 

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Thanks for the heads-up on Dulles Honda! We initially started our search with an approximate 50 mile radius, but we have been expanding that based on our interests in what we're finding.

I've started to look over their website, and they do have some nice Elements! Once we narrow down exactly what year, mileage, and features we want, we'll most likely end up giving them a ring! 8)
 

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Rahal on the Carlisle Pike has at least one EX and an SC. There was also (not sure if it is still there) a silver EX at what used to be Rahal Toyota. I also saw an older 04-06ish green one at a "smaller" dealer between the two dealers. Good luck, let us know what you get.....preemptive welcome to the E-family.
 

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Rahal on the Carlisle Pike has at least one EX and an SC. There was also (not sure if it is still there) a silver EX at what used to be Rahal Toyota. I also saw an older 04-06ish green one at a "smaller" dealer between the two dealers. Good luck, let us know what you get.....preemptive welcome to the E-family.
Thanks Inklegg! Will definitely keep everyone updated! :)
 

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I just passed Rahal Acura on the Carlisle Pike and saw that they have a black 2004 with 129k for $9955, not sure what year/miles you are looking for, but it looks nice.
 

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Hello all,

There was rust where the rear-passenger side door (the half-door) latches on the bottom of the car (the little loop—sorry for my non-technical jargon!) The loop was almost completely covered by rust, so were both of the screws.
That car sounded fishy but living in a salt area in New England my little loop thingy is totally covered in rust from the salt on the roads. That said, my floors are flat.
 
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