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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just found out that our 2005 Element needs a new engine and transmission, and wanted to see if anyone has a suggestion on a good starting price. It still drives well, just shifts hard between 2nd and 3rd gear. The mechanic did a CO2 test, which showed that the head gasket is starting to leak. It has over 236,000 miles and is in pretty good shape, a couple small rust spots on the hood, but nowhere else. Small rock related cracks in the windshield and the drivers side seat is a bit worn. Everything else I would classify as typical for the age and miles.

Thanks,
David
 

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Is it the same mechanic that adjusted your valves?
If the rust is as advertised, theres some value in the rolling chassis, but you wont like the offers.
Insurance company thought 1200 was fair salvage value on the Wife's 04, 209k, runs perfect, no rust and maintenance up to date.
I see you just joined, maybe take a min to fill out the profile (location) before accepting offers?
 

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Just because the head gasket is leaking doesn't mean you need a new engine. Replace the head gasket.

When was the last time you had the transmission fluid changed? The filter?
I had a noticeable head gasket leak i. e., loss of power. An application of Bar's Leaks Head Gasket Fix took care of it. I know it is a bit of a bodge, but it is an option if you are reluctant or unable to find someone to swap out the head gasket. I'd suggest verifying that your cooling fans are operating as intended, because these engines aren't prone to blown head gaskets; there is likely a causal factor.

I second the above suggestion that a tranny fluid change might resolve your issue there.
 

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Just because the head gasket is leaking doesn't mean you need a new engine. Replace the head gasket.

When was the last time you had the transmission fluid changed? The filter?
I think that is fine advice if you have the time, and you are mechanically inclined. I personally don't have the time, even though I could take this entire car apart, and put it back together. I live in Los Angeles California, so everything is expensive where I live. But I still make more money per hour than my mechanic, so it makes sense for me to pay him to do the work. The head gasket on our 2005 EX blew after about 120K. The cost to replace the head gasket was about $2800, because it involves partial removal of the engine. It's a decent amount fo work. Alternatively, I could pay $3200 and get the engine replaced with a 40K Japanese engine. I opted for the latter. I get 80K more miles on the engine for $400. Totally worth it. I actually think this K25 motor has more pep than the original. Maybe they make them differently in Japan. Anyway, the prices should be relative across the nation. If the difference between a head gasket replacement, and a new engine is only a couple hundred bucks, I say go for the engine replacement.
 

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As many other replies stated, most mechanics suggest the path of least resistance they detect. Sounds like the engine overheated really badly.
The Element is alone in its class. Elements have their quirks but few vehicle designs have been so marvelously thought out. They do not meet my needs but my wife is a SoCal surfer girl and dog fancier and when I saw her needs dealing with the animals and beach sand there was no other design solution available at anywhere near the price or convenience. I am not prone to looking back at the "good old days" but car manufacturers really haven't come up with anything nearly as innovative as the Element.
If your copy is as good as you say and it meets your need then fix it. Sort out the shifting issue - another poster mentioned new ATF or a shift solenoid - and get the head gasket fixed. Check the fans and cooling system. If you don't and sell it for pennies on the dollar you may look back and remember sadly when you had a vehicle that was the right car and you dumped it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all! The engine did overhead which is probably what accelerated the transmission problem. We've never had problems with it overheating or losing coolant, so sorry to say we weren't checking it regularly. It is already the second transmission, which is part of the reason I am reluctant to put a lot more into it. I'll definitely try the transmission fluid/filter change, shift solenoid, and Bar's for the head gasket. Those seem like simple solutions that shouldn't make it worse. Thanks again!
 

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If you don't and sell it for pennies on the dollar you may look back and remember sadly when you had a vehicle that was the right car and you dumped it.
I totally agree with 2Shed's sentiment. This car is a keeper. I'm never getting rid of it. I'll keep pumping life into it as long as I can.

Come to think of it, our radiator went out a year or so before the head gasket blew. So that sounds like what happened to ours as well.
 

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We just found out that our 2005 Element needs a new engine and transmission, and wanted to see if anyone has a suggestion on a good starting price. It still drives well, just shifts hard between 2nd and 3rd gear. The mechanic did a CO2 test, which showed that the head gasket is starting to leak. It has over 236,000 miles and is in pretty good shape, a couple small rust spots on the hood, but nowhere else. Small rock related cracks in the windshield and the drivers side seat is a bit worn. Everything else I would classify as typical for the age and miles.

Thanks,
David
Doesn't sound like it is doing too good. $2500 my estimate.
 
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