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2009, AT, AWD
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm happy to be here! I desperately need some wisdom.


My wife has a 2009 Honda Element, LX (I think), AWD and it has the dreaded battery draw. It has been driving me nuts but despite narrowing down the circuit, the problem is still intermittent. When testing, the draw was only 9 mili amps but pulling the fuse dropped it is 2 mili amps. Google brought me to the massive amount of threads on this issue and some continued testing showed that occasionally, when I'd put the fuse back into place to complete the circuit, I'd occasionally see north of 500 MA on the meter. I was unable to narrow down the specific component and I'd like to replace a few logical parts to see if that works for me.

To be clear, I travel away from home most of the year as a diesel mechanic, so my time at home is rare and unplanned. My wife loves her E and I have a soft spot for it, but I love it allot more when she doesn't have to drive around with a battery jumper pack, ha!

I found that all the map and dome lights were blown out, so I'm going to replace those. Any LED suggestions?

Seems like the radio is a common culprit and our stock one is in bad shape. Any good suggestions?

Does it make sense to replace the two main door latches and the rear hatch latch?

Thanks in advance!
 

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423 Posts
Check Crutchfield for good radio options. I bought a BOSS because it was nice looking, and didn't cost $2k. Completely upgraded my Element. Not hard to install with the basic swap out, but you can do more if you want.

I forget which ones are which but I put these in my Element back in 2017 and I love them and haven't had to change them since. I also recently added bright LED reverse lights. You can find the LED equivalent bulb from the original bulb part number, and then you can pick the TEMP and BRIGHTNESS of the light and even the COLOR in some cases.

Not all of these are for the E.
QtyProduct/Options
Price/Ea​
24410-WW8: Warm White
$4.95​
43022-WW4: Warm White
$2.09​
33022-WWHP4-V2: Warm White 5630 SMD
$4.95​
14210-WWHP6-V2: Warm White
$5.95​
13110-CW18-CB: Cool White
$6.95​
1NEO3-NWHP: 3mm NEO3-xHP Natural White
$1.95​
 

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Honda Technician
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220 Posts
Curious how youre testing for a draw. 2 & 9 MA are far below what Honda considers for excessive draw. Normally anything over 50ma is excessive. All modules need to be asleep when testing for a draw. Sounds like when you plug the fuse in it’s waking up all the modules.
mind telling me how you are testing?
 

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851 Posts
Hi,
On the Radio, when I got my E took it to a Auto Music Store and looked at just a new head unit and 4 speaker.

They wanted $$600 parts and Labor using the existing wiring for the speakers.

I walked out seemed excessive to me as that would be about $400 in just labor.

Went on the Internet and found a JVC Head Unit and a Harness so it would plug into the Honda recepticle.

Bought 4 Polk Audio Speakers and was good for less than $200.

Sounds great easy to do and no more crummy music, shorts or draws and no radio reset number to keep up with!

As far as Door Ajar switches, if the door locks still work should not be a switch.

If it is a switch the fob for the door locks won't work.

The switches for the tailgate are inside the latch and a whole new latch will have to be bought and they are about $70 each!

As suggested might want to get a better troubleshooting procedure to find the draw.

 

· Registered
2009, AT, AWD
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies!

I should add a few things. This car came with an auto start and no working fob. From the minute my wife purchases this vehicle, we had issues with battery dying. First I replaced the battery, I've since tested the alternator and plugged in a display to our 12v plug that shows running voltage. Doesn't show signs of charging issues.

Curious how youre testing for a draw. 2 & 9 MA are far below what Honda considers for excessive draw. Normally anything over 50ma is excessive. All modules need to be asleep when testing for a draw. Sounds like when you plug the fuse in it’s waking up all the modules.
mind telling me how you are testing?
I did the test exactly as suggested on Youtube, using the leads of my multimeter via the ground side of things. I understand that 2 and 9 MA are not enough to kill the vehicle, but just seeing the small change in amperage made me suspicious of the circuit. Especially when I'd put the fuse back in and see 500 MA + on an inconsistent basis. Some research led me to realize that this circuit issue is a very common Element problem and this vehicle kills the battery on a regular basis, within a day or two.

If I was home every day, I'd take a more calculated approach but I'm willing to spend some $ to upgrade things on the vehicle and see if that coincidentally cures my issue.

As a mechanic, I have several vehicles laying around that my wife can drive but the Element is the dog haulin' city mobile and having it discharge the battery on a regular basis while I'm away from home is very annoying.
 

· Registered
2009, AT, AWD
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The wiring for the auto start is an absolute mess but to the installer's credit, they soldered everything. I was considering removing the unit and perhaps updating it and seeing if that made a difference. Since the stereo seems to be a common culprit and my wife LOVES music, I figure a head unit and some speakers + back up camera would only improve the overall convenience and enjoyableness of the Element!
 

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851 Posts
Hi,
As far as the Music is concerned, I probably went the easiest/cheapest you can go and the results are amazing from the original set up.

Most of these Head Units have a built in amp. which I found completely adequate for me.

Seems all or most Head units are now made in CHINA, so pick your poison.

I used to only run Alpine but liked what I saw with a JVC so went that way and have had no problems.

Went Polk Audio for speakers using the biggest that would allow the factory cover to fit back so everything looks OEM.

Just sayin, not that hard and a LOT cheaper to do yourself.

For the Harness instal I soldered the connections and then shrink wrapped, EASY!

 
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