Last post on Aug 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM
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Honda Element, SUV
#42 of 225 air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element
Jul 31, 2006 (6:03 am)
Thank you for your responses. I contacted American Honda who stated it was probably a rare occurrence and had no intention of being responsible for the problem. I became a squeaky wheel and so a case was opened on the issue... They also indicated that they don't endorese modification of the car in such a way to protect the exposed condensor, covering themselves further from liability, in case leaves or something gets caught in the added parts and a fire starts... They siad that it has also happend to Odysseys and CRVs. A service person at a dealer in McMinnville, OR suggested I look at billit grilles that kids use to soup up there cars. I found plenty on line, made to fit my car precisely, $46. plus shipping. I'm going to talk to my mechanic about installing one.
It's unfortunate that Honda doesn't design retrofits. It looks like the 2007 Honda has a new front grill design. I'm drivng my Element tentatively and I guess the honeymoon is over.
#43 of 225 Re: air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element [zabeth]
Jul 31, 2006 (7:47 am)
zabeth, check out elementownersclub.com. There are numerous discussions about grille modifications, ranging from the Home Depot solution, to aftermarket grilles, to the billet grille (I called them cattle guards when I lived in Texas) you mentioned. Some cost over $100, and if you can't do the installation the price goes up even more. I can't tell from pictures if the billet grilles do a whole lot to protect the grilles, and I have not seen one in person. Let us know how things turn out for you.
Dwayne, I hear you, man! Why would a reputable company simply bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no problem when a fairly cheap solution surely must exist. Maybe this will be addressed in the 2007's, but who knows.
#44 of 225 Re: air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element [zabeth]
Jul 31, 2006 (10:28 am)
zabeth, I installed the "gutter guard" solution on my 2004 EX. Lowes had black plastic gutter guard, so you can't really see it and it matches the factory black grill area. Between cutting the guard to length, then installing with black zip ties, the whole thing took about 20 mintes. I picked off about 6 bugs that woudl have hit the condensor on a recent trip. The gutter guard still has some flex to it, but won't stop the airflow.
Sorry to hear you had to pay the $800+. You can see pics of the gutter guard install on the elementownersclub website as refernced in another message. Look in the Do-It-Yourself Modifications tab.
Jul 31, 2006 (5:51 pm)
When are the 07 elements due to hit the lot? I really want to get a Element but the upgrades on the 07 might make me wait
#46 of 225 Re: air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element [gonzo3165]
Jul 31, 2006 (5:52 pm)
If a stone was to be sucked into the engine, because of a poorly designed air intake system, would Honda make the customer responsible for that damage TOO? Honda is putting a "spin" on this entire issue. A grill could be easily designed to clamp onto the existing grill network. They know that there is a problem, but they will do nothing about the problem! They are giving sales away to Hyundai and Kia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Best regards. -----Dwayne
#47 of 225 Re: air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element [djm2]
Jul 31, 2006 (9:16 pm)
i would rather walk than drive a Hyundai or Kia.
#48 of 225 Re: air conditioning design weaknees for Honda Element [dhnsx]
Aug 02, 2006 (5:06 pm)
I will be "test driving" a "Top of the line" 2007 2WD Honda Element, as soon as they hit the lot at my local Honda dealer. I can't wait to discuss this A/C issue. I want to see their reaction!!!!!!!!!!!-------Best regards. ------Dwayne
#49 of 225 Element and Low Clearance Question
Aug 04, 2006 (8:00 am)
I am seriously considering the purchase of a 2006 Element. My concern is with the ground clearance. My daily commute to work includes 4 miles of maintained dirt and gravel road. Winters are long and sometimes severe here. I live at 8700 ft and sometimes the spring mud season turns the dirt road into a pretty sloppy drive. I would appreciate any advice and/or experiences. My old 1986 Toyota 4Runner has mastered the road well but now has 295500 miles on it. Your help is appreciated!
#50 of 225 dealer paid for Element AC fix?
Aug 06, 2006 (4:58 pm)
In the AC discussion, I thought I read a message that someone sent me about having the AC blow out because fo external damage and the dealer paid for it. Now I can't find the message. Please write again. Thank you, Zabeth.
#51 of 225 Reasons to hate my Element
Sep 08, 2006 (12:46 pm)
In general, I have been quite happy with my '03 EX, but there are some dumb design issues that are really fraying my nerves, to the point where I'm seriously considering trading it in.
#1 is ground clearance, or the lack thereof. I just pranged the gas tank guard on a small rock in a dirt road, and have come pretty close to stranding on a berm top several times. If Honda wants to advertise this car as a "go anywhere" toy, it should build it so (compare with the new Toyota cruiser for instance).
#2 is that damned suicide door, which makes loading in a parking lot pure misery. Nissan solved the problem in its trucks with a rear door that opens flat against the vehicle side. Honda could have, but chose not to.
#3 is closely related to #2. I've lost count of the number of times I've bashed my head against the projecting piece of metal in the roof of the car that holds the two doors where they meet. Stupid, stupid design.
#4 the back seat is good for five minutes of travel. Any further, and the claustrophobic heebie-jeebies set in.
With regards to point #1, I posted this in the tires forum, but got no response: looks like there's no way to lift the vehicle, except to use bigger tires. Has anyone done this? How much bigger did you go? How did it work out?