I own a 2001 EL. Everything has been OK (besides the high amount of road noise in a premium car; CAN'T WAIT for the original equipment tires to wear out..). The part that really disappoints me is the suspension. Starting around 20,000 k, there is a strange "knocking" noise from the suspension over large, low speed bumps. I can actually feel something hitting the floor under my feet when the noise occurs. I've been to the dealer 5 times to no avail. They've replaced a set of bushings on the driver's side front suspension and also replaced a seized pivot. The noise got somewhat better, but within a week was as bad as ever. There's also a strange shift to the right whenever I accelerate from a stop. It's not torque steer; the whole front just shifts a couple of inches to the right.
Anybody have any ideas?
That knocking noise is the sway bar links on the El or Civic. Just as you described - a knocking noise over low speed bumps etc.. A non-Honda dealership diagnosed it over the phone and after the replacement, the sound was gone. I expect it happen after another 80,000km or so.
In regards to the poster that removed the ABS fuse, I'm not really sure what they're talking about. I use Nokian NRW tires on the car, and it is very controllable. And where I live, the temps can go to -40 or lower and the roads can become glare ice. The stock Firestone's should be removed from that or any car before winter.
The car does transmit a fair amount of road noise into the cabin. A lot of that has to do with the treads on the tires.
I have a 2002 1.7 EL. I hate it.
In the first year I had it, and I bought it new, I had the manual tranny rebuilt twice, and last year I had to replace the engine; I was 700 km over my warranty, and Honda/Acura would not fix it under warranty; that cost me $2000. And the car was down 6 months because I had to do the work myself (money was too tight to hire someone to fix it for me).
I won't buy one again, and I probably won't buy Honda again.
Now you can hear the tranny gears while driving; this is loud and annoying. This car also has problems shifting from time to time; unknown problem.
This could happen to any manufacturer mind you, sucks you were only 700km out of warranty. But Honda/Acura are generally heavy maintenance free and great ratings overall.