2003 Honda Element EX from North America - Comments

13th Jul 2005, 15:50

I own a 2004 Honda Element with 15,000 gentle miles on it. By the time it had reached 5000 miles I noticed an unusual amount of wear on the front tires. Recently I had the tires rotated.

The next day I noticed a annoying "whine" coming from the rear when slowing down from 50 mph to 0 mph. Two days later I took it to the dealership where it was originally purchased and they told me that a memo was issued from Honda about this problem. Seems the tires had worn unevenly in the front and when rotated to the rear caused the differential to "whine".

The hardest part to understand is why the front wore more than the rear on an all-wheel-drive vehicle. I was floored. The only thing I can do now is buy a set of tires every 15,000 miles at $700 a pop, or sell it.

6th Oct 2005, 21:56

October 10, 05

I had to replace all four tires on the Honda EX at 20,000 miles. All the tires had worn thin on the inside tread of the tire. I had made regular rotation, and balanced and aligned per specs. The Honda tech. suggested the Wrangler tire was not the best tire for this vehicle. Have put Toyo tires on, and I'm watching closely.

This was an 03 model. I suspect the suspension system is not adequate for the overall height of the vehicle. An internal Honda memo dated December 2004, titled "Element tire edge wear is normal" acknowledges the problem, but suggests it is not abnormal.

What is normal about getting 20,000 miles on a set of tires in a modern car?

18th Apr 2006, 19:14

I have a Honda Element 2003 2wd. I now have 67k miles on the original tires. I drive mostly freeway at 70mph, 60 miles a day. The original Goodyear's have lasted well. I experienced no abnormal wear problems till I hit 60k, when the front tires seemed to wear unevenly on the outside.

25th Apr 2006, 12:45

My 2003 Element has had 2 tire replacements and 4 alignments.

I questioned my Honda dealership and they had no knowledge of a problem with the Element's tires. My brake pads needed to be replaced at 40,000 miles. My driver-side lock had to be changed out due to the fact that I had to make several attempts to get the key to go in and turn. Still having problems with that. All in all, I think Honda needs to revamp the Element. I will be replacing mine when the lease is done.

6th May 2006, 09:22

I have a bought a Honda Element 2004 EX 4WD, love the car and it's features.

Having some problems tho with the car:

1) Replace windshield of crack which started from the bottom.

2) My drivers seat started to become a rocking seat and was before it got replaced under warranty really loose from it's sockets. Dealer had said they had never seen this before and were puzzeled.

3) I am unable to tank more than 13.6 Gallon while the tank size suppose to be 15.9 Gallon for a 2004 model.

Did with my nr3 comment experienced the same? I put my tank level all the way to 0 and still only could fill up 13.6 Gallon?

15th May 2006, 00:53

My 2006 EX model is poorly assembled. One of the fenders is loose and body panels are misaligned.

I also wonder if honda designers have taken longer rides in the back seat? My friends got motion sickness just after half an hour.

17th May 2006, 17:00

Have an '05 Element and tire wear on the edges is excessive. Mostly city around town driving with frequent highway cruising. 13k miles in 6 months.

I first noticed wear @ around 4-5K. The dealer rotated, said all was fine. I ALWAYS check other "E"'s in parking lots and ALWAYS see the outside wear issue... some worse than others. Honda wouldn't say crap if they had a mouthful. EVERYONE needs to say something.

Other than that (and the interior dash etc. that dings and gets scratched REALLY easily), the car is a great little car - cheap and cheesy; but a great little car.

5th Nov 2006, 17:43

I have a 2003 Element EX with just under 29k miles, and will be buying new tires before winter.

After checking comments on the boards at edmunds.com, http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0a360c!make=Honda&model=Element&ed_makeindex=.f0a360c, it is pretty obvious that there are a lot of unhappy Element owners out there who are replacing their OEM tires with something better.

I wanted a #1 smoother ride, #2 better handling and #3 less road noise. So I went with #1 a "luxury" tire, #2 the maximum width that will fit the Element -- 235 instead of 215 and #3 Bridgestone Dueler. I priced them online for $126 at tirerack.com. They are ranked #3 by customer survey results with #1 and #2 Goodyear tires, which I plan to steer clear of for a while. The tires will be delivered to and installed at my local Tire Kingdom for less than $50. Gotta like that!

Another excellent resource is elementownersclub.com if anyone is interested.

Also, just FYI... I did the same thing with the wider tire on my 1996 Honda Accord, and what a HUGE difference in the ride and handling. Handled like it was on rails! I only wish that I hadn't waited 5 years to do it.

31st Jan 2007, 10:03

I got 18,000 on my OEMs... took my car in to a Honda dealer, they are buying 2 tires and I'm buying two tires; unfortunately they are the Goodyear HP's. Hopefully they're not as bad as the factory tires...

19th Feb 2007, 11:36

I have a 2005 Element with 34,000 miles and significant wear on the tires. This seems to be due to hard cornering.

12th Apr 2007, 11:18

I have a 2003 Element AWD and I am replacing my original tires this weekend. I have 45,000 miles on them.

6th May 2007, 09:42

2006 Honda Element EX-P AWD - 20k miles.

Tires are worn on inside and out. Honda service has done total wheel alignment twice. Still wearing. Tires may hold out another 8k miles. No other problems other than abnormal tire wear. I like the vehicle because it is very practical for me, but I won't purchase another because of this too frequent expense.

Update: 8-4-07 25K miles

Replaced tires today with Uniroyal SR Touring tire from Discount Tire.

Tire Kingdom and Discount Tire salesman are aware of this outside and inside wear with OEM Goodyears. AWD Elements and CRV's wear out tires. The reason Honda uses the Goodyear is the rounded outside tread. Reduces road noise. The Uniroyals are noisy but the ride is much better. Discount tire recommended 33 psi in all tires. According to them, I should get at least 35K.

8th Jun 2007, 22:07

I own a 2003 Honda Element and had to replace the back brakes at only 14,000 miles! Honda could care less when I questioned why this happened. Only to say brakes are not under warranty.

Also, I was told that the tires needed replaced too!

I've never owned a car with such low mileage that needed new back brakes or new tires!

I'm thinking twice about keeping this car. What's going to go next! Is this a lemon or what?

31st Jul 2007, 12:56

I have a 2003 Element, my local dealer replaced the windshield for free because of mfg. fault. Everyone who owns an Element should rec'd a letter from a law firm about it. My rear brakes make noises too when we first got it and continues to make noises and the front too when you turn and go reverse.