2003 Honda Element EX from North America - Comments

4th Aug 2007, 01:17

I was just in a car accident in a 2003 element -- I walked away with just cosmetic damages to the passenger doors and plastic molding.

Yes, I'll have to sink some cash into fixing it, but I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. I've been driving it for years with minor repairs (tires at 30,000, new windshield, oil seal) and now I appreciate my E even more now that I've seen how it performs in an accident. The doors are smashed, but the windows, locks and mirrors still work.

I'd put my kids in one too -- you can never be too safe.

13th Sep 2007, 20:59

Own an '03 EX and the OE Goodyears are still going strong @ 50k. I am noticing the rounding at the outer edges of the tread, but that's only been noticeable over the last 10k miles. The Element's been great and very reliable. Does a super job in winter snow as I usually go out to fetch other workers to get them into work. Had the windshield crack, but it was replaced by Honda.

31st Oct 2007, 19:37

I have a 2005 Honda Element and I love it. Problem is it only has 28,000 miles and the original tires are almost completely worn out. The outsides are wearing wrong.

Tonight in searching for new tires and came upon this site and am now thinking maybe I will trade it in on an Accord or something.

19th Feb 2008, 14:46

Just paid off my 2003 Element and plan to drive it it until it falls out from underneath me which I suspect won't happen. We love the car and at 63,300 miles were told we could use some new tires. The only thing I was shocked about was how much the dealer would charge for replacement of 4 new tires. The service person even told me to shop around. I'm in hopes Tire Discounters will beat $720+.

22nd Feb 2008, 09:03

I am enjoying my Element. I am very upset about this tire issue. I have a 2005 AWD with 25,000 light miles. I need new tires. I rotated, did all that I was supposed to. I almost didn't pass inspection. I am shocked that Honda has not done anything for us, being that it appears to be a design flaw. I love my truck. I spent a lot of money on it. I called Goodyear. They don't offer a warranty on the stock tires (wrangler hp). They said they might help if I bring it into a certified Goodyear shop. What can we do? Has anyone done anything through Honda with results? Please tell.

30th Mar 2008, 02:20

My father bought an 03 Honda Element in Feb. of 03.

No abnormal tire wear issues. Just had the brake switch replaced due to some problems with the cruise control turning off when slight bumps were hit in the road.

The only other thing I can think of is that the latch on the floor for the rear suicide doors keep loosening up. I have remove the screws and applied blue loctite and even tightened them down with an air-ratchet. A few months later and they have become loose again. I have no idea why, I though the loc tite would have kept them tight!

But back to the tire wear issue -

In his door it lists 32psi for the front tires and 34 psi for the rear tires. Like I said, no uneven wear. Just got Michelins last year at over 50,000 miles. Prior to that were the Goodyear Wranglers that came with the vehicle.

It is an 03. Is it possible Honda had a different psi recommendation for the Element's that initially rolled right off of the assembly line?

1st Nov 2008, 18:11

My EX 2004 has just over 50K miles and the second set of tires is worn out at the edges (front tires). The same thing happened at around 20k. I have been servicing the car at the recommended intervals.

Other than the above and a seat belt sensor that was replaced free of charge, the Element has been a good car. Drove it from Houston to Calgary, Houston to Mexico City, and Houston to Salt Lake City and no problems.

5th Apr 2009, 16:11

I decided to replace the OEM Goodyear HP tires at 40,000 miles, not because the tread is worn out, there's probably another 5000 miles left before the wear bars. I plan to do some long distance driving this year and would like to have a quieter softer highway ride. I'm considering Yokohama AVID TRZ, 225-70/R16, a slight size increase, 1/2" wider tread.

The only factory part I've replaced aside from oil and filters was the lower heat shield (cover) of the catalytic converter, a $10 item. It rusted through the front mounting flanges, undoubtedly because of the combination of high temperature and Chicago's salted winter roads. In every other respect the car has performed better than I anticipated.

My chief complaint is that Honda has done a very poor job of promoting this vehicle, which is very popular with older drivers, because this doesn't fit Honda's preconceived target demographic. I'm guessing the model will be dropped next year, a bad move by Honda, because may of the people who like the car can afford to buy it, not lease it, without financing. There are 10 of them within a 1/2 mile radius of my home, most 2007s or newer.

26th Nov 2009, 08:04

After a great deal of research, I purchased my 2003 Honda Element EX used, with 52K miles. It fit my lifestyle of rural WV mountain living with horses and dogs, auction-hopping, and traveling sales rep (driving country roads as well as interstates). I removed the passenger seats.

After a period of adjustment (getting used to the big windshield columns (especially on driver's side) blocking views on curves, ignoring the rocking driver's seat, and wishing for more tie-down attachments inside and outside the rear end) I grew to really love my vehicle. (Windshield replaced once, covered by insurance. Right front wheel bearing replaced at 99K.)

The dealer had replaced the OEM tires with Goodrich Radial Long Trails in the recommended size. I just turned 103,000 miles, so that means I got 50K from them. I kept them inflated at 35 PSI and rotated every other oil change (appx 10K intervals). This kept the uneven wear to a minimum.

Will look at the tires suggested in the comment on 11-5-2006 and thank the writer in the 3-30-08 comment re: brake switch and cruise control (ah-ha!).

BTW, survived a crash with a deer... fortunately at low speed.. and the cost to replace the bumper and fender was under $800.

Overall, this vehicle does what I need it to do and I recommend it with the above caveats. It's not the right vehicle for everyone, but it doesn't pretend to be any more than it is.

8th Dec 2009, 16:29

I bought my 2003 Ele 4wd brand new. I have over 105/k and am currently only on my 2nd set of tires. I was asked by co-workers how I liked "rusty" and there are currently 5 in the parking lot now. (2 reds, 1 M&M green, 1 maroon and my orange) We all can't say enough about how much we love this car. To me, this is the greatest car in the world.