7th Aug 2006, 09:02

2004 Element.

We had the windshield replaced after 3 months due to wind coming into the poorly sealed bead. About a year later, we had a small rock hit the windshield and it caused a large crack given the small size and relatively light impact. I have had rocks that sounded like gunshots hit my other cars with just a chip, but no crackage (or starring). Several other issues regarding the electrical system were experienced.

If you're considering this car and looking for fuel economy, look elsewhere. Despite the Civic motor, you'll most likely see about 20-22 mpg in this type of vehicle.

6th Aug 2007, 14:21

I have a 2003 Honda Element EX 2WD: The drivers side key lock cylinder went bad to the point of not accepting the key - so I began entering through the passenger side. Then the passenger side lock did the same, and I had to unlock the back door and crawl through. Recently I brought it in and they couldn't fix the locks, so I ended up installing key-less entry because it was cheaper than buying new lock cylinders. Though, I'm considerably bummed because having the problem isn't cheap either.

7th Aug 2007, 21:09

For all of those who own 03 and 04 Honda Elements with cracked windshields. A class action lawsuit has been brought against Honda, and settled, where Honda is extending the warranty on the vehicle to 6 years or 60,000 miles, and is replacing the cracked windshields at no cost WITHOUT the "pen-test". Which is where they would normally run a ball point pen along the crack until they find a small divot, then tell you it was caused by an impact and therefore not covered. You can find the details at this site:


11th Oct 2007, 15:46

I have 2004 Honda Element and I have the same problem. I bought it used about a year ago, and it happened twice. Is there any recall from Honda on this matter?

26th Nov 2007, 08:01

I've had exactly the same problem (August 6, 2007 comment) with my Element's drivers-side key lock cylinder going bad to the point of not accepting the key. I installed a new one and now it's going bad! How widespread is this problem?

26th Nov 2007, 15:57

How does your key look? I wore down the key on my Honda Accord and it would not accept anything.

5th Dec 2007, 21:44

I had the door lock cylinder replaced on April 2005. Purchased the Element May of 2003. On Nov. 3rd 2007 I had to climb into the car from the trunk end (since neither of the doors can be opened with my key). Since I have no warranty there will be a charge. I am still getting into the car through the trunk end because the quote I got for the repair of the two door locks was about $600.00. So now I've called customer relations. I hope I get a call back as promised. I really think the door lock cylinders are just defective. Any one have any info? PS I too have had windshield windows replaced. I am up to three replacements. Good to hear about the law suit unfortunately I have over 75,000 miles. Oh well.

6th Dec 2007, 13:38

I'd say, since it worked a little once you replaced the key, there must be an electrical problem within the immobilizer system. It could not be worn parts because it would have reacted differently with a new key. I am not Honda mechanic, but knowing Honda keys, it must be something inside that reads the key. Since no one has ignition problems, it must be something that gets wet or outdoor elements in it.

7th Dec 2007, 20:16

An electrical problem... the "immobilizer"... whatever that is that won't let the key enter the lock? So it's still a Honda problem, right? This is so frustrating, especially since I've owned Honda Accords for years with never a problem... such a disappointment with the Element.

11th Dec 2007, 17:16

I've had this problem, too. A strange "fix" is that if I rattle the door handle and then insert the key, it works... go figure!

8th Jan 2008, 21:57

My husband and I own a 2003 Element. We had the drivers side lock replaced about 1 1/2 years ago. We also had to climb in from the passenger door. Just about 3 months ago we had to have the ignition parts replaced because the key wouldn't start the car anymore. Now we are having the same problem with the drivers side door again. I am calling Honda customer service tomorrow. We cannot afford to fix the door again!

10th Feb 2008, 14:05

I'm going through the same exact problem with the locks on my 2003 Element. Today I had to enter through the trunk of my car! How embarrassing is that? It's not fair that we have to pay for faulty locks.

16th Feb 2008, 23:15

Hello there. I own the '03 Honda Element model and had problems with cracking windshield. I heard that there was a refund given to reimburse the cost to repair windshield cracks. Does anyone know how I may apply for the refund?


20th Feb 2008, 20:36

We have a 2003 Honda Element that has the drivers side lock problem and the passenger side isn't going to last much longer. Tonight the ignition key stopped working. It has been stubborn several times in the past few weeks. It will not turn at all - it is as if it is the wrong key for the car. My wife's key won't work either.

The Honda dealer is 40 miles away so its gonna be a BIG towing bill. Hopefully there will eventually be a class action suit on this one. I have never heard of things like this happening to any car brand with 63K miles especially with a car company that has such a stellar reputation like Honda - sounds more like a Yugo problem to me!

25th Feb 2008, 21:52

We have a Honda Element 2003 and also have chronic problems with the lock on the driver's side. It simply does not work anymore. We have problems unlocking the trunk door as well. We are crawling over the passenger seat in order to unlock the driver's door etc. The lock is also a safety hazard as no one would be able to get into the car in case of a crash. One is also tempted to leave the car unlocked which of course isn't a good idea. We simply cannot afford to replace the locks. We also like the Element a lot. It is a shame. It does not encourage people to buy Honda cars that is for sure.

26th Mar 2008, 13:12

FAULTY LOCKS A CHRONIC PROBLEM. 2003 Honda Element. Driver's side door replaced in 2005, $400. January 2008, the lock is once again is totally useless. Had my windshield replaced FOR FREE at the dealership in 2004 because of a 90 degree crack that appeared in right hand corner. Honda should be held responsible for selling faulty parts. How do we arrange a massive lawsuit? Anyone have any legal advice?

2nd Apr 2008, 13:21

I have a 2003 Element that I love except... The driver side door lock has not worked for about a year. I unlock the passenger side and reach over but now the passenger side is sticking. The back hatch lock does this on occasion. It is the same with all of the keys that came with the car. The ignition has started doing the same thing over the past 4 weeks and this week it feels like the key will quit working entirely.

Diana in Arkansas