23rd Apr 2008, 14:01

I have a Honda 2003 element and having the same key problem. It feels like rubbing metal with metal inside and the key will not go all the way in. Tried wd40 and other silicon sprays but nothing works. Honda says it is about $200 to fix with a new one. They should take fault for this default.

5th May 2008, 12:36

My driver's side door lock went out on my 2003 Element EX and the local dealership quoted the repair for $195.00. I called a locksmith and he is reluctant to touch the job since the key is electronically coded and he has never repaired a Honda before. After reading all the other comments, it appears this is a problem with the Element that should be covered by Honda. Indeed, this repair is almost cost prohibitive. Time for a Toyota?

2nd Aug 2008, 17:10

My driver's side lock also jammed up. Dealership quoted me $300 to replace and recode. Had a mechanic take it apart and clean/lubricate it for free-works perfectly now (although it looks like the passenger side lock may go next). It really ticks me off the dealership didn't even try to do this first before telling me it would be $300 to replace. The mechanic did not recommend installing keyless remote as that may cause problems in the future.

I am also in need of replacing the windshield for the second time. I doubt the dealership will cover it...

11th Aug 2008, 12:11

First the driver's side, then the passenger's side a year later. Is it just coincidence that so many people have this happen to their 03 Elements? There is definitely no guarantee that this won't happen everytime, over time, after already paying for the repairs. I was the biggest Element enthusiast, but don't feel valued enough to get this taken care of by the dealership without paying a couple hundred each time.

15th Sep 2008, 09:58

This driver's side door lock problem is on Civics too - I've had mine repaired with in the last year (something about 'split wafers') and now it has gone out again. No problem with the passenger door yet, but I'm just holding my breath. It is frustrating to say the least.

28th Oct 2008, 05:27

Same exact key problem with the Honda Accord 2003 - Driver side lock replaced after 36,000 miles and now again at 72,000 - this time both the trunk and door went at the same time - I thought the car had been attempted broken into, but the dealer seems to think I am to blame for unlocking my car too much! - I am livid at being treated like a criminal by a rude dealer.

29th Oct 2008, 03:52

I got my 2003 Element new, and 3 years later both door locks would not work with key. So instead of paying for replacement of the locks. I bought the keyless remote and... love it. But I never had a auto that had a key issue like this in my life.

Another issue Element owners should be aware of is the flaw in design on the windshields. I am on my 3rd windshield... after 1st year I was just sitting in my SUV and saw it crack below passengers side wiper. Told the dealer and called (complained) headquarters in CA about it... they replaced it FREE.

Several months later it cracked again about the same place and found that there was a Class Action Law Suit on the problem... Honda would not fix it this time so I went through my auto insurance company for 50 bucks. And again it happen another 50 bucks. But I did apply to join in on law suit and got my 50 bucks back for the cost to me... but my insurance company got stuck with $450.

I still love my Element and the places it took and still takes me.

7th Nov 2008, 18:00

MY 2003 element has also had driver side door lock problems replaced once, now a problem again. Also ignition cylinder went about a year ago. Besides these issues the element has been great, but these issues have cost me close to $1000 when it should never be an issue.

Any work on the legal front?

13th Nov 2008, 09:23

Our 2003 Honda Element has done the same thing with the key lock on the drivers side door. We paid to have it replaced in 2006 and now have the identical problem. I'm not paying again! I do agree, reading all these comments, that Honda must know about the problem and should be fixing these for free.

3rd Dec 2008, 01:33

OK, so we just bought our 2003 Element, and we have door lock problems. The driver's side will not unlock with a key from the outside. We can still unlock from the inside. Next part: when using the power locks, the driver's side lock slowly pops back up after activation. We can still lock the door by pushing down the door lock manually, and shutting the door with the outside door handle pulled out. Anybody else going through this?

Grey with anxiety.

9th Dec 2008, 13:17

Owned my 2003 Element since new and have/had both of these problems - cracked windshield and "sticky" door lock on driver's side (though it still works if I wiggle it). Writing this from Service Department where they told me the windshield is NOT covered since I've had it replaced by a non-Honda windshield twice (safe-lite I think) and I have too many miles... Guess its time to call Corporate. I LOVE the Element though, besides these annoyances.

15th Dec 2008, 09:20

I have a 2003 Honda Element and I have all of the usual problems:

Honda Windshield - I'm on my third. It cracked again and I'm a few hundred miles short of my 60K warranty extension. Honda is jerking me around saying it will take 'weeks' to get approval for another replacement. I suspect they're trying to wait out me passing 60K.

Driver-side door lock - I've developed Houdini-like skills at lock tweaking. Sometimes incantations are needed to get the door unlocked.

Windshield washer. This has failed for the second time.

I've always been a big fan of Honda cars. What's upsetting me the most is their lack of cooperation in getting these relatively minor things fixed and fixed well. I've been to the dealer twice on my most recent list of problems and they keep throwing me back to Honda North America who is impossible to get help from. If anyone has any tips on negotiating this maze, I'd love to hear them.

28th Jan 2009, 23:43

OK, so I am venting. The other day the wife took my 2003 Element out to go shopping, when she got back home there was a vertical crack on the windshield starting at the driver's side post. This is the second windshield with an unknown culprit as a cause. The first one I took to the local dealer who did the ballpoint pen test and said that it proved my windshield was cracked by a rock. So today, my wife calls me at work to tell me that the passenger door glass has come off the track and they can't get it back up, and it looks like rain. Add to that, I have been using the passenger door for about 6 months as I was quoted $500.00 from the dealer for a lock and electric motor replacement to repair the driver's door lock. Man, when does it end? The Element was a great idea for a vehicle, too bad it doesn't really hold up mechanically in the long run. I expect to be doing the Fred Flintstone any day now.