2003 Honda Element EX AWD from North America - Comments

14th Mar 2009, 13:25

I too am having the door lock problem. Its extremely frustrating to know that this is happening and Honda isn't doing anything about it. We only have 55,000 miles on our 03 Element.

In addition, our front windshield wiper fluid motor doesn't work? anyone else?

I don't know if well ever buy a Honda again, we have had a lot of minor problems with this car.

18th Mar 2009, 10:50

I too have had multiple problems with the 2003 Honda Element driver's side key/lock. It first failed at ~20K miles, and was replaced under warranty, and failed again at ~45K miles, and I am about to pay to have it replaced (~$180 at the local dealership).

I called Honda and registered an official complaint, which I suggest everyone who has this problem does -- it may speed the time at which Honda covers the cost of lock replacement, regardless of warranty... keep you receipts! I am tired of crawling through the passenger side to unlock the driver's door.

4th Apr 2009, 19:40

Our 2003 Element has door lock problems also. The dealer will repair it for $200. We are also tired of crawling through the passenger side to unlock the driver side. I agree that all of us with door lock problems should make a formal complaint with Honda. I have never in my life heard of a car's door lock not working. Even on cars that are 50 years old, the door locks still work. I'm calling Honda to officially complain.

7th Apr 2009, 08:33

I also have a 2003 Element. I bought it new in 2003. I have the same problem with the drivers side lock problem. I've also had to replace both of the the side panels on the windshield 2 times and the windshield once. I love my Element but this is really a hassle! If we each of us makes a copy of this thread with all our comments and complaint letters individually they should do something if they are a decent company.

30th Apr 2009, 21:21

I made an appointment with the dealer service department for the tumblers to be replaced on the left and right doors. After a 100 t/t drive to : the dealership, they told me they did not have the time that day to do it. And the total bill would be almost $500.

So, I opted to just have a separate set of tumblers and keys made. The manager programmed a new set of tumblers, and gave me the schematic. This set me back roughly $200. I got home and followed the instructions step by step. Albeit nervous, I was able to successfully install them in roughly four hours.

Its been about three months since I did that. Now, I can't turn my ignition switch... I don't have a second car, so I am stuck. I'm hoping the dealership manager saved the code he programmed for the door locks.

Other than that, the only other problem I've had is the driver's seat is wearing out. The upholstery plastic is cracking from getting in/out of the vehicle. I've heard that the newer Elements have super durable upholstery.

That's it for now...

19th May 2009, 17:04

I am so sorry to read all the above comments re: the Element's (2003) driver's door locks... It is just starting with our Element that we bought brand new in '03. I want Honda to recall and fix this problem, and cannot believe they have not yet done so.

3rd Jun 2009, 09:52

I love my Honda Element. It has great room for my kids. It's perfect to have when traveling.

8th Jun 2009, 17:27

I have a 2003 Element and my keys have started to jam in the door locks and the ignition... I took it in to our local dealer and they gave me a number to call to complain...1-800-WHOCARES...I called it and talked to a nice man who said I was a fool to buy a 2003 Honda Element and should have bought a Chevy instead (haha...how's that working?)...seriously...my dealer fixed the problem for $20.

9th Jun 2009, 01:45

I have been crawling over the passenger side for a year. Now the passenger lock is going also and I am going through the hatch back. My question is what is the number to customer service? I can't find it on the Internet at all. I keep getting information to contact my local dealership. I don't want to deal with the local office.

15th Jul 2009, 08:57

It is amazing how many people have the exact same problem with the keys on the Element. I don't know if I am glad I found out I'm not the only one or not. It is frustrating that Honda would rather infuriate current car owners and risk losing their business altogether for what should be a simple issue, and inexpensive, relatively speaking, to them. I also tried a second and third key which only worked briefly. The driver's side lock doesn't work at all any more. I open the passenger's side door and climb across. It appears that it won't be long until that also stops working. I guess the trunk door is next. That should be fun climbing through that door each time. Way to go Honda. Maybe it is time to consider another car maker.

9th Oct 2009, 19:21

My 2003 Element Drivers side lock went out in 2005. Today the passenger went out too. +1 the list.

10th Oct 2009, 18:25

Our driver side lock went out on our 2003 a couple of years ago. We have yet to fix it. The passenger side is getting hard to work now. Has anyone had ANY luck with Honda on this? Definitely a DEFECTIVE part.

We are also on our third windshield and need to replace it also.

Even though we've had these problems, our Honda is FAR SUPERIOR to the American "engineered obsolescence" junk. Praise God for Honda and Toyota!

24th Oct 2009, 21:19

I have a 2003 Honda Civic and my door key is currently stuck in the driver side door and will NOT come out. I've tried everything and everyone. Apparently, this seems to be faulty locks on ALL 2003 models. I did see that they may have a recall out there for this, but I have to find it again. I am so mad. I have been driving around (with my other key) with the key in the door. I worry about someone trying to steal my car, but if someone manages to get the key out of the door, they are better than the other 10 people who have tried to get the key out. Did I mention the passenger side sticks too?

2nd Nov 2009, 10:10

I just had the same problem with my door lock, I managed to get the key out. Tried it on the ignition and the key also started catching. Upon analyzing the key, I found a little "U" shaped notch at about 1/2 inch from the tip on the outer edge (thin side) that looks like had been worn in from usage.

I tested the key on my door lock with the notch side down and it was starting to get stuck again, then upon flipping the key, it worked fine.

Looks like I'll be getting a new $150 key, but until then I'll put a mark on my key to make sure I insert it with the notch side up.

I am curious to see if this is the cause of the issue for some of the people who have replaced the locks and the issue continues to happen.

Good Luck!