2003 Honda Element EX AWD from North America - Comments

12th Nov 2009, 13:45

Bought my Element in 2003 - my driver's side lock/tumbler combo just went out for the 4th time! Honda covered the first repair back in 2005, since then I've had to pay to get the lock fixed every time. Repairs have been around $100 - but it's a hassle to have this done almost yearly.

23rd Nov 2009, 13:44

We also have a 2003 Element. Same door lock problem. We'll try calling Honda, but maybe we should start a Facebook group.

5th Dec 2009, 20:52

I have a 2003 Honda Element, which I bought new and now has 200,000 miles. The driver door lock went bad about 2 years into ownership. I keep an umbrella on the passenger side so I can reach across to unlock. The passenger side will sometimes act up and I have had to use the hatchback on occasion.

26th Dec 2009, 19:24

I have same problem on my 2003 Element, the key is still stuck in the driver's side door. Any tips on how I can take it out?

Thanks.

29th Dec 2009, 17:09

2003 Element - good car, 2 of the 3 ubiquitous issues though:

Passenger side locks are broken.

Windshield wiper motor just stopped.

Have 67,500 miles on it to date (from Aug 2003)

3rd Jan 2010, 09:48

We have had the same passenger door lock problem with our 2003 Element EX AWD for a couple of years, and have resorted to the driver's side, however it is now sticking. We talked to our dealership where we bought our car new, and the service mgr was unhelpful. After talking to several other dealers - I found that since it is not a safety issue & is considered a body issue Honda will not recall the vehicles. I think that it IS a safety issue - if you reduce the times you lock your car & someone is waiting for you when you return!

We bought an aftermarket remote kit at an auto parts store, but I haven't installed it yet.

9th Jan 2010, 09:25

We also have had the door lock problem on our 2003 Element. The drivers side does not work at all, and the passenger side works sometimes, but it is on the way out. We also had the ignition problem where the key will not turn; $653.00 to fix at the dealership. On the plus side, we still have the original windshield with no cracks.

11th Jan 2010, 15:25

I own a 2003 Element, purchased new. My driver's side lock failed several years ago and I had it repaired at the dealer at my expense (about $200). It failed again over a year ago, and I routinely enter on the passenger side. I am currently having problems with the passenger side and the ignition. I will be taking it into the dealer again. Does anyone have recommendations for best fix for this? Also, I am on my third windshield. I wish Honda would take responsibility for the lock problem!

18th Jan 2010, 08:10

I just dropped my '03 Element off at the dealership to deal with my driver's-side door lock. Of course, when I went to show the service manager? The key went in and turned like a dream.

But when I drive, it feels like the brake or automatic transmission is giving up; I get a stutter/hiccup just before I come to a complete stop.

Sigh. I bought a Honda so I wouldn't have these problems! I was hoping to run this sucker into the ground, not have it break down all on its own. I only have 57,000 miles on it, BTW.

25th Jan 2010, 02:52

My 2003 Honda Element OE windshield developed cracks and my drivers door lock mechanism gave up. However, I have 315000 kms, and other than those items, it still runs top notch.

7th Feb 2010, 18:17

I have had the drivers door lock fixed twice on my '03 Element. They know it is a problem but will not help.

16th Feb 2010, 13:58

2003 EXAWD windshield broken this year; cracked, cracked and cracked some more.

Driver's side door lock broken for a year.. climb through passenger door. Is it key or key lock mechanism? Is there battery in key? Anyone know bottomline of door lock problem?

19th Feb 2010, 20:00

Well, I as well have the same lock problems with my 2003 Element. First the driver's side, and now the ignition lock. At the dealership now. $780 total! Can't really specify on the breakdown of the service as I haven't picked it up, but $780 is a lot! Crazy.

Yes my windshield is cracked also. The car was bought new, but does have 120,000 miles. I have replace the windshield washer motor and has broken again a year later.

I liked the car, but these problems are pretty ridiculous. I also have a struggling transmission that I'm hoping will just keep struggling, but not die. I know, a far stretch! Good luck to everyone!

12th Mar 2010, 12:24

TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS - If your car shutters or slams into gear, you might want to try TRANS-X Automatic Transmission Slip-Stop & Leak Fix.

I have an 1986 Camry that has only 65K on it. This past September of 2009 my transmission suddenly started slamming into 2nd gear. I talked to a friend who works at an auto parts store - he recommended changing transmission fluid, filter, and adding Trans-X. It cleared up my problem after about 2 hours of driving around town. It was apparently a sticking shift valve. Since Honda is so insistent that only their fluid be used, you might want to put it in, drive it until it stops, and then change the fluid WITHOUT using Trans-X again (I still have it in my Camry).

It is very easy to change your transmission fluid - you can find out how to here - http://www.ehow.com/how_5845235_change-transmission-fluid-honda-element.html Trans-X only costs about $8.00 and I DO NOT work for that company - I am an Art Teacher!

15th Apr 2010, 22:38

I have a 2003 Honda Element, and I am also having the driver side door lock problem. We were always able to get in by opening the passenger side and unlocking from the inside, but since last week the driver side door cannot be opened at all from the inside, so I am climbing in and out through the passenger side.

Now the passenger side door lock is starting to stick, just like the driver's side did. I don't think I will be able to maneuver getting out through the back, so I am praying I don't get trapped before I get it fixed. I am going to try to have my husband do the DIY following the instructions I saw on another post.

I am also contacting Honda about this annoying problem.

27th Apr 2010, 20:49

I also have a 2003 Element, and... just like everyone, I have the key lock problem on the driver side, the passenger side is starting to do the same thing... I will call Honda tomorrow, hopefully if there is enough complaints they will do something.

I am glad to have found this forum, I thought I was the only one to have this problem. Thanks.

19th May 2010, 15:37

I own a 2003 Honda Element. Tomorrow we are having our 7th windshield installed. So frustrating!!

30th May 2010, 14:02

Door Lock Woes!

I have the 2003 EX with about 85,000 miles. Began having driver door lock problems about 3 weeks ago, but it was intermittent. Now I am having to lock with the handle inside the drivers door while pushing down lock (old Honda trick). The keyless fob tries to open and lock. Sometimes will lock or unlock all but drivers side, but no go on drivers side. Having to climb through or reach over from passenger side. :-(