14th Jun 2010, 14:42

I love my Honda Element except for the driver's side of the door will not open. I have been trying to search to see if it is a faulty lock, but I see Honda will not do a recall. Oh my.

We also have had to have our windshield replaced many times. I still love my Element, but want to get into the driver's side of the door.

16th Jun 2010, 09:19

I have had my Element for 5 years, and have had to replace the door locks twice. The dealer covered this via the warranty.

Now yesterday, while taking my boss to lunch, the lock out happens again. Nothing cooler than crawling into the back of your toaster when you're with your boss.

I don't think my warranty will cover it this go around. I need to find out. Uggh.

Honda: We Have a Problem.

6th Jul 2010, 08:55

So, guess what, I also have a 2003 Honda Element EX. Back in 2005, my drivers lock stopped working and my windshield mysteriously cracked. Then in 2008, the passengers side window literally slid all the way down and would not come back up (Honda said it was cosmetic!) Now I went to get in the car through my passenger door, and not only did my key get stuck, but my lock also stopped working. This leaves me with the only option being to climb in from the rear hatch, and Honda still says all of these issues will not be covered by them. Come on, are you kidding me? If anyone knows of a DIY fix or some way to get this repaired that doesn't cost close to $1000, please e-mail me!


28th Sep 2010, 14:39

2003 Honda Element EX.

We are on windshield #6, something about the angle of the glass being too steep.

The driver's door lock went in the second year; about $200 to replace, and today the ignition switch went, and will be about $600 to replace.

260,000 KM of otherwise problem free driving makes it hard to dislike the vehicle, but Honda must be aware of all of the unhappy customers, and should make amends.

12th Oct 2010, 23:10

I have a 2003 Honda Element and I am having the same problem as everyone else: driver side door lock no longer works and after using passenger side for a few weeks, it is now going as well. I brought the car into the dealership and they want to charge $350 for replacing the driver side lock. How is this acceptable? I am concerned that I will pay to have it repaired only for this to happen again. Is everyone just paying to have this fixed over and over?

21st Oct 2010, 14:40

Well, at least I know we're not alone with the key and lock issue. We've been having the same problem with the locks for over 2 years now. Gave the Element to my son for college, and he's having to climb in and out the back window. Not cool for a college freshman! Any DIY fix would be very welcome. Honda clearly needs to address this issue!

9th Nov 2010, 15:48

My '03 doesn't want to start on occasion. I believe it's the key security system that's breaking down. Anyone know how to disable it? Not able to spend big bucks fixing it, and at 120K miles I really don't need the added level of security.

24th Nov 2010, 16:47

I bought my 2003 Honda Element used about 3 years ago.

Shortly after buying, I couldn't open the driver side door with the key. Fortunately the used car dealership had it fixed for me, since this happened so soon after I bought it.

Then it happened again. This time, after taking it to a couple of locksmiths with no results, I had it fixed at the dealership. By this time the driver's side and passenger locks stopped working, and the ignition was hit or miss. By the time I took it in, the key was actually stuck in the ignition. This was VERY expensive to fix, and to get a spare key was so expensive, I decided not to buy the spare key.

Now, once again, both doors won't unlock with a key, and I am reduced to crawling through the back of the vehicle to unlock the doors. I went for several months having to enter through the passenger door before both locks stopped working. Me being a drummer, this is extremely inconvenient!

I can't afford to pay the dealership for this again! I'm still paying this car off!! It seems that there are enough complaints to warrant a recall.

Did a Facebook page ever get started over this?... Or a recall?

2nd Jan 2011, 22:55

Yes I have been having the lock problem. First the drivers door and now the passenger one. You're right - why hasn't Honda recalled this? I have just had the recall on the ignition fixed(free).

7th Jan 2011, 08:48

Regarding 2003 Element drivers door lock. The door lock actuator is usually the problem. Replacement can be ordered from Rockauto.com for about $31 + shipping. Anyone that can handle tools can replace it; they even have instructions online. Takes about an hour, and it is a tight fit, but easy to do.

27th Jan 2011, 16:46

We purchased our 2003 Honda Element last night for our college student. But my husband noticed that there was a problem with the lock on the driver's side. They said they would fix it within the 30 days. We brought it back today. I was told it would be an hour job. It has been 6 hours. I think I got put on the back burner because as the mechanic said, he was doing all of this work for "free". Well, I happened to have paid quite a price for this car, and this was before I read all of these comments. However, most of my research indicates that the bulk of you are happy with the car in general. I hope that is true, because I have one now. Wish us luck...

15th Apr 2011, 16:35

We also bought an '03 Element used and it had driver's door lock issues when we bought it. The Honda dealership service department said, "someone must have changed that lock." After some research and a visit to the local lock smith ($15.00) we now can use the driver door lock. But... if you use the electric lock button to lock the doors the driver door immediately unlocks itself. Car off, door open, lock button, all doors lock, driver door immediately unlocks. I must hold the door handle out while pressing the lock button to lock the door.

Any suggestions?

29th Jun 2011, 10:29

Hi all, another nonfunctional lock here. First the driver's side, then the passenger side started being 'picky', then I went and screwed up the hatchback lock (that one was my own fault...).

My question is, with the nonfunctioning lock, would installing a keyless entry fix the problem? That seems to be the cheapest option...

29th Jun 2011, 13:25

I have a 2003 Element EX 2 wheel drive that I have had since new. The drivers' side door lock stopped working at 80,000 miles, I had that fixed and no problems since, and I now have 133,240 miles on my 2003 Element.

The windshield recently cracked at 132,500 miles. From what I have read on this site about door lock and windshield cracking on 2003 Elements, I've been rather lucky.

Overall I love my Element, it has been utterly reliable mechanically. The original front brake pads lasted until 127,500 miles (my Element has a 5 spd. manual; brakes tend to last longer on manual transmission cars) and I am still on only the 2nd set of tires (replaced the originals at 57,000 miles). I can't really complain.