7th Nov 2011, 08:29

I'm the original poster of this review, with an update.

It turns out that here in Michigan, my Element eats brakes faster than a fat man eats at a buffet. At 98,000 miles, I've had to rebuild the entire rear brake system twice, and the front brake system once, all due to rust. The first time, my mechanic brought in the rotor to show me that he couldn't resurface it, and to show his point, he tapped on it with his micrometer. Chunks of the rotor literally broke off and fell onto the floor because the rotors were that rusted at 47,000 miles and two Michigan winters.

Oh, and have fun when the VTEC pressure sensor goes out at 87,000 miles while you're trying to keep up with traffic doing 85 on the freeway, and suddenly your car cuts out at 2,300 RPM (which is about 48 miles per hour in 5th gear with the manual transmission).

Also, over the past couple of years, my mileage has dropped dramatically. Once upon a time I could manage 29 mpg with this car on the freeway if I kept the speeds down toward the speed limit, but now, I can't manage more than 22, period, and normal city driving sometimes gets me down into the teens.

The car's also developed a few mystery clunks that my mechanic can hear, but neither he nor another mechanic at a another shop can identify, so I just keep driving it in the hopes that the mystery clunks don't identify themselves by way of component failure. Maybe the mystery clunks and the V8-like mileage are related, but who knows, since no one can identify the mystery clunks!

I bought a Honda because everyone raved about the quality and how they were so much better than American cars, and I liked the look and functionality of the Element. What a load of crap. Here I am approaching 100,000 miles (just clicked 98,000 on my drive to class this morning), and my car's already making mystery noises and making me worry that I'll be stranded on the side of the freeway. Forget that. Just as soon as I have my master's, I'll go back to supporting my family and my community by buying Ford or GM. Yeah my Element may have been built in Ohio, but the money went back to Japan, and this car isn't good enough to justify my buying another car that sends my money overseas.

5th Jan 2018, 01:59

Your money... when buying a Honda... nearly ALL of it stays in America. Honda uses hundreds of supplier companies... all in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. For 87% of its parts.

Ford builds all the engines and trans for its entire pickup line in Mexico. GM as well.

Chrysler too. Except for the ones with Cummings diesel engines.

The Ford Fusion is 100% made in Mexico.

Believe it or not. 45% of all cars sold in America are made by Japanese (and a few by German) companies who have become... literally American companies. Only a very small profit ever gets back to Japan. By far most money stays here. Unlike the "American car Makers". Their profits go to China and Mexico to build more factories and put MORE Americans out of work. Sad... as in very very very... sad...

As to your technical complaints.

Brakes... always buy the best ceramic brakes. The shops are giving you mid grade, semi metallic brakes. They wear out quickly (don't they). Ceramic brakes... They last nearly forever... and have less brake dust to discolor the wheels. When you have a shop do a brake job, they turn a $60 45 minute repair into a $700 and leave it for two days... repair. How? They lie. Example: your brake rotor story. Brake rotors always, always, always, always have rust buildup. It comes from the interior air vents. It is normal. Just like the metallic residue that accumulates in all automatic transmission fluid pans. Transmission shops can't help but lie about that too. And scare the crap out of customers who don't know any better.

Your loss of mileage is simple. You need to replace your fuel filter every two years. It is the only repair other than brakes and tires that is absolutely needed, and yet this simple and cheap item is always overlooked. Always. On purpose. And they know what they are doing. Guess why. It causes lean burn situations when partially blogged and the engine control computer over compensates. Hence bad MPG.

You admit you drive at 80-85 mph. And you complain about bad MPG??

Surely you jest.

The physics of high speed travel is all too often completely misunderstood... as it is... obviously... in your case.

Be cool dude. The Japanese cars are CARS. Machines. That need to be respected. And cared for. By treating them gently.

And get this... the ones we buy here in America are built with higher American content... by official government numbers... more American content... (like 87% vs 62%) than Ford GM or Chrysler vehicles.

I drive Subarus because I care about American jobs... and... I must have an American made AWD (87%) and I live in the deep, deep, deep snow where I live. But I also have V8 Explorers. Why? Reliability. Period.

Hondas are reliable. Just lighten up and learn a few things about cars. So you won't keep getting cheated on simple cheap repairs. Can't change brake pads? You've got to be kidding! My 5th grader can do it. And she's a girl. And not a tom-boy girl.

P.S. I actually am willing to give all cars a chance. On a lark I just picked up a 15 year old LeSabre. American made. Had to replace ALL window mechanisms. The American made ones all ALL broke. Replaced with wrecking yard CHINESE parts which were used in "American" made LeSabres in 12 & 10 year old LeSabres. They are the reliable ones. Still are the preferred supplier. And you think the American made thing is real? Ya gotta study it to find the real truth.

But truth be told... it's a great car and is powerful and gets good MPG. Very good.

Anyway. Learn to do a few simple repairs already.

And quit getting cheated. And then you won't start blaming the car... Maybe.