Honda OEM starter vs aftermarket???

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68
Location
Wheat Ridge Colorado
Thread starter
My 2008 Honda Element needs a new starter. I am being told I should only use a OEM Honda starter because aftermarket starters tend to fail. OEM Honda starters run around $550 for reman and $1200 for new from my local Honda dealerships parts dept. Aftermarket reman or new are significantly less with some being as low as $78! Is this true about Honda OEM vs Aftermarket? Replacing the starter is a major job that requires the intake manifold and throttle body to be removed to reach it and I don't feel like I have enough expertise to do the job myself so I'm going to have a shop do it. One shop uses only Honda OEM and is (of course) charging a high price ($850 +) and the other shops I'm looking at use aftermarket and are charging around $500+. Trying to figure out which would be the best direction for me to go.
 
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2,026
Location
CA
First You Tube I found with 30 second search showed how to do it from below. A good mechanic could do it in one hour. Same as 2007 Civic which this 75 y.o. did recently on ramps in my driveway. I didn't use OEM, but highly rated Amazon unit. This:https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KY0LN98/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title? PG Gear has served me well, but not sure if they make for your car. Well there it is. Chris posted it while I was typing.
 
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OP: I'd use a Honda dealer remanufactured OEM unit. I had mine replaced by the Honda dealer in 2014. Total cost was $797 even. Question - is this Element important to you? If so, buy a new one or get a remanufactured OEM one. I've had over 30 cars in my life, most of them really nice units. But by far, our Element is one of the absolute best vehicles I've ever owned. I bought mine new and it has 197k miles on it now. I put new OEM brakes on it at 125k miles and replaced the right strut bearing at 165k miles. Other than routine maintenance that car has cost me nothing other than gas and tires. If you like and depend on your Element as much as I do, don't scrimp on the starter. Elements are worth it. Scott

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949
Location
Athens, GA
I just purchased a Premier Gear from Amazon for my TL about 2 weeks ago. The factory one had become slow and started randomly taking 2 attempts to get it to 'catch'. The PG is working fine and there was no core charge so the OEM one is sitting on my toolbox waiting for me to pull it apart, clean it up, lube it, and put the $14 set of new brushes in it so that I can have it as a spare. What that means is that the PG will probably last the life of the car since I have a backup and its only about an hour job start to finish. I've never had a problem with aftermarket, but I know people who have. All boils down to what you're willing to put up with I suppose. If its only a minor hassle to swap it out, then I feel aftermarket is worth the cost savings. If you are paying someone to do the work for you, it might be false economy if it fails in a month and you're having to pay the labor again. FWIW, it is a Mitsuba starter, good source for parts lookup: https://www.aspwholesale.com/starters/mitsuba/pmgr/starter-p10291.html
 
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Messages
68
Location
Wheat Ridge Colorado
Thread starter
Yes, I've seen this and other videos on youtube taking the starter from the bottom. But since I don't have a rack, I can't do it by laying under the car because of a recently injured back. This does look like the best way to replace this starter instead of doing it from the top but all shops and dealers I've talked to, do it from the top.
 
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8,299
Location
Texas
I have had good luck with TYC new starters. Rockauto has one for your Element for $105. Also, you can get REMY or AC DELCO new for $170. That's how I would go - and save hundreds of dollars.
 
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68
Location
Wheat Ridge Colorado
Thread starter
I agree, My Element has been one of the best cars I've ever owned. I posted this to find out if the OEM really is the best because I want to put the best starter in my Element so it will last at least another 12 years before I have to replace it again.
 
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12,783
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ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted by Garyd
I agree, My Element has been one of the best cars I've ever owned. I posted this to find out if the OEM really is the best because I want to put the best starter in my Element so it will last at least another 12 years before I have to replace it again.
You may have just answered your own question.
 
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4,785
Location
VA
Originally Posted by Char Baby
Originally Posted by Garyd
I agree, My Element has been one of the best cars I've ever owned. I posted this to find out if the OEM really is the best because I want to put the best starter in my Element so it will last at least another 12 years before I have to replace it again.
You may have just answered your own question.
I concur. You aren't gonna be happy with a non-OEM starter. You know me and Char Baby are telling the truth. thumbsup I would go with the OEM shop as they are making a statement as to the quality of their work. IMHO
 
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4,149
Location
Los Gatos, CA
The K24 starter R&R is involved for those not familiar with the process. I understand the Element is easier because you can access it from below. I just had the starter replaced on our beloved 2006 TSX at 190K; I think it was about $600. They used a Nippondenso reman which is what I would have used if I did the work. Our friend The Critic might chime in as he is familiar with the process. Good luck.
 
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14,130
Location
Central NY
Every vehicle I've had has needed a starter - except the Subaru. Every single time I bought a Napa starter thinking it was better because it's "premium" and I have always had issues with them grinding the flywheel on the first attempt to crank. I'm running cheap Advance ones and have had a bit better luck with those.
 
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21,097
Location
Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted by Miller88
Every vehicle I've had has needed a starter - except the Subaru. Every single time I bought a Napa starter thinking it was better because it's "premium" and I have always had issues with them grinding the flywheel on the first attempt to crank. I'm running cheap Advance ones and have had a bit better luck with those.
Napa's rebuilt starters and alternators are absolute garbage! No shop here will use one as it's a guaranteed comeback. The AutoZone and O'Riley's ones are better than Napa's junk.
 
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230
Location
OH
You might want to search your local area for a shop that rebuilds alternators and starters, use to be a real common thing but maybe they are all disappearing like all the old Mom and Pop chroming shops.
 
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