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#4804788 - 07/04/18 09:04 AM Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5436
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Hello on this Fourth of July 2018

A month ago I scoped out a 2008 Nissan Stanza a friend had located online. It was near me so little effort was involved.
Good car it was but way too small for his lifestyle and job. By the time I called him back he had come around and realized he was just off-base.

He zeroed in on the Honda Element because of its utilitarian shape and the mods outdoorsy people had posted online. He was in smitten.

He asked me to accompany him to the lovely world of used car dealers in Paterson, NJ. This was Monday July 2nd.

The $5,995 EX was in near showroom shape except for driver's seat food stains and curb-rashed wheels.
It drove solidly for a vehicle with 125K. The RF wheel put out a wobble starting at 50 mph.

SHORT VERSION: The dealer sent the vehicle to his mechanic and they dewobbled it >95% as best as I could feel the next day.

My pal determined that this vehicle was in high demand for a certain classification of buyer so he bought it. My job was done so I took my leave.

He then surprised me by taking it to a nearby Honda dealership. An inspection they called "a diagnostic" was $125. He did this AFTER the sale.
He said they decrudded the wheels and remounted and rebalanced the cheap tires the thing had and it drove like a dream. He was even HAPPIER.
I hope some day to see the entire print-out of said "diagnostic".

MY CONTRIBUTION: I took the stack of R&M receipts from the glove box, organized and digested them for my friend.
The car was bought new in Danbury, CT for $24,002 TOTAL.
It was serviced regularly at that dealership and at a garage on the New Jersey Shore (Lavallette).
Oil changes averaged out at 8,500 miles.
Both sway bar links had been changed.
It had a transmission D&F at 68K
It had an AWD differential fluid change a little later.
It had both O2 sensors changed in response to codes only a few thousand miles apart.
The owner brought it in on two occasions to secure flopping chassis plastic.
It had its airbag recall done.
It was in for brakes regularly throughout its life and recently before it was traded in.
My friend did OK.

PLAN: I'll offer to do another trannie and diff D&F as well as a coolant D&F.

QUESTION: A receipt from Safelite (windshield repair) was coded, "MWSREPAIR" and cost $129. Anybody know?

Cheers,

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#4804811 - 07/04/18 09:21 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 494
Loc: Vienna, VA
That safelite code is for mobile windshield repair.

_________________________
1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 157k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 126k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30

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#4804814 - 07/04/18 09:24 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3115
Loc: NJ
Mobile Wind Shield Repair. For $129 I'd guess they cleaned up some chips. That's too low for a new one?


Edited by Leo99 (07/04/18 09:25 AM)
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#4804871 - 07/04/18 10:06 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
93cruiser Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 261
Loc: New Jersey
Good for you making it out alive. Did you at least go to the falls?

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#4804872 - 07/04/18 10:08 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
CT Rob Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 149
Loc: connecticut
Those are pretty handy cars.All vinyl flooring seats fold etc,handy and come in AWD too.And the orig selling dealer is a pretty good dealership.
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2017 Toyota Tundra SR5 Crewmax 4x4 Trd offroad.Inferno Orange.All stock for now....

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#4804893 - 07/04/18 10:22 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 886
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: Kira

It had a transmission D&F at 68K
It had an AWD differential fluid change a little later.

Seeing this would bring a smile to my face. If they swapped the trans fluid then you know it was not neglected. If someone claims "well maintained" I want to see proof that the trans fluid has been changed at a reasonable mileage and that the brake fluid has been changed every 4 years minimum. Those services are performed by people who know how to maintain a car and make it last, not by someone who wants to maximize ROI.

Flush the brake fluid ASAP, although I fear the damage has been done by now.
_________________________
03 Jetta AWP/09A 200k kms
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#4804921 - 07/04/18 10:58 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
UncleDave Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1708
Loc: Ca.
Only one windshield receipt? Im surprised.

Bought my ex wife one of these - never seen so many cracked windshields in my life. She lost about one a year.

Aside from that its a pretty neat little rig - great for dogs.

UD
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#4804938 - 07/04/18 11:22 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
JamesBond Offline


Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 863
Loc: midwest
Change the inline atf filter while you're at it.

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#4804946 - 07/04/18 11:27 AM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
Driz Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 290
Loc: northern NY
Those old Hondaís are the best of the breed. Too bad they went with the CVT on late models. Thatís fine to get it out the door and for the 2 year traders but sucks for us folks who like em older. I used to love to pick up my Hondaís at around 125. No way Iíd go near one with CVT and that mileage though. Canít even much find a standard anymore sadly.

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#4804986 - 07/04/18 12:32 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: maxdustington]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2731
Loc: PV Az
Originally Posted By: maxdustington


Flush the brake fluid ASAP, although I fear the damage has been done by now.


What damage would that be?
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#4805032 - 07/04/18 01:36 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Driz]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 5631
Loc: FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Driz
Those old Hondaís are the best of the breed. Too bad they went with the CVT on late models. Thatís fine to get it out the door and for the 2 year traders but sucks for us folks who like em older. I used to love to pick up my Hondaís at around 125. No way Iíd go near one with CVT and that mileage though. Canít even much find a standard anymore sadly.


Just to clarify, the Elements never had CVT's. Fortunately, Honda has a great track record with their CVT's.
_________________________
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53,xxx miles
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2014 VW Jetta SE 1.8T ea888
37,xxx miles
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#4805037 - 07/04/18 01:41 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 12169
Loc: NH
I thought the Element was unloved by most? more of a niche vehicle?

Sounds like your friend got what they wanted. Good by me.
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 163k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 185k, his

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#4805082 - 07/04/18 02:25 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: AZjeff]
maxdustington Offline


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 886
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Originally Posted By: maxdustington


Flush the brake fluid ASAP, although I fear the damage has been done by now.


What damage would that be?


My car had what most likely was 200k km brake fluid, it was green. Every caliper had a bunch of black junk in it, I found this even after I flushed because I rebuilt every brake caliper. My RR caliper had brake fluid in the dust boot and both of my rear brake calipers did not function very well since I got the car and probably for a while before. They started working well again when I rebuilt them. I also had the master and power booster replaced before I rebuilt the rear calipers chasing the problem, I think they were toast though anyway.

The fluid was greenish black in the entire system, not just near the wheels. My MC, ABS pump, Prop valve, everything was exposed to that fluid. Flushing could not even remove all the contaminants as the bleeders are are the top of the calipers. It made me realize that a good chunk of brake lines probably rust from in the inside out at least partially. I had the two calipers furthest away from the MC stop working (PITTED rotors, not just rust) but could still be actuated by the parking brake. The RR caliper was the farthest from the MC and the most damaged.

Old brake fluid will definitely screw your calipers up, imagine what it can do to an ABS pump. Untouched bleeders can be a pain, but it is not hard to DIY even with ABS. My story is anecdotal evidence but both rear calipers not functioning is good enough correlation for me.

Changing brake fluid = PO with above average automotive knowledge
Changing ATF = PO with average automotive knowledge. With cars that are becoming more and more difficult to swap fluid in, this might be(come) above average automotive knowledge.

Doing these things early and regularly helps the car survive at high mileages. I think that's what I would be looking for if I was looking to drop a serious chunk of change on a used car. Well maintained to a BITOGer is different than well maintained to normies.


Edited by maxdustington (07/04/18 02:28 PM)
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#4805108 - 07/04/18 02:50 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 12169
Loc: NH
I dunno, not sure I'd fear unchanged brake fluid that much. It's not good, but I've had calipers go bad even with 2-3 year fluid changes. And plenty of cars are on the road with 10 year old fluid that are going to turn into twenty year old cars with twenty year old brake fluid.

I picked up my Camry with what I presume is original brake fluid (the ATF certainly looked original--and nasty). Brake fluid came out green. Year plus later I decided to pull some more fluid--I figure, it's cheap, so I should just pull fluid once/year on my fleet. Stuff came out almost as green as last time. shrug Brakes work fine, ABS works fine too. Car had 140k/225kkm when I got it, now it's 184k/294kkm on the clock.
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 163k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 185k, his

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#4805185 - 07/04/18 04:18 PM Re: Friend's find--a 2007 Honda Element [Re: Kira]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2731
Loc: PV Az
A couple of years ago I picked up one of those Harbor Freight brake flush gizmos and changed fluid in the whole fleet which at the time included the 86 Samurai with 125K (original fluid I bet), 02 Xterra with 140K, 06 Grand Cherokee with 100K, and 07 GMC 2500 Duramax with 110K. Yes the fluid was dirty but no brake components were obviously damaged or not functioning correctly AFAIK. The brakes did firm up in the Samurai.

I'd change out the brake fluid in the Element but wouldn't worry much about damaged parts because of it.
_________________________
86 Samurai 1.3 leftovers
14 RAV4 2.5 5W-20 PP
16 Silverado 1500 4.3, DI, AFM 5W-30 PP

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa


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