really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Element engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Element Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 032011

Element 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


While driving on I-5 going through grants pass in Oregon uphill, my 2003 Honda Element suddenly decelerated from 65mph to barely 35 mph. Car has been in the shop for two days, there were no codes indicating an issue with the transmission. The mechanic recommended it be seen by a engine mechanic. Car is still experiencing the issue after a transmission flush, new spark plugs, fuel system cleaning. This is a major safety issue, the car only has 82500 miles on and has never been placed in storage.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 312011

Element 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Tumblers in ignition becomes mal aligned, key will not insert or turn, engine will not start. This is not part of the current active recall on the ignition system. I have replaced the ignition lock cylinder twice in 3 years. It is a common occurrence, ask any one who drives a 2003 Element, they've replaced this part too. Honda only warranties the part for one year.

- Kittery, ME, USA

problem #2

Jan 092008

Element 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Poor heating due to restricted heater core. An identical problem was identified in the 2004, and 2005 Element (ref. Honda service bulletin 07-076 dated 11/28/2007) and the heater core is thus replaced under the normal warranty. Although the problem began on my 2003 Element in 2006 and the vehicle is still covered under warranty, Honda service personnel refuse to recognize the trouble as a factory defect and will charge in excess of $1,500 dollars to replace the heater core. The consumer stated a tsb had been issued regarding contamination of the engine coolant which could cause restrictions in the heater core and radiator and sometimes corrosion. Updated 03/05/09.

- Mountainville, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer has had consistent problems with the vehicle's factory installed horn and alarm. The dealer was unable to remedy the communication system. Other problems were; the bumper cover would pop out intermittently, the right side corner piece was loose, the horn sound was abnormal and anti-freeze was leaking.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

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