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MASTER TECH, Honda Service Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 5753
Experience:  28 years of Honda training and a master Honda tech
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Element: I have a 2004 Honda Element, 5 speed, AWD. Mostly

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Honda Element, 5 speed, AWD. Mostly in 2nd gear, but sometimes in first and occassionally at low speed in 3rd, I experience a shudder, not severe, but noticeable. Dealership said it is endemic to car, caused by faulty synchronizers in transmission.
It is bothersome and I find it hard to believe Honda would build a car with this problem.
Can you suggest what I should be looking for to correct it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Hello welcome to just answer I'm Master Tech and will be able to assist you today.
I would like to ask you a question, is this while turning or going straight and does it seem more noticeable at low speeds ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not affected by turns at all. Happens at lower speed. Once momentum is gained, vibration goes away. Seldom feel in 3rd gear because of this. Never in 4th or 5th. It is at the lower range of acceleration. Can be lessened by accelerating more moderately.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
OK so the more load on the engine is when this is more noticeable and if you let off does it change any?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes, if you accelerate more moderately, it lessens. Dealer blamed it on inherent transmission problem -- synchronizers. It is not severe but noticeable, bothersome. Makes me wonder if it will get worse
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Well this is sounding like a inner cv joint has some worn spots in the cup.
You can jack this up and check the inner cv joints and see how much play is felt when rotating the axle just a little to basically rock the axle back and forth to see if their is play or not.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And this would be true, even if I feel no change during turns?
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Yes because the inner cv joint does not turn it's fixed and does not turn like the outer cv joint
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I'll get that checked out right away. If the inner cv joints are okay, is there another option? And what about the dealer's claim of an "inherent" Honda transmission problem on the 2004 Elements? Is that true? This is the dealer that sold me the car.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
I would have to look on line to see if their is reports of this on the Honda site.
I'm not at my lap top so I have no access to check this. Just left a few hours ago for vacation and not able to access until Monday.
But I can't recall a transmission causing this unless the differential is bad but it would be worse and lots of noise and oil leaks from the transmission.
Now we do have a very common problem with the rear diffs.this was my point in asking about the low speed turns.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since you are on vacation now, can I expect an answer to the transmission claim when you return and are able to address that claim, which was made by an authorized Honda dealership? They said most Elements have the same vibration.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, remember this is a 5-speed, manual with AWD. Thanks.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Yes I am aware of the cars info.
When you check these inner cv joints make sure to hold the inner outer joint with one hand and then gently rock the axle shaft with your other hand. You should should feel some back and forth movement whole twisting the axle shaft about 1mm worth.then compare to the other side. One should have more play then the other.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay, but still need to know your expert view about the dealership's claim about an inherent transmission problem involving synchronizers. Can you provide that Monday, since you are on vacation now?
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Yes I will look Monday.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** look forward to your update when you return Monday.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Just thinking here while driving have you changed the mtf fluid. (transmission fluid) it's Honda fluid for the transmission.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not sure if it was done by dealer when I bought car. How often should it be done? I will find out if it was done.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
You bought this used?
We do the fluid changes on the manuals around 30k
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Every 30K?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, used.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
Yes. It's our dealer recommended Services.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 2 years ago.
good morning
I just checked and i have nothing about this vibration on the rear differential noise while turning and going slow.
so lets start with a transmission fluid change. get the fluid from Honda if your planing on doing this your self. this is the first thing I would start with also check the axles like we spoke about earlier

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