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Old 07-25-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Honda Element

I know lots of folks like the Honda CRV as a toad, and see it is listed in the FMCA Dinghy Guide. My understanding is that the Honda Element uses the same chasis and drive train as the CRV. Does anybody tow an Element?
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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Not approved by Honda so you lose any drive train warranty. If it's out of warranty then it's all your expense anyway so do what you want.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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Element

We haved a 2005 Honda Element with automatic transmission. We tow it 4 wheels down. The Honda owners manual even gives instructions on how to set the vehicle up. It tows great, no problems. We had a electrical line from the tow go to the battery to keep the elements battery charged while towing (ignition off but not in locked (steering wheel) position).
We've been told that in 2006 or 2008 Honda stopped recomending towing the element. Spoke with several honda mechanics and they all have said there was NO change to Honda Element drive train. They did say that many Honda Elements were damaged during towing and Honda wanted to STOP the warenty claims. So they stopped recomending the Element for towing.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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Not approved by Honda so you lose any drive train warranty. If it's out of warranty then it's all your expense anyway so do what you want.
They are now approved by Honda (the new ones). We opted for the CRV, but the Element was okay to tow also.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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They are now approved by Honda (the new ones). We opted for the CRV, but the Element was okay to tow also.
Not according to any of the towing guides I've seen. The only Honda's now approved are the CR-V and Fit. Check the MH Towing Guide like I did. I tried to access the FMCA guide but all I get is a misconfiguration error.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:35 PM   #6
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Forgot to add, I called Honda about a month ago about towing an Element, they told me it was not approved.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:08 PM   #7
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We tow and 03 Element and were told by the dealer I P/T for, from 06 forward that Honda did not approve the towing.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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If it is not specifically stated in the owners manual for your year Element (Honda does for the CR-V) then tow at your own risk---as I guess some have done. Not me!
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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We tow and 03 Element and were told by the dealer I P/T for, from 06 forward that Honda did not approve the towing.
Actually it was the '05 and newer, same as the '05 Odyssey we have. I went all through that with Honda's legal dept. and the AG's office before finally accepting Honda's settlement offer!!
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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If it is not specifically stated in the owners manual for your year Element (Honda does for the CR-V) then tow at your own risk---as I guess some have done. Not me!
And even that can be wrong as we found out from Honda while negotiating with their legal dept. over our '05 Odyssey. At that time I asked for a buy back on our Ody or trade for another model that was towable. They said the only Honda approved for towing was the CR-V was towable BUT some models owners manuals were misprinted and showed they were towable when they were not. We ended up taking their offer of $2,200 and keeping the Ody. (We had it in writing on Honda letterhead that the '05 Ody was towable four down). Then were were told we couldn't tow it four down as "they did some testing and found something they didn't like". They would offer no further information other than my powertrain warranty was void if I towed it.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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Believe you are right Mr D. There was some issues with the owner's manual being printed both ways and then changed about mid-year. Our store manager said if it was in the manual they would warranty it. There were some 05's that had that in the manuals.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:47 PM   #12
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Believe you are right Mr D. There was some issues with the owner's manual being printed both ways and then changed about mid-year. Our store manager said if it was in the manual they would warranty it. There were some 05's that had that in the manuals.
I tried to get Honda to take the Ody back and give us a Pilot, same story there, NOT towable although a few manuals were printed with the towing instructions in it. Now they have backtracked and added the '05 Pilot to the "can tow" list.
Yes, as I said, we were all through this with the CA and WA AG's office and Honda's legal dept. before Honda wrote us a check. I still have all the towing gear on the Ody but tow it on a dolly. I see a few out there being towed and have talked to some owners, they report no problems IF they follow the CR-V instructions. I also had a key made that keeps the steering unlocked but won't start the engine (no electronics in it). Personally I'd like to tow the Ody four down but my wife says as long as we have the dolly we might as well use it., but then she doesn't help move the dolly around either.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #13
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I tow a 2004 Element, it has a manual trans so there are no issues with the tranny. It is an ideal toad for my use. Love it, Love it.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:41 AM   #14
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I thought I heard that Honda was eliminating the Element from it's line soon anyway-----

Mr-D I was unaware that Honda had placed towing information in some manuals for untowable models. Sorry that happened. I went through great pains when we bought our CR-V to get information in writting and review the manual before purchase. Still some techs would warn me about towing the thing---and I would go talk to service managers about it etc;

I have kept an a log of every mile I have towed and have places to check that I have followed the correct proceedure for towing, hours and speed---just in case. Not that they wouuld roll over a play dead but when you are in a situation as described every piece of information helps.
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