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Old 02-27-2016, 11:40 AM   #1
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Towing a 2011 Honda Element AWD - Anyone doing this?

. .. Good Day. . .Wanting to tow a 2011 Honda Element AWD ( supposed to have same drivetrain as a CR-V ) & wondering if anyone is doing so & the procedure for doing that. . .TIA!. . .
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:49 PM   #2
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Try using the Google search box at the top of the page. Older Elements were towable, but the later years had a different auto transmission. (5 speed) Honda didn't recommend it, but some reports of towing. You're out of warranty, so it's your risk to try it.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:03 PM   #3
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. . .BFlinn181. . .My thoughts also. . .
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:28 AM   #4
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. . .Anyone towing a Honda Element AWD???
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:28 AM   #5
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Stuff-Happens-

Page 179 (PDF page 185) of the 2011 Honda Element owner's manual (found online at this link) reads:

"Your vehicle is not designed to be towed behind a motor home."

If memory serves, our first-year 2003 is towable. I didn't do the research to see when the AWD Elements became untowable.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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The 03 AWD was towable and Honda pulled the ok to tow all Hondas but the CRV in I think 06 not because of a transmission change but just because, Everyone thought the reason may have been that to many folks didnt follow the towing procedure causing Honda problems and bad press, I know that many folks on some of the forums did tow the Honda Odyssey long after it was pulled from the towing list.
The towing procedure on all Hondas before 2015 was with the engine running go from Low or drive to Neutral and Never from Reverse to Neutral. I cant tell you that its OK to tow the 2011 Element but will say if I had one I would tow it 4 down. Do a search Google search there are lots of threads on this.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:44 AM   #7
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Approximate cost to remove, rebuild, replace Honda Element transmission, $4,700. (dealer estimate, other shops would be lower) That's after installing base plate and making it 'tow ready.' I think I'd look for another vehicle that is known to be towable.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:56 AM   #8
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Bill it has the same Engine and transmission as the CRV, its just not approved by Honda.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walt2137 View Post
The 03 AWD was towable and Honda pulled the ok to tow all Hondas but the CRV in I think 06 not because of a transmission change but just because
Walt-

Some pre-2015 Honda models (other than the CRV) with automatic transmissions are flat-towable, per the manual. I know our 2009 Fit Sport is.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walt2137 View Post
The 03 AWD was towable and Honda pulled the ok to tow all Hondas but the CRV in I think 06 not because of a transmission change but just because, Everyone thought the reason may have been that to many folks didnt follow the towing procedure causing Honda problems and bad press, I know that many folks on some of the forums did tow the Honda Odyssey long after it was pulled from the towing list.
The towing procedure on all Hondas before 2015 was with the engine running go from Low or drive to Neutral and Never from Reverse to Neutral. I cant tell you that its OK to tow the 2011 Element but will say if I had one I would tow it 4 down. Do a search Google search there are lots of threads on this.
Nope, it was '05. Ran into that after we bought the '05 Ody. Luckily we had it in writing on Honda letterhead that it was towable four down. Honda ended up paying us $2,200 and we bought a dolly. Later I saw people towing them four down so I went back to four down. Ody has 105,800+ on the odometer and another 20,000 four down. No problems ever although if you forget to release the parking brake they do burn the shoes up! Yep, the parking brake is a drum inside the rear disk.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:22 AM   #11
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. . .I do plan on towing the 2011 Honda Element AWD all 4 down; I have heard about running engine & then going R - N - D - N & then let it run for 3 minutes; key at first detente; park brake off. . .Anything else?. . .Thanks to those responding!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stuff-Happens View Post
. . .I do plan on towing the 2011 Honda Element AWD all 4 down; I have heard about running engine & then going R - N - D - N & then let it run for 3 minutes; key at first detente; park brake off. . .Anything else?. . .Thanks to those responding!!!!!!!
Same sequence as the CR-V which also wants you to go through 3-2-1, then back up stopping a few seconds at each. DO NOT go from Park to Neutral without going through the gears again. It leave the trans partly in gear.
Here's the list I made:
Quote:
1. Start Engine

2. Press on Brake Pedal.

3. Shift through ALL positions.

4. Shift to D, then to N. Let the engine run at least three minutes and turn off

5. Release Parking Brake.

6. Leave ignition switch in Accessory so steering wheel doesn't lock.

7. Turn off radio and anything else that might possibly run from battery.
I did end up running a charge line to the Ody as the battery would go dead otherwise.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #13
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. . .I had also heard someone say it is a good idea to pump the brakes a couple of times *after* engine is turned off. . .Comments? Thoughts? Thanks in Advance!!!
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:49 AM   #14
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. . .I had also heard someone say it is a good idea to pump the brakes a couple of times *after* engine is turned off. . .Comments? Thoughts? Thanks in Advance!!!
If you have an auxiliary braking system that uses the car's braking system, bleeding off the vacuum reserve means the brakes won't be applied too harshly for the first couple of braking applications. It wouldn't hurt to pump the brakes, but probably not really needed.
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