I’ve been asked about doing this video for a while now. Since the starter went out on my 2004 Honda Element, it made for a perfect opportunity to shoot this video.
The K series engine was used in many Honda/Acura vehicles from 2001 to 2015ish. There are some late model K series Honda engines but they are different than their predecessors.
So if you have a K series engine in your Honda/Acura vehicle during those years, and you need to replace your starter, this video is for you.
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Music: Me Llama by Jimmy Fontanez part of the YouTube free music library
Discussion about this video: https://www.ericthecarguy.com/kunena/18-The-EricTheCarGuy-Video-Forum/70103-how-to-replace-a-honda-k-series-starter-the-easy-way
Midtronics MDX-P300: https://www.jbtoolsales.com/midtronics-mdx-p300-12v-battery-and-electrical-system-tester-with-built-in-printer#oid=1002_1
Body Clip Removal Tool: https://www.jbtoolsales.com/gearwrench-41850-3-piece-body-clip-set#oid=1002_1
Hose Pliers: https://www.jbtoolsales.com/gearwrench-82107-3-piece-double-x-hose-pliers-set#oid=1002_1
Milwaukee 3/8” Drive: https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Products/Power-Tools/2557-20
The Starter I used: https://www.amazon.com/Premier-Gear-PG-17870-Professional-Starter/dp/B00KY0KXSU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522523522&sr=8-1&keywords=2004+honda+element+starter
How To Diagnose a Bad Starter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKjdnQ0sHQc
Battery Care and Maintenance Tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhnVZ7ZPunw&t=15s
Honda Element & CRV Alternator Replacement With Diagnosis: https://youtu.be/Fb2ciFHkkeI
No Crank, No Start, How To Check Battery Terminals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ze7pzrhRIs
How To Check a Charging System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuumBVz6WOM&t=7s
How To Perform a Parasitic Draw Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF1gijj03_0&t=4s
How To Jump Start a Car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8YD27xSNAo&t=5s
No Crank, No Start Diagnosis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrqkhZmDnHQ&t=7s
Honda Element/CRV 110K Service (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMplrMKIIoo&t=7s
Honda Element/CRV 110K Service (Part 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gciwVamERn0
How To Reset Honda Element Maintenance Light: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRMax93CjzA
Honda K Series Valve Adjustment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=959I0wF5NH8
Honda Element/CRV Thermostat Replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0vWv2Jwn3A&t=342s
How To Change Power Steering Fluid Honda Element: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iev1xIr345Y
Honda Element Front Stabilizer Link Replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYosZGby0-I
Honda Element Lower Control Arm Bushing Replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpaIvEN57Jg
Finding and Repairing Rear End Noise Honda Element: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRYfxRym-Kw
Honda Element Hood Cable Replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDF9g9BKYCM
**Answers to your automotive questions found here: http://www.ericthecarguy.com/faq
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Due to factors beyond the control of EricTheCarGuy, it cannot guarantee against unauthorized modifications of this information, or improper use of this information. EricTheCarGuy assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. EricTheCarGuy recommends safe practices when working with power tools, automotive lifts, lifting tools, jack stands, electrical equipment, blunt instruments, chemicals, lubricants, or any other tools or equipment seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of EricTheCarGuy, no information contained in this video shall create any express or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not EricTheCarGuy®.
I have to say, you have to be a contortionist to this from the bottom. I had mine on ramps but if someone does this from my the bottom, then having a hoist probably makes a big difference. Some claim to get this done in a couple hours. I was an hour just trying to get that long hidden bolt to catch a thread. I even taped the socket to the bolt. I’m a gear head and his was a brutal job compared to some other things I’ve done.
All the money I saved I spent on A 5 -35 ointment for sore joints.
First let me say that Eric is my go-to guy for Honda Element repairs. Now a word of caution. I tried the bottom method first. Gave up after an hour. Many hard obstacles. The clip using the fancy custom pliers proved impossible without them. And, as it turn out, I NEVER would have gotten the bottom starter bolt out from the bottom. Even from the top it took a 3' long pipe extension to break loose. From the top took me and my son about 2 hours to complete, but the key word here is complete. Never would have finished the bottom method. Way to difficult access while laying on the ground. A lift might have helped. Question Eric: would your pry-bar method have worked if you and the car had been sitting on the ground?
Steve Ford I am a retired Honda Tech ( retired 13 years now ) and greatly appreciate keeping current on Honda repairs by watching Eric’s videos. However after also wasting 90 minutes underneath, I chose the intake manifold removal method . WAY easier. Maybe not as fast, but so much easier being able to have lots of room.
While this method might be "easier" you run the risk of breaking the plastic shields underneath. I had to replace the clutch on my A/C compressor in my CR-V and in the process broke part of the wheel well cover because of a seized bolt underneath that held the front plastic shield in place. The wheel well cover would catch the wind while driving and rubbed against the wheel and became damaged and needed to be replaced. So just think about how easy the bottom cover will come off before doing this method.
Plus that 17 mm bolt on the front of the starter fought me the whole way out and back in. It would have been much harder from underneath.
Thanks Eric. Access is tight and if you do not have the exact combination of deep wall sockets, regular sockets, wobblehead, straight, short and long drivers and patience to fiddle with them in the tight spot this is frustrating. I did this with the car on the ground so leverage was tough but the starter is replaced, working fine and "only" cost $135.
Buying my 2nd Element 2006 LX AWD 129000 miles and will be replacing oil, trans fluid, diff fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, starter, plugs, air/cabin filter, belt, PCV, Window motor/regulator, lock actuator, and instrument/guage lights. I may even replace the alternator while I'm at it. Might be more once I get it delivered.
That stupid old man in Texas that sounds like a drunkard embarrassed himself (yet again) and recently posted an extremely cringe-worthy vid on this subject. Any competent mechanic, like yourself, can do this in under 1 hour. Telling his audience to "NEVER buy a Honda Element" because one part was difficult for his senile old ass to replace is ludicrous. These trucks are among the best, most robust and most capacious compact utility vehicles made. And have one of the best 4 cyl engines on the planet. So ONE part is a lil more work than other cars to replace, so what? Thank goodness for you Eric, and your channel. You are a true car-guy and good mechanic. You also have a very nice way about you, a delight to watch work and listen to. And we can tell you haven't been under the hot Houston sun too long :-)
thanks eric... i learned a lot from you fixing my honda i do all my mechanic in my garage although im not quiet confident to do the timing belt yet but maybe one day thanks again for your help and guidance....
I don't ever want to have to do that... give me a computer keyboard any day. Why do they make stuff without a thought for future repair... Why would you stuff everything in a place you can't reach? The engine must be build completely separate from a consideration of the can it was being dropped into.
I will say that removing the Knock Sensor would probably make this job a LOT easier. If it were out then you could use an extension on that socket and I think it would make that rear bolt a lot easier to deal with. I found that when I ratcheted it out far enough, It would hit the knock sensor and not come out any further. So I ended up having run it back in a bit, get the socket off of it and contort my hand back in there and two finger it out a 1/8th turn at a time... Otherwise this method worked great. You must be patient to do it this way though as You will be frustrated a time or two. Great video as Usual Eric!
thank for this video and idea..ive done rsx and remove the intake.funny after all back together got a check engine light from the gasket..but this time i did it on a crv..work really good just take time on the back long bolt..thank you so much..
i just did one on a 02 crv. i think the struggle is not as bad once u pull half of the intake off. once u got that half plasticintake off. u have a lot of room and u don't have to fight the bolt in the back.
This may be the "fast" way to do it, but it seemed a lot harder than when I did this job removing the intake manifold. It's really not hard at all, a few electrical and vacuum connections, and you've got a ton of room and easy access to the starter. Going from the bottom is okay if you have a lift, but I would much rather not have to jack up the car, crawl around on the ground, get all dirty and greasy, all to save a few minutes.
Yo Eric, question for you. My gf is having starter issues. Last week her car wouldn't start until we whacked the starter motor a couple times. So you would think a bad starter, right? We replaced the starter and after a week it began giving her problems again. So either we bought a bad starter, or maybe it has something to do with the wiring going to the starter? What do you think?
Eric, glad to know someone else that talks to themselves or their particular project. I do it all the time. Please tell me, do you close your eyes sometimes when working blind ? It sometimes seems to help me (truly).
You know I just bought a $300 Honda Element the day you put this video up. And guess what it needs? A starter! I'll put up a video of me doing it based on your video WITHOUT the fancy tools or car lift. Real world cheap man fix and see how long it takes.
Damn, I wish this video had existed in 2012 when the started in my '03 Element died. I checked my Helm manual for the replacement procedure, but when I saw that it said to remove the intake manifold, I said, "Forget it," and paid the dealer $1k to do this job. I hated spending that much just to replace a part when I had already done the diagnosis, but I had a new baby and free time was very limited. Even so, I would have had to do this with the car on jack stands in my garage, and I don't have your nifty hose clamp pliers, an electric impact, or a nice big pry bar. I probably would have spent a lot of time cursing at things. My new Honda HR-V has an L-series motor, so maybe I will never need to know this now, but thanks for the great how-to anyway.
i always check my starter by amps not only volts, and on element always check the ground cable coming from the battery and goes to the block they corrode a lot and this is good for all hondas out there
hi eric I saw your channel from sma that gathering you had....its what you said....the biggest thing to me is helping someone out....that told me so much...iam a ase master tech on the job 30 years god time flies....was at chevy 20 now independent and the most important thing is... I truly live by... is fix it right then pay later nice to meet you eric dave
Removing the intake is not that hard. The only tricky thing is the lower support bolt, completely forgot to remove it when yanking the intake off. Easy enough to do in a parking lot, no need to get underneath the car.
Hi I have a Volvo s60 t5 automatic and the engine vibrates up to 850 rpm then the vibration disappear. I have scanned the car and performed oil change filter ETM and spark plugs, . but the vibration remain. Forgot to mention the vibration persists, even though neutral P or drive. vibration feels all over the car. HELP
Great video but you missed out the most important step "the logical deducution as to why you needed a new starter" . I have seen far too many starters replaced only to find it's not the starter at fault at all.
EricTheCarGuy sorry to offend. It kept me awake last night wondering what was actually wrong with it. I know you would have done a proper job of diagnosing it.
I have to say you have taught me a huge amount about how to repair cars. Thanks
Having done two starters on two different Elements, I can say with some level of confidence that it's a hell of a lot easier to do with the manifold removal if you do not have access to a lift.
Both of the starters I replaced failed in the same way: stator magnet glue failed.
Additionally, Harbor Freight sells an awesome pin puller which I found after seeing a similar tool in one of your headlight videos. Worth every penny.
It's ok, my friend. We all have off days. No harm, no foul. You were professional about it, even when frustrated, and that says a lot about your character and stature.
I can understand how hashing the same points, changing positions to what seems like the popular call, then hashing out your counterpoints can get really exhausting.
Hope things clear up soon for you. Looking forward to your next excellent video. :)
I'm sorry. Bad day and a headache. I never get headaches so when I do, my fuse is pretty short. Please accept my apology.
You're right, and your point is well made. Working on a lift is not the same as working on the ground. Personally I believed I was offering good advice by suggesting getting the starter from underneath was an easier option. For me and my lift, that might be true, but for others that don't have that luxury, perhaps not so much. My logic was that if you just remove the starter and not the starter and intake, you're doing less work.
Thank you for the clarity and once again sorry for going off on you. Your's is just what seems like the 100th comment about the lift, and in my current state, I was not able to let it go. Sorry.
First attempt at responding failed. :-/ Second attempt:
Eric, I don't resent the lift and I didn't intend to imply that the method you used was wrong by any means. I apologize if that's the impression I gave. As I have stated both here and on Patreon, you bring a breadth of experience as a service professional that I don't have as a home gamer, hobbyist, and fallback resource for friends and family.
That said, there are different mechanics involved that make this particular job with this particular method much easier on a lift as opposed to up on jack stands. One of the biggest issues I had trying to work from underneath was the inability to bend my arms at the right places to work around obstacles. Another consideration is the length of breaker bar that you can use on a lift.
I probably should have qualified my original comment with the fact that my situation, body design, and working environment made it harder for me to work from underneath. Pulling the manifold was a very simple process that allowed me to see what I was doing. Had this video existed before I dug in blindly, I may not have had to go from the top side. If I find myself in the situation again, I will try from underneath to see if knowing the "lay of the land" makes any difference.
Thanks for another quality video. Sorry I got your hackles up, my friend.
I'm a little upset people keep bringing up the lift in the comments. Back before I had a lift, every other comment to my videos was, "Eric! You need a lift!" In fact, I had to start a forum thread explaining my reasons for not pursuing one.
Now, nothing but resentment. That said, you can do the entire thing lying on your back on the ground without a lift. Just because I don't do it the way you do, doesn't mean that I'm doing it wrong, it just means I do things differently. If I did things the way everyone else did, I'd be making comments to someone else's videos, instead of responding to comments on my own channel.
Sorry, was having a bad day and a headache. I never get headaches. However, you did start out by saying I was "sick" for doing it the way I was. I think it's understandable that I would bristle if you lead in with that. BTW, I was using a flex ratchet.
Wow, sorry princess, didn't realize you couldn't take honest criticism. Kinda obvious to the whole web who's insecure now. BTW, you're reading comprehension is awful. I was quite clear we USED TO do it that way, before we wised up. When all the DIY folks can't get the top bolt loose, because they're ratchet flexes, and they can't catch another tooth, they'll be happy I mentioned pulling the intake being the east way. Work smarter not harder folks. Have a great day!
If it was impossible, how come I was able to do it? Just because you do it differently that doesn't mean that my way is wrong. It just means you're too insecure to accept that other people do things differently than you do.
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