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®.
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.
Is Honda joining the "idiotic engineering club" now? Why was that bolt a mile long outside of the block?? Is it unreachable without it being that long? My Honda experience outside of motorcycles is nil.
I always love watching other people struggle with those K series starters. Over my 12 years of being a Honda/Acura tech and doing these starters about twice a week, I will tell you that I hate struggling. It takes less time move the intake out of the way than to struggle with those two bastard bolts. I’ve even had long half inch fine tooth ratchets to break those bolts loose. You were lucky they actually cracked that easy. Good video Eric!
Welcome back Eric. Your videos helped me a lot on my 98 gmc jimmy. So you can imagine how far back I been following you. Although I had to work in pouring rain at 3 in the am most of the time. Your videos helped me get back to work the next day. Been following you for a while now. Glad to see your back.
I always remove the intake manifold. I find it takes less time to remove 6 or 7 easily visible bolts than it does to remove the splash shield, and remove almost all bolts blindly. Plus I have T-Rex arms.... 😂
So that tester is measuring the starter's current draw, or voltage drop as it starts. What is the math that defines a pass/fail? Thank you for all the work that makes a terrific, educational video. (Just noticed, ChrisFix released a replacing starter video at the same time! Much easier location.)
Thanks for this ! I'll have to check out the wife's '07 Accord. I changed the starter a while back (can't remember what brand) for the slow crank / no start at times. After watching videos I did it via the intake removal. Ours has some black plastic tank bolted on the rear side of the intake manifold that wasn't in any video I found, had to remove it to get to the starter. Anyway, it's acting up now, not engaging all the time, just free spinning on start attempts so I assume it's going to fail soon. A lift would be nice, but even so, I'll have to see if the Accord front end offers the same access as your Element.
Yeeeayyyy! A repair video!
After all these years of watching you wrench here and there on your Element I had no idea that vehicle had suicide doors untill recently I was in the market for one, saw a 2006 with 166k and they wanted $6k for it.
Unfortunately someone bought it before I could scrounge up the cash.
Not entirely true. When a new Honda comes to the dealership there is a plastic card with 2 stickers in with the owners manual. These are the radio code stickers. One is placed on the card, the other can be placed somewhere on the vehicle. This is up to the dealership and the tech doing the PDI or Pre Delivery Inspection. Sometimes they are placed on the glovebox, sometimes under the hood, sometimes on the coin tray, or I've even seen some in the trunk.
So I love my 93 jeep, problem is some times the starter gets gummed up with road gunk, and in the past all i needed to make the starter work was just spray non-chlorinated break clean in and let it air dry ( usually over several hours ) sprayed in a plastic container since it is toxic and i didn't want rain water to wash it down the street. My question is, what would be a better solution? I used brake cleaner, and the OEM starter is still with the motor 300k in, but my brothers jeep had problems, think i had to replace it twice in a year.
I've been posting these videos since last December. I haven't posted a Fairmont video in that time either. Yet, I keep seeing comments like yours which makes me think that YT is not notifying you of my latest videos. Shame. I used to really like working here. Now it just sucks.
Whats your reasoning behind not taking the intake loose from the head ive done it this way many times and find it much easier i can do it on-site with no jack in under 30 minutes total without alot of special things needed just basic wrenchs and socket set plus it gives me alot more leverage room on that long hidden bolt not at all knocking your method i just watched you go through alot of effort that i have found ways around
EricTheCarGuy the intake comes off in 5 minutes no coolant loss reusable gaskets and give you a ton of room for stubborn connections i know is hard to get until you do it just like the first 3v ford cab off i did everybody laughed until i had the engine swapped in under 8 hrs on a 22hr flag
Ah, the life of an auto-tech, you need to have fingertip eyeballs, the abilities of a contortionist and the patience of a saint... plus a little good conversation with yourself (aside from excessive cursing when things don’t go to plan)...!
Thanks! I have a 2004 crv but my intake manifold is made of plastic. But I soon believe my starter may need replacement. Most of the videos I've seen required removing quite a bit components including the air intake manifold. I swear I would give my eyeteeth for a lift.
You don't need a lift. A jack and jack stands works just fine. You can do the whole job in comfort while lying on your back.
BTW, before I got a lift, everyone said I needed a lift. I heard about it every other day. I even started a forum thread about why I didn't have one. Now people like you make snide, resentful comments about me having a lift. People are funny.
Eric all I can say after joining you back when you had that old small shop/garage is I still love the channel and love the Fairmont ride / build . Thanks for bringing me along and looking forward to a lot more good content.
It's the same exact layout and process on my 2008 cr-v. Original one failed after 111k miles in florida weather. I also had to remove the knock sensor with a 1-1/16 wrench to get clearance with the 14mm bolt
I found taking out the knock sensor can help people struggling to get the top 14mm or sliding the starter out. A 27 mm wrench usually works to loosen the sensor. This also helps prevent damaging the sensor as its made of cheese grade plastic.
What a timely video! My reman Denso starter came in 2 days ago and I will change it out on my '05 Element tomorrow. Saw this trick done on other videos and wondered why you havent made a video yet...... you rock!
*i love watching your videos even if I already know how to do something, but my question is im assuming when you were diagnosing that squeak noise you sprayed the serpentine belt with silicon spray, and determined it wasnt the belt or you spun the pulley with a air tool? (asking for personal knowledge as a mechainic/ thats what i do) *
Thank goodness I don't own an Element because I can't imagine doing that laying on my back. BTW, I was a mechanic on B-52s and it had 10 hydraulic packs throughout the plane. Some were mounted such that reaching the top most bolt was impossible without the use of a homemade "pump" wrench which consisted of a cut off box end wrench that was ground down to be as small as possible and riveted to the end of a long steel rod.
Sure wish I had a lift.