We have an '05 Element 4WD with a 5 speed manual transmission. We are the original owners. It has 80,000 miles, 75% Freeway 25% City. In March it started popping out of gear after it had been driven for about 10 to 15 minutes. At first it was just 3rd gear, now it is 1st, 3rd and 5th. We changed the transmission fluid with "Original Honda Manual transmission fluid" we brought from the dealer. It fixed the problem for about one month. It started popping out of gear again so we took it to the dealer. They said the transmission fluid did not look right. I agreed to have it flushed and replaced again for a cost of $178.
On the way home from the dealer it started to pop out of 3rd gear again. My husband drove me back to the dealer to pick up my Accord that I left there. During the 15-minute drive it popped out of 1st, 3rd and 5th repeatedly. We just left it at the dealer. The dealer called me back and told me they were guessing that it needed a new transmission, but they were not sure. They can only get a new one and the cost will be about $4,000 unless they decide we need the clutch replaced also.
Has anyone had a similar problem? I will pay for a new transmission if I really need one, but the dealer does not seem to really know. My past experience with Honda Manual Transmissions has been very good, I am surprised to have to replace one at 80,000 miles.
Proud new owner of a 2003 Honda Element and I must say I love it! The seats are easy to remove or flip up at any moment! The interior has nice clean lines and very spacious! Overall I give the car a 10. Great on gas too! Only thing is, take some time to practice driving. There are a few blind spots that will sneak up on ya if you're not familiar.