Honda Element: small (but serious) defect

Discussion in 'Element' started by AES, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. AES

    AES Guest

    I continue to be very fond of our new Honda Element, but there's one
    small but serious defect (for me, anyway).

    Under a wide range of daytime lighting conditions I just can't see the
    speedometer markings and accurately read the vehicle speed.

    The speedometer is deeply recessed in a cylindrical recess in the dash,
    not illuminated (in the daytime), and the brightness and color contrast
    between the markings and the background is (again, for me anyway) very

    If the sun is shining on the left side of the vehicle, the left-hand
    side of the speedometer dial (the critical 0 to 50 mph range) is in deep
    shadow; if the sun is ahead or overhead, the entire dial is in shadow;
    and in both cases there's a large area of diffuse glare from the large
    light grey area of the dash in front of the driving.

    Net result, at least for my aging and glare-sensitive eyeballs, is that
    the speedometer is almost unreadable.
    AES, Feb 6, 2005
  2. AES

    motsco_ _ Guest


    Great point ! I'll bet it would start a good discussion over at:

    You'll probably find somebody there who has tried a good aftermarket
    solution (read custom / rice)

    motsco_ _, Feb 7, 2005
  3. AES

    Chris Guest

    This is not a defect.

    Chris, Feb 7, 2005
  4. AES

    motsco_ _ Guest


    OK, It's not a 'defect'. . . Just an 'unfortunate engineering error'
    that makes it hard for the driver to see their speedometer under certain
    lighting conditions. I wonder what an 'expert witness' would call it if
    it ever came up in some kind of accident inquest. (I'm not taking sides
    one way or the other. I like Hondas)

    motsco_ _, Feb 7, 2005
  5. AES

    garray Guest

    We've discussed this topic over at 'Element Owners Club' already. Come join
    us over there. It's the largest group of Honda Element forum with lots of
    install and how-to info as well. I think we have over 6,700 members now.
    Here are some links directly to your issue though:

    I found a lot of links using the search feature on the forum but I narrowed
    down the 3 above to get you started. So, there's more to be had on the forum
    if you stop by. Good luck!
    garray, Feb 10, 2005
  6. AES

    sacwmf Guest

    get some polarized glasses.
    sacwmf, Feb 11, 2005
  7. AES

    John Horner Guest

    Net result, at least for my aging and glare-sensitive eyeballs, is that
    Styling seems to be trumping engineering all over the automotive world
    today, including at Honda.

    One thing I hate on our '03 Accord is that the position of the front pillars
    at either side of the windshield and their massive width makes for huge
    blind spots.

    John Horner, Feb 28, 2005
  8. AES

    Les is Moor Guest

    We have a 03 Accord as well and note the same problem. Just found the group
    and well tune in.
    Les is Moor, Mar 1, 2005
  9. AES

    John Horner Guest

    LOL, any sentient being who drives one for a time will notice it. I am
    upset with myself for NOT noticing during the test drive/selection process.
    I spent many days test driving and researching many models and completely
    missed this. Shame on me.

    John Horner, Mar 2, 2005
  10. AES

    Dr. Trumpet Guest

    Did you get the carpeted mats for the floor? It reduces the ambient
    noise level immensely.

    Dr. Trumpet, Mar 2, 2005
  11. AES

    AES Guest

    I think a couple of threads on different defects may have gotten
    entangled and confused here. But in any case, as the OP on the rain
    noise problem, I'd say the noise was like a steady, really loud roar
    which appeared to originate mostly in the front portion of the roof,
    from the front headrests forward to the windshield; and I doubt that
    floormats would have helped that portion of the noise. It was an
    unusually heavy rainstorm that day, however, on a California freeway
    with traffic moving at 65-70 mph.
    AES, Mar 2, 2005
  12. AES

    Dr. Trumpet Guest

    I have found that the ambient noise level of the vehicle is reduced
    significantly with the addition of carpeted floor mats. This may seem
    unreasonable, but on greater examination, you might find that the "roar"
    effect of the rain is enhanced by the loud interior of the vehicle.
    Upon placing such mats on the floor of my Element, I found the noise and
    echo effect in the vehicle was greatly reduced. Including rain storms.

    Your mileage may vary, but it was worth the $100 to me to get the mats.

    Nothing negative or disrespectful intended, but the noise level was
    reduced in every situation.

    Best wishes,

    Dr. Trumpet, Mar 3, 2005
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