2003 Honda Element Whining sound when slowing to a stop (ge

Tiny
BARBERIAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 HONDA ELEMENT
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 68,000 MILES
Hi I recently noticed a whining sound while slowing to a stop on my Honda element. I know Honda’s have a distinct transmission noise that’s normal but this is new. I even put it in neutral while slowing down to see any differences. The noise is still there. It sounds like a downshift whine on a manual transmission but only when I am close to stopping. Car has no leaks and has been well driven and maintained. It has constant front wheel drive with rear wheel assist all wheel drive. The sound is coming from the rear or middle of the vehicle.
I have not taken it off-road. Lots of freeway miles.
Thanks
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 AT 9:59 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
Check all fluid levels, trans, differential, transfer case etc. Inspect the car closely for any leaks (I know you said you did), but look at the entire drive train, including CV boots

If OK, then have Honda take a look at it.
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 AT 5:36 AM
Tiny
BARBERIAN
  • MEMBER
I looked. Checked diff fluid, its ok and no harsh smell, Trans is a little dark so changing it (OE Honda oil)
Checked boots
The whining seems to be constant now that I am focusing on it. It starts when I drive and gets higher and higher until you can barely hear it. Then while slowing down the pitch gets lower and you can hear it.
This is the way this vehicle is set up: Traditional front wheel drive with built in transfer case, a long two peace drive shaft with a bearing separating the extended drive shaft leading to the rear differential.

I noticed some liquid that looks dried up that may be transmission fluid maybe from the breathing spout. I am not sure because the level seemed fine when I checked it (hot and in park running). I had cleaned my battery terminals so not sure what that is.
I wonder if the drive shaft bearing might be the one making the noise.

Changing the Trany fluid anyways. Can't hurt.

Used to be a mechanic I so checked all the obvious things.
Just wondering if there is a common problem I should know about.

Don't want to get over charged at the dealer unless I have to take it in. (Out of warranty)
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 AT 9:28 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
As you know, the whining would indicate a lubrication problem in a bearing, gear, CV joint etc.

If inspected and you find no leaks, then I would ask Honda if there are any TSB's on the Element.

We have a local garage that only works on Hondas and Acuras, I would probably ask them first, if you have a similar garage in your area.
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 8:36 AM
Tiny
BARBERIAN
  • MEMBER
I fear my rear diff could be the problem but I can't imagine why. Thanks
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Monday, October 27th, 2008 AT 12:48 AM

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