Some 2003-08 Element models can produce a clank or knocking noise from the front suspension when going over bumps or rough road surfaces.
One probable cause, according to Honda, is deteriorated or cracked lower control arm bushings. Installing new-design bushings from a special kit, part No. 04513-SCV-000, H/C 9125105 (includes left and right bushings) on both sides of the vehicle should eliminate the noise. Along with the new bushings, Honda also recommends replacing both upper control arm clips and the four lower control arm flange bolts and nuts.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].