The Honda Element is a quirky SUV with something of a cult following.
It uses various beeps and chimes to alert the driver – but sometimes the cause of these beeps is a mystery.
If your Element keeps beeping, this article is here to help.
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Why Does My Honda Element Keep Beeping?
The most common causes of beeping on a Honda Element is weight on the passenger seat, a bad door sensor, parking brake not fully released, a key fob left in the car, a door is open whilst driving, headlights on, key fob low on battery and a low 12V battery.
1. Seatbelt Sensor
A common cause for beeping is related to the passenger seatbelt sensor.
The sensor itself may be broken or it might be triggering a beep if there is weight on the passenger seat such as groceries or your pet dog.
A simple test for this will be to fasten the seatbelt and see if the noise stops.
It’s a good idea to ensure all doors and the rear hatch are shut properly too.
The beeper will sound when the driver and/or passenger are not wearing their seat belts.
“This might sound crazy but if there is anything sitting on the passenger seat that has some weight to it it will cause the seatbelt beeper to sound off thinking that there is a butt in the seat. When you hear the beep check to see if the seatbelt light flashes on.” – ElementOwnerClub.org
2. Bad Door Sensor
A bad door sensor (aka door) switch, can cause a number of issues as the car will think a door is not closed when it is, thereby triggering unwanted beeps.
If the door switch/button rubber protector is bad, it could be letting in moisture that can freeze up the switch.
The switch could be rusted, corroded, damaged or loose – thereby sending false signals to the car’s computer and triggering a beep.
Replacing door switches is fairly straightforward if you are mechanically inclined, otherwise its best to let your dealer assess the situation.
“Last time I ran into this type of thing, It turned out to be a defective door switch. Try cleaning the contacts first, on all 3 of them.” – ElementOwnerClub.org
3. Parking Brake Not Fully Released
The beeper sounds and the indicator comes on if you drive with the parking brake not fully released.
The parking brake sensor could be faulty, thereby sending false readings to the car’s computer, in which case the sensor will need replacing.
The manual states:
“Driving the vehicle with the parking brake applied can damage the rear brakes and axles. A beeper will sound if the vehicle is driven with the parking brake on.”
4. Headlight Switch In On Position
Make sure the headlights are switched OFF.
The beeper will sound when you open the driver’s door and the exterior lights are left on.
5. Door or Hatch Is Open Whilst the Car Is Running
Ensure all car doors, the hatch and hood and firmly and properly closed.
The beeper sounds and the indicator comes on if the hatch or either door is opened while driving.
6. Fob Still In The Car
If you’ve left a key fob in your Element, you may hear a warning beep.
7. Accessory Plugged in 12V Outlet
Sometimes your Element for whatever reason won’t like some of the accessories you plug into the 12V Power Outlet.
Some owners have found by disconnecting their charging devices/electronics from the outlet the beeping has ceased.
8. Power Mode Is In Accessory
The beeper will sound when you open the driver’s door and the power mode is in accessory.
9. Key Left In the Ignition
The beeper will sound when you open the driver’s door and the key is in the ignition switch.
There may also be a fault with the ignition switch causing the beeps.
The manual states:
“You will hear a reminder beeper if you leave the key in the LOCK (0) or the ACCESSORY (I) position and open the driver’s door. Remove the key to turn off the beeper”
10. Low Key Fob Battery
A low key fob battery can cause a number of issues including random beeps and even triggering your car alarm.
Try giving the fob a clean, remove any dirt/dust/grime and replace the battery.
11. Electronic Devices Inside or Outside of The Car
The beeping may not actually be coming from your Element. Do you have any other electronic or battery-powered devices in your vehicle or your garage that could be causing the beeping? Usually, it’s their batteries going bad.
For example, a garage door opener, a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide detector, or a dropped wristwatch.
12. Electrical Issues
If your Element has developed an electrical fault (possibly with the BCM) or a there is a wiring issue, it may beep as a result of this.
This can be quite difficult to diagnose if there obvious warning messages and the best thing to do is visit your local Honda dealer.
13. Weak 12V Battery
A weak 12V battery can cause a variety of strange issues.
Check to ensure the connections are tight and free of dirt and grime.
It is also a good idea to take your car for a battery health check.
14. Aftermarket Alarm
If your Element has been fitted with an aftermarket alarm, it could be the source of your beeps.
There may be a wiring issue, it’s faulty or it has been incorrectly installed.
Honda Element Beeping When Door Open
If the light switch is ON then this will trigger beeping when the driver door is open. Make sure the headlight switch is on OFF or AUTO to avoid beeping.
You may notice this after getting your car back from the valet as sometimes they need to adjust switches to clean them properly.
Honda Element Beeping While Driving
The most common cause for a Element that beeps whilst driving is the seatbelt sensor. If there’s weight on the passenger seat this can trigger the alarm, or if the seatbelt sensor is faulty this will trigger it too.
Try buckling the passenger’s seat belt.
It’s also a good idea to make sure all the doors and the hatch are closed properly.
Check for Recalls or TSBs
By entering your car’s VIN number on Honda’s recall page or the NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page you can determine whether or not there is a TSB or recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it addressed.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Disconnect the Battery
Sometimes mysterious beeping problems can disappear with a simple reboot, there are no guarantees here but it’s worth a try.
Disconnect the battery for 20 seconds and this resets many of the electronics in the vehicle.
Check For Warning Messages
When the beeping occurs can you see any lights or warning messages on the instrument panel?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the beeps e.g. ‘Door Ajar’.
Take it to an Honda Dealership
If needed, take your Honda to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If your unit is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.