Accord V-Tec Engine

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I am thinking about buying a Honda Accord EX with a V-Tec engine that a friend of mine is leasing. She leased for 3 years and the car looks great and
has given her no problems. We were all set to complete the deal with the leasing company when she told me she only changed theoil once during the 3 year period. At that point I hesitated. She has 26,500 miles on the car and did not overheat or have any engine or oil light come on. If I buy the car now, change the oil regularly, etc., does anybody have any advice about how much of a risk I'm taking? What about the engine's lifespan? I'd appreciate any help. It's more money than I've ever spent on a car and don't want to make a stupid mistake.
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Truble wrote:

first things first - why don't you check what the service schedule is for that vehicle, then compare that to the maintenance undertaken?
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One oil change in +26K miles would be beyond pretty much any service schedule (even for synthetic oil) and a good reason for concern. There may not be a current issue with the vehicle, but the probability for future issues would be higher.
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L Alpert wrote:

ok, so i'll ask again: what is the service schedule for that vehicle?
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jim beam wrote:

and i should have added, "what is the basis for the leasing company's information?" if it's only been serviced at the dealer once, but serviced at an independent other times, the leasing company would never know about the latter.
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jim beam wrote:

You're apparently not reading the responses OR the original question.
Ken Harris, who also owns a 2003 V-Tec said that the recommended change for "normal" driving comes at 7,500mi but he uses "severe" at 3,750mi to stay ahead of the game.

Please re-read Truble's original post which you requoted above. He's buying a friend's car off lease and SHE told him that SHE only changed the oil once during the 26,500 miles she drove it. Ergo, in the kindest of worlds, she ran it to 13,250 miles before touching the oil.
Truble you should probably ask her WHEN she changed it. If she's beaming and telling you "you won't have to change the oil since I just changed it 2,000 miles ago when I noticed it was really low" you may want to "walk on by." If she tells you that she found that she had to add a quart every 3,000 - 5,000 miles with an oil and filter change at 13,000 then maybe it'll be okay.
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

i don't have that service manual, but i think you'll find it's 10k, not 7.5k. "staying ahead of the game" is great business for dealers and jiffy lube but a waste of your money.

ok, i misread that - i misunderstood it to be the leasing company that said that. but the fact still remains, with modern oil and a 10k service interval, there's really not much to worry about.

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jim beam wrote:

If you read the initial post, he states that "she" (assuming the "she" that leased the vehicle is one and the same "she" he refers to as to giving him this information) stated the oil was only changed once.
The leasing company was the party he was arranging the financial aspects of the deal with.
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jim beam wrote:

3750 severe, 7500 normal, as Mr Harris has already alluded to. 1 change in 26K miles is well beyond any service schedule for any vehicle that I have ever owned or investigated or for any synthetics that I have looked at.
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L Alpert wrote:

m1 extended service is 15k.
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jim beam wrote:

Well, I guess it depends on when the oil was changed....though I doubt if the car was shipped with it!
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We have a 2003 Accord EX and the oil change interval suggested for "normal" service is 7500 miles. I've always used the severe service interval of 3750 miles (approximately). So, to me it seems like the oil has not been changed often enough.
Ken
Truble wrote:

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When in a lease, isn't one required to perform all scheduled maintenance and present records when surrendering the car the end of the lease ? Otherwise will incur "excessive wear and tear" charges ?
Just asking... never leased a vehicle before, but always assumed it was safe to buy a previously leased car - at least as far as maintenance is concerned. Well, not anymore ...
Regards, Stan

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Nothing was mentioned about when the oil was changed. We don't know if she went 13K and then changed the oil or if she went 26K before changing it.
Al

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Thanks, everyone for all of the info and advice. I'll be asking my friend at what point she changed the oil. Even though the V-Tec seems like a pretty durable engine, my tendency at this point is to "walk on by" unless I get satisfactory info...Pretty irresponsible not to perform regular maintenance even if you are not keeping the car long-term. One last question...would regular maintenance undo any potential damage done?
ajtessier wrote:

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My opinion is that is is like stopping a smoking habit. There is a lot of immediate value to getting back on track, and the crank bearings are probably safe. The steel-on-steel contacts that depend on oil will have suffered already and may give trouble before the engine's time is due; valve guides definitely, along with possibly cam bearings, lifter surfaces and possibly the control hydraulics for the cam.
Mostly, a revelation of inadequate maintenance is reason enough to make me look elsewhere. I always wonder - has tap water been used in the cooling system? You can look under the oil filler cap for varnish or (shudder!) deposits on the rocker arm assembly and you can look for signs of rust or cloudiness in the radiator, but I use those checks to answer the questions about maintenance that I couldn't be sure of getting a candid answer to. You have the answer already.
Mike
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On Sun, 7 Jan 2007 08:05:51 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

With only 26K and only one oil change behind it, I would feel pretty safe saying that nothing has been done to the cooling system or anything else. Nothing else critical is past due so I wouldn't worry on that account. The timing on that one oil change is pretty critical. I am guessing she might have changed it at 3K and never again. If it was changed at 13K it's probably OK. I would put in Mobil 1 immediately and then change it again in a couple thousand miles in hopes of washing out any sludge that might have formed.
The other question I have is whether you are going to get a good price buying her off-lease car. I have a friend who had a car coming off lease. She asked the price to buy it and the lease agency quoted a price thousands higher than market value. She tried to reason with them that they had to sell the car to someone and that no one was going to pay that price, but they wouldn't budge. She walked, of course.
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Truble via CarKB.com wrote:

No, it will never UNDO the damage which MAY have been caused, excessive wear, etc. All you can hope for is maintain the status quo and prevent further, excessive wear by performing proper maintenance.
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Most, Most helpful. I agree that damage done is irreversible. I also spoke with my current mechanic and a good friend who owned his own auto shop. They pretty much said the same thing-the life span of the engine may be affected. The price was a littele better than book, but there was no getting the dealer to budge. I've decided to let it go. Thanks for all the candid and helpful advice.
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Truble via CarKB.com wrote:

Funny that the dealer wouldn't budge due to inadequate maintenance. I could imagine what he would have said if it was brought in for warranty work......
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