buying recommendation 94 Accord LX Wagon

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Obviously the repairs can be done cheaper with an independent repair facility. Edmunds allows for you to factor the mileage and the condition of the car to give you the fair market price. When I sold my wife's the
exterior was in very good condition and the only issues with it were the fuel guage didn't work and the antennae would not retract. $3600 including the items you have listed is too high.
I believe the timing belt should have been replaced at 60,000 miles as opposed to 100,000 which is common today but don't quote me on that. Not having seen the car, I would subtract the $1000 in repairs the dealer quoted from her original asking price or offer what Edmunds says the value is for fair condition.
When she balks at the $2900 offer ask what she will seriously take considering the repair work that is needed. Then go from there. If it were me I wouldn't spend less than $3200 but I would do the brakes and other minor repairs myself and leave the boot, tie rod end, & axle assembly to a repair shop as I don't have the tools needed and haven't attempted those repairs before.

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Thanks for the post Patrick,

lower the price. But, well have to see how much she will drop. With all that needs to be done to the car, I don't think I can pay what she is asking now.
I will have to talk to some more independent shops to get some quotes on getting the work done.
I will post back with what I find out.
Patrick (dot) wrote:

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The part costs about $28 from online OEM parts places like www.slhonda.com . Add another $7 for shipping. I understand it's pretty easy to replace. Could be just $50 total, but you should double check.
Good for you for spotting the steering problem and then Honda finding the cause (hopefully).

Correct. My local dealer wants $80, IIRC from speaking with them a week ago.

What "Vehicle condition" did you put in for this price?
Of the five categories of "vehicle condition," I think this 94 Accord LX qualifies as being somewhere between "Average" and "Rough" in condition. Edmunds gives info on what it means for each category.
If the timing belt did not need replacement, I'd say it's "average," from what you've written (though I can't remember the body and interior condition).

I think I'd be happy with something between the "rough" and "average" condition prices.
On the other hand, how badly do you want the car? How likely is it that someone else might come along and pay what the seller is currently asking? Is the seller getting exasperated? (Not sure how experienced you are at negotiating something like this. You don't want her to just tell you to get lost. You're being thorough, and that's great.)
That's my two cents. Average it with the other responses here. :-)
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Thanks again Elle,
I used "Clean" as vehicle condition to get the Edmunds lists Private Party True Market Value at $3697. If I use "Average", the Edmunds lists Private Party True Market Value at $2,739. At rough, the TMV is $2,232.
The car looks very very nice on the exterior and interior though.
I will have to think it over a bit and get some quotes from private mechanics on the repairs.
I will talk to the owner after I get some more information. My feeling is that she won't drop very far though, but, I will try to persuade her.
Elle wrote:

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lists Private

Interesting how well these jive with your numbers. IOW, deducting the cost of all the repairs except the TB (so assume about $900, by my count) from the seller's current asking price of $3600 puts the price at $2700. Figure another $600 for the timing belt and we're down to $2100.

Maybe she's thinking she can find a buyer who won't be so thorough.
I hope you find some other leads. More options is always better. :-)
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Elle wrote:

I would seriously look for another car. Keeripes! That car seems to have more issues than my (non running at the time) project car which only cost $100...
JT
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This 94 Accord LX has very usual problems that are also, IMO, nickel and dime stuff. The CV boot and axle are the most serious items, IMO. Yet those problems come up here all the time.
If there were serious engine problems, like a blown head gasket or bad engine compression, then I'd be worried.
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I agree. The CV boots are normal and total repairs are minimal. My only concern would be that normal maintenance has not been done over the life of the car and more problems may be appearing soon. Although the car may have started exhibiting a few minor problems and the owner just didn't want to even check into getting them fixed. We live in a throw away society where it is better to buy new than fix what you've got.
wrote

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To clarify what I think you're saying: We live in a society where people /think/ it is better to buy new than fix what they've got.
In fact, from a financial standpoint for cars, it is often less expensive to fix the car than replace it.
Kills me when people say, "The cost of repairing my old car was going to be $1500. Car's only worth $1000!" What the old car is worth is completely irrelevant. The issue on which they should focus is cost of repair and subsequent expected life vs. cost to replace entirely.
Of course, if someone does not have time to take his/her older car to the shop now and then, it may pay to buy new. But that's getting subjective.
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That is what I meant. A car is worth the value it provides which is transportation. People want to act like a car is an asset but it isn't so it shouldn't matter that you have to spend $1500 in repair for a $1000 car.
I believe in trying to "drive a car into the ground". For me means when the car is having to go in the shop too frequently for unscheduled repairs it is time to get rid of it.
wrote

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I explained to the owner what the Edmunds TMV price was for average and rough condition. Since I really need to get a car soon, I thought I would go above what the Edmunds TMV price of 2739 for an "Average" condition 94 Accord LX Wagon. I offered $3000 and she said no way.
She says her mechanic thinks that it is not absolutely necessary to change the timing belt on the car, so she won't consider the cost of changing it into the price.
On another note, I had the 98 Escort inspected. Turns out the car has broken coil springs, needs to have the brakes worked on, and a new tie rod. Cost to replace both Coil springs and struts is about $500 to $550. Dealer said he would take care of the Front brakes and the tie rod, but not the Coil Springs. He won't budge on the price of $4995.
Dealer said that because of high gas prices, small fuel efficient cars were selling above blue book.
Is this right?
Elle wrote:

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What a pity her mechanic is so wrong-headed, unaware of the devastating consequences of broken timing belts, which do occur if the belt is not changed per the maintenance schedule. That she believes him and won't look at an owner's or other manual on the subject says you're dealing with someone quite unreasonable and a bit ignorant (that's way more polite than I perhaps should be).
Most owners who have any kind of maintenance done on their car know about timing belts.
OTOH, she has the car. You want it. ISTM it's an "Oh well; people are what they are" situation.

I would leave her a copy of the maintenance schedule (previously cited in this thread), at least three web site citations that discuss broken timing belts, my offer based on the Edmunds price and repairs, my phone number/email address, and then walk away. I would not expect to hear back from her.

Kelley Blue Book's site suggests otherwise. Excerpt:
--
How are the final values determined?
Used values are determined by a proprietary editorial
  Click to see the full signature.
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Too bad I probably won't be able to get her to lower her price. But the good thing is I have learned a lot through this.
I am still looking and will hopefully be able to find something soon.
I saw 97 Accord EX Sedan at a dealer listed at $3900. It has 136k miles. Dealer is trying to find out when the timing belt was changed on the car. Hopefully will find out something soon.
I am not too excited about the 98 Escort for $5000. I will keep looking.
Many thanks again for your taking time to post to this thread.
Elle wrote:

http://www.kbb.com/kb/ki.dll/ke.kb.sp?kbb ;;NM043;&87124&&article_get_bluebook;article&
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people stretch the interval if they are expecting to sell the car; after all, they don't want to put half a grand into the car just before they sell it. My daughter's '93 LX had 163K on it and the owner had never heard of the need to change the timing belt - he relied on Midas to tell him what the car needed. :-(
It goes without saying that if there is no reliable record of the belt being changed the new owner will have to do it right away (or have it done as a condition of sale, even if it adds a bit to the price). In either case you will know with certainty when it was done.
Mike
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I understand what you mean. I would not mind spending the money on the timing belt.
I will keep looking for an accord I can afford that will leave me with room to spend on a timing belt.
Thanks for the posts Michael Michael Pardee wrote:

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Maybe somebody will pay the asking price, but you have options.
I have grave doubts a mechanic would have told the Accord owner that it is not absolutely necessary to change the timing belt. Any competent mechanic knows it is absolutely, positively, necessary. The intervals can be stretched so the mechanic can say it is not absolutely necessary to change the timing belt *right now* but that is disingenuous at best. No matter how you slice it, that seller is poison.
I don't understand about the broken springs. Normally a car with broken springs is not drivable (tires rubbing on wheel wells... things like that). Broken springs would also be unusual in a '98 that wasn't driven a lot of rough-road miles. I've seen broken springs on vehicles driven on dirt and rock roads, but not cars driven on public streets.
Mike
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Thanks for the post.
Regarding the broken springs, the mechanic said they were broken toward the bottom of the spring. He showed me, but is was difficult to see as the lower part of the springs were slightly concealed by the wheel.
He said the danger was the springs could break in another place higher up causing the car to be undrivable as you mentioned. The mechanic said Escorts in before and up to the 98 year were notorious for this problem. However, he also said in their current condition, these springs could be driven on another 2 years.
Considering the price, I am not that excited in this 98 Escort. I will keep looking.
Michael Pardee wrote:

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info on that. It seems the problem is the subject of a TSB in the Mercury Mystake and the equivalent Ford. Apparently corrosion attacks the base of the springs. The TSB involves installing a "spring catcher" to prevent the broken spring from gouging the tire....
Mike
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I am pretty sure the car had not been driven an hour before the check. It had probably not been driven for a day or more.
Elle wrote:

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I sold my wife's 1994 LX Sedan last March. It had the same mileage as your wagon. No major problems with it. Only major repair was a crack in the radiator some years ago. Otherwise everything else was minor maintenance. My wife hated to get rid of it but we needed a minivan. Ended up getting $3500.

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