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
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
on the car to do any repairs. I think she would be more inclined to
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:
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
That's my two cents. Average it with the other responses
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
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
> I used "Clean" as vehicle condition to get the Edmunds
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
I hope you find some other leads. More options is always
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
If there were serious engine problems, like a blown head
gasket or bad engine compression, then I'd be worried.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
Kelley Blue Book's site suggests otherwise. Excerpt:
How are the final values determined?
Used values are determined by a proprietary editorial
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
Many thanks again for your taking time to post to this thread.
I suspect the timing belt hasn't been changed, but you can hope. A lot of
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
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.
I understand what you mean. I would not mind spending the money on the
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:
Small cars are definitely commanding a premium, but let's not get wacky.
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.
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:
Well, whaddya know! Googling "Escort broken springs" brings up a wealth of
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....
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
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