Son has 105,000 miles on his 2005 LX V6 Accord.
He's about to bring it in for service, and is a bit "concerned" about
all the items that apparently need doing, per the Service/Maint. Schedule.
Car runs just fine.
Hopes to keep it for another year or two.
Would like to get your opinions on the following, please:
a. The Timing Belt replacement, I would imagine, is big $.
How "necessary" is replacing it ?
Can it just be inspected to see if a replacement is "really" required ?
b. How about these Platinum Tip spark plugs: replace necessary, or,
again, an inspection should suffice ?
c. And, as a general question, what other items absolutely need
replacing, and should not be considered discretionary ?
it's as "necessary" as the inconvenience of it breaking and you having
to tow the vehicle to a shop. and if it's an interference engine,
spending kilodollars getting that engine fixed/replaced.
how "really required" is replacing this belt?
how about this one?
so, to answer your question, no, belts cannot be inspected.
how much is gasoline these days? old plugs don't light the gas mix as
well and give lower economy. apart form the reliability, emissions, and
cat replacement issues of course.
i think the thing that most obviously needs replacing is this ownership
attitude. apart from the issues of poor math not being able to figure
out that repair is much cheaper than purchase and depreciation of a new
vehicle, if you don't want the responsibility of owning a reliable
vehicle that won't strand you, or worse, cause an accident in which
others are injured, you need to take the maintenance seriously. if you
don't want to do that, take the bus.
but...but...don't you UNDERSTAND? Life is supposed to be like a
REFRIGERATOR--an APPLIANCE that needs NOTHING, it just IS. Open the
door, it's cold. You don't have to WORK at making it go! Set it and
A 4 cylinder Honda (or Toyota) is the least pain in the ass way to own
transportation, and people still bitch about having to deal with it.
If you're only keeping the car for a year or two, you can afford to
cheap-out and skip the water pump. The belt(s) will be about $400-$800,
depending on 4 or V6, and depending on aftermarket or OEM.
At your mileage, very necessary; you're due for a replacement. You've
got about a 50% chance of valves hitting pistons should the timing belt
slip or break, and that would add about a grand to the (then mandatory!)
That said, you've also got about a 50-50 chance of making it through the
next two years with no breakage at all.
Nope. The carcass weakens internally, and you can't see that in a visual
At 105K, you're due for a replacement. But if you're only keeping the
car for a year or two, leave them alone and expect to possibly have an
That depends completely on what has already been done already. Or not
been done, given the evidently lackadaisical approach to maintenance
Your type is the primary reason I hate used cars: used cars show the
results of the previous owner's, "Awww, do I HAVE to?" maintenance
i much prefer used cars that have been neglected vs. used cars that have
been "maintained" by idiots. no kidding, i've just done some
engine/transmission work on my "new" 89 civic, and some of the stuff
i've found just makes you cringe.
1. parking brake cable return spring messed up. how exactly you can do
this i'm not sure, but it was mangled so bad, the brake was always
dragging because it wouldn't return at all.
2. the atf coolant line had been pinched shut!!! not the rubber hose,
the steel outlet pipe coming from the banjo. i'm not exactly sure how
it would have been possible to do this accidentally since it's thick
wall and fairly robust and it doesn't crush easily with hose pliers. it
was also smushed completely closed - not just dented. the only thing i
can think of, since it seemed to had been done so carefully, is a dodgy
transmission shop messing it up deliberately in an attempt to sell a new
transmission to its non-technical previous lady owner - it caused the
pressure to drop so it would flare between 2 & 3 so "the transmission's
about to go - you need to replace it". i ended up having to replace the
whole pipe/banjo unit because it was just too badly damaged and broke
apart trying to re-open it. [transmission operation returned to normal
3. the cabin heater's outlet pipe had been pinched shut just like the
atf pipe. again, not just a little bit closed, completely smushed shut.
this one i managed to re-open since it's copper and thus more ductile,
but the pipe is now in poor shape, and i suspect is going to leak. if
so, it means replacing the heater core, which means taking out the dash
and the front controls - many hours of work.
yeah, just give me a neglected used car - you just have to do a bunch of
maintenance. incompetently/maliciously "repaired" takes many more hours
of remedial /before/ you can maintain it.
I bought a house like that.
Hint: when the neighbors ALL talk about "he's always working on the
house," that's code for "he's always screwing things up and then going
back to try to unscrew them up but screwing them up differently".
used cars are fine. if you know what you're doing and/or use a decent
shop to keep it running. otherwise, you're stuck with the crap shoot of
incompetence in maintenance, even if the car is nearly new. a buddy of
mine got ripped for a whole new braking system - disks, drums, master
cylinder, calipers and rear pistons. oh, and pads/shoes. the car was
about 3 years old and ~30k miles. san francisco honda.
I bought my '94 Accord from a bank that reposessed it. The car had 36 K
miles at the time and a mechanic checked it before I signed off on it. I
couldn't have a better car even if I bought it new. I feel I have a
better chance to avoid a lemon in used car if I buy a reposessed one
than from the original owner. That way at least I have a pretty good
chance that the car is not being sold because something is wrong with
it. Just my superstition, I guess.
Just to indicate that each case is different, I put a bid in on a
Ferrari 308 that was repossessed. The bank did not care and wanted to
get rid of it as soon as possible. I took pics all over and drove to
the nearest factory Ferrari manager. He spent some time with me, and
when he was finished said I could get the car for $20K, then would
have to spend another $20K to bring it back (the owner deferred all
maintenance) and would have a $30K car.
Check independent shops. Doesn't have to be BIG $$. Just has to be
Necessary. Inspection won't show anything. Just do it.
And then keep the car longer than just another year.
Either that, or dump the car now--to someone who will offer $1000 less
because he knows HE'LL have to do the timing belt.
I remember my 92 Civic at 120K miles, a bunch of stuff just came up all
at once. None of it was unexpected, but that didn't lessen the pain of
$1400 going out the door inside a very short period of time. But so be
it--cars cost money, and things need replaced now and again. Every mile
has a cost associated with it. Think of it that way, and none of this
Oh--and you'll also drive a LOT less, especially with $4 gas, when you
start seeing dimes or quarters fly out the window every time the
odometer ticks another mile.
$4 gas. Let's think about that. My wife's 02 Odyssey gets 15mpg with
her tooling around town. Four dollars for 15 miles. That's almost 27
cents PER MILE--JUST for gasoline.
Add in tires, oil, exhaust, water pump, timing belt, spark plugs, valve
adjustment...everything that wears with every mile you drive. How easy
is it to think of 30 or more cents being spent EVERY time the odometer
clicks over a SINGLE MILE?
Start thinking like that, in the real world, and you'll realize how
expensive even the cheapest car is just to drive.
A properly maintained Accord should last 250K miles.
I just had a 110K timing belt plus 110K service on a civic.
It was about double normal service. They charged 3.5 hours of labor
for the timing belt part and 1.5 for the other portion, plus parts.
My dealer lists all the 10xK service prices for the various models
on big wall chart. I noticed a big bump at 105K or 110K for every
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