I have a 2003 TL that is 11 years old. It has 30K miles. Garage kept. T
he trade-in value in my area is between 4.5K and 6.5K depending on whether
you believe Edmunds or KBB. I just had to have over 1.7K worth of work do
ne to the car because a couple of things went. Due to the age of the car,
family members are questioning whether it is really worth keeping the car,
or as opposed to buying a new one.
The car is in good condition cosmetically and runs fine. I'm just concern
ed that maybe something else big could go, that may cost closer to what the
trade-in value is, and then it clearly wouldn't be worth continuing to put
money into it rather than get a new car. If that did happen, then how wo
uld I get rid of the existing car, if the car broke down, and brought it to
Acura and I decided it wasn't worth repairing...and I wanted to get a new
car but not be limited to buying a new Acura rather than shop around?
There are couple of people who tell me the low mileage means nothing and it
is time to think about getting a new car given the age. The service rep
said he would would never tell someone with a car that only has 30K miles
that they need to get a new one.
What do you think?
On Friday, January 31, 2014 6:28:26 AM UTC-5, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:
When I brought the car in, the engine was surging in a cycle of once per se
cond, when in idle or park, and it would not decelerate properly either, so
it definitely needed to be fixed.
The told me that Idle Air Control Valve and EGR (some type of gas regulati
on valve) both needed replacement and that was like $630 and the radiator w
as also leaking a little bit fluid at the seam and they wanted to replace i
t for $662 In addition they also wanted to replace two lower ball joints
in the front. They've been talking for a couple years about one of them h
aving a little play, but now claim it's time to replace and they want to re
place on both sides so everything is even and that was around $400.
This was my local Acura dealer. The high cost of the repair is making me
question whether I want to bother with another Acura when it is time to get
a new car. My prior car was an Accord EX and I had that car for 9 or 10 y
ears with at least 45K miles and I was never hit up for a huge repair like
If you could find an independent shop that knew what they were doing
and was reliable, that would save some money. However, it sounds like
there's enough little crap going bad that this is going to nag at you
quite often. Might be better to cut your losses and get something
I agree. Maybe--MAYBE--give it one more chance. Maybe see if this was
a fluke and you'll go another 10 years with only a few bucks in
maintenance. But be prepared to cut his losses if another round of this
kind of thing pops up.
I'm still shocked that any 30K mile Honda would do this. I have a 93K
mile Odyssey, 12 years old, that isn't leaking and hasn't blown through
(But based on my transmission story alone, I would tell him to get the
hell rid of that car NOW.)
You know, I wonder if the numbnuts (or evil) tech who replaced the IAC
didn't spill some coolant in the process, then see it and "deduce" that
the radiator must be leaking...
not outrageous. IAC for me a few years ago in my Odyssey was quoted at
$300 or so; add in that time has passed and everything goes up in price,
plus the "but we're Acura, if you can't afford the service you can't
afford the car" tax, and yeah, maybe those two added up to that at the
I didn't pay it, though; I pushed back, and Honda paid. I was a few
months past the 36 month warranty, but still inside the 36K miles.
One wonders what an independent shop would have charged, though.
I think you're on the right track. Why would you pay the Honda tax at
all if the car you're going to get will go through lower ball joints at
Hondas (that includes Acuras) have been built more and more cheaply, and
Honda is riding on their reputation to keep the prices up. They're
hoping like hell that you never step foot inside a Hyundai or Kia
dealership--but their business model of "build 'em cheap, keep the price
high, sell on reputation, and otherwise stick our heads in the sand with
regard to Hyundai/Kia" hasn't worked out as well as they'd have liked.
Your repair story makes me wonder, though. Yeah, you had the IAC
repair. But Honda had an EGR campaign for the 2002-2003 model years;
you possibly paid for a repair you didn't have to. In addition, did you
have any evidence yourself of a leaking radiator? Fluid on your garage
floor? Did they show you under the car at all?
The reason I ask is, I know of one dealership tech who blatantly rips
off ignorant people--and management looks the other way.
A 10 year old car, you don't *have* to go to the dealer. There are
plenty of independent shops that can work on your car, that is
essentially an Accord in a tuxedo. You most certainly could have gotten
a second opinion, and a $1700 quote on ANY 30K mile Honda, even though
it's 10 years old, deserves one.
Rubber bits and timing belts and some suspension bits will be affected
by age regardless of miles, so yeah, the car will need maintenance no
matter what. My personal philosophy is, overall the car was meant to be
driven, not stored away--and that a car that's driven somewhat is far
better off than one that sits all the time and is never driven.
From a service standpoint, your rep is right. We still have in the
family an '87 Civic, base 4 door with auto trans, that my aunt bought
new and drove max 2000 miles/year for many years. Now someone else has
it, and she also drives very little. I don't think it has 30K miles on
it yet. It still runs great.
But do be aware, not driving it does not mean no maintenance or repairs
at all. Very little driving is worse for the oil, for example, since it
never heats up and never has a chance to get rid of the moisture it's
accumulated. So good practice, you're changing it on a regular time
schedule. Per mile driven, that seems expensive. So be it.
And after five years, tires should be replaced (maybe a bit longer since
you garage it and the tires don't sit in the sunlight). Time takes its
toll on those, too.
So yeah, you'll pay out of pocket for keeping the car. Having a car at
your disposal is not free.
But none of that addresses what the service rep advised you. From a
service standpoint, there's no need to replace the car.
But from a modern throwaway-society I-don't-want-to-deal-with-it
standpoint, where you want to just drive it without doing anything to
it, many people simply roll over to a new car every three years. That
floats their boat. It's the expensive, convenient path to car
ownership. Never worry about tires or repairs, just drive it like an
appliance and get rid of it before you have to think about the
inevitable maintenance items and repairs and paying out of pocket for
all that stuff (those people are very bad at math, by the way).
On the other hand, two things stand out that might make you want a new
* new features. Cars are evolving almost as quickly as smartphones, all
in the effort to attract the audience that is used to that. And if you
want to maximize the integration with your smartphone, you'll need to
keep up with new cars. So you might want a new car with a better
* safety. Any new car is safer in an accident than your 11 year old
car. What we know changes all the time, and how the automakers respond
to what we know is pretty quick--much quicker than 11 years. IIHS has
ratings and can show you videos of how cars perform in crash tests, and
how the dummies fared in those tests. Nobody wants to crash, but the
danger is a reality. A situation in which you would walk away in a 2014
car could mean something else in a 2003 car.
And of course 11 years is a long time in terms of engineering overall,
gas mileage, emissions, performance, and so on.
Add it all up, toss it into a blender, and figure out where your head is
at with all of it--and make your choice.
On Fri, 31 Jan 2014 06:45:30 -0500, "Elmo P. Shagnasty"
I still drive my 91 Accord. It doesn't cost much per year but I would
like having new safety features. I have not been servicing it much the
last few years but I think I need to do a big service (the 60,000 mile
type) just to get all the belts and fluids taken care of. And it
really could use four tires.
I too wonder whether it's better just to get a new used car, but which
one? Eh. I'll probably just run the Accord until it needs a new
transmission or my foot falls through the floorboards. I don't drive
all that much.
Go do a little shopping, test drive stuff built since the millenium,
the total engineering is just way smoother since then.
Which newer safety features? If you mean like the collision warning
and all, at least in Hondaland those are pretty recent. Also they're
more like coming-attractions than really useful.
03 TL? V6? Automatic transmission?
Get rid of it. NOW. While it still has a smidgen of value.
See, the transmissions on those cars will grenade. Every one of them.
Without fail. Honda built not one, but TWO automatic transmissions for
their V6 vehicles between 1998 and 2004 model years, and those two
transmissions were so screwed up, they all failed.
They failed so badly that eventually Honda threw in the towel and
stopped replacing them under their famed goodwill warranty.
I could go on for a long time on this, but you tell me why an 8 year
old, 73K mile Honda van that mom drove around town with the kids in it
lost the transmission.
Google is your friend. For a long time Honda held their heads in shame
and replaced these transmissions. Then the economy tanked and Honda, to
preserve profit, pulled back on their famed goodwill warranty
process--right in the middle of these horrible transmissions failing
left and right.
Google is your friend.
If you try to sell the car independently, you will face two questions:
have you replaced the timing belt (that's a function of time as much as
miles), and have you replaced the transmission. NOBODY wants a Honda of
your vintage that still has the original transmission.
Sell it to an Acura dealer, take what they give you (they'll give you
cash--all car dealers buy used cars for cash), and move on with your
This kind of thing, plus hearing about your ball joints, is what has
given Honda the reputation of being just another GM or Chrysler. Not
only are the vehicles shitty, so is the factory backing. "Give us your
money, we'll give you something in return, but no promises and never
call us again" is their motto.
I see a lot of people saying to dump this car. So 11 years and
finally facing a first repair of a supposedly few minor issues
(question if everything is truly needed going to the dealer) is time
to get rid of a car with 30k miles on it?
I'd say the $1500 $2000 over 11 years for repair of a car with 30k
miles is quite reasonable. No one here except for the owner has
actually seen it or driven it. To spend +$30k and take on years of
payments to avoid spending a few dollars is silly unless the vehicle
has actually had a history needing various repairs/breakdowns. Also,
to say every 6 cyl by Honda from '97 to '04 is ready to fail (earlier
in the thread) is a fallacy as well. My '04 accord has 140k miles on
it, and I've had no issues.
Unless it's a real lemon, there is no reason why it won't last another
11 years (or more). It would take a little bit more than a few
hiccups to truly warrant dumping this vehicle, IMO.
Not necessarily, but there are a lot of moving parts in making that
choice. The goal is to make an *informed* decision.
No, not those repairs. I do know that in 2002-2003 Honda and their junk
parts created IAC repairs (I had two of them), and they even did a
campaign on the EGR repair. Weak, weak, weak pieces of engineering and
manufacturing all went into the 1998-2004 Hondas.
Throw in the transmission troubles, and what does it add up to.
And you know, it's not the transmission troubles themselves; what counts
is how Honda responded to them. Initially it was all wine and roses,
but when the economy crashed Honda told everyone who brought this to
their attention to "fuck off, we're not giving shit to you, it's your
problem, we need to protect our profits".
And his car is right in the sweet (sour?) spot of bad Honda products.
The engineering of those cars is well known to be problematic over a
decent range of items, not the least (expensive) of which is the
Like I said, he has to make an informed decision--not a blind one. And
there's lots of information that, when taken together, might incline one
to get rid of the car and gets something with modern safety and end user
The statistics say you'll lose on that bet every time. That you so far
have won, is an anomaly.
According to the statistics. But then again, math is hard and
statistics sometimes go against "common sense" and people love to stick
their heads in the sand and ignore reality.
So what exactly is the percent of transmission failures for 6 cyl
Honda vehicles from '97 to '04 that makes my experiences an "anomaly"?
I'd bet money without even looking at the data that more have won than
Or people thump their chest after prophesizing a false reality.
Either way, there is a very good chance that the vehicle is still
worth keeping. Advice to dump it *without any other information* over
what has already been discussed could end up having someone pay
$30-$40k for a new vehicle when $1500 (or even $6k or so even if one
wanted to put in a new transmission) is poor advice for a vehicle that
only has 30k miles.
You're talking about a vehicle that consensus now values at less than
$7k. Why do you think that is? Because the ratio of care to service
it requires is that much higher than a newer vehicle.
Now, if you're an expert driver and can pick up the first tick of a
problem and nurse it home and do a lot of repairs yourself and get a
warm and fuzzy feeling from it all, then that's a win-win. OTOH if
this is grandma's car and you don't want to get a call that she's at
the mall and all these lights are on the dash and the car won't move,
then you might want to go another way.
I drove one Honda for eleven years and got good value out of it, but
then decided to try it the other way and have just leased since then.
For what seems to me a very small premium there are no maintenance
issues at all, no reliability issues at all, and so many strange new
toys to play with I seldom try them all out before trade-in time.
Buy a new one and drive it off the lot and you lose $7k in the first
year. 30k miles leaves a lot of life left in the original vehicle.
The transmission failure rate may have been high, but what does that
mean? What is high? 10% failure rate is obscenely high, but it still
leaves a 90% probability of not having an issue. It wasn't even
mentioned if this vehicle was even brought in for the recall fix? How
many failed after the fix vs. those that failed without it (I believe
there were 2 fixes that were used, depending on the mileage of the
No one has supplied any data to offer the OP as to what are his real
chances of having an issue with this vehicle, only subjective opinions
(which in a way, he got what he asked for), with at least one of them
from someone that openly has admitted that they have a bone to pick
with the manufacturer.
I'd have to say that before making a huge commitment for a number of
years in the form of car payments, I'd want more objective information
on why I should give up on one that I haven't even gotten my moneys
worth out of it after 11 years.
Just my opinion to present the other side of the coin (again, what was
asked for). That and 8 bits won't even get you a good cup of java
these days, so the OP can take it for what it's worth.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.