Hypothetical Scenario

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23,745
Location
CA
Let's say someone (not me) owns a 2003 Pilot AWD with 175k miles.

Car currently runs fine, passes smog, no rust, no active leaks, all tires are at 8/32." Car does burn 1 qt of oil every 1500-2K. Interior is decent, exterior is probably a B-.

Front brakes (pads and rotors), compliance bushings, both air filters, brake fluid, front wipers, oil filter adapter gasket, front windshield, r/f axle and side engine mount were replaced within the last 6 months. Brake pads, bushings, engine air filter, brake fluid, oil filter adapter gasket, axle and engine mount were Genuine Honda parts; rest were aftermarket.

In its current state the car should pass a pre-purchase inspection without issues.

Mechanic friend looked over the vehicle and said to plan for the following items within the next 1-2 years:

- Timing Belt Service (due to time/mileage)

- Spark Plugs and Valve Adjustment

- Service A/T, rear diff and transfer case fluids

- Replace noisy power steering pump, fluid reservoir (due to built-in filter) and inlet o-ring

- Replace front engine mount (side one already replaced, front still original and somewhat collapsed)

- Rear Brakes (Pads, Rotors and Missing Rubber Adjustment Plugs). Currently at 4mm.

- Front Struts, Front Strut Mounts and Rear Shocks due to ride quality.

Basically $1500-$2k worth of parts and 2 days of DIYer work.

Is it worth keeping this as a spare vehicle or selling as-is?
 
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Messages
12,973
Location
North Carolina
Depends on your other vehicles. If it will serve a purpose and save wear and tear on the others, like say your truck, yes.

Will you get 2 grand of use out of it?

If you dont really need it, pass it on.

Everything does not have to be done at once.

Do timing belt and spark plugs first, then rear brakes.

Fluids, power steering repair once its warmer.

Struts on a nice weekend.


My 03 avalanche only has 87k , due to me driving a cutlass ciera to work for years.
 
Messages
515
Location
Canadia
If the person in the hypothetical situation had the vehicles listed in your signature, I would take a hard look at getting rid of the Accord instead. The Pilot is more versatile, and the Prius is still there as a runabout.
 
Messages
861
Location
MO
Personally if it was a spare car I wouldn’t do anything other than drive it and brakes as needed. I’d risk the timing belt and not bother with it. It’s almost to throwaway status if it’s a spare car and I have something nicer. If not a spare, then I’d do everything you listed to keep it tip top because as someone else mentioned, what other car for $1500 would you know the history on?
 
Messages
17,759
Location
NH
$2k would be cheap money to get one year of life. Excellent if 2 years. Sounds like a good second car, maybe not even a beater; might pair well with a nice high mpg hybrid/EV (as in, commute in the car, keep the boat for when the space and low mpg is justified).

At the same time, if not actually needed, perhaps it's time to let it go, with full disclosure, thus keeping $2k and pocketing whatever one gets on the sale of a good running vehicle. Half that stuff probably doesn't need disclosure on sale, most of it sounds like routine stuff, and some of it isn't kaput just yet (not if it's 1+ years out from being due).
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
23,745
Location
CA
If the person in the hypothetical situation had the vehicles listed in your signature, I would take a hard look at getting rid of the Accord instead. The Pilot is more versatile, and the Prius is still there as a runabout.
The owner of the vehicle in question is not me. Just edited the original post with this info.
 
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Messages
1,212
That’s a tough question.

I‘d probably chose to dump it, BUT keeping it wouldn’t be the end of the world either.

Couple issues. It’s 18 years old. That’s old. Lots of other unforeseen things could also potentially pop up. Just the way it is (and should be expected).

The oil burning is a game changer for me. If you’re going to do a timing belt, the water pump, tensioner, etc. That thing had better not be an oil burner. And the plugs and valve adjustment? Well, you’re going to have to do valve cover gaskets and possibly a coil or two (god only knows how much oil on those plugs those coils have been trying to push voltage through). Then you have the engine mount.

The regular maintenance doesn’t bother me...the fluids, brakes, etc. It’s the age and the oil burning. Oh, and struts aren’t exactly cheap, especially with the sway bar links you’ll be replacing with them. One more thing...someone else already mentioned it...the tranmssions in these vehicles are known for failure. They really really are. I’ve seen so many people with these things get burned because of that transmission. It’s a real black eye on Honda’s resume.

Having said all that ^^. Like I said, it’s not the end of the world to keep it either...it’s not a rust bucket New England car (I assume).
 
Messages
5,342
Location
Southeast Texas
Ask your mechanic what is urgent and absolutely mandatory to do. Just do minimal repairs and keep on truckin'. It needs to be cost effective, so drive it until it really breaks somehow. Out of you list I would do rear brakes first, then service the trans just to hedge your bets on it.
 
Messages
15,794
Location
NE,Ohio
There is option 3, do none of the work and keep driving it.
Esp. if its a third vehicle.
worse case scenario it blows up.. you are out about as much as those repairs to scrap it.
 
Messages
413
Location
Florida
Those repairs are cheap, compared to monthly payments. Even if I had to dump $500 a year in repairs in my 03' Matrix, it's still better than $4000 - $5000 worth of car payments. You know what needs to be done. The question is, is it in your budget?
 
Messages
6,525
Location
Los Gatos, CA
If he/she liked the vehicle, I say keep it alive.
If he/she is ready for something new, this might be a good time to test the waters...

If it were me, I would definitely fix it.
With one caveat; the exterior quality. Body work and paint is flat out expensive.
 
Messages
6,355
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Mechanic friend looked over the vehicle and said to plan for the following items within the next 1-2 years:

- Timing Belt Service (due to time/mileage)

- Spark Plugs and Valve Adjustment

- Service A/T, rear diff and transfer case fluids

- Replace noisy power steering pump, fluid reservoir (due to built-in filter) and inlet o-ring

- Replace front engine mount (side one already replaced, front still original and somewhat collapsed)

- Rear Brakes (Pads, Rotors and Missing Rubber Adjustment Plugs). Currently at 4mm.

- Front Struts, Front Strut Mounts and Rear Shocks due to ride quality.

Basically $1500-$2k worth of parts and 2 days of DIYer work.

Is it worth keeping this as a spare vehicle or selling as-is?
I see $800 in parts just adding it up in my head. Mechanical work is cheap if you diy. If the paint is peeling or there is rust, don't bother. If it's clean it should still be worth $4000+.
 
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