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Honda Accord Subframe Rust-Out

I've got a 2000 Accord. I recently started hearing and feeling a hard knocking/clunking noise at the front-center of the car during the correct after a left turn. My trustworthy mechanic told me the subframe is rusted out on the right side and that it isn't safe to drive until the subframe is replaced (he also said he's seen several of these this last year). He suggested that the cause is that the hose leading away or down from the air conditioner is too short, and leaks directly onto the subframe. There is *no* recall on this problem currently. I've done some Internet research and there is some buzz about this, but not as much as I was hoping for. I'm wondering how to present this to the Honda dealer in order to have Honda pay for this serious and dangerous defect, which also nearly devalues the car completely. Any ammunition (in the form of information) is greatly appreciated!


  • Even if there was a poor design of the condensate drain for the A/C, the bottom line is that the car is now at least 12 years old. The probability of getting satisfaction from the manufacturer after 12 years is...not good, IMHO.
  • rajraj Duct Tape Specialist
    edited May 2012
    12 year old car..... You pay unfortunately.

    Try Honda of America, don't waste your breath at the dealer unless your an ultra loyal customer who did every single service there etc.

    How much to repair this?
  • The odds of Honda paying for this is about as close to zero as it can get.

    What part of the country do you live in?
  • 12 years is WAY past what Honda and everyone else considers "the life of the vehicle"...
  • I owned a 2000 Ford Windstar which I sold to my son. He subsequently sold the Windstar last November. Ford issued a recall on the Windstar for a rust problem involving the rear suspension. My son had the recall performed by the Ford dealer before he sold the vehicle. Ford Motor Company was buying back the severe cases, but the one my son owned was repairable. The Ford dealer had the van for more than a day.
    I was really surprised the Ford would foot the bill on the repair of a 12 year old vehicle.
  • It's amazing what can happen with a good lawyer and a sympathetic jury...
  • I don't believe that the water that drips from condensation tube for the AC is enough to rust out the engine craddle/subframe. First, the amount of water it see's isn't constant from that area. Second, that water is driven off from heat and air movement as the vehicle is moving. And third. If that small amount of water caused that much damage, then there should be engines/transaxles falling out of 2000 Accords here in Minnesota where they use salt on the roadways each winter.

    What you were told is causing the noise sounds pretty fishy to me. Get a second opinion.

  • I'm in agreement with Tester and will only add that the condensation drip is essentially distilled water and less corrosive than salt water or tap water with a heavy chemical content.

    Triedaq, getting rid of that Windstar may have been a good move. My understanding is that this repair on rusted subframes is about as hokey as it gets because it involves epoxying things together with subframes being replaced only under certain extreme conditions.
    Nice; super glue the suspension together. ;-)
  • @ok4450--at least Ford used epoxy instead of duct tape.
    I was really glad to see my son sell the Windstar. He had two Windstars--a 1999 and the 2000 he bought from me. Both were reliable vehicles. I think he had about 175,000 miles on each of them when he sold them. However, a rust problem that involves the suspension is frightening. I have had 4 minivans and I liked the Ford Aerostar which had a frame better than the Windstar, the Chevrolet Uplander or the Toyota Sienna that I now own. Even though I don't overload a minivan, I feel safer carrying passengers and their musical instruments in a vehicle that is built on a frame. I guess I am old fashioned that way.
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm still going to hope that I get some satisfaction from the dealer--the Ford example might be very useful! The biggest problem is that finding a used subframe (to cut down on cost) is difficult--either most others are also rusted out or the vehicle--being a Honda--is still running!
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