1997 Honda Accord about to hit 200K: What should I ask my mechanic?


#1

I’ve been lucky with my current car, a 1997 Honda Accord I bought used from my sister in law a few years back. Almost all of its flaws are cosmetic, and the only dire news I got from my mechanic at its last maintenance is that I really need new tires before my next oil change. I had the timing belts changed at 190K miles (previous change was 100K), and my mechanic believes he can get the car to 280K (at which point he will have to have a heart to heart discussion with me regarding the feasibility of retiring it gracefully rather than just replacing the timing belts again.)


The next oil change will be at around 200K on the nose, so what are some things I should ask him to look for as my car heads onto its silver years? I trust my mechanic implicitly, and if there’s something really wrong I know he’ll tell me, but is there anything in particular I should ask him to poke?

#2

I have one of these also. If it has been well maintained in the past, the only concern might be the CV joint boots.


#3

Assuming you’ve been maintaining it per the owner’s manual recommended maintenance schedule, and it sounds like you have, than there’s no specific item(s) that need looking at. Youu could have him give it a “going over” on the rack, which would include checking CV boots, articulated joints (tie rod ends, connecting rod ends, etc.), bushings, the exhaust system, brake lines & fittings, evidence of leaks if there are any, and other such stuff. This sort of a check is pretty routine when a shop is working with a regular client maintaining a car, and he may already have checked these things. I’ll bet he has.

Beyond that, something will occasionally fail, but it’s impossible to predict what.


#4

I have a similar car, and my Honda mechanic is always telling me about his customers’ cars of this vintage that are still going strong at 300k+ miles. Some of them are getting really rusty, but they’re still running, and their owners don’t want to give them up.


There is nothing “special” required at 200K miles, just as there was nothing “special” required at 100K. Just continue to follow the maintenance schedule and all will be well.

When the mechanic has the car on his lift, just ask him to look around and see if there are any problems. But there’s nothing specific to worry about. A general check-over will do.

You don’t need to go looking for trouble. Remember, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

#5

If the car is automatic, the transmission fluid should be drained and refilled (with Honda fluid only) every 30,000 miles. Hondas are great cars, my brother still has his 1987 Accord with 350,000+ miles on it.

You are wise to have a good relationship with your mechanic.


#6

I would clean the throttle body and IACV,
change the thermostat if over 5 years old,
change brake fluid if over 3 y.o.