3 accident well maintained car -- buy?

Hello All,

This is my first post on this forum, and before I go any further I have to thank everyone who has posted on a few of the post I have read earlier, for the clarity and wisdom that their experience brings. Thank you Sirs!

Should I buy this car? If so at what price ?

2003 Honda Accord Manual trans Coupe EX 95,000 miles.

Classifieds ad is here: http://hou…04758.html

About the car:

Good: 2 owners, both well maintained and records present. Clean etc.

The bad: First owner–hit a parked car-police report accident.

2nd owner: rear ended twice, bumper replaced each time,

Car bought in NJ and then sold to 2nd owner in TX.

VIN number:1HGCM71623A014835

For reference: http://www…-03-friend

Do you feel lucky? If not try another. The price for a never been wrecked could be well worth the investment.

“Should I buy this car?”

We can’t tell you whether or not you should buy this car. You have to make that decision for yourself.

Have you seen the car? Have you driven it? You don’t say. You’re just giving us some basic information and asking for an opinion.

Do you have any information regarding the severity of the impacts, either to the front end or the rear?

How recent was the latest rear-end crash? Perhaps the current owner knows there’s problem after two rear end collisions and is bailing out. I say this because it happened to me.

Maintenance records are good, crash damage is bad.

The owner is asking too much. According to Kelly Blue Book, a 2003 Accord EX Coupe in “excellent” condition is worth approximately $8,000.

A car is “fair” condition (C’mon, it’s been hit three times) is worth approximately $6,500.

I wouldn’t buy this car. There may be trouble lurking, and if anyone even taps the rear end there could be significant damage. It’s already been hit there twice, and each hit weakens the structure.

You should be able to find a better Accord for $8,000.

I would be very reluctant to buy a car that had been in any sort of accident. Your statement, “bumper fixed” could hide all sorts of things.

The 3 wrecks may or may not be that big an issue. The issue is just how hard the car was hit when they occurred. A fender dinging or trashed bumper is no big deal but it the impact went a bit deeper then it’s possible suspension components and subframes could be affected.

That “medium sized accident” comment in regards to the parked car incident would probably lead me to not give them what they’re asking for it. It would have to come on down to about half before I’d consider it because a medium sized accident (like a major sized one) can often mean overlooked damage; or damage that is not mentioned to a potential buyer.

Well, the maximum price that I would pay for this car is 6000$, and no more. The seller has agreed to that figure in principle. Asking around dealers, the dealers have varying figures to tell me about the car; quoting 3500 for trade in (John Eagle Honda, Houston) ; to 5000-6000 $ trade in (Gilman Honda Houston) . I absolutely agree that 3 accidents are too much. If you see the carfax, the Honda was maintained at Madison Honda in NJ by the first owner, I called them up, and they told me that they had replaced the front and rear brakes after 2 years, the radio (this is a known issue in 2003 Honda Accord 4 cylinders ) has been replaced too.

The first accident was not severe, and the good thing was that the lady reported eveything to the police. The carfax says: left front primarily damaged.

The second owner claims that the two rear endings were minor . I am impressed with the second owner as regards maintenance knowledge and as a person to buy from. Some owners donot have the money to repair things, and this guy is not one of them.

Both the owners have driven the cars hard, and it seems like that is a deal breaker, 15000 and 20000 miles per year respectively for a total of 95000 miles.

The problem is that 6000$ approx does not give me a car that I can drive to the ground—I wouldnt spend more than 4500 for that. I shall have to sell it. At that point of time both the manual tranny and 3 accidents shall be lethal to my efforts.

I agree. Owners have a vested interest in playing down any accidents that have occured in their time or previous times. Hitting a parked car seems like an accident that is probably not that big, but certainly its the front end of the car, and one does not know how it has gone down. Since its a newer model, a 2003, stylistically speaking I could keep it till a long time.

Agreed, because of resale value etc. Given that frame damage has not occured, and the Honda seems to be well maintained, with parts not having to be heavily replaced, and it being a manual, does it seem like a car that you could keep until 200K miles and it dies?

Test drive report:

  1. Gears shifted smoothly, revs were also good. I assume that the Honda Accord has a rev limiter at 4500 revs in neutral gear?

  2. Car drove straight and true. Engine oil was at the perfect level and clear light brown. Clean car inside and out, a little spot on the roof showed sun damage.

  3. Little rusty looking brake discs behind the alloy wheels.

If you want 100k+ out of the car, I’d keep looking. This one may be ok, but it might not. I wouldn’t take the chance.

“Both the owners have driven the car hard, . . . 15,000 to 20,000 miles per year.”

I disagree with your description if “driven the car hard.” Highway miles (and that’s how an owner accumulates 15-20K miles per year) are not “hard” miles. They are actually “easy” miles.

Cars driven at highway speeds most of the time experiences an easy life. Highway driving does not stress a car, despite what you might think.

Day-to-day commuting at low speeds, in traffic, is much harder on a car than “highway miles.”

Please explain your last paragraph, beginning with “The problem is that 6,000$ approx does not give me a car that I can drive to the ground.”

Why not? It seems to me this Accord might be the perfect vehicle to drive into the ground, assuming you can buy it for the right price.

No. The rev limiter should not kick in anywhere near 4,500 rpm.

More like 6,500.

You’ve already decided you want this car, and nothing anyone says will dissuade you.

Don’t spend too much money.

Good luck to you.

I understand what you are saying, that high miles, if highway are pretty good vehicles to have as they are driven at a steady speed, thereby having a steady temperature, and not causing thermal stress.
In my view, a car that is around 3000-4000 , I could keep driving till it dies, and then just leave it by the side of the roads or donate it to someone. 6000, I would have to resell to get some of my money back .

Would you like to have a look at the carfax report?

Thank you. I want to put forward all points and have a thorough discussion, to make the discussion as complete as possible. And you’re right, I like the car, and it seems like I should walk away from it.

Okay. Seems like this car shall not find me as a buyer anymore. I put the car in neutral , and revved the car hard. It went upto 4500 smoothly, and then started stuttering. 4500 rpm-4200-4500-4200 every 5 seconds. Seemed like a rev limiter to me. The red area on the rpm dial was from 6000-7000 rpm, and this stuttering was much before that.

I would never in a million years floor the throttle in neutral, either in my own car or in a car I was considering on purchasing. Is this some new way to evaluate cars? I consider this abuse. If I were selling a car and a looker did that, I’d probably hit him in the head.

disgree. I’ve had several cars that had the rev limited set to around 4500 RPM while the car was in neutral.

Disagree about this. If the red zone revs are 6000+ , then 4500 is acceptable revs to go to. Revs while changing gears do go to 3000+ . Agree about the fact that engine should have a load attached, disagree that the neutral revs test damages the engine.

I agree with Lars46. If a potential buyer tried to float the valves in neutral on a car they haven’t purchased then I’d be yanking them out real fast by the collar.

There is absolutely no good reason for revving an engine to high RPMs while in neutral. That “test” proves nothing and things like this makes me cringe.

If the buyer wants to do something like this then buy the car first. After the cash changes hands then the buyer can go rev it all they want.