94 Honda Accord 222K Maintenance Questions

Here goes: My 94 Honda Accord with over 222K miles on it was given to me by my dad about a year ago. It was owned by a business that put about 195K miles on it and supposedly had regular maintenance on it. I am sure they at least did the oil changes but no records came with the vehicle. My wife and I are saving for a newer car with less miles and I am wondering what to do to ensure another 6 months to a year of driving for this great little car.

The problems: 1) When power is needed going up hills or just pressing the gas for immediate acceleration the rpms go up but the car does not shift to get the power. It is not slipping but does a delayed engagement of the downshift.

2) During the summer months the a/c compressor works okay but even with a fresh refilling of R-134A it does not blow cold like a new a/c. Is this telling me that my air compressor is about to go out? It is not a universal belt so even if it goes out would it be okay to not replace it?

3) I have no idea when the timing chain was replaced last. Do I need to replace it ASAP?

4) The mechanics I typically take it to said that the front left wheel bearing and hub assembly need to be replaced. Is that important?

Thanks for whatever answers I get. If I had the money to pay for advice then I would. Here’s a tip: when you go to a movie and you see a long line, have one member of your party who has a debit card or credit card go inside and see if there is a machine that will let you purchase tickets from it instead of waiting with the masses.

Given the 6 months window I would skip the timing belt personally, its due every 90k miles. However be aware if it snaps your car will break down and will cause about $2k in damage.

From what you describe, your transmission is slipping; this is often bad news and you should take it to s good transmission shop; don’t keep driving it like that. I assume you have checked the fluid in the transmission? Done in Park with engine idling. What color is it?

What maintenance and inspections have YOU done ono the car in the last year? Stick your finger in the oil filler opeining and run your finger over the inside of the valve cover. If it comes up with dirty crud, ithe engine has not had enough oil changes.

Your A/C should blow cold air with the R134 topped up, even when the compressor is on its last legs. Check the air valve that directs the air over the evaporator coil. This stuff is under the dash or accessible for the engine compartment.

IF the oil has been changed regularly, don’t worry about the timing chain, if it is a chain. If it is a BELT you should have it replaced.

If the front bearing & hub needs replacing, that could run into some money; I would get a second opinion on that.

In summing up, I believe this car has received insufficient care new, and has been generally neglected, other than perhaps oil changes. You could easily spend $4000 to get this car back in the shape it should be in, but it would be better to save for a newer car. By the way, 222,000 miles is about the 50% life point in a well maintained Accord.

I would get an estimate of the work suggested; if it is too high, drive the car carefully until it dies, then buy a newer one.

The transmission is still redish pink and I recently added an additive to it (not a stop leak just chemicals for making it better, supposedly).

I have not checked the oil valve cover yet. I will do that when I get home today.

I was told it is a timing chain so I will do some research to make sure and go from there on that one.

The price I got quoted for the front left bearing, hubs, and to replace the timing chain is a little over $800. Is that good?

Maintenance I have performed includes regular oil changes, master cylinder replaced with new pads, rotated rotars, a new calipers on the front, had the a/c checked and they said it was fine, and new tires. All of that has been in the past year. Oh yeah, a new tail pipe and muffler. The car is still really loud (it sounds like there is a hole in the exhaust but there is not, the mechanic said that it is the car knocking but I know what a knocking rod sounds like and this is not it, this is some kind of escaping air).

Read the owners manual and follow the maintenance schedule. If you do not know when the timing belt was last changed, then get it done ASAP. If it brakes, it will bend the valves and possible do damage to the piston too. Consider replacing all the other things behind the timing belt wile their at it, like the water pump, T-belt tensioner kit, seals and the drive belts too. Should cost about $500 (that’s what I would charge in my shop).
Wheel bearings/hub are a safety concern.
Have a transmission shop check it too.

I don’t expect a 94 Accord to have R134a in the AC system. I expect it has the older refrigerant (R-12 I think), unless it was converted. If you are putting R-134a into a system that should have R-12 this could be a reason that the AC is not effective. If it was converted there should be a sticker somewhere under the hood.

Your car has a timing belt, not a chain. Too bad the maintenance records are not available. Makes me think maintenance was not a high priority during the first 195k miles. It’s a crap shoot.

Speaking about tips: I got a part time job circumsizing elephants. It doesn’t pay much but the tips are big.

Was the transmission slipping before you added the can of tonic to it? What was the additve? Transmissions do not need chemicals added to them. The fluid contains all that is needed to make them work properly. If the additive caused the slipping, you may be lucky and just need a fluid change and adjustment. It is not good to keep driving that way.

A timing CHAIN lasts a very long time, and is normally not replaced unless it starts making noises.

I would forget the timing chain and just replace the bearing and hub, since that is a safety item. The combined price quoted does not sound excessive.

It also sounds like someone left a few gaskets off fixing your exhaust system. Have it checked out.

The engine has a timing BELT. It’s was probably changed once at about 100,000 miles. I don’t believe the timing belt would last for 200,000 miles. To replace the timing belt would cost $500 to $800.
Tallying the costs of all the things wrong with the car, I can’t see that it’s worth it to put major money into its repair. Six months would be about 6,000 to 8,000 miles driving, right? I would take the chance that the timing belt would last that long. Just be prepared that, if the car “dies on the road”, it may be bone-yard time.

Any car that needs that much repair on it is one that you drive until it dies or it’s not worth owning. It’s a money pit now.

Well Said pleasedodgevan
Its rolling recyclable scrap at this point

Just make sure its safe to drive

It has R-134

You should do a fluid change on the transmission, use only Honda fluid. Check the cable that runs from the throttle body to the transmission for slack. If there is any slack, tighten it up but do not go past taunt. No slack but no tension either.

It has a timing belt, not a chain. The good news is that belts tend to break in very cold weather. Since most of the cold weather is behind us this winter, or should be in the next couple of weeks, you should be good for the next six months.

The AC problem is probably due to either the expansion valve or the heater control valve. I’d bet on the latter. When summer comes, reach behind the engine and manually finish closing the heater control valve and see if the AC works a lot better. This is kind of an awkward design and using plastic gears that change the rotary motion to the linear motion doesn’t help.

If the front wheel bearing isn’t making much noise, I wouldn’t worry about it. They make a pretty loud roar before they become dangerous.

If I were given this car I’d change the oil & filter ($15), check the brakes and suspension($??), change the timing belt($250), change the transmission fluid($50), change the coolant($15), and have an expert check the suspension for safety stuff. Anything else you can fix as it comes up. 222,000 miles on a 12 year old car is only 18,500 a year. The exhaust noise , I’ll bet . . . is the flex joint on the down pipe, you can hear it if you have someone rev it up while you listen and look at the exhaust just behind the front wheels, very common with this era Accord. The left wheel bearing/hub needs to be properly diagnosed. I’d say an Accord with only 200,000 miles on it with these repairs is a great deal . . especially when you got it for free. How is the body? Much rust? Any accidents? The interior OK? Of course, this is only my opinion but I’d probably keep it. Rocketman

Also, when having the timing belt changed, make sure they look at the front engine seals. I had an 89 Accord who’s crankshaft and camshaft seals had gone and leaked oil all over the timing belt. This weakend it to the breaking point and left me stranded. I had a friend with a 92 who had the same problem. Have these seals checked! PCV valve can also cause issue as can the fuel pump and fuel pump relay.

It was slipping before adding the tonic. It is worse in cold weather.

I found out that I did fork the money over to have the bearing and hub replaced back this summer. I called the shop where I have almost all my work done.

I took the car back to them after they replaced the exhaust system to let them hear the noise. He said that it is just the way an old car engine sounds. It does not sound like the engine. It sounds like the exhaust system.

I don’t want to take it to a transmission shop because my experience is that these guys are hungry for money and rebuilding or replacing the transmission gives them that prize. Should I take it to the dealership, a non-transmission specialist shop, or what? How do I make sure that I am not taken on this?

I am getting the timing belt, water pump, coolant fluid, and transmission fluid replaced tomorrow for $560.41. They are not going to flush the coolant and trans fluid out, only drain and replace what was drained. I will have the mechanic check the flex joint on the down pipe and to look for the cable going to the transmission to see if it is loose. Thanks for the advice.