Fix 2006 Accord or buy new car?

2006 Honda Accord has about 230k on it. Recently had a few thousand dollars of work done (9 months ago). Now need another 1.5k done (power steering fluid flush, rear breaks, front tires, belt tensioner, and starter just died yesterday).

At this point, should I do these repairs or buy another car? I’d be looking at used cars in the 50-100k range, probably a 2011-2014 Corolla. I’d like to delay a new purchase for as long as possible, since I own my Honda outright, but I also don’t want to sink money into it if it’s not going to last much longer.

You’re at a point of car ownership where, if you’re not capable of doing these type of repairs yourself, and must hire someone else to do them, it’s time to move on.



The devil you know or the devil you dont. right know the used car market is way overpriced, you put thousands into the car you have now. not sure what you had done. but I would fix what you have and keep saving money, and wait for the market to go back to normal. then get another vehicle. but thats just my thoughts. others might have a different opinion


You did not say what the past work was. Power steering fluid flush, why? Brakes and tires might need to be done on any used car you buy, I would balance if I need the car for long road trips or in town driving.If you do a lot of long road trips and want a better chance at reliability newer should be better, but no guarantees.

I’m still a little on the fence, but mostly leaning towards doing the repairs. I’ll be doing a cross country move (18 hour drive) with animals next year, so I do want to make sure it will survive the trip. That’s a large consideration. I also put about 100-150 miles on my car daily for work.

Previous work was total replacement of spark plug/ignition coil electronics (some previous mechanic broke the clips and the whole thing had to be replaced) as well as some other things I can’t remember right now. I can check in the morning and see what’s been replaced recently. The engine is still in good shape.

The tensioner is 100% in need of replacement, and that the power steering fluid needs replacing is my own guess based on the specific noises it makes. I’ve also had a power steering recall, which I did get done, and the steering is super tight. Perhaps something else is causing the noise, but it occurs when turning the wheel, mostly. I’ve read that this isn’t uncommon, and it seems to be a fairly cheap job.

As far as doing things myself, I’ve done serpentine belt and brake replacement, as well as other little things, but I now live in an apartment complex and don’t have a space to work on it myself. I’m fairly mechanically inclined, but I don’t know a lot about cars so I’m hesitant to take on more difficult repairs.

I think the best idea is to get it at least operable, and at that point I will be able to trade it in if I decide to. It’s a hard call, since I know the engines can last quite a while. It will probably be a matter of systematically checking through a list of repairs I’ve recently done and things that are likely to fail. Some engine mounts are broken, and I opted not to fix them due to price and the mileage of the car, and I’m not sure if that will have any consequences in the near future.

Balance the cost of repairs vs the cost of new car payments. A car payment will be $200 to $500 a month. In 3 to 5 months the repair cost will wash out with car payments, then you are ahead of the game. If the car is otherwise in good shape, go for the repairs. Putting 100 miles a day on a car is a lot easier than 5 miles a day in heavy traffic, so don’t get hung up on the mileage.


Friends with a place to work on car? Brakes can be as simple as new pads. If you rotate tires, all should be same wear.

What noise?

Noise coming from the power steering often indicates the inlet o-ring is bad and needs to be replaced. That’s a very cheap part and 5 minutes of work.

I’ve actually had the o-ring replaced already, totally different noise than this.

I think it is time to replace this vehicle . Of course this is a lousy time to buy a vehicle used so it might be best to pay a little more from one of the major used dealers that offer some kind of warranty . Carmax - Carvana

If you hadn’t mentioned the cross country trip I say repair, now I’m leaning towards replace.


Alright, so I opted to take a little bit of all this advice - I’m doing all the bare minimum to repair and get on the road again, and I’m planning on trading and purchasing a newer used vehicle in the winter. I’m hoping the market will be better for buying used when the time comes. I had very little luck finding the right car when I looked earlier.

Alot of what you mention (power steering flush, brakes, and tires) are simply maintenance items that any car requires. With that said, this car has 230k miles on it and you seem to spend a fair amount of time in it, So in that respect, I would lean towards replacing it.

The current repairs needed seem like they are common and expected maintenance items, so it probably makes sense to do those. But w/230K on this car, and presuming you aren’t able to do this sort of work yourself, cross your fingers it continues working for a while once the current repairs are made. This will give you time to start looking for a replacement vehicle. Your idea of a newer Corolla makes good sense.

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Thanks guys, I did get the starter fixed and it was only a little over $400, about half what I expected. The noise was indeed the power steering - it has a leak apparently. Over $500 to fix, so I told them to top off the fluid and I will consider getting it done later. They made no mention of the belt squeak, so that must not be a pressing issue.

Not sure how long I can go before replacing the power steering pump. I might get a second opinion on it. If I use Carvana or something like that, then I wonder if I can trade my car despite the repairs needed. I’m also wondering when would be the best time to check again. When I checked Carvana yesterday for used Corollas, there was only one option within my filters - all others were pending sale.

Don’t restrict yourself to corollas. Check hyundai elantra and sonata also.

Check Enterprise Car sales and the other rental companies. Corollas are popular rental cars

That’s a great idea, never would have thought of that. Thanks, I’ll check those out.

Actually, thinking about this more, I think you’re right. While the power steering noise I was talking about was actually related to a leak, I think that the noise I attributed to the belt tensioner might actually be the o-ring.

I’ve had that same whine in the past, usually on startup, and it was fixed by replacing the o-ring. That was several years ago. I assumed this new whine was related to the belt, since I replaced that myself, and I assumed I screwed something up without knowing it. The whine has increased in duration over time, lasting longer and longer after startup.

I would think the o-ring replaced 3 years ago would have lasted longer, but I suppose it’s possible someone overtightened it and it split.

Another vote to not just want only one brand or model . We have a 2018 Ford Fiesta and have been pleased with it .