Fix 2006 Accord or buy new car?

I don’t dare buy a sedan from Ford, but I may broaden my search to some other Japanese models.

Upon picking up my car this morning, I discovered that the power steering has completely failed. Wheel turned as if I had the engine off and car in neutral. Had no choice but pay for the replacement. Oh well. I’m back at my original estimate for repair costs.

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Why ??..

It sounds kind of like you’re throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks as far as fixing the car. Perhaps by taking it to a shop and saying “X is broken; replace it.” That’s the wrong way to go about things, because if you do that, the mechanic will replace whatever you told them to replace, and if it turns out that’s the wrong diagnosis, well, that’s your fault, not theirs.

I would recommend paying an independent mechanic who has a good reputation to diagnose these problems. The inlet o-ring on the power steering won’t generally cause a leak when it starts to fail - or if it does, it’ll be so small you probably won’t notice. If you had to add power steering fluid, then there was a real leak somewhere. That doesn’t mean the inlet o-ring was not bad, but if you replaced it already I find that somewhat unlikely - they used a different material in the replacement o-rings specifically to prevent the degradation that led to the problem with the original one. Overtightening shouldn’t be an issue just based on how the o-ring/hose assembly is connected to the pump.

Just about everything else you described as being wrong with the car involves routine maintenance items that you can expect to need to perform on any replacement car you buy (unless you get an electric car, which eliminates most of those systems).

Given your surprise at these maintenance items, I wonder if you’ve replaced the timing belt within the last 100,000 miles? If not, you’re flirting with major engine damage until you do.


Well I don’t think the o-ring caused the leak - the power steering pump itself was cracked and leaking. Not really throwing any ideas at a wall, not with my money at least. I’ve only gotten absolutely necessary services - car is completely inoperable without the new pump and starter.

The reason I suspected you were right about the o-ring, as per my previous reply to you, was because the whining noise on startup, unrelated to the noise caused by the leaking pump, is the same as the noise I had fixed by an o-ring replacement last year. But, good to know that the new o-ring is probably fine. I’m going to wait and see if the noise still occurs after the new pump is installed. Maybe both noises were related to the same problem. Good advice, thank you.

And no I’m not surprised about any of these repairs, I’m not sure what gave you that impression, I’m just low-income and require a vehicle to earn money. Affording a car payment right now will be tough, as is repairing my current vehicle. I’m just in a tough spot right now and thinking hard about these decisions in order to not completely screw myself over financially over the coming year.

I replaced the timing belt about 50k miles ago, but appreciate the suggestion. I will be going through my recent repairs to see what to expect next, if anything.

My partner has a '14 Focus and it’s an absolute nightmare of recalls, major parts failing right after warranty periods, and horrible design that makes it a mess to try to fix problems yourself. Terrible car. I’m sure they drive great for the first 100k miles. Took it on a road trip early on in our relationship, and it was a nice smooth drive, good MPG. Few years later, it’s one of my partners biggest regrets.
Perhaps some people get lucky. I’ve never had a problem with Hondas and Toyotas. First car was an '81 Volvo, an absolute nightmare of constant breakdown and repair. I stick with Honda and Toyota now.

I don’t blame you for avoiding small Fords. The disastrous dual clutch automatic is why Ford no longer sells small cars in the US in my opinion. And I own two Fords. They may have worked out the problems in later years, but too little, too late.

yeah that generation of Focus was awful when they switched from a conventional automatic to the DPS6 PowerShift automatic transmission…terrible move by Ford. My 09 ran like a dream until it was totaled in an accident with 215K on the odometer.

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Yeah, it’s an absolute shame and I refuse to support them as a company after seeing my partner deal with the consequences of buying that car. It’s hard to see someone struggle to pay off repair payments, on top of car payments, only to have an unreliable, junked car that feels like it’s about to fall over at any moment.

I had a '95 Corolla, which was my third car, maybe a decade ago. Such good gas mileage, never any problems so long as I kept up with maintenance schedule. No surprises and ran great.

I wish I could have afforded to keep up with the maintenance schedule with my Accord. I did for the first 7-8 years, but then fell on hard times and had a very bad mechanic (a young person who was starting their own mobile auto mechanic business and I took a chance on them because I wanted to help… Lesson learned, sadly). Wound up spending the money I’d normally use for maintenance on recouping from the damage.

Let me get this straight . A person knows of a vehicle made by ( put name here ) that was a problem so all vehicles made by that same brand are bad . Not logical says Spock .


Definitely not a logical reason as all makes of cars has there lemons that don’t mean they are all bad and should be avoided.


Many on this message board believe all European vehicles are faulty.

I would not say that… although I would compare them to a hot potato which you should not hold in your hands too long :slight_smile:


You’ve purchased used before, so you probably already know this or have learned on your own. When buying a used car there are two additional costs over the purchase price, taxes, and fees, that you might want to consider. The cost of an inspection by a mechanic of your choice, who is not affiliated with the seller. The other is a fund of $500 - $1000 set aside for repairs and maintenance for things you discover after you take possession of the vehicle. The $500 - $1000 range accounts for the variance in used vehicles, a newer car with fewer miles usually will mean less repair/maintenance cost vs an older car with more miles. I have skipped the inspection a couple of times when I bought used and have regretted it.

You might elaborate a bit on the starter problem as to what symptoms exist that lead the shop to think the starter itself is the cause.

There are several things that can cause a starter to become inoperative. A faulty neutral safety switch, clutch safety switch if so equipped, or even a defective ignition switch.

The Ford DCT transmission is a well known failure point on Focus and Fiesta cars. I completely understand someone wanting to avoid it, I would. It’s not a matter of a couple of lemon cars, it’s a flawed design.


Why not :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

AFAIK, Hondas also prone to have some relay powering ECU what fails with age and shows first as erratic no-start, then eventually “no start at all”.

A friend of mine had to fix both his kids early 2000s Accord and civic with the same exact issue, and while it puzzled him on the first one, it was the first thing he checked on another and it was an immediate “bingo!” moment.

Isn’t that the Honda fuel pump relay problem?

ah… you probably right… then it would not help OP here…

Spock was actually terrible at formal logic. His character was written to say what a bunch of Hollywood screenwriters thought sounded logical, and we all know how logical Hollywood screenwriters are, considering just about every car that’s in a wreck on TV explodes. :wink:

I don’t really blame OP for wanting to avoid Ford. Yes, not all Fords are bad, but they burned OP once and didn’t fix the problem they caused. Most of us don’t feel like we can afford to take that kind of risk with a company that’s already screwed us once.

Similarly, I won’t buy a GM. Why? Not only did they make awful junk in the 70’s-90’s, but after they declared bankruptcy and reorganized under a “new” company (with an almost identical name), they decided that all outstanding warranties were null and void because they were a different company and didn’t have to honor them. While that was legally correct, it meant that many of us will never buy a GM, because the company is clearly willing to jump at any opportunity to shirk the promises it makes. And yes, that means we’ll be missing out on some genuinely good cars, but them’s the breaks.