Fix or replace 2002 Honda CR-V?

I have a 2002 Honda CR-V with 157K miles on it. I love this vehicle and it meets my needs well. I bought it used in 2006 with 57K miles and have maintained it well with all the required oil changes done on time. Last September I had to have the transmission rebuilt at a cost of $4000. The AC compressor failed last summer and I haven’t fixed that yet because it will cost $2600 to replace the compressor and lines (lines are contaminated). It’s not an option to use the car in the summer without AC as I am a menopausal woman and thus cannot tolerate the heat. Also, I cannot transport our pets in the car in the summer without AC as the heat would kill them. The car also needs the heaters on the oxygen sensors replaced, which is $800. My question is whether I should fix the AC and sensors and hope nothing else major fails or should I replace the car with a newer car with lower mileage? The newest car I could afford would be a 2010 or 2011 CR-V or Subaru Forester. And to afford that, I would have to do a a 6-year loan (as I did to acquire my current car in 2006). I commute 44 miles round trip to work daily so whatever I drive, the mileage will continue to rack up.

What type of shop quoted you these prices?

I’m afraid that taking a six-year loan on a four-year-old car sounds to me like a good way to stay in a financial hole. I think you need to try to make this car last longer. If you do buy something else, I’d suggest finding something cheaper that you can pay off in a reasonable time.

That’s an independent mechanic shop that I’ve used for 20 years. Not the cheapest shop around but the most honest and they do high quality work. The Honda dealer quoted me $4500 to fix the AC, which is considerably more. If I buy something cheaper, it will have more miles and need more repairs, so I might as well stick with what I have. My question is, how long can I expect my car to last? How long do Honda engines go? Can I get another 50-100K out of the engine?

I would repair the CRV. If the engine has been well maintained you can get 200k+ miles out of the engine. I have a friend with a '98 CRV with over 250k miles on it and it’s still going strong.

It’s not clear one way or the other, 6 of 1, half dozen of the other kind of thing from my perspective. Me, still, I’m leaning towards selling it. I think you need a more reliable ride than you’ll end up with after all the repairs are done (and done correctly). If you didn’t mind it much if the car breaks down and have to take the bus home once in a while, that’s one thing. Or if you had another car to use that had working AC when the 2002 Honda was at the repair shop. But that doesn’t apply in your case. AC repairs can be especially complicated these days, especially when the system becomes contaminated. A repair may seem to work, but then fail b/c not all the contaminated parts were cleaned or replaced in an attempt to save on the repair bill. Since you live in a hot climate, often take your pets along, maybe start looking for another car.

I don’t think you need one as new as 2010. Take a look at this month’s issue of Consumer Reports, they have an article on the most reliable used cars classified by price range. There’s some good ones that are 2006-2008 on their list.

Unsure about fixing the AC or not? Take a look at this before deciding.

The reason for 2010 or 2011 is that’s the oldest they have at the car sales place that works with all the credit unions in town. They have fixed price cars and arrange the loan with the credit union. That’s where I bought my current car and I like shopping there. The AC problems are caused by the compressor failing and then contaminating the lines (both independent mechanic and Honda dealer diagnosed it.) My mechanic says all the lines should be replaced, not flushed (to save money). He’s tried flushing lines in the past and says you can’t always get 100% of the debris out and then it clogs the orifices in the new equipment (sometimes as soon as a week later) and voids the warranty on the new parts. Of course, replacing all the lines is expensive, hence the high cost.

There is nothing terribly wrong with buying a three yo car. The first couple of years are when cars depreciate the most, so you benefit from that, but only if this place prices its cars competitively. There are various sites that estimate prices for cars of various ages and conditions.

Another way of buying a haggle-free car is through the sales lots of the car rental companies. That only works if you’re near a major city. All the major companies have listings of all the cars they currently have available, with options and colors. The cars are usually 2-3 years old, with high mileage for the age. They are typically maintained by the book and have records, but cars that new haven’t likely needed much expensive work yet.

The problem with any channel is that you want something specific. Honda doesn’t market actively to rental companies, though small numbers are in their fleets, probably bought via dealers. Honda, Toyota, and Subaru all have high resale values, so don’t expect great bargains on a CR-V or Forester (or RAV4.) There are other compact utes worth considering, but I admit that your favorites are also mine.

Per Consumer Reports, the Nissan Rogue has had very decent reliability, and it is roomy, but the styling is not great and the entire interior seems to be molded from a single color of cheap, shiny plastic. Pretty grim. The Kia Sportage has just average reliability. It has plenty of style, but is also somewhat hard-riding (it is a SPORTage) and it’s less roomy than some. The Hyundai Tucson is fairly similar, but less stylish.

The older Ford Escapes (before last year) have consistently decent reliability, with the V6 a bit worse than the four or the hybrid, which seems very decent. It’s a very ordinary SUV, extremely common and made with only modest changes for over a decade. That keepls prices down. As basic transportation these are a good deal, but I doubt they’d please a CR-V owner, feeling very dated.

Fix it and keep it. It’ll be a heck of a lot less expensive than getting a new car, especially on a six year loan.

On the other hand, Bentley DOES have a nice new drophead coupe… {:slight_smile:

I would replace it with another CRV. They seem to be alright.

I know Honda has had issues with the CRV AC Compressors and has extended warranty, but not sure if it will apply to a 2002 car, but asking them is free.

I would also add that if it was me, the transmission and then the AC going out by 157K miles would make me pretty disappointed and probably away from that brand.

Get an aftermarket ac compressor and get it installed by someone who specializes in the this type of work(heaters for sensors? really) trans fail if not maintained(easy to maintain on Honda,a line can develop a crack on anything) on second thought if the the service people want to take advantage of you like that go get a good used one-Kevin

I recently faced a similar decision. My 2000 CRV with 65K miles needed a new timming belt and other service totaling about 2,000. But with much rust under car, I decided to trade it in on a 2011 CRV which was a lease return with 35K mi, certified with some warranty at 16,300 plus my trade - out the door, with taxes, title, etc. Mostly, everything else on the 2000 ran well, though it did drip a drop of oil on the driveway. I Love the 2011 CRV, but will always remember the reliability of the 2000. During my eight years of ownership there were no unexpected repairs, just the recommended service intervals, tires, brakes and batteries.

Kevin, yes, the sensor heater can fail. And, when it does, the sensor must be replaced. One of the first repairs on my 2002 Sienna involved a dead heater on one of the sensors.

My 99 has 273k and still going. Did replace the head but still orig ac and Trans. You replace those and get another 150k. I vote keep it and avoid the payments.