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Is my car too old for this?

I need to drive from Arkansas to Montana and back next summer, and I have a 97 Accord 5-speed with 175k miles. It is clicking slightly when I make lefthand turns (CV joint? - just had them replaced, maybe my mechanic is just picking on an ignorant college girl)

Would it be really stupid to drive it that far? It’s in pretty good condition and i’m the second owner. I don’t want to kill it though!

I drove a 1970 Chevy truck 2000 miles down to California and back last summer. If you have it in good mechanical condition, why not do it?

Tell us more about the CV joint. How long ago did it start clicking? It was not or was clicking right after they replaced it? How long ago were they replaced.

Overall I would say it should not have a problem making the trip. Just take the most important safety device in a modern car, the cell phone. Then don’t even touch it while you are driving.

However I do suggest you resolve the clicking issue first.

I would not worry about the mileage, but you need to take the car to a good mechanic and havce it checked out. The clicking sound you mention sounds like bad CV joint(s), so have the whole front end rechecked. For driving your cooing system has be in good shape to prevent overheating. Again, if he coolant has not been changed in the last 4 years, you will definitely have to do this. Have the mechanic also check the transmission fluid.

I would also chjnge the oil and filter, and check the tires.

They both were clicking at the beginning of the summer, and I replaced them before taking an 8-hour trip. I immediately noticed that the left one (or whichever one makes noise when I turn left) was still making some noise, and it has gotten steadily worse. I took it right back to the mechanic the next day after they were replaced, and without even getting in the car he said “Oh yes i noticed that, it’s in your transmission and would take $2000 to fix, don’t worry about it” but it really sounds like a CV to me! It has been probably 3 months since they were replaced. I’ve heard that clicking CVs can be driven with for a while, but it makes my teeth hurt to hear it.

I drove my '86 Accord 5speed from Montana to LA up to Reno and then over to the coast of Oregon and back this spring. Changed the oil and gave it a look over before we left and had no problems whatsoever over 2,500+ miles. You can maybe start worrying about it in another 10 years/100,000 miles I’d say.

I’d definitely address the clicking in addition to a general checkup and put new tires on if they’re getting down there in tread life. I also have one other suggestion from my own road tripping experience and that is to also change the fuel filter before you go, since the combination of being run constantly for hours on end and fill ups with varying qualities of gas can cause a moderately plugged filter to start causing you grief.

Where are you going in Montana?

I study geology and am doing my thesis field work outside of Dillon. Once I get to Montana, I’m hoping my professor will let me borrow her 4WD, because I am sure I don’t have the clearance necessary! I also want to drive to Canada while I’m up there.
I noticed after I bought the car that it has high performance tires, but I’m not sure how old they are. I’ll definetely check all that stuff out before I leave, thanks!

When CV click so bad that a you are concerned (you are correct you can drive on clicking CV for a long time) I would get the issue resolved before you go,just peace of mind.

I have seen CV’s totally fail (on VW’s)the outer race totally wears away and the inner spins,I have only seen this once,in the old days on VW we used to remove the CV shafts and regrease them every 30,000 miles,a really dirty job.

Properly maintained Accords of this vintage have been regularly known to last 300,000 miles or more. I’d want to know more about this supposed “transmission problem,” but other than that there is nothing to prevent you from driving the car wherever you need to go.

Highway driving is not hard on a car. It’s much worse to drive short distances every day than to take a long highway trip.

As long as you follow the factory maintenance schedule, and don’t forget about replacing the timing belt, the car should last many more miles.

By the way, there are FOUR CV joints on this car, two on each side. How many, and which ones (inner or outer) were replaced?

“By the way, there are FOUR CV joints on this car, two on each side. How many, and which ones (inner or outer) were replaced?”

Rats! You got there first! I think this is the crux of the problem. I’d guess the outer CV joints were replaced, not the inner ones.

I’m going to pout all night… :wink:

Hey small world-- I’m a geology undergrad at UM right now. That’s a really beautiful area down there around Dillon. It’s just miles and miles to explore in every direction.

I will amend my advice to include that you should pay special attention to your shocks and struts and perhaps consider having those changed if they haven’t been in your recent memory. There’s a lot of really neat places around there you can get to via long but relatively well maintained and graded dirt roads a 2wd car with good shocks will have no problems with, if you can’t borrow a 4wd regularly. I lived here in Montana for four years before I bought a 4wd truck and before then my little front wheel drive Buick (not too different from your Accord ground-clearance wise) took me to some pretty amazing places.

trans would not do it only on left hand turns, no way!

haha, I have no idea which ones they replaced. They just told me “both sides” were bad, so I gave the go-ahead. My mom uses this mechanic, so they either have a history of hoodwinking women and being sly about it, or something else is going on. Timing belt was changed around 114k I believe. Yeah I highly doubted it was a transmission knocking, but I wonder if 3 months is too late to go back, bring my dad, and demand they look at it again??

why does it matter if the inner vs outer ones were changed?

awesome, I’m an undergrad myself. hopefully will get a 4WD, my prof tells me dirt roads can be rough up there, (southern highland mtns)

Make sure the rest of car is up to date and the trip is not really that hard on the car.

A transmission doesn’t care if your turning left or right. I have used a LOT of mechanics and something i learned is always ask for the parts they take out back. I have had many mechanics stick the same part back in and charge me. Good luck.

The problem could be in the halfshafts; not matter if they’re remanufactured ones or not.
Rather than blame the mechanic determine if these shafts were reman or new (and they’re more than likely the former).

About a year or so ago my daughter had several repeat failures of reman halfshafts (usually within 3-4 months and in one case after a week) and upon reordering the replacements I checked them out on the countertop at the parts store before even leaving with them. They had to order them 3 times before I got good ones.

They stated their supplier had changed and it’s pretty obvious to me their supplier is allowing everything through the reman process; clean the worn out shaft, new boots/grease, and send 'em out. (O’Reillys if it makes any difference)

Also determine exactly what was replaced. Normally the CV joints (2 to a shaft, 2 shafts per car) are replaced as an assembly.
It’s also sometimes near impossible to determine if the shaft is faulty without taking it out of the car and putting on a bench for closer inspection. Even then one has to know what they’re looking for.

I did 15,000 miles in four months with an 87 Plymouth Horizon back in 1994. It did it but I would rather be in your situation now. The heater wiring was missing due to amateurish repair after an accident (maybe). I did some neat wiring to get three speeds out of it before driving the 3,000 miles to Maine from Ca. Then back when snow removal season was over. The same week I did some fancy wiring to get the lights to work!

I was into self improvement then and heard about a technique which involved thinking about the wiring, taking a nap and telling myself that I would have the answer when I woke up. When I dreamed of the answer I woke up fast. Problem solved. I hoped that the next owner would not look at the fuse box. The car ran alright but I wish I had stayed in Ca. and played golf.

If the car can be killed by driving it, then it wasn’t really that good anyway. I had this old Honda Accord that I partially overhauled. It had 242,000 miles when I junked it. I took it on South 101 in Ca. up the hill to Thousand Oaks. The car made it. You have a better car than I had.

I have a 99 Accord 5 spd with 176k miles and I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere in the US.

Did you get “remanufactured” axles put it? If so, they often have bad CV joins in them. I have rarely seen remans that were any good. Your old axles will probably be remanufactured, which primarily consists of new boots and a heavier weight grease, would you want them back?

Your mechanic can get a replacement axle free, but he will have to eat the labor, thats why he’s blaming the transmission.

If your mechanic won’t do the right thing and standby his work, then I’d suggest that you find a mechanic that will replace the bad axle with a new EMPI axle. EMPI’s are made in China, they are not quite up to Honda standards, but they are very close. The only cost about $100 ea instead of the $5-600 that Honda gets for a new one.

As for the rest of the car, I wouldn’t hesitate. If you’ve been following the maintenance schedule, you should not have any trouble. In fact, you would probably almost as likely to have trouble with a new car as you would with this one.