Need advice for 02 Honda Accord

I have a 2002 Honda Accord EX (V6 VTEC 3.0L) with 237xxx miles that was purchased for me by my parents in 2013 with 180K or so miles. In the past five years I haven’t taken the best care of it, so the paint is fading very quickly (Which i honestly couldn’t care less about), it’s been in a minor accident with me (spun 180 degrees and hit a guardrail on the right side, rear bumper has never fit the same), in true Honda style the engine has never given me major issues except for slight leaking/burning oil, and I don’t exactly clean the interior very thoroughly that often, so having been a smoker has left it in less than desirable condition.
In the past year or so, I have noticed the suspension making some not very comforting noises while driving on rough roads or going over bumps. Some squeaky sounds. The most recent work I had done was December of 2016 which consisted of in the front, two new ball joints, control arms, and struts. I would most likely need to get work done on the rear.
The engine makes some strange noises that I can only guess are belts wearing out. He still starts up like a champ, even in the winter.
I am starting to question the age and mileage of the car and if it would be worth it to repair it. Would it last long enough for the cost to repair it worth the money? Or should I put more effort into finding another car?

The squeaky noises could be something as simple as sway bar links and/or bushings

I believe this engine may use a timing belt . . . if so, is there any record of it having been replaced yet

If you’re not sure, it’s most likely way overdue

If it breaks, valves will most likely be damaged

I’d do that before worrying about a noisy sway bar bushing . . . if that is the cause of the squeak

Do you live in area that uses a lot of road salt?

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I have been in this situation before. I had a 99 Accord V6 I drove until 253,000 miles, and my dad has a 2003 Accord with 268,000 miles. Right around this mileage, stuff like the alternator went out, CV axles needed replacing, and then the transmission on my dad’s car finally starting failing at 261,000 miles. My point is you could be nickle and dimed in repairs if your not careful to assess the condition of the rest of the car, or cannot do the repairs yourself.

That being said, I would have the suspension inspected by a trusted mechanic. Stay away from Midas, etc because they will tell you to replace $1000’s when you might only need to spend $200. I also noticed my older honda’s made a lot of creaking sounds in colder weather and nothing was actually wrong.

Good luck!

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My recommendation would be to have the car thoroughly gone over by a reputable independently owned and operated shop with a checklist of items that need addressing and cost estimates. It might cost you a few hours shop time for a thorough look-see, but you’ll know exactly where you stand and have the information to make an informed decision. If you like you can post the results here and we’ll help you interpret them.

It sounds like the car has had a hard life these past years. Some of the noises may be critical to address, some may be just old bushings and overdue maintenance. Having the details can help greatly. In addition, a compression check and a “read” of the spark plugs can go a long way toward determining the engine’s internal health… and that can help determine if it’s worth dumping money into it.

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Yes, and take better care of the next one. And I hope you meant you were a smoker and now you are not.

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It can’t be overemphasized… this is the most crucial maintenance for cars that have timing belts.
Especially Hondas, many of which have interference engines. Check owners manual or do some investigating. What engine is in there? It will have a number and letter code identifying it. With that, you can find out if it has a timing belt.

I have a feeling that both the 2002 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder Accords had timing belts

It’s a six and it has a timing belt. The belt and water pump should be changed every 105,000 miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. The V6 is an interference engine. At this mileage the tensioners, idler, and oil seals should also be replaced. Since the coolant has to be drained to do the water pump, replace that too. Based on the prices I got in 2012 when I had the work done on my 2005 Accord V6, I’d guess the work will cost between $1500 to $2000 on the left or right coast. It might cost less if you live where the cost of living is lower. I doubt that the second change was done since it had 180,000 miles on it when you got it. If you are going to do it, do it now, do it right now, and you might want to let the car sit until you get it done.


I have no record of changing the timing belt, so most likely overdue!
Yes, I live in southeast NY so there are many rust spots on my car (and everyone else’s).

I’m definitely heading down a road of many possibly expensive repairs. The last servicing done cost $1300 which is a major reason behind me wondering if anything more is worth the cash. If I can find a shop that wont break the bank, I’ll see what I can get done.

Thanks for the advice!

It’s been two weeks. Third time quitting, feels like the last.

I think you’re done with this car.

I think you’d better make sure the car is structurally sound

If it’s not, time to start looking for the next one