I don’t always get around to reading the paper, so I missed your great column of December 23. Fortunately I noticed it when I was changing the paper under the bird cages! I just had $2800 worth(?) of work done on my 1997 Odyssey. So my questions are: (1) were the hoses on a 1997 Odyssey made before the arrival of hoses that never fail, is 22 years past the definition of “never”, or did my new mechanic need a quick $250 to make his credit card payment? (2) I’ve replaced the motor mounts on the Odyssey about every 5 years for the last 2 decades. The new mechanic (I really miss Cliff, but I guess everyone has the right to retire eventually) says it was because previous mechanics used after market, not genuine Honda parts, and that the Chinese rubber in them is junk. (That doesn’t explain the first failure in 2002, but it might explain the subsequent failures.) I’ve seen the old mounts, and they really were shot in each case. Is this just the reality of poor road maintenance in the Bay Area, or what else might be a factor in my motor mounts going bad so frequently? I love this car, but I wonder if it is time to give up on repairing her. What do you think?
The motor mounts in the Odyssey are a complex hydraulic type and are known for failure. As for whether it’s time to retire this van, I wouldn’t keep anything more than 10 years old as a daily driver.
There is no such thing as hoses that never fail and YES, 22 years is a more than appropriate age to replace them.
A 22 year old car is going to give you repair issues you can’t even imagine. Consider a failure of a part that is no longer available in any form. The van must have it to run but it requires a nation-wide search taking days or weeks to find. The van sits and you walk until it is fixed.
You got your use out of it, time to move on.
I’ve noticed the plastic/rubber vacuum, coolant, and fuel lines seem to be made of much, much more resilient materials in my 90’s Corolla than my 70’s Ford truck and VW Rabbit. I’ve never had to replace any vacuum or coolant hoses on the Corolla yet, but needed to replace hoses and other rubber/plastic parts on the prior cars starting around the 3 year old mark. I had to relace the rubber exhaust hangers on the Rabbit so much I bought them in bulk …lol … It’s actually quite remarkable how well the new materials work. I’d guess OP has the good stuff already installed on a 97 Odyssey as far as hoses. Unless a shop inspection shows the hoses actually need replacing (for example coolant hoses collapsing), were it my car I wouldn’t replace them proactively.
How long engine and transmission mounts last depends on their basic design and the driver’s driving style. With modern cars the materials used aren’t usually the primary cause of mount failure. As far as driving style, rapid accelerations and engine-based decelerations tend to wear hard on the mounts, due to twisting forces acting on the engine/transmission. Rough roads and sharp turns could wear the mounts too I suppose, but I wouldn’t guess as much as rapid accelerations. Some mount designs just aren’t very forgiving, and mount failure has little to do w/driving style or bumpy roads on those. From the post above this may be one of those designs.