Parting with my 2000 Accord?

I have a bit of a dilemma. My Accord, which barely has 105,000 miles on it, seems to be in need of either about $2,500 in repairs and maintenance,or a replacement vehicle. I had hoped to get at least 150K from this car, but it never occurred to me that I might be spending so much to keep it!

I am considering a new car. Am I a fool for “giving up” on my Honda for, say a 2011 Sonata or Elantra? Is it normal to have to spend a lot of money on a car when it reaches 11 years and 105K?

I really don’t drive a lot, but when I do, it is for long distances.

So, I guess I am seeking opinions on the upkeep of an old car, as well as advice about a replacement vehicle.

I’m trying to keep this from becoming a novel, so I will end this here.


You have to share more about symptoms, problems, and what the proposed needed repairs entail. If you take the car to a Honda dealer sometimes they can make you think your car is junk over a small “who gives a darn” leak.

Without hearing more, I’d say the car is worth putting money into it and driving it for several more years. But, as a car gets older you have to expect and budget for more repairs. That’s just part of driving an older car. The upside is little to -0- monthly payments to a bank.

I’ll take it. I have a 1989 car I’m driving. My parents don’t get rid of their Accords until they have over 200,000 miles on them. Stay away from dealers, they want as much of your money as they can get.

What’s wrong with your car? Probably nothing serious.

$2500 in repairs for a 11yr old vehicle isn’t that bad. What problems are you having??

If properly maintained then this vehicle should easily last 200k miles. I suspect it hasn’t been properly maintained. We’ve had 2 Accords that went well past the the 300k mile mark.

The first issue is the exhaust system, which is over $1,000, then a 105,000 maintenence - another repair of over $1,000. And other “wear and tear” matters.
Do you live in an area with harsh winters as I do? And were you driving your Accords for long distances? My fear is breaking down in the middle of nowhere and pumping money into the car just to see it rust away.
I’m quite conflicted, though, because I really expected to get a lot of mileage from this car. The truth is that I have wrecked the other cars I have owned long before they reached 11 years of age!
Thank you so much…

I’m going to make some guesses that mostly have to do with experience that comes from hanging around on these boards.

One guess is that you recently visited something like a dealer or a corporate chain-type “auto care” place for some kind of check-up type service. I’ll guess that in response you were given some large laundry list of things they recommend and the grand total of all of it looks something like $2500.

The second guess is that a huge number of things on that laundry list are not repairs at all but are normal maintenance items. Some of those will be needed and are just due (e.g. has its timing belt ever been changed?); others will be needed because they are long overdue; others will be revenue generators for whatever shop gave you the laundry list (e.g. “fuel induction service”). A couple of things might fall under “repair” rather than maintenance.

But all of that is why people here need full info, both about the current services needed (or claimed needed) and about your own history of upkeep.

All cars need regular maintenance, and the specs are in the owner’s manual. Some of that maintenance is pricey, and if you let it all pile up rather than doing it according to schedule then you can suddenly be looking at fairly large bills.

I live in NH…so yea we have harsh winters. We gave our 96 Accord to our Niece for college in Rochester NY (even harsher winters).

#1…Who quoted you $1000 for a new exhaust. Unless this includes a new Catalytic converter (which it shouldn’t)…then that price is VERY VERY high.

#2…Wear and tear items…You expect a newer car NOT to have them?? All cars have to have maintenance from time to time.

I still don’t see the need to get a NEW vehicle. You’ll have to explain more of the $2500 in repairs.

I would like to address answers that I missed…
I have been staying away from the dealer for a few years now :-).
Yesterday I was driving and the car started to lose power and fumes started to fill the car. Then a light came on which, according to the manual, means that there is an exhaust problem. It was really kind of scary.
I knew that there was a small hole in the muffler, but was told that fixing it could wait.

Does anyone who has a really old Accord make long trips in the winter with it?

I think there have been some good points made here. I didn’t own a car for most of my life and I guess I haven’t been realistic about the fact that they require maintenance money budgeted in.
I will get out the list of repairs and post more specifically later.
Thank you all so, so much.

If the exhaust work includes the ‘A’ pipe, which goes from the exhaust manifold to the converter, then $1000 doesn’t surprise me.

If the 105K maintenance includes a timing belt, then $1000 there doesn’t surprise.

I sold my '88 Accord at 20 years and 217K miles to a friend and it’s still going strong at 240K+, but there’s been some pricey repairs along the way.

For your question about old Accord’s and long trips, most likely…I know there are a few older Accord owners on here. I’m an “older VW owner”, if you consider an '01model “old”, which I don’t, with ~105K at the moment. Right now, I live in Texas, but I previously lived in the North (North Dakota, to be precise), which is very, very cold, so it’s been through the gamut of climates.

I don’t now, and didn’t then, even think twice about hopping into it, in almost any weather (the safety consideration), and taking a trip to…say Florida - about 17 hours away - to visit family…or Oregon, or Colorado, or Louisana, or New Hampshire, none of them a “down the street” trip for me. Which is why my vehicles have a lot of mileage on them.

It’s all about maintenance, and a lot less about age. I’m also fairly certain most would agree.

Those repairs you need…well, without a list no one can say for certain, but you never know. If one of those repairs listed is indeed be a timing belt, you really should call a dealer and get an over the phone quote for it. They do these things all the time, and they’re quite proficient at it. It may be less than your mechanic - it may not, but it’s only a phone call.

I forgot about the question of driving an ‘old’ Accord long distance:
Back in August of 2001 I drove the '88 from Wash. DC to Tucson AZ and back on the mid-southern route (Interstate 10 & 20).
It was a youthful 14 years old and didn’t miss a beat.
Only unexpected issues were a tire that developed a slow leak and some critter that started a nest under the hood when I parked it a few days in Tucson while we toured around town with a friend in his car.
Wife and I went across Arizona, Texas, New Mexico in the August heat cruising at 85MPH, averaged 32MPG with the manual transmission and burned about 1/2 a quart of oil the whole trip.

Has the timing belt been changed or is it part of the expenses listed? I have a 2005 Accord V6 and 105,000 miles or 7 years is the change interval. I imagine the 4 cylinder is the same. ospinawoman, I hope this doesn’t seem like piling on, but it is a very important issue. If it is not done soon enough, the engine will be destroyed when the timing belt breaks. You are right on for mileage, and 3 years overdue based on age. If it has been done, then no worries.

Exhaust systems don’t have to be that expensive. You could buy a new muffler for less than $100. A new catalytic converter for $150. A new exhaust pipe for $50. Your mechanic probably charging you a lot more in parts than you need to pay. You could buy your own parts and find someone to install them.

I would check with two or three independent muffler shops for the exhaust repair. Sometimes your local mechanic is not the cheapest or the best on these repairs; a specialist can be better and cheaper.

As others have said, get the timing belt changed soonest. If it breaks, it makes all the other discussions moot.

I sense the OP is very concerned with being stuck on the side of the road with a breakdown. While a new car can be more reliable the fact is you see some very new cars being towed in for repairs. The most common reasons for breakdowns on a trip are old/dead batteries, radiator and heater hoses that spring a leak, and broken timing and serpentine belts. A very well maintained car (Honda Accord, or just about any other brand) will be fine for just about any “long” trip. If the car does break down a AAA membership can add a lot of peace of mind. With cell phones and improvements in cars side of the road break downs are more rare and more easily managed than ever in the past.