Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Repair or replace minivan?

We have a 2000 Honda Odyssey with 114,000 miles on it. It now needs substantial repairs, including a timing belt, water pump, brakes, and some work on one of the sliding doors which no longer slides. The total bill is likely to be over 3000. Is it time to look for a new car?

The things you list except for the non-working door are maintenance items. Brakes wear out and belts wear out. And if you’re replacing the timing belt on a Honda, it’s automatic that the water pump also be replaced.

So, would you rather have a car payment along with the higher auto insurance and still likely repairs? Or keep what you have and know, and get another 100,000 miles out of it?

By the way, the price for all this seems a little high. You’re not going to the dealer are you?


My first question would be how well have you maintained the car? In particular, have you done the scheduled maintenance for the transmission and cooling system? How about the AC compressor? Have you replaced that yet?

I’m not an expert, but from what I’ve heard, hondas will last a long time if maintained well.

Get at least 3 estimates for the work. Ask your friends and neighbors for private garage recommendations. You indeed have a timing belt, and it might be overdue for the change. While the water pump is OK now, it has to be removed to replace the timing belt. You might as well replace it, too. You must do all the work except the door ASAP. But you probably have time to get two more estimates this week. BTW, if you don’t have the work done, it will be subtracted from your trade-in. You will be charged for it whether you pay for it directly or not.

It’s 3,000 to fix what you have or 27,000 for a new Odyssey.

Timing Belt & Water pump is just preventative maintenance anyway.