Should I FIX or TRADE IN


#1

I have a 2004 Honda Element with 96000miles. It needs just over $4000 work. Also, it has a broken odometer (the repairs do not include fixing the odometer). Honda has offered me 5000 trade in value (because I was orginally looking to buy new). SOOOO, Should I trade it in or fix it. If I fix it it’ll be like new, but have no working odometer.

thanks!!!


#2

OH YES, I need to do this asap as school starts soon and I’ll be transporting the kiddies here and there:0)


#3

We could use a little more info.

What repairs do you need that will cost $4000?

Are these prices for the repairs at a dealer, or an independent mechanic?

What is wrong with the odometer, or is it the lights in the instrument panel that are the problem.
You can get a used Odometer at a salvage yard cheap, and it takes an hour to put it in.

Yosemite


#4

parts are:
back brakes
both front axels
100000 mile tune up
spark plugs
various flushes (coolant, brake, transmission)
fuel Induction ( (don’t know what this is)
Front seat replacement (this has been broken for a while and it is expensive, but if I’m gonna keep it, I need to replace this because it rocks around when I drive…it is 1100& because I need the tracks and all the base—they were suprised, that is the cost without labor…we looked it up twice as it seemed crazy)
All the repairs are quoted at the dealer,
but am waiting for a quote from two different independent shops as well:0)

finally, not required, since the car is old with cloth interior, we plan to reapoulster it with leather because it stinks and is dirty, but kids are big enough now that we can maintain the interior…we spend a lot of time in this car, so we have decided this would be a good investment for our comfort.


#5

the reappoulstry is 1000 before tax


#6

the odometer just stopped working, not a fuse or anything, they would have to send it off and get the info from the computer etc…even with that, it would end up as a “milage unkown”…SO, I don’t plan to fix that, but as far as selling on my own, that would be time consuming and not in my wheel house of tricks.


#7

My personal opinion and advice - keep the car. Do not use the dealership for the repairs. Do the mechanical repairs, and preventative maintenance that is necessary, locate a used front seat. Put seat covers on, spray some fabreze and drive it another 100,000 miles.

This is all provided that you’ve otherwise maintained the car properly. If you didnt change the oil regularly or keep up to date with proper maintenance then get rid of it and take better care of the future car. But if you kept up with the maintenance (mainly the oil changes) then you should be fine.


#8

thanks, I’ve kept up with the general maintenance…so I was leaning towards what you say…just got to get that new car fever our of my system:0)


#9

Trust me its not worth it! I came extremely close to buying a new truck, all the way to them washing it up and filling it with gas and me signing the final document - that was when I noticed they added about 6 more monthly payments to get my payment where it needed to be - without telling me. The whole deal was soured and I left and never came back. Bought a used truck and I am extremely happy I do not have payments to deal with right now, or for the next 6 years for that matter! If you have a reliable car (and I should hope a honda with only 96K on it is) then keep it going, and develop a relationship with a good local, private mechanic.

Take pride in your ride!


#10

With the age of the vehicle and it doesn’t have excessive miles on it…I’d fix it.
First I’d find an independent mechanic and the price of the repairs will be about 60% of what the dealer quoted you.

If you find an independent mechanic and he does the front axles, I’d have him do the timing belt at the same time. It might same you a little down the road, because he will have some of the same parts removed for both jobs.
Maybe he’d even suggest that the rear brakes or other items could wait a bit so you can spread the cost out a little.

Skip the transmission flush, as it only tends to flush a few extra $20s out of your wallet.

And Fender is right. A used seat may cost only $100 and be in good shape.

Yosemite


#11

RUN!!! They saw an old vehicle with an attached wallet coming and started salivating!

back brakes---------- normal maintenance. Go to a private shop and save big.
both front axels--------- why? Can you explain?
100000 mile tune up-------- normal maintenance… go to a private shop for huge savings.
spark plugs----------- see above
various flushes (coolant, brake, transmission)------- see above
fuel Induction ( (don’t know what this is)-------- RIP OFF!!!

Front seat replacement (this has been broken for a while and it is expensive, but if I’m gonna keep it, I need to replace this because it rocks around when I drive…it is 1100& because I need the tracks and all the base—they were suprised, that is the cost without labor…we looked it up twice as it seemed crazy)---------- get a boneyard seat… you’ll save $$$$$$$$$$.

All the repairs are quoted at the dealer,----- that means they’re two to 2-1/2 times as expensive as they should be.

Do nothing until you get an assessment from a private shop. You’ll be amazed at the difference.


#12

Damn…you worded that good…TSM

Yosemite


#13

Fix the Element at a trusted local mechanic, not the Dealership.

Keep the Element and get rid of that “new car fever.” The Element has plenty of life in it. The dealrship just wants your $$. They will either (a) rip you off on repairs to the Element or (b) rip you off on a new car. Run away and don’t go back.


#14

Call the place back that gave you the estimate and pump them for detailed information about each and every thing, how bad is the problem, what will happen if you do not fix it immediately, or down the road, warranty, ask them what needs to be done first to deal with safety and basic integrity of the vehicle, or ask these great folks here on this blog. Figure out what order stuff needs to be done in and what has to be done before you start transporting kids. If they give you guff, tell them you need the information to make an informed consumer decision (as if the dealer shop cares)

I say keep the car with its relatively low mileage.


#15

If the dealer is giving you a fair price on it as a trade in, they’ll screw you on the price of the new one

That’s the nature of the business

Be aware of that


#16

Still get a second opinion.

Ask around with your friends about mechanic’s that they are happy with.
There is also a link at the top of this page "Mechanic’s files…where you may find a good local mechanic.

I doubt that you really need all the work that the dealer stated.
But if you do an Independent mechaic will save you hundreds.
If you are pleased with his work…give him a tip and he’ll be happy to help you next time you have a problem.

If he saves you $1000, think of the nice weekend you could have with the kids.

Yosemite


#17

I think you can have these repairs done for considerably less at an independent shop along with the use of some used parts such as the seat and instrument cluster.
Even eBay shows some used clusters and seats for 50 to a couple hundred bucks and a local salvage should be in that neighborhood as to price.

That being said, I would not automatically condemn the dealer as a thief because of the high price of repairs. The great odds are that if everything was broken down by parts and labor, the new OEM parts factor along with the dealer cost on those parts and so on the price will be found to be in line.
The induction cleaning may not be robbery at all depending upon the exact meaning of the process used. A 100 bucks for a can of chemical in the gas tank is thievery; manually cleaning the intake, throttle body, etc is not.

My vote would be to fix the car at an independent shop; all depending… A 2004 with only 96k miles should have a lot of life left in it.


#18

“parts are:
back brakes
both front axels
100000 mile tune up
spark plugs
various flushes (coolant, brake, transmission)
fuel Induction ( (don’t know what this is)
Front seat replacement”

Brakes, spark plugs, and the fluid changes are all maintenance and should be done soon. Fuel induction is probably fuel inject or cleaning. If the Element engine runs well, forget it. The 100,000 mile tuneup should include in addition to the above: change oil, oil filter, air filters. These can be done at any competent shop, and you will usually pay less than at the dealer. The front seat and axles should get a second and maybe third opinion.


#19

Forget the trans flush . . . fluid and filter change is good enough

As for the axles . . . perhaps the cv boots are torn and leaking grease. A penny pincher could wait until they start making noise, then replace both of them. By waiting, you could save money for the repair.

As for the seat . . . it really depends on what’s wrong. If the frame is broken, that could be a big problem. If the upholstery is torn, it can wait. If OP wants the upholstery fixed, bring the car to a local auto upholstery shop and let them do their thing


#20

“All the repairs are quoted at the dealer,----- that means they’re two to 2-1/2 times as expensive as they should be”

Let me edit that . . . “that means they’re two to 2-1/2 times as expensive as they COULD be”

Dealer labor rates are high because they have much higher overhead

Factory parts are expensive because they’re the real thing, not aftermarket

Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s a rip off

Many people are happy bringing their vehicles to the dealer

Let’s not automatically imply these people are stupid and/or being ripped off