Should I trade my 96 accord dx for a 97 2dr explorer sport?

honda
accord
explorer
fuel-economy

#1

I’m looking at trading my 96 Accord 4dr with 220k miles for a 97 explorer sport with only 160k miles. My clutch gears are slipping in the Accord, it’s AC doesn’t work, and the radiator is old and needing replacement. So far the Explorer has been smogged and is ready to go.



What kind of problems can I expect from a city driven Explorer with 160k miles? I know the transmission has not been replaced nor major engine problems yet. Am I likely to run into these?



Should I just put the money into the Accord because I know it’s going to run another 100k miles. I’ve heard the Accord is the best car on the road, and the Explorer will suck money and gas. I do drive a lot and feel I fill up the Accord every week already, what kind of increase in gas cost am I looking at with the 2dr v6 Explorer?


#2

I wouldn’t, the Explorer will increase your gas costs 50% or so, is less reliable, and is far from new. If you really want to replace your Accord find another Honda. Radiator and AC repair shouldn’t cost too much, though the clutch would be more $$. Me, I’d repair the Accord if I was happy with it. Just know that you’ll have additional repairs to get that next 100k miles out of it.


#3

The Explorer is 13 years old and no one can possibly know what problems may develop. The engines and transmissions are solid units if they’ve been maintained.

The Explorer should get about 20 MPG on the highway so compare that to what the Honda is currently getting.

And speaking of maintained, where are you at on the Honda as to the timing belt and valve lash inspection?


#4

I bought the accord 2 yrs ago and it had 190k miles. I’ve never looked at the timing belt or had any maitanance besides oil changes/brakes/tires. I’m pretty broke all the time (student) and know the accord probably needs timing belt. Don’t know what valve lash is.

I’m just sick of the dx model. The explorer has power windows, locks, and keyless entry with working AC. It’s hot here in the summer and I"m not about to dump $100+ into fixing the AC when it needs $100’s of dollars of maitanance already for timing/clutch/radiator, etc.

Also, the cv joint needs changing. Am I looking at $1000+ dollars to make this thing run another 100k miles? I don’t even like it that much.


#5

The Explorer will use a lot, say it again, a lot more gas. It will also need at least as much money in repairs as the Accord and perhaps more.

I don’t see this as a trade up, and it will increase your everyday running costs for getting from here to there.


#6

Well, now that’s different (a little). If you’re ‘sick of the dx model’, then sure, look around for a replacement. That Explorer would still be way down on any list I’d put together.


#7

What exactly do you mean by your “clutch gears are slipping”? Is this a manual transmission and your clutch is slipping, or is an automatic and it’s starting to slip between gears?

If it’s a manual and just needs a clutch, I’d put that firmly in the “wear and tear” category and wouldn’t hesitate changing it and doing the other work if the car is in otherwise good shape. If it’s an automatic, changing the transmission is going to be very expensive and it might be time to think about junking it, or at least finding a used transmission.

As for the Explorer, is this a manual transmission (a lot of the 2-door “sport” models were)? If so, those are actually pretty nice vehicles-- most of the problems with the earlier Explorers were transmission-related and so the manual version was not so cursed. However, yes, your fuel costs are going to be a lot higher either way, and if you don’t need the room or capability of an SUV, there’s no reason for you to be driving one.


#8

Sure… it’s a 5speed accord. When I floor it in 4th or 5th gear, the gear slips out and the engine reevs up RPM’s without gaining speed. Have no idea what this is. Also, on a cold start, the engine reevs up and down up and down unless you wait for it to entirely warm up (RMPS back down to normal idle) I’ve checked for vaccum leaks and my antifreeze is full.

As far as the SUV, I agree and will only trade if it’s manual. I want more room (specifically for sleeping in the back on camping trips) and taking rough dirt roads to the river this summer. It snows here but the accord does fine in snow. What if I take the back seats totally out? I did this with a minivan once and it seemed to get a tad better gas mileage with the lighter load.


#9

Just about 0 change in mpgs if you take out the seats. They don’t weigh that much. Make sure the 2 door has enough room for sleeping, it’s shorter than the 4door, I think.


#10

Oh. the minivan seats are 100+lbs and there’s 2 rows of them.

Do you have any idea what the reeving problem on a cold start would be?


#11

What kind of trade would this be; as in even swap, cash also, etc.?

I think it’s time to dump the Honda. Radiator, halfshafts/CV joints, clutch slipping, a timing belt/water pump/tensioner issue, valve lash inspection, throw in the inoperative A/C and the fact that you’re just sick of the car means it’s time to be rid of it if possible.
The engine revving is likely to be a vacuum leak or an Idle Air Control Valve problem.

You’re looking at a hefty chunk of money without even including the A/C or Idle problem.

Depending on the trade conditions, if the Explorer runs and drives out well I’d say go for it. Any gasoline differential will be covered by the large amount of money you won’t have to spend on the Honda.


#12

Why an Explorer? Do you need the SUV capabilities?

There are plenty of newer Accords with working AC, more features, and a manual transmission.


#13

I would keep driving the Honda till the timing belt snaps or clutch fails. I would not put any money into a car like this.

An explorer is not an upgrade and if you are complaining about fuel now…


#14

Ok, I will consider all the comments. But do any of you drive around all summer in a 120 degree car with windows that you have to manually role up every single time you stop somewhere and lock all the doors manually, then come out and re role down all 4 of the windows cause the AC doesn’t work at all even though I had it recharged last summer.

I’d consider a couple hundred dollars extra in gas a year for power windows, locks and working AC.


#15

Thank you! At least one person on here is on my side about this.


#16

The EPA mileage on the Explorer is 20 on the highway. The EPA mileage on the Accord is 23-29 depending on engine and transmission.

Figure the average mileage driven per year, divide by the EPA mileage ratings, and that should provide the gasoline offset against the repairs.

Weighing the Explorer against the best case 4 cylinder/5 speed Accord, and figuring an verage 15k miles a year driving, you would be looking at 270 gallons X 3 bucks a gallon difference.

The part about the gears as you describe it means it’s jumping out of gear and this is caused by an internal transmission fault. (shift fork and/or synchronizer hub/sleeve)
This would mean a transmission overhaul or replacement.

If you repaired the “have to” things such as halfshafts, the radiator, and the timing belt you’re probably looking at 1500-2000 dollars; with much depending on the parts supplier and the locale as to the price.
A leaking A/C at that mileage usually means a reman compressor and new drier, etc. Figure a grand there and if the Idle Air Valve has gone south figure another 3-400 dollars. And you still haven’t touched the transmission yet.

I would agree with driving it until it dies except for one thing. It depends on how adverse you are to being stranded at inopportune times or whether you want to run the risk of a timing belt snapping or a halfshaft popping apart. This can even be dangerous if the car quits instantly as you’re trying to beat traffic from a stop sign, merging on the freeway, etc.
(Several people were killed and injured due to the infamous Ford TFI ignition modules which caused cars to stall at odd times and led to a collision, so a stall can be a problem.)

I’ve been on the side of the road several times and I don’t like it. That’s why I try to be pro-active on this stuff and while you can’t head off every problem you can increase the odds to be more in your favor. Just my opinion anyway.


#17

Summer time is when old cars with broken AC get thrown out.

AC repair is either $50-$100 or $1000+ no in between typically.


#18

I understand what you are going through. I drove a manual 1989 civic hatch with no AC and manual everything. Yes it is hot, you can’t hear your music with the windows down, forget having a phone conversation. But the car was otherwise in perfect condition at 220K and ran like a dream. I was a student at the time, and had just about 0 dollars to spend anywhere.

I am an avid Honda owner, I swear by them. I didn’t want to get rid of it because it was, in my eyes, a “vintage” model worth 5x more to me than the $700 KBB value. I found someone who also shared my love for hondas, who understood the value in a perfectly-kept, non-rusted car of that generation and a $3000 trade towards his 2002 Honda Civic Si hatch, ended up paying only $3,000 and it is GREAT. Honda hatchbacks are perfect to sleep in, and still get 33 mpg. Trade Honda for Honda and you will find some avid honda owner willing to give you a good deal.


#19

Ditching the Accord might make sense, but I gotta think that an Explorer is the last thing you need as a starving student. I’d abandon any sense of convenience or self indulgent luxury at this juncture of your life.

There are other cars out there in the chump change range that will serve your needs.

But to attempt to really answer your question, or expand on the topic under the given that you’re already going to get the Explorer, if that thing has a 4.0 SOHC V6 …turn away and move on. They’re nothing but longer term money pits. Explorers are a dime a dozen. It’s not that they aren’t worth anything …per se~, it’s just that Ford produced millions of them. Your Accord isn’t worth that much, per se~, it’s just that Honda didn’t have to force feed them on the market to pay the bills like the Big 3 did. They sold every one that they made without too much bending over backwards.

If you see what I mean.