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To repair or not to repair

I have a 2001 Honda Odyssey van with 132,000 miles. The body has some damage. I was told I need a new transmission and the catalytic converter needs replacing-about $5,000.00 worth of work. The dealership doesn’t recommend I have the repairs done. Should I or shouldn’t I? Help!

Take the dealers advise…rebuilding Honda automatics is like driving into a black hole…

Get a second and maybe a third opinion from independent mechanics. The dealership may not recommend you have the repairs done because maybe they’d like to sell you a new van. Also a good independent mechanic may save you a bundle over what the dealer may charge you for a transmission and a converter (especially the converter). Maybe the transmission is repairable and won’t need replacing.

132,000 miles isn’t considered all that much anymore and many cars with reasonable maintenance will go twice that far. For just a few car payments worth of money you may be able to fix the van well and motor on. Just get another opinion or 2 before deciding.

Body damage AND a bad transmission? Time to move on to another vehicle.

If the damage is not severe, the rest of the car is in great conditionm, and you can find a good used transmission, I would keep the car and fix it.

Note all the “IFs”. The dealer wants to sell you a new car, but if you shop around and get quotes from good independent mechanics, a good independent transmission shop, and a familiy-owned body shop, you may get all this doine for a lot less. The age and mileage of the Honda indicates there may be a lot of life left in it!

As an aside, a friend of mine has a 20 year old Series 7 BMW, which “overheated”. The dealer wanted to replace the engine at some astronomical cost, but an independent shop found that only the sensors were faulty. My friend is a doctor and not very car savvy. He is still happily driving the BMW!

The trouble with finding a used trans is that this Oddity is within the era that they were equipped with crappy transmissions. If you can figure out if the trans from the wreck was a replacement, you might be alright.

Normally I’d agree with the folks who suggest you go to an independent mechanic for a second opinion. You have not told us if the van runs, so we don’t know the level of your emergency. Some shops tell you things are about to explode, but they are working. If that’s the case, take your time and ask questions. If it is just plain broken, and won’t move, I suggest you listen to the offer they might make to sell you something new, because right now, if you need to buy, there are great deals to be had.

Do a little work and get the best price for the trans same for the body and cat,if you pay top dollar for all, its a definite no,depends on how good you deal. Book in as in condition is probably dismal,would you get anything parting?

How about all the rest of the car? does any part of this car scream fix me? Like super good interior,tires,brakes,air is good,what about engine?

Get a 2nd opinion on costs from an independent shop. Dealership you pay a premium.

Do not put a used tranny in as they are known to be an expensive troublespot in this vintage as you found out.

brakes may need repair soon. tires are 2 or 3 yrs old. interior is pretty good, but not perfect. I’m not sure about the engine. I did find a "remanufactured transmission for $1,800.00. by the time I have it installed it will run about $3,000.00. I will get a second opinion. Thanks for the feedback.

A minivan has a rough life to begin with. One with that many miles isn’t really a prize unless it runs well and hasn’t been crunched. If the exhaust system has never been replaced, I say to try the next vehicle because that could run the price up another $1,200 if it needs to be replaced. So, if the car has a funny smell and it hasn’t been vacuumed since last April, put it up for sale.