Okay, so after putting in new engine mounts, new rack and pinion, cleaning out the exhaust pipes and one new tire, the car is running great, all the noises are gone and the engine light is off. So far,so good. But the 1997 honda accord has 206,000 (206 thousand) miles on it. I need a car that I can count on to get to work. I’m also on a pitiful budget. So, the question is, do I keep this car until it needs a new timing belt at 240K, or do I sell it for probably under a thousand dollars, and buy something along the lines of a 2007 civic or accord with about 100K miles on it, on the theory that the extra 100K miles and 10 years most likely assures me more reliability for the next 5 years. Or do I keep the devil I have, on the theory that these cars go to 300K and any tranny could go at any time etc so why change??
It’s no longer the reliable Hona of old. It’s a clunker you’re nursing through it’s final years and it’s all about timing up the last expensive repair bill with the longest stretch without a repair. IMHO, if it runs well, it’s the best time to get something for it. Theories are not at work with old cars. Just past maintenance and blind dumb luck with security of not breaking down as my personal deciding factor. If I loose confidence in th car, I loose the car.
If you have the means to buy a honda ten years newer with half the mileage on it that’s a no brainer.
I have been looking and finding a good deal on a Honda (or Toyota) with around 100K miles is difficult. It will still set you back significantly more than the $1K you might get for your current car. I say drive this one until it stops, but at the meantime try and find a good used car. This is not easy to find in a short period of time.
How much time until you reach 240K . . . ?
If you’re truly on a “pitiful budget”, the smart thing to do is keep the car, change the belt at 240K, and try to keep it well maintained. Another used car that fits your described budget will probably need a few more grand dumped into it to get it into the shape of your current car… and that’s the optimistic prediction.
to answer db4690 -probably 2 years
2 years is a long time
In the meantime, save for that timing belt job, and/or a newer car
Is your car auto or stick?
If you keep maintaining the car well, I truly think the engine will go a good long while longer
I d at least drive it till it needed a major repair. its running great, it s paid for and you won t get much for it. you just had it fixed apparently, get your money s worth.
it is automatic, and there is no rust and i do maintain the car. but, for example, the engine mounts all broke out of the blue, and that was 1500.00 at Honda as they were the only ones who could figure out what that noise was…after they replaced the engine mounts, the noise did go away…that was in the winter as was the rack and pinion. Honda does charge over a thousand on the timer belt plus the water pump and whatever else it is they do. that should be 2 years for me though…if the nyc winters we’re getting don’t impact any of that. Honda repair service said bec of the nyc weather it should be done at 90 thousand. everyone else, including honda northamerica says 105 thousand…
You need to find another mechanic. I live in a high priced area, and the Honda dealer only charged me $800 for the timing belt, water pump, new coolant, and new serpentine belt. Ask everyone you know who they use and if they like them. Eventually, you will find several people like a particular garage and that is a good place to start.
Well, the good news is next time your timing belt is due, your water pump should still be okay
You really should go by the Honda corporate maintenance schedule, not the Honda dealership’s maintenance schedule
The next time your timing belt is due, there is no reason to go to the dealer.
At 240k miles I think I’d not not replace the timing belt - just run it. If and when it does break used the money to get a newer car.
" I need a car that I can count on to get to work. I’m also on a pitiful budget".
I don’t know how far you commute to work, but if your 1997 Honda is now running well, I think your best move is to keep driving it, but at the same time, keep your eyes open for a newer car that you know some of its history. It sounds like you have plenty of time to shop around without being in a hurry.
thank you all. you’ve helped me to look at my situation and car objectively and given me good ideas. I will drive the car without being in a frantic rush to ditch it, until i find something I really think is a good deal, and I will use the corporate not the dealership’s timetable for all things future. i hope I dont reach the 240K mark though…