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Trade or repair help

I had my car serviced and I have a leaking rear shock valve and cracked compliance bushings. It also needs a new timing belt/water pump. It is a 2011 Honda Pilot,It has 122,000 miles. Trade in value is $14,000. I would like to keep it for 2 years was my plan. I know it will need $1500 worth of repair and maintenance plus I think the power steering pump is going bad. I could but $1500-2000 into it and keep it for 2 years but it’s estimated that they trade in will go down to $7000 in 2 years. What is the honest opinions on this?

It sounds like you’ve been talking to a dealership that wants to make a sale before the end of the year. The dirty little secret is that they could be inflating the trade in, but also inflating what they will charge you for a new car. Anyway, it costs money to keep a car maintained, which is what you are looking at with these repairs. Nothing sounds outside the ordinary costs of upkeep. If you want to spend less money on your car, over the long haul the best plan would be to fix the car, keep it for many more years, and sell it when it’s really shot, maybe after 200,000 miles.

And if you went to a dealer for these repairs, try taking it somewhere else and ask what it needs. Don’t tell them, ask.

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I haven’t talked to a dealership about a new one. Just looked up nada trade in on my 2011 and looked at what the same thing for a 209 would bring with 40k more miles. I just hate to spend $1500 on these minor repairs and then a big repair pop up in 3 months.

The timing belt and water pump are normal maintenance if you haven’t yet had it done.
The leaky shock valve… maybe. I’d want to see the signs of a leak. I’m skeptical.
The cracked “compliance bushing”… exactly what bushing(s) is(are) he looking at? Are the cracks through of just normal surface cracking?

I smell a rat, a revenue hunter. Perhaps, as wentwest suggested, a dealer looking to sell a new car. That’s why I recommend against taking cars that are no longer in warranty to dealers. But I’m not willing to commit to that opinion without seeing exactly what he’s seeing.

As with any expensive quote, you should get a second opinion from a reputable independent mechanic.

I think that will not actually give a true value. Vehicles require repair because of wear or just something breaking. Put the thing in a safe driving condition and you will have time to make a better decision as to replace or keep.

Edit: I looked at Kelly Blue Book. There are 3 trim levels for a Pilot, I used the third level and it showed trade in at 10500 to 12500.

See a dealer about a trade-in. I think you’ll be shocked at how little they offer.

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These trade-in numbers don’t sound accurate to me.

If this were my car and I was originally planning to keep it for two more years, I’d still stick with that plan. This car should still have some good years left if it’s properly maintained.

Dealers will buy vehicles whether you buy another from them or not. Take your pilot to a dealer for an estimated sales price. Do not tell them about any required work. They can figure it out. If the price is really low, get two or three estimates on repairs and decide what to do.

I agree. I don’t think you’ll get anywhere near that on a trade. The rest of it is just normal repairs and maintenance that you would expect. OTOH, if you delay the timing belt, you can end up needing a new engine.

And on the bad power steering pump, I’ve seen bad pump inlet gaskets diagnosed as a bad pump on Hondas because they make noise when you turn the steering wheel due to sucking air in. The difference is a $7 part and 10 minutes of work vs replacing the whole pump, so make very sure that this diagnosis is right before you have the work done.

The OEM gasket kinda sucks so it isn’t surprising when it fails, but it’s a very cheap and easy fix.

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Sorry but cars are expensive to maintain and that’s where you are. Any repairs your Pilot needs will be deducted from the trade-in you get so you Pay the Man Now or Later - Your choice.

None of these sound out of the ordinary for your vehicle mileage and a repaired Pilot should provide many more miles of service. And new cars are even MORE expensive. In these cases, I always ask - How many car payments is that service? 5? Fix your Pilot for 5 car payments or buy a new one and pay for 12 payments every year for 4 or 5 years. Fixing this one is far cheaper than buying a new one.

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“compliance bushing” is Honda’s terminology for lower control arm bushing

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The timing belt is about 20,000 miles overdue. You should get it replaced ASAP if you plan to keep the Pilot or won’t make a decision in the very near future.

Than I have my doubts. Mechanics on commission have been known to tell people with normal surface “checking” that they need new bushings… when they don’t.

A second opinion is always wise when confronted by a large estimate.

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If you can actually get them pay you $14,000 for a 2011 Pilot in its current condition as a trade in, and can also get a competitive price on another vehicle as part of a trade-in deal, that sounds like a pretty good situation to me. Make sure that’s really the deal they’ll give you though. Its possible they are trying to reel you in, then use the old bait and switch. In which case it will be better probably for you $$-wise to just fix what’s broken and keep on driving your Pilot.

Get the water pump/timing belt done, and soon. It’s a normal maintenance item, and probably overdue.

From a purely financial standpoint, most of the time, keeping and fixing what you already have will be less expensive. You list the $$ that favor replacing the car. How about listing the $$ that favor fixing it, primarily what you’ll pay for a new vehicle and its higher insurance?

Unless there’s some other considerations that you’ve not shared (like you hate the car or your life situation has changed), I’d lean toward repair and keeping it.

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