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Used Odyssey?!

My 95 Honda Accord Wagon with 115K pristine miles got totalled. We are in mourning. It was a one owner car…

We are looking at a 98 Odyssey with 100K. They are asking 4K. What should we look out for? (The timing belt has never been replaced, for example…)

I haven’t bought a used car before… Help!!!

Have it Checked out by a Pro. The 98 Odyssey is really only a accord wagon. Probably a very good car but a rare bird.

The shop I use does a “check to buy” service - its basically just a once over of all of the vehicles major systems. They just charge an hour’s labor for it.

This doesn’t include a check of the engine’s health (e.g. compression or something) or the transmission, but you could request things like that.

It is a concern that the timing belt has not been changed, it is overdue. That means you have to assume other regular maintenance has been neglected as well. That means, new plugs, all fluids need changing (trans, coolant, brakes, etc.), new filters, all of which need to be done ASAP in addition to the timing belt, water pump, and whatever. Expect to spend $1,000 just to get the maintenance up to date.

Take it to your mechanic for evaluation and get the extras, like the compression test and get the transmission evaluated. Odyssey’s have had issues with the automatic transmissions.

I want to echo Uncle Turbo’s concerns.

Since the timing belt is GROSSLY overdue for replacement, I would also assume that the current owners of that vehicle have ignored many other vital maintenance procedures, and that spells a shortened life for any vehicle, even a Honda. Yes, you could bring its maintenance up to date, but to a great extent, lack of maintenance could have already cut several years off of this minivan’s life span.

And, as UT stated, since Hondas of that era are known for transmission problems, that is a definite area for concern–especially if these negligent owners failed to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.

While inspection by your mechanic is called for with any used car, in this case, it may not be sufficient. Regarding the transmission, it is possible that nothing short of opening up the transmission would reveal whether it is on its last legs. Personally, I would pass up this vehicle since there are enough decently maintained used cars on the market.

thanks for your responses… your comments and concerns echo mine… the last thing i want to do is spend $ and end up replacing a transmission in 3 months…

Invest your time before you invest your $. Before you take it to the mechanic for an evaluation, there are some things you can check yourself.

Look at the oil on the dipstick. Is it between the upper and lower marks? Is it a nice, light brown, rather than black ?

Look at the automatic transmission fluid. It’s a little yellow dipstick usually on the passenger side, you have to really reach down for it. The fluid should be a nice dark pink/magenta.

Take the van for a nice long test drive. How does it ride? How does the engine sound and feel when idling? Accelerating ? Adequate braking power ?

Definitely make sure that the timing belt gets done if you do decide on this car, that’s extremely important.

Expect to spend $1,000 just to get the maintenance up to date.

I would double that. Getting to these items in a minivan isn’t easy and will be labor intensive.

Minivans are problematic. Car mechanics with truck capacity make them vulnerable to hard use. The ideal would be a minivan used more like a sedan. Sometimes overuse problems will not show in inspection until they break. Make sure it does not have a hitch and talk with owner (if trusted) about maintenance and use.

It is not an Accord wagon, it is an Isuzu Oasis.

If you’re buying this from a private owner, you should insist on getting the maintenance records to see what other work has been neglected.

Wasn’t it actually made by Honda and marketed as both the Honda Odyssey and the Isuzu Oasis? This was during the era of the Isuzu Rodeo that was also marketed as the Honda Passport, a marketing decision that Honda came to regret.

My recollection is that the two companies more or less shared models for co-marketing, with Honda contributing the mini-van and Isuzu contributing the SUV. If my recollection is incorrect, please let me know!

Be aware also that Honda was selling the Odyssey for awhile with inner-doughnut style run flat tires as standard. I don’t know what years, but if this one has them and you need new tires it’ll cost you a bundle.

Check it out before buying.

Wikipedia agrees with you.