What to do?

acura

#1

I have a 2002 Acura TL-S. Great car and I love it. It has 104000 on it, no problems and it’s paid for. I’m moving from Texas to Brooklyn to go back to school and need the car to continue to work well with no issues while I’m living in Brooklyn with low/no income. I’ve never done anything aside from being religious about the oil changes. The question is, anybody have any recommendations as to preventive maintenance like plugs, injectors etc that I should do to keep this car happy while it lives in Brooklyn?


#2

Has the timing belt/water pump been replaced? Check the owners manual for the recommended service interval for these components. It might be overdue.

Tester


#3

Take it out on weekends for a long drive. That’s about the only time you will drive it. Contact your insurance company and let them know that it won’t be a commuter car; you undoubtedly will walk or use public transportation in NYC. Determine the cost to garage it and how that affects your insurance cost. Parking it on the street will increase the likelihood of theft, especially if it sits in one spot for a long time.


#4

If the plugs have never been changed then they should have been changed many thousands of miles back. The same goes for the fuel filter because a partially clogged filter is rough on a fuel pump.
Other than that, I agree with the timing belt/water pump replacement. It’s probably due.


#5

Any car that is parked on the street in NYC will become very damaged goods in short order, due to the number of cars (and perhaps trucks) backing into it while parking. And then, there is damage to the sides from double-parked cars & trucks. Theft of Hondas and Acuras in and around NYC is very common, so I agree that garaging is a good idea in order to prevent theft and damage from street parking, but the cost of garaging a car in NYC is potentially higher than the cost of apartment rental in Texas!

Personally, I think that anyone of limited means is very foolish to even consider owning a car in NYC, or in most other urban areas. Public transportation may not be cheap either, but the cost of garaging/insuring/maintaining a car in NYC is not realistic for someone of limited means–especially if the car will rarely be used.

On a totally different note, if the timing belt has never been changed, the OP is courting imminent destruction of his/her engine. There is much more to car maintenance than oil changes, and all of this information is contained in the Owner’s Manual–the least-read best-seller in the world.


#6

“Any car that is parked on the street in NYC will become very damaged goods in short order, due to the number of cars (and perhaps trucks) backing into it while parking. And then, there is damage to the sides from double-parked cars & trucks.”

Definitely agree with this 100%. A buddy of mine and I got new cars at about the same time. He lives in Park Slope/Brooklyn and I live in the 'burbs. He’s never had any problems with theft, with this new car or his older one, but 6 months later my car still looked pristine, while his looked like someone had spent a couple of weeks pitching rocks against the front and back bumpers…just totally scarred up all over. When I asked him what it was from, he said it was just from people hitting him while parking…not to mention what the trash collectors do to the neighborhood cars while tossing cans and lids around apparently. He tried stringing a couple of boat-type fenders across the front and back of the car for a while, but eventually just gave up and chalked it up to another cost of living in the city.


#7

“…but the cost of garaging a car in NYC is potentially higher than the cost of apartment rental in Texas!”

That is certainly true in Manhattan: it’s probably less expensive to park in Brooklyn. And if the car is used only on weekends, it could be parked in New Jersey or the NY suburbs northwest of the city.


#8

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. It is running now, right? why take a chance on a mechanic replaceing things that are proven to ware down on test cars? Nobody can tell when something like a timing belt or water pump will go out accurately. I have 225000 miles on a Ford that should have had the timing belt replaced 80000 miles ago…and the water pump, I’ve never relaced it. But, the car has never overheated and I also change the oil regularly. Just keep up with routine maintenance: brakes, oil changes, etc.


#9

Check out the back of your Owner’s Manual, it will tell you exactly what needs to be done and when. If all you’ve done is oil changes, then get ready to replace the timing belt & water pump, air filter, coolant, maybe transmission fluid, maybe fuel filters, spark plugs, maybe spark plug wires, maybe distributor cap & rotor. Again, the maintenance schedule in your magical little book in the glove box will inform you very well.

How are the brakes ?

Tires ?

Don’t mess with the fuel injectors unless the car begins to run poorly. I think most people will concur. Good luck.


#10

You may want to sell it. You don’t really need a car in Brooklyn.


#11

You may want to consider a school that’s not in Brooklyn. No offense, but too many people in one place. That would be hard on a Texan.


#12

Agree with tractorman here. Lots of schools out there . . . can YOU adjust to an urban environment and study? I’ve been there, done that . . . done extensive graduate and post work, and for every grad school that I considered within an urban environment, there was another school in a rural setting. I personally would not own or drive in a city day after day when public transportation was available. Rocketman


#13

School comes first, then the car. How do you know what the OP majors in? It might be that this is the best school for him. While the school might be in Brooklyn, it could also be in Manhattan or on Long Island east of NYC. While your priorities seem to be off kilter, at least the OP has it right. This Acura will not strongly influence the rest of his life, but graduates studies will.