to repair or get another used car

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by cindyc, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    Dh has a commuter car that was a good car. 1995 honda accord. never had any trouble with it. It has 200,000 miles on it. Last accord we had ran for 350,000. As far as we know the engine works great on it, tho we haven't started it up in a while. The rear window got smashed in accidentally (long story) and it needs new breaks. It has a bolt that we keep having to replace that gets sheered off for reasons we do not understand. Other honda had the same problem. It is the one that holds the engine into the frame, I guess. The steering column has made a funny noise on right turns for years.


    That sounds like a lot, but we have never had any trouble while DRIVING it. SOOO... now that we know for sure we are not at the one-car stage of life anymore (another long story) and that we are spending more money that way than we did when he drove every day, we have decided we either need to repair the above, knowing it will not last forever, and betting that it will last "long enough", or get another used car for about the cost of repair (about $3000.00 we would guess) and hope it would outlast the above car. It would be a complete unknown, and who knows with what we can sink into it, if it will last any longer than our old Honda.

    SOOO WHAT SAY YOU SHOP GURUS? Would you gamble by fixing car #1 or gamble on car #2?

    BTW, I appreciate the help here. I am not at all sure what to do.

    Cindyc.
     
  2. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

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    It shouldn't cost $3000.00 to fix that car. The back glass should be $300.00 installed at the most and the brakes can be done for less than $200.00.
    It sounds like you have lived with the other two problems for awhile.
    If it were me, I would fix the car and drive it till it dies.
     

  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd agree with Herb.....window and brakes less than a 1000 even at the Honda dealer.....and about 1/2 that if you shop.

    Call an auto glass place or two out of the yellow pages....they'll quote you a price and generally come to YOU to do the work. Brakes, I'll find a local shop with a good rep and let them do it.....even if you do them all the way around AND need new drums/rotors, etc, you are only looking 600 or so...... still WAY WAY less than 3grand.

    And how do you know they next used one doesn't need a bunch of work as well ??

    Better to fix the car you know.
     
  4. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    I'm no mechanic, but having your engine attached to the car by a bolt that keeps shearing off for no apparent reason.....mmmmm....... I'd say Providence is trying to tell you something.

    Also, cars that "haven't been started in awhile" often have more things spring up than those that have been running continuously.

    I would be tempted to fix it and sell it...
     
  5. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    See if you can pick the glass up at a junk yard, then have it installed. The brakes aren't a big dollar issue either. I would run what you know, instead of spending $3K on another unknown. Good luck.
     
  6. scotty 38

    scotty 38 Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have lived with the other two problems for awhile.
    If it were me, I would fix the car and drive it till it dies.
     
  7. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    This is the DH. What my gorgeous wife mentioned as a bolt shearing off, was actually the fact hat it needs new cv joints on both front axles. With this model it is easier to replace both front axles than to replace just the cv joints. (Wife says "That is what I get for trying to be technical.")
     
  8. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

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    I would still fix it.
     
  9. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whenever I hear a strange new noise on my car, I just turn the radio up to drown it out. You better have that steering noise checked out though.
     
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd fix it myself. But before going wild on repairs, I'd start it and drive it. Many times brakes that are "dead" on a sitting car rejuvenate in a few hundred feet of moving. A little driving lets other interesting things rear their heads as well. This helps keep you from wasting money too early. A car that's been sitting in the garage for a few months is a vastly different scenario than one that's been sitting for a few years in the back yard.

    CV shaft replacement is pretty easy even for the home mechanic. Consider doing it yourself. If you're doing it because the boot is shot, don't. Run it and wait until the shaft starts to bang on hard turns. Had a Honda CRX that lost the boots at something like 50k miles for some unremembered reasons. It wasn't until I was approaching 300k miles that some of those dry unlubricated joints started to progress from clicking to popping on hard turns.
     
  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    CV joints almost always go out because the rubber boots on them dryrot or get physically torn, then road dirt gets in the joint, and they fail shortly there after.

    If you buy another used car of some years, you probably would have no idea what the condition of the rubber boots was, even if you do a visual inspection and they are NOT currently torn, thus you could have the same problem potentially in a short time.....in fact, unless it came with repair paperwork to show the boots HAD been replaced recently ( and all 4 at that ), it would be safer to assume they were the original ones, and thus probably close to the end of their life.

    So, again, on your existing car.....replacing your CV joints and using new boots will likely give you another 10 years or 200k on that car.

    Mechanical issues are generally quite straight forward to solve......issues like interior wear, paint, etc, are a bit more subjective.....it can run like a top, and still look like a beater.....the 'beater' look CAN affect your own sense of 'self esteem' a lot more than it affects the performance of the car.

    It's up to each of us to decide if that sense of 'self esteem' is more important that other areas of our financial life.....this is often the REAL issue with used cars. To me, a shiny new or newer car simply doesn't equal a paid off home and money in the bank.....so those things come first, in my book.

    The one area I give up on with used car is some sort of massive body damage ( like from a wreck...hard to EVER get them 'right' again IMHO ) or overall 'systemic' rust......as was the case in my last Ford truck.....even then, I had it painted twice, and when thru things like 2 tailgates.....but at some point, you are simply loosing that fight......they all return to a rust pile at SOME point....ahahahaaaaa

    We drive new cars/trucks now....( but I maintain them well, and we get 10 years out of a new one.....my wife's Honda is 9 years old now, and still runs like a top....I got 17 years out of my last new truck, the Ford above, and it was in excellent mechanical condition when I sold it, and bought a new one in 2003)......but it probably has a LOT to do with the fact that we DID DRIVE well maintained beaters for many years, and now the money is simply not a very big issue.

    But we will never be the kind of folks that buy a new car every 3-4 years, even though we now could, and have a financial mess of a life to go with it.
     
  12. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    If the steering noise is a clicking or popping noise, that very likely is the CV joints.

    In my area (NE Ohio) the average price of a Honda Accord of that era is just under $5K. I think (based on what you've told us) that I would seriously consider fixing your vehicle - at least you know the problems. Also, consider having the work done at your local vocational education high school. The instructors are usually pretty 'hands on' with the work the students perform, and have access to the latest technology and equipment. The way payment works here is that they diagnose the problems, provide a parts list, you buy the parts, they fix the problem(s), and then you make a donation to the program for the labor. They apparently can't actually charge for the labor since the students aren't actually employed. I had the alternator replaced on my DW's Focus for about (I've slept since then) $250 - $150 for the alternator and $100 donation to the school (about half of what it would have cost at a shop and quite a bit less than half of what the dealer wanted). There are two caveats to the votec schools - some require that you have a child enrolled at the school (not necessarily in the automotive program) and they only fix certain types of problems at certain times as matches their curriculum.
     
  13. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Yep, fix it......I aint got no use for a honda, but dangit, its been a good one for ya! Why dish out 3k on a different car, and still have issues down the road with IT........Fix the ol gal and you will be money ahead in the loing run........
     
  14. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    I had a 1995 5 speed accord I just sold with 168k. Advertised for a few weeks on craigslist and sold for $2500 in very nice shape.


    Honda brakes are always a problem. They tend to use civic parts, so warped rotors are typical. Rear glass will be $300 or less and glass places are negotable.

    If it truly runs great, then it sounds like your car needs about $1000 max if you need (new rotors, pads, recycled calipers and remanufactured CV joints.) ...maybe more at the dealer. My guess is you need new pads and need your rotors ground or replaced, new pads and 1 CV joint.


    I did the CV jonts on my accord. Parts were $160 and they took me about 1 hr. per side to replace. Rotors cost about $10 to have ground and pads are $15 total for both fronts. If you did it yourself...you are only looking at $485 with new glass.



    I would not spend $3000 on a car like that. A junk yard will likley buy it for $700 and you can buy a good 95ish accord for under 3k.
     
  15. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    My "rule of thumb" has always been. If it cost one half of replacement to fix, you should replace.
     
  16. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    Thats plain illogical!

    If this car could be replaced with a like honda accord for $3,000 or fixed for 1/2=$1,500

    End result is a similar honda. One cost you $1500 and one cost you $3000. Should be an easy choice, but jefferson would take the $3000 car.

    Now if you could sell the old one to make up the difference,,,he may have a point.
     
  17. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    spam4einstein, the first word in the reply was "my" it is my rule, you don't need to subscribe to it.
     
  18. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    First I would do a super good inspection to attempt to figure out what else is maybe wrong. Try to ballpark things. Like how many miles on this clutch (if it got one), tranny etc. How reliable does it have to be?? Is it going on long trips?? What else don't work now? Are you in a climate that gets rusting on the running gear, undersides, etc? How are the tires?

    I sort of just went thru this type inspection with a 1993 Dodge Colt. Only got like 40K odd miles on it, never had a problem with it but have decided it might not be all that safe. Your typical rusted undersides in places like steering, brake lines, various rods, struts, shocks, etc. The scary one is the nuts on so many places. The tie rod end nuts are just showing really bad rust, very little of the nuts left, being held in there by rust. Probably can't just replace the nuts in some cases.

    Time for a new buggy. Will get a new Toyota Yaris. Sometimes is is better to spend a few dollars.

    With all them Katrina cars floating around in the market, I am a bit paranoid about buying a used car. Would have to really know a bit more about the history of the replacement car if I were going to sink bigger money into it.

    Don't know about your area, but Ohio is rife with used cars where the mileage has been rolled back. Got to be a super common crime. So bad you almost have to assume it has been done. Easy to get away with in some states where they never get the mileage recorded on periodic state inspections. Also Ohio is rife with cars that may have been in floods, not just the big ones down south.

    So you can have problems no matter how you choose to go. If the money to put the Honda in pretty good shape is well under $1000 that would tend to be how I would go. That really bad rusting on the running gear is what kills many well maintained older cars. Was what used to do in the Omni's that I put huge number of miles and could keep over 10 years. Also on older cars they eventually start having some type of electrical problems. If you got to replace the tires soon, can also be a big expense, unless you go for the retreads.

    What sort of games are being played in your local used car market? $3000 might not get that better of a car, depending on what is going on. I sure would be heads up if trying to buy a used car today. Would try to know its history for sure. Lots of horror stories out there.
     
  19. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    im with them replace the window may even find the htch back if it is one of them
    brakes get a book do them yourself if it got any easier to do the brakes on those small cars they would have to find monkeys to do it just do them one side at a time so you can look at the other to see how they go back together
    steering colum is probably just some plastc that broke loose and rattles
    as for cv joints there not rocket sience get the book and may be a freind to help
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I would agree about the level of skill needed.I wouldnt mess with the cv joints,rebuilt axles/half shafts are almost the same cost and its remove bolts,remove,replace, tighten bolts.

    BooBoo