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Buy or Fix?

Posted by secsteve (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 28, 06 at 12:31

I have a 1997 Honda Accord which had been making a rattling noise. I took it to the dealer and was told: "Outer CV Boots are ripped (joints are bd) recommend replacing both right and left axles, lower ball joints and an alignment". Also, the battery would need replacing. Total cost would be
$755.00

The car has 131230 miles on it and this is the first major repair to come along. I paid the car off in 1998 so no car payments anymore which I really like.

I know this is a major replacement and am wondering if it's a good idea to just bite the bullet and shell out the 755 or consider getting a new/used car? On one hand I don't relish the thought of car payments, but on the other realize I'm at the diminishing returns point. They have a used Accord, two previous owners with only 7,637 miles on it for $20,490.00 I've checked both Edmunds and KBB and according Edmunds it's $93 more then they recommend but the right price according to KBB.

They also have two new civics for $18,355 and 19,305 respectively. The Accord and the Civic for 19305 both have stick shifts which I prefer to an automatic.

Any thoughts/opinions would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Buy or Fix?

Take it to a Honda mechanic (non dealer) and get a 2nd opinion. If you like the car, everything else works fine then I say it's worthwhile to keep/fix it. I have a toyo with even higher milage, paid off and there is a lot less stressful since it still drives like new to keep using it. Monthly payments suck and the glamour of having a newer car is not worth the interest rates on used cars.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I agree with quirkyquercus in getting a 2nd opinion. $755 sure beats monthly payments but I think what's important is if you like the car enough to keep it & fix it. I love my 92 Camry and until its starts costing me more to repair it than the joy of having it I will drive it to its death.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

In your situation, I would fix the car and keep it. It could easily go to 200,000 miles before the engine/transmission needs repair.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I agree with fixing the car and keeping it. Actually, $755 doesn't sound like all that much for the work described. I had an Integra that seemed to eat CV joints at an alarming rate. If you do keep it, make sure that the CV boots are checked regularly for tears, that's the major cause of CV joint failure. And make sure you keep up with the recommended maintenance. Good luck, Steve


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I'd be a little leary of a car with 7,637 miles that has already had two previous owners. what's wrong with it?

look at it this way, if you drop a grand into it and get another year, you're way ahead of the game.

Also, you say the prices you're quoting are fair but they aren't bargains. so why jump?

good luck


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I agree with all others. Fix it. Honda Accords are good vehicles and should go a lot more miles with routine maintenance. Some things will wear out, but overall cost should be a lot less than car payments and added insurance of a newer car. I carry liability only on my older cars, which saves a bunch. But yours may not be in that category yet (less than $2-3k +/- is about when I drop full coverage). I usually get remanufactured axles with new boots,installed, from my non-dealer mechanic for about $200/each.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

Thank you to all who responded. I took quirkyquecus's advice and got another estimate. What a difference! Honda dealer wanted a total of $851.80 (included new battery for $85 and a 13.80 labor charge) and the estimate I got from an independent dealer who specializes in foreign cars was $350.00 A difference of $496.80 I'm getting a new battery from the base gas station (I'm retired military) and the cost for that is only $70 total including installation.

I hate to think it's true, but it does seem like the dealer was trying to rip me off.

Thanks again


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RE: Buy or Fix?

"I hate to think it's true, but it does seem like the dealer was trying to rip me off."

please don't jump to conclusions. Aftermarket parts are often significantly cheaper than thier OEM counterparts, with an associated difference in quality. Does the 2nd repair shop estimate include EVERYTHING the dealer said he was going to do? or are the two estimates just "to fix it" whatever "it" each believes is your problem.

You even said the car needed no major repairs for 130,000 miles, do you think Honda "ripped you off" there?

FWIW I'm just playing devil's advocate but just because the two estimates are different does not automatically mean that there's somthing dirty afoot.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I hate to think it's true, but it does seem like the dealer was trying to rip me off.

I'm sure there's a big difference between the dealer's hourly rate for service and your independent mechanic's hourly rate. That's some of the price differential right there. Another differential is what the dealer can handle that the independent mechanic cannot. There's a johng who posts on this forum; he's an independent mechanic and he's related the cost of some of the specialized tools and diagnostic equipment (not to mention training and support for their use) that he has to buy. Some of those tools are strikingly expensive! That money has to come from somewhere.

The dealer may not have known what it would take to fix the problem; they may have been throwing parts at it, but, as sdello says, you cannot assume you were being "ripped off" by the dealer. There's lots of reasons they can cost more.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

There are some reputable Jap specialists out there that have been in business a long time.

The nice thing about hondas and toyotas is that as the car ages, plastic parts like buttons and so forth don't start falling off so they remain in very drivable shape until they're ready for the crusher.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

"The nice thing about hondas and toyotas is that as the car ages, plastic parts like buttons and so forth don't start falling off so they remain in very drivable shape until they're ready for the crusher."

I think you mean "presentable" or "aesthetically pleasing" instead of "drivable" because good looking buttons and so forth don't really affect the operation/function of the vehicle.


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RE: Buy or Fix?

I HAVE A 95 HONDA WAGON ACCORD IT WILL START AND TURN OFF. THEN START AND ONCE I DRIVE IT LOOSES POWER COULD THIS BE THE DISTRIBUTOR?


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