Author Topic: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?  (Read 5241 times)

mdc53

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Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« on: September 08, 2016, 02:31:37 PM »
Hey Everybody,

I could use your opinion on car expertise. I live in northern Virginia and had to have my car ('01 Civic, 140k miles) towed yesterday after power steering and engine kicked out. It's at Honda now and would need the following work: a/c compressor full assembly, 2 shrader valves, a/c compressor belt, evac/recharge a/c + labor + = $1090.52 + tax
The cost for that is half parts, half labor
parts = $599
labor = $491.52

I asked the about the expected future maintenance for the car to try and get an idea for how much it would cost to keep it. Here is what would be needed based on time and mileage:

front brakes (in 10-15k miles, $380)
rear drums (in 10-15k miles, $380)
timing belt (in 2-3 yrs, $900)
optional shocks in rear (within 1-2 yrs, $485) 
every 3 years transmission/brake fluid = $300

Re: the engine condition it is expected to last for more than another 100k miles. I had to have it re-sealed earlier this summer. The dealer included a free warranty on it for 10k/1 year.

Originally I was thinking the engine would conk out and I'd have to do other maintenance but looking at the numbers those expenses actually don't seem terrible. Leasing could be anywhere from $100-$250/month depending on how much you put down. The tech is also checking with the sales dept to see if the dealer would make an offer.

So my options are: pay around $1,200 maintenance, hopefully we're good for a while, sell the car to the dealer (maybe $1k?), get a leased car for 3 years, or buy a used car in good condition (maybe 2009 or newer).

Greatly appreciate any advice/recommendations!

ketchup

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 02:47:04 PM »
Fix it, keep it.  Everything you mention apart from the immediate repair is just routine maintenance that will have to happen on any car.

Kroaler

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2016, 03:36:24 PM »
I'm baffled that a any part of a honda civic from 2001 failed at 140k miles.   

v8rx7guy

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2016, 03:40:07 PM »
What exactly happened?  Did you lose a serpentine belt?  That would explain the power steering and car not starting, but would not expain why the AC system needs a complete overhaul... unless the AC compressor locked up and caused the serpentine belt failure?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 03:42:17 PM by v8rx7guy »

mdc53

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 03:52:53 PM »
Thanks so much everyone for the initial feedback. v8rx, I'm not sure of exactly the parts since I don't know too much about cars but basically from what I understood from the tech something with the a/c compressor belt and the valves had affected the power steering, so I pulled over right away as the check engine light and oil lights had both come on. After that I didn't try to turn the engine back on for fear it would damage it and had it towed.

The techs diagnosed and suggested the below repairs. They were able to disable the engine and oil lights and those weren't affected.

One reason I had been worried is since I had to have the engine re-sealed earlier this summer. That's the first time it ever had to be resealed but wasn't sure if it would stick as my wife's previous car ('05 Civic had to have the engine resealed and later overheated when stuck in traffic on a hot day). When I spoke w/ the tech they said the engine would be good for another 100+k.

Just trying to figure out the costs of current repairs and future maintenance vs "newish" car. Really like the low insurance rates and taxes on current car!

KLK75

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 08:34:21 PM »
Can you do any of the repairs yourself?  Older Hondas are relatively easy to work on.   There is also a lot of good educational info on civic forums.com

Also, are you confident in your dealers assessment or do you have a reliable mechanic to get second opinion?

JLee

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 08:47:55 PM »
Get a 3rd party estimate. 

Here are parts prices for your brakes, timing belt (with water pump, which should be done at the same time), rear shocks, and AC (including serpentine belt, valve kit, receiver/drier, gaskets, and expansion valve -- they did not list a receiver/drier or a seal/gasket kit).  I don't know if you have a 3 wire or 1 wire AC compressor, so I added the more expensive one for the purposes of this quote.

You could go cheaper on some parts, but Aisin is an OEM Toyota manufacturer and I have had a Gates water pump fail after 20k miles, so I don't buy Gates anymore. Centric makes solid brakes, so I generally stick with them.


mdc53

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 11:25:10 AM »
Thank you so much everyone for the help on this one! Decided to go ahead and authorize the repairs. Called around to a few different shops and they said the parts and labor quoted were reasonably priced from the service dept. In searching also found another $100 off coupon, so helps a bit. Sounds like going forward for the future regular maintenance would be good to find another mechanic that could take care of those.

humbleMouse

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 11:43:24 AM »
Yeah, that sounds like standard maintenance on a vehicle.  If I were you I would try to find an independent mechanic who will give you quotes on a fix by fix basis instead of going to a "regular" mechanic.  All of those prices you quoted would be halved if you brought the car to the guy I use for my repairs.

Davids

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 12:15:04 PM »
Find a regular body shop to do the repair, it should be cheaper than a Honda dealer directly. The dealers body shop way overcharge for repairs.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 12:45:24 PM »
It is not even close, keep it.

You don't replace except when the repair costs are greater than the replacement costs or if there are known issues that will put near term repair above replacement costs assuming the replacement will not have similar future repair costs.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 02:27:12 PM »
I'm glad you decided to keep it. After literally just saying that I wasn't going to throw any more money at our 2006 Toyota Avalon with 140k miles on it, we just replaced the serpentine belt, an air sensor, and I finally agreed to have the rear defrost fixed. Sure, we threw $800 at a car that I hate, but man... that engine sounds real good still, and that's what matters, right?

JLee

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 03:54:26 PM »
I'm glad you decided to keep it. After literally just saying that I wasn't going to throw any more money at our 2006 Toyota Avalon with 140k miles on it, we just replaced the serpentine belt, an air sensor, and I finally agreed to have the rear defrost fixed. Sure, we threw $800 at a car that I hate, but man... that engine sounds real good still, and that's what matters, right?

140k on a modern vehicle is not much at all.  I sold my '99 Tacoma at 282,9xx and my '97 Lexus (LX450 / Toyota Landcruiser) at 213k and they both still ran great.

fonzarthur

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 12:12:28 PM »
You will want to replace the water pump with the timing belt while it's apart.

mdc53

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 07:59:12 PM »
Hi All,

We decided to go with the repairs. One month of good driving but unfortunately car broke down again on the way to work. Had it checked out and would need a ton of repairs worth way more than the vehicle. So looking for replacement. Could really use help/advice. Currently we live in DC area but are planning to relocate to Chicago in the spring.

We searched all weekend for a car but couldn't come to a decision. A couple we narrowed it down to were the Toyota RAV4 and the Scion xD. The RAV4 seemed too big for me (bigger than my old CR-V) but would probably be a great pick for Chicago. The Mrs. liked it.

Re: 2WD, wondering if it could be a good option to get a smaller car like the Scion or even a mid-size car and put snow tires on it during the winter. This MMM article about AWD giving you more power but not more traction made me think: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/12/01/all-wheel-drive-does-not-make-you-safer/

Another question I had is if it's true that red cars get more tickets/have higher insurance. I have been gravitating toward red cars and don't usually speed but wasn't sure...

Here was our experience with the different cars we tried:

Models recommended by my car enthusiast friend Liz (also no offense if you own below models):
Mazda 3 (both) - felt too small in back
Hyundai Elantra (both) - preferred other cars more
Mitsubishi Outlander (older) - want to try at other dealer where available
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (new - lease)
Hyundai Sonata (both) - preferred other cars more
Kia Optima (both) - reliability ratings not great
Toyota Corolla - hated the interior dash/not our style but drove well


Possible Mike models:
Toyota Matrix - want to try at other dealer where available
Kia Soul - not enough visibility
Subaru Impreza (after 10, need to check reliability) - out of price range
Honda Fit - too small
Toyota Prius - hated the feeling inside

Originally our preferred budget was $12k, upper limit of $15k.

We found two good options for the RAV4:
2011 (high reliability year) from Tysons Koons Toyota-
$15,500. Total price incl dealer fees and taxes: $16,865.27. Tried our best but couldn't get a lower deal. Seems like a great value for the money but not at peace of going out of our budget
43k miles, very clean interior and exterior
Certified Toyota pre-owned w/ 160 point inspection, powertrain warranty coverage through Aug 2018, and one year of bumper to bumper warranty from date of purchase
Carfax showed 2 owners, most recent who had the car for only three months but previous owned had for term of the three year lease

2011 (high reliability year) from Falls Church Koons Toyota -
$13,500, need to check on final price out the door
58k miles, great condition
Not certified by Toyota owned
No Carfax issues but didn't look at report ourselves

2013 Scion xD from Tysons Koons Toyota-
$11,503. Total price incl dealer fees and taxes: $12,700
Unusually low mileage: 2,000. Carfax showed the car was a lease from near downtown Boston. Not sure if oil change would have been done by the owner, seems unusual mileage is so low. Note: there was another Scion with 30,000 miles for $1,500 less
Toyota Certified pre-owned w/ 160 point inspection, powertrain warranty coverage through 2020, and one year of bumper to bumper warranty from date of purchase
Liked the ride of the car but felt really small after being in the RAV4
Would put snow tires on for Chicago winters but wondering if this is a bad idea
And open to other options. At this point the rental we have (Chevy Cruze) which we first hated is seeming pretty nice...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2016, 03:00:19 AM »
Consider a C-Max if you considered a Prius but it didn't feel right.

JLee

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2016, 09:31:24 AM »
Quote
Another question I had is if it's true that red cars get more tickets/have higher insurance. I have been gravitating toward red cars and don't usually speed but wasn't sure...

I don't recall my car insurance company asking what color my cars are, so I don't think it would matter.

Kroaler

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2016, 10:15:46 AM »
I don't think insurance is more, but my personal observation suggest red cars get more tickets all other details being the same.

At my company we have a huge fleet of company cars.   The running joke is that If you get a red one you'll get a ticket.  So far it seems pretty true.   I guess it's called radar red for a reason.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2016, 08:02:36 PM »
So what's going on with the 15 yo civic with only 140k miles? I thought u just had a bunch of warranted work done on it?

I know you are probably just mad and want something else but just be patient and do the math. Be sure you are doing the right decision.

Something I noticed from the op, needing new rakes in 2-3 years means you have new brakes.... Just pointing that out. Any other car will need brakes In a similar timeframe.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2016, 02:15:16 AM »
So what's going on with the 15 yo civic with only 140k miles?

Have one of similar vintage- fewer miles though. Would love to hear the rest of the story!

use2betrix

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2016, 06:39:49 PM »
While my wife drove to the gym earlier I sat shotgun and went through the receipts in the glove box. As mentioned - 1999 Camry we've had just under 3 years and 32k miles (at 120k now).

We've put about $4600 into "routine maintenance" not including tires or oil changes. It also need rear struts and strut mounts bad ($850).

At about $1500/yr were still coming out of head, but it does get old. Hopefully after the rear struts are done we should be good for a long time. Really hoping so at least.

Frugalman19

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2016, 08:02:40 AM »
Find a new mechanic, I had all my brakes totally replaced on my honda for $320.

JLee

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2016, 09:39:38 AM »
While my wife drove to the gym earlier I sat shotgun and went through the receipts in the glove box. As mentioned - 1999 Camry we've had just under 3 years and 32k miles (at 120k now).

We've put about $4600 into "routine maintenance" not including tires or oil changes. It also need rear struts and strut mounts bad ($850).

At about $1500/yr were still coming out of head, but it does get old. Hopefully after the rear struts are done we should be good for a long time. Really hoping so at least.

You can get complete strut/spring assemblies for $50-160/each, depending on brand/quality.  Replacing them is basically two bolts and three nuts on each assembly...it's really easy.

use2betrix

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2016, 06:36:45 PM »
This doesn't look "that" easy.. Not terrible, but some things that could go wrong for sure. I'm about to finish my current job and take some time off so we'll see. May just need a spring compressor.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/107-camry-solara-lounge/276024-diy-rear-strut-r-r.html#/topics/276024?_k=4tdi3o

JLee

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Re: Repair '01 Honda or upgrade?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2016, 06:44:54 PM »
This doesn't look "that" easy.. Not terrible, but some things that could go wrong for sure. I'm about to finish my current job and take some time off so we'll see. May just need a spring compressor.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/107-camry-solara-lounge/276024-diy-rear-strut-r-r.html#/topics/276024?_k=4tdi3o

If you buy the complete assemblies, there's no need for a spring compressor. The whole assembly comes out and the new assembly goes in.