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  • avatar zaken1 03/24/10 2:05 pm PST

    The car will last for as long as you are willing to pay for the needed repairs and maintenance. On any used car purchase; you are going to have to deal with repairs sooner than you would on a new car. The usual repair items that come up on a car with this much mileage on it are shocks and struts, alternator, water pump, front CV axles, timing belt, and automatic transmission. (That is why a stick shift is a preferred choice; both in cost of maintenance, and in fuel economy.) But there is usually no single repair that is so expensive that it exceeds the repacement cost of the car. So the question really becomes one of priorities: The point at which a person concludes that it is preferable to replace a given car rather than make a necessary repair is determined by their economic level, their customary status, and the availability, cost, and attractiveness of other vehicle options. Some people buy a new or a used car with the intention of keeping it for a lifetime. Sam Walton; the multimillionaire who founded Wal Mart stores; was known for his habit of always driving around in an old pickup truck. He obviously didn't feel the need to prove or demonstrate his wealth (or worth) to anybody. And old pickups can be very practical; in that they have lots of room to carry stuff around; they are reliable and simple to maintain, and you don't have to worry about scratching the paint.

    But having worked for a long time as a consultant on car purchases; I will say that Hondas from the early 2000s were close to the peak of their historical quality. Their engines, brakes and electrical components are not quite as long lived as Toyotas; but the difference is not extreme. A vehicle that has averaged about 20,000 miles per year in its lifetime has a big advantage over other used vehicles; in that it requires mostly freeway driving to rack up that many annual miles, and freeway driving is the easiest type of driving on a car's potential longevity. Because of this; I would expect the engine in that car to last somewhere around 250,000 to 300,000 miles; given proper maintenance. And one often overlooked element of that maintenance is to find out from the owner what brand and weight of oil they have been using in the car; and strive to continue using only that same oil brand and weight (both at oil changes, and whenever oil has to be added between changes). This will do more to prolong the life of the motor than anything else I know of. But all too many skeptics do not believe such advice (much to their detriment).

    I hope this information enables you to make the best decision about this purchase.

Answers

  • stephen987 03/24/10 10:37 am PST

    No one can forecast how long a car will last when it has that many miles on it. The Accord does have a very good overall record, but there were some reports of transmission issues with that model. Also, as with any front wheel drive car, the CV joints will eventually wear out--how soon depends on the condition of the grease boots that protect them.

    Maintenance records are essential on these cars. Be sure that the timing belt was changed at the recommended interval, and that the transmission and cooling system have been regularly serviced.

    It's also worth the money to have a trusted mechanic go over it very thoroughly and note any potential issues.




  • zaken1 03/24/10 2:05 pm PST

    The car will last for as long as you are willing to pay for the needed repairs and maintenance. On any used car purchase; you are going to have to deal with repairs sooner than you would on a new car. The usual repair items that come up on a car with this much mileage on it are shocks and struts, alternator, water pump, front CV axles, timing belt, and automatic transmission. (That is why a stick shift is a preferred choice; both in cost of maintenance, and in fuel economy.) But there is usually no single repair that is so expensive that it exceeds the repacement cost of the car. So the question really becomes one of priorities: The point at which a person concludes that it is preferable to replace a given car rather than make a necessary repair is determined by their economic level, their customary status, and the availability, cost, and attractiveness of other vehicle options. Some people buy a new or a used car with the intention of keeping it for a lifetime. Sam Walton; the multimillionaire who founded Wal Mart stores; was known for his habit of always driving around in an old pickup truck. He obviously didn't feel the need to prove or demonstrate his wealth (or worth) to anybody. And old pickups can be very practical; in that they have lots of room to carry stuff around; they are reliable and simple to maintain, and you don't have to worry about scratching the paint.

    But having worked for a long time as a consultant on car purchases; I will say that Hondas from the early 2000s were close to the peak of their historical quality. Their engines, brakes and electrical components are not quite as long lived as Toyotas; but the difference is not extreme. A vehicle that has averaged about 20,000 miles per year in its lifetime has a big advantage over other used vehicles; in that it requires mostly freeway driving to rack up that many annual miles, and freeway driving is the easiest type of driving on a car's potential longevity. Because of this; I would expect the engine in that car to last somewhere around 250,000 to 300,000 miles; given proper maintenance. And one often overlooked element of that maintenance is to find out from the owner what brand and weight of oil they have been using in the car; and strive to continue using only that same oil brand and weight (both at oil changes, and whenever oil has to be added between changes). This will do more to prolong the life of the motor than anything else I know of. But all too many skeptics do not believe such advice (much to their detriment).

    I hope this information enables you to make the best decision about this purchase.

  • knowledgepower 03/24/10 4:39 pm PST

    Be sure to ask the seller if the timing belt and water pump has been replaced, that is an important part of longevity. If the seller doesn't know he never had it done. Unless the car is being sold for next to nothing I'd be a little worrried unless you have it checked out be a good mechanic and be prepared to have the timing belt changed when purchasing it.

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