Pushing 150,000 miles on my Accord

The car I use for my daily commute is nothing like the shiny new crossover SUI we have for the family trips. It is a 10 year old 6 cylinder Honda Accord ‘98 with nearly 150,000 miles on it.

The Accord is nothing unique and hardly individual but its dependability is why I bought it and overall I am quite happy. This however is very subjective and I figured I will ask your judgment. I will list all the repairs I had over the 6 years I have owned the car and will ask your opinion - did I get a good deal when I paid 15K for it in 2001?

  • Today, had PO401 check engine code and got diagnosed clogged EGR intake ports. The diagnosis and repairs will cost $353.35 plus tax at the local FireStone.
  • Replaced all break pads and one set of rotors at 125K miles - $398.20 plus tax at Midas
  • Replaced alternator at 110K miles - $432.25 plus tax at local Honda dealership
  • Replaced canister vent shut valve after an OBD code came out at 100K miles - $220 plus tax at the Honda dealership
  • Changed tires at 100K miles - $318 plus tax at Discount Tire
  • Replaced water pump and timing belt at 95K miles which wasn’t cheap either but all the ‘experts’ don’t recommend skimping on this
  • Replaced all break pads and rotors at 80K - $558.22 plus tax at Midas
  • Replaced complete drivers seat after the base got loose at 54K miles - free (due to recall) at the Honda dealership
  • Regular oil changes every 5K miles and tire rotations every other oil change (every 10K miles) plus changed the transmission oil a couple times.

I was a bit upset by todays expenses but after a bit of research found out that EGR valve is a usual problem with this year model and would be a warranty repair if I had it before 80K miles. A much greater concern is the transmission problems which other owners have reported. So far, no problems yet but I hear this can end up being a $3000 expense.

Also, since almost all my miles are on the highway with very few street lights, I am getting around 25 miles per gallon consistently. This is acceptable mileage at the current gas price but when the plug-in hybrids go mainstream I may well trade my Accord for one

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5 Responses to “Pushing 150,000 miles on my Accord”

  1. 1 linlu Sep 14th, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Whatever you do, don’t go to Firestone for your EGR valve replacement. I have learned over nearly 20 years of owning Hondas, never ever take thing to requires touching the engine to anyone else but a Honda mechanic. I’m not talking about dealers either. I have been taking my Hondas to a great independent Honda mechanic since I found out about him 14 years ago. I had moved from California, where I had taken my Civic to an Independent Honda mechanic for years and did not know of any around me here in VA.

    In the 5 years when I didn’t use a Honda mechanic, I’ve had shops overfill the oil $35, overtighten and strip the oil drain plug $125, unable to figure out how to take off some piece in order to access another consumable – either air filter or something else 2 hours of my time. I’ve been recommended unneeded service ($hundreds) and overcharged for the same work ($hundreds) at different Firestone shops versus my Independent Honda mechanic.

    Nowadays if I need a quick oil change and I don’t have time to go to my Honda mechanic, I just go to the local Acura dealer since they also offer a car wash with their service.

    One thing I have learned over the 20 years I have driven a Honda, never trust anyone to work on it except a Honda mechanic.

  2. 2 Mac McKee Sep 15th, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Hey … good news is that you can do it yourself. Had the same prob with a 2000 Honda Od … took a bud with torque wrench, about 2 hours no gaskets (but I recommend having the fiber one for the throttle body – the metal one on the head itself is a reuse) and a steak on the grill aftwards. A little different for the van … dont have to drill out … just remove the spacer that sits on the head and clean port … have 2 cans of carb cleaner … should be able to find a bulletin by HONDA for this … common prob. … and

    Keep her … worth saving. Drive it until the battery tech catches up with the marketing.
    Hope that helps.

  3. 3 Alex Sep 15th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    buy a new car… seriously ;)

  4. 4 Yan Sep 15th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Mac, the procedure requires drilling and I just don’t feel comfortable messing under the hood with my level of experience. Thanks for the tips though!

    Alex, we just replaced my wife’s car after the accident she had last month and another big expense is not an option.

    I think I will just have to drive my Accord for another year or so, probably until Hybrids become mainstream

  5. 5 Robert Mar 19th, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I own a 1992 Honda ACcord Ex, and overall I am very pleased.

    These motors are excellent, and so are the cars themselves.

    My Accord’s transmission went out at 143K, so I put in a used one for $600 (my friend is an ASE certified mechanic), and so far I have had the tailpipe and the muffler fixed (not sure exactly how that happened, I bought the car like that).

    The weather stripping came undone on the passenger side window and I got some from a junk yard and put it in myself.

    I did the front brake pads and rotors myself with ceramic brakes for about $60 (NAPA brakes).

    I added a K&N Air Filter.

    I got four used new Bridgestone tires for $180.

    I installed my Kenwood CD deck from a previous car.

    I did the distributor cap, distributor rotor, plugs (platinum), plug wires and valve cover gasket myself with parts from Checker ($120 w/ tax).

    I do my own oil changes with Valvoline 5W30 and Wix oil filters.

    I changed the fuel filter.

    Overall, very basic maintenance and the car is driving great considering its age.

    And the paint still looks great even though it’s not the best color in the world (green).

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