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Old July 28th, 2016, 02:57 AM   #1
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2005 Honda Accord Panel Out & Oil Leak

Hi DA'ers,

Backstory: My Mom (in her 60s) is across the country in San Jose, CA (i'm on the east coast). She was hurt a while back and never planned her finances well, so I support her for the most part. Her car is having issues, I'm not there to look at it and I don't know a great mechanic/dealer for service, whom I trust. In short, I want to make sure she has a safe car but want to make sure we (I will be paying for it) are getting sounds advice/pricing on the recommended fixes.

Car Story:
2005 Honda Accord V6 EX
~98k miles on it

Early this year, her air-bag light went on. Apparently a switch needs to be replaced. Dealer wanted $700. Haven't replaced it yet.

A few months ago, her navigation stopped working and her center console display went out (doesn't come on). Not too bad but annoying for her. She was still able to control AC, so we bought her a hands-free mount for her phone and good ol' Waze.

Mid-July, her AC stopped working. Started blowing warm air out.

Took it to a local mechanic who said it was the compressor (haven't heard of this being an issue for the model) so I encouraged her to visit a dealer in the area. Dealer said there was a leak in the hose. They fixed that and said the AC came on for a sec then stopped while it was still in the shop. Now they say the full display needs to be replaced, the computer needs to be replaced, the air-bag switch needs to be replaced.. for a total of $1700. This will fix the AC/Navigation.

I asked them if the car was in otherwise sound condition. Would like to know if the car is in good shape and if there are other issues before ponying up ~half the value of the car for a repair. They do an inspection and now say there's an oil leak at the oil pump that'll cost $1800 to fix AND they recommend doing the 105k service for $1100 (timing). Car never left the dealer from going in for the AC, to me asking for the additional inspection. It's still sitting there now.

So total repair estimate right now is $4600.....

Would love any input/thoughts from you guys/gals. If you know someone in the SJ area that you can trust/recco - feel free to mention or PM me. From what I've read, it shouldn't cost $1800 to reseal oil pump if they are already doing the 105k service. I also haven't heard of the display going out (common problem) and needing more than a new board to fix it or the display/computer failing for the AC only.

Thanks in advance for any help. Just trying to help the Mother out from across the country.

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Old July 28th, 2016, 02:58 AM   #2
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I asked the wife if she wanted to go on a road trip to Grand Canyon and back. She said she'd rather go to Cancun and back.
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Old July 28th, 2016, 09:16 AM   #3
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Location: Dallas / Fort Worth
Posts: 54
It sounds like you are asking if itís time to get her something different, or should we try to fix her car and continue driving it.

I canít recommend someone close to her, but I can share my thoughts on this, and hope they help at some level.

$4600 is a lot to shell out, and it takes care of your immediate problems, but with most cars on the road, there is always something ready to break around the corner. If you decided to replace her car with something else, Iím guessing you would be looking at used to keep the price reasonable, will it be a pampered used car you bought, or did you buy someone else problems?

Factors to consider:
For San Jose, is she close to the ocean where salt in the air causes rust issues with her car? Considering she is at 98K miles, do you know if she kept up with the regular maintenance up to this point? Speaking of the mileage, you would need to consider 100K and 120K scheduled maintenance. I am combining both due to you are not close where you can pop in for a visit and handle this yourself on separate occasions.
Thread on 100K maintenance.
PDF link to the Honda document on this.

If you feel the car is not at its best, and would be too expensive to add more life to it, I wish you the all the best on finding something that is better for her.

If you feel itís worth keeping, I would suggest the following, and in this order for safety, reliability, and comfort.
  • Get the air bag switch fixed. Donít take shortcuts when it comes to safety systems
  • Have the 100K and 120K maintenance done on the car
  • Make sure brakes and tires, and brake fluid is all up to good standings
  • Make sure the battery is up to good standings
  • Do the 3x3 service on the transmission fluid
  • Change out the power steering fluid.
  • Fix the AC
  • Find a used factory radio with the code, and swap out her broken one.

This and keeping up with the oil changes and filter changes should give you years and years of reliability and comfort, that she can drive anywhere.
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