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Hi All,

I'm in the market for a dependable daily driver for commuting back and forth to work. In my area the 1998 Accord seems to be in my price range.

I'm not terribly familiar with the car so I thought I'd see if I could get some advice on what to look for when test driving. I did a search and so far it seems as though the biggest issue with this generation is the transmission.

So with that, what sort of questions should I ask regarding the transmission or other parts? What red flags should I be on the look out for?

Thanks in advance!
 

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The auto transmissions with the high failure rate were the ones paired with the V6 engine. If you're looking at a 4 cylinder with an auto transmission, the failure rate on these 6th generation (1998-2002) Accords were minimal.

What to look for as far as the transmission goes?
  • Take it on a test drive (street and freeway) and see how smooth the transmission shifts going in and out of each gear. The longer the test drive the better.
  • See if the owner/previous owners have any maintenance records for the car. Sometimes service records will show up on a Carfax or AutoCheck report.
  • Check the color/condition of the transmission fluid. Has it ever been changed? Fresh clean ATF is reddish in color. If it's brown or darker... beware.

If you don't know what to look for or are unsure, ask a friend/family member who's knowledgeable to go with you or take it to a mechanic (preferably one you trust) to inspect the car (will cost $50-$100).

Other things to look for? Watch and follow his videos (there are 4 parts):

 

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Bring the car to a shop and let them do a once over that way you'll know what your getting into. Also use any needed repairs as a bargining tool.
 

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In addition to what people above said, inspect for motor mount cracks, oil seal leaks, brake & PS fluid conditions as people often forget to ever change these, alignment and any vibrations at different speeds.
 

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Hopefully you see this xD
-If you get a manual, the clutch is probably going to be shot.
-While your looking, make sure all VIN numbers match (door, hood, trunk). You can usually lower the price quite a bit if you bring up they don't match. Different numbers typically mean the car was in a wreck, and can lead to leaks.
-If the car looks lowered and you don't want it lowered, ask if the springs are cut or if they used coilovers. You can raise it a bit with the coilovers.

Just things I looked for when I got my Accord.
 
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