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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had this vehicle since last 15.5 years and now have to decide if I continue to repair it or if it is time to retire it and move on.

Need your help and thoughts.

I currently have 169,500 miles on it. It is a US model and now being used in Toronto, Canada since 2006.
EX-4 Cylinder.

I last changed the timing belt, water pump, power steering belt, 2 other belts and coolant in May 2005 at Schaller Honda in New Britain, CT. This was done at 69,400 miles and I paid $560 at that time.

I have now driven 100k miles since then and time wise it is nearing 9 years.

I have maintained detailed records and my yearly maintenance costs since 1998 to 2014 have been $265, $100, $410, $380, $330, $00, $1430, $1453, $264, $500, $1045, $1582, $1480, $925, $617, $113.

So if you lost track, I have spent $11400 over 15.5 years, about $710 per year !! This includes a 2010 purchase of 4 winter tires on rims costing $745 so not purely engine related.

Car runs fine, has been showing P0420 code pointing to cat converter since about 2006. I have already changed O2 sensors, code went away for few days and came back. I have had an OBD code reader and keep clearing it and it goes away and does not come back sometimes for few weeks, some times for few months. So I have given up on my trying to fix it thinking it is an internal computer issue and since the car is old, what else can I do, if it dies, it dies.

I recently went to buy a new car (2014 Nissan Versa Note) and tryed to trade in. After the dealer offered only $500 and not the $1500 that I hoping to get, I decided to walk away and not buy the new car.

I am going to try to sell it privately, but not very optimistic. Waiting for the crazy winter weather to improve a bit to wash the car and keep it that way for few days, so that it looks presentable.

I am now in split minds whether I pour in $800 or so that my local mechanic is asking to replace the timing belt, water pump and some other belts.

If I dump the car soon enough, then this additional repair will go waste. But if I keep driving it, god knows what more repairs will come.

I have already replaced sway link bars(front and rear), front ball joints, spark plugs, distributor rotor and cap, rear passenger right wheel hub assembly.

So have done lot of things besides the usual brakes, tires, rotors and brake pads that have to be done at regular frequency. I most likely have to replace or resurface rear rotors sometime soon.

I really like the way this car drives even after 15 years, but all articles I read on new car buying say it is time to replace one when the yearly maintenance cost exceeds what the car is worth.

Thing is the Nissan Versa Note has only 109hp engine was not that fun to drive. Just liked the large interior space for second row and good fuel economy, but it was just not a wow car to drive. Plus was not very happy to go from $0 monthly payment to a $480 per month payment.

If I pour $1500 more in repairs which include changing the timing belt and the car runs fine for a year, then it would be worth it.

I am scared of the belt braking while driving on a highway (I drive about 17 miles one way to work, 3 days a week) and the car grinding to a halt. I don't care if the engine damages as the car is then done, just that it not stop immediately or slow down suddenly and a crash happens.

I also have a 2006 Honda Odyssey that I brought used in 2010 and has only 88k Km on it. My wife uses it as a second car and right now she is not working. My other option is to use that for daily commute and leave the Accord at home as backup and local drives.

I know it is a long story, but where else to get opinion that other 6th Gen owners. How far(miles and years) have others pulled a 1998 Accord in general and also since last timing belt change ?
 

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Each car is going to be different even if it's the same make, model, and year, what's against your car now is the CEL, you know it won't pass the new emission test in Ontario which reads the OBD-II codes.

I would say just keep driving it until it is done, or sell it privately "as is", and hope the CEL light is not on at the time of the transaction, how much you can get will depend on how much brake is left, is it rusty, is there crack(s) in the windshield, are the tires in reasonable condition.

Kijiji and Autotrader are your best bets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cleared Emission test twice since I have been getting that P0420 code. Last time was in May 2013 and it passed without any issues, which indicates to me that code is a bogus one as the chemical composition coming out of the tail pipe would change if the cat convertor was really bad, regardless of what the CEL light says....atleast that is how I understood.

I am already trying to sell it privately to see what I can get.
No rusts, some paint is fading on the roof. Brakes and tires are in good shape and will be for some more time. Windshield is fine.

So hoping I get some decent cash if it sells or it goes back for a trade-in. Instead of Versa, I am thinking of test driving a 2014 Civic and see if the Honda dealer will give any better trade in value. Not sure if having a miles odo in Canada will be a big negative.

Each car is going to be different even if it's the same make, model, and year, what's against your car now is the CEL, you know it won't pass the new emission test in Ontario which reads the OBD-II codes.

I would say just keep driving it until it is done, or sell it privately "as is", and hope the CEL light is not on at the time of the transaction, how much you can get will depend on how much brake is left, is it rusty, is there crack(s) in the windshield, are the tires in reasonable condition.

Kijiji and Autotrader are your best bets.
 

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Keep in mind this is the slow season of the year, people are trying to pay off their Christmas shopping bills, buying cars is just about the last thing people think about, so it's a good time for car shopping.

That said, at this point any mainstream dealership taking your car in for a trade will just flip it to a whole-seller, no dealership is (likely) going to spend any time or effort selling a 15-16 year old Accord with over 270,000 km on the odometer.

In any case, spend some elbow grease to clean the car inside out really, really well, that will add to the value of the car in the eyes of perspective buyers, regardless if it's private sale or dealer trade in, the cleaner it is, the more money it will fetch you.
 

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I sell many of my extended family members' cars and most are Civics and Accords. When I show detailed, well-kept maintenance records, a clean Honda, and a truthful list of all faults, it sells and I get top dollar because it is a Honda.

Lots of mechanics can do your timing belt job in their sleep and re-sell the car for a quick profit. I have also known a few older Accords to still have the same timing belt at 150,000 miles.
 

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Since you have already replaced the ball joints and the anti-sway bars you might as will replace the timing belt and water pump as long as the car is passing the emission test. Have you had a compression check and is it using a lot of oil? If the engine and transmission are sound keep driving the car. My 2000 Accord has a 160,000 miles and my son drives it to work and school. I am planning on doing the timing belt next year as long as the suspension is still good. The engine uses no oil and the transmission was replaced by Honda at 93,000 miles.
 

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If you were even remotely close to me (California), I'd buy the car from you as is for $2,000, pour about a grand on it to get it up to speed, and make it run another several years at least. I love this generation cars for their relative simplicity and reliability. I am extremely biased, but am a believer in the two 6th generations and six other Honda models my family currently own.

My experience with two, 6th generation Hondas:

1999 DX, 4 cylinder, 310,000 miles, still in the family. My dad bought it new and maintained it well until he recently gave it to another family member. He is sitting next to me right now and I just asked about his timing belts. He said he changed them at 95,000 and 195,000 miles. This car still runs great. I've done work on his car the past several years and before that my dad was excellent at maintaining it by taking it to garages and paying for services. Transmission is still original and works great. The catalytic converter has only been replaced once, and that was just last year. Alternator, power steering pump, and distributor are still original.

1998 EX 4 cylinder, 172,000 miles, owned by me. Runs great for a 15 year old car. I've done everything on it myself as much as I can and have saved tons of money since ownership in 2006. My goal is to take it to the ground and get at least 250,000 miles out of it. I only drive about 10-12,000 miles a year, so maybe I'll come visit you in Canada every month and get to my goal sooner.

I can't blame you for "dumping" your beloved car given your circumstances. I commend you for keeping excellent maintenance records and as RickBlaine mentioned, it's a good selling point. I keep extremely detailed records of everything I do on my car, and even have maintained all my gas receipts along with my mpg written on them since 2006 as a way measuring the general health of the car. At best, my '98 Honda was getting 35.5 mpg of straight highway driving, at worse, 30.2 mpg. Some new car owners look at me sideways when they hear that. Since ownership, I have spent a total of $3,204 in seven years, which is an average of $427 a year, and I'm even including two sets of tires in the total amount spent even though you'd do that on any car.

Best of luck in selling it. You've had some great years with your '98 so don't look back. It's something to be proud of. You owned the car as much as my dad and your story struck a cord with me. So thanks for sharing.

By the way, my dad is yelling in the background, "Don't sell it!" :) Go to bed, Dad! Sorry, he gets out of hand at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Since you have already replaced the ball joints and the anti-sway bars you might as will replace the timing belt and water pump as long as the car is passing the emission test. Have you had a compression check and is it using a lot of oil? If the engine and transmission are sound keep driving the car. My 2000 Accord has a 160,000 miles and my son drives it to work and school. I am planning on doing the timing belt next year as long as the suspension is still good. The engine uses no oil and the transmission was replaced by Honda at 93,000 miles.
Only once in the last 8 months did it eat up oil and went bone dry sooner than it normally did. Since then I promptly get the oil change done at 3,100 miles or 5,000 km, instead of the normal 7,500 miles as we have to follow the Severe schedule here. Just did an oil change yesterday at this frequency and I always ask the mechanic to let me know if there was any oil left, so that I get some idea if it is an ongoing issue.
Will ask my mechanic about this Compression check ? What do they do in this and what does it let you know ?

Transmission seems fine as when I drive it, gears change fine just like they did when the car was new.
I sometimes feel like the engine is not reving up at a normal speed when coming to a stop and almost feels like the engine might shut off. I have to ask my mechanic next time...issue is if we cannot replicate the problem, he won't know what to do. I assumed this might related to the on and off P0420 code that I keep getting as it is Cat convertor related.

If you were even remotely close to me (California), I'd buy the car from you as is for $2,000, pour about a grand on it to get it up to speed, and make it run another several years at least. I love this generation cars for their relative simplicity and reliability. I am extremely biased, but am a believer in the two 6th generations and six other Honda models my family currently own.

My experience with two, 6th generation Hondas:

1999 DX, 4 cylinder, 310,000 miles, still in the family. My dad bought it new and maintained it well until he recently gave it to another family member. He is sitting next to me right now and I just asked about his timing belts. He said he changed them at 95,000 and 195,000 miles. This car still runs great. I've done work on his car the past several years and before that my dad was excellent at maintaining it by taking it to garages and paying for services. Transmission is still original and works great. The catalytic converter has only been replaced once, and that was just last year. Alternator, power steering pump, and distributor are still original.

1998 EX 4 cylinder, 172,000 miles, owned by me. Runs great for a 15 year old car. I've done everything on it myself as much as I can and have saved tons of money since ownership in 2006. My goal is to take it to the ground and get at least 250,000 miles out of it. I only drive about 10-12,000 miles a year, so maybe I'll come visit you in Canada every month and get to my goal sooner.

I can't blame you for "dumping" your beloved car given your circumstances. I commend you for keeping excellent maintenance records and as RickBlaine mentioned, it's a good selling point. I keep extremely detailed records of everything I do on my car, and even have maintained all my gas receipts along with my mpg written on them since 2006 as a way measuring the general health of the car. At best, my '98 Honda was getting 35.5 mpg of straight highway driving, at worse, 30.2 mpg. Some new car owners look at me sideways when they hear that. Since ownership, I have spent a total of $3,204 in seven years, which is an average of $427 a year, and I'm even including two sets of tires in the total amount spent even though you'd do that on any car.

Best of luck in selling it. You've had some great years with your '98 so don't look back. It's something to be proud of. You owned the car as much as my dad and your story struck a cord with me. So thanks for sharing.

By the way, my dad is yelling in the background, "Don't sell it!" :) Go to bed, Dad! Sorry, he gets out of hand at times.
Hi Smurf,

Good to hear someone with a car just like mine and with similar mileage !!

I couldn't have brought my car, but I was in Fremont just past December :)

I have listed it for private sale, lets see how it goes. I am hesitant to give the detailed records to the buyer simply because I think someone buying a car this old will probably not care or expect it to be in top shape. Plus the problem with CEL coming on and off might scare them away. But if they show interest, I will give it to them. They must be someone that can work on the car by themselves to save on the labour cost and either use it themselves or sell it for profit.

The other issue I have is with my 2006 Honda Odyssey which I purchased used in 2010 April and so have had it for only 4 years. Since I mostly used Accord and Odyssey was a second car not driven regularly to work and just on weekends, it only has 88,000 km on it. I got it as 53,000 km.
And per maintenance guide, that is also due for a timing belt at 168k km or 7 years and it will be 8 year old in May this year. That is a whopping $1000 repair bill. But as that is my backup vehicle, might have to pony that up soon and get it done.
That by the way is a great mini-van and fun to drive.

So with these costly timing belt repair experience, I now always ask new vehicle salesman if the car has belt or chain and all of them have said chain (Kia, Hyundai, Mazda). So looks like new cars don't use belts anymore.

What angers me is that Honda never gives any good pricing or financing for existing owners. When all the Kias and Hynundais have 0% finance offers for 48 to 60 months, Honda Canada here has 2.99% for any type of Customer. Seems arrogant to me that they would do that as they know they have a good brand. Atleast cut some slack to your loyal Customers who are using two of your vehicles. Which is why I only briefly looked at CR-V and did not like it.
The Honda salesman is convincing me to come back and look at a Civic, so might go there and see what value they give for my Accord trade-in.
 

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What a small world! Had I known you were down here I would have seriously bought your car and promptly worked on finding a solution to get rid of the check engine light! My dad is cringing at our missed opportunity. :( I'm not familiar with the Odessey's, but my ex and I bought a Pilot in 2001 and she kept it in the divorce and it's still running great. I miss it. The Pilot, not her. It must have 250,000 miles on it by now. The car, and her. Love them Hondas. Not her.

~~Honda Civic: two in the family. Pretty cars with ALL the bells and whistles and great gas mileage. But my '98 still runs smoother/quieter than both of them. Hope you fit in it and I hope you won't drive too much in the mountains.

~~Trade in at the dealer will yield you a whopping $500 for the car. If they offer more they'll figure out a way of getting the difference out of you (usually by selling you an add-on you didn't originally want). I'd hold my guns on selling it privately.

~~You really have my dad stirred up this morning. Thanks a lot. He wants to buy your car, actually, as I do. Just curious, what color is it? His was/is the original tan with no paint peeling at all. Mine was forest green and peeled horribly until I had it painted smurf blue fours years ago. In fact, I paid $600 for the the paint job and included it in my $3,204 figure I spent in maintenance since my ownership.

~I just kelly blue booked your car for a private sale: from fair to good to very good to excellent: $2,484, $2,908, $3,008, and $3,258. Wow. Not bad for owning your car 15.5 years.

Best of luck!
 

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I know how you feel! I have a 99 accord F23A1. It has served me well. 217K rite now. I am also in the same situation as you. My repair bill is more extensive than yours, even doing a lot if the work myself. My transmission gave our several years ago...$1850! A/C went out $1350! Last week it was a crank position sensor...$915, and that doesn't count for $400 i spent on tune up and a new fuel pump 2 weeks before...it is very expensive to continue to maintain an old car. I believe I am soon to trade out of the ole honda, and I urge you to do the same. Just make sure you look good at your next car cause at today's prices...we may have to drive them for 25 years + to get a return on our investment. I am looking in a total different direction myself...Mustang GT! I am tired of throwing hard earned cash at a old car, it's time for a trade in for me...good luck, but I recommend you a new car!
 

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I am driving a 1998 Accord DX 4-cylinder manual. I just picked it up September 1012 with 149,000kms on it. Now there is 201k.

Since buying the accord it has had new brake and fuel lines put in, new battery, new headlights, new ignition switch, new spark plugs and a tune up done. I did the battery, headlights and spark plugs. The rest was done by a mechanic. I also picked up winter tires on rims from Kijiji for this winter. Oil changes every 5000km.

Luckily it has been driving very well and hasn't been in the garage since the summer (brake and fuel line).

Upcoming it needs the passenger side K-Frame replaced.

It was having some rough starts in the fall but I ran several tanks of 91 Octane through it and it fixed 'er up.

I also test drove new Civics. It was a moment of weakness. I didn't tell me 98 Accord what I had in mind as I was embarrassed afterwards.

For the price of a new car I can keep repairing the Accord and still come out ahead. Paying $20,000+ out over 5 years and then that new car likely needing repairs isn't an option for me now. I also doubt that the fuel economy difference will really see much savings either.

Your best two options may be:

1.Keep your Accord

2. Sell your accord and buy a newer sixth gen with less miles on it. You could likely get 1-2k for your car and buy a newer one for $1500-3000
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What a small world! Had I known you were down here I would have seriously bought your car and promptly worked on finding a solution to get rid of the check engine light! My dad is cringing at our missed opportunity. :( I'm not familiar with the Odessey's, but my ex and I bought a Pilot in 2001 and she kept it in the divorce and it's still running great. I miss it. The Pilot, not her. It must have 250,000 miles on it by now. The car, and her. Love them Hondas. Not her.

~~Honda Civic: two in the family. Pretty cars with ALL the bells and whistles and great gas mileage. But my '98 still runs smoother/quieter than both of them. Hope you fit in it and I hope you won't drive too much in the mountains.

~~Trade in at the dealer will yield you a whopping $500 for the car. If they offer more they'll figure out a way of getting the difference out of you (usually by selling you an add-on you didn't originally want). I'd hold my guns on selling it privately.

~~You really have my dad stirred up this morning. Thanks a lot. He wants to buy your car, actually, as I do. Just curious, what color is it? His was/is the original tan with no paint peeling at all. Mine was forest green and peeled horribly until I had it painted smurf blue fours years ago. In fact, I paid $600 for the the paint job and included it in my $3,204 figure I spent in maintenance since my ownership.

~I just kelly blue booked your car for a private sale: from fair to good to very good to excellent: $2,484, $2,908, $3,008, and $3,258. Wow. Not bad for owning your car 15.5 years.

Best of luck!
Yes, I looked at KBB and based on what others were pricing, I priced mine in that range.

Not sure if they allow posting links to my cars advt. and photo, but here it is. It is Black in color.

http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Honda/Accord/SCARBOROUGH/Ontario/19_7789449_/?showcpo=ShowCPO

Good to hear from other Accord owners !!
 

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Yes, I looked at KBB and based on what others were pricing, I priced mine in that range.

Not sure if they allow posting links to my cars advt. and photo, but here it is. It is Black in color.

http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Honda/Accord/SCARBOROUGH/Ontario/19_7789449_/?showcpo=ShowCPO

Good to hear from other Accord owners !!
Still sad to see your car go, but your 15.5 years of ownership is very inspiring. I'm only half way there. Great ad! Splitting hairs, but I chuckled at your city/hwy mpgs--if they are accurate, yours is the first car I know that drives better in the city. :):

"-EPA Fuel Economy of 23MPG on Hwy and 30Mpg in City
-EPA Fuel Economy of 7.8 ltr /100 km Hwy and 10 ltr / 100 km City"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Still sad to see your car go, but your 15.5 years of ownership is very inspiring. I'm only half way there. Great ad! Splitting hairs, but I chuckled at your city/hwy mpgs--if they are accurate, yours is the first car I know that drives better in the city. :):

"-EPA Fuel Economy of 23MPG on Hwy and 30Mpg in City
-EPA Fuel Economy of 7.8 ltr /100 km Hwy and 10 ltr / 100 km City"
Good catch, that is wrong.
You know I was trying to figure out the numbers for the Canadian market. Here they make it harder to get per litre economy as they mention everything here per 100 km while in US it is per Gallon.
 
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