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Need your input, about to buy! - Advice for a 6th gen purchase?

Hi everyone, I just found this forum yesterday because I'm in the market to buy a 6th gen accord. I just want to say that you guys have a really really GREAT forum here. I've been on here the past couple days reading everything, and I finally worked up the courage to post a question. Please keep in mind that i'm new to this whole car thing...

I'm a san francisco bay area native that graduated from college a few years back. I'm now headed to michigan for grad school, and I think it's time to leave my inherited brown 224k mile brown camry behind, not to mention that it probably wouldn't be able to make the drive over there. I have $5k-7k to spend on a car that will be able to last me through at least 5 years of grad school, and I've had an affinity for the 6th gen accords for some reason (especially the coupes).

Other than preferring a manual because of the tranny issues, do you guys have any advice for finding the right car? Dealer or craigslist? I'm looking on craigslist and it seems for that price I can get a ~90k mile car, which I'm not sure how great a deal that is. Is KBB a good source?

Thanks for the advice in advance, and I look forward to being a part of this forum when I get my new ride!



EDIT:

Thanks everyone for all the advice you guys have been giving me. I am leaving at the end of this week, so I'm hoping I can finally get my car by tomorrow. Here are (were) my options:

2001 Accord LX Coupe, 5spd - 58k miles
-clean title
-SOLD! The guy committed to selling the car for $6500 cash 15 minutes before I arrived for our appointment to look at/drive the car...

2001 Accord LX Coupe, 5spd - 87k miles
- clean title, 2 owners
- carfax: http://www.carfax.com/viewEmailReport.do?a=KqAXttQxDojahWT2SCZaURISb6%2F81lHlLuisG85Tf5KM0CcVc36YD9bDgDaCTSi3&language=en
- at least 2 new tires needed, timing belt needs to be done
- owner is very trustworthy, car has always been stock
- Will sell for $5400, KBB = $5900 'good' condition

2001 Prelude, 5spd, 76k miles
- clean title, 3 owners
- carfax: http://www.carfax.com/viewEmailReport.do?a=Ji0pwxxNGKRNha6lvj%2FnItIwYFinyQN3LuisG85Tf5KM0CcVc36YD9bDgDaCTSi3&language=en
- there's the craigslist ad: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/cto/1897477451.html
- The one things that bother me about this car is the # of owners, and the fact that preludes are commonly modded/raced. 'CAP/Rotor Repaired' and 'Failed Emissions' on carfax... does this mean it was probably modded and/or driven pretty hard?
- haven't checked out the car, seeing it tomorrow to test drive, test at mechanic, etc.
- Selling for $6800, KBB = $8480 'good' condition


Would appreciate your advice before I commit tomorrow! If I go for the prelude, would I need to find a new forum?

Victor
 

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CAN I BUY YOUR REAR LIP??
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Hi everyone, I just found this forum yesterday because I'm in the market to buy a 6th gen accord. I just want to say that you guys have a really really GREAT forum here. I've been on here the past couple days reading everything, and I finally worked up the courage to post a question. Please keep in mind that i'm new to this whole car thing...

I'm a san francisco bay area native that graduated from college a few years back. I'm now headed to michigan for grad school, and I think it's time to leave my inherited brown 224k mile brown camry behind, not to mention that it probably wouldn't be able to make the drive over there. I have $5k-7k to spend on a car that will be able to last me through at least 5 years of grad school, and I've had an affinity for the 6th gen accords for some reason (especially the coupes).

Other than preferring a manual because of the tranny issues, do you guys have any advice for finding the right car? Dealer or craigslist? I'm looking on craigslist and it seems for that price I can get a ~90k mile car, which I'm not sure how great a deal that is. Is KBB a good source?

Thanks for the advice in advance, and I look forward to being a part of this forum when I get my new ride!


Victor
Let me be the first to welcome you!! Now if I were in your position I would definately try to find a 5pd manual coupe. My dad got mine on impulse from craigslist. If you have that much money, I would highly suggest picking up an RSX with a 5spd and boosting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure if I have the money for an RSX. The manual coupe is definitely my first choice. I've also been thinking about getting a prelude. thoughts on that car?
 

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Make sure the timing belt service has been done. Its due every 7yrs/105k. The pcv valve should be replaced at this time also with an oem one. Failure to replace can turn the engine into an oil burner.

Great choice with the 5mt coupe!
 

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CAN I BUY YOUR REAR LIP??
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I'm not sure if I have the money for an RSX. The manual coupe is definitely my first choice. I've also been thinking about getting a prelude. thoughts on that car?
I work in the internet sales dept. of an auto group here in Milwaukee. I've seen RSX 5spd coupes easily go for 6500-8000. They really are pretty inexpensive these days. We just sold an 03 G35 for 6800. Fast cars are starting to come alot cheaper. The biggest downfall to 6th gen accords is the difficulty in making power, not to mention how expensive it is to do so. The 5spd prelude would be an excellent choice for modding since is has the H22 (right?). But If I were you and were planning to mod, the K24 in the RSX is legendary and brand name parts are just a stone's throw away.
 

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the 5MT is only available with the I4, not the v6. just FYI if you hadn't come across that bit of info yet. If for some reason you come across a v6 6MT, then the MT was a swap as the v6 only came as ATs from factory.

regardless of the car being an I4 (if AT) or v6, these cars are prone to having transmission issues. Check out the SAGA thread if you haven't yet to learn on methods of improving the transmission's life and performance.

oh, and welcome aboard! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice, everyone. Esp with the timing belt, i'm finding that a lot of people are selling their cars at ~100k and leaving the timing belt to be done by the next owner. Helps me knock off a couple/few hundered off the price when we're negotiating.

Anyway, i looked at two preludes today: 1 manual, 1 automatic. The automatic had a clean record, and the owner seemed trustworthy, although i'm not sure if it's worth getting a prelude if it's automatic. MIGHT be able to get it for $5500.

The shadier experience was with the manual car, though. Drove well, but a few things gave me reservations. Salvage title, $1200 below KBB and willing to go $300-$400 lower. The owner was 5th owner, and worked at a body shop, so it was nice and detailed. Told me salvage title was due to theft of bumper, etc., but he was so anxious to get it off his hands that I didn't know what to think. Opinions?

Going to go see a 87k 5spd 2001 LX accord coupe tomorrow. Clean title and everything. I'd prefer silver over black, but we'll see how it goes? He's asking $6000.

Update you guys with more later!

Victor
 

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CAN I BUY YOUR REAR LIP??
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. Esp with the timing belt, i'm finding that a lot of people are selling their cars at ~100k and leaving the timing belt to be done by the next owner. Helps me knock off a couple/few hundered off the price when we're negotiating.

Anyway, i looked at two preludes today: 1 manual, 1 automatic. The automatic had a clean record, and the owner seemed trustworthy, although i'm not sure if it's worth getting a prelude if it's automatic. MIGHT be able to get it for $5500.

The shadier experience was with the manual car, though. Drove well, but a few things gave me reservations. Salvage title, $1200 below KBB and willing to go $300-$400 lower. The owner was 5th owner, and worked at a body shop, so it was nice and detailed. Told me salvage title was due to theft of bumper, etc., but he was so anxious to get it off his hands that I didn't know what to think. Opinions?

Going to go see a 87k 5spd 2001 LX accord coupe tomorrow. Clean title and everything. I'd prefer silver over black, but we'll see how it goes? He's asking $6000.

Update you guys with more later!

Victor
That accord is it!!!! Thats the exact trim and mileage I would kill to own. You won't regret it.
 

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@ OP: the prelude owner with the salvage title, i'd stay away from him. whatever he's trying to do is quite shady just from what you posted up here to us. stay away from that one like i said.

That accord is it!!!! Thats the exact trim and mileage I would kill to own. You won't regret it.
you'd prefer an i4 LX over your v6 EX?
 

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The devil is in the details

Look at the car. Car with 5 owners - i would pass on that.

First thing my friends told me when i started to shop for used car:
People don't sell good cars, they drive them. People sell headaches.

Maybe not 100% true but this is attitude you should have buying used car.

See how it was maintained. at this price point nobody will be trying to restore the car. So if you see something that is all stock, clean on the inside and low mileage get down their number. Make sure good mechanic checks it out.

Don't let seller or dealer pressure you. I know it's hard but it will pay off later.

i just got my 1999 accord 4cyl, 5mt, under 80k. Didn't have a chance to see my mechanic at the time of the purchase so i was taking a chance.

This chance will cost me about 1k over the next year, mostly maintenance items. Timing belt, tires, AC compressor, and someday clutch (knock on wood works fine now) but it's $800 some day.


Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just got back taking a look at that 2001 LX Accord. Everything looks fine. 87000 miles. A few chips in the paint here and there. Two rear tires need to be changed. Other than that, clutch seems pretty good. Timing belt will need to be changed at ~100k. KBB value is $5900 for a 'good' vehicle, $5100 for 'fair'. This guy seems pretty by the book in terms of prices. I'm going to take the car in to a mechanic to get it checked out as soon as I can.

Question is, how much should I offer for this vehicle? I don't think I'm the only guy taking a look at the car. Should the fact that the timing belt needs to be changed in 10-20k miles factor in to the price? I think the tires definitely will.

I was thinking of offering $5500-$5700. I don't want to spend much more than that though. And, of course, other people will be offering him as well.
 

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CAN I BUY YOUR REAR LIP??
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you'd prefer an i4 LX over your v6 EX?
Definately. I was drifting (sliding. [email protected] FWD.) sometime last year in Will's LX 4cyl sedan and I was blown away at how nimble and lightweight it felt. Plus modding is much much easier on the wallet for a 4cyl. take headers and exhaust for example. lol. 4-2-1 are twice as expensive as 6-2-1. And boosting the F23 is more efficient than boosting the J30 as well, since you don't have to do the 6spd swap and other reasons.

oh and OP, I'd offer 5600 for it.
 

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i wouldn't offer more then $5000 but you sound like you got your mind set on this car.
Because when you will finish maintenance the car will be $6k.
Tires better be changed all at once (at least 400$),

I think timing belt also has time limit (85k or 8 years or something like that, I'm sure i saw schedule on this site), so it's better change now then be sorry later. And i would also keep contingency fund in mind (15% of the purchase price) for things that might go wrong without warning. How old is the battery? Stuff like that, you know...

Read this http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/27/anchoring-effect/
it might help you to negotiate a little better.

and if it had sunroof, make sure it's not leaking. Common problem on Accords.
See repairpal.com to check the problem spots of this accord.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i wouldn't offer more then $5000 but you sound like you got your mind set on this car.
Because when you will finish maintenance the car will be $6k.
Tires better be changed all at once (at least 400$),

I think timing belt also has time limit (85k or 8 years or something like that, I'm sure i saw schedule on this site), so it's better change now then be sorry later. And i would also keep contingency fund in mind (15% of the purchase price) for things that might go wrong without warning. How old is the battery? Stuff like that, you know...

Read this http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/27/anchoring-effect/
it might help you to negotiate a little better.

and if it had sunroof, make sure it's not leaking. Common problem on Accords.
See repairpal.com to check the problem spots of this accord.

Good stuff on the link. The guy's basically going with the straight KBB value ($5900). In reality though, he could drive the car 15k more miles, and change the timing belt, tires, and water pump ($1500), and only get a $5300 KBB value. That's a $2100 differential (40% of the car's worth) just for driving it 15k miles.

The KBB value is a good place to start from, but because it's (probably) formula-based, it's far from exact in telling you how much you should pay for the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also, anyone of you guys want to chime in on the maintenance that needs to get done on this accord, and how much it's gonna cost?

Right now the car is at 87k miles. All I know is the timing belt, water pump at around 100,000 mies. That will set me back ~$1000?
 

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$1000 for a timing belt, tensioners, water pump, accessory belts, etc is a good budget number. You can probably get it done for less if you shop arround, but make sure the shop has experience on Hondas.
Can the seller provide maintenance records? That would be a plus. Have the brakes been done recently? Coolant changed and what was used?
 

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Maintenance Prices

The best place to get prices for maintenance and repairs is http://repairpal.com.

I got lucky and my mechanic charges pretty low according to the website estimates.

Also depends if car was maintained by the book, by dealer (that's why records are so important when buying the car). If done by the book it will probably have half of the car changed. Belts, shocks, clutch... etc

Most people, including my mechanic :), suggest driving the car until something fails or about to fail. For this very reason, when i asked him to quote me on timing belt he said he can do it for about $300, without water pump... When i asked about water pump, he said that he's own car still has original water pump at 200k miles.

I probably will do the pump while having timing best done. It might be extra 200$ but worth peace of mind.

While we want our car to be flawless, most of the time car parts will outlive time period we are going to own the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm about to make a decision guys, would appreciate your input. I updated the original post!
 

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Look at the car. Car with 5 owners - i would pass on that.

First thing my friends told me when i started to shop for used car:
People don't sell good cars, they drive them. People sell headaches.

Maybe not 100% true but this is attitude you should have buying used car.

See how it was maintained. at this price point nobody will be trying to restore the car. So if you see something that is all stock, clean on the inside and low mileage get down their number. Make sure good mechanic checks it out.

Don't let seller or dealer pressure you. I know it's hard but it will pay off later.

i just got my 1999 accord 4cyl, 5mt, under 80k. Didn't have a chance to see my mechanic at the time of the purchase so i was taking a chance.

This chance will cost me about 1k over the next year, mostly maintenance items. Timing belt, tires, AC compressor, and someday clutch (knock on wood works fine now) but it's $800 some day.


Good Luck
I'm not disagreeing with you but...
I've only owned used cars. Typically, I buy them at around 100K on them. I've not had any lemons, but most people, do maintenance only, when they get towed off the road. So it up to me when I buy it...

However, if I bought, say, a 7Gen (my favorite), I'd sell my 6th. I'm nutty-crazy, on good maintenance. I suspect there are other crazy people like me out there. My car currently would be a grate car, if I was selling it (and I'm not). I always have to bring a (new to me) car I buy, up to my standards. The only way to know somethings been done, is to do it your self...

Good luck...
 
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