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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bought my first car which is a used 2010 EXL V6 with 70K miles on it. It drove smooth and hasn't got significant rust. Under the hood was cleaned well. All fluids(except power steering fluid) are at mid levels. Dealer's inspection report said everything was fine, except for tire tread related imbalance and so, I decided to buy it given that the used car market is crazy hot.
Upon reading more about cars I found that I should have looked at previous service records. Unfortunately the car was bought by then and when I look at the Carfax it doesn't show much of a maintenance/service history. I feel sad that I didn't really vet the Carfax thoroughly and just relied on personal inspection of the car.
TL;DR of history:
5/2010 - pre-delivery inspection and bought
6/2010 - 26mi - Dealer service ( vehicle washed/detailed ) and sold ( perhaps just a post dated update )
6/2011 - 3.5K - Third party service ( oil and filter changed, oil pan drain plug replaced )
8/11/2012 - 8K - same Third party service ( oil and filter changed, oil pan drain plug replaced )
8/28/2012 - 8.15K - Mini dealer serviced (Maintenance inspection completed, Engine checked, washed/detailed)
8/29/2012 - 8.2K - offered for sale at BMW showroom ( i guess the user traded off the car
9/2012 - 8.3K - 2nd user bought
5/2015 - ?? - NO Name. Serviced.
10/2018 - 26.7K - Dealer service. Recommended maintenance, Wiper, Tire repair
11/2018 - 28.2K - Dealer service. Battery checked.
11/2019 - ?? - 3rd user bought.
2/2021 - 57K - Third party service. Engine/powertrain computer/module checked.
12/2021 - ?? - Vehicle available at dealer for sale. pre-owned inspection completed with oil and gasket changes.
1/8/2022 - 71K - I, 4th user, bought it.


I'm the 4th user and going by the record of Carfax the 1st owner didn't even go to Honda dealer once for service and rather visited some 3rd party. Around 8K miles the car had its Engine checked and got sold on the same day. (Not sure if the dealer was doing a routine check before purchasing. But who would sell a brand new car in 2 years??). 2nd owner did one Honda maintenance after 3 years(2015) and one more around 28K miles in 2018. 3rd user looked cheap and undisciplined who drove 30K more miles without any Service at the Honda dealer. Only record I see is during 2019, around 58K miles, a Service ("Engine/Powertrain computer/module checked") done via some third party and sold the car in 11/2021 at 70K miles.
I found that V6 has Timing Belt and it had to be replaced at the earliest of 8 yrs / 100K miles. Surely prev owner didn't do this i guess, going by carfax, unless Engine module check includes Timing belt replacement too.

I would appreciate if you folks can gimme some tips like if i should buy an extended warranty or head to a dealer for doing a checkup. Or, should i proactively ask for timing belt replacement? I looked at upcoming minder code and it was A12. Location is Pacific NW and the vehicle history has been in the same location.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some service facilities don't report to Carfax, so it's possible that more services were done, and just not reported. Previous owners also may have done some DIY services, which would also not show on the record.

Having a mechanic look over the car is a good idea with any new-to-you car purchase, but I don't think you necessarily need to purchase any extra warranties (unless it makes you more comfortable to do so).

I would do the timing belt and water pump for peace of mind. Most of us here on the forum recommend Aisin brand, and make sure it's obtained from a reputable source (as in, NOT eBay or Amazon).
Thanks Ash!
How do we figure out if the timing belt was replaced or not? Can we ask a mechanic to figure this out? Also, do the dealers allow us to bring self bought parts? Sorry, first time car owner :( Does, OreillyAuto works?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First of all, welcome aboard. As a new owner of an 8th gen Accord, I'd strongly suggest taking the time to read through this thread. It should answer a good number of questions, and will be a great resource for you in the future:


Next, there are a lot of threads in this forum that will speak to your exact questions, so I won't go too far into detail here - you'll gain a lot of great information by searching and reading. That said, if I was in your shoes, I'd make sure all the fluid was changed proactively, and I'd do the timing belt/water pump/tensioner service proactively as well. In such a case, assume nothing has been done to this car, and proceed accordingly.

Good luck!
Thanks Derek!
Was going through the link as I write this. Lucky to find this forum and thanks everyone for such warming response :).
@WiiMaster @Ash051 @DerekWildstar i spoke to the honda dealer on phone and asked for the cost of replacing a timing belt. He said it would cost around $1515 and it would include timing belt, water pump, alternator, drive belts, tensioner (not sure if he mentioned this). I asked why would we need to replace an alternator and he said it's not needed but now that we are opening up, its good to replace one as the part is ~$100. Is this how this works? Does this cost sound genuine? Is there a way to reduce the costs? It was a phone quote, so do i need to get that in writing? Dealer allowed me to BYOP ( bring your own parts, i just coined it :p ) but also said that it would save me little amount but I would lose the 12 months / 12K miles work guarantee from Honda.
@Ash051 thanks for that "interference engine" key term, learnt quite a lot while reading. Been using public transport and Uber all my life and never had to worry about cars till now.
@WiiMaster thanks for the VCM post, read that and a great writeup. Need to figure out if there are some independent mechanics in my area ( Seattle ) who could do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Aisin kit from RockAuto or CARiD for timing belt.

Look into disabling VCM:
@WiiMaster is this is the product that is needed? AISIN® - Timing Belt Kit
Also, from the words of the service mechanic, from Honda dealer, these were the items he mentioned viz. timing belt, water pump, alternator, drive belts, tensioner (not sure if he mentioned this) . Now i'm not sure but apparently drive belts, tensioner are not part of the picture in the link. So, do i need to purchase them separately or just ask the mechanic to use Honda ones for the remaining parts? Sorry for asking more questions :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Welcome to DA lkHonda125! Ask all the questions you want! That's what we're all about. There's bound to be a good independent shop in Seattle that knows Japanese cars. Use Yelp for reviews, it's a great tool. I'd change all fluids, especially the automatic transmission fluid which many owners overlook. Check engine oil dipstick regularly, some 8th gen Accords consume oil. If you have the hood open, on the right of the engine is a dipstick for the transmission. If it's black, it's bad. Once you get all the initial work done, enjoy your ride! I've had mine for 10 years and it's been reliable and fun.
thanks for the warm welcome. I looked at the ATF and it was below the lower mark ( lower hole on the stick ). Haven't been able to get any dealer appointment in my area until 2 weeks later. Scary to drive with that situation. Thinking if i should just top it off with 1-2 quart by myself, without draining the existing liquid. Do you think its a good idea?

Since this is your first car I'll offer this advice. What you want to do is set a baseline for the maintenance that you're going to be doing to this car while you own it.
Right now, you don't really 'know' what that is. To set the baseline you want to do as much basic maintenance as you can to get the car to an 'as new' condition as possible. This means replacing all the fluids (coolant, oil, brake, transmission) so YOU know when they were done, no guessing. Replacing the timing belt will get that 'unknown' out of the way too. Replacing the serpentine belt eliminates it as an 'unknown' as well.
Once you 'know' when all these things have been done, then you can settle into a pleasurable Honda ownership period of just allowing the MM to tell you when you need things done.
I hope you've got it budgeted to do some maintenance to this car. Putting new brake pads on it and tires would complete the picture. It might even get a new battery to really complete the 'as new' conditioning.
If you were to attack this car in this manner I think you could look forward to a lot of years of carefree driving.
Good luck and post some pictures of your car!
Thanks for the detailed advice and i completely agree on it. This is the first time ever my family had owned a car, TBH. Everyone around me advised me to buy a new car, but i wanted to spend less as its a depreciating asset. I'm happy to spend for maintenance. Currently only thing i'm trying to figure out is to how to get a quality service at a reasonable price. So, understanding what needs to be done and what the mechanics and dealers quote. I believe finding this nitty-gritties are one off and would save decent amount of money over time.
Is it okay to undergo fluids change at valvoline or goodyear ( as they might not use the recommended fluids), as i'm unable to get a dealer appointment in near time?

Thanks for the detailed advice and i completely agree on it. This is the first time ever my family had owned a car, TBH. Everyone around me advised me to buy a new car, but i wanted to spend less as its a depreciating asset. I'm happy to spend for maintenance. Currently only thing i'm trying to figure out is to how to get a quality service at a reasonable price. So, understanding what needs to be done and what the mechanics and dealers quote. I believe finding this nitty-gritties are one off and would save decent amount of money over time.
Is it okay to undergo fluids change at valvoline or goodyear ( as they might not use the recommended fluids), as i'm unable to get a dealer appointment in near time?
I will post some pictures soon :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I would not go to a quick lube place like that. You also don't need to go to the dealership. Find a good independent shop in the area. They can take care of you.
I called an independent mechanic to find out the prices for fluids and this is what i got. Could you please help me to know if these are reasonably expected?

I asked about if they are going to use the OEM fluids and they said its not OEM but same factory made, didn't give me the brand ( i think i can get that if i ask one more time, but before that want to know if the prices are okay )

ATF - 170( drain and fill ), 360 ( opening the pan, filter )
Power Steering - 140
Oil - 70
Coolant - 40
Differential - 140
Washer - FREE
Break - 200

Totals $760

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Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Reasonable is an objective opinion. If living in a major metro area then yes, depending on the labor rate & if the shop goes by "book rate" or hourly rate for ea. job. I drive 25 min. to my mechanic which is outside my metro area. My friends won't do that so they end up paying much much more for the same services. You have to understand the mechanics logic, a simple trans. fluid d/f is easier to do on your car than an oil change but it costs more because it is transmission related. After having a fall out with my last mechanic (10 yrs. ago), it took me a couple months to find my present one. I probably went & talked to a dozen others. You could probably do the trans., PS, coolant yourself if just doing a d/f. Hondas use a certain type of PS & coolant fluids. My mechanic tried to get me on the "universal coolant" bandwagon.
I could do those fluids which do not require jacking up the car. Jacking up is a 1st time for me and i am yet to get tools and familiarity. Also, when someone says to find an independent mechanic what does that mean? I just picked some top google rated ones around my area. Looks like you do much more than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I would not go to a quick lube place like that. You also don't need to go to the dealership. Find a good independent shop in the area. They can take care of you.
Got a Oreilly premium ATF as shown below. Is it okay to just fill this in to the transmission, without draining the existing one? Having a hard time to get an appointment any time this week. Also below are the pictures showing ATF level and Oil levels. Dashboard does not show any warning sign levels when i drive. But when i just turn the key on ( without engine on ) i see Low Oil Lam Pressure indicator present. Thanks for your help. Im learning a lot from you folks, so happy :)
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FWIW, I personally would recommend insisting on OEM for power steering fluid. For ATF, Idemitsu is the manufacturer of the OEM fluid, so either OEM or Idemitsu is what I would recommend.

For coolant, as long as it's a blue coolant and not the universal green coolant, any brand should do.

I hope this mechanic isn't telling you to pay for differential fluid. If they are, maybe find a different one. The Accord doesn't have a differential.

Washer fluid is probably something you could do yourself. It's pretty much just opening the hood, opening the cap, and topping it off.

Brake fluid cost seems a bit high. I had my brake system flushed and the cost of the flush and the fluid was around $105.

Opening the pan is not something you do on these transmissions. Just a simple drain and fill.
Thanks. I will keep the brand info in mind and insist on that. Oh interesting! I actually thought probably the owners manual doesn't mention the differential fluid. The mechanic didn't even mention the brake fluid, when i asked for a quote on all fluids. I thought he was just having hard time, given this is 10 yr old model, and was taking it easy as it was just a phone call. I will try to find another mechanic. I will fill the easy ones myself. Asked for a quote for all to just see how much mechanics actually charge for them.

Since this is your first car I'll offer this advice. What you want to do is set a baseline for the maintenance that you're going to be doing to this car while you own it.
Right now, you don't really 'know' what that is. To set the baseline you want to do as much basic maintenance as you can to get the car to an 'as new' condition as possible. This means replacing all the fluids (coolant, oil, brake, transmission) so YOU know when they were done, no guessing. Replacing the timing belt will get that 'unknown' out of the way too. Replacing the serpentine belt eliminates it as an 'unknown' as well.
Once you 'know' when all these things have been done, then you can settle into a pleasurable Honda ownership period of just allowing the MM to tell you when you need things done.
I hope you've got it budgeted to do some maintenance to this car. Putting new brake pads on it and tires would complete the picture. It might even get a new battery to really complete the 'as new' conditioning.
If you were to attack this car in this manner I think you could look forward to a lot of years of carefree driving.
Good luck and post some pictures of your car!
updated the main thread with pictures of the car :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Nice looking car BUT it looks like you are 2 qts. low on the trans. fluid.
Thanks, will get 2 qts.

FWIW, I wouldn't use the O'Reilly ATF either.

ATF is cheap, a transmission repair is not. Splurge on a high quality ATF.

As for the oil lamp light, the dashboard lights are only a concern if they remain on when the engine is turned on. If you have the key in ignition positions that are not the full engine start position, then the dashboard lights will illuminate, that's normal.

Edit: judging by the color, your ATF looks on the newer side, so I think it should be okay to top off the transmission fluid. For how low your ATF is on the dipstick, you should probably do that right away, as driving on low ATF can damage the transmission.
Thanks. any suggestions other than Honda DW-1? Can't find that in any store near by. Local honda dealer ran out of it as well. Will try my luck in an other dealer 20 mi away, but really scared to drive with this low level ATF. So thinking just fill up with 1 Qt and later fill rest with the Honda one.

In March 2021, I bought my daughter a used 2010 V6. Before I bought the car I paid for the Carfax and looked at Honda.com with the VIN and searched the previous maintenance history. The previous owner replaced the timing belt. I knew my daughter would go to college out of state in August. Before she drove away to college I did a bunch of maintenance on the car.

I changed the oil & filter, air filter, wiper blades, spark plugs, drivebelt, ATF, all 7 rear bulbs, cabin filter, radiator hoses, coolant, rotated the tires, changed the front and rear brake pads, and changed the oil again. I also flushed the power steering fluid and bled the brakes. All of these items are fairly easy for a home mechanic to replace. I have not seen the car in 6 months and am optimistic it will not need anything other than oil changes and tire rotations for a while. The Honda J35 engine is very reliable if maintained properly.

Wow you took care of your daughter well. Nice of you!
Where did you find maintenance history on honda.com ? I tried searching on their website after you mentioned, but all that i could do is register my VIN with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
As you can see, you are being inandated with advice. I hope it's not spinning your head around. If you don't have your own mechanic and are not a DIY'er, the oil change places you mentioned will at least get your fluids where they need to be. They'd be a better choice than the sketchier quick-change places.

One note: You mentioned that one of the owners didn't do anything for 30K, describing them as undisciplined. You have to remember that many of us do the maintenance ourselves. Oil changes, ATF changes, spark plugs, brakes, etc. It's cheaper and gives us a chance to look for other issues ourselves. And of course DIY service won't show up on vehicle service reports.

Either way, the car looks good and has below-average mileage with no vehicle accidents. Those are big wins for you. Plus it's a Honda, so even better. Have fun!
Thanks, that makes sense. Yea, possible that carfax reporting didn't happen or the owner might have performed DIY. Wasn't aware of such things before. But given that the last service was at some random mechanic, its more probable that the owner might be indifferent. But anyways as you said the pros were obvious and hence i made a decision to buy in an hour.

+1 for Valvoline MaxLife. As big as I am on staying OEM, ensuring that the transmission has sufficient fluid is more important.

It's probably not the best idea to go mixing ATF, so what I would do would be to drain what's left in the transmission, and fill to the minimum line with the MaxLife. When DW-1 is available again, drain the MaxLife and refill with DW-1.
Thanks. I thought i can just refill without draining, at least 1-2 quart temporarily.

An Acura dealership will also carry DW-1. If you fill to the min. mark on the dipstick (lower hole) then you will still be a qt. low. What happens when mixing different brands of fluids is you change the viscosity & characteristics of the fluid. The Castrol transmax will give you firmer shifts as an example. 44,66,83,92% is what ea. drain / fill will give you for newer fluid, as the newer fluid in the pan will mix with the older degraded fluid locked up in the torque converter. So you are looking @ 4 changes that can get expensive if someone else is doing them - this thread - Transmission flush
until now i thought its just one drain and fill. The thread you linked mentions 4 times??? it costs $200 for 12 Qts of fluid alone. But the dealer quoted it for 170.. am i missing something? Ain't one drain/fill enough?
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Your transmission has about 3 qts. in the pan which you can access, the other 4 plus qts, are locked up in the torque converter. When you drive & lock up the tq is when the fluids mix together (old & new). When changing trans. fluid think in terms of dilution & not quantity. The dealer will do 1 d/f unless there is a shifting problem. It will take a case or 12 qts. to get to 92% newer fluid, ea. d/f has a diminishing return, the first 3 are the greatest "bang for the buck". You can stretch them out (drain / fills), some members do a d/f @ ea. oil change for 3 or 4 times in a row. When you have done 4 d/f's & established a "base line", then you only have to do 1 every 30K miles. So learning to do it yourself can save you a lot of money.
so my understanding is i have to do 4 d/f where each d/f needs 3 Qt. Is my understanding right? If i do one d/f now then when would i have to do the next 3 others, like any miles benchmark?
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
So I'm not OP, but I may have accidentally driven on green coolant for a year. Should I quickly change it next time I go out or would it be fine? It was just something I had on hand from other vehicles and did not know it would have an effect on engine health.
IMO, why take a risk. Fluids are cheaper than repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
Hi there,

Just saw your thread and figured I’d chime in. I just purchased my 09 V6 EX-L in September of last year, looks the same as yours, same color and everything. Beautiful car! Unfortunately, after three months I ran into the oil consumption issue that’s common on these cars. Luckily, I bought mine from a reputable honda dealer who stood behind the sale of the car and repaired the motor at no cost to me. They had to replace the piston rings on cylinders 1-3, spark plugs 1-4, drive belt, belt tensioner, and the various gaskets associated with that job. All that to say, check your oil often, if you’re having to add oil in between oil changes then this could be happening to your motor as well. This was a common issue that Honda USA issued an extended servic warranty to correct, unfortunately it was only valid for 8 years from original date of purchase.

Good luck!
wow you found a great dealer. I got this from a mazda dealer. Within 10 days i had the check engine light turn on. I felt really sad. Took to the honda dealer and got the timing belt related stuff changed and it took me 2 grand :( . Besides the P0430 was just reset and it popped back yesterday. I asked the honda dealer for a quote and they are charging me $1500 for a cat converter replacement after taxes. As the cat converter issue is not going to blow the car right away, i wil probably find an independent mechanic and get it done. What im wondering is how could i know all the parts that should be bought. There could be some things which might not be in the kit. Do the mechanics tell me what all needed to be bought? @WiiMaster @DIY Fan @KW2004Accord @Ash051 any suggestions?

Hi there,

Just saw your thread and figured I’d chime in. I just purchased my 09 V6 EX-L in September of last year, looks the same as yours, same color and everything. Beautiful car! Unfortunately, after three months I ran into the oil consumption issue that’s common on these cars. Luckily, I bought mine from a reputable honda dealer who stood behind the sale of the car and repaired the motor at no cost to me. They had to replace the piston rings on cylinders 1-3, spark plugs 1-4, drive belt, belt tensioner, and the various gaskets associated with that job. All that to say, check your oil often, if you’re having to add oil in between oil changes then this could be happening to your motor as well. This was a common issue that Honda USA issued an extended servic warranty to correct, unfortunately it was only valid for 8 years from original date of purchase.

Good luck!
What was the oil consumption issue like? I just saw oil level fal from 60% to 50% in 350 miles. I am not sure if Honda shows only 10% increments.
Did you also notice any issues in the drive?
what was your mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
The percent % is the remaining oil life. For example, if the car goes around 7000 miles between oil changes then every 700 miles it will decrease 10%. As far as cat parts, the cat itself is the most expensive piece. The rest are just clamps and bolts and those are pretty cheap. I have had good luck with Walker cats.
Thanks for the explanation. But what i don't know is if 10% fall for 350 miles is acceptable or is it indicating oil consumption issue?
walker cat is listed for ~$600 pretax on the rockauto. Is this price normal or just Covid supply effect?
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
The percent % means how much time is left until the next oil change is needed, assuming a constant number of miles driven per day or week. Percent % has nothing to do with the oil level except if an engine uses oil as its driven. $600 seems reasonable if its the bank1 or bank2 cat. Those are built into the exhaust manifold so you are paying for a combo manifold and cat.
The error code was P0430 for me... which was displaying the message.. "catalyst system efficiency below threshold bank 2"... do you know if this is front right, front left or rear cat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
The oil life % is not an oil level %. It is a measure of how worn out the oil is. Not affected at all by level. That's something you have to check yourself via the dipstick.

Bank 1 is the bank closest to the windshield, with cylinder 1 being the bank 1 cylinder closest to the passenger's side wheel and cylinder 3 being the one closest to the driver's side wheel with cylinder 2 in between them. Bank 2 is the other bank, with the cylinders being numbered 4 5 6 from passenger's side wheel to driver's side wheel.
sorry for being immature here... thanks for answering @WiiMaster @DIY Fan
Can you tell me if that means the bank 2 cat is front left or front right or front center in the picture?

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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Any updates after having the S-VCM on for over a month? I ordered mine yesterday so I’ve been looking for feedback from others who have installed it. MPG still awful?
I am not sure about the impact. The car has a new Cat + S-VCM installed. Mileage turns out to be 18 mpg. I am not sure about oil levels yet, but i can say that it hasn't dropped significantly to notice. I can't claim this benefit to be on the S-VCM either, as i don't know if this car was consuming oil before. However, the costs of having the S-VCM installed are like this: It's a $100 investment ( 2 yr life may be => $50 an year ) and the Mileage would be 3-5 miles drop per gallon which translates to ~$600 per year ( 10K mile annual driving range, $5 per gallon ), hence all adding upto $650 loss every year. This probably saves much more compared to the repair expenses. I wish I knew this so I could have stuck to 4 cylinder model.
 
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