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Pilot without a plane
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm starting a thread to document the push to get our Accord to one million miles and beyond. My wife bought our Accord at Pensacola Honda in 2003. It was her primary car for several years and now it is my daily driver. It has been a phenomenally reliable car and is still in great shape mechanically and cosmetically. I'll try to break down the details below and will try to update this post as the miles increase. The interior and exterior pics are from April 2019. The odometer pic is from Dec 2018 when it hit 500k. As of November 2019, it has 589k.


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The basics:
2003 Honda Accord EX 3.0L V-6, 6-spd manual transmission
Moonroof
Leather interior

How did you put that many miles on the car?
Used as a family car for several years and then commuting to work. In the fall of 2015, it had about 185k miles on it. I started working part time as a courier doing deliveries all over south Texas. The miles have piled on since then as I am averaging around 100k miles per year for the past four years.

What kind of oil do you use?
Used Castrol 5w-20 until 140k miles. Changed it every 3,750 miles per Honda recommendation.
Switched to Mobil 1 5w-20 synthetic from there. I change the Mobil 1 every 15k miles.
I use oil filters designed for longer oil change intervals. I have used K&N, Fram Ultra Synthetic, and Purolator Boss filters.

Does it use any oil?
I add a quart about every 4-5k miles. The car does NOT smoke or leak any oil.

What kind of transmission fluid?
Redline MTL - change it every 100k miles.

Timing belt changes?
YES! Do these as Honda recommends. It gets changed out around every 100k miles (usually we change the water pump every other timing belt change). I've done it myself a couple of times. Usually costs us around $600-700 if we have a shop do it.

Original engine?
YES! To date, the engine has never been opened up for any internal work. No knocks or ticking. Valve seals are still good. It hasn't even needed the valve cover gaskets replaced yet. We did put on a new oil pan this year because the oil drain plug threads stripped out.

Original transmission?
No. The original transmission developed a minor grind going into 3rd gear (I've read the 3rd gear synchros are problematic) at around 280k miles. I dealt with it for awhile and replaced it with a junkyard transmission when the car hit 320k miles. The junkyard transmission had 52k miles on it when we installed it so it currently has around 320k miles on it and is still going strong.

Any mods?
Added Sirius XM radio a few years ago - love it!
Cold air intake
Tsudo exhaust
Drag brand rims from Discount Tire
Euro style tail lights

Other repairs?
First clutch lasted 320k miles. Second one still working well for now.
Replaced all of the struts, tie rod ends, flywheel, and rear main seal at 320k.
On my third set of spark plugs, third power steering pump, and third radiator.
Original driver's seat back adjusting gears stripped out so we bought one from a junkyard and it's still fine.
Just had the headliner re-done because the original material fell down in several places.
A few other minor things like door lock actuators, clutch slave cylinder, O2 sensors, etc.
Normal wear items like brakes, control arms/ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.
Original cv shafts lasted until 440k. Replaced these with OEM ones because I saw so much negatives posted about aftermarket ones.
The catalytic converters went bad around 500k miles. Caused an engine code to pop due to poor efficiency. Replaced them and haven't had trouble since.

Biggest complaint about the car?
Road noise seems to be really bad in older Accords. My wife's 2001 is loud too. I am going to use some rubberized undercoating on it and install some sound deadening mats. Hopefully it will help.

How hard do you drive it?
We never abused the car. I have had it up to 115 mph once. Once it got up to around 200k, I made a conscious decision to keep the RPMs low because I thought 200k was "high mileage." I generally shift just above 2,500 RPMs and don't ever let it get above 3,000 RPMs any more. With the V-6, I still get ample acceleration like that and don't rev it up high to prolong engine life.

Where does the car live?
It has been in Alabama, Florida, Washington, Mississippi, and Texas. The car has happily settled in Corpus Christi, TX.
It has been garaged most of its life, but there have been times where we didn't have the garage space for it.


I look forward to updating this thread as the miles continue to increase.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've spent a good amount of time working on the car this past week to make things better. I installed Powerstop Z26 brakes all around. This is the first time I've used these. Prior to this, I was using whatever Advance sold. I had a lot of shimmy from warped rotors. These are supposed to be better. My last brakes lasted 154k miles.

I had some squealing after installation and thought they just needed some miles to settle down. After 500 miles, it didn't stop. After investigating, I found that the new clips for the front pads were about .25 inches narrower than my last set which caused them to rub against the rotors. I pulled the new clips off and reinstalled my old clips. They're silent now. Love that the car doesn't shake now.

I did two things to help with sound deadening. I used the rubberized 3M undercoating on the rear wheel wells and on the outer part of the floor pan. One can per side gave me a couple coats. Lay down a blanket on your garage floor before spraying. This helped some. It was noticeable, but the car was still noisy.

I also installed Noico 80 mil sound deadening mat. It was around $65 on Amazon for a pack. I think it was nine sheets in the pack.
I installed this mat in my doors, some inside the trunk lid, some on the rear floor pan, and also inside the rear quarter panels. Buy a $10 roller to help with installation. I probably spent 6-7 hrs doing this.

The undercoating combined with the mat has made a pretty significant difference. Road noise has been greatly reduced. I can hear the radio better at a lower volume setting now. My exhaust tone actually sounds better and cleaner inside the car now. The tone is now focused coming from the rear of the car rather than just noise everywhere because the car had no insulation. I have right around $100 in materials for the sound deadening and still have a few sheets left to get started on my wife's Accord. IMO, well worth the money and time. Wish I would've done it long ago.

I'll pass 592,000 on the way home today. I estimate I'll have it over 600k by mid January.


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Runnin' in the 90s
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6,108 Posts
By your photos I wouldn't have guessed it was a 500k+ car. I love seeing older cars being maintained. Good luck with her and good luck getting to 1M miles!
 

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Yea I modded my car again
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I'd try to keep everything OEM (and body in good condition) at your point and I bet if you hit 1000000 Honda would use that car as a Promo vehicle.

IIRC Toyota did this for a TV commercial and that guy didn't even have 500K IIRC. But they literally made a commercial off of this guys toyota. I think it was a Rav 4 or a corolla. was 7-10 year ago i think so my memory isn't that good (after 7-10 days i'm lucky to get anything right lol)
 
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Good stuff. Good year for Honda.

Think about applying some leather products to the seats to help prevent cracking.
 

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Just sold my 2003 (4 cyl) when buying the 2019. But I doubt mine was in as good condition as yours. Salt eats metal!

Congrats. Make sure Honda know!
 

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Pilot without a plane
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
By your photos I wouldn't have guessed it was a 500k+ car. I love seeing older cars being maintained. Good luck with her and good luck getting to 1M miles!
Thanks! I had a guy compliment me on the car yesterday. I told him to come over and see the mileage. He saw 59xxxx and said, "oh about 60,000 miles." The look on his face when I told him it was 592k...

The higher the mileage gets, the more I realize how special it is. We're very proud of it.

You've got a cool car name. I like Atreyu band.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'd try to keep everything OEM (and body in good condition) at your point and I bet if you hit 1000000 Honda would use that car as a Promo vehicle.

IIRC Toyota did this for a TV commercial and that guy didn't even have 500K IIRC. But they literally made a commercial off of this guys toyota. I think it was a Rav 4 or a corolla. was 7-10 year ago i think so my memory isn't that good (after 7-10 days i'm lucky to get anything right lol)
Yeah. That's the goal. Keep it relatively stock. If we hit our goal, I would love for the car to be used for commercials or be displayed at our local dealer. Million mile Joe and others who have achieved that have been given new cars.

If I'm lucky enough to get it there, that's just where the instrument cluster gets changed out. I want to see how far it'll go.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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Discussion Starter #10
Good stuff. Good year for Honda.

Think about applying some leather products to the seats to help prevent cracking.
That is one thing I wished I would have been better with. The seats are in pretty good shape, but I didn't do as much conditioner and protectant to them over the years as I should have done.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just sold my 2003 (4 cyl) when buying the 2019. But I doubt mine was in as good condition as yours. Salt eats metal!

Congrats. Make sure Honda know!
We have salty air here so I try to keep up with filling rock chips. I'll let Honda know and I think it would be cool to see a Jalopnik article about it.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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434 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I installed some JBL 9631 speakers today. Bought these from Crutchfield. They came with wiring adapters so no need for cutting and splicing wires. Had to enlarge the screw holes some to get them to bolt up. I had to use a small drill bit and wallow out the holes toward inside of the speaker. The OEM speaker holes were oval shaped. These were circular so they didn't quite bolt up without modding the holes.

Only listened for a minute in the garage earlier. Much clearer than stock. I've got over 400 miles to do tonight so we'll see how they do.

Should be around a week and a half til it hits 600k.



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Congrats on the milestone! What a great testament to how long a well-maintained car can last... very cool (and I’m sure it’s been fantastic to not have car payments for all these years!).

Keep these posts coming please!
 

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Pilot without a plane
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Discussion Starter #16
My car has been a little needy this week. One thing was just bad luck.

This isn't supposed to look like this:
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So the fan motor still runs like a champ, but the shroud disintegrated around it. During a gas stop on a long trip, I saw the fan blades were angled toward the radiator near the top of it. I had to put a zip tie near the center of the motor to keep it away from the radiator. With all of the use this car gets, the plastic got brittle and started failing.

Got a new motor off Amazon for about $50. Good deal and an easy swap out.

Here's the difference:
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Window switch - My driver's side window switch finally gave up. Checked my local pull a part - no dice. If this were a sedan, the part would be about $35. EX coupe - try $200 and up. Junkyard ones on Ebay were around $65-100.

Found one on Summit for around $175. Ordered it. Put it in, but didn't work. Called to return it and get another one sent. Second one didn't work either.

Check out this pic:
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The bottom is my original switch. Notice it ends with A12. Top is what got sent. It ends with A14. The switch looks identical to mine and the plug receptacle is the same as mine. Something internal is different and not compatible with my 2003. The Summit switch was an Intermotor brand. Their lookup for my car said switch DWS637. This is the A14 that won't work.

Rather than chance it with a junkyard switch on Ebay, I ordered OEM from hondapartsnow.com. It's not here yet, but should be the right one.

Here's my bad luck from yesterday:
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First two pics are of my left frt. Last pic is my left rear. We were driving in heavy traffic yesterday. A man was standing on the side line of the road and I was in that far right lane. I moved over to the left side of my lane to give him some room. Then I hit a few bricks with those two wheels. Didn't see it and had no time to react. I was on a delivery and my pickup location was just a few more miles. The car seemed to be driving ok so I stopped at my drop off and saw my rims were trash. To its credit, the frt tire stayed inflated and went 70 more miles so I could drop off and get home.

Ended up getting new tires and wheels today. My old tires were getting to the point where they needed changed anyway. I had 80k on them. Prob could've got 10-15k more had this not happened.

Went with black this time:
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Will take some getting used to because we've had silver wheels on the car since new. Thought I'd try something different this time. We're back in business and will be over 603k tomorrow.

Thanks for reading my long post!
 

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I like the new black wheels - they look really nice when you zoom in on them. Just curious - have you ever considered going back to the stock rims?

As for the spate of repairs, I had a stretch last year where I had to do the front and rear brakes (no complaints- had 120k on the fronts and 60k on the rears), two coil packs, and a spider nest removal, all in about three weeks. Not fun.
 

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Pilot without a plane
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Discussion Starter #20
We sold the stock wheels several years ago. They didn't look bad, but I usually prefer aftermarket wheels. I will say that stock wheels are generally way more durable than aftermarket. My silver set of rims that I just took off had a machined lip that looked great when they were new. It had clearcoat that flaked off so that part looked rough.

Thanks for the comments and following my thread.
 
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