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Fix a '98 Honda or Purchase a new (used) car?

baj133baj133 Posts: 2
edited September 2014 in Honda

I've driven a 1998 Honda Accord for the past 15 years. 190K miles to date. It runs fairly well but needs a 180K mile tune up ($400-$450) and a new clutch ($1,000-$1,100). I've maintained it well but the thought of paying $1,500 on a '98 car seems like a bad idea. I don't mind driving it for a few more years; just don't want to waste the $ if I'm going to need to buy a new car next year anyway. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,757

    If that's all that's wrong with it, I'd fix it up. You can't buy anything decent used for $1500, or even $3000 for that matter. And another used car offers no guarantee you'll be free from problems.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 60,677

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    If that's all that's wrong with it, I'd fix it up. You can't buy anything decent used for $1500, or even $3000 for that matter. And another used car offers no guarantee you'll be free from problems.

    So... at what point would you ditch it? I'll note that $1500 in this car doesn't guarantee a lack of problems, either. Does he have to drive the car forever, just because each repair is under $1500? ;)


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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,757

    That's a good question, which is why I wanted to know if the car had other problems. If, say, he forgot to mention that the car needed 4 tires, has a large dent in the trunk, a cracked windshield and burns lots of oil---well then, I'd tell him to ditch it. But if it's a nice clean car with no major issues, it'd be smart to put $1500 into an Accord.

    So it's not just about the $$$ for repairs, it's about the make, model and condition of the car into which this money is going.

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  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,814

    Get a new one. Way more safety features and amenities. This one is at the point it will keep needing more stuff.

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  • Thanks for the input, guys! I've not had any other issues with the car. It is in pretty good shape overall and has been really reliable. I could see it going either way but at this point, I might put a few more miles on it. Thanks!

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited September 2014

    $1,500 is about 4 or 5 car payments, even on a used car.

    That said, I kept my '99 Nissan about a year too long (just had to have one car break 200k). The drivetrain seemed bulletproof, but it ate a distributor and then the AC died, so at that point I dumped it.

  • I have bought Hondas and Acuras for years. Held them mostly till the mechanic told me it is time to sell. All of them had a pretty sizeable number of issues somewhere around the 200,000 mile mark. There just starts to be too many things that go out, even on a Honda. None of them had any major engine issues but little things would go out to the point that I was getting nickled and dimed to death. 1500 is not too much to pay to get a car running if nothing else is wrong with it but if that is only a start then I would say it is time to sell.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,757

    Hey stockdox gave me a good idea. Why not have your mechanic do a complete inspection on the Honda and give you a full report? That way, you can anticipate what other repairs might be around the corner (if any).

    A new car is always a great solution to repair ills, but not always a great solution to financial ills.

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  • I recently sold my 98 EX for $3,600. Only 100,000 miles so not apples to apples with yours, but I had 30 calls from prospective buyers in two days. It was a great car, and was sold only because I started doing a lot of long distance driving plus I inherited my husband's 05 accord. My mechanic recommended against selling, but the improved safety features made keeping the newer accord with higher miles the better choice for me. I would encourage you to have the car thoroughly gone over. The repairs you mention seem more like maintenance items, which you will have to some degree with any vehicle. Have you replaced your timing belt lately?

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