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Honda Accord (2003-2007) Maintenance and Repair



  • mr_gonemr_gone Posts: 50
    Sockpuppet -- I think you overstate the case for finding someone other than a dealer to work on your car. In fact, the Edmunds article you cite says there are plenty of reasons to go with a dealer, as well as reasons to select an independent mechanic.

    As someone shopping for a used car now, I'm much more inclined to buy one that has a well-documented Carfax showing the car was serviced regularly by a dealer. If the current owner took the car to an independent shop, I have no idea whether that shop knows what it is doing or not.

    As for parts, I've made the mistake of buying after-market struts instead of OEMs, only to have them fail in 25,000 miles. Did I save money? No, I spent A LOT MORE than I would have just by going to the dealer in the first place.
  • sockpuppet1969sockpuppet1969 Posts: 308
    edited August 2011
    There is no guarantee that the dealer mechanic knows what they are doing either so "dealer only" service is meaningless in my opinion when buying used. My mechanic will gladly use OEM parts if I ask, which I usually do. A good, honest independent mechanic is worth their weight in gold. My experience with dealers is that they will try to up-sell you as much as possible on unneeded services/inspections every chance they get. I only take my car to the dealer for repairs covered by warranty or recall.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    No way I'm taking my car to some "would be" independent garage. I have 1 dealer do all my maintenance work,including body work,and state inspection. Harder for them to make mistakes,if they only work on 1 brand of car,and attend brand only tech schools. I get a little goodwill that way and it's worked out well for me.
  • you hit the nail on the head... I yanked out my whole brake system within warrant ty at an independent who did a magnificent job for at least 60% of the dealer cost.. On the brakes I didnt want OEM becuase they were worthless.. I was told my brakes and rotors were shot becuase I didnt know how to drive.. After getting up off the floor I asked the Honda Service Manager If I should take driving lessons after driving for 40 years.. The icing on the cake was when they wanted 100 dollars to change my cabin filter.. Lets see, I bought the filter for 15 dollars and it took me 5 minutes to install... I have a wonderful mechanic who knows Hondas real well.. With the money I save taking my cars tohim instead of the dealers I can put my kid through college.. THe service dept is the only real profit center at a dealer.. I will take my Honda that apparently dont know how ro drive to my mechanic.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    In most suburban areas, you will find more than a few independent shops that specialize in Honda and Acura vehicles. I know of at least five here in the North Metro Atlanta area. They are all owned and operated by former Honda dealership technicians and/or service managers! After seeing how much the dealers were making, they realized that they could offer lower prices and triple or quadruple their earnings at the same time!

    I want someone who knows my car inside and out, but I don't have to pay dealer prices to get it!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ............the Gen7 cabin air filter change price of a C-note at the dealer is really criminal..................

    "Let the buyer beware" would truly seem approprite in this case.

  • I have done my own maintenance on my Accord since the dealer wanted $500 for the 30k service. It was dramatically different than the one listed in the owner's manual. They wouldn't quote a price for the suggested factory service.
    I buy the Honda blessed parts (Majestic Honda or HandA parts online) and fluids (local dealer) and install them myself. The car now has just north of 60k, the coolant has been changed twice, the brake fluid changed twice, the belts and hoses show no cracking the rubber still feels newish, and is about to get its first set of new tires next week.
    Every 18 months or so, I have to spend a Saturday afternoon removing and installing maintenance parts and fluids and taking the old ones to our recycling center. So far, this has been much much cheaper than the dealer and the time investment has been relatively minor.
    I keep all my service records and receipts and mileage for each service. When I am ready to move on from that vehicle, it will either be 1. worthless, or 2. traded so I am less worried about the impact of records that say Honda on them. There isn't any box on the KBB or Edmunds price guides that says "not serviced at dealer" to deduct value from the vehicle.
  • tom017tom017 Posts: 16
    My uncle has a 2004 Accord EX-L V6, a beautifully maintained car. It now has 47,000 miles on it. He's been taking it to the dealer religiously for regular maintenance ever since he bought the car. This last oil change, the dealer is saying to replace the timing belt. He only has 47,000 miles on the car and didn't abuse it, why change the timing belt already? The prescribed maintenance is to change the belt at 100,000 miles. The dealer is saying he has 7 years on the belt, it needs changed or it will break before 100,000 miles. Then the dealer gave my uncle an estimate of close to $1,000 to change the belt, water pump and serpentine belt, coolant, etc... Should the belt be changed at 7 years even though the mileage isn't high? And is $1,000 a reasonable charge to change it? Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    If it's not too much trouble I would remove the belt cover and have the belt inspected for cracks, glazing, etc.

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  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    My Accord 03EXV6 timing belt was replaced last year after 95K miles & 8 years.
    The belt was still in very good shape. No crack, no sign of oil leaked onto the belt.
    I think you can go at least another year. $1K sounds right for the timing belt job at Honda dealership.
  • that sounds ridiculous. i would have them put that recommendation in writing and forward a copy to Honda. what does the service manual recommend?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,301
    I don't have the manual handy for my 2005, but yes, the timing belt is a miles OR time item.

    Tires are actually a replace after certain # of years item too, not that anyone ever pays attention to that!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • altair9altair9 Posts: 10
    In NYC, I paid 130 dollars to replace the cabin filter, until I realized how easy it is (2005)Accord. Now there is no Honda dealer in Manhattan itself, I think because the land value for building is so high, I think the owner of the dealership sold out for that reason. I can understand how dealers need to charge, but some prices are meant to rip off the consumer and pocket a lot of $ with little work. A shame. Trying to find a reliable independent here. I wish Honda national would push to get a dealership back in Manhattan. I would continue with the dealer if they prove to be reliable and HONEST.
  • people should go to jail for that... Dont they call that Highway robbery?
  • I have the same uncertainty. The car is in great shape, 62,000 miles only, a 2003 Exl-v6 model. The engine is literary quiet and super smooth. The car is now 8 years old and I heared the same thing from my dealer (water-pump kit + timing built = $980) last week I was there for oil change. Should I wait till at least 90k, Or go by the year ?
  • tldtld Posts: 37
    I just had my ECM flashed for the transmission recall on my 2005 4 cyl automatic while getting it inspected. I'll be watching this thread closely to see what other see but the second time I drove the vehicle after the flash, the engine stalled when I put it in drive. This has never happened in six years. I wonder what the flash did and if it effects the engine RPM when putting the vehicle in gear.

    Here is a link to the recall announcement: 0024.pdf
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is interested in interviewing an individual who recently decided to do routine maintenance or basic car repairs on their own to save money in the struggling economy. The reporter is particularly interested in someone living in California (Southland), but all responses are encouraged. If you would like to comment on your experience, please reply to with your name, location and daytime phone number by 5pm Pacific, Wednesday, August 17, 2011.


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  • tom017tom017 Posts: 16
    My uncle shopped around for a better price to replace the timing belt on his 2004 Accord V6. He felt $1000 was waaaayyyy too much for the job. He found another Honda dealer on the other side of town that was running a coupon special that listed replacement of the timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt and coolant for a V6 Honda Accord for $479 + local tax. It took a day to complete the job but the car is good for another 100,000 or 7 years, but with 47,000 miles currently on it, I don't think he'll put 100,000 miles on the car before the next 7 years. It runs super smooth and has all new Honda parts on it.
  • cepblcepbl Posts: 1
    I have a 04 ex-l coupe with navigation, climate controls didn't work with the original navigation so i bought a used one and they still don't work, any ideas what could be wrong? relay locations? sorry if this isn't the right place to ask.
  • Sounds like you have some serious electrical issues...try to see if you can get it inspected at a indy shop...worst comes worst you might have to get it inspected at the dealer...dont get the work done just pay for the diagnosis/inspection...thought that might be expensive....just my 2 cents...
  • I wanted to give an 2007 Accord EX sedan stick just turned 65k. The Bridgestones were about done and not being a performance size by any stretch, I couldn't bring myself to put new tires in the 205/60R16 back on the car. Turning to eBay, I scored some 17"x7.5" Acura TSX wheels and put 215/50R17 Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires on those rims. This with the Acura TL rear sway bar (thicker) seems to have helped the handling of the car a great deal. The tires are very new so I haven't pushed it yet, but I am happy with the results based on the investment.

    The sway bar and brackets was $60 and another $60 for the end links. The car seems to understeer less and feel more confident on turn in. The tires seem to support that with additional available grip. I can see some shocks and springs around the 100k mi mark and the car should be pretty zippy.

    At 65k, that was its first set of tires. Its still on its first set of brakes (although the fluid has been changed 2x now, 30k and 60k). Trans fluid got changed with Honda MT fluid at 60k. The coolant has been changed at 30/60. Oil gets changed when it tells me to. Oil changes could be easier, but the car is reasonably easy to work on. No real complaints about that.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    I'd like to see your Accord with the TSX wheels. Can you post a link to a photo of your car?
  • Yeah, definitely. I am going to wash it first though :sick:
  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    I dropped my car off at a Honda dealership today for some work.
    They start asking about the maintenance history.
    My car has 79100 miles on it.
    He says, "Have you replaced the serpentine belt it is supposed to be done at 60k?" No I haven't.
    He says, "Did you do the 30k, 60k (90k) maintenace of tire rotation, clean fuel injectors, air cabin filter." I say no, this isn't the manual, but I rotate with each oil change.

    Is the serpentine belt in all actuality, the drive belt?
    My manual says the maintence minder will say when to INSPECT the drive belt, when to replace the air filters, replace the timing belt and replace the transmission fluid.
    The manual says nothing about interval for cleaning the fuel injectors.
    What schedule do you people follow?
    Where are they getting this 30k-60k-90k program from? there is nothing in the manual.
    From time to time I have used an OTC fuel system cleaner - usually LucasOil.

    I hate feeling like the official dealership is giving me a run around....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    edited August 2011
    Well aside from the fuel injection cleaning, which is just a worthless profit-maker for the dealer, the other suggestions are not a bad idea--especially tire rotation and cabin filter. You can probably do the cabin filter yourself and save $$$. As for the serpentine belt (drive belt), which is not the same as your timing belt (that's not due for a while yet), it would be a good idea to inspect it at least for cracks, glazing (shiny from slippage), etc. If it breaks it won't necessary harm the engine, as long as you pay attention to all the warning lights that will light up when that happens. If you ignored the lights, eventually the car would overheat since the water pump isn't turning.

    I'd also inspect your various coolant hoses at this mileage, and check the driveshaft dust boots, and check the struts/shocks for leakage.

    If you have the original battery in there, you might think about replacing that in 2012 whether it seems to need it or not.


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  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    Thank you for taking the time reply.

    I think the hoses, shocks, struts, boots, etc. will all be inspected by the dealer today as part of the "23 point checkup" that the car is undergoing. Thank you for the tips.

    I already do rotate the tires on a regular basis and will look into replacing the cabin filter.

    Is the Serpentine/Drive belt the belt that is (if looking at the engine in the car) the very obvious belt on the left hand side?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Yes the passenger side. There is an actual belt tensioner indicator installed on the vehicle and if the belt is out of range of that indicator then it should be replaced.

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  • At the end of my 36,000 mile warranty I never went back to the dealership which will charge you at least double or more for service, some of which you dont even need.. I follow the book that comes along with the Honda and have saved a fortune. Reminder... The service dept is the main profit center of the dealership.. For instance they wanted to charge me I believe 100 dollars for the cabin filter change..Those 23 point inspections are pure profit and remember your service writer is a salesman in disguise and the service tech make more money dependent on what he finds and how quick he can get the job done.. At least thats the way they do it her.. I laughed in disgust.. Cost me 15 for the filter and 5 minutes of my time... Do yourself a favor find a local mechanic who works on Hondas.. They arent hard to work on at all.
  • babbittdbabbittd Posts: 25
    Hi Michael, I went to the dealership for service today, but didn't pay for the inspection.

    They sent me a coupon for 15% off up to $500.00 in service, parts, accessories (over the next year) that included a one-time $24.95 oil change/tire rotation and 23 point inspection. So I took advantage of that and had them look for the source of a newly audible sound that had me worried. The mechanic says my car is in excellent shape for the mileage.

    I see your point on the service writer as a salesman with him attempting to sell me on an unnecessary drive-belt replacement and guilt trip me on the 30k-60k-90k extra tire rotations and fuel system cleaning....

    I will certainly attempt the cabin filter replacement.

    Thanks for the tips.
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