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Buying a used Accord

jtmathewjtmathew Posts: 3
edited October 2014 in Honda
I found someone selling a 2003 Honda Accord Coupe 4-Cyl 5-Speed Manual with 85000 miles for $9500. I know this is high mileage but is it too high?

She has all the maintenance records from the dealership. She used to live in LA and would commute to San Fran frequently, hence the high mileage. The test drive went well, but am I just buying a headache? I'm a college student and am just nervous about making a mistake. It seems like a good deal, and Honda's seem like they will last forever. Any advice!! thanks!


  • baller23baller23 Posts: 2
    A 2003 Accord with 85K w/5 speed manual is NOTHING. It's just getting broken in...he he. BUT.....

    1)After 5K miles, you will need the 90K tuneup, so negotiate more, because a 90K tuneup can set you back about $350.

    2) Check the tires' conditions; if they are worn, let the owner know so maybe they can lower the price more, cuz those can set you back about $500.

    3) I would strongly advice you to let a mechanic check the clutch, or if you are an experienced manual driver, maybe you can tell how well the clutch is supposed to grab. That car probably has a lot of freeway miles, but there are drivers that ride the clutch a lot. A clutch can set you back $500 or check it out asap!

    4) READ ALL maintenance RECIEPTS carefully, don't think "Yeah it's all here...."

    5) I don't think you need to worry about the timing belt, because the 4 banger has a timing chain and not a belt.

    6) Look for those MAJOR service reciepts, like the 30K, 60K, etc.

    7) Run a carfax just to be on the safe side.

    8) Check cautiously if all body panels are aligned, but don't be too shocked to see a lot of rock chips on the front of the car, because of a lot of freeway driving.

    Other than that, you are good to go my friend. :shades:
  • djm2djm2 Posts: 712
    Does this vehicle have an "extended Honda Care warranty" to 100,000 miles? ----- If the answer to this question is "NO", ------ I would not purchase this vehicle. The 2003 Honda Accords are known for problems with the AC compressor. The repair will cost $1,000.00 dollars. There are also problems with the radio display on the dash. The fix requires a replacement radio. Another expensive repair! Some 4 cylinder Accords have a problem with a "vibration at idle" with the AC compressor on. The fix for this issue is new motor mounts. Another expensive repair! Remember, your vehicle is a "stick shift". With 85K you could be at the point where the clutch needs to be replaced. This would not be covered under any extended warranty, but it is something to consider. ---- Think about this purchase. ---- Best regards. ------ Dwayne ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    This wouldn't be too high for a 2003 model...remember, the 2007s are about to come out, so that will make this about a 25k mile per year car. My dad has a 2005 with over 53,000 miles, so 85,000 on a car twice his car's age seems reasonable. The highway miles should be easier on the car as well, as opposed to stop and go driving (meaning likely a less-abused clutch). Have it looked over by a mechanic, telling you things like remaining brake life and clutch life before you purchase though.
  • jtmathewjtmathew Posts: 3
    If she has the service records and the clutch and brakes have life on it, is it a good buy for 9500?

    Does anyone else have experience with the AC compressor going out? Since reading the post about the compressor, I've read a few more on this same issue.

    Any other suggestions!! Thanks for all your help!
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    Forget it....85,000 miles for a 4 cylinder USED is and isn't too much. For a college student...not too sure what to tell you. I'll play it safe - NO. It wouldn't be a problem but some occasion unexpected problems maybe once in a year or something since it's used. Don't get a car from a person! ONLY A DEALER!! That's a big mistake people make. Get a used car from a DEALER not a private sale.
  • whitecloud1whitecloud1 Posts: 268
    Some folks say that's not a lot of miles. It would be a lot for me. That's over 20k a year. That kind of mileage can affect things that are not a problem with a 12K per year car.
    I would rather take my chances at CarMax for the price. That's just me though.
  • alertikalertik Posts: 6
    i'm set to sign all the paperwork this monday, got a little worried after these posts. I'm buying an Accord from dealer, 2003 LX, sedan, 89K miles, 4 cyl., automatic. $10,400 , but i'm in NY so i guess its an ok price. i did notice the vibration on idle with AC on ... does it have to be fixed, if i can live with it ? (i use a/c 2-3 months a year) also it ac compressor does break, i just wouldn't have ac or i would have to fix it for car to be operational?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    also if ac compressor does break, i just wouldn't have ac or i would have to fix it for car to be operational?

    The car should run just the same, except for lack of cold air when you push "A/C".
  • zodiac2004zodiac2004 Posts: 471
    Don't get a car from a person! ONLY A DEALER!! That's a big mistake people make. Get a used car from a DEALER not a private sale.

    What kind of advice is that!!!!

    Sure, buy from a dealer - if you want to pay more for the same car, and additional taxes as well - maybe.
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    It is excellent advice. That way you know exactly what your getting and you can feel confident that the car wasn't in an accident if the dealer says so. The dealer is responsible for telling you the truth with these matters. Then you also get a warranty if it is a certified used car.

    From private sales, the car is usually more likely to have more problems you were not aware of.

    Surely, you must have seen issues like this on tv on the news, or even Judge Judy where problems happen from private sales.
  • The adage is true: "when buying a used car you are buying someone elses problem" When you buy from a dealership you cannot get the truth about the car, because they never ask the person they picked it up from all the key questions: (was it serviced regularaly? was the oil changed every 3k? etc...)

    I have a hard time buying a car from a used dealership, unless it was certified pre-owned. They are way over priced, and they cannot tell you first hand how previous owners took care of the car. Also, a lot of used dealerships are really shady, yes they are obligated to tell you the truth, but they also try to hide any future potential problems.

    FOr example, I looked at 97 accord EX at a used dealership, and the oil appeared to be very fresh, I got very suspicious at this. So I opened up the cap to the engine where the oil goes, and there was tons of sludge build up. Which means the previous owner changed the oil maybe once every 6k miles-- Terrible idea, if you want your honda to run 300K miles. There were also some other issues with this vehicle, there was a lot of grease build-up on the left boot of the front left tire.

    I did not buy the car. I ended up buying a 97 LX accord from a private party for $3000 (KBB stated 3000 is what a dealer would have payed for it--trade in value. 5500 would have been retail price from a dealer.) The Sellers were very trustworthy, I saw that they took care of the car, and they gave me a much better deal than dealership would have. I needed to spend about $1500 to fix everything, but it was nothing out of the ordinary after 140K miles. $4500 for a car that I know was taken care of and that is up to par and runs great is better than $5500, and not knowing how the car was maintained.
  • there is a private seller selling a used 03 Accord EX-V6 coupe w/ all options except navigation system, 59000 miles, exterior looks very clean except for a few scratches on the front bumper. Inside is clean, leather was taken care of, however there are some oil stains behind the steering wheel and a few stains on the chairs. Seller is asking for $15,995. KBB lists excellent condition as 16.4k, good condition as 15.4k. Going to get the car inspected on Tuesday but he says anything that comes up he won't fix it and he won't decrease the price, so basically $16k is lowest he will go. However, I found out that this guy actually has his own private dealership he owns and he said he worked as a Honda/Acura specialist in repairing cars for 15+ years and he strongly suggested us to bring the car to a Honda dealership. Maybe I'm just really paranoid but maybe he knows people these Honda dealerships?

  • However, I found out that this guy actually has his own private dealership he owns and he said he worked as a Honda/Acura specialist in repairing cars for 15+ years and he strongly suggested us to bring the car to a Honda dealership. Maybe I'm just really paranoid but maybe he knows people these Honda dealerships?

    Take the car to another mechanic that has a good local reputation. A Honda dealer isn't necessary. I would also run a carfax report on any used car I bought. It's cheap insurance.
  • Thinking seriously about buying a 2001 Honda Accord. The second thoughts I am having concern the miles on the vehicle (96000). I'm having a hard time buying a car (even a Honda) with that many miles on it, however, my budget restrains me from spending too much on a newer model. The question is, what kind of longevity can I NORMALLY expect from this car 150K, 200K or what? Thanks very much.
  • I'm driving a car with 166,000 miles on it. 1996 Honda Accord 4-cylinder. Since I've had the car (over 4 years and it had 120,000 miles or so on it when I got it) it has needed only 2 (TWO!) repairs. Not bad in my book, considering it never needed them before (it was my grandmother's car, so I know its history). Total repair costs for the car - $620. Brake Master Cylinder began to leak slowly (so the pedal would sink to the floor when sitting at a traffic light) - $300 at 155,000mi, Main Cooling Fan (radiator fan motor) failure - $320 at 131,000mi. Now I have a rear power door-lock actuator that is broken, but I'm not going to spend the $180 to have it fixed, its no biggie to me in an 11 year old car.

    I'd say this is probably the norm for old Hondas (my grandad ran his Civic for 260,000 miles and 15 years before selling it 4 years ago. His car had an engine rebuild at approx 210k miles though b/c he didn't change the timing belt in time and slung a rod (i think; it's been a long time - either way, you could say 200k miles without major repairs).
  • I may be just one of the unfortunate ones.

    I have a 2001 Honda Accord LX at 160,000 miles that was maintained and treated nicely. Other than the fact that I'm going on my 3rd transmission, my catalytic converter has died, resulting in very poor engine performance and currently 18 miles to the gallon due to the strain on the exhaust system, it has treated me well.

    This morning, Honda has quoted around $7000 worth of repairs. Although the mechanics are very nice and sypathetic, those repairs come close to diving over the blue book value.

    It looks really nice and clean however! Clean engine, sounds great, excellent paint. You'll only notice the transmission while driving it, then the exhaust problem when the Check Engine light intermittantly comes on.

    Get the car checked and diagnosed before purchasing it.
  • I bought a 1990 Honda DX off a dealer's lot in Chicago and have been driving it for 17 years. I kept it clean for the first ten years, and the feeling of driving a nice car that was paid off really was outstanding! Along the way I have driven other cars, but I keep coming back to the Accord as my daily driver.

    I drive a variety of rental cars when on travel expeditions, and have never really gotten hooked on anything else. The Dodge Intrepid came close for a while, as did the mid-sized GMC SUV (Blazer/Jimmy family) and I recently had a great vacation in the Hummer H3. Still, the Accord keeps me on the road no matter what.

    I bought the baseline DX with no AC (wears on the engine don't you know!) and manual windows. Over the years I have had the clutch and the transmission replaced, but only after I burned out first, second and reverse gears (you can push start this car on level ground and hop in, if you are beefy like me). I have also gradually seen oil leaks pop up, but STILL I burn no oil and pass emissions/smog with no problem. Have the seals replaced when you get the timing belt and water pump done, every 100k miles. When the Accord was new, I routinely got mileage in the high 30's and 17 years later it has descended to a still respectable 27.5 mpg. I add up the cost of gas and oil, and a new car doesn't seem that great of an idea for a daily driver.

    I have had significant problems with water intrusion into the trunk, and have never been able to fix this, except by moving to a location (SoCal) where there is little rain!

    Now that I have passed well into the lofty mileage range (currently 209k miles !!) I have been testing the limits of the power train and handling. There are numerous times when the manual transmission, along with a certain unconcern for possilbly blowing up the engine, and a pegged tach have allowed me to blow by HEMI cars/trucks on demanding grades. I have no idea what HONDA put into the replacement transmission, but it seems idiot proof, and darn near indestructible.

    I highly recommend doing your own maintenance for anything you can figure out. I no linger cringe at replacing the front half axels, which you will replace regularly if you keep on driving. Keep putting in the oil, and other fluids and it will keep on running.

    Buy it new and just keep driving it!
  • I have a beautiful 1993 EX with 107000 miles on it. I bought it with 65000 miles 6 years ago. I just started have some problems this year (minor). I had my transmission fluid drained and changed two years ago and i have been having trans problems every since. yesterday the trans went out. i bought a new car two days ago however, i am still going to get a new trans because i love that car. it has not rust or dents and it looks showroom new. my suggestion is to look on autotrader (sales) and put in the make and year of the car. you will see hondas with over 200,000 miles
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I guess I should weigh in here... my '95 4 cyl manual Accord has 214k miles and my son is driving it now. You don't say if the car you are thinking about is a manual transmission but that is a factor. They last longer than the automatics.... generally speaking.
  • They last longer than the automatics.... generally speaking.

    True, but the transmissions from 4-cylinder Accords are pretty bulletproof relative to other autos, best I can tell. I have 166,400 miles on mine, and it still shifts like it did when new. Couldn't say that about our Chryslers - they both needed one before the 36k mile warranty had expired!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,878
    Dennis: What is your budget? How much is the 2001 Accord with 96k going for?

    I read somewhere that Honda tries to design its cars to last something like 150k with careful maintenance, some repairs, and good luck. Honda's are so well engineered, however, that I think it's fairly common for people to go to 175k or even 200k--again with careful maintenance, some repairs, and some luck. Although some people get more than 200k, I think they are exception rather than the rule.

    I've seen ads for new Accord VPs with manual transmissions for sale here for $16,900. That model has ac, stereo, 6 airbags, abs, etc (the last two features are not on a 2001 Accord). If your credit is good, Honda would be happy to finance you if you can't pay for the whole thing now. With a new Accord you get a car at the beginning of its life, whether its 100k, 150k, or 200k. Best guess is that the used Accord your thinking of has used up more than half of its life. Unless it's really cheap, I think you should get a new VP. Plus the new i-VTEC engines get about 2 mpg better than the earlier generation, while at the same time being more powerful.
  • pj6pj6 Posts: 1
    I am looking possibly to buy a 1991 Accord (4dr LX Sedan). Owner claims its in good meachanical condition with a number of cosmetic problems (scratches, a bit of rust, metal stripping aroudn windshield missing, passenger side mirror brace cracked, AC does not work, and such). My concern is that is has 155K miles on it. Sale price $1600 (Chicago area). Should I buy an Accord with 155K on it? if so, then for this price? How long could I expect it to last or is the gamble too great that it might be at its end? Please provide total assessment or respond to any facet of this offer -- what you think I should check or ask and such. Much appreciated.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    If the car has been well maintained, it can go well over 200k. When you bring up the point about the A/C, among other things, does not work, makes me wonder about the maintenance. You would need a mechanic to check the car out, to know for sure.
  • I drive a 1996 Accord with 166k miles on it daily. It has no mechanical problems, and has only required two repairs since I've had the car (since 120k miles and 4 years ago). The repairs consisted of a brake master cylinder repair ($300) at 155k miles and an electric cooling fan motor at 130k miles($320).

    The car runs fine, original alternator, transmission, and everything that usually plays out is still working and original (including exhaust). Still and a tight car too.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Look at it this way - new car payments would be about $300 a month. If this puppy lasts you for 6 months - which I think it will - you're ahead of the game.
  • Point well made. I'd guess it would last longer if treated nicely (assuming it is currently in at least decent mechanical condition).
  • rgraferrgrafer Posts: 17
    I am still driving my 1991 stick-shift EX Accord, aka "Little Green." I am the original owner, she just turned 166,000 miles. Little Green rules! You can't beat Honda for reliability and even after 16 years the design of this 4th generation Accord looks great. A few minor problems along the way but nothing major. The AC is awesome & still have original clutch.

    Right now I've been trying to buy a CRV with Navi, what a hassle that has been. I'm ready to just keep driving Little Green until she falls apart! :D
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Posts: 503
    Honda doesn't make cars like "Little Green" anymore. Due to mass production, quality & reliability is slipping. Hopefully, you don't trade that car in...sell it to someone who recognizes the car will run forever.

    That being said, I am looking at the new CRV also. Probably waiting a few more months...the '07's are very popular right now.
  • rgraferrgrafer Posts: 17
    Ha! No way would I trade "Little Green" in. One dealer said he would give me TWO HUNDRED dollars for her. I've been approached by a handful of people asking if I would sell her, with no for sale sign. Also approached by a few people who had an early 90's Accord that they regret giving up long ago. At this point she's nearly a classic. When she hits 20 yrs old, can I get one of those blue classic car plates????? LOL.

    Dealing on an 07 CRV is a nightmare. If you can find one, everyone wants sticker plus a dealer fee. You're smart to wait a few months 'til things settle down a bit.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Do what I did. The value of my old 1996 car was not enough to sell the thing, so I've kept it as my "truck."

    I have a 2006 EX Accord that I got last year, but my daily driver into downtown B'ham (where parking stinks) is still my 1996 Accord that I got when I turned 15. It now has 170,000 miles on it and is showing no signs of stopping. I will keep that car until the wheels fall off or it physically says "I'm dying, please stop driving me." Until then, it will be the car I go to Home Depot in, drive in severe weather, and wherever I know parking is bad. The rest of the time, i drive my new car, and keep door dings and hail dents away from my new one.
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