I’ve been lurking TTAC for a few years now and I really enjoy visiting the site every day. I think I’ve learned quite a bit about how to get the most out of my cars. Here’s my most recent car issue: I recently inherited a 2004 Honda Accord EX-V6 with an automatic transmission. It was purchased new and only has about 44K miles on it.
The problem is this – it hasn’t moved in 4 years. It was in good condition before and was being driven daily. However, when the owner passed away, it was transferred to someone who doesn’t drive and that person left it sitting in a garage for 4 years until I got it.
Traditionally, I have not been very hands-on in my car care, but am starting to take baby steps into fixing things myself. My current ride is a 2004 Acura TSX 6-speed manual that I bought new and currently has about 150K miles on it. Aside from a few cosmetic issues, the car runs perfectly and has been reliable so far. I also love driving the TSX (especially due to the 6-speed), so until recently, I didn’t have any plans on replacing it.
So my question to you is this:
Should I –
(1) Sell the Accord as-is?
(2) Get the Accord running again and sell it? If I take this option, how much do you think it would cost to get a non-running Accord in running condition?
(3) Get the Accord running again, use it as my daily driver, and sell the TSX? How reliable of a daily driver do you think the Accord would be after sitting for so long?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Option #1 is a non-starter…literally! Get it? (snort)
Since you like the TSX, maybe cash from the Accord’s sale is better for you. It’s probably worth more to someone else! Invest the proceeds, save it for a rainy day, give it to charity, or burn it away in a Hunter S. Thompson-esque bender in Vegas…whatever man, it’s all good.
So I recommend option #2, as it probably needs very little work to be a clean and awesome ride for craigslist, AutoTrader, Edmunds, local classifieds, etc. Here’s the stuff I recommend to recondition a car like this to ensure buyer confidence and a fat profit for yourself. In no particular order:
- Thoroughly detail inside and out, it might take a full day for a car sitting that long. Anyone can do this, and it’s very rewarding if you like to get your hands dirty.
- New tires: they might be flat spotted and are definitely not inspiring buyer confidence if they are original with that much age/mileage.
- New Battery: don’t forget to save the receipts!
- New fuel filter, after you run the old gas thru the system. Or dump the old gas out, if it won’t run on what’s in the tank. You might need a mechanic for this, if you don’t trust your skills.
- Oil Change, coolant change too.
- If it’s an EX with leather (aren’t they all?), marinate the hides in leather conditioner. Baby oil works in a pinch.
- Drive for a week or so, see if anything else goes wrong. Definitely run the HVAC system and deodorize if needed.
Honestly, given the low mileage and late-model status of this Honda, I don’t think it’ll need anything else! If outdoor storage, rat infestation, etc are mitigating circumstances we aren’t aware of, perhaps option #1 isn’t a bad idea.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.