By on September 11, 2013

Capture

Dan writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I enjoy your columns and thought I would get your input regarding what I should do with my current vehicle, a 2002 Acura TL 3.2. I purchased the vehicle new almost 12 years ago. The Acura has about 200,000 miles on it and is still on its third-transmission. As we all know, the transmission used on this vehicle was problematic but seems to be running okay. The car is very clean inside.

I recently priced out a new headlamp ballast and was surprised at the expense. I probably also need a new temperature sensor for the cooling fan, which seems to run in temperate weather when it shouldn’t. Timing belt change coming up and probably the brakes will also need to be changed soon.

A used car dealer I know, who I thought could sell the car for me instead suggested that I could get $5,000 or $6,000 at auction. I was surprised that the car could get such a high dollar amount, but he insisted that a lot of foreigners attend the auction and purchase vehicles such as mine to be sent overseas. He speculates that the mileage gets rolled back when they arrive in their overseas destination.

Sounds like it’s time for a new car and there are a lot of interesting vehicles these days, but at the end of the day, Honda/Acura has treated me right over the years and I don’t dare rock the boat. Besides, I’m from the Columbus area so I’m doing my part to help the local economy.

Ideally, I would like to wait for the new Acura TLX to purchase as a replacement. According to a local Acura dealer, it should start coming out about March, 2014. Would you 1) keep the TL around until the new TLX comes out, knowing that there might be expensive repairs coming up; 2) dump it now and get an Accord (with leather) or a CRV; or 3) just keep it until it dies?

Sajeev answers:

I’m surprised to hear a price range that high at auction, no matter who rolls back the odometer! Me thinks $3500-4500 is the high side with a very clean leather interior and shiny paint. Just for giggles, I logged into Manheim Auctions (thanks Steven Lang!) and verified that I was–once again–correct about the market for 2002-2003 Acura TLs. Why do I even bother with modesty anymore? 

Oh right: the Best and Brightest…but I digress…

Your man on the used car scene knows the local market: who participates, what they like, what they’d pay, etc. And I bet you want a new Acura TL, no matter what.  How difficult is that?

If a new TL is too damn hideous (could be worse, it was somewhat de-fugly’d in 2012) for your tastes, limp yours along until the next version arrives. And why not? You stomached those transaxle swaps and still love Honda/Acuras, so you can handle anything.

Buy a new TL or wait for the next one.  Either way, you can’t lose. Off to you, Best and Brightest.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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107 Comments on “Piston Slap: A High Mileage Tale to TL...”


  • avatar
    jz78817

    I don’t think I ever expected to see the words “still on its third transmission” used in a positive way…

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      “Honda/Acura has treated me right over the years and I don’t dare rock the boat.”

      I would suggest a Lincoln LS. They have a NICE, problematic transmission. Perhaps a Jag, or any Chrysler?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      An identical thought occurred to me. If you casually toss out the fact that you are replacing transmissions at the same rate other people replace timing belts, think this is no more than a minor quirk, and speculate on plans to purchase a successor vehicle only from the same company, then you need to acknowledge you are being slavishly brand-loyal.

      There’s no excuse for a transmission to be replaced twice with only 200k on the clock. If that were my car, I would have unloaded the thing the second transmission number 2 went out.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Honda automatic transmissions from that era are notoriously bad. Odyssey owners know what’s up. My cousin’s transmission shop makes more money fixing Honda minivan transmissions than Chrysler minivan transmissions these days.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah, but a transmission can gain a notorious reputation even if the actual rate of failure is, say, 10-15%. If that’s the case–and I would suggest the writer go to truedelta.com to check out what owners are finding–then keeping the TL until the new TLX–the car he really wants–comes out, is a small risk. I mean we’re talking 7 months, which at the rate this car has been driven, means about 9,000 miles–how likely is the tranny to go in the next 9,000 miles? And go easy on the TL in the meantime.

          And by the way, if you are going to insist on a slushbox for the new car, looking at Consumer Reports back to ’07, Acura and Honda transmissions are almost all “much better than average.”

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        A transmission every 70,000 miles is considered a major repair and major design flaw. Honda swaps the lead with Toyota in the top spot in recalls the last couple of years. Along with your transmission saga well documented on wiki, I would not recomend an Honda product.

        You should really compare other cars in the Acura price range as there are better deals out there with more power and better fuel economy.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Who would trust the judgment of someone who prevaricates so much and so often about the lamentable Buick Encore?

          As for your recommendation, the market says otherwise as Honda and Acura are better than anything you tout:
          https://www.alg.com/press-releases/honda-and-acura-rank-highest-in-algs-14th-annual-residual-value-awards/

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            A G35/G37 would be a better deal. Nissan uses a similar setup in the 350/370Z Sports car so you known expensive repairs like trans and engine are all robust. Honda does have a sports car so I would not recommend it for longevity. Beisdes you won’t need snow tires living in Columbus area.

            http://m.nbcnews.com/business/honda-recalls-625-000-accords-acura-tl-sedans-6202856

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            You brought up his Encore but not his 40 mpg 300+ horsepower Saturn Sky?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Don’t believe everything you read and only half of what you see.

          • 0 avatar
            VoltOwner

            http://www.statisticbrain.com/automobile-recall-statistics/

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          The Honda automatic woes (4spd in earlier v6s, 5spds in mid 2000s v6s) is a well known, and frankly, isolated issue. I can’t think of any other widespread or encompassing reliability or build quality issue that they’ve had. Old Civics had the main relay issues, 2nd gen CRVs are known to lunch a/c compressors. I’m sure there are several more. But the fact that over a 30 year span they’ve had just several problems speaks volumes of just how good the cars really are. Care to start listing off the issues Ford has had just in the past 5 years? 10? Or how about GM? Saab? Audi?

          I would recommend any new Honda to anyone based on reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            TTACFanatic

            @ gtemnykh

            Can you elaborate on the CR-V’s eating their ac compressors? My Mom just took her 2008 Element (roughly the same car as the 2 gen CR-V) in for ac repair. They refilled the refrigerant but could not find a leak and sent her on here merry way.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            From what I understand, it’s a failure of lubrication, resulting in a complete shredding of the innards of the compressor, sending metal shards throughout the system. A very costly repair indeed. I don’t know if the compressor design stayed the same from 2002 right to 2008+, hopefully not!

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Honda A/C compressors from the mid 80s through the early 2000s were pretty notorious for short lives. That said, Honda owes nobody any apologies for overall reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            joeveto3

            Don’t forget the Fit with its penchant for using the front end as a rock catcher to destroy the unprotected condenser.

            Hey Honda, A couple of dollars for a protective grill is too much? Would have made the car uncompetitive?

            Some sound deadening would have also been nice. Oh, and an evaporative emissions system that doesnt pop the check engine light after EVERY fuel-up. Dealer actually told me to rotate the gas cap 15-20 times to make sure it’s tight. Yeah, I’ll do that. No problem.

            Other than that, my first Honda automotive product is a dream….cough.

        • 0 avatar
          snakebit

          I would recommend looking at Acura and Honda as part of any search for a car. You can believe that the 1999-2002 V6 automatic transmission debacle was no fun for customers, or AHM dealer service and parts departments, and you can also believe that AHM made certain that newer product powertrains were as bulletproof as they could make them. Say what you want about the general driving experience of Honda or Acura, their reputation is always a huge consideration to them, as it is for Toyota and the others. Think of the Toyota experience with the unintended acceleration issue, widely reported as due to a dealer employee who placed the wrong floor mats in a dealer rental that resulted in a whole family wiped out when the car hit a fixed object at 125?mph. Think of all the fixes they paid for and put in place over what is blamed on one dealer employee. These are high stakes issues for manufacturers,and they take them seriously so as not to see repeated instances where their well-earned reputations can vanish with just one careless mistake.

        • 0 avatar

          Since 2007, Honda and Acura transmissions have had a “much better than average” frequency of repair according to Consumer Reports.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        no different than Subaru owners who consider head gaskets or BMW owners who call cam sensors “routine maintenance.”

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          I can live with a head gasket at 100-150k miles, which seem to be how long Subarus last on their original HG.

          Hell, I drove my 1998 Outback for 67k miles (purchased at 147k) and it never needed one. That car was extremely reliable, the only items that failed were a couple of PITA to replace dash bulbs.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This. Third transmission + other repairs = could have bought something more reliable a long time ago.

        If you have $800 or whatever for a headlamp ballast (not sure what this means, exactly) and at least $1000 for t-belt and water pump – and it’s not gettin any younger. Your suspension bits are probably bad too, you just don’t realize it.

        And I LOL’d at $5-6K. Why? Why pay this at an auction? Why not hop on CL and find the same car, with less miles, for $3500, and THEN ship it and roll it back. You’d be crazy to pay that figure.

        I vote dump it now.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          His car has HID headlights.

          HIDs (like fluorescents) decrease in resistance as they get going, so they have a ballast to limit current through them.

          Think of it as “magic thing that the lights need” and you know all that’s needed.

          • 0 avatar
            Firestorm 500

            Money is the magic thing that those lights need.

            I replaced one of the HID lights in my wife’s Cadillac STS for about $150 parts & labor.

            Buy ‘Murican!!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            What did you replace for $150, the capsule or the ballast? ‘Cos the ballast is generally a lot more spendy.

      • 0 avatar
        neonturbo

        Are you kidding me? Three transmissions in 200K miles? That is abysmal. How much did these 3 trans replacements cost? I suspect they were far from inexpensive being it is a Honda/Acura.

        If this was a Chrysler I doubt I would see a sentence like “Honda/Acura has treated me right over the years”. What a double standard from some people.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Stockholm syndrome. I know Audi drivers like this. “It’s only on its second engine!”.

      “So what if the synchro assembly is $900, that’s what you have to pay for quality!” That’s why we were replacing it, right? Pulling the trans on a B5 S4 is kind of a bear too.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        To be fair, any car driven like many owners drive their S4 ain’t exactly going to have Camry-like reliability.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Fine, but it would be nice if the car had Camry like serviceability

          FYI, the 1-2 shift collar issue that was being repaired was most definitely a quality problem on Audi’s part. The splines on the gear and collar weren’t hardened the same way and it caused the back edge of the dog teeth to mushroom so you can’t slide the collar into first or second. It’s fairly well documented.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          Meet the Corvette C5 and C6.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I’m having Audi flashbacks now. How I would put up with stuff before I knew better.

        As much as people bitch about GM, all the ninties GM products I bought on the cheap never stranded me anywhere or exhibited signs of being haunted by electrical ghosts.

        I loved my S6, but the cheap ass Park Avenue that replaced it started every day, not just when it wanted to.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      No kidding

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Wow, talk about Stockholm Syndrome. If I had TWO transmissions replaced I certainly would NEVER buy another car from that manufacturer.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I really liked my ’08 TL Type-S 6MT while I had it. And the 2012 & up TLs have been partially de-uglyfied with the grill beak removal and ass-end lipo. The 6MT SH-AWD combo is a very capable sport sedan which I’m sure can be found now with great incentives now that they are at the end of their run. I just hope Honda/Acura turns it around with the new model as they’ve really hammered the brand over the last few years.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    If your buddy can get you even 75% of that value, sell it now! Just make sure those numbers don’t involve the purchase of another car. As in, “WELL GIVE YOU $5000 MORE THAN YOUR TRADE IS WORTH!!!11!”.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The next gen TL was a smash hit, it actually outsold the BMW 3 series and all other brands’ luxury models (on a model by model basis) in 2004.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      That TL is a great looking car, but one year of sales leadership does not mean that much. Or are you saying the Chevy Sonic outselling the Honda Fit means something?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Buick sells more than Acura recently if that tells you anything. Yes, look elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        As you attest, Buick does very well with people w/ low credit scores and similar IQ.

        btw, Buick is not a premium brand:
        https://www.alg.com/press-releases/honda-and-acura-rank-highest-in-algs-14th-annual-residual-value-awards/

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          @thornmark: you resort to personal attacks after 3 posts? Run out Acura superiority facts already?

          Honda/Acura share too much. Got to laugh at the new Accord “Sport” emblems. As if the car can’t make the case the emblems can.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Laugh all you want at the Accord Sport Norm, but not only will a 6spd manual specimen outsprint your vaunted Verano Turbo 0-60 (with a naturally aspirated 4cyl!!), it will do so with superior fuel economy, roominess, not to mention long term reliability and resale value.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The Turbo Verano beats the Accord Sport V6 on the skid pad in lateral g load(carandriver)and beats all Accord models in braking and matches the Accord V6 figure-eight times(motortrend). No sport decals on the Buick.

            Verano Turbo owners have seen 36 mpg….better with manual transmissions. I get over 36 mpg exercising the latest Trifecta tune on my Turbo, leaving Japanese V6’s in the dust on the highway speeds on up.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Acura doesn’t even have a turbo-4 where every premium brand does.

          • 0 avatar
            kosmo

            And PTL for small favors!

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            After the first wave, there are second thoughts about turbo-4s. They are only fuel efficient if you stay out of turbo, so there’s little point regarding mpg. Modern naturally aspirated V6s are smoother and quieter. and with cylinder deactivation, not so thirsty.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            Is Lexus not a premium brand?? The IS250 has a 2.5 liter V6 as its base engine instead of a turbo 4.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Neither is Acura.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Norm, did Acura come to your house and kick your dog? In any thread with a mention of Acura, you have to make a point of touting Buick’s superior sales numbers. It’s really creepy. It’s like your new thing after everyone got tired of hearing about the mythical turbo Saabs that got 45 mpg while towing trailers up the PA mountains.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          So it”s not true that Buick out sells Acura?

          • 0 avatar
            kkt

            So what. Volume isn’t everything. There’s more Quarter Pounders sold than filet mignon.

            What will they be worth after 5 years, 10 years, 15 years? I don’t think that will look so good for Buick.

            Dan sounds like a buy it new, maintain it well, keep it forever kind of guy. Maybe he can pick up a TL still on a dealer’s lot after the TLX comes out.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            The ATP of Honda/Acura is closer to Hyundai/Kia than HMC is compared to all of GM combine average.

            http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1083364_average-transaction-prices-cross-31000-in-march-incentives-keep-declining

            Comparing residuals based on MSRP no one pays is pointless. Marketing scheme that Japaese fanboys love to quote is useless.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Since when is 200,000 miles ‘ high mileage ‘ ? .

    Modern cars should be able to do twice that , non ? .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      While 200k is indeed low for a car headed to the scrapyard (and this on isn’t) and low to be on transmission #3, it’s pretty reasonable for somebody that has held on to a car for 12 years and 200k to think it’s time for a change… it’s high miles for him.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “Since when is 200,000 miles ‘ high mileage ‘ ? .”

      Um, since forever? it may not be an automatic death sentence but I don’t care who makes the car, 200k is a *lot* of miles.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yes, 200K is a lot of miles for ANY car. It’s like a high mileage pair of shoes. They may look perfect on the outside, but down in there, they’re kinda worn out.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          How worn the car is at 200K depends a lot on how it is used, where it is used, and how it is cared for. A car driven 150 miles each way on a southern interstate five days a week is not going to wear out for a long time…

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I think the median car heads to the crusher at 140k.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Seems like such a waste, two of my cars are over that mark right now.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          that’s fine and all. Modern engines/transmission should and can go way past 200k. The rest of the car… Let’s just say I feel pretty confident that most of the time (i.e. barring any notorious design flaws,) cars aren’t scrapped because the engine popped. They’re scrapped because the owner gets tired of spending $1500 every couple of months because the suspension and other stuff is falling apart.

          that is, apart from the occasional dimp who responds “what’s a timing belt” if you ask about the last time it was changed.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          You also need to consider wear per mile. Some folks are putting 40k a year on their cars but all at 65mph on smooth Southern highways.. At 5 years they are at 200k and going strong.

          At the other extreme, you have someone who has been commuting into Manhattan from Long Island for 15 years. They may have 120k, but that’s a HARD 120k.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        How much of that is due to vehicles being totaled out due to expensive crash damage?

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Not even that. My first car hit 100k and was side swiped (not too bad) kept the insurance money and didn’t repair it. Then it got rear ended at 120k (kinda bad) kept the insurance money. Then at 125k it died on me so I had it towed to the dealer and traded it in.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        After 140k it usually doesn’t make sense to pay a mechanic to make repairs.

        For those that aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty a high mileage vehicle can theoretically be kept in like-new condition indefinitely for a modest amount of money. I’ve replaced damn near every bushing, bearing, hose, and gasket on my Bronco and it truly drives like a new truck. If I had paid a mechanic to do the work I would have been out a huge heap of money that would have been better spent on a newer vehicle.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Do the repairs and wait a while to buy the new TLX, when Acura is more likely to be dealing on them. Between driving without a payment for a while and getting a better deal on the car, you could save considerable money.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Keep the car. Fix it yourself if your worried, you can do everything if you do enough research. Timing belt included.

    Wait for the new model unless your transmission goes out in the meantime.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do with my time and knuckles than replace my own timing belt/chain.

      (I looked into replacing the chain tensioner on my Toyota pickup with a 22RE… yeah, no. $600 in parts and maybe 10 hours of labor, with horrible access to the front of the engine?

      No. A hundred times, no.)

  • avatar
    7402

    We bought our 2002 Honda Odyssey brand new and it probably has the same transmission. 140k miles and still on the original (you did have the recall service done, right?). At this point I know it is an outlier, but I pat myself on the back for having the towing package transmission cooler installed before taking delivery.

    However, getting the Odyssey transmission fixed/replaced would probably cost what the van is worth (maybe $3,500 in my neck of the woods) since it is pretty dinged up and has an (minor) accident on its CarFax report. I’ve decided that we’ll keep the Odyssey, dedicated to daily service within about 20 miles of the house, until that transmission goes–then it’s off to the wrecking yard.

    Just drive that TL until the new car you want comes out. If the transmission fails the delta between its current value and scrap value is probably less than the cost of the transmission repair.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Typical Honda owner.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I feel sorry for the guy in the foreign country who bought the imported Honda, err Acura, with the glass transmission, possible odo rollback, and simply may not know any better.

    Seriously though going through three transmissions in 12 years shows you’re committed to the Honda cause. I say Accord Coupe and don’t look back.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear your heart lies with getting a new TL, so I’ll tell you: Wait until the new TL is available.

    There are FAR worse things than allowing some emotion to creep in to a car purchase. In fact, I kind of think that is why we’re all here!

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      “There are FAR worse things than allowing some emotion to creep in to a car purchase.”

      There was a study mentioned on this very blog that people made “better” car purchases when buying with their heart rather than their brain, letting emotion rule more than logic. This makes some intuitive sense – 95% of commuters would be condemned to daily driving a Prius for 20 years if logic overruled all else.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    Go test drive an Accord V6 Coupe with stick :) If that doesn’t float you boat, make the necessary repairs to your old TL and keep it a while longer. With the upcoming TLX, it’s hard to compete with an imaginary car, and a first year model, no less.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Get a certified TL with a the manual trans and stop worrying about your transmission as a “wear item.” Yeah its ugly on the outside but when you are inside you don’t have to look at the car.

    Now if you are over your Honda obsession I would think a nice RWD Infinit would fit the bill just as well and likely be quieter inside.

  • avatar
    gasser

    You need to get at least 6 months out of this car until the TLX is available. Right now you need repairs/maintenance whose costs approach the realistic value of your car. If you can get ANTWHERE near the quoted value of your car SELL it now. Consider ’13 TL with those end of the MY incentives or the RDX. The RDX is a nice package, but the combo of V6 and auto may prove to be the same snake that already bit you.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I know Acuras are very reliable cars, but for someone who keeps his cars for 12 years, I would be concerned that Acura would be around that long. If he is looking at trade-in value after those 12 years, having an orphan is not going to enhance that.

    Their SUVs are doing OK, but with every redesign or re-introduction (see the new $60k RLX super-Accord and the new Civic Limited, er…ILX) Acura has less of a reason to exist. The last-gen SH-AWD cars never achieved BMW-competitor status, but they largely did work as intended technology- and performance-wise, and they did have things that set them apart from Hondas.

    Now, with the ILX and the RLX, Honda seems to have arrived at the conclusion that Acura passenger cars need to be merely top-trim Civics and 11/10th-scale Accords. Compare to Toyota and Nissan, which are 85% 4-cylinder/transverse engine/FWD, and their upscale brands Lexus and Infiniti, which are 85% 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder/north-south engine/RWD.

    Nobody at Toyota or Nissan is wondering whether or not to keep Lexus and Infiniti.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The shiny calipers that once represented Acura has now left to grow tarnished and dull. Now the ILX is outsold 2-to-1 by the Buick Verano.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        OMGZ you must stop talking about Buick. We get it.

        • 0 avatar
          windnsea00

          +1, call the mental asylum.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maybe they’ll ride him there in a Buick Terraza.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Funny enough, I have driven a Terraza extensively. What an awful, wallowy poor excuse for a van it is. Panel gaps inside you could fit a pencil into. Droning engine getting 20mpg combined. Hard plastics creaking around at 4 years old and <20K miles. All while people look at you and wonder what the heck you're driving because it's so ugly.

            Pros:
            -The contrasting piping on the grey leather seats looked nice.
            -The chrome outline gauges were pretty good.
            -Heated seats in a van.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I can’t believe I’m going to defend a U-body van, but 20MPG combined is about par for the course on a van circa 2005, and right what the EPA says you should be getting.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It was just such a small van though! I feel a comparable (larger) Freestar, Sienna, or Odyssey would’ve got a bit better mileage. There wasn’t REALLY room for 7 people in that van, more like 6. And almost no cargo room behind the rear row.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            That whole U-body minivan platform was a tremendous failure after the first generation (1990-1996)…and it had the added “bonus” of spawning the fugly Aztek and Rendezvous crossovers…

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Haha this is perfect! See my above comment about this strange obsession of Norm’s.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Interesting analysis.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      I’ve been reading the same sentiments about Acura for 20-yrs or ever since the Lexus LS took off and it was obvious Acura wouldn’t compete.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The brand chooses not to compete, its not as if Acura is some fledgling make just trying to keep the lights on.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          How true. I can’t help but wonder why they decided to be in between Lexus and that “B” make that somebody keeps bringing up.

          That “B” brand is highly underrated in my opinion. It makes a phenomenal three year old buy.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            3 years for Buick depreciationm I got my 2013 Verano Turbo for $23K with 6) miles in May, based on $31K optioned car. It does have a manual 6-speed transmission which very unBuick like.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Exactly. Kind of like the guy once that said to me “I don’t understand why people hate Chevys, I put 100000 miles on mine and only had to replace the engine twice.”

    And judging from the tons of Hondas on the road here around Columbus, don’t worry about buying one more.

    John

  • avatar
    afflo

    All this Buick talk…

    Dad is on his 3rd Accord, but stopped into a Chevrolet-Buick dealership to look at the retro-modern take on his teenage crush, the Camaro, and to test drive an Impala after the glowing Consumer Reports review. The salesman walked up to him as he got out of his Accord, and said “You look like a man who’d like to drive a new Buick.”

    “I’m old, but I’m not that old. !@#$ off!”

    He got back in his car and left. I pointed out that the Accord is just as old-mannish as a Buick these days.

    Maybe not terribly relevant, but the Buick-Accord argument above made me laugh. I guess the TNT Law & Order marathon is on commercial.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    3 transmissions and you come back for more abuse? After spending all that cash for repairs and maintenance, you’ll be tempted to hold onto it to get your money’s worth for the expenses. In which case better start saving for tranny #4.

  • avatar
    EnzyteBob

    Hi guys! I’m the person who originally posed this question to Sajeev. I wrote this question to Sajeev several weeks ago so I thought it might be interesting to give everybody an update.

    First, I just wanted to clear up what seems to be a misconception about the tranny. Yes, I am on my third tranny right now but the two replacements were on Honda’s dime. I have been very satisfied with the car overall, and even test drove and priced a Honda Accord with leather. The salesman at Roush Honda was nice enough to give me a realistic price I can sell it for on eBay, which would roughly be in the $2,500 to $3,000 range.

    My biggest worry is what happens if my tranny fails. I also priced out what this car is worth to a scrap yard for parts with a bad tranny and got a price of about $1,000 – $1,500. I guess the front ends on these cars are in demand according to the guy I talked to.

    So what I think I’m going to do is this:

    – Buy the new ballast for the HID lights and replace it myself. You Tube makes it look easy, though time consuming.

    – I’m at about 200,000 miles now and my timing belt replacement is due at about 215,000 … will try to stretch until 225,000. That should buy me another year or more to reassess.

    – If the brakes need replaced, I’m going to DIY it.

    – If the tranny fails in the meantime, sell it for parts. If you consider the depreciation on a new car, I think I break even.

    – If I like the new TLX, grab one in year two. If not, figure out something else to buy, probably Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      First of all, why not go to a junk yard and get a used ballast? It should be significantly cheaper than a new one and if your tranny died you won’t feel sorry for buying a used ballast.

      Second, as you say, brake is DIY, so easy a monkey can do it and you can use cheap[er] parts and 1 weekend afternoon of time, I’ve done many with ebay surplus / rockauto close out deal / amazon warehouse deal parts and most of my brake pads come out to be around $30-50 per axle.

      Timing belt is a common item that any gas station with a shop can do it. If you want you can buy Honda OEM parts, but if you want to save money you can buy Becks Arnley which use the original design and supplier of the OEM, or Gates / AC Delco if you want something cheaper and still reputable. American cars don’t have reputation for belt and water pump problems, and I’ve used them on my own car with no problem so far.

      That’ll significantly drop your cost down enough to keep your current car.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      If you put off a timing belt replacement, you deserve what you get.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Sell it for $5k-$3k, buy a 90’s Accord sedan, and use the leftovers for gasmaintenence. You won’t be fixing transmissions every 75k miles on one of those.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    I would not normally presume to comment, but I happen to be the long-time owner of a 2002 TL3.2 and, uhh…. dare I say it, a Panther. Imo, my skinny Panther with aftermarket improved suspension and good tires is 90+% as good a driver as an Acura of similar mileage and condition, it costs maybe half as much, and it rarely, if ever, eats major drivetrain components.

  • avatar
    billchrests

    Driving Cars costs money in payments vs repairs! It is time to get rid a car when repair costs equal payment costs of newer auto. This car needs a honest estimate of maintenance to last another 1-2-3 years and see if equal to 1-2 -3 year cost of new car including purchase taxes and increased insurance. My experience of keeping cars on road for 20 years and 500,000 km is monthly repairs average $200. Long term car ownership involves you in your car. If you like the car, keep it – billchrest

  • avatar
    RS

    If he can tolerate that kind of maintenance cost, it’s time to consider a BMW or Mercedes…and save a little bit of money.

  • avatar
    dvdlgh

    Golden2husky stated mid-1980’s to 2000’s Honda AC’s were notorious for problems. 87 Accord traded at 138k, my son’s 1988 Accord sold at 122k and a 1990 Accord traded at 127k. Never an AC (nor any other) problems. So I call bullshit!


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