By on February 25, 2014

Chris writes:

Dear Sajeev,

Back in 2005 I purchased a new Honda CR-V. It recently rolled over 200,000 miles. It has never given me any trouble or needed anything but normally scheduled service and the usual wear items (tires, brakes, battery). It has survived the New England winters rust free. Most importantly, it’s paid for.

Is there anything proactive I should do to keep it on the road, maybe even for another 100K? I don’t mind investing now if it will save me major repairs later. As trouble-free as it’s been I can’t see replacing it (nor am I in a position to right now), but given the mileage I feel like I should be waiting for that other shoe to drop!

Sajeev answers:

Wow…recanting Monday’s Piston Slap kinda sounds like a good idea now. The CR-V laughs at our Rust Belt Woes!

Probably the best things you can do (outside of regular servicing) is keeping your ride as pretty (wax/detail at the minimum) and as nice to drive (new shocks/springs) as possible.

The former is obvious: you want a vehicle with decent curb appeal, otherwise you’re driving a mere winter beater year ’round.  Even if that doesn’t bother you, why let it get worse when you don’t have to? Pride in your Ride…Son!

The latter can keep the suspension at its ideal geometry, preventing excess wear as its bones get older.  And new shocks make sure those old bones don’t cycle up/down unnecessarily, in theory.  Plus, it’ll ride and handle like new again. Which is the textbook definition of an “added perk.”  So what else is left that you may never notice until it’s too late?

  • Replace all rubber hoses at your next coolant flush. (even the ones to the heater!)
  • Replace engine serpentine belt.
  • Inspect all vacuum lines for cracks/brittleness/gooey-ness.
  • Upgrade your speakers (with the cheaper side of the aftermarket) so you can hear what you’ve missed, or shall miss.
  • Replace headlight bulbs, odds are the filaments are far from their original efficiency.
  • Lubricate weatherstripping with silicone spray lubricant, slick up door hinges/latches with something the factory recommends.
  • Shampoo carpets.

I’ve probably left plenty on the table for the Best and Brightest…so off we go!

 

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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106 Comments on “Piston Slap: In Praise of the 2005 Honda CR-V...”


  • avatar
    eManual

    Hopefully Chris is saving the car payment (~$300/month) and dropped collision / comprehensive insurance if it makes sense with his finances. Insurance companies do not pay out replacement cost for such a good vehicle. Nothing beats cash in the bank when it’s time to replace.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I might keep comprehensive but drop collision depending on the agent/company. I don’t believe comprehensive is that much more than liability with a $100 deductible, its collision that kills you on a beater.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I just don’t get the “drop full coverage” crowd. You don’t think the few extra dollars a month are worth getting paid the vehicle’s book value if it gets totaled in a single-vehicle or at-fault collision?

      We kept full coverage on the 2005 Focus even after it was paid off. Good thing too. When it got wrecked last year, I got a check for $7000 from MY insurance company… same amount that we financed when we got the car 2 years ago! Without full coverage I may have gotten salvage value and nothing more. You guys must pinch pennies until Abe screams bloody murder. Nobody’s gonna miss that few extra dollars a month, especially for the peace of mind it buys.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Depends on what you’re insuring. An 05 Focus/100K might be worth something, my 98 Saturn is worth about $500-700 on a good day and liability alone is close to $400/year. So if I spring for the extra $300 or so a year for collision (and a total of say $700/yr) I might get a check for $1,000 if its totaled? What if I pay the additional monies for two years and just junk it in year three? Collision is only worth paying if the car has a real value, IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          Willyam

          Yep, it’s tough. I drive an old CR-V, and it has 12 years and only 70k miles. It’s very nice inside, as Honda interiors of the time were pretty dang durable. So, it’s worth way more to me than it’s salvage value ever would be. Of course, as you know, many folks can’t drive anymore, and a lady in a dealer loaner (she may have wrecked the other one too) ran a stale light and clipped the RF headlight, fender, bumper, etc.
          Cheap collision saved me only 700 or so on the repair. If she had caught me even farther back, I would have had decent money to find another car, but it might make more sense to put a grand a year away in the bank and save the premiums up front. Dilemma.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Quite a dilemma. I think what grinds my gears is the floor price they set per car on any level of insurance. I’m sure it varies from state to state but here if its got four wheels and a motor its at least $300/year for liability. If I have four cars @ $300 for basic liability, does this mean as driver I’m a $1200 risk, or it is simply because the floor price of an individual car’s policy is simply too high?

          • 0 avatar
            eManual

            Willyam, why did you pay if the lady ran the light? Normally the other insurance company pays for the damage or totals the car. Your insurance company may raise your rates after you choose to collect, even if the other party was at fault.

        • 0 avatar
          Alfisti

          This. No way I pay $400 a year or whatever on a car worth $500.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think a good rule of thumb is this… if the savings on the difference between full coverage and liability in one year are more than the value of the car, just go liability. Otherwise it’s probably worth it to go full coverage. In NYC I had a long lineup of ~2-4K shitboxes and they cost about $300-400 a month for just liability. Down here in NC my wife and I have full coverage on BOTH of our ~9K cars for ~$200 a month (I think). When the bearings went on my last ’93 Accord, I sent it to the junkyard w/all kinds of aftermarket parts and goodies because it wasn’t worth it to me. On the flip side with these cars me and my wife have, eating 9K is just too much. So it definitely depends on the money and value of the cars involved.

        • 0 avatar
          baggins

          that rule of thumb will lead you to buy waaay to much insurance. Best way to think about it is if I dont buy the insurance, and I suffer the loss, how much will it affect me?

          If it will cost you 4K and you only have 8K avail cash, then yeah, you need the insurance

          If it will cost you 4K and you have 80K avail cash, you should roll the dice.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        The expected value of insurance is about 50c on the dollar. In other words, on average, you pay 2x what probability says you’ll get back.

        The purpose of insurance is to cover painful losses, it a losing game on average, but mitigates risk. But you should only mitigate risk you cant afford to go against you. Most abusrd example of waste of money insurance is when I was offered insurance on a beer cooler, “full replacement”. I was like, well if it breaks I;ll just buy a new one. Circuit City used to hawk the hell out of insurance on electronics.

        For me, I dont cover collision or comp on a car worth 7K, I carry a 2K deductible on my newer cars, and a 10K deductible on my homeowners.

        Another factor is that making small claims is a good way to raise your policy costs. Hence, I take my chances with my 7-10 year old car.

        On the other hand, I have a 2M general liability umbrella policy over top my maxed out liability coverages.

        I wont pay to lay off a 5K risk, but I will for a 500K risk.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I have news for you… the CRV even at 200k is still worth some decent coin, more than enough to justify the full coverage insurance. I have a 2002 CRV with over 200k and it is still worth $5k or so, at least in insurance payoff value, according to my insurance company. It costs me about $100 every six months for collision, and like $40 for comp, so I keep it fully insured. Chris can check with his ins company to see what it would be worth at payout, but mine is pretty good about replacement value.

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        Insurance is a bet, you are betting you will get in an accident and they are betting you wont. The odds are what you pay. So lets do the math, KBB suggests (not knowing your particulars) that a CRV in good condition being sold to a private party is worth $5555. That is close to what the insurance will pay to fix or replace your car. If you pay $300 a year extra for full coverage then you will have lost the bet after 18.5 years. So input your figures and then ask yourself, “do you feel lucky?”

        • 0 avatar
          eManual

          Don’t forget that the bet is that you caused the accident / damage to your car. If you are a good driver, it’s more likely that someone else will have caused the damage in a collision. And if you spin out on ice, you can determine how much “fix’in” you need to do vs. standard insurance. In an old car, maybe you can live with some extra dents and fix it yourself for $500 vs. an insurance total giving you $5000, which might increase your premiums.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Not in the great state of Michigan with our “No Fault” law. It means that your pay no matter what. The best you can get is your deductible waived if its not your fault, and that varies by insurance company and policy.

            I got rear-ended a while back. I had a decent policy with Farmers at the time so the deductible was waived. Then they jacked up my rates about 60% the next time my policy renewed. I went to get a quote with Esurance and got quoted $180/month. When I went ahead to buy the policy, the rate went up to $265. It had an explanation link next to the price. I clicked it and it showed an itemized invoice of the repairs done when I was hit.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Another shining example of why Honda reigns as king.

    Next.

    (Somebody… quick- queue the pro-domestic rally!)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Honda has certainly built some epic models in the past but depending on what you like or need, the domestics might have made something comparable. Pick your poison.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I can’t think of a domestic car from 2005 I would buy with 200K miles. Maybe a Crown Vic? Meanwhile my 04 Z has ~170K miles and runs like a top. And its nowhere near the top of the Japanese reliability heap. Even with the domestics’ recent improvements I think there is still an appreciable gap. I’d put Honda/Toyota’s simple 4 and 6 bangers up against any of the competition’s goofy turbo 3s and 4s. A turbo rebuild/replacement on something like a Fusion 1.6/2.0T would probably cost the same as an engine replacement on a CamCord, and that turbo replacement is way more likely to happen.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Don’t worry. Those turbos are coming to the CamCord world sooner than later. I agree with you though. I like a simple 4 banger for an everyday family sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I like a “simple 4-banger” too, as long as it has a turbo. Having owned Saab and Volvo turbos with WELL over 200 K on them, they don’t scare me a bit.

            A turbo is the closest thing that exists to a free lunch you are ever going to get under the hood of a car.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’ve always thought of Honda as the guys who make vehicles with Toyota-level reliability, but don’t brag about it or expect you to pay the “Toyota tax”. My mother just bought a new CR-V, and the three things I’ve liked best about it are as follows:
      One, the cloth seats feel like actual cloth-upholstered seats, something you might have in your house circa 1975 (or your car, for that matter). Now that we’ve discovered that all the fire retardant chemicals and fabrics are actually carcinogenic (big surprise there), hopefully more and more new cars will be like this.
      Two, it’s quiet. This might not be that big of a thing for most people, but I’m used to early-2000′s vehicles (which have degraded a little more than slightly in the past 10 years), pickups and trucks (which have good sound deadening, but really loud engines), and tractors (where 70 dB is considered quiet), so it came as a pleasant surprise to me.
      Three, form actually follows function like it’s supposed to, not the other way around. The styling is pretty straight so it doesn’t intrude on passenger or cargo space, which I find attractive in and of itself.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Do you think they still are? I know Toyota has fallen a LOT in the public eye since the 90′s heyday, and Honda has taken similar actions (cost cuts, non-Japan manufacturing, etc.). I only ask as I haven’t owned a Honda newer than 2001 or so.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          I think one can look at the Camry vs Accord and who is really number one to get a picture.

          Over 60K Camry’s went to fleet, mostly rental last year – about 16% of sales. In terms of total numbers, for passenger cars, nothing comes close (in terms of percentage different story). Early last year Toyota said they would do whatever it took to keep Camry number one in sales. That included fleet, give away leases, Detroit (Ford Fusion) grade cash on the hood (never a good sign for a new model), and the lowest ATP in its class (lower than the Chrysler 200 even).

          The Honda Accord came in second place in the same sales battle – number one in retail (e.g. remove fleet sales) with 1.8% of Accords going to fleet. They did this with the class lowest incentives, and for non-luxury vehicles some of the lowest incentives in the industry. They also enjoy much higher ATP and a smaller dealer network.

          Is a 2014 Accord built with the same quality of materials as say a 1994 Accord? No – like the other Japanese makers the bean counters have made their cuts. Does it compare to the Camry? Not even close to the decontenting and material cuts made.

          Is this saying the Camry is a “bad” car. No. Not al all. Toyota found over 330K retail customers to buy one last year. Is the Camry in the same class as the Camcord view of say twenty years ago. I would say at this point no – the Camry has sunk more than a peg below the Accord at this point. But that doesn’t mean the Camry is a “bad” car. This isn’t an “attack” on the Camry.

          Honda’s picture isn’t exactly perfect in the quality department. 5-speed automatic V6 combinations from about a decade ago, rear brake issues resulting in a recall on the Accord.

          Data point after data point after data point has shown the gap from worst to first in quality has never been so narrow, and never been so overall petty (my infotainment system lags, the tranny shifts rough, I have a rattle). This is a huge change from say 15 years ago when the worst might have dropped its tranny in five years and first would go 200K trouble free miles.

          In the B, C, and D segments, mainstream, near luxury, and luxury, in the subcompact SUV/CUV, compact SUV/CUV, and mid-size SUV/CUV, again, in mainstream, near luxury, and luxury – there really isn’t a dog among them anymore (OK, so the Land Rover Evoque is a crap shoot after warranty expires – there is always an outlier).

          The now dead Chrysler 200 was uncompetitive – but there was no reason not to expect 200K miles from it. With a Pentastar V6 and some options you couldn’t even call it a penalty box on wheels. Did it “compete” against a Fusion, or Optima, or Camry, or Accord. Nope – but by how we use to define a “bad” car, it wasn’t bad either. The previous gen Corolla was also uncompetitive – but again there was no reason not to expect 200K miles from it. Was it a penalty box on wheels? Again in S trim certainly not – but was it class competitive to the Cruze, Elantra, or Focus. Nope – but that doesn’t mean it was a “bad” car either.

          The concept of what is crap and what isn’t has evolved from will it go 200K miles to is it “competitive” in class.

          We live in a golden age of efficiency, reliability, power, features, and choices.

          Thirty years ago if you said that in the future you could have 300+ HP and 0 to 60 in under 7 seconds and 30 MPG highway (for real) and nice options, features and comfort and 200K miles of general reliability with basic care and regular gasoline – and it wouldn’t really matter much if was from Detroit, Tokyo, or Munich – you’d have been called a nut.

          • 0 avatar

            Comment of the day.

          • 0 avatar

            +1 I just rented a Kia Optima, and it had full electronics. Steering feel was decent, it was very quiet, and the seats were OK. Not putting my BMW on the trailer, but I got 27 mpg and four six foot people fit comfortably. The price was a mere 23k as rolling.

            There was a lot of distance between, say, a Pinto or Vega and a Mercedes Benz back in the day. Today, not nearly as much.

          • 0 avatar
            poltergeist

            I’ve worked on Honda’s at a dealer for over twenty years and I don’t remember any “recall” on Accord rear brakes.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @speedlaw Welcome to government regulation.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          So far, it seems most of Hondas cost reduction has been on choices,(as in fewer color choices) more shared parts ,like engines, across the model range, and trying less to be ‘different’/taking less chances (cutting the Element and ZDX). I think they will have to get very desperate to make cost cuts that affect the reliability and general quality of their cars. But, I also know that Chrysler/Mopar had a similar reputation for quality until the 1957′s came out…

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Honda cuts things they hope customers won’t see: a prime example was the Mid-cycle Model Change of the 8th-Generation N/A-market Accord (2011 model-year), where they took out a little ambient LED light over the console/center-stack which shone a little light on things at night; however, THEY LEFT A DIMPLE IN THE OVERHEAD PIECE where the light was previously installed!! (Honda also removed the glovebox light from N/A Accords; the ambient light came back for the 9th-Gen (2013+ N/A, JDM, SEAN, AUS Accords), but not the glovebox light in N/A.)

            Honda has taken heat for not having 60/40 split rear seats in the Accord, versus other makes, but they did have a pass-through for skis or other longer, thin objects. Well, for the N/A Accord, they removed that pass-through, ostensibly for NVH reasons. BUT..the pass-through remains for the Accord in other markets!

            They’ve also started to specify windshield glass without the dark tint band across the top, which was always a little “extra” that Civic-based vehicles didn’t have; it’s nice to have that band there so you don’t have to fool with the visor until the sun gets lower. It’s a shame because what always would impress folks about Hondas was how they got the little details right, which added up to a car that seemed better than the sum of its parts. Perhaps with Erik Berkmann (sp? — an engineer/”car guy”) taking a leadership role with Acura AND Honda N/A, while John Mendel (bean counter) seems to be on the way out, Honda will continue to come back, and they’ll start sweating the small stuff again.

      • 0 avatar
        Hemi

        It’s funny you find the CRV quiet. I drove a family members new 2012 CRV with less than 100 miles on the odo and found it loud, cheap and tinny. I just spoke to a non car enthusiast friend looking at CUVs and she disliked the new CRV calling it tinny.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          All Hondas will feel noisy if you’re used to german cars. I would the think a 2012 is a lot less noisy than the previous model though, and my 2007 is very quiet compared to the 2003 I used to have, which felt like a luxury car for my colleague coming from a first gen CR-V. The brand and model of tires have a large impact on road noise these cars though, especially if they are a couple of years old.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Like I said, this in comparison to my ’02 Mazda Tribute, several pickup trucks, a ’77 Ford L700, and numerous tractors, including several mid-60′s open-station John Deeres.

          Not to make anyone feel stupid (because no one on TTAC is stupid, they just have knowledge of different things), but most non-farmers don’t realize how much of an advance was made when John Deere introduced the Sound Guard body back in ’73.
          I’ve only been in two JD’s with non-Sound Guard cabs (7020 and 6600 combine), so my personal experience is limited, but they were LOUD. There were plenty of aftermarket and factory-installed cabs out there in the late 60′s/early 70′s, but they were literally a steel box bolted to the frame. Thousands of farmers, my dad’s grandpa included, went deaf at 50 because the engine noise was only amplified by the early cabs. But this–the Sound Guard was the first cab to be completely isolated from the frame, insulated and built with sound-deadening materials. Essentially like going from an unmuffled motorcycle to a mid-70′s car.

          The introductory film started in the cab, with the narrator describing the new layout, controls, other features, etc., then the narrator opened the door–and the tractor had been running the entire time.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        “I’ve always thought of Honda as the guys who make vehicles with Toyota-level reliability, but don’t brag about it or expect you to pay the “Toyota tax”. ”

        Then how come Toyota and Lexus have consistently rated higher than Honda and Acura in reliability surveys? Honda builds a good car, but this internet notion that somehow Toyota has taken a complete dump in quality when survey after survey shows this is not the case is tiresome (cue the “my uncle’s girlfriend has a Camry that suckssss!!” anecdote). It’s not even been two weeks since the latest JD Power survey came out where Lexus pretty much raped every single brand in quality.

        As for Honda not bragging, have you ever seen a commercial?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I try not to watch any commercials at all. For anyone or anything. Commercials in general pander to the lowest common denominator, and end up making us all look like idiots. And right now I find Toyota’s the most insufferable. But even as a Ford fanboy, I don’t particularly care for their commercials either.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Toyota has taken a hit – in terms of materials, assembly, and the once common over engineering. What has not taken a hit is reliability. Toyota still is tops in that regard.

      • 0 avatar
        Atum

        My mom’s RAV4 definitely fell under the “Toyota Tax” (I explained the options and price on Winston’s Soul review). But in the 90′s and mid-2000′s even, Hondas were more expensive for what they were. Nowadays, they’re pretty cheap.

        My parents have never owned a Honda/Acura vehicle in their lifetime. But they’ve owned several Toyotas.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    +1 on the $300 per month ‘Car Fund’…I’ve been doing that for years even when I don’t have an impending car purchase (adjust the car fund to what you can afford, course). Also, I agree with Sajeev that belt and hoses are the best preventative maintenance, especially at 9+ years old. Cheap in the big picture and a ‘disabler’ if the belt or upper/lower rad hose gives way. Use of a 3M 08877 Silicone Lubricant Plus (Wet Type) for door seals is key as well…Even helps with road and wind noise, which is something a 2005 CR-V DEFINITELY will have (like many Hondas of the era).

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      If you want a good rubber seal lubricant, use this stuff.
      http://www.mbpartsworld.com/p/__/SLIDING-COMPOUND/7317662/0009890367.html
      It’s ridiculously expensive, but this stiff is amazing. Mercedes requires you to use it on all folding hard top seals. The roof can be crazy load with rattles, and you lube the seals with this stuff and it goes quite. I wish I knew what it actually is, or who makes it. Mercedes has done a good job keeping it secret. Calling it only Special Sliding Compound.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I wonder if it is the same thing as “Gummi Pflege”?

        http://www.amazon.com/einszett-914806-Gummi-Pflege-Rubber/dp/B004B8GTQG

        This is what BMW specs for the same sorts of uses. Works like a charm.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I think the original Gummi Pflege was discontinued due to some environmental regulation. The new stuff sold as Gummi Pflege does not live up to the reputation of its predecessor.

          Post Gummi Pflege, BMW was recommending an obnoxiously expensive substance called Carbaflo: http: //bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/83230309627/ . Some parts suppliers say this too is no longer available. Not sure what they have moved on to.

          GM sells a similarly expensive weatherstripping lubricant that is alleged to be Dupont Krytox GPL-105. My sensitivity to squeaks and rattles drove me to spring for this. It does work, though it had better for what it costs.

          I’ve heard good things about Honda’s shin-etsu grease. I’ll try that if the krytox runs out.

      • 0 avatar
        poltergeist

        Honda recommends “Shin-Etsu” grease to lubricate and quiet noise seals. Works great and not as pricy as that German stuff. http://www.amazon.com/Honda-Genuine-Shin-Etsu-Grease/dp/B006Z9TZ9M

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Honda also has what they call “squeak tape” that’s available online. I’m not sure WHAT it is — I’m guessing some sort of electrical tape with felt on it maybe. But is does work in quelling trim-on-trim rattles and squeaks.

          And +10 on the Shin-Etsu — got a tube of that for my 2006 Accord’s door seals (which were always a source of rattles because of the window design; there is a TSB for it), and that stuff made things tolerable.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Well, it’s not just Honda. My sister lives in New England and drives a 2002 Subaru Forester she bought new. It has “only” 140k on it, and has already gone through the usual Subie bugaboos (head gaskets, half shafts, etc.), and she plans on keeping it a bit longer. She was looking at a new one, or a RAV4, and found she couldn’t see out the back as well as her old car.

    Any newer car is likely to be quite a change over the visibility of the 2005 CRV, and not necessarily a pleasant one. I was in the market for a new car last year, and a 2005 LeSabre dropped into my lap. I chose that over a new Lucerne, which was a huge step back in visibility and interior space.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Every year my wife and I go to the car show to see what’s new, and keep an eye on the range of cars she’s interested in. Her “first cut” test is to sit in the driver’s seat, and look over her right shoulder. An ever-increasing number of otherwise viable options have been eliminated by that test.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Tune up, fuel filter/pump, check muffler, control arms, ball joints, struts/springs.

    My Pontiac is in the shop now getting a tune up and new front struts/springs at 78K/7yo. I want to start replacing the factory stuff in my 16yo beater but my mechanic cautions me on being too proactive with other maint and losing money if it blows up beyond economic repair.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I’m in a similar boat with my 10 year old 143K mile beater. I know that swapping out springs and struts, and a couple of other projects would be beneficial – but with a book value dwindling below $6K, and a private sale value of maybe $4K, I’m reaching that point where I’m starting to ponder, do I do enough to keep it running until the wheels fall off, or do I risk the investment.

      Plugs, wires, and bodily fluids by mid-summer when it hits 150K miles for sure. Really pondering if I just gimp along on the stock suspension components. It isn’t THAT bad – and I have bad wiring to track down in the traction control system as it is (that I can’t ignore, but if it turns out the ABS module is going south, it basically is a death blow – not worth fix)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You’ve got to expel those bodily fluids alright I just might not wait until mid-summer.

        I’ll tell you what I told him on the Saturn. My brother has an 02 nearly identical and by now bro was supposed to have gotten something else and the 02 become mine as a replacement. Unfortunately he suffers from Constanza like frugality with a touch of indecisiveness (in financial matters) and refuses to part with it. So I said Chuck we both know the 98 Saturn will not be allowed to die, its too effective as a winter beater. My Pontiac turned into a Christmas tree when I ran it in the POLAR VORTEX. The Volvo did well starting but its battery is on life support and needs replaced (about 3 yrs old), additionally it fishtails in poor conditions so I seldom drive it in snow. But the cockroach oil burning Saturn with the 4yo leaking battery and junkyard transmission I fully expected to s*it the bed laughed at the POLAR VORTEX. So I say if you have an effective beater whose overall condition is at least fair, keep it running until it is not economically possible. I can’t imagine the cost of an ABS module is more than the value of the car if it was running.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        What car is it? You can usually find an ABS unit for a reasonable cost online.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Spending money on it at this point is a waste. The best plan of action is to sell it now while it still has reasonable value, or only do the things absolutely necessary to keep it on the road until it gives up the ghost or you are able to afford something else. That doesn’t mean to stop maintaining it but do not waste your money on new suspension pieces or items like new speakers.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Yes, because in all likelihood, it’s going to need a timing chain soon (they do stretch and wear out, and the chain tensioners wear as well) and that will be a $1K+ repair.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Are Honda K24s known for worn chains? I know GM lamdas with the 3.6 had a problem with that on early MY cars, but I haven’t heard of anything like that on Hondas. Audi 4.2 is known for premature chain guide wear, don’t know of other examples. This is where timely oil changes really start to matter in the long haul.

      • 0 avatar
        yesthatsteve

        $1k+ for timing chain repair every 200k miles is quite a bit better economically than $1k+ for timing-belt-and-related-bits maintenance every 100k.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The chain in my dads Accord looked really beefy and I don’t see it stretching any time soon. The chains used in a Mercedes are way weaker in comparison. Even those usually last over 200K without issues.

        I also wonder if it is possible to roll the Honda chain in like the Mercedes. All I could find online was people removing the front cover.

      • 0 avatar
        poltergeist

        The Honda K series timing chains (and guides) seem to last “forever” as long as you don’t run the engine low on oil. Same with the tensioner. At 200K I wouldn’t touch it unless I had a really good reason.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        The chain tensioner is not a big deal though. I think that cost $50 on the 540 I had. Accessible from above – just unbolt the old one and replace.

        As for servicing the timing chain, $1k sounds optimistic from what I have heard about other engines that need chains/guides. My mechanic quoted $3k if that were to happen to a BMW 540.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The CR-V certainly does seem to last. Many examples of that vintage faithfully plodding along.

    On the other hand, my brother’s 2004 Element was, to put it bluntly, completely knackered at 200,000 klicks (120,000 miles), the engine sounding rattly and the mileage never very good, 23 mpg US lifetime average. It had transmission repairs, A/C repairs, the steering rack failed. He fixed all that and about broke even on the repair costs trading on a new Mazda CX-5. His mileage is more than half pure highway too.

    You’d think a Honda would be a Honda, but that doesn’t seem to be a universal truth.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      It’s true that a Honda is a Honda, but it’s also true that a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a cheese box isn’t going to get good gas mileage. Your brother’s experience otherwise is certainly in the minority among Honda owners.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      23 MPG average on an Element? That’s pretty good! I have two Elements, one with a manual and one with an automatic and I would guess they have a lifetime average of around 20 MPG. On long highway only trips I get 24 MPG, tops. As fincar1 states, the issue is one of aerodynamics — a brick-like object (the Element) isn’t the most sleekly designed automotive design to grace our roads. But mine have been reliable as all get-out. The manual is approaching 100,000 miles and has only had a crank position sensor fail. The automatic has 77k and hasn’t had a single issue. I keep up with maintenance faithfully by the book.

      I also have a 15 year old CR-V with 160,000 miles on it and from experience can recommend that the hatch struts will need replacing, the master door lock module will fail, and the plastic radiator will crack. Replacing those would be a good preventative course of action.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        I think speed limits may be a contributing factor. Here in Norway most highways are limited to 50-60mph, so the highway mileage for a ‘brick’ will probably be lower than when going 70 or more. My manual CRV had a normal average of roughly 25 mpg ( I do a lot of short distance cold engine driving), but with lots of highway driving I could see 27-28 (pulling a 3000lbs camper-trailer on hilly Norwegian roads in summer would take it down to 17 though)

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Ive never been able to get better than 23mpg out of my 2002 CRV and that was a highway trip where I drove 55-60 the entire way. Once I get up to 70mpg the mileage drops, and around town I struggle to get out of the teens. Not speed related either, it’s driven like a grandma most of the time. Mine is an auto though so perhaps this is a case where the manual really improves the MPG like back in the old days.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            On the first two generations the manual vs auto made a difference, from the 3rd gen, it mostly made an impact on accelleration (well, I guess over there you didn’t have the manual option after 2006). Driving like a grandma could actually be part of the problem, as you need to accellerate firmly to engage a higher gear as quickly as comfortably possible, which will also keep the engine in its most efficient range while accelerating. My 2007 auto seems to average about 25 too, but I’m still getting used to the automagical transmission (my first in a daily driver)and the ‘drive by wire’ throttle.

    • 0 avatar

      No stuff there. I bought an Acura MDX, thinking I was getting a “honda”. What I got was an old GM truck (same suppliers up there in Ontario) with a transaxle made in Japan. My bro, who has had many of the hondas mentioned in these pages, is at a loss to explain it. My euro cars have been more reliable. I now say the A on the grille is for Alleged honda…

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Verse yourself in this vehicle’s transmission service schedule, if you have not already.

    • 0 avatar
      ekaftan

      +1 I had one of those and the only thing that worried me was the transmission.

      Replace the oil at least as much as the -severe- maint schedule calls for.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This is only good advice if he’s been changing it as scheduled. I’ve always heard that if you’re at 200k/other high mileage, and decide (even though there aren’t problems) “Hey I need to service the tranny now,” that you’ll pay for it with a quick decline in functionality afterward. The new fluid acts like a detergent, cleaning out all the metal bits which were barely hanging on previously.

        • 0 avatar
          guevera

          The trick is to actually replace the tranny fluid 1/3rd at a time, one month between changes. Total PITA, but it lets you ‘catch up’ on the maintenence without frying the old tranny. Had to figure this out when my buddy went off and bought a used Accord v6 automatic — the notoriously bad tranny.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Never heard that before, but I will keep this in my memory bank for the next time someone asks me transmission things.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    We have a 2002 CR-V EX bought new. It has just over 110k on the clock, and Wifey loves it. It is indeed the family truckster and we use it as such.

    We maintain it by the book, but Wifey will not drop full coverage on insurance. Fine with me, but not sure if it’s necessary.

    I keep it reasonably clean, but needs a good detail, so I plan on spending most of a day this spring cleaning every nook and cranny, giving it a good coat of wax and then touching up all the rock and parking lot chips and polishing the headlight lenses, which are rather weather-beaten.

    Fortunately, our local Honda dealer – Performance Honda of Fairfield, OH – I give them a plug because they are a very good dealer – which is where we bought the car is just down the street from where she works and she’s able to drop it off for service easily.

    Although I’m a Chevy guy once again, I strongly believe the CR-V is the finest vehicle in its segment.

    Take care of your ride and you should easily get 300k or more.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Just keep it up with all the tips mentioned, if you haven’t allready. As for the rust, the ground clearance and reasonably smooth floor makes for few rust traps, but the sill and arch plastic protection should be taken off once in a while (and you’ll probably have to replace some clips there while you’re at it) to make sure there is no dirt trapping salt and water in there. If you can live with less ground clearance, I can recommend a set of H&R sport springs and adjustable Konis (originally sold as Yellow Sport, they are now branded as ‘heavy track’, but still have the same part number.) It will need camber adjustment arms in the rear, but it will improve handling, fuel consumption and tire wear, so it’s a win-win-win-win if you account for looks too. There are also loads of accessories out there for it. If it’s a manual, there is actually room in the transmission for a sixth gear if you find the correct part numbers, and are willing to get your hands dirty (and live without the reverse lockout), and the K24 engine can be tuned mostly with factory parts from other Hondas/Acuras if you struggle to overtake on the freeway. I think it’s pretty obvious that I miss my 2003 Crv now…
    Stay away from old people with Parkinsons in small Mitsubishis coming the other way…
    Oh, I almost forgot, the AC compressor can fail, and take most of the AC system with it…other than that you should be safe.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      “If it’s a manual, there is actually room in the transmission for a sixth gear if you find the correct part numbers, and are willing to get your hands dirty”

      Very interesting. I have a 2004 CRV with the 5-speed manual, and the gearing is infuriatingly short. Had no idea it was possible to add a sixth gear.

      I’d echo Sajeev’s recommendation to upgrade the audio. Features like Bluetooth and an SD card slot make the car feel a whole lot more modern, for not much money.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Heres a link to a thread about the 6 speed conversion. Apparently the internals are the same as in a TSX transmission, but with a spacer where the 6th gear should be.Transmission jobs really aren’t for novices though, so don’t try unless you have experience, and a nice clean workshop. And change the clutch while you’re in there anyway.
        http://www.hondasuv.com/members/showthread.php?t=20118
        PS: if you decide upgrade the audio, it could be a good idea to add some sound deadening like dynamat while the door cards are off to replace the speakers.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Growing up, my friend’s mom had a 5spd 2nd gen CRV, and for some reason she’d leave it in 3rd or 4th gear, when cruising at 55 mph. It was like nails on a chalkboard. Absolutely mind boggling.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    If the interior is getting rough, you could have it re-upholstered with nice leather as a reward for keeping it in good condition. It will be like having a brand new car.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      If I were ever in the position where I had kept a car long enough to warrant a reupholstering, I would put in shag carpet. Dead serious.
      “There are many others like it, but this one is mine”? Not anymore.

  • avatar

    My mother had that exact car. I hated driving it as a teen, but now I appreciate the genius of the CR-V. From a practical standpoint, one of the best vehicles money can buy.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    Just keep going with the crv. If it’s still in good shape. The difference between 200000 miles and 280000 miles is probably only $1000 retail difference. Which is around $6000 to $7500 retail. If engine and trans is good just keep going. Do the transmission fluid change and get all new belts and hoses. Also put some good tires on her. It will give the feeling of a newer car if it always has good tires.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree with you, but I can’t ever imagine paying that amount of money for one with such mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I’m not sure I would pay $6,000 for anything with 280K miles on the odometer. Way too many ticking time bombs and way too many questions on what was or wasn’t taken care of at that point.

        But there are folks out there who will spend it…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Help me find them, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them to drive on.

        • 0 avatar
          alsorl

          Come down to Florida. A crv in good shape even with 200000+ miles will get $6000 to $7000 retail easily.
          Just six months ago I sold 2005 Hyundai accent hatchback with 180000 miles with some fading paint for $5200 cash. It did run great and had and auto trans.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I have a 2002 CRV with over 200k miles and I was in the same boat as you once… how much to spend on it to keep it running well. I ended up getting new struts and springs all around, did all the bushings and control arms and ball joints. And you know what?? I really can’t tell much of a difference. I can’t really say for sure if I would spend the money again, even though I did most of the work myself and got the entire thing done for about $700 or so. If you get it done at a shop you are probably looking at $1500 or so. I would say if you are happy with the ride and handling now then save your money. These things seem to last and last with no real problems… I have had the door locks and one window regulator go bad. The door locks were not too hard to change yourself for $25 in parts, I haven’t done the window regulator yet so I can’t say how bad it is yet. They are not quiet on the road anyways, so why bother with speakers… if you are that into music you have the wrong car anyway. Having this interior done in leather will cost you close to $2k, which is crazy. Buy some nice custom fit seatcovers for $250, if you even need it; the interior wears like iron. Cosmetically all that black exterior plastic is a PITA to keep looking nice, I am about to try an internet recommendation of Penetrol to see how that works. If it doesn’t, I have a gallon of Plastidip and a sprayer. Polishing the headlights is a waste of time, it doesn’t last and you can get new headlights for $50/each online. I haven’t heard anything about the timing chain replacement that someone else mentioned… I need to look into it more. Make sure you keep the trans fluid fresh, forums recommend doing a drain and fill every 3rd oil change… it takes about 3 quarts to refill and it’s cheap insurance. Crazy simple to do, the drain plug is very easy to reach even without jacking the car. Oh and the rear diff needs fluid changed every 50k or so, I had that done so I don’t know how easy it is. My most important recommendation is to put on really good tires, that seems to affect the ride and handling more than anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Sajeev may have suggested new speakers to drown out the road noise. Hondas are not the quietest vehicles out there.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Changing the fluid in the rear diff is pretty simple. Buy the genuine Honda fluid, even though it’s expensive. You need just over 1 qt. so you have to buy 2 bottles the first time. You need to get a funnel with a hose to reach the fill plug to put in the fresh fluid. I think I also took off the rear wheel on that side to make room. Undo the fill plug first, before you undo the drain plug and empty the diff and then discover that you can’t refill it.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        Id recommend a turkey baister or they have this little pump for like 5 dollars that goes in the quart. It’s prefect considering Honda dual pump usually comes in quarts.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          I keep the old “conehead” caps from gear oil bottles and screw one onto the Honda gear oil bottle (threads are close enough). Then I use a short section of 3/8″ ID clear PVC hose on the tip. Hold bottle inverted and squeeze.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        OK well I bet that is what that half used old bottle of “pump fluid” was that I threw out last week when cleaning out the garage! But thanks, sounds easy enough, I am getting close to the change interval on the diff fluid so I suppose I will give it a try. Good tip on removing the fill plug first too… Thanks!

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    While you can still get them from the manufacturer, get a set of original equipment floor mats. Do this even if you use 3rd party mats day-to-day. Consider getting a new driver’s seat. If you have leather, consider getting the car re-upholstered. Consider getting new carpet.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      We got Weathertech mats for my wife’s 2006 CR-V. We are in the rustbelt and have two small kids, so the Weathertech mats really save a lot of wear and tear on the carpet.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        +1 on the Weathertech mats. For any vehicle, really, if you plan on keeping it more than 25,000 miles or so, it really is worth the cost. The previous owner of our ’08 F-350 farm truck splurged on some, and they fit perfectly. The driver’s side even has a cutout where the manual 4×4 lever is. And you could literally dump a gallon of mud into each one and it would just run out when you open the door; that’s how deep the sides are.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Right on, I have some deep well mats in my 4runner and a rear cargo mat, the carpets look like new on a 1996 truck.

        I hate how salt encrusts carpets once it soaks in, very hard to get out (even using the old vinegar trick).

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I think my parents have everyone here topped. They still drive a first model year 1997 Honda CR-V each and every day to work. Their commute is short though, so I think it has 150k to 170k now.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That’s usually where my mother’s cars end up being once we trade them off, even though it’s every four years on the dot. Her commute is 75ish miles a day, 5 days a week, plus any driving on the weekends–it really adds up.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’d make sure that the inline automatic transmission filter has been changed along with regular fluid changes. Not sure 2005 has one, but other years do. I installed an aftermarket Magnefine magnetic inline filter on my Accord and wish I’d installed one before the transmission rebuild.

    http://rdx.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=803129

    The negative about installing a filter like this is you have to be disciplined about changing them with a fluid drain and fill roughly every 24k to 30k miles.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I think Sajeev’s advice is excellent: Take care of the cosmetics. Immortality is overrated if you are driving around in a rolling dung-heap.

    If the car continues to look good, then unquestionably the suspension repairs and other maintenance are worthwhile. If it has rust, not.

    The rest of Sajeev’s advice is also excellent. Electrical things are what will leave you stranded more often than not, so making sure that the ancient spark plug wires are replaced, and that the hoses are replaced will save you a lot of grief later.

    As far as the insurance question goes: It depends. I was surprised at how little it cost to keep full coverage at my age. You just have to ask.

    Cars like that don’t come around that often. I understand the “car fund” idea and you have to maintain the liquidity to at least make a 5 or 7 K down payment, but i used the money I saved on my “immortal” to make the down payment on my first house.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Wow, everyone here actually has good car experiences.

    *My mom’s MPV had brake issues and one of the sliding doors (the doors were manual) wouldn’t open. It didn’t even have 65K when we traded it in to Team for the Rogue.

    *My dad’s Rogue got the TCM replaced at 66K. I may have even mentioned that on another post today.

    *Let’s not get started with the Ranger. Even though it has no options, it was only 11 grand and had only 20K when purchased. Nothing recently, but it was a scam from the dealership, an actual Ford dealership.

    *The RAV4 has 20K, and it’s a Toyota. Enough said.

    Toyota and Honda do what my family and everyone else needs: provide ROOMY, RELIABLE, SAFE, FUEL EFFICIENT transportation with good highway pickup, comfy seats, easy controls, FWD, and extra options (sunroof, power ports, power liftgate, etc.). In the popular models from these companies, all under 30 grand.

  • avatar
    salguod

    I’ll second mnm4ever’s questioning of replacing the struts and springs. The springs certainly should last the life of the car, and Honda seems to spec struts to do so as well. If there’s nothing to complain about in the ride & handling department, leave them alone.

    On the other hand, I’d recommend taking a hard look at the motor mounts and the front end. I wouldn’t be surprised to find bad tie rods and stabilizer links. It was somewhere north of 175K on my ’99 Odyssey that I replaced a couple of motor mounts, all 4 tie rods, the stabilizer links and a CV joint. Not all at once, thankfully. The struts and shocks, however, still performed much like new at 200K.

  • avatar

    My secret weapons to keep a car feeling new.

    Replace suspension bushings every 40-50k. They are usually cheap to do and if you can change a tire you can DIY this. Firm bushings clean up a lot of odd noises and movements. I stay stock because I’m willing to replace them.

    End links too, if you are there.
    I have a 100k MDX and a 300k BMW that feel new, because I keep the small chunks of rubber fresh. Oh, and use OE, because wwhile aftermarket is the same shape, it isn’t usually the same rubber.

    Keeping these new will make the whole rest of the suspension last longer. No one (in the US) ever thinks to replace these as a consumable part.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    A few thoughts:

    Look on the Honda forums online and find out what the common failures are on high-mileage CRVs. Address them before they fail.

    If the car is in good shape and is suited to your needs, to me the question is not what it is worth to someone else, but what is it worth to you? I have happily spent real money to maintain and upgrade older cars, as the cost to replace them is far more. I never concern myself with what the car is “worth”, if it is meeting my needs. I don’t understand why people let cars fall into decrepitude, it is just so unnecessary.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “I have happily spent real money to maintain and upgrade older cars, as the cost to replace them is far more.”

      This is pretty much always true. Even though I replaced my last car with another well used car, it still would have been much cheaper to fix the old one. I didn’t because of rust and I was sick of some aspects of it. Now I am tempted by some new cars coming out this year, but I remind myself that I can have my current car in the shape I want it for the equivalent of the sales tax on a new car.

      Only change cars when you are sick of them or they aren’t meeting your needs. If the car is rust free, cheapest thing to do is repair indefinitely.

  • avatar
    facelvega

    On real 200k car maintenance: did you really do all the wear items? Because at 200k, wear items should have already included not only the tires, brakes, and battery, but also (as Sajeev mentions) the drive belt, hoses, and plugs and wires, and it is about the full normal life for the alternator, water pump, fuel pump, exhaust (in New England for sure), tie rod ends, bushings, and all fluids including coolant, transmission, differential, and probably brake and steering. And at 200k almost any automatic transmission is a time bomb even if you have been changing the fluid.

    If you want to pre-invest in the next 100k miles, I’d replace all these before bothering with the suspension, unless the suspension feels really tired. However if you’re following the true beater way, you should just buy all the imminent fail parts for cheap online, and replace them only when the old ones finally die. Nothing like doing a one-wrench drive belt and alternator swap in a gas station parking lot at night when it’s -10 degrees out. Ask how I know!

    The rest of the way of the beater: find a good independent mechanic for what you can’t wrench yourself, they are cheaper and better than dealerships. Locate the nearest u-pull-it lot, and even if you don’t need anything now, grab some head and taillight lenses and some interior trim bits to tide you over, just in case. Keep all records, notice anything that seems off with the car and figure how to diagnose what any problem likely is though extensive google use. For fun, see what your mechanic charged you for parts on your last repair, and then price those same parts at Rockauto. Repeat. If all this sounds fun, I predict a strong likelihood of the CR-V hitting 300k miles without breaking a sweat.

  • avatar

    (The actual Chris who sent in the question here).

    Thank you for all the thoughtful replies (and you, too, Sajeev).

    My CR-V dates back to when they built them in Japan. I don’t know if that accounts for the build quality or not, but it has certainly been solid.

    I should have mentioned that I am indeed staying on top of the belt and hose replacements. I will admit to using the dealer for most of my service, but frankly the three I have used (while living and/or working near different cities) have not tried to screw me (yet).

    Despite a variety of tire experiments it has always exhibited some pretty loud road noise. My best noise / wear / cost compromise has been with Hankooks from Tire Rack.

    I replaced the dash AC/heater bulbs last summer myself, as they are a pain in the ass and would have cost a lot in labor. I hear on the Honda forums that there is an AUX connector on the back of my stereo and may try hooking a MP3 adapter to it.

  • avatar

    Love K24 CR-V’s. My dad’s girlfriend had one with a 5-speed and 4WD. It lived most of it’s life in New Hampshire and apparently didn’t get washed much, it had an alarming amount of structural rust. And a voracious oil leak from the crank position sensor. And a lot of other problems.

    She got rid of it when part of the rear subframe cracked going over a bump. They’re not immune to rust.


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