Piston Slap: Another Impending Coupe D'etat?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap another impending coupe d etat

Alex writes:

I have a 2000 Honda Accord Coupe EX-V6, 253k miles, original automatic transmission. I’ve had 2 motor mounts replaced, a heater core, and otherwise just standard maintenance (transmission service every 50k miles, new belts every 100k, along with new water pump; new alternator whenever I burn the old one out). Last year, the tranny started whining, giving the inevitable death wail of the Honda slushbox. But it’s still going strong, the wail has stopped, and the transmission fluid looks and smells as clean as ever. My wife and I are looking into buying a 2009 Honda Fit Sport to replace it. The question: do I sell this bad boy or keep it, and do I wait till it dies to buy the Fit (or Pontiac Vibe, or something else)? Full disclosure: my father in law is a GM mechanic, who would love it if I bought a GM.

Sajeev answers:

I’m tempted to make an ironic (yet ultimately tasteless) joke about in-laws loyal to GM and purchasing Toyota-Pontiac crossovers for their satisfaction. But as a single man who believes in Karma, I shall refrain from doing so. That said, I am a sucker for these Accord Coupes, as previously mentioned in a two-part Piston Slap about another coupe.

Question is, are you a lover of the Accord Coupe’s charms like yours truly? I’d think so—misery loves company—and that you’d be disappointed/offended at any offer you get on trade-in. Or from a tire kicker from Craigslist. A second car is great if space allows, because they come in handy. If you buy a tall and noisy Honda Fit (or similar), you’re gonna love having an low slung, NVH savvy, V6 Accord coupe available for long distance travel. Just my personal guess!

So go ahead: keep it. Whenever the transmission fails, bite the bullet for a quality rebuild that addresses the known flaws on these units. See the link above to understand the process involved. Another viable option is getting a junkyard transmission for about $1000 from car-part.com, LKQ, etc. and have a local mechanic install it. The latter option is also great for whenever that motor bites the dust: finding a unit with less than 100k on the clock, for less than $1000, should be fairly easy with a little negotiation.

All it takes is a little research on the appropriate forum, a decent mechanic, and love of the best Honda coupe ever made to make it happen. Good luck to you.

Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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2 of 43 comments
  • Just clicked over 255.5k. Still going.

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Dec 16, 2010

    I was thinking about this one while driving the other day behind a TSX... makes me wonder why Honda doesn't make the Accord coupe off of the smaller JDM/EURO Accord platform instead of the NA platform. You'd think such a car would be closer to this model (or even a Prelude) than the current offering...

  • FreedMike Race car drivers are all alpha-types. Aggression is part of the deal. I think you see more of that stuff in NASCAR because crashes - the end result of said aggression - are far more survivable than they would be in F1 or IndyCar.
  • Analoggrotto Only allow Tesla drivers to race, we are the epitome of class and brilliance.
  • Wjtinfwb When my kids turned 16 and got their Operators, we spent $400 to send both (twins) to 2 driving schools. One held by the local Sherriff was pretty basic but a good starter on car control and dealing with police officers as they ran the school. Then they went to a full day class in N Atlanta on a racetrack, with the cars supplied by BMW. They learned evasive maneuvers, high speed braking, skid control on a wet skid pad and generally built a lot of confidence behind the wheel. Feeling better about their skills, we looked for cars. My son was adamant he wanted a manual, Halleluiah! Looking at used Civics and Golf's and concerned about reliability and safety, I got discouraged. Then noticed an AutoTrader adv. for a new leftover '16 Ford Focus ST six-speed. 25k MSRP advertised for $17,500. $2500 above my self-imposed limit. I went to look, a brand new car, 16 miles on it, black with just the sunroof. 3 year warranty and ABS, Airbags. One drive and the torquey turbo 2.0 convinced me and I bought it on the spot. 7 years and 66k miles later it still serves my son well with zero issues. My daughter was set on a Subaru, I easily found a year old Crosstrek with all the safety gear and only 3k miles. 21k but gave my wife and I lots of peace of mind. She still wheels the Subaru, loves it and it too has provided 7 years and 58k miles of low cost motoring. Buy what fits your budget but keep in mind total cost over the long haul and the peace of mind a reliable and safe car provides. Your kids are worth it.
  • Irvingklaws Here's something cheaper, non-german, and more intriguing...
  • Wjtinfwb Happy you're loving your Z4. Variety is the spice of life and an off-beat car like the Z4 intrigues me as well. More than anything, your article and pictures have me lusting for the dashboards of a decade ago. Big, round analog gauges. Knobs and buttons to dial up the A/C, Heat or Volume. Not a television screen in sight. Need to back up? Use the mirrors or look over your shoulder. If your Z4 had the six-speed manual, it would be about perfect. Today's electronified BMW's leave me ice cold, as do the new Mercedes and Audi's with their video game interiors. Even a lowly GTI cannot escape the glowing LED dashboard. I'm not a total luddite, Bluetooth streaming for the radio would be nice and I'd agree the cooled seats would be a bonus on a warm day with the top down. But the Atari dashboard is just a bridge too far for me.