Long-term Update: 2014 Accord EX-L V6 6MT at 60,000 Miles (and 2013 Accord EX-L V6 6MT, Too!)

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
long term update 2014 accord ex l v6 6mt at 60 000 miles and 2013 accord ex l v6

I didn’t fear failure when I was young. I feared being just like everybody else, another face in the crowd. In a word, I feared being average. It seemed like a fate worse than death. Well, look at me now, living in suburbia, just another middle-aged white guy with a lawn and a 401(k) and a nagging worry that each and every racing physical I take will reveal that I do, in fact, have inoperable Stage IV cancer of the colon. “You have 42 pounds of undigested meat in there,” the doctor will sigh, “just like Elvis.”

The universe depends on my average-ness. I work three jobs and I pay a truly astounding amount of taxes to at least five separate governmental entities. I haven’t taken a non-working vacation since 2006. There is not a single assistance program anywhere for which I qualify. About a decade ago I decided to go back to school in the evenings and get my doctorate in literature. “As a 35-year-old white man,” the dean told me, “you wouldn’t be eligible for any of our assistantships.”

“Not a problem,” I replied, “I’ll pay cash. How much does the degree cost?”

“Well…” he huffed. “There’s no actual cash price per se because everybody is on assistance, which is only fair given today’s bigoted climate.”

“So I can’t pay to go to school, because nobody pays and you don’t know how much I would have to pay, because there’s no cash price for presumed bigots who are not on assistance because they’re ineligible for assistance.”

“I’m not sure that’s a fair way to phrase it.” Each and every day I have a better idea of what motivated the character of “D-FENS” in Falling Down. He, too, was an average fellow.

As fate would have it, I have a perfectly average car, and a perfectly average payment. Two of them, actually, although I only have a payment on one of them. Let’s see how they are doing.

Experian says that the average car payment is $523 per month. Amazingly enough, the payment on my Accord is $517 a month. That’s spooky close. I have six more of those payments to make and then I will own my Accord free and clear.

Last week, we cleared the 60k mark on the odometer, which means I should get some service done. The arrogant paucity of Honda’s warranty encouraged me to quit dealership servicing some time ago, a pattern I won’t break this time. The only relevant items on the recommended list are a transmission fluid change and a fuel filter replacement. Since this car occasionally sees light track use it has fairly frequent brake service and oil changes off the schedule.

Surely you won’t be surprised to hear that nothing’s gone wrong with my Accord. The general level of NVH seems to be climbing a bit, which is fairly typical with Hondas. The paint remains notable for its fragility. Two of the deepest chips on the hood are now the resigned burnt sienna of early-onset rust. I could have it fixed, but it will be less hassle to wait until the hood starts to bubble — at which point I’ll hit it with a sanding disc and paint the whole thing Rustoleum flat black in an ironic tribute to the Challenger T/A 392.

I’d like to trade the Accord in on a Challenger T/A 392. I would also like to trade it in on an Energy Green 2018 Civic Si coupe. I will do neither of these things because the idea of having no payment is simply too appealing. One of my readers did me the courtesy of locating a brand-new “6-6” coupe in California. “Last chance if you want it,” he said. I do kind of want it, but not enough to reset the payment clock.

As the photo above indicates, I’ve been using the coupe to shuttle my road bike around. It performs this task very well. It performs all tasks very well. The sheer competence of the thing has afflicted me with a disturbing sort of ennui. “How many things there are here,” the sage said in the market, “that I do not want!” In the past few months I’ve driven most of the current German iron up to the S63 AMG. I would not trade my Accord for the S63 AMG. Not even if there was no cash involved. If I want something ponderous I’ll drive my Silverado.

So the next time we discuss my little grey Honda, probably around the 75k mark, it will be paid off and, I hope, causing no trouble. There are a few things I might do for it. I happen to have a very expensive “J-pipe” sitting in my basement. It would make the car louder. I could K-Tune it for extra revs. I could get a license plate frame which says “My other car is also a Honda Accord Coupe.”

The other car, as some of you will remember, is my 2013 Accord V6. I am not making payments on this one, which is nice because I’m never sure if it’s going to come home on the wrecker. Together we have combined for five Honda Challenge wins in five starts so far this year. This past weekend I raced alone in class because the S2000s and engine-swapped Integras have stopped showing up. I can’t blame them. I reset the track record on Sunday by a full 1.7 seconds. So I’m forced to race against non-Hondas. To paraphrase a boast frequently seen on the back of diesel-powered Dodge trucks, my Accord is eatin’ Mustangs and shittin’ BMWs. It is remarkably fun to drive. It sounds somewhat crazed at the peak of its rev range. It destroys two brand-new $312 Toyo Proxes RR tires every one hour and fifteen minutes of operating time. The front ones, obviously. The rear ones do nothing. They just hold up the bumper.

As soon as I sew up the regional championship for 2018 I’m going to move to the Sport Touring class within NASA, where I will get to run against everything from turbo Miatas to Camaros. It should be fun.

Last week I was looking for something in my photo archives and I ended up taking a self-guided tour of all the neat cars I used to have and drive. Porches and Phaetons and CL55s and S8s and many things besides. The person who bought all those cars was the same person I am now, but I don’t have a good handle on what drove him. It’s not average to own three Porsches at the age of 32. It’s super-average to drive an Accord to work at the age of 46. Call it regression to the mean. I’m alright with it. The water is fine in the middle. Come on in.

Just for the amusement of you track rats, here’s the opening laps of Sunday’s race. The back tires had just been swapped and they were frosty cold, which is why it takes me about three minutes to start really putting pace on people. Have a great weekend, everyone!

[Image: Jack Baruth/TTAC]

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  • Carroll Prescott Carroll Prescott on Jun 11, 2018

    I can relate. My freshman year in college where I applied for student grants was an eye-opening affair, my parents, a father who was an E-6 in the Navy and my mother, a part time hourly wage bookkeeper, owned a house (bank financing with monthly mortgage payments), and had a five year old and a seven year old vehicle in the driveway, made too much money (!) for me to get more than $40 per semester in grants. I had a year younger sibling but she didn't add much of a burden in the eyes of college financial aid folks. Fast forward decades and my stupidity in employment had me stay with a business that was freshly hatched and bit the dust after five years (not my business); I worked six days a week, had no pay increase in all the time I worked and I took one vacation for a week. When the place went belly up, I was going on 50 and had vast experience in the food/restaurant/retail business, yet it did not take long to sense that grey hair and a birth date in the 1960's was a red flag that I was not worth hiring. Life is a bitch - but now I work for the best place ever having also taken my skills to do web design - this client of mine recognized I was not just an average chap and offered me contract work outside of web stuff and soon I was hired on a part time basis and now work full time and I am so happy I was not hired for any of the scum companies that actually interviewed me. I've had to adjust my lifestyle down for the pay that I receive, but I truly am blessed. I hope you will make the most out of your situation and I am sorry you own Honduhs.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jun 25, 2018


  • Gray Not bad, including the price. A little worn, but it's 34 years old and looks complete and original. The 318 is one of their best workhorse engines, and is easily modifiable to 400 hp. If I needed something to drive, I'd consider it. I think those are stock wheels, btw. Fifteen inchers look tiny these days.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird One of the reasons why Mopar dropped the removal top version was that the marketing department found that few owners, maybe 20% took the trouble to unbolt and remove the heavy fiberglass roof.
  • Zerofoo The UAW understands that this is their last stand. Their future consists of largely robot assembled EVs that contain far fewer parts. Factories moving to southern "right to work" states and factories moving to the southern-most state of Mexico.I don't think lights-out auto factories are on the horizon, but UAW demands might move those automated manufacturing process timelines up.McDonalds opened a fully automated restaurant in Texas in 2022 in response to a $15/hour minimum wage demand. I'm fairly certain that at $130/hr - fully robotic car factories start to make sense.
  • Redapple2 Cherry 20 yr old Defenders are $100,000 +. Til now.
  • Analoggrotto So UAW is singling out Ford, treating them slightly better in order to motivate the entire effort. Mildly Machiavellian but this will cost them dearly in the future. The type of ill will and betrayal the Detroit-3 must be feeling right now will be the utter demise of UAW. I just hope that this tribulation is not affecting Mary Barra's total hotness.