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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back again with another question-
Looking for '03-08 Pilot for 1st car for college bound daughter. (Needs one for work...)
Saw one on Facebook...will look at it/tes drive tomorrow. Since it is far from my mechanic, I can't bring it to him to inspect. That will be another
issue but here are the specs.
Specs: "mom" car. Only Honda dealer service. Detailed records including timing belt service at 110K
Newer tires. Has 2" hitch....for bike rack (no towing...). No dents or rust (in typical rear wheel well areas)
Brakes...I think it may have been part of regular service? Will see on record.
Will look at interior condition but pictures look great.
Asking $7900

Any good (and fair) offer on my part?
thanks
 

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The used car valuation tool on the Edmunds site comes back with a private-party sale value of $6-7,000 for a vehicle in average to clean condition.

Do you have a basic OBD code reader you can take with you to check the vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, no...
While this might be the first time I buy car from a private seller, how could I have my mechanic take a look at it?
 

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2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L
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Brakes are a normal wear item and don’t really affect the value of the car.

Check all the fluids and drive the car. Make sure it shifts through all the gears smoothly. Crawl underneath and check for leaks or any other damage. Make a cash offer below what the seller is asking and the odds are they’ll accept it so they don’t have to deal with tire kickers and people asking if they’ll take payments.
At that age and mileage it’s not going to be mint, but that’s ok! Good luck.
 

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Since you’re not going to be able to have your mechanic inspect it, besides the good advice above don’t be scared to trust your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

If the seller is agreeable do the handoff of cash at your bank (assuming your bank has a branch near the seller) so that you’re not lugging a wad of bills around.
 
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IMHO, the 08 AWD is about as good as it gets for used. No VCM issues with the J35A9 engine. The last year of the first generation, and as I believe, the greatest generation.

If you have records to show all maintenance has actually been done, which is a rarity, then that certainly adds value.

On the flip side, I would be very worried about not having it looked at by a good mechanic. Many, many expensive things could be wrong. If that tranny goes, you will have deep regrets.

EDIT: 2 years ago, that price would be too high. But these days, everything is overpriced. It comes down to how badly you want/need it.
 

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EDIT: 2 years ago, that price would be too high. But these days, everything is overpriced. It comes down to how badly you want/need it.
I agree with this sentiment. Used car sales are off the charts so if you are looking to buy right now fully expect to pay a premium.
 

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I agree with this sentiment. Used car sales are off the charts so if you are looking to buy right now fully expect to pay a premium.
Check to records to see where the owner takes it locally for service. Maybe consider having them inspect it even if they ask for a small fee.

I know this is the owners mechanic, but their observations could be better than not having it inspected altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE!!
Just saw it and took ride. Everything is good. Alittle rust by wheel wells and by the rear trunk door (by hinges).
Tires-ok shape (Continental Conti trac...). Engine sounds good and no leaks. Saw the new Timing belt.
Got the VIN # and getting records tomorrow. Paint in good shape but it was stored outside and I thought it looked little dull in spots...but I get it.
With 150K, this might need new shocks, struts....I did those on my '04 at 150K

Overall, I thought it was going to be a 10. With all the maintenance records (from dealer...), I think mechanically it is a 10 but little disappointed in tiny rust areas (understandable but not mentioned in ad) and small rip in drivers seat.
He's asking $7999 which I think is too high....Will let him know tomorrow. Nice guy though...don't want to insult him with offer but I'm thinking 6500. He even offered to drive it up to me if I buy it....which is 40minutes away.

Am I being too particular???
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update #2-
I just ran the CarFax and WOW!!!!
I did find out that it was in a minor rear end accident at 110K (he never told me that...).
BUT over the course of 13 years, it had 66 service records at the HONDA dealer largely for regular maintenance. Oil changes (every 3K miles , brakes, filters.....multiple times, differential flushes...the works!) Every 30K service was done.
Timing belt/water pump at 106k, new radiator at 65K, air bag recall done, alternator 143K, a/c compressor 147K.
Unbelievable....I don't even want to know how much they spent at the dealer for all of this!!!

Now, I ran the private value calculation through CarFax and they valued it at $6700....(asking 7900)

Any comments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Trans changed at 70, 103, 120k
brakes 70,103
transfer 109, 147

as far as air bag, the only one listed on the CarFax is 5/15 Left air bag assembly
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update 3
The seller notified me that he has a 7500 offer on it.
Honestly, my gut tells me that it is still too much (even with all the regular maintenance....and such....) so I passed on it.
Call me stupid....but my daughter does not need a car that badly (she can take my '04...I know that's safe....) and we'll keep looking for another one in the future
Thanks
 

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I did find out that it was in a minor rear end accident at 110K (he never told me that...).
As someone else mentioned recently, in a private party sale, you're buying the seller's integrity. Leaving out a "minor" detail like being rear-ended is not a good sign.

Further, anecdotally, rear-end or rear-side impact appears to increase the chance of rear subframe connection rust in first-gens.

That's two big red flags. If someone else is willing to pay $7,500, I advise letting them have it. There's lots of Pilots out there.
 

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Yeah I wouldn't pull the trigger for 7500 - 6500 seemed reasonable. 🤷‍♂️ As my dad says, it is what it is! And heck, maybe he didn't have another buyer and he'll call you back.
 

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As someone else mentioned recently, in a private party sale, you're buying the seller's integrity. Leaving out a "minor" detail like being rear-ended is not a good sign.

Further, anecdotally, rear-end or rear-side impact appears to increase the chance of rear subframe connection rust in first-gens.

That's two big red flags. If someone else is willing to pay $7,500, I advise letting them have it. There's lots of Pilots out there.
Totally agree!!

As they say .....“buy the seller”

Wouldn’t be surprised if you heard back from the seller in a few days that it is still available.
 

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Minor rear end could have been so minor the seller forgot about it. I wouldn’t let that deter you from buying it. Seems like you may be searching for reasons to convince yourself not to buy it.

Just make a cash offer you’re comfortable with and if he accepts it, great and if not go back and keep looking.
Maintenance records indicate the car was cared for and that’s enough for me.
 

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The $7500 could be a bluff. Could be real. Make an offer. He may take your lower offer if you are ready to buy today. Lots of people make offers but never come up with the money or they play games.
Did you ask the guy why he's selling? Also if you are able to borrow an ODBII scanner, I would still try and check the codes. Sometimes people will clear the codes (disconnect the battery) so that the CEL isn't on. An average scan tool should tell you when the codes were cleared (how many miles and starts). If the codes were cleared recently it may be a red flag.
 

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Back again with another question-
Looking for '03-08 Pilot for 1st car for college bound daughter. (Needs one for work...)
Saw one on Facebook...will look at it/tes drive tomorrow. Since it is far from my mechanic, I can't bring it to him to inspect. That will be another
issue but here are the specs.
Specs: "mom" car. Only Honda dealer service. Detailed records including timing belt service at 110K
Newer tires. Has 2" hitch....for bike rack (no towing...). No dents or rust (in typical rear wheel well areas)
Brakes...I think it may have been part of regular service? Will see on record.
Will look at interior condition but pictures look great.
Asking $7900

Any good (and fair) offer on my part?
thanks
Youll find a better price down the road im sure. If this gives you any hope, I bought my '03 from a Honda dealer with 113k miles, great service records and some flaws (front seats were worn down to the foam) for $6k last year. Deals are there, just keep searching.
 

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While you always need to temper your expectations for a used vehicle, once again I'm going to suggest using the excellent Sticky checklist. It does include having the vehicle checked by a trusted mechanic, but if that's not possible, the rest of the checklist is even more useful.

 
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