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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
*Preface: Dad of large family with school-age kids. Wife's '08 Expedition has been the do-all for family duties and such. But, I'm looking for something bigger than my Tercel to have fun in and complement the Expedition. Toyota driver for 20+ years. Possibly decent deal on the table with an 08 Pilot.

Backstory if interested in my dribble; or SKIP AHEAD:
My daily driver has been a tiny '96 Toyota Tercel still running strong @ 260k with only minor repairs and tuneup done later than should have but I wouldn't hesitate to take ole faithful across the country if I had the whim...if it's just me that is. I'll still keep her for back/forth to work, but I've been keeping my eyes open for a decent deal on a more fam-friendly / multi-use vehicle for dad / kids outings, campouts, trips, hauling small items, and occasionally possible pulling a small 4x8 trailer. My wife already has a '08 Expedition that does most of our family duties but if she's out and about and I have the kids...well, we're not going anywhere. So I checked out a '13 Toy RAV4 with 108k from stealership for $13k. They were only interested in selling new vehicles and not dealing, not even a little, so I walked away to wait for another day. I really don't like buying from dealerships anyways so nbd.

Since then, I've had my sights set on getting a '12 Toy RAV4 6 cyl (no more 4 cyl's for me) when lo and behold I saw a pretty...er nice lookin' Steel blue metallic Pilot for sale on the way to work. I did a double-take and said "Hmm...that's interesting...maybe?" Couple weeks rolled by and some issues with Expedition having to be put in the shop really puts a damper on family auto needs so I says to myself "I've waited long enough. Get something soon!"

SKIP TO HERE from Backstory:
Back to the blue Pilot siren on the side of the road calling out to me as I drive back/forth to work. Called the ph # on the 4 Sale sign for price and details from the seller. The guy's asking price was less than $5k OBO with 130k on the clock for 2008 Pilot EX-L? Older gentleman with health issues and doesn't need the larger vehicle anymore. Paid off from Honda dealer back in '15. Clean CarFax. All the recalls were done except 1 for the passenger airbag. Emissions check has been done every year and passed. Decent exterior paint condition with only a few dings (I'm not looking for perfect). Seats / Leather looks good for the age. I'm thinking not a bad deal(?). Again, I've never owned a Honda, but heard good things from other owners in the past.

Concerns:
According to previous interested party's mechanic, No leaking oil or major noticeable tranny issues or other obvious warning signs. Recommended replacing timing belt and rotors need to be turned. Regular maintenance updates needed.
I'm not sure, but probably hasn't tune-up either if TB stuff hasn't been done.
Also, I noticed on rear springs at the bottom what looks to be a big rubber ring that seems to be deteriorating??? Drive-ability doesn't seem horrible after a few test drives over speed bumps and driving back / forth on the parkway at 60 mph, but I'm sure I would replace it.

Minor concern - Sunroof seems off track or something. It lifts but doesn't slide back. And the seal seems bent up on one side so it doesn't drop back down with seal fully in-place. I don't see any evidence of leaking issues but can't say 100%.

BIG Question for Piloteers:
Comp costs are about $7500-8500 for similar listings for this year ('08) and mileage (130k) Pilot sold from used dealers. If I need to spend $1500-2000 for roadworthy maintenance and peace of mind, DO YOU THINK IT'S WORTH IT? I'm looking for a reliable and trustworthy workhorse, family hauler if/when needed, trip-taker.

I'm not a mechanic and convenience of time is my enemy, but I also don't have a big budget for years of major mechanical issues (who does, right?). That aside, I've got quotes from local reputable shops for $800 for timing belt / water pump / tenioners + tune-up / spark plugs / idler pulley, serpentine belt, etc, looking at $1100 total for all of it. Whatever the rear spring issue is, I'm thinking struts and bearings, etc. may need to be replaced soon as well. Probably needing new tires within the year. And, eventually repair the sunroof.

With all tha

Thoughts??? Suggestions??? Warnings??? Encouragements???

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The timing belt should have been done at about 7-years or 105K-miles.
If it fails, the engine could be ruined.
Therefore, you should factor that into the cost of buying that Pilot as a job to be done immediately.

Is that 2008 Pilot 2WD or 4WD?
Try to avoid the 2WD versions - especially if you're planning to tow.
If you're going to tow, make sure the Pilot has the accessory transmission and power steering coolers installed.
https://www.bernardiparts.com/Images/Install/2008_Pilot_ATFAndPowerSteeringFluidCoolers_AII37138.pdf

Forget turning the old rotors and put that labor cost into buying new ones.

What would be the price of a V6 RAV4 that suits you?
 

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Looks to be in great shape for a 12 years old Pilot. But it's really hard to tell someone to buy with a few photos. I'd crawl underneath and look for rust. Is the engine oil clean. Is the transmission fluid red. You can just figure any maintanance item will need replacing. Since I DIY, I'd be all over it. But buying a vehicle this age and paying to have work done gets expensive. I see 2k in expenses doing it myself (with tires). The biggest thing that scares me is if the timing belt has not been done. You pay the man for the vehicle and the belt breaks a half mile down the road, the engine is toast. Honda recommends 7 years or 105k miles, which ever comes 1st. It's 5 years 25k miles overdue.
 

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I'm not a mechanic and convenience of time is my enemy, but I also don't have a big budget for years of major mechanical issues (who does, right?). That aside, I've got quotes from local reputable shops for $800 for timing belt / water pump / tenioners + tune-up / spark plugs / idler pulley, serpentine belt, etc, looking at $1100 total for all of it. Whatever the rear spring issue is, I'm thinking struts and bearings, etc. may need to be replaced soon as well. Probably needing new tires within the year. And, eventually repair the sunroof.


View attachment 140737
The Pilot shows well from the pic. Not trying to discourage but if you do not or cannot DIY nor have the tools, space and time, the labor expenses to fix or repair the Pilot of multiple items could be high. The rear spring picture looks like the bump stop has to be replaced. Inexpensive for the part but there will be some labor expense. But if the Pilot runs well and has near zero rust focus on the TB and all the fluid replacements as theres a decent chance this could work out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The timing belt should have been done at about 7-years or 105K-miles.
If it fails, the engine could be ruined.
Therefore, you should factor that into the cost of buying that Pilot as a job to be done immediately.

Is that 2008 Pilot 2WD or 4WD?
Try to avoid the 2WD versions - especially if you're planning to tow.
If you're going to tow, make sure the Pilot has the accessory transmission and power steering coolers installed.
https://www.bernardiparts.com/Images/Install/2008_Pilot_ATFAndPowerSteeringFluidCoolers_AII37138.pdf

Forget turning the old rotors and put that labor cost into buying new ones.

What would be the price of a V6 RAV4 that suits you?
The timing belt was what concerned me. The previous owner drove est 10k mi / yr so it doesn’t appear he drove it “hard”. It would def be the 1st thing I did if purchased!

Thx for the advice on the rotors. That manses sense to my non-mechanical mind.

The coolers would be installed before I install any hitch as there’s tow package installed on it.

For budget buying, I was hoping to stay under $8k. After swing the Pilot which I never remotely considered, I like the fact that in the case that I would need to fit “all of fam”, a Pilot could so my wheels are turning a new direction.

Wow! Thx for taking the time to respond and give advice!
 

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I say get it. Do the timing belt and ignore suspension stuff. The car doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as it drives decent, you’re good.
 

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I say get it. Do the timing belt and ignore suspension stuff. The car doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as it drives decent, you’re good.
I'm with @Jack Vogt on this one. You know you want it. :)

Here's an exhaustive list of things to check, but on the other hand don't make yourself crazy looking for perfection.

First Draft? Crowdsourced First-Gen Buyer's Checklist

It would def be the 1st thing I did if purchased
Before you even fill up the gas tank. :)

I had mine done at the same place that inspected it. The price you found is good for the whole timing belt kit and caboodle.
 

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I am with Jack and plplplpl. I am casually looking for a used Pilot for my daughter who will be driving in a year and this would check the boxes for that purchase. Although as other mentioned I do all the service items I can to save on costs. And I maybe in the minority saying this but I have used minor and major maintenance items on my cars as a way to learn things and expand my knowledge and skill set. And I am not afraid to admit there are times this strategy has failed and the car has to go to a mechanic anyway.

Thanks for listening to me ramble...................
 

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If you don't use the checklist, at least follow NailGrease's advice and get underneath with a good light. Take a long, careful look. If the rear suspension is typical for rust all over, and you don't find any leaks, you're on the right track.

To your question, if the car was a steal of a deal, it would already be gone. There's either something hidden, or the asking price is too high. If you can go in with a list of work needed and associated costs, you're in a stronger position for the "obo" side of the equation.
 

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If you don't use the checklist, at least follow NailGrease's advice and get underneath with a good light. Take a long, careful look. If the rear suspension is typical for rust all over, and you don't find any leaks, you're on the right track.

To your question, if the car was a steal of a deal, it would already be gone. There's either something hidden, or the asking price is too high. If you can go in with a list of work needed and associated costs, you're in a stronger position for the "obo" side of the equation.
The car could be a good deal, just not many people have seen it. If a Pilot with that mileage was listed online for that price it would be gone in a few hours. It doesn't need to be perfect. It's a $5,000 OBO car. As someone who has sold older higher mileage cars, when people try to talk me down on price because suspension is worn out or little nit-picky things like that, I don't budge because there are plenty of other people who would buy it as is.
 

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For the asking price, if it isn't rusted out underneath, it drives well and doesn't make any crazy noises over bumps / driving tight circles both clockwise, and counter-clockwise, looks to be in good shape, and don't find any other "deal breakers", then I'd still recommend low-balling and seeing if the seller will budge at all. I paid $6750 (before title and tax) for my 08 with 129k from a used car dealer a few months ago. Only thing to fail shortly after purchasing was the Alternator, and is not something I really could have predicted. Everything else has been preventative maintenance / establishing my own baseline history for the vehicle, however I am looking at replacing my LCA's here shortly because the compliance bushings have started to dry-rot/crack, but not anything I'd deem unsafe... and something I noticed when I inspected it prior to purchase.
 

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... when people try to talk me down on price because suspension is worn out or little nit-picky things like that, I don't budge because there are plenty of other people who would buy it as is.
I think that's smart. And that's why it's hard to find what I think is a good deal on an old Pilot. "The Market" will pay more than I think they are worth.

I got mine inexpensively. Even so, after all the repairs and a rebuilt transmission, I'm in it for more than it would sell for, and that's with my time donated.

I'm not complaining - The Market is what it is, and I've got a solid vehicle. It just means it takes more work to find a project that can be done economically.
 

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I say get it. Do the timing belt and ignore suspension stuff. The car doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as it drives decent, you’re good.
My pricing may be off, it has been a few months. I bought an 2008 Pilot AWD. For 2500 as is from my manager had roughly about a 130000 miles on it.
Had to put in about 1000 to safety, including new tires.
Drives well, wife is happy with it, me not so much, I dont like vans.
Water pump started leaking, so got my shop to do the timing belt as well, also just had to replace the y-pipe and muffler, so another 1000. So we have roughly 4500 into this car.
Overall, a good car.
I think you should buy it, seems like a decent deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I say get it. Do the timing belt and ignore suspension stuff. The car doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as it drives decent, you’re good.
It's driven fine in my several test drives. With the price being somewhat negotiable and knowing most of the major stuff that would need to be done, I'm thinking it's a decent deal. Thx for commenting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm with @Jack Vogt on this one. You know you want it. :)

Here's an exhaustive list of things to check, but on the other hand don't make yourself crazy looking for perfection.

First Draft? Crowdsourced First-Gen Buyer's Checklist



Before you even fill up the gas tank. :)

I had mine done at the same place that inspected it. The price you found is good for the whole timing belt kit and caboodle.
Agreed! The timing belt is def the 1st thing that would get done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am with Jack and plplplpl. I am casually looking for a used Pilot for my daughter who will be driving in a year and this would check the boxes for that purchase. Although as other mentioned I do all the service items I can to save on costs. And I maybe in the minority saying this but I have used minor and major maintenance items on my cars as a way to learn things and expand my knowledge and skill set. And I am not afraid to admit there are times this strategy has failed and the car has to go to a mechanic anyway.

Thanks for listening to me ramble...................
Glad you commented. Depending on what I've got going on with the 6 kiddos, sometimes it's worth it for us to have the mechanic do the bigger things. Good luck in your search!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you don't use the checklist, at least follow NailGrease's advice and get underneath with a good light. Take a long, careful look. If the rear suspension is typical for rust all over, and you don't find any leaks, you're on the right track.

To your question, if the car was a steal of a deal, it would already be gone. There's either something hidden, or the asking price is too high. If you can go in with a list of work needed and associated costs, you're in a stronger position for the "obo" side of the equation.
Great advice! The list of work and costs will definitely help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The car could be a good deal, just not many people have seen it. If a Pilot with that mileage was listed online for that price it would be gone in a few hours. It doesn't need to be perfect. It's a $5,000 OBO car. As someone who has sold older higher mileage cars, when people try to talk me down on price because suspension is worn out or little nit-picky things like that, I don't budge because there are plenty of other people who would buy it as is.
Good points! Will keep in mind
 
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