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Putting aside visible body defects, what risk should one take when you can turn on the engine, and do OBDII or dash scanning, but aren't allowed to test-drive the car?
I'm looking at a 2nd gen Pilot which has a really bad battery, so I was not able to start the engine. Turning on the key, it made a clunky messy metallic noise, not like the usual rhythmic "drrrrr" sound you expect when there is just not enough juice in the battery, and the backlighting on the dash flashed. Using a Foxwell NT520 Pro scanner with Honda software, it passed the scan for the ECU and AT, failed for body electric, and we were not able to finish the scan, so the rest is unknown...

Does the body electric system impinge on real basic driving, not just on accessories and bells & whistles? We did not have time to delve into any subcodes.

What big mechanical problem could be there, but cannot be detectable by trouble codes? We would have to take this possible repair into account, to decide how much to pay for this Pilot...

Hoping to hear your opinions or experiences soon on this issue, many thanks!
 

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typing one handed, so excuse poor punctuation/grammer.


but aren't allowed to test-drive the car?
No more than $1000 for not running car. period. too much risk of getting a dud.





I'm looking at a 2nd gen Pilot which has a really bad battery, so I was not able to start the engine.

bring a test battery and jumper cables and see if it starts. yep, gonna cost a bit for a new sparker box, but you need it to test.



Turning on the key, it made a clunky messy metallic noise, not like the usual rhythmic "drrrrr" sound you expect when there is just not enough juice in the battery, and the backlighting on the dash flashed.

either wicked dead angry pixy house, or the flywheel ring is not meshing. maybe sheared starter motor gear. did u use your wires of jumperness?







Using a Foxwell NT520 Pro scanner with Honda software, it passed the scan for the ECU and AT, failed for body electric, and we were not able to finish the scan, so the rest is unknown...
again, this is shaky territory, if you are a good mechanic your gut should be telling you if this is worth $700 or $2000, and not a penny more.






Does the body electric system impinge on real basic driving, not just on accessories and bells & whistles? We did not have time to delve into any subcodes.

you should be able to drive it with all kinds of codes being thrown, but you are going to fix them, right?






What big mechanical problem could be there, but cannot be detectable by trouble codes? We would have to take this possible repair into account, to decide how much to pay for this Pilot...

starter, flywheel ring, obviously the battery, ground wires, massive tranny failure, driveline failures all can fail and not throw codes. needing service items like trans service, brakes, timing belt, diff service, coolant change, valve job, plugs, air filter, etc don't throw codes. you need a service history or you need to do these yourself. all factor into the price of a used car. now its a $500 car, right?






Hoping to hear your opinions or experiences soon on this issue, many thanks!
sounds like a gamble. look its a fixer-upper if its not running, so do your assessment of the surroundings. the place where it lives should tell a lot. rednecks downtheholler dont always maintain hondas like they do the 78 camaro that is under the cover in the pole barn. might just be the pixey house problem. if it is you can score a deal, if the starter is bad, figure in that. still a not running car is just an uncrushed scrap heap in your eyes as the buyer...
 

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Auction vehicle?

My first thought was that the scan tool won’t be able to tell you if basic maintenance was performed, or if maintenance was done the interval at which it was performed. If you can get maintenance records or look up VIN on Carfax that would be useful.

Bike ski.shoot offered some really useful advice.
 

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but wait, there's more...

I learned a lot from these postings. In addition to the stuff already noted, I think you have to consider anything made of rubber to be suspect in a poorly maintained vehicle of that age. Hoses, bushings, door gaskets, suspension parts with integrated bushings, etc., much of it only available from Honda.

Some of the best advice I ever got was "there's nothing costlier than a cheap Mercedes". I haven't found Hondas to be in the same category, but the principle is sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
replying to Tacoma'03Pilot,
road2cycle, and bikeski.shoot
...trying to get used to the format of the new Forum software by XenForo., ...I REALLY miss VBulletin...!...!...!...
Thanks for your posts

The maintenance issues in buying a used vehicle are almost the same as those of an old one in use: I need to do at this time on my old 1st gen Pilot, most of the things I would have to worry about and do on a preventive basis, on a used one I would buy now... So my main concern is whether there is in the used 2nd gen Pilot, a non-wear and tear defect that would need an actual non-routine repair?'

I may have a chance to test this car better, I'm buying a new jump starter. What is the lowest, comfortable peak amps this needs to have (lowest as comfortably reliable, more than just the minimum)?

And so the testing question is, if the car has a bad battery that won't take a charge, (like, dead cells etc.?), -- if other systems are ok, can it start the engine using the jump starter, and does the jump starter have to be installed in a special way if the battery is known to be bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you should be able to drive it with all kinds of codes being thrown, but you are going to fix them, right?
I read that in some new vehicles, if the vehicle stabilization system does not work, the car locks and won't allow you to drive it without it working
starter, flywheel ring, obviously the battery, ground wires, massive tranny failure, driveline failures all can fail and not throw codes. needing service items like trans service, brakes, timing belt, diff service, coolant change, valve job, plugs, air filter, etc don't throw codes. you need a service history or you need to do these yourself. all factor into the price of a used car. now its a $500 car, right?
Given that the ECU and AT showed no codes, If we can start the car with a jump starter, brake it ok, and put it in D & R gears for trying (testing distance allowed is less than 1 foot), and the engine does not make any abnormal clunky sounds, does this clear out a lot of the possible major defects so that the car might need new brake pads, etc., but it can be driven to the repair shop for the routine yearly tune-up?
 

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Honestly, I wouldn't spend time or money trying to get this Pilot to run. There are too many good ones out there that you can drive right away.
 

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i purchased one 3 months ago....already needs a new steering rack ($1900 - $2400 honda dealer quote). However, only noticed leaking fluid after I changed the inner tie rods.....sometimes, you just never know. it's a gamble
 

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i purchased one 3 months ago....already needs a new steering rack ($1900 - $2400 honda dealer quote). However, only noticed leaking fluid after I changed the inner tie rods.....sometimes, you just never know. it's a gamble
wow, sorry to hear.... did you do a thorough scan of this Pilot before purchase, and did any of these problems throw codes? and was the steering rack problem detectable by test-driving it?
 
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