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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve been shopping used Acura MDX and Pilots for about a month. Paid for 4 PPIs which revealed deal breakers. Found a Pilot yesterday that I really liked and bam! bought it without a PPI.
It’s the first used vehicle I’ve purchased in over 20 years so I’m nervous.
It’s a 2011 EX-L 2wd with 183k. Single owner. Always been in Georgia and N.Florida..
I did run a Carfax which looks good but hard to know what mtx was done that wasn’t logged.
Owner states timing belt was replaced at about 100k.
I had an 01 Accord for 15 years and kept all my service records but I guess most people don’t do that?
I am taking it for a post-purchase inspection on Tuesday.
I’m gonna need a timing belt, without a doubt.
What issues should I be concerned about that are specific to this year model?
Thanks!
 

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I would get the Asin timing belt water pump kit. Check brake pads and fluid, antifreeze, spark plugs, air filter, transmission fluid, engine oil, PCV valve. I had to replace catalytic converters on a V6 that age due to poor maintenance. Use a branded 87 octane fuel that has additives. Check for oil leaks around valve covers. Especially at the bottom of the oil dipstick tube. The rubber gaskets between the VVT solenoid and spool can begin to leak. Oil can drip into your alternator. This leak will happen eventually if it hasn't yet.
Struts should have been replaced at least once by now.
Sounds like a good find and price.
 
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I have a 2011 EXL as well. These are good cars, but any 9 year old vehicle with nearly 200k miles is going to need maintenance. That should be part of your budget, and if you are proactive (aka $$$ up front) you can get a lot of service life out of them.

1. Timing belt. There are a few factors dictating to do this now. You don't know for SURE it was done without documentation. . Since this engine has an interference fit between pistons and valves, a broken timing belt does major engine damage. At 183k you are close anyway, the spec is every 105k miles. I prefer taking the hit and having a Honda dealer do the work. But you can call several in your area and shop it around, then call your preferred location and see if they will compete. If you have an independent shop do the work, I also recommend the Aisin kit with water pump. That said, there are a couple items to make sure they do, that most wont, these engines suffer from broken bolts holding timing belt pulleys which will also take out your engine. So these are cheap to replace and add zero labor. You will possibly have to ask a Honda dealer to replace them too. And ALWAYS replace the timing belt hydraulic tensioner with a Honda OEm or Aisin kit model.... even the Honda dealer might not replace this by default in their quote. The coolant will be replaced when you swap the water pump during a timing belt, so not listing that as a seperate line item. Coolant is every 6 years or 100k. Here was my primary parts list:

Aisin TKH002 from Rock Auto for about $170 shipped.
Bando 6PK2135 Serpentine drive belt from Amazon (B000CMCNJC) for $22
14513-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Adjuster $8.42
14551-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Idler $6.50 (this came with red loctite already on it)
95801-06030-07 Bolt Flange (6X30) for tension-er $1.35 (need two)

2. Spark plugs. Who knows what's in there now. I'd have an independent shop do these with your required plugs or you supply them: NGK 7751 ILZKR7B11 laser iridium. These are $9 each at Rock Auto and there is NO reason to use anything else. Honda dealers charge way too much for the plugs, and for the labor. This isnt critical, as long as it isnt throwing any codes. Check plugs 1-4 for cracked insulators, and oil foiling evidence compared to plugs 5 and 6. Never buy spark plugs at amazon (too many are counterfeit) and never let an independent shop talk you into any other plugs that they say are just as good (except maybe the correct Denso plug)

3. VCM disable device. See Honda Lawsuit settlement. Additionally, see Honda TSB. If the "ECO" light comes on.... (as in this has never been disabled before) then most of the damage that will be done is done.... but it's possible yours has been repaired already (aka new piston rings). These engines suffer from piston ring damage caused by Honda's variable cylinder management. There is no reason to continue using ECO mode, there are three aftermarket solutions, S-VCM, VCMuzzler, and VCMTuner and all are around $100. I would not own one of these engines without having this disabled via one of these devices, and it varies between a 5-30 minute install depending on the device you get.

4. Transmission fluid change. These transmissions last longer if you keep the fluid fresh. If this were mine, I'd do a drain/fill with HONDA DW-1, and do this three times over consecutive days. If you are going to pay to have it done, just have the dealer do this service (you wont save any money at a quick change place) and the dealer will use the right fluid, and supply the crush washers that are needed. Just get your first 3 oil changes done at the dealer and have them do the transmission fluid done with each oil change, for 3-4 changes. NEVER let a quick change place use their "flush machine" on a Honda transmission. These are designed for drain/fill only! Best guidance is never let a quick change oil place ever touch your car. 3 consecutive drain/fill operations (after allowing it to mix back up) changes about 80% of the fluid out. Some people switch to Valvoline Maxlife instead of Honda DW-1, but if you do that I'd strongly recommend doing three consecutive changes to switch the majority of the fluid. Use ONLY one of these two fluids and stick with it for the remainder of the tranny life. Don't listen to anyone who advises against changing the fluid at this mileage, they are stuck in the 1980's.

5. Brake fluid flush. This needs to be done every 3 years. Most people never do it and you could easily have 9 year old fluid in there. I'd pay to have this done, and ask to get a brake pad inspection done for free (if they will). Be careful of "brake places" as many of these places are crooks.... as soon as your tires come off they try and scare you into having them do a brake service right then and there or it won't be safe, etc.. etc.. I despise their tactics. On the fluid, any DOT3 is fine. I use prestone because it is cheap in quarts and has good specs - there is no need to use Honda branded brake fluid.

6. VTEC spool valve oil leak. This is a common leak right around/below the oil dipstick area. If this gasket gets old, and a leak forms here, it will slowly drip onto your alternator and kill it quickly, making a cheap fix turn into an expensive one. You will likely never see a drop of oil on the ground. There are aftermarket gaskets available now for this repair making it inexpensive and stupid easy to do. I inspect this area with a flashlight every time I am under the hood. Haven't had to do mine yet. :) Search amazon/ebay for 15815-R70-A01 15845-R70-A01

7. Valve adjustment/Valve cover gaskets. With 183k on the ticker, you are likely due for a valve adjustment. This is not terribly expensive, it's just labor and gaskets. If you have ANY sign of a valve cover gasket oil leak this is a no-brainer, as these have to be replaced anyway when doing a valve adjustment. Do NOT replace valve cover gaskets without having the valves at least inspected for valve clearance. I'd only trust a dealer, or an independent shop that specializes in import/Honda cars.

8. Engine air filter and cabin filter. These are just regular maintenance. Inspect and replace if needed. Most owners do not keep up with these as they should.

9. Inspect suspension. These have a little weak front struts and rear shocks, and might need replacing to return the ride characteristics back to normal. The inner and outer tie rods can be worn out, ball joints, but specifically check the lower control arm (compliance) bushings in the front. These had a known defect that was covered under an extended warranty that likely will not apply to you (extended warranty link).... but you can always ask the dealer. The compliance bushings cracked and leaked fluid. If they need replacement, and you cannot get Honda to cover it, then I'd recommend installing a quality aftermarket lower control arm which will come with new bushings and ball joints. Check the from sway bar links as well, they are known to wear. The front struts don't last forever, and it is unlikely you still have the original, but you never know. We have 111k on ours and they are still fine, but we have good roads and easy winters. The rear shocks are weak, but they are very inexpensive ($30-75 each side). If you replace the rears I'd ABSOLUTELY go with the $75 Bilstein B6 shocks and just pay an independent shop to install them. You can do both rear sides in an hour with basic tools. If you touch anything in the front, you will need an alignment. On the rear alignment, it is common that these sag and you get out of spec camber. There is an aftermarket upper control arm to correct this, but most people just live with it.

10. Driveshafts. You don't really need to do anything proactive for these but check for broken/split boots slinging grease everywhere, or listen for them popping during acceleration and turns.

11. Battery. You can have yours checked by an auto parts place for free and see how the cranking amps is holding up. You can also inspect the date code on the battery and get an idea of hold old it is. In Texas I replace mine every 4 years.

12. Rear wiper blade. These are often shot... and not expensive: (OEM) 76730-SZA-A02. For fronts I'm a fan of Bosch ICON or similar. 22A 21B

13. Power steering fluid. Honda brand fluid ONLY. It is cheap and easy to refresh. Most people just use the turkey baster method (youtube it). 3 cans of fluid is about $15. The point is simply to refresh the fluid quality/additives, remove broken down fluid, and remove worn particles suspended in the fluid. NEVER run the pump dry.

14. TPMS. These sensors have a battery in them and ours just started to weaken/fail, enough to light up the TPMS warning light on the dash intermittently. We just had all 4 replaced when we got tires replaced.

15. PCV Valve. These are CHEAP, fairly simple to replace, and they can gum up/clog over time which increases oil consumption. 17130-RCA-A02

The rest is just wait for a Check Engine Light and read the codes. The cats/O2 sensors, transmission pressure switches, cylinder misfires, evap/gas cap are all pretty common. Getting your own $20 code reader and connecting to your phone makes life easy, but auto parts stores will also pull codes for free.

Keep track of your oil consumption. You can definitely expect some and so just check it every 1000 miles and keep a record of how much it uses, that will give you a good idea on the condition of the engine.

Here is the maintenance minder info for this model:

A BReplace engine oil and oil filter. Engine oil capacity with oil filter: 4.3 L (4.5 US qt)
2Replace air cleaner element. If the vehicle is driven primarily in dusty conditions, replace every 15,000 miles (24,000 km).
Replace dust and pollen filter. If the vehicle is driven mostly in areas that have high concentrations of dust, pollen, or soot in the air, replace every 15,000 miles (24,000 km). Replace the filter whenever airflow from the heating and air conditioning system is less than normal.
3Replace automatic transmission fluid. Replace transfer fluid on 4WD models. Automatic transmission fluid drain/fill capacity: 3.4L (3.6 US qt).
4Replace spark plugs. Use ILZKR7B-11(NGK)
Replace timing belt and inspect water pump. If the vehicle is regularly driven in very high temperatures (over 110 °F, 43 °C), in very low temperatures (under - 20 °F, - 29 °C), or towing a trailer replace every 60,000 miles (USA models)/100,000 km (Canada models).
Inspect the valve clearance (cold). Intake: 0.20-0.24 mm (0.008-0.009 in), Exhaust: 0.28-0.32 mm (0.011-0.013 in)
5Replace engine coolant. Capacity (including the reservoir): 7.5 L (1.98 US gal), use Honda Long Life Antifreeze/Coolant Type 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I have a 2011 EXL as well. These are good cars, but any 9 year old vehicle with nearly 200k miles is going to need maintenance. That should be part of your budget, and if you are proactive (aka $$$ up front) you can get a lot of service life out of them.

1. Timing belt. There are a few factors dictating to do this now. You don't know for SURE it was done without documentation. . Since this engine has an interference fit between pistons and valves, a broken timing belt does major engine damage. At 183k you are close anyway, the spec is every 105k miles. I prefer taking the hit and having a Honda dealer do the work. But you can call several in your area and shop it around, then call your preferred location and see if they will compete. If you have an independent shop do the work, I also recommend the Aisin kit with water pump. That said, there are a couple items to make sure they do, that most wont, these engines suffer from broken bolts holding timing belt pulleys which will also take out your engine. So these are cheap to replace and add zero labor. You will possibly have to ask a Honda dealer to replace them too. And ALWAYS replace the timing belt hydraulic tensioner with a Honda OEm or Aisin kit model.... even the Honda dealer might not replace this by default in their quote. The coolant will be replaced when you swap the water pump during a timing belt, so not listing that as a seperate line item. Coolant is every 6 years or 100k. Here was my primary parts list:

Aisin TKH002 from Rock Auto for about $170 shipped.
Bando 6PK2135 Belt from Amazon (B000CMCNJC) for $22
14513-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Adjuster $8.42
14551-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Idler $6.50 (this came with red loctite already on it)
95801-06030-07 Bolt Flange (6X30) for tension-er $1.35 (need two)

2. Spark plugs. Who knows what's in there now. I'd have an independent shop do these with your required plugs or you supply them: NGK 7751 ILZKR7B11 laser iridium. These are $9 each at Rock Auto and there is NO reason to use anything else. Honda dealers charge way too much for the plugs, and for the labor. This isnt critical, as long as it isnt throwing any codes. Check plugs 1-4 for cracked insulators, and oil foiling evidence compared to plugs 5 and 6.

3. VCM disable device. If the "ECO" light comes on.... (as in this has never been disabled before) then most of the damage that will be done is done.... but its possible yours has been repaired already. These engines suffer from piston ring damage caused by Honda's variable cylinder management. There is no reason to continue using it, there are three aftermarket solutions, S-VCM, VCMuzzler, and VCMTuner and all are around $100. I would not own one of these engines without having this disabled via one of these devices, and it varies between a 5-30 minute install depending on the device you get.

4. Transmission fluid change. These transmissions last longer if you keep the fluid fresh. If this were mine, I'd do a drain/fill with HONDA FLUID ONLY, and do this three times over consecutive days. If you are going to pay to have it done, just have the dealer do this service (you wont save any money at a quick change place) and the dealer will use the right fluid, and supply the crush washers that are needed. Just get your first 3 oil changes done at the dealer and have them do the transmission fluid done with each oil change, for 3-4 changes. NEVER let a quick change place use their "flush machine" on a Honda transmission. These are designed for drain/fill only! Best guidance is never let a quick change oil place ever touch your car.

5. Brake fluid flush. This needs to be done every 3 years. Most people never do it and you could easily have 9 year old fluid in there. I'd pay to have this done, and get a brake pad inspection done for free (if they will). Be careful of "brake places" as many of these places are crooks.... as soon as your tires come off they try and scare you into having them do a brake service right then and there or it won't be safe, etc.. etc.. I despise their tactics.

6. VTEC spool valve oil leak. This is a common leak right around/under the oil dipstick area. If this gasket gets old, and a leak forms here, it will slowly drip onto your alternator and kill it quickly, making a cheap fix turn into an expensive one. There are aftermarket gaskets available now for this repair making it inexpensive and stupid easy to do. I inspect this area with a flashlight every time I am under the hood. Haven't had to do mine yet. :)

7. Valve adjustment/Valve cover gaskets. With 183k on the ticker, you are likely due for a valve adjustment. This is not terribly expensive, it's just labor and gaskets. If you have ANY sign of a valve cover gasket oil leak this is a no-brainer, as these have to be replaced anyway when doing a valve adjustment. Do NOT replace valve cover gaskets without having the valves at least inspected for valve clearance. I'd only trust a dealer, or an independent shop that specializes in import/Honda cars.

8. Engine air filter and cabin filter. These are just regular maintenance. Inspect and replace if needed. Most owners do not keep up with these as they should.

9. Inspect suspension. These have a little weak front struts and rear shocks, and might need replacing to return the ride characteristics back to normal. The inner and outer tie rods can be worn out, ball joints, but specifically check the lower control arm (compliance) bushings in the front. These had a known defect that was covered under an extended warranty that likely will not apply to you.... but you can always ask the dealer. The compliance bushings cracked and leaked fluid. If they need replacement, and you cannot get Honda to cover it, then I'd recommend installing a quality aftermarket lower control arm which will come with new bushings and ball joints. Check the from sway bar links as well, they are known to wear. The front struts don't last forever, and it is unlikely you still have the original, but you never know. We have 111k on ours and they are still fine, but we have good roads and easy winters. The rear shocks are weak, but they are very inexpensive ($30-75 each side). If you replace the rears I'd ABSOLUTELY go with the $75 Bilstein B6 shocks and just pay an independent shop to install them. You can do both rear sides in an hour with basic tools. If you touch anything in the front, you will need an alignment. On the rear alignment, it is common that these sag and you get out of spec camber. There is an aftermarket upper control arm to correct this, but most people just live with it.

10. Driveshafts. You don't really need to do anything proactive for these but check for broken/split boots slinging grease everywhere, or listen for them popping during acceleration and turns.

11. Battery. You can have yours checked by an auto parts place for free and see how the cranking amps is holding up. You can also inspect the date code on the battery and get an idea of hold old it is. In Texas I replace mine every 4 years.

12. Rear wiper blade. These are often shot... and not expensive: (OEM) 76730-SZA-A02. For fronts I'm a fan of Bosch ICON or similar. 22A 21B

13. Power steering fluid. Honda brand ONLY. It is cheap and easy to refresh. Most people just use the turkey baster method (youtube). 3 cans of fluid is about $15. The point is simply to refresh the fluid quality/additives, remove broken down fluid, and remove worn particles suspended in the fluid. NEVER run the pump dry.

14. TPMS. These sensors have a battery in them and ours just started to weaken/fail, enough to light up the TPMS warning light on the dash intermittently. We just had all 4 replaced when we got tires replaced.

The rest is just wait for a Check Engine Light and read the codes. The cats/O2 sensors, transmission pressure switches, cylinder misfires, evap/gas cap are all pretty common. Getting your own $20 code reader and connecting to your phone makes life easy, but auto parts stores will also pull codes for free.
Thanks! Very comprehensive. I have never done any repairs myself, although I can fill fluids and change filters (my dad tried to show me when I was a teenager, but it wasn't cool for girls to work on cars back then). The carfax shows that the TPMS was replaced a few years ago, hopefully that solved the problem. Crossing my fingers that it won't be a huge outlay off the bat, other than the timing belt.
 

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I have a 2011 EXL as well. These are good cars, but any 9 year old vehicle with nearly 200k miles is going to need maintenance. That should be part of your budget, and if you are proactive (aka $$$ up front) you can get a lot of service life out of them.

1. Timing belt. There are a few factors dictating to do this now. You don't know for SURE it was done without documentation. . Since this engine has an interference fit between pistons and valves, a broken timing belt does major engine damage. At 183k you are close anyway, the spec is every 105k miles. I prefer taking the hit and having a Honda dealer do the work. But you can call several in your area and shop it around, then call your preferred location and see if they will compete. If you have an independent shop do the work, I also recommend the Aisin kit with water pump. That said, there are a couple items to make sure they do, that most wont, these engines suffer from broken bolts holding timing belt pulleys which will also take out your engine. So these are cheap to replace and add zero labor. You will possibly have to ask a Honda dealer to replace them too. And ALWAYS replace the timing belt hydraulic tensioner with a Honda OEm or Aisin kit model.... even the Honda dealer might not replace this by default in their quote. The coolant will be replaced when you swap the water pump during a timing belt, so not listing that as a seperate line item. Coolant is every 6 years or 100k. Here was my primary parts list:

Aisin TKH002 from Rock Auto for about $170 shipped.
Bando 6PK2135 Belt from Amazon (B000CMCNJC) for $22
14513-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Adjuster $8.42
14551-RCA-A01 Bolt Timing Belt Idler $6.50 (this came with red loctite already on it)
95801-06030-07 Bolt Flange (6X30) for tension-er $1.35 (need two)

2. Spark plugs. Who knows what's in there now. I'd have an independent shop do these with your required plugs or you supply them: NGK 7751 ILZKR7B11 laser iridium. These are $9 each at Rock Auto and there is NO reason to use anything else. Honda dealers charge way too much for the plugs, and for the labor. This isnt critical, as long as it isnt throwing any codes. Check plugs 1-4 for cracked insulators, and oil foiling evidence compared to plugs 5 and 6.

3. VCM disable device. If the "ECO" light comes on.... (as in this has never been disabled before) then most of the damage that will be done is done.... but its possible yours has been repaired already. These engines suffer from piston ring damage caused by Honda's variable cylinder management. There is no reason to continue using it, there are three aftermarket solutions, S-VCM, VCMuzzler, and VCMTuner and all are around $100. I would not own one of these engines without having this disabled via one of these devices, and it varies between a 5-30 minute install depending on the device you get.

4. Transmission fluid change. These transmissions last longer if you keep the fluid fresh. If this were mine, I'd do a drain/fill with HONDA FLUID ONLY, and do this three times over consecutive days. If you are going to pay to have it done, just have the dealer do this service (you wont save any money at a quick change place) and the dealer will use the right fluid, and supply the crush washers that are needed. Just get your first 3 oil changes done at the dealer and have them do the transmission fluid done with each oil change, for 3-4 changes. NEVER let a quick change place use their "flush machine" on a Honda transmission. These are designed for drain/fill only! Best guidance is never let a quick change oil place ever touch your car.

5. Brake fluid flush. This needs to be done every 3 years. Most people never do it and you could easily have 9 year old fluid in there. I'd pay to have this done, and get a brake pad inspection done for free (if they will). Be careful of "brake places" as many of these places are crooks.... as soon as your tires come off they try and scare you into having them do a brake service right then and there or it won't be safe, etc.. etc.. I despise their tactics.

6. VTEC spool valve oil leak. This is a common leak right around/under the oil dipstick area. If this gasket gets old, and a leak forms here, it will slowly drip onto your alternator and kill it quickly, making a cheap fix turn into an expensive one. There are aftermarket gaskets available now for this repair making it inexpensive and stupid easy to do. I inspect this area with a flashlight every time I am under the hood. Haven't had to do mine yet. :)

7. Valve adjustment/Valve cover gaskets. With 183k on the ticker, you are likely due for a valve adjustment. This is not terribly expensive, it's just labor and gaskets. If you have ANY sign of a valve cover gasket oil leak this is a no-brainer, as these have to be replaced anyway when doing a valve adjustment. Do NOT replace valve cover gaskets without having the valves at least inspected for valve clearance. I'd only trust a dealer, or an independent shop that specializes in import/Honda cars.

8. Engine air filter and cabin filter. These are just regular maintenance. Inspect and replace if needed. Most owners do not keep up with these as they should.

9. Inspect suspension. These have a little weak front struts and rear shocks, and might need replacing to return the ride characteristics back to normal. The inner and outer tie rods can be worn out, ball joints, but specifically check the lower control arm (compliance) bushings in the front. These had a known defect that was covered under an extended warranty that likely will not apply to you.... but you can always ask the dealer. The compliance bushings cracked and leaked fluid. If they need replacement, and you cannot get Honda to cover it, then I'd recommend installing a quality aftermarket lower control arm which will come with new bushings and ball joints. Check the from sway bar links as well, they are known to wear. The front struts don't last forever, and it is unlikely you still have the original, but you never know. We have 111k on ours and they are still fine, but we have good roads and easy winters. The rear shocks are weak, but they are very inexpensive ($30-75 each side). If you replace the rears I'd ABSOLUTELY go with the $75 Bilstein B6 shocks and just pay an independent shop to install them. You can do both rear sides in an hour with basic tools. If you touch anything in the front, you will need an alignment. On the rear alignment, it is common that these sag and you get out of spec camber. There is an aftermarket upper control arm to correct this, but most people just live with it.

10. Driveshafts. You don't really need to do anything proactive for these but check for broken/split boots slinging grease everywhere, or listen for them popping during acceleration and turns.

11. Battery. You can have yours checked by an auto parts place for free and see how the cranking amps is holding up. You can also inspect the date code on the battery and get an idea of hold old it is. In Texas I replace mine every 4 years.

12. Rear wiper blade. These are often shot... and not expensive: (OEM) 76730-SZA-A02. For fronts I'm a fan of Bosch ICON or similar. 22A 21B

13. Power steering fluid. Honda brand ONLY. It is cheap and easy to refresh. Most people just use the turkey baster method (youtube). 3 cans of fluid is about $15. The point is simply to refresh the fluid quality/additives, remove broken down fluid, and remove worn particles suspended in the fluid. NEVER run the pump dry.

14. TPMS. These sensors have a battery in them and ours just started to weaken/fail, enough to light up the TPMS warning light on the dash intermittently. We just had all 4 replaced when we got tires replaced.

The rest is just wait for a Check Engine Light and read the codes. The cats/O2 sensors, transmission pressure switches, cylinder misfires, evap/gas cap are all pretty common. Getting your own $20 code reader and connecting to your phone makes life easy, but auto parts stores will also pull codes for free.
I really like the details of your list here. The only the thing I would stray from because of not having any waranty on the vehicle is the transmission fluid. I have a 2012 5-speed Honda Crosstour with the same transmission that has logged 120k miles on Valvoline MaxLife ATF and still going strong with 225k total miles. Never had an issue. It shifts smoother than my 5 years newer 2017 6-speed Pilot on Honda DW-1. And a big plus is MaxLife ATF is lower in price. If the fluid is dark, drain and fill. Drive a few miles and repeat 2 more times to freshen up the old fluid left in torque converter.
 

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I really like the details of your list here. The only the thing I would stray from because of not having any waranty on the vehicle is the transmission fluid. I have a 2012 5-speed Honda Crosstour with the same transmission that has logged 120k miles on Valvoline MaxLife ATF and still going strong with 225k total miles. Never had an issue. It shifts smoother than my 5 years newer 2017 6-speed Pilot on Honda DW-1. And a big plus is MaxLife ATF is lower in price. If the fluid is dark, drain and fill. Drive a few miles and repeat 2 more times to freshen up the old fluid left in torque converter.
I was just editing my post, and already added the part about Maxlife as a lower cost alternative. I agree.
 
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If you can find proof that the timing belt was done at 100k just wait a year or so to do it. Otherwise everything that's been said seems to be good. Remember to always leave one thing broken so something else doesn't break to take it's place;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welp, I took it to my local dealership (Curry Honda in Atlanta) to do the timing belt and tell me what else....
Not including the timing belt, they gave me a list of about $10k (ten!) worth of repairs needed.
I’ll post the list and prices tonight.
Anyway...
Kicking myself now for succumbing to impulse and not doing the PPI.
 

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Welp, I took it to my local dealership (Curry Honda in Atlanta) to do the timing belt and tell me what else....
Not including the timing belt, they gave me a list of about $10k (ten!) worth of repairs needed.
I’ll post the list and prices tonight.
Anyway...
Kicking myself now for succumbing to impulse and not doing the PPI.
Lets see this list. ? Anything they generally recommend is not being dishonest.... they are just doing their job as any 9 year old vehicle will require some maintenance as parts wear. But there are many that are not critical, not necessary, and the ones that are can often be prioritized.
 
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Curry has a coupon for the timing belt! (and a 10% coupon off other services)

I'd just make sure they are also replacing the tensioner, and personally I'd ask about the timing belt idler and tensioner pulley bolts.


 
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Tremendous list boom. Should definitely be a sticky...heck it could be an entire Jalop article!

Eviemae, dealers always rack up the "needs to be repaired" list...especially if you told them "I just bought it and didn't have a PPI done". I can almost see them salivating. Like boom said, they are likley not being dishonest, but the list they put in front of you probably has a number of "nice to" opposed to "have to" repairs. Get their list/estimate posted here and everyone will help walk you through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay. here goes...

First, a quick background. This is my 5th Honda. First was a 78 civic beater that I drove in college. Briefly had a 95 civic coupe but ended up working out of the country.; 2001 Accord EX purchased new and drove for 15 years. Maintained it perfectly, so I could have kept it. Only 259k miles but I decided I wanted something new and cute. So, I have a 2016 Civic Touring that I love! And now I have this beast.

I have usually avoided "stealerships" and I was married to an aircraft mechanic when I had the Accord so he did a lot of the repairs and maintenance with the exception of big items like the timing belts. Since moving to Atlanta, I have been happy with Curry service but only needed oil changes, a battery, and a warranty repair on the air conditioning. I did change my own cabin and engine air filters on the Civic because I am trying to learn to do small things myself. I may be looking to drastically improve those skills very soon!
We also have a very well-regarded Honda specific shop right up the street (Far East Motorworks).
One more thing, although I am 50 yrs old, my dad still likes to worry about me so he really pushed me to go to Honda for the timing belt, and the price was similar to Far East.

What I asked for when I walked in: timing belt including tensioner which they quoted at the coupon price, a transmission service, an oil change, unlock the glove box because it was stuck, check play in steering, and do a multi-point. I already knew the front tires need replacing.

And now the list:

(Much of this was very well explained by Boom and influenced my decision of what to prioritize thus far).
  • Steering: lower control arm bushings are broken and compliance bushing is broken. Can only replace control arms. $1570 w/alignment.
  • Broken right engine mount $207 ** I drove my Accord with broken engine mounts for at least 10 years, we kept putting it off and when I traded it in, still had never fixed, so how important is this?
  • Spool valve leak $676
  • Oil pan $150 because aftermarket plug stripped threads
  • Oil change $50
  • Transmission service $210
  • Timing belt with tensioner (coupon applied) $1000
  • Needs a new battery $128
  • Rear shocks leaking $782
  • Passenger CV axle leak $569
  • Oil pump seal $400 if done with timing belt--$1466 if not
  • Power steering rack starting to leak $1836
  • Power steering flush $160
  • Valve adjustment $775
  • Tie rod and boots cracked, have some play $246
  • Rear brakes at 1mm $190
  • Engine air and cabin filters --I can definitely do these myself
  • Front brakes at 3mm $550 because aftermarket rotors
  • Rear crankshaft seal starting to leak but is minor and probably will be fine for at least a year, per the tech $1950
  • Broken taillight (somehow I did not notice this both times I watched the guy drive in front of me) $35
  • Both front tires due to odd wear $270
What I agreed to:
  • The timing belt (just messaged the tech to ask about pulley bolts, etc. per comment above)
  • Battery
  • Taillight
  • Rear brakes
  • Oil change with new oil pan
  • Transmission service
  • He fixed the glove box
I am going to take it to Discount to do tires, probably all of them if I can...my Civic is also due for rotate and balance, I alway use Discount.

Next question: Spool valve? Can I do it myself?
What else can I do myself with minimal experience? (I've used to YouTube to repair most of my house so I am happy to learn new stuff). I don't have car tools but sounds like I am going to need some!

Thank you everyone, especially Boom for that amazing list.

Now what??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, and doing the oil pump repair while we have the timing belt replacement in progress. As of right now, I think I am looking at $2500 ish for today. It's the rest that is freaking me out.
 

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One more thing, the ECO light DOES come on randomly so I am looking at buying a VCM disabler especially if I can do it myself.
 

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Boom--thanks for mentioning the coupons. They did give me the ad price of $799 for the timing belt and 10% off high mileage repair labor so I am on my way to get 'er now. $2250 out the door. I have the spool valve gasket in my amazon cart, it's a whole $8 so if I can do myself and hopefully save the alternator I will be very happy. I read a thread about it and I am going to read it all again tonight. I am going to drive it home and park it until I hear y'all's wisdom.
 

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Honestly it sounds like they picked everything known to ever go wrong with the 2nd gen and throw it on the sheet.

I think you've got a good initial list. Quite a few of those items can be done by you or even by someone else WAY cheaper. A couple I don't know that I'd mess with.

I'm not as concerned as I was when you mentioned the huge list now that I've seen it. Get secondary pricing/opinions from Far East for the remaining items (or don't tell them the list and see what they come up with on their own doing an inspection) and go from there.
 
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  • Steering: lower control arm bushings are broken and compliance bushing is broken. Can only replace control arms. $1570 w/alignment.
Compliance bushings are always broken. It is a pity they just don't last forever. They were covered under an extended warranty but it is likely expired for you. The rubber just gets old and cracks in places. This is pretty typical for a 10 years old car. That said, you can elect not to get it fixed, and just drive it. LOTS of people do. If the bushings are REALLY shot you might have issues keeping it aligned properly. I would NOT pay Honda to do this. Aftermarket control arms with compliance bushings are $85 each (one per side) and I would have a reputable shop quote you the labor for something like those.
  • Broken right engine mount $207 ** I drove my Accord with broken engine mounts for at least 10 years, we kept putting it off and when I traded it in, still had never fixed, so how important is this?
These motor mounts are always broken. That top right one always tears. No big deal. I would ignore it. They are fairly easy to change, and the aftermarket mount is $12.
  • Spool valve leak $676
Honda is a ripoff. They make you change the entire valve for a leak here, because they dont sell the gaskets. These are easy to change and cheap.
$8 gaskets: Amazon.com: 15815-R70-A01 15845-R70-A01 Cylinder Head Solenoid Valve Gasket VTEC for Honda Vehicles: Automotive
DIY example:
  • Oil pan $150 because aftermarket plug stripped threads
It happens. Sucks. Oil change places are assholes. Not a bad price really, the oil pan is $40 aftermarket, $90-$150 from a Honda dealer just for the part.
  • Oil change $50
  • Transmission service $210
That's too damned much for a transmission "service" which is just a drain/fill. Its usually closer to $100 around here. I understand you already approved this.... but I'd check with your local Honda specialist shop to see what they charge.
  • Timing belt with tensioner (coupon applied) $1000
If the coupon is $800, why is this $1000?
  • Needs a new battery $128
Fair price. These are $95 at Walmart.
  • Rear shocks leaking $782
TERRIBLE price. Very normal for rears to leak. Not a big deal, I replaced a leaky one and could not tell a difference. Definitely can be put off a bit.... as the OEM ones are always leaking. This is about 1 hours labor and the shocks are $60 each for KYB Excel-G. Most auto shops will do rear shocks for $300 or less.
  • Passenger CV axle leak $569
This all comes down to "how bad". These can leak slowly and not be a big deal.... If the boot is torn and it is slinging all the grease out - it will not last much longer. These are normal maintenance items. Eventually they will click/pop when turning and accelerating. CV Axle replacement is a bit involved from a labor perspective, some people report good experiences with aftermarket, and some say OEM only.
  • Oil pump seal $400 if done with timing belt--$1466 if not
This is not a super common leak, and fixing it will be driven by how accurate that diagnosis is, and how bad the leak is. If the leak is significant, it can get on the timing belt and cause premature failure. You definitely want this done at the same time as the timing belt because they share labor. I believe the oil pan must be removed as well, so that would have been the opportune time to get that done. That just kinda sucks. It's one of those things that you can take your chances on, but if your gamble fails, you might need a new engine.
  • Power steering rack starting to leak $1836
Meh. Just see if you are losing fluid.
  • Power steering flush $160
Do this yourself. Youtube turkey baster method.
  • Valve adjustment $775
That's expensive... but probably typical for a Honda dealer. This will get you new valve cover gaskets as well. At 183k it likely needs it. How soon? Probably not hyper-critical.
  • Tie rod and boots cracked, have some play $246
They always do. Typical. if that's just outer tie rod ends, you can do better, and you would do this if/when you replace control arms.
  • Rear brakes at 1mm $190
I do brakes myself.... but $200 per axle at a dealership is not terrible.
  • Engine air and cabin filters --I can definitely do these myself
  • Front brakes at 3mm $550 because aftermarket rotors
LOL. Aftermarket rotors are great. I would not let Honda change brakes personally.... take that to someone who will use good quality but inexpensive rotors, and pads. You can purchase pads and rotors as a kit from $81 (PowerStop OE) to $140 (Centric).
  • Rear crankshaft seal starting to leak but is minor and probably will be fine for at least a year, per the tech $1950
Yeah, I'd ignore that for sure.
  • Broken taillight (somehow I did not notice this both times I watched the guy drive in front of me) $35
  • Both front tires due to odd wear $270
Odd wear means you need an alignment, which might point to needing suspension parts replacement. Get some tires, and get a free alignment check from someone who does that.


None of these are deal breakers.... but it sure shows how much maintenance can be needed on a used car.... and keep in mind, lots of people would just drive the damn thing and let the chips fall where they may. It is amazing to me what rolls up and down the highway every day.
 
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Honestly it sounds like they picked everything known to ever go wrong with the 2nd gen and throw it on the sheet.

I think you've got a good initial list. Quite a few of those items can be done by you or even by someone else WAY cheaper. A couple I don't know that I'd mess with.

I'm not as concerned as I was when you mentioned the huge list now that I've seen it. Get secondary pricing/opinions from Far East for the remaining items (or don't tell them the list and see what they come up with on their own doing an inspection) and go from there.
I agree. Its like every common (and even uncommon) item was just checked.
 

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