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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning piloteers:

My wife and and I are looking around for a tow vehicle for our small Boler style camping trailer (it's a Cadet). We've towed it with our Pontiac Vibe successfully but we're probably maxing out our towing capacity and want a bit more safety and are considering a Pilot as our second vehicle.

There's a 2006 for private sale locally and we've checked it out and test driven it. Everything seems pretty good, but of course at this age and price, it's not perfect. We're in Canada so prices are higher. He's asking $6k CAD (about $4500 USD). It's got about 120k kilometers on it (about 75k miles). The front windshield has a long crack along the bottom. It's got a bit of rust on the rear wheel wells and rocker panels, but nothing I can't fix up pretty easily. It needed new tires about 2000 miles ago, I'd say, so new tires factor into the cost. All of the fluids looked good (engine oil, transmission, radiator. There's no evidence of blow by. It starts easily and drives well. There's one thing that made me wonder a bit and is the thing I'd hope for feedback on - the inboard end of the driver's side CV joint had some oil (with some dirt and dust from the road mixed in) on it. There's no sign of damage to the boot, but I'm concerned that there's oil there. Any ideas where it could be coming from? The top side of the engine compartment was very clean with a bit of corrosion here and there that you can expect I guess in 14 years of life on the Coast. I couldn't find the source as all I had was my cell phone for light and I was lying on road crush gravel, which wasn't comfortable.

So if you can, please give me feedback on:
a) the vehicle overall at this price. What do you think?
b) the oil on the CV if you have experience with these things.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and, if you feel so inclined, to answer my questions. I've been a long time member of forums for other cars like the Pontiac Vibe and the Smart Car and know that these are the places to go to get a lot if insight from people with hands on knowledge and often expertise beyond that of even the dealership mechanics.
 

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Is it 4WD or 2WD?
Has the timing belt ever been changed and, if so, how long ago (in miles and time)?
 

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How heavy is the trailer you want to pull and how often? Is the terrain mostly flat or a lot of up hill driving? Sideways mounted engine and transmission are just not that proficient when under a large load. The transmission over heating would be my greatest concern.
It sounds like a busted CV boot. Hard to say without examining, feeling for a tear. I'd want to know that before I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How heavy is the trailer you want to pull and how often? Is the terrain mostly flat or a lot of up hill driving? Sideways mounted engine and transmission are just not that proficient when under a large load. The transmission over heating would be my greatest concern.
It sounds like a busted CV boot. Hard to say without examining, feeling for a tear. I'd want to know that before I bought it.
The trailer bare is about 900lbs, but fully loaded it is probably 1700 or so if we aren't careful to not add 'extras'. We tow from Canada to Mexico and when in Mexico tour a lot. Last Winter we drove through Siskiyou pass down I-5 past Mt. Shasta twice pulling the trailer with our Vibe at around 1400lb. It worked hard but managed OK at speeds that weren't too embarrassing. We also drove from Melaque to Guadalajara through the Sierra Madres without visible issues. I suspect we'd eventually kill that car towing this trailer but I don't think it's much of a load for a Pilot, which is rated for a lot more? I felt around the inboard CV boot and couldn't find any tear, but I didn't do as thorough a job as I'd like to have.
 

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That's not a lot of weight.
Price sounds good but maybe offer less now, after seeing that bushing. If that one is bad, then likely most of them need replacing.
 

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With that much rust underneath and rust in the body, I think its a $1,000 car, tops.

Find the posts for rear subframe mount rust. Yeah, that's fixable, but why take the risk?

I think your idea to buy a Pilot is sound, but this Pilot might not be. Pass, and find one in Vancouver.
 

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I, on the other hand, say go for it.

With the proviso to get it thoroughly checked out by a trusted mechanic.

Even with CV axle, windshield repairs and adding a transmission cooler if it doesn't already have one, you'd have a pretty darn good vehicle for you needs, certainly light years ahead of your Vibe.

120k kilometers, you say? It's barely broken in. :)
 

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Does this Pilot have the trailer hitch, trailer wiring harness, transmission fluid cooler and power steering fluid cooler already installed?
If not, the cost of those accessories (plus installation) should be factored in.
 
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