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Right at the start of the Covid; we were forced into buying a decent used SUV in one week. We had the savings but it was still a rush to get the car we wanted. Our former 2006 Pilot gave up the ghost as the crank sucked in the serpentine belt and the engine was basically gone - 279K it had serviced us well. We replaced the timing belt not even 1 yr ago. More than 1 mechanic after the fact said our mechanic was responsible for not having the crankshaft torqued properly. Anyway we live and learn - back to our "new" 2011 model. We had an A/C issue over the weekend and went to one of these service center known for being rip off artists. They said there was a blockage and that our evaporator and expansion valve would need to be replaced for $1100. We said thanks but no thanks and waited out until we could try yet another mechanic.

Our new mechanic fixed the issue for $67. We like him already : ) Don't go to a service center except maybe to get tires if they are on sale. We asked our new mechanic to go over the car and tell us anything we need to get the car in great condition. It has 167K miles but as they said the car overall is in very good shape but still needs some major maintenance items. Here is what they detailed along with prices:
3 wiper blades $33.40
Timing Belt/Kit $428.67 plus $354.02 labor
Front brakes (they said in the next 3 months) along with CV Joints $414.56 parts $278.76 labor
Optional - Struts/Shocks and 4 wheel alignment $1235.18 parts $388.90 labor

We bought the car from an individual who claimed the timing belt was replaced at 100K; I even checked the carfax before purchasing and in my haste saw drive belt was replaced at 109K thinking this was timing belt. Our new mechanic claims the factor honda seals have not been removed therefore it must be original. Is there any other way to confirm the timing belt has not been replaced? BTW, we paid 7K cash for this car which was very clean aesthetically; maintained well and drove almost perfect - these models with way less miles typically sell for 10K plus. I am fine with timing belt being replaced because of the obvious risk we are taking otherwise. Just would be great to know with certainty that it needs.

Is it normal for the CV driveshafts to be replaced already? I am fine with front brakes if the numbers are reasonable. If you guys say get the CV's done so be it.

We will do the wiper blades and probably hold off on the suspension only because there is an occasional squeak (front left) when going over a speed bump no big deal and the mechanic said the suspension was a little soft. Again he did not indicate any urgency for this only if we want to get the car in top condition. Because of the expensive parts on this job I don't see any need to do it. The tires are excellent and wearing evenly.

So I am asking for feedback on the priorities listed above - the car has always had synthetic oil, no leaks and looks super clean and drives almost perfect. A very slight shimmy braking at high speeds should be taken care of by the brake job according to the mechanic. We like the car very much and would like to hang on for at least another 5 yrs or so we only drive about 10K a year. Thanks - Bill
 

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If the Carfax says the timing belt was done, along with the previous owner confirming that was the case, I would skip that. If you really want the extra security then you can have it done, and that price is very reasonable. As you already say, replacing the wiper blades on your own is the way to go. There's always deals or rebates on wiper blades and I guarantee they are much better than the ones they will give you.

As far as the suspension stuff goes, I can't imagine that stuff would go in 100k miles. Does the car feel bouncy when you drive it? I would definitely skip that for a while. In my opinion (and I'm not saying anyone else should follow this) suspension stuff on my cars aren't a huge priority. I could probably replace some stuff on my '08 Pilot with 191,000 miles but it is a 12 year old car so it's not going to ride perfectly. You can check under the car and see if the CV joint boots are torn. If there's a little pop when you turn the wheel or drive in circles at low speeds they probably could be replaced, but there isn't any urgency to do so.


Summary: Prices don't seem outrageous. Timing belt could be done if you want the security, but if CarFax/previous owner says it was done I'd just go with that. If the shaking while braking from highway speeds bothers you go ahead and do it. It's not really a safety concern unless it gets really bad. Skip the suspension stuff unless you want to car to ride perfect. Because you got a good deal on it you could put more money into it and make it perfect or you could enjoy it how it is (very good) and save the money and address those concerns later down the road.
 

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I agree that the prices seem reasonable, so it's really just about your priorities.

For me, the top priorities are the things that have the biggest potential downside. From this list, I would do it like this:

1. (Now) - Timing belt. Agree with the logic that you could wait, but since you only expect another 50k from the vehicle, you might as well do that now and know its done for the rest of your ownership. Alternative is taking the risk (however large or small), then paying the same amount 33k from now when you hit 200k miles. Failure potential is catastrophic. Replace the water pump while you're at it, for the same reasons.

2. (Soon) - Brakes and CV's, unless one of the CV boots is already torn, then do it all now. Probably won't ever leave you stranded, but again, it will cost you the same thing now or later. You might as well enjoy the results of your investment.

3. (Whenever you like) - Suspension. Least bang for the buck in this job, but it will ride better. Tire replacement time would be good for this one, if that's convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the Carfax says the timing belt was done, along with the previous owner confirming that was the case, I would skip that. If you really want the extra security then you can have it done, and that price is very reasonable. As you already say, replacing the wiper blades on your own is the way to go. There's always deals or rebates on wiper blades and I guarantee they are much better than the ones they will give you.

As far as the suspension stuff goes, I can't imagine that stuff would go in 100k miles. Does the car feel bouncy when you drive it? I would definitely skip that for a while. In my opinion (and I'm not saying anyone else should follow this) suspension stuff on my cars aren't a huge priority. I could probably replace some stuff on my '08 Pilot with 191,000 miles but it is a 12 year old car so it's not going to ride perfectly. You can check under the car and see if the CV joint boots are torn. If there's a little pop when you turn the wheel or drive in circles at low speeds they probably could be replaced, but there isn't any urgency to do so.


Summary: Prices don't seem outrageous. Timing belt could be done if you want the security, but if CarFax/previous owner says it was done I'd just go with that. If the shaking while braking from highway speeds bothers you go ahead and do it. It's not really a safety concern unless it gets really bad. Skip the suspension stuff unless you want to car to ride perfect. Because you got a good deal on it you could put more money into it and make it perfect or you could enjoy it how it is (very good) and save the money and address those concerns later down the road.
Jack, what I said above was I thought the timing belt had been replaced when checking carfax before purchasing but actually saw "drive belt" and somehow my mind said ok timing belt done. : )
I am leaning towards the fact that the guy had lied but would sure like some way to confirm. You are correct the prices seem reasonable and we like the 2 year warranty. No the car drives perfectly fine neither my wife or I are nascar drivers. I think the CV boots are good but will look more closely; there is no pop that we have heard yet. Thanks for your thoughts on this - Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree that the prices seem reasonable, so it's really just about your priorities.

For me, the top priorities are the things that have the biggest potential downside. From this list, I would do it like this:

1. (Now) - Timing belt. Agree with the logic that you could wait, but since you only expect another 50k from the vehicle, you might as well do that now and know its done for the rest of your ownership. Alternative is taking the risk (however large or small), then paying the same amount 33k from now when you hit 200k miles. Failure potential is catastrophic. Replace the water pump while you're at it, for the same reasons.

2. (Soon) - Brakes and CV's, unless one of the CV boots is already torn, then do it all now. Probably won't ever leave you stranded, but again, it will cost you the same thing now or later. You might as well enjoy the results of your investment.

3. (Whenever you like) - Suspension. Least bang for the buck in this job, but it will ride better. Tire replacement time would be good for this one, if that's convenient.
Yes Tacoma - the timing belt is 1st and foremost and if we can't confirm it was done than we are forced to do it. Yes the mechanic said the water pump is part of the kit that will be applied for this job. Would be great if we can confirm the belt was done or not. The tires have probably 75 percent or more tread left - michelins - so we are good here. Will be taking a close look at CV joints thanks for your reply - Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am comfortable with the help with prioritizing what we can do for this vehicle the only outstanding item which is pretty big was - if there was some physical way to determine if the timing belt was replaced or not - hoping for someone with this experience to offer wisdom/advice/suggestion thanks again
 

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I am comfortable with the help with prioritizing what we can do for this vehicle the only outstanding item which is pretty big was - if there was some physical way to determine if the timing belt was replaced or not - hoping for someone with this experience to offer wisdom/advice/suggestion thanks again
Well the shop that supposedly did it should be listed on the CarFax. Call them and ask for the service record. I have found that on the CarFax timing belt is listed as "drive belt" sometimes.
 

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If the vehicle has the original timing belt that has gone 167k miles, you will definitely be able to tell. The belt will be thin and the lobes will be worn down and rounded.
136450

Was there any record of the water pump being replaced?

Replacing brake pads does not necessarily fix a braking shimmy. 9 year old rotors under ideal conditions eventual rust and warp. If your where the roads are salted it comes sooner. I'd want that fixed soon.
The suspension is very important to check. When parts begin to fail even your alignment can be affected. A rattle is your warning. If you would like an opinion here, post up some photos of your lower control arm bushing, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If the vehicle has the original timing belt that has gone 167k miles, you will definitely be able to tell. The belt will be thin and the lobes will be worn down and rounded.
View attachment 136450
Was there any record of the water pump being replaced?

Replacing brake pads does not necessarily fix a braking shimmy. 9 year old rotors under ideal conditions eventual rust and warp. If your where the roads are salted it comes sooner. I'd want that fixed soon.
The suspension is very important to check. When parts begin to fail even your alignment can be affected. A rattle is your warning. If you would like an opinion here, post up some photos of your lower control arm bushing, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.
no record of water pump replaced - appreciate the info on suspension - may post some pics later!
 

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no record of water pump replaced - appreciate the info on suspension - may post some pics later!
Without removing to many parts, you could pull an upper timing belt cover to inspect the belt. Get us a photo or 2.
 
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