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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for opinions on a costly repair for my wife's 2004 Pilot that has 215k miles. While I am am quite confident that the engine should have some good life left in it, I am not sure about putting approximately $1400 into a new AC Compressor and Condenser into a car that has this many miles and is 16 years old. Not repairing is not an option as it is causing friction on the serpentine belt and making a really loud noise.

In addition, we purchased the car from the original owner and replaced the timing belt at about 120k miles as it had not been done, so I am looking at around another $1000 for that.

Overall the engine runs well and she really loves her Pilot and wants to keep it. Do we spend $2400 with this many miles?

Any insight is appreciated.
 

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Just assume the worse case scenario. How much are you willing to spend to get another 100k miles out of this vehicle, versus buying something else?
 

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Timing belt is a given if you want that motor to keep firing until 315k. Once you commit to the TB MAINTENANCE and the trans, suspension is fine why not get the a/c done? A/C is more than just keeping cool on hot summer days. Defrosting the windshield is a safety factor when weather conditions are right. If the compressor is shot the odds are the condenser is right there too. If it makes you feel better the TLC on my ‘04 has exceeded the trade in value and I’m not done yet
 

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Look for a used A/C compresser one? I think otherwise you answered your own questions.
 
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Welcome to the forum.

Your financial situation will play a large factor in what you should do with the Pilot. Beyond the AC and timing belt job there are other unknown repair items that will likely come down the line that you’ll have to factor into your decision process.

How rusted is the frame on your Pilot? That in itself might be the major component of your decision. Pay special attention to the rear subframe area if you live in a location where the roads are salted.
 

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If it makes you feel better the TLC on my ‘04 has exceeded the trade in value and I’m not done yet
There are 3 vehicles I previously owned that I traded and wish I had back now. The rational of "not worth fixing" can cause you to make a hasty decision. The replacement vehicle ends up costing you 4 times the amount of $ for the next 100k miles.
 

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I am looking for opinions on a costly repair for my wife's 2004 Pilot that has 215k miles. While I am am quite confident that the engine should have some good life left in it, I am not sure about putting approximately $1400 into a new AC Compressor and Condenser into a car that has this many miles and is 16 years old. Not repairing is not an option as it is causing friction on the serpentine belt and making a really loud noise.

In addition, we purchased the car from the original owner and replaced the timing belt at about 120k miles as it had not been done, so I am looking at around another $1000 for that.

Overall the engine runs well and she really loves her Pilot and wants to keep it. Do we spend $2400 with this many miles?

Any insight is appreciated.
If you had thought to ask this question in July instead of November I am sure that your wife would have made the decision for you. Now you have to choose from one of three options.

1. Spend the money and fix the wife's ac.

2. Spend the money to buy a new/newer vehicle for the wife.

3. Spend the money on a good divorce lawyer and hope that you get to keep more than your underwear and the dog she always hated.


Good Luck.
 

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I'd do some shopping around. See if you can find a small shop that is more hungry with everything that is going on.

I'm thinking #1 is the cheapest option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate all the insight. This is the sanity check that I was looking for. I think the suspension will more than likely need done in the near future. The transmission seems fine, but I have never had a vehicle needing any major work in that area.

I tend to do most repairs myself, but I am not going to try and tackle the AC system. I am definitely aware this is needed for more than just the AC itself, so this is either a fix or move on situation. I am strongly leaning towards repairing, based on some quick cost estimates for things like transmission and suspension, I think that cost will be well worth it should I be able to get another 10 years out of it.

I appreciate the mention of the frame as well, I will definitely be checking that out this evening. We do live in a climate with plenty of snow and tons of salt used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you had thought to ask this question in July instead of November I am sure that your wife would have made the decision for you. Now you have to choose from one of three options.

1. Spend the money and fix the wife's ac.

2. Spend the money to buy a new/newer vehicle for the wife.

3. Spend the money on a good divorce lawyer and hope that you get to keep more than your underwear and the dog she always hated.


Good Luck.
LOL!

I am pretty lucky that I have a wife that loves her car and has no interest in something new.
 

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Keep in mind, if you put all that money in the car and it gets totaled the next day, the insurance company will not care that you just did $2,400 worth of maintenance/repairs. In other words, you will be out all that money--it won't add any value to the car in the insurance company's eyes.

I don't mind driving old cars and if something is broken (A/C) I will fix it immediately because that is something I can't live without. However, there is a point where the car is worthless to me and I am tired of it.
 

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2005 pilot with 226k living in Florida about to put new compressor in and possibly condenser? The clutch is shot on mine so doubt it contaminated condenser or lines. 350$ For new one + pay to have system bled and recharged the “responsible way”.
 

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Keep in mind, if you put all that money in the car and it gets totaled the next day, the insurance company will not care that you just did $2,400 worth of maintenance/repairs. In other words, you will be out all that money--it won't add any value to the car in the insurance company's eyes.

I don't mind driving old cars and if something is broken (A/C) I will fix it immediately because that is something I can't live without. However, there is a point where the car is worthless to me and I am tired of it.
Soooo put full coverage on it, not that difficult if you're scared of crashing it. A car is worth a lot more than money to some people, it can be a irreplaceable tool that's reliable because you know it's story, and at the end of the day, cheaper than a new one.
 

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Soooo put full coverage on it, not that difficult if you're scared of crashing it. A car is worth a lot more than money to some people, it can be a irreplaceable tool that's reliable because you know it's story, and at the end of the day, cheaper than a new one.
No way I'd pay for full coverage on a car that old. I am not concerned I will crash it, but rather other people running into me. Only liability and then "self insure" if you get in an at fault accident.
I'm not saying don't put money into a car just because it's old, I'm just saying if you drop $2,400 in a car and it get's totaled the next day, insurance company says it's only worth $2,000. They don't add $2,400 just because you fixed some things that were broken.

I can say my 2008 Pilot is worth $20,000 to me because I know its reliable and I wouldn't hesitate to drive it across the country tomorrow, but to you it's only worth $3,000. Yes almost every time it's cheaper to keep an older car on the road, but you are the only person who can determine if it's worth it.

Typically with that age and mileage, I'd keep it on the road, but I wouldn't repair every single thing that's wrong. It doesn't need to be perfect. A/C is a necessity for where I live and I will NOT live without it. If it was some other suspension related problem that was only affecting ride quality I would probably leave it alone.
 

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No way I'd pay for full coverage on a car that old. I am not concerned I will crash it, but rather other people running into me. Only liability and then "self insure" if you get in an at fault accident.
I'm not saying don't put money into a car just because it's old, I'm just saying if you drop $2,400 in a car and it get's totaled the next day, insurance company says it's only worth $2,000. They don't add $2,400 just because you fixed some things that were broken.

I can say my 2008 Pilot is worth $20,000 to me because I know its reliable and I wouldn't hesitate to drive it across the country tomorrow, but to you it's only worth $3,000. Yes almost every time it's cheaper to keep an older car on the road, but you are the only person who can determine if it's worth it.

Typically with that age and mileage, I'd keep it on the road, but I wouldn't repair every single thing that's wrong. It doesn't need to be perfect. A/C is a necessity for where I live and I will NOT live without it. If it was some other suspension related problem that was only affecting ride quality I would probably leave it alone.
This ‘04 Pilot may be old but it still has some value. Plugging in the Pilot info on KBB yields trade 2100-3500 and private sale 3700-6270
My insurance agent suggests full coverage for a little more than basic liability for not much more. Ymmv
 

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As for your A/C situation, I'd advise hitting up Autozone or the likes, and getting their rental A/C gauges to check the health of the system properly, and to take the time and add a dye to it if you haven't already (so you can pinpoint any leaks). Might be something simple to resolve such as a Schrader valve.

Does the compressor clutch still kick on when you press the A/C button? If so that at least means you have some R134a left in the system.

Also, it's better to replace the compressor if there is any concern, because if that catastrophically breaks, means your looking at replacing the evaporator/dryer/etc as well, further driving up the repair cost.

I also partially disagree with the statement about insurance, it does matter (some) if you keep records of your repairs, and had work recently, it should increase the appraisal value (parts costs), but your generally out of luck on labor portion. Insurance companies are like car salesman, sometimes you have to go back and forth 4-5 times to get the "best deal". It's also not unreasonable for them to pay out what it a replacement would cost from a Used Car Dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As for your A/C situation, I'd advise hitting up Autozone or the likes, and getting their rental A/C gauges to check the health of the system properly, and to take the time and add a dye to it if you haven't already (so you can pinpoint any leaks). Might be something simple to resolve such as a Schrader valve.

Does the compressor clutch still kick on when you press the A/C button? If so that at least means you have some R134a left in the system.

Also, it's better to replace the compressor if there is any concern, because if that catastrophically breaks, means your looking at replacing the evaporator/dryer/etc as well, further driving up the repair cost.

I also partially disagree with the statement about insurance, it does matter (some) if you keep records of your repairs, and had work recently, it should increase the appraisal value (parts costs), but your generally out of luck on labor portion. Insurance companies are like car salesman, sometimes you have to go back and forth 4-5 times to get the "best deal". It's also not unreasonable for them to pay out what it a replacement would cost from a Used Car Dealer.
It's not that the AC is just not working, it's that the compressor is shot and is causing an issue with the serpentine belt. The grinding coming from the AC Compressor has it undrivable until something is done. I appreciate the assistance.
 

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LOL!

I am pretty lucky that I have a wife that loves her car and has no interest in something new.
My wife usually drove our 08 Pilot- now with185K on it.
My 01 Dodge truck w/ 259K on it is on it's dying months, still running fine however.

We opted for a new to us 2015 Pilot!
The wife usually drives that now, and I drive the 08 mostly now!
 
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