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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sister is actively looking for a Pilot, 4wd.
I've been helping her look for cars, and I'm finding a mix of high miles (for ex 148k) around 10k, and half those miles for twice the price.
Cheaper is better, but she needs to finance and the high miles cars get a much higher interest rate, so there's a balancing act.
I spoke to a service writer at a local dealer who suggested I avoid the 2011-2013 years due to the piston ring issue, and also said to budget $1375 for a full timing belt service.

Here's my question. Say you buy a 2014 with 70k miles. When do you want to do that belt? I've advised my sister that if it was my car and I didn't know if the belt had been done, to do it asap. The interval is 7 years/100k I believe? So a 2014 is pretty much due based on age.

Most used car dealers don't know about the belt and/or fluff it off. The nice sales manager at a local Chevrolet dealer explained to her that "all modern Hondas and Toyotas now use a timing chain which doesn't have to be changed." Dealers...

Anything else to know about years? She definitely wants a pre-2016 model, doesn't like the new body style, but I'm also wondering if there is truly less space in the trunk or does it just look that way?
 

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If you go for the 2014 you could push it a year if you wanted. I know that's an unpopular opinion but there don't seem to be too many examples of timing belts failing due to age and I have an unusually high risk tolerance. Also try to find an independent mechanic who specializes in Hondas. While $1,300 isn't insane for timing belt service, you can likely find a cheaper place to do it.

I am not super familiar with used vehicle financing but the mileage shouldn't make any difference when it comes to the interest rate. Typically its age, so don't get ripped off when it comes to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Well, yes, the loan rates vary with age and miles, but perhaps mainly age. Miles impacts the value though, so I can see a lender being nervous.
The 2009 with 148k was quoted at 9% financing, while a 2014 with 72k miles was quoted at 3.3%.
 

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I did my timing belt around 100K miles. Not the hardest and definitely not the most expensive fix.

I wouldn't go for a high mileage Pilot unless the following has been done to it or it is really cheap:
1) Suspension - as in all of it: shocks, control arms, sway bar bushings and links, etc. Both front and rear. Mine went at around 150K miles (but more likely not even due to mileage but rather due to driving on shitty roads of Montreal). Otherwise, set $$ aside to do it within 1-2 years of purchase.
2) Engine mounts - especially the rear and front ones. These are expensive to fix because (especially for the rear one) you need to take half the car apart to get to it.
3) Bank 1 and 2 valve cover gasket and seals - easy job but needs to be done. Otherwise they leak, and the front one will destroy your alternator.
4) CV shafts and propeller shaft are typically due to expire around 200K.

Also, be very much aware of the condition of the transmission and engine. Shimmies and shakes.

A 5-year old Pilot with sub-70K miles is a good purchase in my books, despite your having to do a timing belt and pump within 1-2 years of purchase.
 

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I think that a high-mileage Pilot is a good deal only if the owner does their own work. Assuming your sister doesn't, I think a newer one is the only way to go.

But 70k miles only gives you 35k until you need the timing belt job, and roughly 50k before you need the other stuff that borsch noted. If this will be a low-mileage vehicle, that's probably OK.

It really depends on what you want in a vehicle. Newer Pilots have all the cool stuff and (obviously) hold their value pretty well. I don't think they're particularly economical, though, when you consider purchase price and cost of maintenance. I like my old Pilot a lot, but I'm pretty frugal and probably wouldn't buy a newer one.
 

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Have your sister check out the local credit unions. Use their rates as leverage at the local dealer or just use them.

They will most likely require you to setup an account and sometimes direct deposit.

Doug Demuro on YouTube talks about using them for his exotic car purchases. A few of the guys at work have done it for their Tesla's.

Before I bought my Pilot I considered it but then Honda offered a special rate so i went with that.

Good luck.
 

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One note regarding the timing belt: Honda's timing belt is actually part of their maintenance minder system, so, the actual mileage will vary. I honestly wouldn't even bother doing it based on age, unless minder comer up.
I understand that heavy towing will decrease the interval. Also, very often Mechanics will scare you into thinking you need to do it if you live in a particularly dry climate. The latter a load of horseshit, though. Every time Honda Mechanics brought it up (and coincidentally, they started immediately upon expiry of my extended warranty but way before 100K) I told them: "isn't your maintenance minder system supposed to be accurate? If it fails before the standard interval and before the maintenance minder comes up, doesn't that mean premature failure and aren't you still on the hook, provided I have a decent lawyer?". And each time they reluctantly agreed.
I did mine around the time maintenance minder came up. The vehicle by that time spent most of its life in the extremely dry and high elevation climate of Alberta in Canada. We've also done a cross-country trip with a UHAUL 6x12 trailer that was probably a bit overloaded for the towing capacity.
Nevertheless the belt was in a very good state, no cracks, no wear, no nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
From what I've read on here about the maintenance minder, it's miles only, not time, and towing is not a factor.
I also doubt that towing increases wear on the belt - it's not like the engine is spinning any faster, right? 5000 rpm is 5000 rpm.
Transmission would be a different story.

At this point a few of the cars she was considering are sold. I'll keep you posted, thanks for the feedback.
 

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From what I've read on here about the maintenance minder, it's miles only, not time
I may be mistaken on this, but I believe the Maintenance Minder's algorithm includes other factors beyond just mileage. How it's all calculated, though, is beyond my mortal comprehension.
138730


I'd still go with it, though. @borsch makes a good point:

I told them: "isn't your maintenance minder system supposed to be accurate? If it fails before the standard interval and before the maintenance minder comes up, doesn't that mean premature failure and aren't you still on the hook, provided I have a decent lawyer?". And each time they reluctantly agreed.
 

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My sister is actively looking for a Pilot, 4wd.
I've been helping her look for cars, and I'm finding a mix of high miles (for ex 148k) around 10k, and half those miles for twice the price.
Cheaper is better, but she needs to finance and the high miles cars get a much higher interest rate, so there's a balancing act.
I spoke to a service writer at a local dealer who suggested I avoid the 2011-2013 years due to the piston ring issue, and also said to budget $1375 for a full timing belt service.

Here's my question. Say you buy a 2014 with 70k miles. When do you want to do that belt? I've advised my sister that if it was my car and I didn't know if the belt had been done, to do it asap. The interval is 7 years/100k I believe? So a 2014 is pretty much due based on age.

Most used car dealers don't know about the belt and/or fluff it off. The nice sales manager at a local Chevrolet dealer explained to her that "all modern Hondas and Toyotas now use a timing chain which doesn't have to be changed." Dealers...

Anything else to know about years? She definitely wants a pre-2016 model, doesn't like the new body style, but I'm also wondering if there is truly less space in the trunk or does it just look that way?
Here are my experiences with timing belt changes. I had a 2005 purchased new. I had it into my mechanic who called me at work, telling me I had to do this "important maintenance". I had no idea. The vehicle had 150,000 miles on it at the time. I recently retired it as it not has 250,000 miles on it and needs a timing belt and a/c compressor. So I upgraded recdenlty to a 2007 Pilot with 120,000 miles on it. I went the my mechanic and he said it did not look like the belt was changed. So I had him do it. He charged me $740. So I think there is a little wiggle room built in these recommendations for changing the belt, because in an interference engine, once it breaks it is catastrophic. Personally I'd lean more toward the mileage than the age , but everyone has their own tolerance for risk.
 
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