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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my 2004 pilot EXL has about 174k miles and definitely is showing signs of the rusted subframe issue but the bolt has not disconnected itself yet from the subframe. I cut out the rusted area and cleaned off what I could with a wire brush wheel the inside part where the bolt is and applied several coats of Eastwood rust encapsulator. Hoping that it stops the rust from going any further and I could just monitor it going forward. Other than that, the truck runs great and has zero issues. Would you keep putting money into it to keep up with maintenance? For example, I've never replaced the thermostat and the vehicle is 18 years old. Have never had any coolant or overheating issues. Its also been about 5 years since my last coolant drain and refill. Would you even bother changing it? Or should i just keep up with oil changes until it finally does break and call it a day? I'm attaching a pic of the subframe.
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Rust in and around the subframe is almost impossible to diagnose the problems it could present. Corrosion is also present on the inside of the subframe members that can’t be visually assessed.

I becomes a question of safety and risk. Especially if you are using it for a family vehicle.
 

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Personally I wouldn’t bother with too much maintenance, especially if it’s not currently broke and you used the long life coolant before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Depends upon how much you like the vehicle.
Myself I'd do it, I prefer not to take out a mortgage for another vehicle.
But then I do my own repair work other than windsheilds, and rebuilding transmissions.
Getting too old for doing the big windsheilds, and not going to invest in the specialized tools for rebuilding transmissions.

$800.00 for the parts, and if the labor was another $800.00 would be 3-4 car payments now days. Also figure in the cost of full coverage insurance if you have to get a loan.
 

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It all depends on how much you love your Pilot and whether you can afford to replace it with something else. I love my 04 Pilot and have just recently did a head gasket replacement, timing belt change, the subframe welding repair, and have about $400 dollars worth of suspension recently replaced, with a handful of other mods and have new tires planned. I've only got 266K on mine so it's got plenty of life left.
You just need to decide it if financially makes sense or if you love the car or enjoy tinkering with it to justify sinking more money into it.
 

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Depends upon how much you like the vehicle.
Myself I'd do it, I prefer not to take out a mortgage for another vehicle.
But then I do my own repair work other than windsheilds, and rebuilding transmissions.
Getting too old for doing the big windsheilds, and not going to invest in the specialized tools for rebuilding transmissions.

$800.00 for the parts, and if the labor was another $800.00 would be 3-4 car payments now days. Also figure in the cost of full coverage insurance if you have to get a loan.
Agreed! Some of the mods I’ve done on my Jeep and Pilot make the $800 cross member brace seem quite reasonable for a part thats custom formed bent piece to reattach the subframe securely and likely keep the Pilot on the road. Too bad Honda isn’t slapping these pieces on rusty Pilots and Ridgelines to keep these vehicles safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Depends upon how much you like the vehicle.
Myself I'd do it, I prefer not to take out a mortgage for another vehicle.
But then I do my own repair work other than windsheilds, and rebuilding transmissions.
Getting too old for doing the big windsheilds, and not going to invest in the specialized tools for rebuilding transmissions.

$800.00 for the parts, and if the labor was another $800.00 would be 3-4 car payments now days. Also figure in the cost of full coverage insurance if you have to get a loan.
Where do you draw the line though? $1600-$2300 for this repair then what if the transmission goes? or something else? Then you will feel like, well i just spent 2k$ for the subframe repair, i can't not spend another $2k on it....and so forth. Don't get me wrong, this is my wife's daily driver and she loves it but there has to be a line drawn somewhere financially. If the car was only like 10 years old, then yeah I would definitely fix it. I'm the only owner and have never brought this to the dealer for anything. Have done all the maintenance on this myself mostly including the timing belt twice.
 

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Where do you draw the line though? $1600-$2300 for this repair then what if the transmission goes? or something else? Then you will feel like, well i just spent 2k$ for the subframe repair, i can't not spend another $2k on it....and so forth. Don't get me wrong, this is my wife's daily driver and she loves it but there has to be a line drawn somewhere financially. If the car was only like 10 years old, then yeah I would definitely fix it. I'm the only owner and have never brought this to the dealer for anything. Have done all the maintenance on this myself mostly including the timing belt twice.
That's a hard one to call. Our 06 has 276K on it and runs like a top. I know of two (Same owner) an 06, & 07 both with over 600K miles on them. I look at it this way, If there's still enough body left to attach the mechanicals to it's cheaper than 5-7 years of payments. That $800 part is a cast iron replacement if you read the part description.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It all depends on how much you love your Pilot and whether you can afford to replace it with something else. I love my 04 Pilot and have just recently did a head gasket replacement, timing belt change, the subframe welding repair, and have about $400 dollars worth of suspension recently replaced, with a handful of other mods and have new tires planned. I've only got 266K on mine so it's got plenty of life left.
You just need to decide it if financially makes sense or if you love the car or enjoy tinkering with it to justify sinking more money into it.
Where did you get the subframe repair done and what was the cost if you don't mind me asking? If I could find someone in the Chicago area to do this for $300-$500 I would probably do it.
 

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Where do you draw the line though? $1600-$2300 for this repair then what if the transmission goes?
I think that drawing the line is pretty straightforward.

If you are likely to get enough time back from the car to make you happy about spending the money, do it.

Even if you did this repair for $2k and the transmission went out the next week (let's say that's $4k), if you think you can get 3 more years out of the car with a new transmission, you're probably doing great. There's no guarantees, of course, but I would bet on the solid Pilot you know after repairs vs. anything else that you could buy for $6k, for sure.
 

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Professional help obviously needed for the the rear subframe and where ever else rust is eating away at. For the rest of the vehicle, it’s all about the DIY. If I will be paying labor to sweep through this vehicle with new radiator, hoses, belts, gaskets, cleaning etc etc then I’d likely sell it.
 

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Where do you draw the line though? $1600-$2300 for this repair then what if the transmission goes? or something else? Then you will feel like, well i just spent 2k$ for the subframe repair, i can't not spend another $2k on it....and so forth. Don't get me wrong, this is my wife's daily driver and she loves it but there has to be a line drawn somewhere financially. If the car was only like 10 years old, then yeah I would definitely fix it. I'm the only owner and have never brought this to the dealer for anything. Have done all the maintenance on this myself mostly including the timing belt twice.
Look at it this way, you are going to have to spend money either way soon. If you replace it, what would you look to replace it with? Do a CARFAX search for representative vehicles in your area, what are they selling for? How would you pay for it, loan or cash?, If a loan, what interest rate do you qualify for? Do forget tax Title and Liscense fees. If your state has a personal property tax, you’ll be paying more for that also. Then there is insurance costs, it will likely be more on a new vehicle. When you know what you’d like to replace the Pilot with (year, make, model) get a quote from your insurance company so you know what to expect. Then compare that cost to what it will cost to keep your current Pilot running, along with the yearly taxes and insurance you pay. Financially, it will likely make the most sense to keep the Pilot running and save to make a cash purchase of a replacement vehicle as soon as you're able.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm going to stick with it as long as it keeps going with minimal maintenance. I'm confident in the actions I've taken for the subframe that the rusting will stop where its at. I've treated the inside of the cross member area as well and its actually still pretty solid. The other side by the muffler is not affected at all as well. I'll probably just do a drain and refill on the coolant and skip the thermostat unless i have an issue. Given that i also recently spent money on new shocks and struts (DIY as well) and newer tires, it still has a long way to go. Also fixed a issue that was plaguing me for a few years now with it having trouble starting, ended up swapping out the main relay and that solved it. Thanks all for you input and good advice!
 

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When you do the math on new car payments, it is 99% of the time worth keeping and maintaining you current vehicle. I can certainly understand it becoming annoying if a vehicle is needing service frequently or is nickel and diming you.

My opinion - if this has been a reliable vehicle and you have no indications that things are going south (slipping or shuddering trans, engine noises or codes, etc.) I'd keep it and do the repairs.
 

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When you do the math on new car payments, it is 99% of the time worth keeping and maintaining you current vehicle. I can certainly understand it becoming annoying if a vehicle is needing service frequently or is nickel and diming you.

My opinion - if this has been a reliable vehicle and you have no indications that things are going south (slipping or shuddering trans, engine noises or codes, etc.) I'd keep it and do the repairs.
I always think of it in the context of, "well, if I have to spend a few hundred this month to keep it on the road, and all's well otherwise, that's one car payment." Of course, if it's something spendy that I can't do myself, that's a different perspective.
 
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