I am a GRANDmother. And a GRAND mother. And a GRAND wife; not necessarily in that order. These people of whom I adore seem to feel the same way about me. I am 65 y/o. My dearly loved husband is 75 y/o. I have survived two late staged cancers over the past 10 years. He has survived open heart surgery and prostate cancer. We are both in full remission now, and doing well.
Sorry for "playing" the cancer card. I do so to elicit your compassion (not pity), and your sound/honest guidance. My poor husband of 47 years can't even hang a picture on the wall without screwing it up. He, like many other men (sorry guys)refuses to ask for directions when we are clearly lost, and he also insists on diagnosing any problems dealing with my "most precious" 2000 Honda Accord.
I have been feeling A LOT of anxiety lately. We live on not enough money to live on! I am an intelligent and educated woman who worked three jobs BECAUSE I loved my work (college professor and private therapist working with youth at high risk for dropping out of school). I cannot work because I cannot get hired with my health history. It is horrible and I could never prove that my history of cancer is the reason I don't ever land the job. It's always the same response when I call for an update; "Sorry, but that position has been filled."
SO! Here it goes(guys), assuming that you know more about cars than my female counterparts. I have 96,000 miles on my 11 y/o Honda Accord. Low mileage thank God!I have had NO major work done (or preventative work). Regular oil changes and whatever the small stuff is that goes along with the standard oil change at a Jiffi Lube. No other "recommended" mileage milestones. Only new tires. Because of our financial BURDEN - and it won't change, I am HORRIFIED of blowing out my engine because I didn't replace the timing belt & water pump when I should have: Questions.
1. Should I buy those two parts (from a Honda dealer)or somewhere else?
2. If I have an honest guy who knows what he is doing and will do it for less money than the manufacturer, should I let this guy do the work (of course I wouldn't have a warranty)? And does the Honda mechanic who works on site give me a warranty on this work? And is it pretty much "a given" that the Honda "on site" repair garage will not rip me off?
3. How much money is too much to pay for this job?
4. Should I ask the privant party (mechanic) up front to give me the old parts just to check them out regarding the condition they were in at the time I had them replaced?
5. Because I keep getting what feels like some kind of premonition, what is the most important thing for me to do? Basically - is the red flag in my mind reality based?
6. Pretend I am your mother, your daughter, your sister (if you love them) and give me some really sound advice. I am SO vulnerable (because I know nothing about cars and upkeep) and have such a lack of trust in people for so many reasons (sadly); some of which deals with being terribly ripped off by a mechanic who supposedly fixed my husband's car. Bad bad situation, and we could not do anything except to pay more money to have it done correctly (one year before my first cancer). Our health problems and medical expenses backrupted us. We lost our home and every dime of savings. We can't even afford certain medications because they are not yet in the generic form.
7. Thank you to those who will read this long-stated sob story, as I am counting on your empathy and assistance.
8. At this time in my life six-hundred dollars feels like six-thousand. But if the six-hundred helps to "save my car" then that's what I need to know. Please please help me and send your words of advice to my email address. That way I don't have to worry about not being able to find this post (I became a member one hour ago).
9. To those who respond, let me thank you in advance; thank you from the bottom of my old heart (I am not one of the old folks "yet" who really need to be takin' the bus as a protection to their fellow citizens)!
Good wishes and cheers to all of you.
GRANDmotherocks (according to my GRANDchildren)
is my "handle" or screen name). My email address is LRBogan@gmail. Com
1 Aftermarket parts are quite acceptable and very reliable and so much cheaper, use these with confidence.
2. Do not get any work done with out a written warranty, you may pay a bit more for a qualified tech or a Honda dealer, with out a warranty you are only asking for a problem.
3. Costing is a bit more tricky, a quick look at Mitchell 1 shows Timing belt, tensioner, idler water pump & gaskets & seals costing around $500 you will need coolant and other sundry items and labour at around 5 Hrs, but after market and private workshops will be so much cheaper and if you find a reliable one, (ask around) this swill be a far better option.
4. Always ask to see your parts, but do not be surprised if they look fine, thi sis all about preventive maintenance not damage repair.
5. Yes a broken timing belt will = much hip nerve pain. I.E a very empty wallet, something nobody wants, spend a bit now on preventive maintenance and save a fortune on expensive engine repairs.
February, 16, 2011 AT 2:28 PM
So sorry mh, but what exactly is "aftermarket parts" and where do I buy all of the parts you listed in response #3 to me? Seems like your saying I should really consider going to a Honda dealer (response #2). Referring again to your #3 response, what is "privaate workshops?" Finally - what would YOU do if you were ME? (A complete illiterate)on this topic?
It was good of you to answer my questions. And please follow up with clarification on what you have already shared with me, given that I can't exactly figure it out. I want to thank you so much!
February, 16, 2011 AT 9:39 PM
After market parts are those parts that you can purchase at any auto parts retailer, they are good quality but cheaper, they do have a makers warranty but not a Honda warranty, as I am in Australia I do not know what parts stores you have there, you will have to check your phone book, A private work shop is a qualified mechanic running his own registered business apart form a dealer, the private shop will have full warranty with their work, once again a cheaper option, if it was mine and I was not a tech? Get on the phone and look for a mechanic that may specialize in Honda and get a quote, ring around and get a few quotes, ask any friends who they use, all mechanics are capable of this work, it is not rocket science, but just keep to a qualified trades person.
February, 16, 2011 AT 10:35 PM
First of all Mark. I can't believe my spelling errors, especially "Water Pumb." Secondly, my dearest of sister lives on the Gold Coast. After twelve years Sydney she and her husband and kids moved back to the states. After many years here, they moved back to Australia and it broke my heart (There are 5 sisters). We are all very close. But her children ended up with Australian spouses.
Thank you Mark, so much for clearly answering my questions. You gave me more than I even knew to ask for. I feel empowered! Yay.