1997 Honda Accord Lots of problems, little money

Tiny
KENTRO21
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA ACCORD
Engine Mechanical problem
1997 Honda Accord Automatic 135000 miles

Hello there,
Basically what I need is some piece of mind and some good advice. My car has a lot of problems. It's been a pain in my butt since I bought it used almost 3 years ago, and it still has a long ways to go.

This car has the original timing belt and water pump. Also, it has had a horrible rattle for at least a year now and I just found out it was the casing on the catalytic converter. Also, that the pipe that goes back from the catalytic converter (sorry, Im not a car expert so I don't know if this is correct terminology, just what the repair man said) is rusted. And I have exhaust and oil leaks.

What kind of cost am I looking at (ballpark) for these repairs? I know what the guy at the shop told me, but I'm curious what YOU think. What would be the most important thing to fix first?

My car not only rattles, in runs loud and idles loud, and when I turn off the engine, the fans will often keep running and you can smell the oil burning. I have a feeling I shouldn't even be driving it, but in this economy, I can't afford not to have a car and I can't afford to fix it.

Thanks.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 12:23 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hello,

Ok, if it is just the heat shield on the cat that is loose, then a tack weld or 2 should fix it. As far as the pipe that is rusted with holes it will need replacing and any other exhaust parts that are rusted with holes will need replacing. Cost could be as high as $500 if need complete exhaust system, if only need the one pipe and the heat shield then about $150 - $250.

On the oil leaks it will depend on were the leaks are and the engine size. If just valve covers then about $150 for a 4 cylinder and of course about twice that for a 6 cylinder.

If leaks are other places then you are looking at a minimum of $600.

Hope this helps, kinda hard to give good guestaments without knowing the exact places of the leaks.

.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
KENTRO21
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply obx.

Yeah, I know I can't paint an exact picture of the problem and just trying to get correct jargon is tough enough, but I appreciate your help.

I wish I could've gotten a more exact definition of what was wrong with my car, but I took it into a good shop with a good reputation for only an oil change and the diagnostics was just sort of quick and get me out the door so they could get to the next car. Which I understand and I was happy to finally find out what the rattle was.

They quoted me $700-800 to replace the timing belt. Which is about what I expected. Can I expect to possibly find a price under $500? Back where I used to live this guy quoted me $300 and I was like "whats the catch?" And never went through with it.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 1:09 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Well,

If the guy were you used to live quoted $300 then I take it it's a 4 cylinder engine. I charge about $400 cause I believe that is an Intefference engine and there are 2 timing belts and a specific proceedure to get things lined up properly

.
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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 AT 8:37 PM
Tiny
KENTRO21
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I see. So I can perhaps find someone to do it for $400, instead of the 7-800 I was quoted, if its a 4-cylinder? I'll have to start calling around. Thanks!
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Thursday, October 8th, 2009 AT 9:51 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Yes, you should be able to find a shop that can do it for $400 - $500 depending on labor rate and part cost.

.
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Thursday, October 8th, 2009 AT 10:15 AM
Tiny
KENTRO21
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OBX, if you live in LA, help me out!
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Thursday, October 8th, 2009 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Sorry, live on opposite Ocean, OBX (OuterBanks) of NC.

I am a Mobile Mechanic but LA is just a little to far.

.
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Friday, October 9th, 2009 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
EARLROSE
  • MEMBER
What your having are very minor problems for 13 year old car. As far as the oil leak, I am about 90% sure its your oil pressure sending unit(only 6-$10)easy to install right above the oil filter. Make sure you get it fixed right away.I have 97 lx and it had an oil leak for 4 years on the previous owners record, I think he ran it low many times, because it burns oil already with only 180k.I have seen quite a few accords from this generation get over 500k
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Sunday, November 8th, 2009 AT 7:35 PM

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