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Old 11-06-2017, 08:54 PM   #1
CHDdad
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Default Looking to buy a Vue

Looking for some expert opinions from you ...

I have the opportunity to purchase a 2004 V6 AWD Vue with 78,000 from my dad ... but it comes with problems. He took it to the shop today and was told that this car needs the following work ...

- Rear shocks are leaking
- Air conditioner compressor needs replaced
- Needs new engine mounts
- Needs timing belt / water pump replaced

All total, this is looking to be about $2700 in repair cost. The car sits all summer long (in AZ) and is occasionally driven during the winter months when they hide from our winters here (MO).

Is it worth it to have this repaired to be my daily driver? I'm really looking for a cheaper vehicle that might get me around in the occasional snow storm. My thoughts were that he gets it fixed and I pay $4000 ... to much?

Any problems I should be looking for?

I appreciate any insight you can offer!

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Old 11-07-2017, 07:26 AM   #2
underthehood
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Default Re: Looking to buy a Vue

Well it all kinda depends.
How much is he asking for from you?

Now on to the "problems?"

Does the AC work ok now? If so ignore the recommendation but know that the Vues in that generation have issues with AC

Shocks? Well I truly doubt they're leaking #1. (I have not seen a shock "leak" for many years. They may be a little worn out but odds are they're still going to be serviceable for another 50k miles.

Engine mounts. Is the engine vibrating badly? If so yeah you may have a tired mount or 2. If the engine is smooth and quiet no vibrations in the cabin and it's not jumping around the engine bay. Then yeah maybe you do have a bad one

Now to the most important of all. Timing Belt. Yes, at 13 years old and high temps in the SW where you live. By all means have the timing belt and water pump replaced along with a complete cooling system flush/fill. But don't have the garage who gave your dad that shopping list do it. YOu might consider having a Honda dealer do it.

Now for something not recommended. Transmission fluid change is called for. If it has not been dine I would recommend doing 2 or 3 drain fills in short order with PROPER fluid

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
CHDdad
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Default Re: Looking to buy a Vue

Thanks for the info ... my hope is to pay about $1000 - $1500 for the vehicle. My plan is to bring the car back home (2000 miles) and have my mechanic do the major repairs (timing belt / water pump / AC compressor) and have by neighbor do the others as needed.

I know he used the AC fill from the auto store for the past few years to keep it cool but now the AC does not blow at all. I believe the compressor is completely out. As for the other things, I doubt they are that bad and can be replaced over the winter here at home.

I'm just need to determine if I drive 2000 miles before replacing the timing belt or have it done there before I head back. He has had no major issues when driving it, only the fact that it sits during the spring / summer in the AZ heat (under a canopy).

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:17 AM   #4
mlc5
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Default Re: Looking to buy a Vue

I'd be a little leery of that list.. as Underthehood mentioned...and would seek a 2nd opinion...

1) timing belt typically gets replaced at 100k .. so you still have another year or two so of driving before it's due.. but don't wait too long!!! Water pump is cheap once they're in there.. so it's worth doing at the same time.. That job is probably 4-5 hrs.. so figure $800 give or take. .when the time comes
2) rear shocks.. unless they're exhibiting a problem, I'd hold off.. Should only be an hour or so labor.. when the time comes
3) Engine mounts.. usually the passenger side mount is the first to go.. So if you have a strange vibration or rough idle.. swap that one out first. it's a 30-45 min job.. Unlikely the other 3 mounts are bad also
4) AC.. might be worth getting a 2nd opinion.. as that shop may be exaggerating some of the need for these repairs... Does it not work? maybe its a simple leak?

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Old 11-07-2017, 10:28 AM   #5
underthehood
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Default Re: Looking to buy a Vue

1) timing belt typically gets replaced at 100k .. so you still have another year or two so of driving before it's due.. but don't wait too long!!! Water pump is cheap once they're in there.. so it's worth doing at the same time.. That job is probably 4-5 hrs.. so figure $800 give or take. .when the time comes


Bare in mind that the timing belt carries a TIME or MILES replacement interval. At 13 years old and given the car has spent all it's days in AZ heat oxidation is most likely rearing it's ugly head. IMO for $1000 at most any Honda dealer it would be $$$$$ well spent PRIOR to driving it 2000 miles. AC sure roll the windows down (unless that AC clutch decides to pack it in and lock up on the road), so that might be the only other thing I would look into but perhaps with a more reputable shop

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Old 11-08-2017, 02:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking to buy a Vue

good point.. Honda does say replace at 105k miles or 7 years... so it's time!

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