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Discussion Starter #1
I Have a 2001 Odyssey with 235K miles._ It has been a great car, with the exception of the transmission.
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The 3rd transmission died yesterday.
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My question is whether it is worth fixing this time.
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The engine runs strong, although I need to replace the timing belt, and I need to repair an engine mount.
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Also, it seem a little sporatic at idle--the RPMs just go up and little and then down a little.
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If I do repair the transmission, how long with the engine likely last?
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Overall, it has been a great car, I just have to decide if it is time to move on._ Please offer your opinions.
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Thanks
 

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I am almost at the same situation with my 2001 EX.

My transmission give in at 196000km, after a transmission replacement around 150000km.

We replaced the timing belt around 160000km.

Motor mount is gone, brake almost gone, tire is almost wear out. We could have spent another $5000 to get the van going, but the van value at the market is about $5000, did not feel forking $5000 for a $5000 car.

I traded in for the 2011 EX-L, we enjoy the new car, it is a treat to drive, the kids enjoy it too. They love the freedom to choose their own songs on their headphones or watch DVD.
 

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Ahhh yes, the age-old fix vs. replace question, one which even the Great Interwebs cannot adequately answer . . . but instead only to ask even more questions:

Let's say that you spend the $4K (estimate) to get everything fixed. Then engine blows up a year later. Then what? Well, good used engines for this generation of Odyssey aren't too hard to come by ($500-1K by my CL surveyometer) I've seen many of these cars sold cheap and/or parted out due to the dead trans. So you're into it another $2K after that let's say, assuming you paid somebody else to do the work. Now for $6K total it should be good to go for another (cross your fingers on the tranny) 100K miles and you don't have a new car payment. Worth it?

Is the body, paint, and interior still in good shape? You'll eventually have to deal with sliding door repairs, but if you buy another used van, that could be true as well. Or have you gone through yours already?

Do you want a newer car? Do you want a car payment? Can you stomach spending $40K plus for a brand-new one? And most importantly (if applicable): What does the WIFE want?

Your idle issue is probably a dirty IAC valve which can be easily cleaned or replaced, BTW, plenty of info on that here, use the search feature.
 

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Redmondjp has it nailed. For me, I'd put a couple thousand into another tranny and drive it until the wheels fall off. I do not want and cannot afford a fat car payment plus the added cost of insurance/registration. Jasper & Gator seem to have great rebuilts for small $$ when compared to the dealer. Now if the car has a few grand worth of other issues then maybe it's time for it to go but if you search around on here you'll find the engines usually last longer than the rest of the car.
 

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Agree with OdyinNH that engine life is a non-factor. I would add to the discussion consideration of the better safety systems in the newer models, especially additional air bags, stability assist, and tire pressure monitoring.
 

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deadhonda, I'd say it's time if you can afford it. And, it does not have to be a $40k van, it could be an EX for a little over $30k. There is a lot to be said for the safety of newer vans, especially with so many people doing things from the driver's seat besides driving. And, you may not see much of an increase in car insurance. Our insurance dropped when we traded our 2004 for a 2011. Haven't you been frugal long enough? Now is a good time for you to do your part to help the economy. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I think the guys here have presented great points. I would simplify it this way...
If you do not care much about a new car payment, go ahead and replace it. In my case, my 2000 EX-Nav is still going strong except the transmission has started slipping after 140,000 miles. Therefore, I will be replacing it soon for about $1,700 installed. Since I would definitely buy a new van to replace it, I can recover my $1,700 very quickly.

If you care a lot about the new safety features, you may want to replace it.

If you have a reliable independent mechanic that can take care of it when things happen, it is also a good reason to keep it. I have one that is great and cheap.

If you care about other features, (iPod integration, bluetooth, etc.) then also consider replacing it. However, I just installed a $79 iPod integration that works great with my factory radio plus steering wheel controls. It is sweet! Therefore, I have made some updates to it to keep it fresh.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the Advice

Guys (and gals, if applicable)

Thanks for the sage advice. I appreciate your perspective.

It it were just me, I would probably replace the tranny and keep going, but redmondjp hit the nail on the head when he asked "what does the WIFE want?"

I count myself lucky in the wife category. With respect to cars, she has been a trooper hauling our 4 kids around 235K miles in the same van for 10 years. If I pushed, we could probably fix this one and keep going, but I don't think it is asking too much to go for new van.

We are shopping for a 2007-2008 EX-L. Seems like I will be able to pick one up for 22-24K. Considering the safety and comfort upgrades, seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Does anyone have suggestions for buying a used van from these years? Are there a couple problem areas to focus on? Other than the normal things, what should I pay attention to?

Heck--does anyone have one for sale?

Thanks again. I appreciate all of your advice.
 

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Seriously, if you are looking at that age range consider looking at an 08 or newer sienna while you are out. The engine on it uses a timing chain which eliminates the biggest cost of ownership for minivans.

Remember that each style of model drives differently too. The SE more like a car and the XLE more like a truck/ody the LE is in the middle.
 

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deadhonda, You might be able to get a well used 07 for that price, but I doubt an 08. I shopped for months for an 2008-2010 (which I liked much better than an 07 because they changed the wheels on the 08 forward), but the prices were too close to a new 2010, then we waited until the 2011s came out. I know a few thousand dollars might mean a lot, but if you keep a van that long, wouldn't you rather have the latest generation? If you bargain hard, you can easily get a 2011 EX for about $29k before TTL. I am only suggesting a brand new 2011 because we dealt with this process for months it are very glad we got a new 2011. Seriously, if we had bought a new 2010, even though they look good, I'd be regretting that now thinking that this van style (05-10) has been out for five years and about every tenth vehicle you see is one of these. Plus, with the warranty of a new one, you can relax for at least three years instead of wondering what might go wrong next and what did the last owner do to or in your van. Just my two cents. Hope you and your wife enjoy the shopping. My wife is really liking our new van.
 

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And one last thought or two. I checked cars.com at it looks like there are about 30 2010 Odys within 100 miles of Denver, so you might get a real deal on a new 2010. And finally, if you look at the 2011s, don't be scared off by the sticker. The EX lists for about $31,750, the greedy dealers will add add-ons making the new sticker about $33k plus, but you can get them to sell you one without any add-ons, and get them to come off the original factory sticker down to below $30k. Just trying to help out here, but others will have some opinions, too.
 

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Just bought a 04 to replace ragged 95 @149K. I was in the same boat with a few hundred in parts and couple of days labor facing me I decided to replace rather than repair a ugly rusted 95. I got at least 10 miles for every dollar I put into it so I am happy. The 04 only has 84K and nearly reached my standard for Excellent Condition. It is hard to find a older model of Sienna or Odyssey that worth the price but they are out there. Try Edmund's TMV for pricing.
 
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