Honda Odyssey Axel and Suspension Shot :( advice sought

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by BayMom, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    OK, so I kind of want to cry, but I could do with some advice as well, so here goes.

    I have a 2011 Honda Odyssey, bought new (I'm the original owner), 117k miles. We tow a PUP with it about 2x per year. All maintenance is, and has been up to date, however ~4 months ago an engine light came on, and when I took it to the local dealership (5 miles south of me) that always does my service, they changed my oil, and told me it was fine. Then ~3 months ago the same engine light came back on between home and Boston. I was over the trip halfway mark, and it was still driveable, so I called a Boston Honda to see if I could bring it to them. We checked the car into the service department and then took an Uber to our hotel. The trip was eventful (car issues being the least of it), but I'm going to stay on topic.

    Herb Chambers Honda in Boston (160 miles East of me) rebuilt my engine on an extended warranty because of a known issue (yes, my local dealership had sent me on my merry way). I took a greyhound to Boston to pick it up ~2 weeks after my trip. No mention of suspension issues. I needed new tires, known, but I waited to bring it to Costco for a better price, I had that done about 3 weeks ago. I needed a timing belt (just due based on mileage and age), so paid for that to be done.

    In about 3 weeks we're supposed to depart for Ft. Wilderness (NJ to Orlando) and the van, our only tow vehicle is not driving well. I noticed a bounce and a noise. Not wanting to take the car on a long trip with an issue I brought it to Honda. Not my "usual" honda, because them sending me on the road with a known engine issue angered me, but a dealership 5 miles north.

    This new Honda dealership (5 miles north of me) looked at the car and gave me an estimate thats over $7k. This includes: right front axel, front controlling arms, rear trailing arms, rear struts, front struts, boots and bump stops and a power steering pump.

    The suspension does feel off, which is why I brought it in, and the dealership suggested I might be better off saving the repair money to put towards a replacement vehicle (which won't be a honda just because I want higher towing capacity going forward). My husband is taking it for a 2nd opinion on Thursday to confirm that the work needs to be done.

    I was trying to get another year out of this car before upgrading the family TV, but $7k is more than a year of car payments, so even though I had a timing belt replaced and put new tires on, we might be at the point where it's blatantly good money after bad.

    I'm kind of amazed that all of this crept up on me when I have my car serviced regularly.

    Any really long time Honda owners think it's not at the end of it's life? At what monetary point do you say goodbye to a vehicle with 117k miles?

    Next question is:
    - do I cancel our Fort Wilderness trip completely?
    - try to rent an RV for that trip?
    - book POP, which would actually be less $$ than the combined cost of renting an RV and renting the campsite, but not Fort Wilderness?
    - try to get a new TV between now and the trip, but having a 16 hour maiden voyage seems like trouble on it's own..

    Any thoughts, opinions, insights from previous experiences is appreciated, or just thanks for reading :)
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    What's it worth? 8 to 12 grand? How much can you get for it? For me it wouldent be worth growing 7k into a 10k $ car. But everyone's situations are different. It wasn't route 22 home at that gave you the price was it?
     
  3. davekkk

    davekkk Active Member

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    Let me guess, they gave you a "if you trade it in now on a new vehicle, we will give you a good price"
     
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  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Ouch! Sorry to hear about all your car troubles. To think I was trying to figure out is $3000 was too much to spend on my 03 Toyota. In my opinion $7k is too much.
    As far as your vacation that would depend on you and your finances. I'm thinking cancelling the trip and use the money to buy a new car. Or continue your trip but do the cheapest option you suggested. I wouldn't want to rush in buying a car. That should be something you have to take your time and research. Good luck.
     
  5. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    WV
    Get a second opinion, find a shop (not a dealer) that someone you trust can vouch for.
    Unless you beat that think like a rented mule, it shouldn't need that much work with just over 100K miles on it.

    I can see the CV axle being bad at that mileage, struts are also a wear item and should have been done before 117K miles.
    The control arms may be the easiest way to replace the lower ball joints/bushings if they are worn. We had a Volvo like that.
    I don't understand having to get the timing belt done when the engine was being rebuilt. I don't know anyone who wouldn't replace that when the engine was already apart.
    There is no added labor at that point, and the belt is probably $50-70.

    If it truly needs $7K in repairs, I'd trade it as soon as I could.
    But Hondas usually last forever, I think you're being lied to.
     
  6. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Elkins WV area
    At only 117k miles....they saw you coming.
    I would question their honesty
     
  7. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    Its worth 8k-10k traded in, assuming they don't come back and tell me it's worth nothing. I was just trying to stave off a car payment for another year. But there is no guarantee $7k is the end of the costly repairs.

    The 2nd opinion is Thursday, and then I'll be looking into new TVs..
    Used Toyota Land Cruiser
    Toyota Sequoia
    Ford Expedition XLT
    I didn't like the suburban. I need both towing capacity and seating for a family of 5 plus any stragglers that join us.
     
  8. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    OK, hopefully 2nd opinion comes in better. There is something not right with the suspension. I can feel it when I drive it. I don't understand why though. I too thought it should last forever. Aside from putting a lot of miles on it, there's nothing strenuous about how we drive it.
     
  9. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    That's what dh thinks, but dh doesn't have time to deal with it himself.
     
  10. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    Ferndale MI
    Definitely on the right track getting a second opinion. I've had plenty of cases like this brought into the shop. Quite often it's a scare tactic. Yeah you could make a case for most of it but that doesn't mean it all has to be done at once. You may find you could do some of it now and be safe and deal with the rest later, wether you fix or trade it in.
     
  11. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I agree that they were trying to goat you into a new car. I bet that you may only need one or two of the repairs that they listed. I have watched this happen to my wife a few times when she had bring the car to have work done because I was working and could not do it myself.
     
  12. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    Sep 10, 2017
    Ferndale MI
    Average life span on shocks and struts are 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Most people go twice that and wait until it becomes a safety issue. Towing with a Honda the bump stops probably are beat up, the rest who knows. That's where the second opinion is needed.
     
  13. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

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    Edmonton, AB
    Was asking myself the same question
    ...if engine was rebuilt WHY no new timing belt...that's a GIVEN on a rebuild.
     
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  14. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Bump stops are about $25 each, struts around $140 each.
    CV shaft is $65, control arm with ball joint, upper is around $35, good lowers $95.
    Power steering pump is under $350. I got all of these prices from Rock Auto, brand name parts.

    IF you needed all of those, with labor and 4 wheel alignment you should be able to get it done for under $2K.

    Which is a long way from $7K.
    I'm not pulling this out of thin air, I used to run an auto shop and did everything from oil changes to engine rebuilds and collision repair.
    Any decent shop should be able to perform all of those repairs in a day.
     
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  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It's nj , Lol! I still think they were expecting a windfall. I stoped going to dealers 20 years ago when I got a flat on the way to a warrantee repair, I asked them to plug the tire when I got there. Bill was 125$ never went back to a dealer for any repaires since
     
  16. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    So, I should try an independent shop and be ok with non-OEM parts? If I could get this done for $2k I'd get it sorted in a heartbeat. Neither of us has had any luck with auto shops, but I guess I'll try again. I just reached out to a friend who uses a local shop. Fingers crossed that tomorrow's news is better.
     
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  17. BayMom

    BayMom Member

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    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    The engine rebuild was limited to the known items extended under the warranty. The timing belt was cheaper (labor portion) because they were already working on the engine (not $20 for the part cheaper). I think in my next life I need to go to tech school. Finding someone competent and honest seems like more work then learning to do the work myself, and sadly we're not in a financial state that allows us to buy new cars every 3-5 years.
     
  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Wow, we have a '99 Odyssey. I has 178k miles on it and going strong. Never put any money into it other than regular maintenance things, most recently a water pump. Only paid for the part and a friend put it on. Which, by the way, comes in a kit with the timing belt, that we replaced at the same time. I think most people do both, when they are doing one.

    We had a new transmission put in on a recall, many years ago, but that's really all. I don't know what is going on with yours, but sounds fishy to me. Glad you are getting a second opinion.

    As far as Disney goes, I would not rent an RV, as that takes away any savings you get from staying at Fort Wilderness and having your own kitchen. As much as I love the Fort, Pop Century is my second favorite and I would opt for that, in your position, unless you have your tow vehicle situation resolved. You could still have breakfast in your room to save on Disney's ridiculously overpriced food. We even take a microwave when we stay in resort rooms.

    Does your van have any rear suspension support, for towing, on it? We have air bags on ours.
     
  19. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Anchorage, AK
    Sounds like a lot of worn bushings. I've looked at mine in various vehicles and said "yup, they'll need tending to when I'm ready" and driven on my way. If they weren't clunking away, I personally wouldn't even worry about it. BUT, that's just me. When you hear things like "control arm" being "bad", well, does that mean you have no control? Eh.

    The real issue isn't the repairs, the cost or the mechanical necessity... the real issue is your personal psychological security in using the vehicle. If you're worried about it, that worry won't abate on Hwy 95... it will only get worse. If you think it's no big deal, then it's probably no big deal.

    But, with my background in the auto repair industry and engineering, my response would be "Thanks for the diagnostics, I'll get to those issues when I get a chance!" If I had a wheel bearing noise, slipping transmission, or overheating issue, those would keep me home. Maybe the CV joint is a bit of a concern, but only if it was thumping in the jug handles. But struts and bushings??? I'm not there looking at it, but that wouldn't cause me to cancel a trip. But don't take my advice, I'm a radial lunatic. ;)
     
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  20. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

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    Edmonton, AB
    I hear you....that's why I've always bought used....I'm in the 6 figure range annually but can't swallow the prices on new vehicles and I HATE payments...lol
     

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