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Old 08-03-2017, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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I just inherited a great vehicle. It's a 1998 Honda Accord with a five speed. It has the 2.3L 4-cylinder F23 engine, which I understand is the one to have. The car is rust free and has 68,000 miles. Best of all, it was driven by my wife's mom until she was 99. Other than cleaning it up, and replacing the front bumper cover, which was totally smashed up from so many low-speed collisions, I haven't done much to it. Hub caps were replaced yesterday, too, because originals were curb-rashed.
The car passed inspection today, in NY, and it's registered. The mechanic said the timing belt should be replaced at 90K miles, but in researching this I saw that if the car is over seven years old the belt should be replaced. Since this car is 19 y.o. now, I'm thinking it wise to change the belt and water pump. While it could be a DIY job I'm more inclined to let the pros do it. Price range is $400-550, from what I could tell.
Is there anything else I should know about this car? Any other maintenance that is specific to this vehicle?
Ithaca, NY
Old 08-03-2017, 03:01 PM
JimBlake's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 17,518

I'll take a GUESS about maintenance items that are easy to overlook. Use your judgment, but here's my thoughts:

I'm impressed that it's rust-free in NY. Take a good look underneath for corrosion. Things that I've heard about via this forum...
- Condensate dripping from AC evaporator causes front subframe rust.
- Snow/salt gets stuck around fuel & brake lines under floorpan causing them to rust.

Rinse the cooling system & get fresh antifreeze in there. Anti-corrosion additives wear out with time, regardless of miles. Good to do this when you get the timing belt & waterpump.

Thermostat housing is on the lower hose, below the throttle body. It has a bleed valve because air tends to hang out there. Honda cooling systems do not like to have air pockets in them.

Bleed brakes to get fresh brake fluid into the brakes. Same for hydraulic clutch which has a separate reservoir. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air over time and gets corrosive, regardless of miles.

You'll see all kinds of stories about flushing transmission fluids - that is for the automatic. Still, fresh MTF might not be a bad idea for a 19-year-old gearbox. Honda MTF is good (I think GL-5 gear oil would be wrong).

Power steering fluid seems to be absent from the maintenance schedule in the owners manual. I refuse to believe that any working fluid will last FOREVER, so I've done that at 100k miles. Make sure you use dealer PS fluid, or make sure it says "FOR HONDA/ACURA". Don't use the stuff that says "all makes".
Old 08-03-2017, 03:18 PM
shipo's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 2,546

The only thing I might add to JimBlake's recommendations is to use ACDelco Synchromesh Friction Modified MTF in the manual transmission; it makes transmissions shift like new and keep shifting like new for many-many years.
Old 08-04-2017, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 4
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im in cleveland ,ohio my ride 2013 honda accord exl , but now not good as it used to be. sometime it started at first try, sometime it does not, everytihngs checked out when it started running as normal. so help me
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