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My First Car - Just Bought Yesterday...


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#1 Catalyst91

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:06 AM

I finally picked out a car yesterday, after a few weeks of searching. I had it taken to the mechanics, and they said there were some problems with it though. For starters, the radiator's leaking a little bit. How long do you guys think it'll be before it starts to be a problem ? I couldn't identify any leaks when me and my dad took a look at it today, so I'm guessing it's not that bad.

As well, the check engine light has been on since I bought it. I think the previous owner said the fuel injector or something like that needs to be cleaned - I don't know much of anything about cars, so I'm having a bit of trouble remembering.

There was some other minor issues, but besides that it's in good shape. Any other Accord owners here ?

Here's a pic of it.

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#2 twistedsymphony

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:05 PM

If there is a leak in the Radiator you'll want to get that fixed BEFORE it becomes a real problem...

In the mean time check your coolant levels daily, if you lose too much you'll get hot air pockets and then your engine overheats and you'll either seize it, crack it, warp it, or blow it up... and then you need a whole new engine AND a radiator.

You should be able to get a new Radiator for less than $200, probably even less than $150 if you shop around, get a new one, junk yard radiators are probably worse than the one you have now.

No idea how hard it is to work on in an accord but most of the time it's just a matter of draining it, disconnecting some hoses and bolts, swapping in the new one, reconnecting and refilling. Then you have to ensure that there's no air pockets when you refill it, which is the real trick. Most shops will charge $100-$200 to do this + the price of fresh coolant and old coolant disposal. I had this done in my pickup last year and I think it only cost me $350 all said and done.

As for the check engine light, it could be anything and you'll need someone with an OBDII reader (since it's a 1996 it's definitly an OBDII computer). most shops will charge you a stupid amount of money to read the code so you might find some local Honda club or something where someone is willing to hook up a pocket reader to grab the codes for you... Seriously, some shops will charge $200+ for a reading, when you can BUY a basic reader for less than $100.

Most states wont even inspect a car if it's throwing a check engine light (CEL).

if it is actually an injector or something with the fuel delivery system then again this is a VERY SERIOUS ISSUE and if it's not taken care of you will destroy your engine... an injector that is not spraying properly will cause your car to misfire which not only destroys your gas mileage, performance, and ride comfort but it also makes the engine run hot and can damage the pistons, valves, and even the engine block itself.

I've seen a faulty injector cause a misfire that shot the valve through the top of the motor and puncture a hole right in it... that's a whole new motor right there. Honestly if I thought my car had a faulty injector I would have it towed to a shop and fixed immediately. again this shouldn't be too difficult to replace, $50-$100 or so per injector (you might have to replace one, you might have to replace them all) and an hour or two worth of labor...

Of course a CEL could also mean a faulty catalytic converter which doesn't really do anything except make your cars exhaust smell like rotten eggs (and harm the environment)... so yeah find out FOR SURE what the CEL is telling you.


Good luck,
if nothing else it looks really clean from the pictures, which is more than you can say for most cars in snowy areas

Edited by twistedsymphony, 20 March 2008 - 10:09 PM.


#3 hamwbone

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:26 PM

the light is called a MIL, malfunction indicator lamp. tongue.gif

go to autozone, they will scan the code no charge. its will give you the general idea of what the problem is. 96 honda though, most definitely a O2 sensor

#4 twistedsymphony

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:31 PM

I didn't realize Autozone did scans for free... good to know.

O2 sensors are an easy fix too, it's one big bolt on the exhaust and one connector to unplug wink.gif

#5 Boddah

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 05:45 AM

QUOTE(hamwbone @ Mar 20 2008, 05:02 PM) View Post

96 honda though, most definitely a O2 sensor

Agreed, my sister's '94 Accord just had the same problem a few weeks ago.




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