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Car Foibles

Updated on January 7, 2013
Honda Accord (2003) EX Coupe
Honda Accord (2003) EX Coupe

It's great to own a paid-for car, but some of its deficits are depressing. I've been lucky and only needed to change the battery and tires.

Then there is the pride of ownership. Year after year my car bakes in the sun then is subjected to near 32F during the winter. The exterior has a number of scrapes, dimples and oxidation. The keyless entry has stopped working. This could probably to repaired with a trip to the dealership for reformatting. This goes for the the digital clock and CD player, When my last battery died I took it to the dealership and reprogrammed the setting.

Although not an emergency, I'd like to have four matching tires.

I used to lease a new car every three or four years, now I am babying my 2003 Honda Accord EX. The OD shows I've only put 22,600 miles on the car. The V6 is still peppy, allowing me to weave through traffic at 80-90 MPH. Surprisingly, I've out-run a few Mustangs with their 300 HP. I think this is because the first gear accelerates smoothly at a fairly high throttle. It's probably also due to the fact that they are competing against a maniac who, if provoked, has no equivocation about traveling 105 mile per hour.

The Accord has some sun bleaching on the plastic trim, nicks and scrapes, but nothing that a repair shop couldn't bang out and paint over within one or two days.

Reading about the new cars is interesting, but I have to think about buying something that could conceivably last 25 or 30 years. Or is it more realistic to hang onto the Accord, put as few miles on it and likely spend some amount of out-of-pocket cash for its aging features? Having only racked 22K on the car in nine years, maybe, if I treat it with tender loving care, I can make it go the full distance.

Since I am only driving the car once a week (just to keep the battery charged), my guess about the Kelly Blue Book value of the car is $10,000 (to a private party) -- assuming I bought new tires and had all the dings banged out plus a coat of fresh paint.

But the new cars, even the boxy little things that run on animal fat, are fairly expensive (in my estimation).

I've had to go on disability at a fairly "young" age, and I'm trying to traverse ground that is totally unfamiliar to me.

I like the Accord very much, but it seems crazy for me to drive it once a week for the mere sake of keeping the battery charged. It seems equally absurd to sell the Accord for something like a Ford Fiesta + a monthly lease payment. But, it seems equally nutty to continue driving a vehicle that is only bound to have (at a minimum) nickle-and-dime repairs.

I'm open to any ideas, opinions, suggestions.

Ford Fiesta LX
Ford Fiesta LX


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