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Thread: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half full?

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    Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half full?

    I have 2 question for anyone who's willing: one specific to an NSX I'm considering and one that's a somewhat philosophical question to NSX/car shopping in general.

    #1) I'm looking at an early NA1 with ~70k miles that has the following records. I don't believe the pile of records is complete. Looks to be on its third clutch, second TB/WP, and it curiously may have had all (but one?) hoses replaced at two separate services, one in '08 and one in '10. Snap ring looks to have been replaced with the first clutch replacement. In 2008 it had a $5k+ service which included replacing a brake master cylinder & leaking valve cover & cam plugs.

    I count 21 hoses on the two invoices. When I compare the p/n's to the list of 22 hoses on http://nsxprime.com/wiki/Coolant_hoses, only item 22 (overflow tube) is missing, and only 1 of item 18 (bypass hose C) is listed - I noticed 2-qty item 18's in other Prime postings… So my question is, looking at the list below, does anyone see anything worth raising an eyebrow over? Can I assume replacing the brake master cyl and the leaking valve cover & cam plugs are not surprising for a ~20 year old car? What else could be "next?" like shocks, bushings, etc.? Ok that's 3 questions. Personally, I don't see any major issues but I'm not as familiar as many of you. I don't know yet about the condition of the windows, radio, HVAC but I assume the 2008/2010 services would have flagged everything. Car's had some paint due to minor scratches. I'll arrange a PPI if I think this may be the one. This one is around the $30k mark, and I'm also considering various NA2's for $12-15k more and around half the miles of this one…

    blue = maintenance
    red = repair that stands out


    2010 - electronics repair shop
    -door amp exchange, radio repair

    2010 - 75k miles - $3k+ service - Independent Honda Specialist
    -replace coolant hoses (9 hoses counted on parts list)
    -ABS service

    -remove & reinstall base amp
    -replace axle seal
    -remove door panel, reinstall rod, lubricate regulator, adjust guides
    -drain & refill trans - auto trans fluid (this is a 5 speed...???)
    -shift engine & suspension cradle

    -replace horn

    2008 - 70k miles - $6k+ service - Acura dealership
    -replace TB/WP
    -new Acura clutch

    -brake flush
    -replace leaking valve cover, cam plugs
    -replace drive belts, timing belt tensioner bearing
    -replace all accessible coolant hoses (12 hoses)
    -replace battery
    -replace all axle boots
    -replace leaking brake master cylinder


    1998-2008 no records

    1998 - independent auto shop - $1800
    replace clutch
    replace snap ring (only p/n's on invoice is 90602-PR8-000 and 10/30 oil)


    #2) Next question is part philosophical and part "real." Is your glass half empty or half full… When you buy a car that received a lot of service in the 2-5 years before you bought it, did your experience equate into buying one that was "100% fresh" that needed nothing major for the next few years, or did you need to have certain problems serviced that likely were present before your purchase and either went unnoticed or intentionally ignored?

    I feel pretty familiar with the NSX's weak spots vs. overall reliability. I think the list for the one above isn't too bad. I have no idea of how the prior owners treated it, I can only deal with the here & now. Given the overall reliability of the NSX, I'd tend to think that there are few lemons out there and that most repairs are just unavoidable "noise" with NSX ownership. I thought the same thing though about Nissans - ten years ago I bought a ten year old 300ZX with a pretty long list of repairs. In the two years I owned it I had about $2200 worth of repairs due to clutch & engine issues, it was a bit more problematic than I had expected. It left me stranded needing a tow twice. It was literally owned by a little old lady two miles from me and kept under cover in the garage. Her records showed that she maintained it well. Given the problems I had right away, I'm not unconvinced she knew that it was a problematic car.

    Interestingly, when I look at the running costs for my various cars which included new & used domestic & foreign cars, it seemed to average out to around $300/month no matter whether the car was known for being highly reliable or not. That number is true even for my 2002 Accord, it's cost about $275/month for 10 years considering purchase cost, maintenance & repairs.

    Hey, thanks for any input!

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    Charter Platinum TyraNSX's Avatar
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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    This is just a gut feeling, but since several of those receipts are big $$$ and cover a range from tiny problems to big services it sounds like the car was well cared for and not neglected or had things put off. You should check it out personally (if feasible) and look at the condition of the brake fluid (+/- test strip), coolant (may want to bring a tester), oil, etc. before going to a full PPI. I would look up under the dash and see if the clutch master cylinder is seeping/leaking since it hasn't been done and those are way more common a problem than brake master cyl. Does the CCU work properly? That's the only thing left that could pop up. And window thingies.

    Nobody has a crystal ball but with those records and a good PPI you should be ok. Personally, I would get an NA2 since you say your budget allows for it.

    You need to spend some time in here.
    Zanardi #11

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.
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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    Thanks TyraNSX. I should have mentioned that I have spent a good bit of time in the Wiki since joining Prime, I definitely tried to do my homework before seeking others' input. But you're right, the wiki and Prime in general is a treasure trove. The coolant hoses link is astounding and completely itself worth the donation to Prime.

    With this particular car at around $30k, a lot of good recent work, but miles that are just getting into the high-ish range, it's right where it makes you wonder whether to step up to something newer, I agree. However years ago I bought a CPO 2006 BMW 330 instead of a nearly similar 2001 I was also considering. Only after about 6 months of hands-on ownership experience did I realize that really not much had changed since the early 2000's E46's and I could have easily saved myself around $10k for about 95% the same experience. I feel the deja vu here with NA1's vs. NA2's. I really think I'd prefer a coupe to a T...like anything, there are tradeoffs. This one is more than a few states away so I may seek help from any locals for a stop-by before a PPI, thanks for your suggestions.

    I've moved on from the analysis paralysis of my 20's and am just trying to make a good decision partly by #'s, and part gut feel. Input from guys like you definitely helps with both. Thanks!

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    Charter Platinum TyraNSX's Avatar
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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    You're welcome. I get what you're saying about paying more for not much more difference. HOWEVER, if you do not like to settle and in 6-8 months will be kicking yourself in the butt for not going whole hog; you need to factor that into your decision making. No point buying 1 car now, then buying the 1 you really wanted in 6-12 months. Will you be happy with the 5 spd (probably yes since you have no frame of reference) or is the 6 spd really your cup of tea? Read up on the short gears threads.
    Zanardi #11

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    None of those red entries would make me run. Many are common for an NSX. The drain and refill for the trans was probably done with the correct fluid but written in error as Auto. Service writers get busy and lose focus when the phone is ringing and customers are waiting.

    That car is probably priced right as long as there is no deferred maintenance. I wouldn't worry about that mileage. It means the car has been driven. You get more problems when you buy a garage queen that the owner didn't have serviced. These cars are good for 300k+ miles as long as they are taken care of.

    Good Luck!
    '91 Berlina / Black (Sold)... '06 -'10 were 4 years of NSX Bliss
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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    The BIG red flag for me is that they only replaced the snap ring itself. That will NOT fix the problem. The snap ring issue is the snap ring breaking due to an improperly machined case. The case has to be replaced as well in order to be fixed. If they only replaced the snap ring(the part number given is indeed for the snap ring itself) due to the original one being cracked then it WILL happen again.
    1992 NSX 5spd/2006 Mazda5 5 spd/2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R/1989 Yamaha TZR-250 two-stroke


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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    Thanks, I forgot to expand on that in my post when I listed the p/n - I looked up several Prime links yesterday that suggested that there was more to the job than just the snap ring.

    http://nsxprime.com/forum/showpost.p...99&postcount=5
    http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/Troubles...ansmission.htm

    In fact the invoice itself lists: "replace clutch assembly with clutch masters parts. replace broken counter shaft snap ring" which suggests the complete job wasn't done. No other records exist to verify. The Clutch Masters p/n on the invoice is 08-903-HDKV.

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    Re: Prospective puchase's maintenance history question - glass half empty or half ful

    For that price, I think you should consider this car as well:
    http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php?t=158559

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