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I have a dilemma: I have a Honda Odyssey VTEC 1998 with 170,000k on the clock. My mechanic says I should sell it before it reaches 180K otherwise I'll be up for the big service.

Problem is, I really only have whatever I sell the car for, plus say $1000.

So, am I best to sell up and try to find another Odyssey or do I fix this one and go with "the devil you know" theory? (I don't want to be driving a car with a new cam belt but no electrics, for example).

I am open to choosing another type of compact people mover if there's a safer/cheaper one out there that you can suggest.

Have to say though, the Odyssey's been a gem.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 8 September 2009


If it were me I'm sure I would go with the "the devil you know" theory.

The additional $1,000 you have to contribute to another vehicle would be better off in the bank and used as required on the Odyssey.

Moving to a cheaper people mover is too risky and safety features are not going to be any better (possibly worse) than what you currently have.

I suspect your mechanic is referring to big ticket items such as transmission and cooling system changes as well as the cam belt replacement but surely they can be done in some sort of priority and spread out to suit your budget.

Unfortunately you won't escape expensive service costs unless you can afford to update to a late model and low mileage vehicle.

It sounds like the Odyssey has served you well to date and under the watchful eye of a good mechanic it should still have some life left in it yet.