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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone I'm interested in buying a 2004 Dark Blue Element EX, 2WD, with 124,000k miles from a second owner. She's hasn't listed it yet for $6,500, is giving me first dibs and she is willing to take $6k.

I've checked Edmunds.com and Kelly Blue Book based on the specs of the vehicle and they both value her vehicle for private sale anywhere between $5k - $5,590. She also has not changed her timing belt chain at 100k miles per the mechanics opinion. Which means they didn't change any other belts underneath. Her oil changes seem to be up to par though.

I haven't tested the vehicle yet, which is tomorrow afternoon. And, I have only seen 3 pictures of it. I'm thinking $5,700 but not sure if she'll take that. So do you think if I paid her asking of $6k it would still be a good deal?
 

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KBB seems to price cars a lot lower than what sells sometimes. I paid about $2000 over what KBB says I should have 4 months ago. Also, Elements have timing chains, not belts. So they don't require changing like belts.
 

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First, I paid $9200 out the door for my 05 EX with 120k and all service records. I was OK with that price due to the fact that it was a one owner, well kept example(and plus it's one of my dream cars).
Second, it's a timing belt or a timing chain. Chains don't need to be serviced as often as belts. Less stretching involved. Take the car for a spin and see how it feels. If it runs, drives, turns, stops, smells and looks like $6000 worth of car to you, then go for it.
 

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Second, it's a timing belt or a timing chain. Chains don't need to be serviced as often as belts. Less stretching involved.
And the Element has a timing chain. If the mechanic suggested changing it then you need a new mechanic.

On cars with timing belts they usually recommend changing them every 60,000 to 100,000 miles but a timing chain will last a lot longer than that. I don't think Honda even includes the timing chain in it's service intervals.
 

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Were the valves adjusted at 100k miles? ATF fluid changed(assuming auto)? As far as pricing goes, don't just rely on kbb or edmunds. Check your local ads and CL too. What are similar E's with similar mileage, options and condition selling for in your area? Well maintained E's with low mileage are harder and harder to find. Explain to the seller what the deferred maint will cost you (assume brakes and tires are good) and offer her $5800. If it just needs reg maint and the rest of the car is in good shape, I wouldn't let the deal slip through my fingers for a few hundred dollars. Good luck.
 

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And the Element has a timing chain. If the mechanic suggested changing it then you need a new mechanic.

On cars with timing belts they usually recommend changing them every 60,000 to 100,000 miles but a timing chain will last a lot longer than that. I don't think Honda even includes the timing chain in it's service intervals.
Maybe I'm wrong but I recall some literature from Honda claiming that the timing chain is supposed to last for the life of the engine.

My Honda dealer, Basney Honda, keeps sending me personalized coupons to have the timing BELT in my Element changed. They just sent us one for the Pilot too. That's one of the many reasons I never let them touch my car.
 

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Maybe I'm wrong but I recall some literature from Honda claiming that the timing chain is supposed to last for the life of the engine.

My Honda dealer, Basney Honda, keeps sending me personalized coupons to have the timing BELT in my Element changed. They just sent us one for the Pilot too. That's one of the many reasons I never let them touch my car.
They did get it half-right, the Pilot is belt. Timing chain is my first question when buying any newer cars now. My GTI's belt needed replacement every 70K, it was expensive and a pain to do; no thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Another choice...

Thanks for everyones input. It's definitely valued. Well I found another Element for sale for $7000 firm. It's a Red 05 LX 2WD with 119k miles. Looks great in the pictures but haven't seen it in person yet.

So now I'm wondering if it's worth forking over the extra grand for less miles and vehicle color. As far as the difference between the EX and LX doesn't bother me. I think the LX may be overpriced a bit but he isn't willing to budge.

So my choices are:
Blue 2004 EX 2WD w/128k miles, 35 miles from home for $6,000
Red 2005 LX 2WD w/119k miles, 21 miles from home for $7,000.

So far I like the $6k price tag, not too fond of the color blue and the distance and mileage kinda scare me.
I like the Red better for year, color, mileage and closer to home but not the price.:?
 

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I'd pay the 6000 and get the EX over a LX. You'll have extra storage up above, a better sound system with XM radio, more speakers, a port for playing tunes from a ipod, or smart phone device. I think the mileage difference is negligable. Buy quick or you'll lose it to someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd pay the 6000 and get the EX over a LX. You'll have extra storage up above, a better sound system with XM radio, more speakers, a port for playing tunes from a ipod, or smart phone device. I think the mileage difference is negligable. Buy quick or you'll lose it to someone else.
I just came back from checking both vehicles and both have the same upgrades so the lady with the red "LX" is actually an EX or I'm confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Vehicle inspection update...good grief

Ok I just got back from both inspections. Here is my dilemma. :|

First, I called the lady selling the red LX and agreed to meet. When I get there she said she's at the nail salon and to meet her there. I get there and have to wait for her pedicure to be done. Meanwhile, I'm doing an outside inspection. When she gets out about 10 minutes later she takes me for a ride and shows me the stereo, windows and front seats (The rear seats are at home). Then she parks the car and said that they have to finish her nails. This is from someone that posted an ad stating serious buyers only because everyone kept wasting her time...good grief!:roll:

So I never got to drive it, inspect under the hood or have her show me papers or demonstrations.:? Talk about wasting my time! So I told her that I'm going to check another vehicle and will keep in touch. The vehicle rode well but riding and driving are different. Other than that the vehicle is solid from what little she showed me.


Now I get to the blue EX and the guy is detailing it still and I look inside and feel the seats are completely wet. All 4 of them! And I can see spots of water residue like he actually took a garden hose to the inside.:shock: He actually said you can wash the inside with a hose the other day too.:shock:

The vehicle had a few dings and 2 little rust spots on the back top. 2 tires will need replacing in about a year or two. I heard a screech when I hard braked and the acceleration has a slight tugging motion to it when I step on the gas. So it's pretty much what I expected from an 04 with 128k miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I texted the lady with the red element and told her that I would buy but only after I am satisfied after a test drive, checking under the hood, seeing the rear seats and checking the paper work. She said she's got a lot going on and she will let me know.
 

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They both look like EX's just looking at the wheels. If they have the overhead storage bin and a subwoofer, then they are def EX trim. You CANNOT hose out the interior with water. Not a good sign. Based on your story from the blue E, I would walk on that one. It can be frustrating buying a used car from a priv party. For peace of mind, get a pre purchase inspection. Your patience and persistence will pay off. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just noticed in the picture

They both look like EX's just looking at the wheels. If they have the overhead storage bin and a subwoofer, then they are def EX trim. You CANNOT hose out the interior with water. Not a good sign. Based on your story from the blue E, I would walk on that one. It can be frustrating buying a used car from a priv party. For peace of mind, get a pre purchase inspection. Your patience and persistence will pay off. Good luck.
I agree thanks. Hey I just noticed something. The picture with the blue element has water underneath and around the vehicle. The guy did not even wash the outside yet but did clean the engine. That tells me he DID hose the inside. LOL OMG.:roll::lol:
 

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I would be leary of any private party selling that believes that they can actually hose out the car from the inside. I heard that story from a sales person once and just laughed. You probably introduce electrical intermittent problems if you do. Also the emergency cable cavity under to console would tend to rust. Who knows what other damage you do to the frame as well. Never hose out an E. Feel free to mop or use a old towel to clean, but never ever hose out one. Good grief (as Charlie Brown would say).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bought the Red 05 Element EX

Well, I ended up buying the red Element which by the way IS an EX but she listed it as an LX.

A few things I missed on inspection which I blame myself for not catching is the rear door has to be slammed to shut it all the way or the alarm will not arm. I guess the plastic clip part is worn down so it takes several tries.

I had to fix the passenger door handle because she broke it using a slim jim.:)
The keyless entry works but needs to be updated.
The SRS Indicator light is lit so I have to get that checked out.:|

But the worst of it is the starter I believe. I did not know it had an issue because she always had the vehicle running whenever I came to check it. So I never did a cold start.:oops: Again, my fault for not checking because she didn't volunteer telling me even though she said she's honest. Pfft.:x
So I have to turn the key to the II, shift it in Neutral, then Park quickly and turn the key to start the vehicle.:roll:

So for $7k I don't think I did too bad.8)
 
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