Auto Parts and Repairs
Honda Accord DX

What precautions should you take for frequent short trips with an older model car such as a 1987 Honda Accord DX?

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2008-03-18 19:12:38
2008-03-18 19:12:38

If you have an automatic transmission, I would recommend installing a transmission fluid cooler (like a radiator for your transmission, about $25) to keep the temperature down from stop-and-go driving. I would also check the brakes and replace them, they are very cheap for a new set. Have your transmission flushed by a pro shop, about $100 for that service, change the engine oil religiously with synthetic high-mileage oil every 2500-3000 miles. There's nothing else that special you need to know, the 86-89 Honda Accords are still among the most reliable and durable cars on the road. I have three of them ranging from 1986-1988 anywhere from 90,000 miles to 269,000 miles, and they all run perfectly with standard vehicle preventive maintenance. I just really wanted to emphasize the oil changes. Personally, I'd skip the synthetic oil. For frequent trips, (Less than 5 miles) I'd recommend changing the oil every 1500 miles (2500km) with some brand name regular non-synthetic oil. (Castrol, Shell, Pennzoil, Quaker State, etc...) I would also keep a very close eye on the PCV system. With short trips where the oil cannot come up to operating temperature, moisture builds up in the oil. An early warning sign of excess moisture is buildup of a tan/yellow/pale looking sludge on the inside of your oil cap. This is because the cap is usually the coldest part, and moisture will condense on it. This sludge will also gum up your PCV valve. Another option, if you make several short trips, along with a long, non-stop (50 miles or more on the highway) trip every week, you could probably get away fine with the 3000miles interval, as the long trips will give the water in the oil a chance to evaporate. (Granted the PCV system is working properly)

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