Real-world maintenance and repair costs of a Honda Accord.
John Goreham's picture

Here Are the Real-World Maintenance Costs of a Honda Accord Over 100K Miles

We carefully logged every penny spent to keep a Honda Accord well-maintained for 100K miles. Here is what we found.
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In addition to being a perennial top-seller and a favorite of reviewers, the Honda Accord has a reputation as being a very reliable vehicle. Having owned one now for 100,000 miles, we share that view. Still, every vehicle requires proper maintenance to perform at its best and that is exactly what our Accord received. We’d like to break down the costs to maintain our 2006 Honda Accord EX-L, which was purchased new and is still a much-loved member of our family fleet.

Our costs include things that we had to do to repair the Accord when it was damaged through normal use. We will lay out the facts and figures, but we would like to also give a bit of the behind the scenes story on the time our Accord was in the shop so owners considering an Accord will know what to expect. Readers should also know that we had a set of winter tires from the 2003 Accord that we owned prior to this ’06 that we used for part of the vehicle’s miles. We are also going to round off the numbers a bit, so if the final tally is off by a bit, that is why.

Miles 0-28,880
We first maintained the Accord in July of 2006. Year one was very uneventful. We spent just $78 on two synthetic oil changes. From new through July of 2008 our total costs for tire rotations and swapping our winter tires on and off we spent just $418. Not bad for two and a half years of trouble-free motoring. We wish to add that we always changed the oil a bit sooner than required by the manual. We are just that kind of owner. We did have one issue that Honda handled at no charge. The engine was making a faint sound we found unusual. After inspection, the mechanic determined that the timing belt was rubbing on the cover. Honda changed the timing belt for us at no charge. Thus, we re-set the counter on the timing belt lifespan at that point.

Miles 28,880-39,000
The 30K service came in March of ’08. Including everything the manual suggested plus an exterior wax, the total came to $475. In May of ’08 the exhaust began to make a very odd “gong” sound over any minor bump. Honda embarked on a quest to fix that eventually resulting in the dealer changing both of the rear mufflers and tailpipes plus all the rubber hangers at no charge to us. And no fuss either. The dealer could hear the sound and was helpful. Through October of 2008, we added another $86 for synthetic oil changes. I should note that I was using the vehicle as an on-the-road salesperson and my miles driven were not regular. Some months I would add 3,000 miles, other just 1,000.

Miles 39,000-52,139
In March of ’09, the vehicle needed its “45K service” and also rear brakes. That came to $702. The very next service in October of ’09 was $744 for front brakes, another exterior wax, a new battery, and oil. We then added Michelin winter tires at a cost of $709. Almost $2200 in just one year of service. If you have ever needed proof that trading a car before it is three years old or has 36,000 miles makes some sense, now you have it.

Miles 52,000-59,000
In April of 2010 at 58K miles, we did another major service and also added paintless dent repair to remove the parking lot dings from the Accord’s doors. Remember, we were keeping this car in the best shape possible. That was $435. In May of 2010, we paid $956 for a new set of three-season tires of the same type the car came with.

honda accord

Miles 59,000-71,174
The Accord settled down cost-wise after this point. However, it was still exciting. On one trip, our glass moonroof exploded. We paid zero for the replacement since insurance covers glass with no deductible in our state of Mass. Luckily I was not injured, but I actually had to vacuum glass from my hair and pick it out of my eyebrows. Through May of 2012, we added another $124 in oil services.

Miles 71,174-76,479
In late June of 2012, we again serviced the brakes of the car, but at a local shop. With the vehicle out of warranty now we switched to a local mechanic we trust and whose prices are much lower than the dealer’s. We paid $232 for brakes at one end (we lost track of which), oil and wipers.

Miles 76,479-84,000
Through June of 2015, we had the oil changed when needed and replaced the battery and also battery cables at a cost of $449. Not bad for two years of ownership. By this time, my retired parents took over ownership of the car, so its high mileage slowed a bit. They kept perfect records for all of the repairs so this story could continue.

Miles 84,000-100,000
We then did tires again in June of 2015 for $940. Over the next two years, ending in June of 2017, we did oil changes when required and we repaired some rodent damage at a total cost of about $461. In June of 2018, we had back to back high-cost repairs and maintenance including more rodent repairs, brakes at all four corners and oil. That came to $764.

In total, using a spreadsheet, not the numbers above, our total costs for the maintenance and routine repairs of the Accord came to $7684 over 100K miles and about 13 years of ownership. During that time, the car never once left us stranded and it still looks and runs great today. Looking at the data without punching through a calculator it is clear that the highest costs for maintaining a Honda Accord are Tires and Brakes. About half of the total cost of all repairs and maintenance was attributed to brakes and tires.

Each spring after my parents return from Florida we reconnect the battery of the now 13-year-old Accord after it has sat for six months and it starts on the first crank. We will leave it to readers to decide if the Accord’s costs have been in line with expectations.

Check out how much more a Toyota Highlander costs to maintain for 100K miles here.


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Comments

I find your brake related repairs to be too frequent which could be a sign of living in a place with many hills or driving habits. There are many videos on YouTube on how to service your brakes. DIY will save you a lot of money. Excellent article!
Thanks Joseph! Indeed I do live where brakes work hard. Wait till you see the brake costs on my Highlander. Story tomorrow.
Nice recap of ownership costs John. I've owned an Accord, CRV, Prelude, and several Civics, and they have been consistently reliable and relatively inexpensive even if you drive them a lot. Which is one big reason why they have good resale value, and a good reputation overall.
I always wanted a Prelude. I hade a Civic and Integra back in the day, but the Prelude should have made my list.
I liked the styling of the Prelude, and it had a great, solid feeling overall. But it ended up being the shortest length of time that I've owned a car. I had also always wanted a Prelude, having owned an Accord and several Civics including two Si models prior. So I was happy to get the Prelude for a good price and in good condition. The trick was that just two weeks after I bought the Prelude I found a pristine Mercedes C230 for the same price as I had paid for the Honda, but it was 9 years newer and had less than half the mileage on it. Happily Hondas in good shape hold their value well and are easy to sell, so I sold it in 2 days for $50 more than I had paid for it. The Mercedes ended up being a great car too with almost no repairs over the next 7 years and I sold it for just $600 less than I bought it for initially.
Tires and brakes seem too frequent. I drove a Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 Megacab with 40 feet gooseneck loaded and stock Michelin tires lasted more than 106000 miles, brakes too. My dads Honda Civic is 22 years old, recently passed vehicle inspection without any remarks. Rear muffler has been changed some 3-4 times, middle exhaust pipe one time. One short brake line at one rear wheel changed (salt rust). Brake discs front wheels changed one time due to rust from salty roads. Stock spark plugs changed after 16 years. Stock battery changed after 18 years. Stock summer tires changed after 17 years. Stock unstudded winter tires still in use, passed recent inspection. Springs front suspension changed after 20 years. Wiper blades. The vehicle has 142000 km and this is what has been done to the powertrain: Oil (synthetic) and filter change, air filter change. Coolant change. Never needed to add oil between changes, even going two years and 15240 km on the same oil. (Mobil 1 0W40).Metal parts inside filler hole still shiny. No sign of any oil sweating from the engine. This has never been done: Never had the head cover off, never adjusted valves, never changed the timing belt, tensioner or water pump and never changed the automatic transmission fluid. Starts and run all the time. The stock battery would have lasted longer had it not been for forgetting to turn off headlights on several occasions (while sitting in the car) and drained the battery. The alarm will sound only when opening the door. Cheaper than this is hard to come by. 1997 Honda Civic hatchback, 1.4 iS 90 hp. Automatic.
Agree with other, those brake prices are outrageous, especially at the dealer. Then again, I do all work on our Hondas myself, so I'm the outlier. Brake pad changes are usually just the cost of pads for me, and the occasional tube of high-temperature brake lube for the caliper pins. So I'm out maybe $40-$45 at each brake pad change, front or back. Only occasionally do I have to change the rotors, but even those aren't too badly priced, and dead simple to remove. I sometimes will change the brake hardware, but that's only $10 or so extra. I used to buy Michelin decades ago, but found them without exception to ride harsh, have poor grip (due to the hard rubber that gives them their longevity) and were overpriced. I used Yokohama for many years, but in the past decade have switched over to Kumho. I don't care to own tires for more than 50,000 miles anyway, as longer-wearing tires mean I am using less safe tread depths for a longer period of time. After a couple of years, I'm ready for freshening up the ride with a new set. (I put on 20-25k miles per year.)
Hey guys - I have a 2007 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4 / 5mt I purchased the car in 2012 and have very detailed spreadsheet records, including everything from purchasing wiper inserts to suspension related expenses. With the exception of changing my own cabin air filter & engine air filter, everything else has been done 90% at an independent mechanic , the other 10% at a dealership. This car has NOT been inexpensive to maintain/repair over the 6.5 years of ownership, thus far. These are in Canadian dollars - ~$10,534 / 6.5 years = ~ $1,620.63 per year of ownership. This is strictly maintenance & repairs. I ignore insurance/CAA (AAA)/gas in this schedule. The largest expenses thus far have been ignition switch, starter, catalytic converter, power steering lines,suspension, not in that order. My tires are still fine (both winter tires carried over from another car & my all seasons that came with this car). I suppose I'm a bit miffed as this has been a particularly bad year with many things needing repaired/replaced a few months apart from each other.