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Old 4th February 2021, 15:07   #1
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Default 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

Introduction

This short story dates back to early 2016, when a friend in Chennai was obsessed with acquiring a used automatic large sedan.

How did the Accord AT emerge as the choice?

This friend was tired of using manual cars in tight traffic in Chennai, and it was I who recommended that he move to and experience an automatic sedan. My recommendation to him was a Toyota Corolla Altis of 2008-11 vintage but somehow, that choice didn’t appeal to him. Other options considered were:

• 2005-08 facelifted Toyota Corolla H4 AT - rejected
• 2006-10 Toyota Camry AT - approved as an option
• 2008-10 Honda Accord AT - approved as an option
• 2009-11 Maruti SX4 AT - rejected

The Camry was just not available; in fact there was a 2006 blue Camry AT but that had the infamous sticky dashboard issue that I have already written about in detail here (2007 Toyota Camry MT : The Never-Say-Die Car!).

The Corolla and the sx4 were also scored off; understandably so. Why would someone who rejected the Altis approve of the sx4?

Some 2008-10 Honda Accords were evaluated but the following issues emerged:

• Leather on the seats, center console and door pads wasn’t holding up well with age
• Two out of the three examples evaluated showed a leak around the power steering rack-pinion joint
• No steering mounted controls
• Overpriced !!

However, my friend principally liked the finesse on offer in an Accord and continued to look for options.

Entry of a 2007 Accord

This friend then chanced upon an ad in olx for a 2007 Honda Accord AT. The car was listed by a dealership in "Ready" (Reddy) Street in Virugambakkam, and I wasn’t sure about how genuine this dealership was. Since we had nothing to lose, my friend and I went there to inspect the car.
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Last edited by vigsom : 4th February 2021 at 23:07.
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Old 4th February 2021, 15:24   #2
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Inspection experience at the dealership

My first impression about this dealership was lacklustre; a Linea, a Chevrolet Tavera, an Innova and a Scorpio on offer were all examples that I’d have just walked away from. However, this 2007 Accord was, prima facie, in great shape.

Likes

• Original paint all around barring one rear quarter panel and both bumpers
• Super neat interiors, with even the driver seat showing little to no wear, a sign that the car had indeed been kept well
• Steering wheel leather and faux wood intact
• Silky smooth engine even with the odo reading at 1,07,000km
• Original alloys in good shape
• Almost new Yokohama A drives on the four wheels plus the spare alloy
• Transmission oil in great shape

Not so good

• Engine oil needed to be changed ASAP
• Coolant expansion tank was empty but the radiator was full

Since this was an automatic car, I insisted on a long test drive to test the gear shifts through all gears. Several times, some automatic transmissions on high mileage cars show jerky shifts, typically from 1 to 2 or 3 to 4. I have experienced this with someone’s DQ200 gear box and even with an Aisin 4 speed torque converter. The dealership refused a long drive since the fuel level in the car was already low, but I insisted that the longish test drive was required. Eventually I told them that my friend would fill 10 liters of fuel, and if the car drove well, we would be happy to discuss further, and if it didn’t, the extra fuel in the tank would be theirs. They agreed. INR 700 was a small price to pay for a test drive in an Accord.

I drove the car approx. 20 kms through a mix of city and open roads. The drive was butter smooth and gear shifts were seamless. I told my friend that the car was principally good, but we had to inspect the documents before taking a call. On return, we asked for the documents but were told that the car was there as a park-an-sell example and that they had only photocopies of the documents.

Photocopies showed a single company owner, and the keychain showed the same company’s name; quite a reputed name. Insurance was renewed without a break and carried a 35% NCB too. We were told that if the deal was done, the documents and the car would be handed over against payment. We asked to see the originals before taking a call, and the actual seller (an intermediary) brought the documents, the file for the car, the second unused key with a tag reading “MD’s car”, and the owner manual, plus some service bills for us to see. The car had been serviced only at Honda throughout and was used by the MD of that company. What surprised me is how this good a car made it to this unimpressive dealership; just goes to prove that one should never judge a book by its cover and in pre-owned cars, one should never get judgemental about a seller or the dealer premises.

The unimpressive looking dealership
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Old 4th February 2021, 15:37   #3
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Default Re: 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

The deal is sealed

The dealer had listed the car at 4.8 lacs plus dealer commission of 2% which would mean a final price of close to INR 4.9 lacs. After several rounds of negotiations, the deal was eventually sealed at an all inclusive price of INR 4.4 lacs.

Delivery

My friend and his better half were at the dealership on the appointed day, and once they saw the originals there on the table, transfer through RTGS was initiated from their bank. Delivery was a few minutes later once the payment was received by the dealer in their account.

Small yet significant things about the 2007 Honda Accord

• Resembles the 2003-06 Accord with the only difference being the rear profile
• Silky smooth 2.4L engine and torque converter AT combo
• Excellent steering
• Best brakes on a sedan of this class
• Hard plastic on the dashboard that doesn’t get sticky like the 2006-11 Camry
• Dual zone air-conditioning
• Brilliant to drive through even tight traffic; even weaving in and out of obstacles is a breeze despite the car’s length
• Great sounding stock audio set up, but without USB support
• front parking sensors
• Like the Toyota, the Honda uses a non-amine, non-silicate, non-borate, non-phosphate long life coolant

The only two shortcomings in the car were its undersized ORVMs and weak headlamps

View from the front
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View of the right side
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View from the rear
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The front door and seats
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The rear seat (sample picture)
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Dash (sample picture)
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Instrument Cluster (sample picture)
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Engine bay(sample picture)
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Boot (sample picture)
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Last edited by vigsom : 4th February 2021 at 23:10.
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Old 4th February 2021, 15:59   #4
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Emergency #1 – May 2016

I was preparing to leave for Delhi that night, and my friend called me up at approx. 3pm stating that the Accord had overheated and shutdown. My heart missed a beat because I was worried that the head gasket had blown; fortunately not. I went to the place where the car had stalled, and learnt that the coolant temperature was observed to have gone up after a while, and when the temperature gauge reached approximately 90% of range, the engine shut down. This led me to believe that the Accord has an in-built safety interlock to shut the engine down on high coolant temperature.

By the time I reached the spot, the radiator had cooled down considerably but I did see tell-tale signs of coolant boiling over. I inspected the coolant and the engine oil and found no abnormality in either. Since the coolant of the right spec wasn’t available, I got the best available coolant from a parts store, and topped up coolant : distilled water in a 1: 3 ratio. The system gulped approx. 1.5 liters of the potion. I then kept the radiator cap open, and asked my friend to fire the engine up. There was no bubbling or fountain indicating that the head gasket was fine. I also kept the car idling for a while and found that the coolant was fine even at operating temperature and that the radiator fan did cut in and cut off at operating temperature.

I then left for Delhi, and on my return, got a super long life coolant called Apex at INR 375 a litre, and had the coolant in the system replaced. I told my friend to watch the coolant level in the expansion tank everyday before and after a drive, which he cared not to do, and that led to another similar emergency three months later, this time at 9 in the night.

Emergency #2 – Aug 2016

At approx. 9pm one night, I received a call from my friend stating that the issue of overheating and engine shut off had recurred. It was a rainy evening and by then I thought my parts store would have also closed down, but no. The gentleman was kind enough to deliver two litres of Apex blue coolant to me on his way back home after closing his store. I landed up at the spot at approx. 10:30pm and did the same thing – topped up coolant, started the car, ran the engine till operating temperature, inspected the system and all was well.

Exorcising the evil spirit that was causing high temperature

I asked for the car to be with me for a few days to investigate this issue, and I must have run the car for 2 hours at idle to allow it multiple fan on-fan off cycles and all seemed well. However, on one such trial on the third day, I found that the radiator fan did not turn on, and in a short while, the boiling had started, and here, if the AC compressor was switched on, the condenser fan alone would run, boiling would stop and the engine temperature would drop till the compressor shut off, and then the same cycle would repeat.

Now that the radiator fan motor was found to be the suspect, I also had to rule out the coolant temperature sensor, and that was quite a task since this sensor is located deep down below the radiator top hose fitting below the engine cover. The sensor was removed and tested on cold water and hot water, and it did show a change in resistance, confirming that it was working fine.

Project Radiator Fan motor

The radiator and condenser fan assembly was removed at my FNG and the radiator fan motor seemed like a normal 120W fan motor. Since Honda’s original motor was not openly available, we used a 120W DENSO fan motor in the same frame size and this was the aftermarket replacement for older AC cars like the 800AC. The wiring coupler had to be swapped and the direction of rotation had to be ensured before the assembly was fitted back.

Condenser fan on but radiator fan off with AC on
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2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk-radiatorfan_off.jpg

Radiator fan motor of Accord(sample)
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Radiator fan motor of Maruti(sample)
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Last edited by vigsom : 4th February 2021 at 19:20.
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Old 4th February 2021, 16:04   #5
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My love affair with the Accord

I fell in love with this car and would yearn for every opportunity to drive her around. Trust me, while the Toyotas that I have owned myself and de facto were typically fill it shut it types, the Accord was all about sheer driving pleasure. Zero stress driving in supreme comfort through the worst of traffic was this car’s USP.

Expenses from 2016 to 2017

Virtually nothing was spent on the Accord in this period, until I was around.

A: Cooling System INR 8,400

1. Apex super long life coolant 4 liters INR 1,500 ( IIRC 2.5 litres were used up and 1.5 litres remained spare)
2. Interim coolant during the emergency INR 400
3. Distilled water 5 liters INR 100
4. Labour INR 600
5. Radiator fan motor INR 1,500
6. Wash (02 times) INR 1,200
7. Engine oil plus oil filter plus labour INR 3,100

B: AC refrigerant recharge INR 1,500

Total expenses A+B INR 9,900

Learnings

When one goes to inspect a pre-owned car and finds the coolant expansion tank empty or of there is brown scaling around the expansion tank neck, it is a sure shot sign of the car overheating. Beware !!

Is the Accord a good buy?

The 2003-07 Accord is a great buy if the car has been kept well. Barring single digit fuel efficiency in the city, there is nothing going against this car. I, however, hate the 2008 and later Accords as the interiors don’t hold up as well with age as the 2003-07 Accords, plus the car doesn’t drive as nimbly as the 2007 Accord.
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Last edited by vigsom : 4th February 2021 at 17:12.
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Old 5th February 2021, 07:37   #6
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Default Re: 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Will go to our homepage tomorrow
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Old 5th February 2021, 10:25   #7
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This vintage Honda Accord is the one I liked the most especially those sharp LED tail lamps, there was a beautifully maintained white one in my building must have been the same 2006-07 vintage and I still stared at the car everytime I saw it. Just yesterday I saw a video of the same vintage Honda Accord gunning down the sea link (though do not support over-speeding), the way it was pulling till 7000rpm was insane for a ~13 year old car! Nobody can beat the I-VTEC motor especially the 1.5L, 2L and 2.4L ones. The less I talk about the 1.2L I-VTEC the better. Reliability and maintenance of these vintage Honda’s is much better than the ones currently on sale (parts last longer), it is just as good as a Camry in reliability with the added bonus of a stonker of a engine.

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 5th February 2021 at 10:26.
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Old 5th February 2021, 10:38   #8
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I always admire your posts on used car purchase decisions, trouble shooting, fixes and upkeep. Not just this one thread, but all of them, you do have a lot of experience and it shows.

Anyway I have to ask you on this one, why not the 3.5 AT? Is it due to availability, complexity (cylinder deactivation on later models), fuel economy, or price?
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Old 5th February 2021, 11:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEF_Beasts View Post
Reliability and maintenance of these vintage Honda’s is much better than the ones currently on sale (parts last longer), it is just as good as a Camry in reliability with the added bonus of a stonker of a engine.
Thank You @CEF_Beasts. Yes, the 2003-07 Accord is the only one from the Honda stable that I admire for its fit,finish and reliability. However, I can't digest how that fan motor packed up. Toyota's DENSO fan motors never go this quick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
why not the 3.5 AT? Is it due to availability, complexity (cylinder deactivation on later models), fuel economy, or price?
Thank You @Sankar. We didn't consider the 3.5 engine with VCM at all; actually didn't even think of it. Yes, I did work on a Nissan Teana 2.5 V6 and post that I felt that transverse mounted V engines are a pain to work on. Even replacing spark plugs on the rear bank can be a headache.
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Old 6th February 2021, 11:00   #10
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Thanks for sharing the journey, @vigsom.
I was delighted to see 'my car' back on team-bhp home page!

I have been a 'pre-worshipped' ninja, with a kind that is always on a lookout for one.. (without any need as such!)
(Once I went to assist my friend buy a used car, and ended up giving up heart for another Honda (civic, in this case). My friend initially thought that I'm kidding, but was surprised to see it in my stable a few weeks later!

This particular Honda Accord (7.5 gen, 2007-2008, LED backlight one) has been one of my dream cars and I had looked at every possible option in Delhi-NCR for 3+ years (2010 - 2013). Finally a day in 2013, the moment I saw an option, it was love at first sight. It felt like a dream in real, same color (Black).. It was apparently owned by a 'saab' (bought it cash down) and kept to be used by 'memsahab' exclusively. It had around 40k or so mileage, and everything was buttery smooth..

Being a Honda guy (currently own 4, 3 of them 'pre-worshipped'), I had on the back of my mind the exact RPM/speed when the shifts should happen, in a pedal-to-the-metal scenario, ability to start in '2', manual mode (quite different from modern manual modes in AT cars) etc.. I took explicit permission to perform these tests on such an immaculate piece. The owner's associate did tell me that if his 'saab' sees me perform such 7000+ RPM manoeuvres, the deal would be aborted instantly. I was mighty impressed (& over the sky), having experienced the V-Tech in its true form.. (Did the due-diligence of going through complete official Honda service history as well.)

The deal was struck, I didn't mind paying a premium, after-all your dreams don't come true often and along with 'heart', the 'head' was convinced as well.

It's been 8 years, I still enjoy its experience.. while it remained secondary/tertiary car, only used for those all-packed long drives (thanks to enormous leg space and boot space), but occasionally also go in the 4000+ RPM and a beast unleashes even today!


I would like to share following from my ownership experiences:

1. Power steering hose : It was a recall in many western countries. But in India, sadly, it wasn't done for strange reason. On one of the days (in 2014), it started leaking.. Interestingly, the ones in new Accord fits this gen as well. (It mostly has to do with a rubber linkage, which gives up with age. The new ones have metal linkage. There is quite some pressure going through it.) Got an OEM part of the new Accord to fix the issue.

2. Lack of USB : This was one of the first add-ons. This Accord has a ready AUX port, in which you can attach a cable to join your USB/MMC card. Even the steering controls are integrated and allows you to switch to AUX mode once the cable is connected. (It's been a while, don't remember the exact place i ordered it. I kind of remember sourcing it from US. If you face any trouble, I can try to dig up my historic backups to find it out. Was about ~20$)

3. High Beam switching relay : There is a 'sealed' box under the hood which houses the switching relay for high beam. On one of the days, it just won't operate (Beams remain ON, all the time.. even after taking out keys). As it is a sealed box, not many technicians would touch it. (Retrofitting an external relay is given as a solution. I don't like such 'ugly' fiddles) After few months of living with it, I dived into dis-assembling it myself (Kudos to my father, who is a 'master' in all things electronic/electrical). We were mentally prepared for such a multi-week project, to analyse the root cause and modify the 'circuit' if need be. As it turns out, it has an IC embedded so requires some key data to decypher it. Surprisingly, the synthetic test around the 'relay' came out positive. We somehow decided to fit it and try debugging it in a live circuit. To our surprise, fitting it back SOLVED the issue.
We chose to let it that way, and has lasted 3 years so far..

4. Airbag module replacement : This WAS a recall by Honda India and 7.5 gen was covered in it as well . I contacted Honda ASS and they promptly got it done in a week.. (Was a small 30 minute job.)

Apart from these, the car has been a pleasure otherwise.. few cars have come and gone in the house but this one has stayed like a rock. Minimal maintenance, full VFM.. (It guzzles fuel, but doesn't need as much maintenance as many of the 'modern' cars!)

While it is nearing the '15 yr' mark in a year or so, but I do intend to keep it.. Even if it means, getting it registered in another state.

I sincerely wish that such 'over-engineered' cars are made more often..

Last edited by vb-san : 6th February 2021 at 15:17. Reason: Maximum 2 smileys per post please. Thank you!
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Old 6th February 2021, 17:54   #11
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Default Re: 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

2003-07 Honda Accord's can get no better as a car. My family has had a 2005 Accord V6 since new which has done a shade above 43000 km. Mechanically, in whatever it has done, it has been niggle free, but the prime positive is the way the upholstery and interiors have held together. A maintained Accord is always the wise man's used sedan choice!
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Old 6th February 2021, 19:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Thank You @CEF_Beasts. Yes, the 2003-07 Accord is the only one from the Honda stable that I admire for its fit,finish and reliability. However, I can't digest how that fan motor packed up. Toyota's DENSO fan motors never go this quick.
The Denso motors on this generation of Honda"s are not typically reliable , both the ones on my CRV have been changed within year of each other in 2016-17, while the one on my 02 VTEC City still lives .

The Accord is still the best drivers car , and with the rock bottom prices of used ones nowadays is a worthwhile buy ( provided you find a decent example )

Cheers !

Last edited by vb-san : 7th February 2021 at 12:29. Reason: quote tags fixed
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Old 7th February 2021, 01:06   #13
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Default Re: 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

Nice buy. I currently own a 2011 Accord, bought certified pre owned in 2014. A very smooth car, lots of space and with 170+ horses on tap - a very comfortable long distance cruiser at 80+ speeds.
It's not your enthusiasts car but a reliable and practical car.
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Old 8th February 2021, 21:34   #14
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Thanks again @vigsom for another delightfully informative thread on what I consider to be one of the finest and most reliable D2 sedans..a car that I actively considered buying in the past. Sad to see the Japs discontinue their shining stars in this country. Wonder how long the hybrid Camry will last.
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Old 8th February 2021, 22:20   #15
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Default Re: 2007 Honda Accord AT : Smooth as silk

I’ve always liked this particular generation over the next generation as it has aged much better than its successor. My best friend had a black one back in college that he got from his father. I have some very fond memories with that car.
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