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Q: Is 200K miles on a car just a dream? on 1996 Acura RL

My 1996 acura 3.5 rl has just been diagnosed terminal: i replaced timing belts and water bottle at 135K miles (I bought car at 95K and the water bottle and belts had already been replaced), and now I'm told my egr valves needs cleaning, two rear upper control arms needs replacing, my air conditioner compressor and belts need replacing, my front axles need replacing (thanks to potholes), and my rear main seal needs replacing. If I do all of this at the dealer, it'll amount to close to $5000. I liked this car very much - but I'm appalled that so much has happened between 135-140K miles. Should I try to fix these items, I'm wondering, or should I just opt to get another used vehicle? I did some research to try to find the best ones, and it seems they all have problems above 100K miles. My sisters had American cars that they never had to put one penny in except for oil chgs., etc. Any suggestions?
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Well, 200K miles certainly not a dream, I have clients who had over 200K, 300K out of Toyotas, BMWs and over 500K + in Volvos. It really depends on the car's design and quality, the maintenance, driving and road conditions and very much on your mechanic. If you can get updates early enough from your technician to replace a suspension part before 3 others will be damaged, get rotations and alignment before the treads will be gone in 10K mies, etc...
I disagree with you on your statement that American cars are better. Most big trucks and SUVs are tough, but sedans are no way to be better than a Japanese brand.
You bought your car with pretty high mileage already, probably you don't know how the car was maintained, abused.
Somewhere between 80-140K the parts with the "long life" expectancy starts to fail. i.e. suspension parts, motor mounts, bushings, steering parts, oil seals, etc...
To replace those will cost a big chunk of money, however you can leave those alone for the next 80-140K. Around this time timing components has to be replaced if your car equipped with timing belt, also a big chunk of money.
Unfortunately you purchased your car in this time or mileage range. You had to make a decision to spend over 5 grand - which won't add a dime to the value of the car, or instead of fixing it just sell it, use the $5000 and the selling price for a down payment and get a new or a low mileage car. Sometimes with a good credit rating you can buy a brand new car for cheaper than a 1-2 years old. Why? because you can get 0% (or 1-2%) financing, meanwhile a used car will be financed at least 7-9%.
So the new car's payment will match or actually beats a payment for a 1-2 years old car. It's a pretty good deal.
Let us know your decision, please.

Well, I decided to keep the car, just fix what was absolutely necessary, and maybe sell it or trade it in for another car in a year or so --and guess what? The car was scratched by the dealer, and now I'm negotiating with them for almost $1700 worth of body repairs for six months. Which I figure I'd like to use to substitute the mechanical repairs for the bodywork - but the dealership only wants to spring for $900 worth of mechanical repairs since they say they would only spend that much at their body shop. I also found out that this dealership has a D- rating at the better business bureau. Wish I had known that before I brought my car in. What do you think is fair in this scenario? The dealership does not want to go through their insurance company.
If it's an official Acura dealership, call Acura of North America and file a complaint. See if they will push them to repair the damage caused by them.
If they won't do much, you may need to get a lawyer involved.

Thanks a lot, Zee. I touched base with Acura of NA, and I believe I'm headed in the legal direction. The service manager, whom since has left, is trying to say he doesn't know the accident happened at his shop. Baloney. No employee would dare not tell him this accident occurred. My only question is should I try to pursue legal through my insurance company, or do it on my own? I could sue them for up to $3000 in small claims court, i.e. for my inconvenience all this time. Frankly, I would settle just for getting my car fixed,,,but if they remain adamant, I might not have a choice. By the way, is your shop in the South Orange, NJ area?
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