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Looking to buy a Gen 2.5 - gen 2 parts comparability, things to look for?

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Hello all - I’m looking to buy a gen 2.5 CRV, either an EX or SE trim. Depending on what’s available I’ll probably be looking at 100k-150k mileage, and was looking to spend $5000 at the most. I’m more interested in the gen 2.5 because of the better airbags and brakes.

I was wondering what sort of things I should be looking at specifically with these apart from the normal used car checklist items - I know AC compressors, but I’ve seen electric locks and airbags mentioned as recalls as well? And if there’s any parts that do typically need replacing etc on these when they reach that mileage range I should look for.

I also was wondering about parts compatibility with the 02-04 CRVs - I’ve seen some very nice aftermarket headlights that say they’re only compatible with the 02-04s, and I was curious if it was truly incompatible or if they could be slightly modified to fit etc. Also looking for recommendations on good double din stereos, trailer hitch’s, and front bumper/ safari bars. I wasn’t looking to lift it or anything of that sort but was curious what all terrain tires people find to work well with it too.

Thanks in advance, I look forward to being a CRV owner soon!
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One of the major differences between the 2002-2004 and 2005-2006 CR-Vs is the size of the wheels.
The 2005-2006 got bigger wheels to make room for bigger brake discs.

The front bumper is different, as is the front grill.
Along with the changes to the bumper the headlights were also changed. The headlights went from a single headlight bulb that is both high and low beams in the 2002-2004, to two headlight bulbs in the 2005-2006 with separate high and low beam bulbs. And a different wiring harnesses for the headlights, too. Physically, I have no idea of they are interchangeable, with or without minor modifications.

Use for the tow hitch and wiring harness. for front bars. After some web searching I don't see that anyone makes a full front guard that protects the headlights anymore, only "bull bars".

For headunits, speakers, and other audio gear I'd suggest starting at They have a 'what fits my vehicle' function that shows you what will fit your CR-V. They also sell wiring harnesses and mounting kits for installing aftermarket audio equipment.
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