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Looking to buy used Civic

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by Firescooby, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Firescooby

    Firescooby Junior Member

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    I was pointed to this website for question because this was "the" site concerning Civics.

    I am looking to buy a used Civic as a second vehicle/ commuter car. I am gonna be buying anywhere from next week to the next few months. Basically just looking out for a good ride and gonna try to jump on it if I find it.

    *** I am wondering what to look out for in these cars in these years (1995+). Do these cars tend to burn oil? Any major parts tend to give problems? Can I manage 250k miles out of one of these with good maintenance? I currently drive a 2004 Toyota Tacoma (5th Toyota) and I am religious about maintenance and use M1 oil at 5k intervals.

    What I am looking for:

    1995+ FOUR door Civic, 5 speed, low miles as possible and still be in the $5k range. I might be willing to go slightly (up to $6k) for a low mileage car in good shape. It must be four door and 5 speed. Color doesn't matter, nor does options. Cruise would be great, but will add later if it doesn't have.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. 92civicb18b1

    92civicb18b1 The Trisexual

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    5k is really high for a 92-95 Sedan. You can find them under 3k in decent condition. Even if the engine is in crappy condition, I don't think your looking for performance, so a replacement d series is like 100 bucks. Either way as long as you get a decent body, and have some mechanical experience you should be fine with a cheap one.
     
  3. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    Like any used car, you should look at the engine bay, the brakes, the CV boots and look for repainting and frame damage. Check for rust issues in the rear fenderwells and elsewhere. Ask for the car's service history. Timing belts and water pumps need to be changed at 90K miles on these cars. If the car has "low mileage" the original timing belt is now overdue for a change, regardless of its mileage(for a 95-96). The material that the timing belts are made of ages.

    Finally of course, you need to drive it around for a while. Take it both on a twisty road and a highway. Try the radio, then turn it off, no talking and listen to how the car runs. Check for grinds in the tranny. Maybe even do a compression test. Double check the book values for the car you are looking at... then subtract the cost of repairs. Basically, as long as the body and frame of the car is sound, the rest is easy and worthwhile to improve.

    Don't be afraid of higher mileage Civics. Highway miles are usually kinder on cars. My Si is still my favorite car and I take her on cross country trips all of the time. Mechanically she is sound, we are only having a war with some body panel rust.

    For sedans, don't forget to check out integra sedans of the same age. I love my sedan!
     
  4. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    Oh yeah... and bring a friend. Check the color of the exhaust fumes. Make sure there are no white or blue vapors being produced.
     
  5. Firescooby

    Firescooby Junior Member

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    Thanks....keep the replies coming.

    What's the highest mileage you guys know of from a Civic with original engine/ tranny?
     
  6. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    My Si's engine is original and I replaced the tranny last spring at around 290K miles, but that was only because I found a JDM LSD tranny for the car. My GS-R's engine and tranny are original without issues. A recent compression test showed 210 on each cylinder! If you buy your Honda from a mature adult, you should do better, I would be very leery of buying a car from the younger crowd, male or female.
     
  7. Firescooby

    Firescooby Junior Member

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    Thanks again for the help. All replies are welcome.

    I'd like to find the lowest possible mileage car possible (of course). I drive 120 miles round trip every third day plus would drive it on my off days running around also. I figure I would average at least 15-18k/ year. If I could find something with 100k I'd like to be able to have a reliable and economical vehicle for at least 8-10 years. I don't see any reason if I buy a well treated used Civic that it wouldn't go to 300k with care and the occasional reaplcement part.

    I had considered buying a brand new one. I have 19 more years until retirement. I told the guys at work I would drive it for 19 years and when I retire I would leave it parked at the station with the keys and title in it for anyone who wanted it. That car would most likely have nearly 400k miles on it by then, if it lasted that long.
     
  8. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    Where are you located? If you live in an area where the roads are not salted in the winter, your used cars will last longer than mine in the NE. The cars in California and Arizona are beautifully preserved. One day, I am bringing a '79 Civic hatch back from the West Coast.

    In Ohio, someone who is a courier turned in a million mile '94 Accord last year and Honda rewarded him with another free car. His previous Accord made it to 650K miles.

    I think that you should check out this link:
    http://www.hondabeat.com/highmiles.php
     
  9. tab

    tab Super Moderator

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    That's pretty impressive.

    My buddy's Accord made 370K with no major engine work.
     
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