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Honda Civic (coupe/hatchback)

mznmzn Posts: 727
edited March 23 in Honda
This is the place to continue our conversation
about the popular Honda Civic. To read previous
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  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    I'm not an expert but, if your car smokes when it's warm out. If the smoke smells kind of sweet like radiator fluid, it's your head gasket.

    If your at all mechanically inclined and have a Helm manual, do it yourself. I replaced the head gasket on my 90 crx last spring and it was no big deal. Just follow all the specs in the manual. Save $400+
  • matcukmatcuk Posts: 8
    Thanks for the tip. I'll check this out. Not sure if I'm up for this job in January in Chicago in an unheated garage, but this is a good lead to follow.

  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Is there any antifreeze on the ground? (sorry haven't read original post). If yes, it could be the waterpump or a leaky radiator hose.
    If this car has a lot of miles like 175K & up, could very well be a head gasket. A guy I work with replaced the head gasket in his '91 Civic at 196K mi. Paid $400. He kept it for another 15K mi. or so and he gave it away to his neighbor's 16yr old kid. He said the kid told him the car has close 230K mi. now. Not bad, another 35K mi. for $400 and the car is still going..

    PS. some people blow their head gasket because they don't realize they have a slow radiator or hose leak, nothing to do with engine age..
  • I'm in the market for a 2000 DX HB without A/C. DO I have a better bargain standpoint compared to the A/C people? How close to invoice could I expect to pay if I decided to stick to a $$ amount and just shop for dealers until I got a hit. Invoice - $11,441
    MSRP - $12,615

    Does anybody think that $11,900 is a ridiculous offer?
    Ryan R.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    just fyi: a guy in my office went in and offered $250 over invoice on a EX coupe and got the car! I paid $400 over invoice on my SI (though it was at the end of a model year), so you might be able to start at a lower price point and then give them some over that.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    Just wanted to update on the problems I had with my '98 DX hatchback, in case anyone was wondering. I just took it to the garage for my 30,000 check-up (didn't take it to the dealer - they just give me the runaround). BTW, if anyone's hurting for a good mechanic, and don't want to go to the overpriced, incompetent dealer, do what I did, and go to the Cartalk website. They have a great section where people write in about mechanics they recommend. I found one that had many, many recommendations, and now my car runs better than new!

    I was the one who had the alternator replaced at 11,000 miles, and then the "chirping" problem on start-up, and other problems. Well all is well now. The mechanic I took it to gave it the once-over, and now the car runs better than when I bought it. I was about ready to trade it in, but now I've changed my mind. What a difference a good mechanic makes! Plus, I would miss all the capabilities that this car has. In the 1 1/2 years I've had it, I've hauled all the parts for a 6ft fence with it, and transported all kinds of furniture with it, among other things.

    Too bad that the Honda dealers around here are such jerks. They're not accomodating, they charge too much, they won't explain anything to you, and they just treat you like dirt. If it wasn't for finally getting the car running the way it should, I would have gotten rid of it in a second! I never had this problem with any of the Toyota dealers I dealt with. But I am going to keep this car now that I know how it CAN run. And I'll do my very best to never step foot in a Honda dealer again, if I can help it!
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Same here. I hardly ever go to the Honda dealer. They reason they don't want to do anything to fix your car is because they don't get too much money from Honda while the car is under warranty.
    If you went back to them when the car had 37K or 40K miles they 'd jump on it and charge you an a arm and a leg and it's possible they still wouldn't fix anything.
    When the car is under warranty they try their best to turn you away and tell you there is nothing wrong and that's it's normal, etc.. You have to yell and scream at them and call Honda on them to get them to fix a problem. Although not every dealer is like that (I have heard some good stories) it seems that it's the majority.
    You 're absolutely right. Find yourself a good mechanic after your warranty runs out.
    It's such a misconception that the dealer knows the car better.. that's a lot of bull. Many times they have inexperienced young kids working there and the service advisors try and rip you off all the time. I think they work on commission some times. I took my car to the dealer because they were running a special on oil changes so I figure let me get a genuine Honda filter and save some money at the same time. I asked the service advisor how much to install the 4 Honda spark plugs I had bought (from a Honda/Acura specialist shop near my house - cheaper than the dealer).
    He says ONE hour labor! I said "forget it, your mechanics really suck if it takes them 1hr to install 4 plugs". Then he said .75hr I said I 'll do it myself. Then he pretends he 's looking at the book and comes back with 1/2 hr labor! I said nope, it takes me 10min. Finally he said "ok, 1/4 hr (15min) but only because he is under the hood already and you 're getting an oil change"
    I said fine because I was too lazy to do it. They 're all fricking thieves. It took the kid exactly 8 min. to put them in and he was taking his time. I was outside watching in because they had the garage door open and I timed him :-)
    Although I also had a problem or two during the warranty period with my '97 hatchback they couldn't turn me away because the speedometer was not working and the alternator was dead! They fixed them in a timely manner (the next day) and I got the hek out of there. They charged Honda back only 1.25hrs labor for the alternator and speed sensor. Imagine the labor they would 've charged me for an alternator if it wasn't under warranty, considering they wanted 1hr labor for spark plugs!
    But there are dealers with good mechanics out there just not around some of us. And the service advisors/managers make it even harder on us even if they have good mechanics because they wiesel their way out of doing warranty work..
    Sorry for the long note. Dealers just piss me off.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    I hear ya'! I don't know about all Honda dealers, and I'm sure there must be some out there that are good, but the ones around here leave a lot to be desired. I'm just glad I can finally enjoy driving the car, instead of worrying about when it's gonna break down.

    At least I did the right thing by not buying their stupid service agreement. This way, I was able to find a great mechanic who could make this car run the way it should. It has never run this good - even when I drove it off the lot!
  • I recently bought a new '99 Honda Civic Cx Hatchback. Everything has been fine so far except for the driver's seat. I'm a pretty big guy (240lbs.) and the seat bottom is uncomfortable. I think the padding isn't up to Honda's reputation for quality. Can anyone recommend a place for replacement seats or a type of cushion\fix. I'm from Edmonton, Canada. Thanks
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    I 'm 212lbs (weighed myself this morning, hehe) and 6'2 and drive a '97 DX htbk. I think the seat is pretty comfortable. I 've been seating in it for 88K miles.. But everyone is different. What's comfortable for one person could be the opposite for another especially with people's back problems..
    I have to admit though, my Integra's seats are more comfortable than the Civic's although the Civic's don't bother me a bit.
    I would do a search on the Web if I were you. Search for "car seats" maybe?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Bruce35, you may also want to look in our Aftermarket and Accessories conference for suggestions. Please, let us know if you find a good solution.

  • I am sorry to hear about your experiences at the dealers. I work for a dealer in New England I am dumbfounded to hear that a dealer charges 1 hr. labor to do plugs at $75 an hour. That wrong! These guys are the reasons that make the the good dealers look bad!We get 1.2 hrs. labor to do an entire tune up at $57.75 an hour.We will also spend countless hours on warranty work, and your right, HONDA, if the pay us, pay next to nothing to correct your problem. Its all about morals, and it sounds like some dealers just dont have it! If you have problems with warranty and you feel that the dealer is giving you the runaround, you can call HONDA's customer relations to report this and have a DSM(District Service Manager) look at the problem.Honda rates each dealer per zone by TSI(Total Satisfaction Index), this can give you a pretty good idea on how a dealer is.
  • Does anyone know whether the seat mounting points in the hatchback match those of the civic coupe? I would like to get a civic hatch but since I'll need to put a baby-seat in the rear, I would like to put one of the easy-entry (flip-forward) seats from a coupe into the passenger side if I can find one at a wrecker. Is this possible without fabricating new seat mounts/tracks/etc?
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    It fits fine! I had a baby seat in the back of my '97 Civic hatchback for 2-3 years. Took it in and out every couple of days to put it back to my wife's car. Never had a problem. It was a pretty big baby seat too. This was a 2nd baby seat that was for toddlers and used it until my son was 5 yrs old!
    The front passenger seat goes pretty far down and the seat goes way to the front almost touches the glove compartment. You won't have any problems.
    You just have to put the seat in first and then the baby in it. This is because you have to put the seat in a little crooked at first through (put it sideways)
  • Hondatech - which dealership are you at? I live in Mass, and bought my '99 cx from Honda Cars of Boston.

    The car is wonderful, and I currently have 11,000 miles on it. I change the oil every 3,000 miles (even though they say you can wait until 3,750 miles - i like to be safer than sorry).

    ***** The only issue I have, is that the car takes longer to start when the gas tank is down to 1/4 tank or less. It seems to crank longer before it ignites. When the gas tank is filled greater than 1/4 tank, it starts immediately. I NEVER run the car out of gas, and usually fill up when it hits the 1/4 mark.

    Any ideas?
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    I have a 1998 CX and I have the same problem! Although it always starts, it needs at least 2-3 more seconds before it starts when the tank is less than 1/3 full. But it doesn't do it on a regular basis.
  • Daniell -
    who can help us? Bueller? Anyone?
    Have you ever asked the dealer about it? I'm thinking of trying that, though I am skeptical that they will provide a knowledgable and truthful answer.
    I try to fill-up the tank as it hits the 1/4 mark, all the time.
    As long as I do that, there is no start-up issue.
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    I have a 00 DX hatch with the same problem ... although I don't know if it is a problem. It eventually start after it turns over about 4-6 times. Should I care?

    I guess over the long run it puts more wear on your starter, fly wheel, and battery but how significant is it?
  • My 98 DX does that also. I noticed that if I let it slip under 1/4 full, it takes a couple more seconds to start it up. But when it's over 1/4, it starts up right away. This being my first Honda, I just assumed it's a Honda trait. I have 30,000 miles on it, and it's always started - eventually!
  • After all the negative experiences I've relayed on my 98 DX hatchback in the past, I thought I'd share something more positive.

    I live in Raleigh, NC, and we just got through with the worst snow storm we ever had here (20.3" of snow!). I know that may be more common up north, but down here, this city shuts down for an inch, let alone 20". Anyway, I was able to get around just fine in my car, after the first day or so - and I don't have snow tires or chains or anything like that.

    I have a friend with a big F150, and even he spun out and slid off the road, but mine never did slide more than a little wiggle. I don't know how much is the car itself, but after seeing every kind of car, truck and sport utility slide off into ditches, telephone poles and other cars in the last two weeks, I am very impressed at the handling capabilities of a small front-wheel drive hatchback in such foul weather.
This discussion has been closed.