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Buying an Older Civic

kamst152kamst152 Posts: 2
I am a 24 year old graduate student purchasing my 1st car and I need some advice.I wanted to buy a 2006 Civic but I think it is smarter to get a used newer model.I am moving from Pittsburgh, PA to DC in August and don't need the added stress of a new car payment.I found a 2002 Civic LX sedan with $73,540 miles on it (13,540 over the suggested KBB alotment).The dealership is asking $10,995 for it.Edmunds says it is worth $10,595.Since it has slightly higher miles, what price can I reasonably get for this vehicle?I have $2,500 to put down & I'm aiming for a $10,000 selling price out the door.I already arranged good financing aside from the dealership so not to get befuddled. My uncle says this is too many miles but I thought it was good considering it is a Honda.We are test driving Tuesday and I would like some feedback. Thanks in advance!


  • slowpedalerslowpedaler Posts: 62
    Your Edmunds price should reflect the miles you entered in your search. My search, assuming the car is an automatic in "clean" condition, reported a dealer price of $10,718.00 if it were in Northern California. You should be able to talk them down to an even 10.

    If the car is a one-owner with all the services done on time, it should be fine. How many miles do you expect to put on it annually? If you are looking at more than 20,000; I would get a lower mileage car.
  • nyer10nyer10 Posts: 21

    Someone is offering a '05 dx vp civic for $5000 -- which obviously sounds kind of low. He says the title is clean with no liens but the car is manufactured in canada --though it's registered in new york. He says it's got 3,150 miles on it and he's selling because "i don't have the time to use it." Says he frequently works out of town ...
    I thought I remembered hearing something about Honda not honoring warranties for cars manufactured in canada though i'm not sure it matters that much since this price is so low. Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.
  • slowpedalerslowpedaler Posts: 62
    Actually I have several thoughts, and they all revolve around you not believing everything you "hear". Nobody is selling a year old Civic with 3150 miles for 5 grand unless it sat in a New Orleans dealership for a couple of weeks about a year ago. You're being scammed. Honda builds lots of cars [including mine] in Canada, as do many other manufacturers, and they are warranted like any other new car.
  • kamst152kamst152 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the heads up! I appreciate it. I don't expect to put much on because I will be riding public transportation to work M-F. I just want a reliable vehicle to get around in on weekends. Wish me luck bc today I go for a test drive.
  • nyer10nyer10 Posts: 21
    Heh. Yeah, thanks. It took me about two minutes after writing my post to realize something had to be up. I did a check on carfax with the VIN no. the guy gave me and everything checked out like he said ... except it had just been bought again 10 days before. Something has to be off because the whole thing is pretty ridiculous.
  • I have had my Civic DX since I was 16- it is a 1993 and I am now 29. When purchasing a used (and older) Civic it is important to consider several factors.

    The most important factor is the "big" tune up-- which is done at approximately 90,000 miles. Perhaps it is recommended at 75,000 miles by the dealer. The timing belt needs to be changed. Serious and costly engine repairs can result from not performing this maintenence. The water pump and coolant fans might as well be changed at this time- they have to be manipulated in order to change the timing belt. It is not a low cost affair by any stretch of the imagination--- so if it has not been performed on a high mileage Civic-- or has been performed but once on an extremely high mileage Civic-- then these costs should be reflected in the purchase price.

    Lets say you were to pay $1300 for a 1993 Civic with 150,000 miles on it. And it last had the timing belt changed at 80,000 miles. In order to guarantee years of continued and efficient service you will have to probably invest almost half of the purchase price in a comprehensive tune-up.

    It can also be useful to browse the strange hieroglyphs of consumer reports. On my car (a 93 Civic recall)--- it is lauded as a wonderful vehicle- which it is- but closer inspection of the various categories reveals two possible problem areas. The exhaust and the distributor. Interestingly enough- at 130,000 miles I had a problem with my cars distributor cap- which was the only non-routine issue I have dealt with in 13+ years. For whatever reason this is not considered a problem on 1994 civics. Perhaps some issue with contractors existed during the switch from generation 4 to gen. 5 civics.

    And it seems I have replaced various portions of the exhaust and muffler a few too many times--- although the car is exposed to the corrosive Chicago winter and I have purchased a few "el cheapo" type mufflers as an expedient.

    In any event these are all minor quibbles for a car that has been exposed to hardship and questionable driving habits since the first George Bush was leaving office.

  • ariesanneariesanne Posts: 2
    Just bought a 90 civic that has had all the major tune-up/maintence done to it. It runs very nicely, BUT, there is now (after 400 miles)a almost CONSTANT BEEPING! The owner manul says nothing about beeps, only trouble lights. My lights do not flash or anything, all I have it the darn beeping! It is pretty much random beeps, sometimes 3, sometimes 5 or 6..... It's driving me crazy, what the heck do the BEEPS MEAN??????

    Thanks, ariesanne
  • civicex05civicex05 Posts: 42
    It's driving me crazy, what the heck do the BEEPS MEAN??????

    Do you have your seat belt buckled?
  • ariesanneariesanne Posts: 2
    Hello, thank you for the reply. Yes, it seems to be a seat belt issue.... With no passenger, I just ride with the belt buckled, no beeping then.

    Such a great car! 41mpg!!! No darn seat belt is gonna ruin this little piece of heaven for me ....

    Thanks again
  • A teenager recently hit the bumper of my 1994 Civic EX Hatchback, and am currently fighting with the insurance agencies to get reimbursed for the damage. They say it's totalled because the cost of repairs is comperable to the cost of the car. I still want to keep the car obviously so they're only offering the difference of the worth and cost of repairs. (The respect for automobiles is drastically low for what cars mean to us)
    So I ask the experts (this is where you come in...) what do you think my car is really worth? Only 86,000 miles, interior is in good condition, and routine maintainace from the beginning.
    This car is very much part of the family, the last thing we can afford is another car, and the kid's pleading not-guilty. Even sending me to somewhere other than KBB would help. I need some perspective of the situation. Thank you-CA
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Have you checked out the Edmunds Used Car Appraiser? Besides that tool, there are a couple of discussions over on the Smart Shopper board which I think you'll find helpful.

    Have a look at Real-World Trade-in Values and maybe you'd be interested in Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents. (Helpful hint: do not make the same post in both discussions!! ;)) (Helpful hint #2: if you post in the RWTV discussion, be sure to provide all of the information requestion in the list right above the post box.)

    Hope this helps - you can come back here and let us know what happens.
  • goofycatgoofycat Posts: 11
    If it were my car and the damage is not more than a few hundred dollars, I would bite the bullet and have the car repaired, regardless of what the insurance company decides. 86k miles is low, and if you sell this one, you will have to buy a new(er) one, costing you more in registration and suffer the depreciation. Yours has already depreciated. So...think of short term repair vs. long-term costs. If the ins company "totals" the car, you will be faced with getting far less money than it would cost to replace the car. Remember that you may well find it difficult to find a similar car for a price similar to what the insurance company would give you. Fix the bumper and keep the car.
  • I did look at what Edmunds valued it at: around $2400. Which is the price of the repairs, yes to pop out the space near the back light and have the light replaced, that's what it's going to cost. But were keeping the car, and with the numbers I've found confirming the value, we were able to get closer to what the car is worth from the insurance. (As a side note, the kid's been called to court for his hit and run)
    Thanks for the reassurance that I've made the right decision to keep the car.
  • bialybialy Posts: 5
    Someone in my neighborhood (don't know him but met him) is selling a 95 Civic. The body is so-so, pretty good paint job, original paint with a little rust on the edge of the trunk. The back fender is chipped due to an evident scraping and there is a dent nearby. He is asking $2750 for the car (an LX 4 door w/114,000 miles but new engine). My main concern isn't the price, tho, since I'm taking it to my mechanic for him to look over. My main concern is the gas mileage. The owner says it gets about 22 mpg but he's never really taken notice altho he says he goes about 250 miles on a full tank. Is this reasonable? I would have hoped this car would have gotten more. He said it got about the same gas mileage before he replaced the engine due to an oil leak. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.
  • 22mpg is very low for a Civic. You don't say whether it's a stick or auto tranny, but you should easily be getting at least 30mpg in a 1995 LX Sedan. Given the condition of the body, and the fact they've already had to replace the engine, it sounds like your neighbor has been pounding this car pretty hard. I'd wonder what else is on the edge of failure.
  • bialybialy Posts: 5
    Dewalt, it's an automatic. That's what I was thinking -- 22mpg is very low. And after reading these boards I was telling my hubby that some of you are getting 30 so it's difficult to understand why this one is only getting 22. Fortunately, however, I did speak to our mechanic who said he would look over the car. He made it seem like the car isn't worth $2750, he said that's what it should get if it's in top shape. He suggested a price of $1500, but at 22 mpg I'm not sure I want to spend even that much. And he also said he wanted to see documentation about the motor, etc. and any other work the owner had done to the car. Then a friend mentioned that I should find out where the owner got the motor and how much mileage it had on it when he put it in the car. The mechanic confirmed that 22 mpg is what the 95 Civic should get. And my friend, who owns an 88 Civic said that hers is getting about that right now. But hers is about ready to fall apart she thinks. Yet you and others say it should get more. When I added up the difference of dollars between 22 and 30 mpg each year running maybe 12,000 miles, it comes to hundreds of dollars. I am so confused and don't know how to look for an older Civic that might be reasonably priced. Thanks for your answer.
  • I had a '92 Civic Si hatchback 5spd stick that would get 32-33 around town and 39-41 on the highway. I then had a '94 Civic EX sedan that was 33-35 around town, and 41-42 highway. My 2001 Civic EX Sedan ran about the same numbers as my '94. Even Edmunds reports the EPA numbers for the 1995 auto at 29 and 36mpg (and I've always gotten higher than EPA estimates on my Hondas). I just don't see 22 coming from any place good. The automatic would only drop you 2-3mpg at most, if you want to compare an auto to my (stick) numbers.

    As a side note: there's a big difference between the 1988 Civic and a 1995 Civic, and not just the obvious 7+ years.

    A couple of things to keep in mind: a) Just because an engine was swapped out, doesn't mean that the replacement engine was remanufactured to the OEM specs. It could have been one that someone yanked from another car, without rebuilding. b) The engine may have been replaced, but how much more useful life does the transmission have? Honda engines are pretty bulletproof. It's usually the rest of the car that falls apart around it (after a long, fruitful life, mind you).

    Having the mechanic go over the maintenance records for the car, as well as any info that can be provided, regarding the source of the replacement engine, would be a wise move. To me though, it appears you're looking for confirmation from someone else, to say it's okay to walk away from this one. If you're not feeling right about it, I say go with your gut feeling. There are other cars out there.
  • bialybialy Posts: 5
    Thank you. Perhaps I am looking for a confirmation to walk away, and I have a mechanic that already told me he wants documentation, etc., and questions answered from the person selling the car. So I feel somewhat secure. However, I am learning a very interesting question in re: cars. When buying a car with as little money as possible it is a difficult and grueling decision. Thank you for your input.
  • If your looking for confirmation to walk away then you already know what to do. That low mileage is unheard of in a Civic of any year. The engine probably shot and you'll put more than what you paid just to replace and maintain. You can find a better deal for the same. I'm shopping for a good used one myself with little to spend. What state do you live in?
  • Hi. I live in Florida. I just bought a 2001 Civic for $5800 from a private guy who was moving overseas. I questioned him several times about the car, his usage of it, and I felt I could believe him. He bought the car certified from a big local dealer less than 1 year ago (showed me the paper work), although it has almost 150,000 miles on it. I felt after comparing similar Civics that I got a pretty good deal. I hope I'm right. Thanks for asking, I hope you find something good. Next time I do this I hope I have the time to first check out the local dealers and see what they offer me. It is a nerve-wracking situation to buy a car. :-)
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