Buying an Older Civic

kamst152kamst152 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • the_one_fivethe_one_five Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 42
    It's driving me crazy, what the heck do the BEEPS MEAN??????

    Do you have your seat belt buckled?
  • ariesanneariesanne Member 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
  • tintigeltintigel Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • tintigeltintigel Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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.
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Member Posts: 364
    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 Member 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.
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Member Posts: 364
    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 Member 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.
  • makoamailemakoamaile Member Posts: 3
    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?
  • bialybialy Member Posts: 5
    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. :-)
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Congrats on your new ride. Hope everything works out with it.
  • bialybialy Member Posts: 5
    Thanks! So far so good, I hope of course that it doesn't break down on me right away. There are some spots on the surface, faded paint spots and I bought some wax today but that didn't clear it up. The manual said I could go to Honda & get exact match paint. Should I try this, or is there a board for this sort of thing?
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    You might find some advice in the Civic Care & Maintenance discussion - check it out.
  • kwahrapskwahraps Member Posts: 3
    Greetings all.

    Just purchased an '02 Civic LX 2D Coupe at a Honda dealership.

    48,000 miles
    KBB value of about $12,200
    Certified Honda price at the dealer was $12,700.

    Clearance price : $9,999
    Trade in ('94 Mercury Sable, 100K miles) : $750
    Tax and Tags : $700

    So, basically I closed the deal on the car for just under $10k. Carfax states that the car had one owner, was leased for 3 years, appears to be normal mileage for that span, and was purchased by the dealership in December '06. After failing to sell at $12,700, they issued the clearance price and I felt I needed to jump on it.

    Our salesman stated that the '02-'04 Civic LX lines are basically identical. Anyone have opinions on this statement? And should I have any pause for concern on this deal? Thank you for your time.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Actually the Civic got a refresh for 2004, so there are some differences between the 2003 and 2004 models. 2001-3 models were essentially the same, with some small tweaks starting in 2002.
  • mattstonescombmattstonescomb Member Posts: 1
    i was hoping that someone out there may be able to give me some much needed & appreciated advice... i've been looking for what seems to be an eternity for a reasonably priced used honda for use as my primary means of transportation and have finally found one. it's a '94 civic lx with 111,000 miles, and the person selling it is asking $2,000 for it. i test drove it, without incident, and everything seems to be in order. the inspection is good until 1/08, and i was told the only thing it had needed at the time of the inspection was new wiper blades. the seller also informed me that the tires and brakes had been replaced recently and that they knew of no problems the car may have. i haven't gotten a vin# yet with which to get a carfax report, and i'm not sure if the timing belt is the original or had been replaced around the 100k mile point. aside from that, could someone advise me as to whether or not this is a fair price? also, should the timing belt be original, must i replace it right away if i purchase it? if so, can this be used as leverage in order to lower the price the seller was asking? also, is the transmission something i need to worry about? (it's an automatic). thanks in advance for any advice/ information y'all could give me! p.s. - kbb private party value in fair condition is $2630. thanks!!!
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    While you're waiting for some input here, I suggest you ask the value of the car over in the Real-World Trade-In discussion. Be sure to follow the format in red over the post box.

    You can also check the TMV pricing right here: 1994 Honda Civic LX. For my zip code, it says the TMV pricing for a private party sale is $1895. That makes me think $2000 is too high with that mileage, but run the numbers and see what you get.

    Welcome to CarSpace! :)
  • elwood4elwood4 Member Posts: 3
    I wanted a honda certified 2004 civic sedan,
    but havent been able to find one (yet).

    Is it possible to convince a dealer to
    Honda certify a vehicle?

    I'm a newbie car buyer and was hoping a
    Honda certified vehicle would take some of the pain out of the buying process.

    The one I am looking at on Wednesday has only
    35K miles, auto transmission,
    but NOT power windows/locks

    (I didnt know you could still get cars without
    power windows?!)

    How much would an extended warranty
    cost for something like that?

    Any help appreciated, I feel woefully
    inexperienced in car buying!
  • butterflytiffbutterflytiff Member Posts: 26
    Am buying a 2005 Honda Civic LX 4dr. Sedan Nighthawk Pearl this week - about 26,500 miles on it from a NY Honda dealer
    Total is 11,290 - with taxes. 10,900 for the car.

    Looked at carfax report online - paid for it myself. Looks clean.

    Is this a good deal?

    Also - this car is not certified.

    They said they can tell me how much to get it certified. And how much an extended warranty would be if I didn't get it certified.

    What is a good amount to pay for certification? Would $1000 be about right? I just don't want to overpay. And I am on a budget.
  • ndelcndelc Member Posts: 4
    I'm looking at buying a 2000 Honda Civic. It is in unbelievable condition (only 35,000 miles!), but it was involved in an accident in 2001. The seller showed me the repair receipt, and one of the items listed was "Frame/Unibody Repair and Setup" at a cost of $55.00. Is that anything to be concerned about? I got a Carfax report on it, and the accident is listed but under "Structural/Frame Damage Check" it says "no issues reported". I would guess that any frame damage would cost more than $55.00 to repair, wouldn't it? The entire repair bill came to about $1,200 and most of that was to repair the front bumper and headlight.

    Thanks for any advice!
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    unibody cars like the Civic (and most cars) are usually set on the frame fixture to check for any misalignment after a wreck. It doesn't mean any damage was found (evidenced by the "no issues reported" statement), just that it was set on the fixture (looks like a large car cradle) to be checked. It takes time to do this, hence the $55 charge.

    If the "frame" (it really doesn't have a frame per se) was damaged the repair bill would have been a lot more than $1200.
  • ndelcndelc Member Posts: 4
    Thanks so much for your reply! I figured it was something like that. I appreciate the info.
  • sidious6688sidious6688 Member Posts: 80
    I recently bought a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT limited for a good price (I think), $12K. The dealer wanted to give me $3000 for my 2002 Honda Civic EX (94K miles, good conditions, have records). I has done research in advance and saw trade values of anywhere from $5K to $6.5K. We could not come to agreement so I made it easy and did not trade the car. I'm now in the position of trying to sell it privately. Research indicated the private party price to be in the $5500 - $7500 range. I'm asking $6500, have placed the car on craigslist and autotrader. One and a half weeks have gone by without one hit. Am I really being that unreasonable with the price? Fortunately, I don't need to sell it.
  • crazyflycrazyfly Member Posts: 61
    Your price is reasonable, its that we are in down economy and people are not buying and banks are not lending. If you can hang on to the car then definitely do but keep your ad fresh, to the point, and with pictures. I sold my older civic on Craigslist not too long ago and all interested parties mentioned they replied becasue of pics and details. All they wanted to know was already there but still to the point. I hope this helps.
  • tyhd91tyhd91 Member Posts: 10
    used 2006 Honda Civic EX automatic
    miles: 28,180
    price: $13,977
    condition: engine and tires are a little bit dirty but thats about it.
    options: air conditioning, am/fm, sunroof, body side moldings, cd player, power windows, power locks, power windows

    does this sound like a good price?
  • crazyflycrazyfly Member Posts: 61
    Its a good price ............. but only if the economy wasn't down and car companies weren't selling new vehicles at big discounts. A brand new 2009 civic EX sells for $16.5k so the price difference between a 3 year old civic with 30K miles and a new one is only $2,500.

    If you are dropping 14k on a car, i would think another 2.5k to get a brand new is worth it. Also, if you are going to finance the car, the used car will finance at a higher interest rate (about 6.5%) but a new car financed by honda at 2.9% On a 4 year (48 month) loan that means a used car will cost $1700 more in interest. If you factor in the higher cost of loan/financing of the used car, a new 2009 Civic EX will cost you only $800 more than what you are going to pay for a 3 year old used car.

    The economy is improving (finally) so the deals on new civics will not last long, as honda is famous for *not* offering special deals. If you are in the market to buy a used car for $14k you can easily get a new one for just a little more. A year from now, these low-low prices on new civics will probably be gone. If I were you, I would go with a new Civic.
  • trimomtrimom Member Posts: 1
    Should I be concerned about purchasing a 2004 civic ex in which records show the fuel system was replaced in 2008 at 65,000m. I am new to the used car market and am a bit wary of making this purchase.
  • blahboyblahboy Member Posts: 2
    I'm looking to buy something affordable and reliable like a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. I don't really care about looks or cool features. I just want something that's reliable and gets me from A to B.

    I want something cheap (maybe $2k-4k?), but not something I'll be paying for a bunch of repairs on.

    What sort of miles should I be looking for to get a good price w/o having to put much repair/maintenance money into it for about a year? One friend told me 100k-150k. Any recommendations on other types of cars to consider?

  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaMember Posts: 1,065
    Hello. I have a cousin who has had a 1994 EX Sedan since new. She's going to break down and buy a new Honda this fall and she's willing to sell it to me for $1000 because she doesn't want to fool with trying to sell it in the paper or haggle with a trade-in on a 15 year old car.

    This car has about 45,000 miles on it and--knowing her--it has probably never been driven over 55 mph. It's been dealer maintained and the upholstery almost looks new--especially in the back seat. My question is, what are some issues that may pop up with a car this old? My daughter is almost 13 and I'm thinking I may buy it, maybe drive it some the next couple of years and then let her learn how to drive on it/be her first car. My only fear is that by the time she turns 16, it'll be 18 years old. At the current mileage, I would think the car has about 100,000 miles left in it. I know it's old, but it has sunroof, air, automatic, power windows, etc. Those are some nice features for a first car. Thoughts?
  • crazyflycrazyfly Member Posts: 61

    Really, do not let this car go. It is one of the very solid, well balanced civics ever made that requires almost minimal maintenance. The outer body is made of thick sheet metal, not the cheap thin metal that current civics are made of.

    I owned this generation civic and am VERY happy with the ownership experience. Sold it at 172k miles a little over a year ago so I feel confident to tell you that nothing much goes wrong with his car. No transmission trouble, no fluid leaks, nothing!! Depending on where you live, the temperature extremes, and whether the car was parked in garage or out in the open, some rubber seals may give trouble, but all work is very inexpensive. Mostly it requires nothing more than regular maintenance items. Once you get the civic, go to and create your Honda Ownerlink account. Then follow the maintenance guidelines and intervals listed there. Your major expense is going to be timing belt change (90k), and then at 150k.

    If you decide against owning this car, you will be amazed at how many people would love to buy it. People who know civics love this generation model. I sold my civic well over the blue-book value within 10 hrs of listing it for sale. And I had 27 people interested in buying it!! I hope you get to keep and enjoy this car.
  • collegekiddcollegekidd Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I am in college and I'm thinking about to buy a used car finally. I'm looking into getting '95 or (between 93~96) honda civic. I am curious what kind of possible problems I should consider before buying one.

    For example, I heard you have to change timing belt every 120,000miles. What about tire, transmission, oil change, brake pad, air filter, water filter, A/C& heater etc...? At what mileage, those need to get replaced or checked?

    Thanks in advance!
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Hi - this should help you determine the manufacturer's requirements: Maintenance Schedules, Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins along with giving you other helpful information.

    Good luck!
  • windgracewindgrace Member Posts: 84
    Okay, the car I thought I bought turned out to have some problems so it's back to hunting for me!

    So there's a (somewhat) nearby Honda dealership selling a 2001 Honda Civic LX with 175k miles on it for like $4700. In an effort to just end this seemingly endless search for a car I'm tempted to get it. But with that mileage am I just buying a headache (especially with the 01 Civic having a history of transmission problems, or would it having made it this far nullify that)?

    Obviously the car had to have passed the dealerships inspection and would have gone off to auction had it not passed, correct?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    With any car, Civic or not, with that many miles and no warranty, it's a crap shoot on future repair costs. Is there any info on how the car was maintained, or what parts have been replaced? Without knowing that history, it's really a gamble on your costs. For example, do you know the last time the timing belt was replaced (if ever)? How about the struts, exhaust/catalytic converter, brakes? How often was the transmission fluid replaced? And so on. Also, it's possible the car was in a major collision or was flooded, unless you have info to the contrary.

    I wouldn't buy a car with a lot of miles on it without knowing its history, unless it were really cheap, i.e. a throw-away car.

    At any rate, you should have the car thoroughly inspected by a mechanic of your choice.
  • amethyst_wmamethyst_wm Member Posts: 4

    I just purchased a 2002 Honda Civic LX. It was a former rental car. I had it checked out by my mechanic and he said it was in good shape. I just noticed, however, that there is this red light on the instrument panel. It sits between the cruise control switch and the power mirrror switch, to the lower left of the steering wheel. This light seems to be always on. I can't find it in the owners manual (at least, not so far). The mechanic didn't notice it or comment on it--so maybe it is nothing. What is this light?

    I hope this isn't s dumb question. Thanks.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    In my opinion $4700.00 seems to be too much for a 2001,175K mile car.... Honda reputation notwithstanding. Too much for too little.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    I am assuming this light is unlabeled? It might be a "cruise control ON" lamp...check under the cruise control section in the owners manual
  • amethyst_wmamethyst_wm Member Posts: 4

    It is unlabelled, but it is not the 'cruise control on' light. Someone on another forum said that it sounds like a light to an aftermarket anti-theft system, and that I should be able to find an alarm box under the steering wheel. I haven't found one, but I am not mechanically inclined, so I may not know exactly what to look for. I don't remember the dealer telling me that the car had an alarm or anything like that on it.
  • needwheels2needwheels2 Member Posts: 31
    I need to replace a car asap and there's a local civic that leaks oil. Is that a death sentence for this car or worth considering? I suspect they would have had it fixed if it was easy enough because they've done other expensive repairs to the car (radiator replacement).

    It's a 89 model 3 door (manual). Oh it also leaks brake fluid. Both need topping off once a month when the lights come on (supposedly).

    (if you are wondering why I am even considering a car with such problems, I have a cash-only very limited budget)

    Thanks for any advice!
  • crazyflycrazyfly Member Posts: 61
    Short answer: I would not buy it.

    Long answer:
    I owned a 92 civic for about 15 years and finally learned that a car older than 12 years is not worth the hassle, because it costs more to maintain and you never know something is going to break down. 92 civic is a very well built car, and I kept it in an incredible condition!! + had everything maintained 100% but it still gave lots of trouble towards the end.

    See, the problem with a car that is older than 10 years is not just the mechanical issues, its that everything in the car is worn-out including plastics, seals, rubbers, bushings... on an on. When you buy an 5-6 year old used car you only encounter mechanical issues, but past 12 years you are dealing with the entire car that starts to slowly fall apart. At that time it is not worth the cost to repair it. And I would guess is the reason the current owners of the car you are considering have not fixed it because they are tired of fixing all the stuff thats failing..

    Cash Purchase
    I totally agree with buying a used car, and paying cash for it. But if a car already has problems, then the repair cost will make the car more costly. Example: if you buy the car for $2000, you will likely end up spending another $1000 on it (easy). And even then you will never know when the next shoe will drop and car stop working. Instead of buying a car with initial lower price but higher repair bills, I would recommend get $3000 car with no major problems and save yourself the headache.

    Purchase Options:
    Consider buying off Craigslist, or ebay from a private seller. You get the best price on the ebay because the cars sell at the whole-sale / trade-in prices. When I sold my 92 civic I purchased my current civic off ebay and am very happy with it. To pickup the vehicle I had to get to another city a few hrs drive from where I live but the $$ I saved off the private party (and retail price) made it all worth it.

    Buying Local and in Person:
    If you feel that you have a little less cash for the purchase, let me tell you that just by having the cash in pocket to close the deal on the spot puts you in the driving seat. You will be amazed how many private sellers are willing to talk to you if they know you will buy right now! Feel free to make a good offer and make your cold hard cash work for you.

    Good luck!
Sign In or Register to comment.