This Civic as a new beater?

Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
194
Location
Doylestown, PA
Even though I love my Escort, i've always had an itch to get back into a Civic since I loved my 92 so much. I found this 91 on a local forum. Here is the wording pasted from the ad: Hello, Im selling my 1991 Honda Civic Hatchback. The car runs and drives, but currently has a "miss" or sputter and needs sparkplug wires or something of that nature. I put new sparkplugs in and the miss got a little better, but it looks like its gonna need a little more TLC. Details: 132k 1.5L engine 4spd Manual trans Manual options NEEDS: sparkplug wires?? to fix the sputter passanger headlight exhaust pipe has a leak before the muffler This car would make a good daily driver or project car. $1000 firm I was only able to get him down to $900. Is it worth looking at?
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
24,364
Location
Central Florida
Yeah, take a look and drive. That Civic is good for another 350K miles with just basic maintenance. I found a mint 1995 Civic VX (55 MPG on highway) for sale here in FL with only 120K miles, but the guy was asking a bit too much for it. He would not budge on the price.
 
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
 Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
For $900 would you rather have a beater Honda or a motorcycle ?
I'd rather have a root canal than an 18 year old 1.5L Honda, but given the choices you've presented me with I'd take the bike.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
2,802
Location
Michigan
I would take it, I bought a 90 camry v6 for 900 4 years back, leaky radiator, leaky fuel pulsation damper, new battery wires and yes muffler and batt. lots of money compared to the price of the car but I drove all around MI and it is still around, the a/c lost charge. but my FIL used it to go to the Y for water aerobics ;-) if the car has not been messed with, buy it and debug and fix the issue and you are set. might need a new clutch though.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
1,504
Location
Vermont
 Originally Posted By: zoomzoomlx
I was only able to get him down to $900. Is it worth looking at?
Absolutely!
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
I'd find a way to confirm that the car just needs a tune-up versus having lost compression on one or more cylinders.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
9,905
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
 Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
For $900 would you rather have a beater Honda or a motorcycle ?
I'd rather have a root canal than an 18 year old 1.5L Honda, but given the choices you've presented me with I'd take the bike.
I dunno, 2000lbs and double wishbone suspension sounds ok to me... A four speed manual might be a bit annoying depending on the ratios but it would be good fun for $900. I imagine it could embarass some fancy cars on the autocross course too.
 
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
 Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I dunno, 2000lbs and double wishbone suspension sounds ok to me... A four speed manual might be a bit annoying depending on the ratios but it would be good fun for $900. I imagine it could embarass some fancy cars on the autocross course too.
To each their own. If I'm going to spend my weekends and evenings fixing problems and being frustrated, I'd rather be working on an old 3-ton Cadillac or Buick.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,735
Location
Miami-Dade County
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I'd find a way to confirm that the car just needs a tune-up versus having lost compression on one or more cylinders.
I love when people say [when the car is not running properly] all it needs is a tune up or some wires or something minor. But then again you can't expect 2 much for 900 bucks.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Messages
15,217
Location
Canada
I think old Civics make great 'fun' cars - light, nimble, and 'racy' for a fuel-sipping compact. I drove a 1986 Hatch for 2 years before it was wrecked. I still miss it occassionally. Its very hard to find one that isn't rusted out, OR hasn't been modded up. If you do, I think its worth grabbing.....
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
691
Location
Aridzona
If the body and engine are in good shape, I'd take that in an instant. If you have the spare time, troubleshooting the ignition issue shouldn't be a huge difficulty. Does it sputter when cold, as well as after it's warmed up? At all loads and throughout the rev range, or only in certain situations? FWIW, I'd start with the easy, obvious stuff; distributor, wires, and plugs. My Accord hates platinum plugs, good old Denso or NGK copper plugs work great in older Hondas. A bottle of Techron, or a similar amine-based injector cleaner, can't hurt. That in conjunction with an 'Italian Tune Up' can do wonders for slightly clogged injectors.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,718
Location
ME
 Originally Posted By: CROWNVIC4LIFE
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I'd find a way to confirm that the car just needs a tune-up versus having lost compression on one or more cylinders.
I love when people say [when the car is not running properly] all it needs is a tune up or some wires or something minor.
Don't forget that dead AC always only needs charging. Although I have had neglectmobiles that I've gotten running 500% better with $50 in parts. You have to really gauge the seller as being a true imbecile and not a pretend one. This car is risky because they already know enough to do plugs-- they could do wires too.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
18,816
Location
Silicon Valley
Take it. It should last a bit more if no major damage. Early to mid 90s honda have good quality unlike others who think any car above 10 years and 100k miles are worn out. For 1k nothing to lose.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
18,816
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
 Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I dunno, 2000lbs and double wishbone suspension sounds ok to me... A four speed manual might be a bit annoying depending on the ratios but it would be good fun for $900. I imagine it could embarass some fancy cars on the autocross course too.
To each their own. If I'm going to spend my weekends and evenings fixing problems and being frustrated, I'd rather be working on an old 3-ton Cadillac or Buick.
You are going to have a lot more time wasted on a 3 ton Cadillac or Buick that is selling for $1k than a 92 civic that is pretty easy to work on.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
5,153
Location
MW
Do you really need a different car? If you are happy with your Escort, forget about the Civic. The sputter is obviously not because of the ignition wires and could be something more serious like low compression in a cylinder.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
386
Location
hawaii
Spark plug wires are like $20 and 5 minutes to change on this car. Do you really think if what ever was wrong with the car was this minor, the owner wouldn't fixed it and sold the car for more? Do a compression check before you buy the car, If it's got a dead cylinder the car isn't worth $5.
 

zoomzoomlx

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
194
Location
Doylestown, PA
Somewhat of a little update: The Civic sold last week. I decided against it due to some of the issues. I am now eyeing down a 97+ Escort Wagon to swap everything I have on my current Escort (Recaro seats, Eibachs).
 
Top