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Old 10-03-2011, 01:33 PM
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Buying a 95 Civic things to look for??

Im going to look at a 95 2 door Civic for my girlfriend tomorrow. What are some common problems with these cars? What should I pay close attention to?

I know there is some front end damage (it was in a accident and the hood is push in a little. They claim the radiator is fine.) I'm not concerned with cosmetic damage. I also know: 122,000 miles; new timing belt and water pump at 90, 000, & new battery

I plan on looking it over for:
Engine preformance: Taps/leaks/oil/smoke
suspension /engine mounts
brakes/wear
Exhaust holes/leaks
& over all up keep

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:39 PM
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Kids cars. Be aware of the age of the owner. If he is young, the car is most likely thrashed. Body damage is just one sign.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:45 PM
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// I know right,

It was owned by a friends sister, but I believe her dad was in charge of up keep. The good news is they only want $650 for it. I'm not expecting to find a jem, just a runner for a year or two.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:43 PM
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I messed with these stupid things for a long time and know that year series thru and thru.


start off by turning the ignition to "on", watch the lights and make sure there is a bulb in the "Check Engine" indicator.

now drive the car and/or allow it to reach normal operating temperature. Keep an eye on that Check Engine light. The on board diagnostics on these cars (OBD1) are pretty nice because you do not need to buy a code scanner to read the trouble codes, all you need is a bobby pin or a piece of wire that you can jumper the two pin green service connector located under glove box. With the ignition on and at operating temperature placing a jumper between the two wires will cause you're "Check Engine" indicator light to blink a series of blinks that coincide with the trouble code number. A list of these codes can be found online, or a Haynes/Chilton's manual.


That is usually the first thing I look for in those cars. If the light is on, chances are it has been on for a while and is a sign of neglect. It also causes the computer to change fuel and ignition maps to a "Limp Mode" state that can kill your catalytic converter, foul your spark plugs and much more if it is ignored for too long.

You really just want to find one that has never been "Modified" in any way. If the car appears to be lowered.. run! if there is anything other than black split loom on any electrical harnesses... RUN! if there are any body kit pieces on the car or ANYTHING that appears to be aftermarket...

well you get the point.


post pictures if you want.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:31 PM
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Those cars are pretty bullet proof. I would look for oil leaks and rot.
Rot is the thing that can kill you. 122K is not a lot of miles for that engine. We had several customers with over 200K on older civics and they still ran good. If the timing belt was done and the body isnt a total mess I dont think you can go wrong to be honest
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:28 AM
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The timing belt is the most common repair, and usually the most expensive. If it was done at about 90k then you should be okay for now. Alternators seem to go at about this mileage, but its not a real expensive repair. CV joints are also often bad, usually because the boot is torn and dirt got in the joint. Its usually best to just get a complete axle assembly. The rest of the suspension seems to wear forever, and the struts are usually okay unless you can see them leaking.

Small electrical components hold up well in Honda's, but are expensive when they do go bad. For example, a Honda turn signal flasher is usually only available from Honda, and you might pay $20-30 for it. Compared to the $4 flasher for most cars, this is quite a difference.

There is also a quirky setup on some Hondas where the OEM radio is part of the security system. If you replace the radio you may disable the car. Crutchfield used to sell a radio bypass kit, but I don't know exactly how it worked.

Bruce
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:19 AM
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Here are a few pics of the civic. I'm going to be giving it the look over tonight. Thanks for all of your input guys. Good information!

It looks like there is some rust on the top of the rear pass wheel well. I'm not too worried about the rust as long as it's not the floor pans. The hood is bent up, the bumper is cracked and the lights looked to be pushed back. I'm sure the body panel gaps will never line up right again. I know how to do some body work, if I need to. But that appears to be all cosmetic. I'm hoping it runs decent and isn't smoking or sputtering. I forgot about the CV joints on these cars (good call), I'll have to check the boots.







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Old 10-04-2011, 07:52 AM
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Car looks like it was maintained. The interior can tell a lot about a car owner.
For $650 I don't think you can go wrong especially where the timing belt was recently done. The only other big ticket common item is the distributor seals leak oil into the cap. This will cause a no start or poor running condition. The distributor can be purchased new for under 200.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the heads up on The distributor. I hope this works out, and we score a cheap runner.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:07 PM
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Do a quick google search, for complaint's, and recall information on it. Then base your thoughts about purchasing it.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:25 PM
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If I came across that car I'd snatch it up, fix the collision work and flip it.


looks like a deal to me.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:13 AM
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So I took a look at the car last night. It seems pretty good. It will need a new hood, radiator mount, and front bumper. I am wondering how difficult it will be for me to take out the bent one and replace the radiator support. We are considering picking up the car on saturday. I want to do a little research to see what it will cost me and if I can do it myself in the driveway. It doesn't look too difficult, but you never know. Any input? I don't really know too much about imports or modern cars.
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:26 PM
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I'm going to pick up the chilton or hayes manual.
Any input on which book is better?
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:46 PM
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I'd go with the Chiltons. I have a lot of Haynes (seems like all you can get around here) and they tend to be dumbed down too much. A lot of the info is generic repeated in all manuals, and they have a section on repairing rust and dents. Like who'd buy it for that? Haynes has also steered me wrong a couple of times, like the time it told me to use an axle puller on my Jeep, which I eventually found had a c-cllip rear.
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