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Old 02-23-2015, 03:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Buying a Civic HX. Tips and price on this car??

I've been looking for just over seven months for one that's been properly taken care of. This one is *almost* perfect for what I'm looking for, so I'm hoping for tips on purchase.

I put a want ad, and got one back. here's the info:
  • 2000 Civic HX, silver, 5spd, stock rims. **Original owner**
  • 135k miles
  • No dog smells, no cigarette smells (big one for me, can't stand living with that)
  • couple small dings, one from a door, one on the hood. no pics yet.
  • Regular oil changes, even in transaxle.
  • brakes changed twice.
Cons:
  • no A/C (almost a dealbreaker as I plan to travel!)
  • no cruise control (pffft...whatev)
Asking price is $3500. Wasn't looking to sell, it's a third car without a need to sell but he could use a bigger car.


So I was wondering about fair offers? He said to feel free and make an offer, sounds like a nice person. This is in California, so it could likely be a CA (questionable lean burn status I forget?) ECU.

He says he's considered the options and condition in his price, so I don't feel I can lower the price much but...is there anything I've forgotten?

When will the timing belt need done? Most I see for sale are at 160k without a changed belt...

I was thinking of going to see it Wednesday, have a mechanic look at it, and hopefully buy it. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Also, autocheck or carfax, or?


Crossing my fingers!!!

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Last edited by figit090; 02-23-2015 at 03:27 AM..
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wonder why no A/C? That's gonna be a big chunk of change to get installed. Unless he has paperwork, timing belt will need to be done, that's another 500$. Had the clutch ever been done? No? There goes another ~700$. If he doesn't have receipts for the maintenance done. He is a liar (I just assume this with everyone). 3500 IMO is too much. C.A HX has lean burn, and you can get the federal one and slap it in so it will slip in easier, and it won't effect smog. The HX I had, had a federal ECU, and it passed smog better than any car I have owned/my parents have ever owned.

[Edit]: If the clutch and timing belt has been done recently, along with all general maintenance WITH receipts, it's worth 3500, otherwise just assume everything they say is a lie.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltothewolf View Post
I wonder why no A/C? That's gonna be a big chunk of change to get installed. Unless he has paperwork, timing belt will need to be done, that's another 500$. Had the clutch ever been done? No? There goes another ~700$. If he doesn't have receipts for the maintenance done. He is a liar (I just assume this with everyone). 3500 IMO is too much. C.A HX has lean burn, and you can get the federal one and slap it in so it will slip in easier, and it won't effect smog. The HX I had, had a federal ECU, and it passed smog better than any car I have owned/my parents have ever owned.

[Edit]: If the clutch and timing belt has been done recently, along with all general maintenance WITH receipts, it's worth 3500, otherwise just assume everything they say is a lie.
What would be a good offer? It seems that these cars go further than 100k on timing belts and well beyond that on the original clutch, I'm hearing things all across the board though.. :/

I figured 2800-3200 would be a far min/max for my offer, given the difficulty I've had finding one locally as well.

I think I can find and install A/C myself for under $400, hopefully closer to $300.

Thanks for your feedback thus far. I remember you from my want ad thread.

The bummer with my situation is traveling a few hundred miles to find another good car, and also one that's got lower miles and similar age. Most I see are 1997's with 160k on them, often no timing belt change. sucks. I think he said no receipts so I doubt even if he's "changed the timing belt" it would be difficult to tell for sure.

Same damn dilemma as before, I'd end up in $4k territory by the time I do the necessary maintenance.

This is going to get tricky.
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Last edited by figit090; 02-23-2015 at 05:49 AM..
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The timing belt probably can last well beyond the recommended replacement mileage, but if it goes it'll fudge up your engine. So not having proof of it being replaced isn't necessarily bad, just means that you should do it ASAP. I wouldn't worry about the clutch too much if the driver doesn't look like they've been trying to race it.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by figit090 View Post
What would be a good offer? It seems that these cars go further than 100k on timing belts and well beyond that on the original clutch, I'm hearing things all across the board though.. :/

I figured 2800-3200 would be a far min/max for my offer, given the difficulty I've had finding one locally as well.

I think I can find and install A/C myself for under $400, hopefully closer to $300.

Thanks for your feedback thus far. I remember you from my want ad thread.

The bummer with my situation is traveling a few hundred miles to find another good car, and also one that's got lower miles and similar age. Most I see are 1997's with 160k on them, often no timing belt change. sucks. I think he said no receipts so I doubt even if he's "changed the timing belt" it would be difficult to tell for sure.

Same damn dilemma as before, I'd end up in $4k territory by the time I do the necessary maintenance.

This is going to get tricky.
Yea but with 4k you would be looking at an even better car. I would say 2500 max, unless it's in pristine condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
The timing belt probably can last well beyond the recommended replacement mileage, but if it goes it'll fudge up your engine. So not having proof of it being replaced isn't necessarily bad, just means that you should do it ASAP. I wouldn't worry about the clutch too much if the driver doesn't look like they've been trying to race it.
I will never risk a timing belt. My mom's CRV had a timing belt break and bent valves (1k repair job) then a week later my dad's broke on his truck (there goes another 1k) then 2 weeks later my 1987 Camrys broke! What are the chances. Luckily when the Camrys broke, it didn't do any damage. Mom's car was at 198k, dad's truck was at 189k and the camry was at 164k. When I bought my HX I did the timing belt, and was glad I did, it was extremely cracked and on its last leg.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bought an old Sentra with 82k on it, test drove it 5 miles to see what I needed to fix, and the damn timing belt broke. Have not been a big fan of timing belts since, especially those that like to wreck engines. Guess I'm just a member of the chain gang.

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Old 02-23-2015, 11:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No AC or not working AC?
No AC and manual transmission means 95+% of purchasers are eliminated right there.
Clutch job would cost what I pay a year for gas in the Sentra, timing belt another 8 months.

regards
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Heed his advice

Listen to Old mech, he knows what he is talking about.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Things that can trash a t-belt with little or no warning.

water pump
crank seal
cam seal
tensioner bearing

check for "interference" or "non interference" engines before you decide to test the life expectancy of a timing belt. Most Toyotas are free wheeling. Most Hondas are not.

Most interference engines are never worn out and I have seen pieces of pistons coming out of the oil pan when draining the oil on a $3500 300 ZX engine 20 years ago.

My advice to someone buying a vehicle with a timing belt.

Learn how to do it yourself, perfectly.
Never test the limit of recommended replacement
Pay special attention to the time limits of recommended replacement
Always replace any seal, bearing, or pump that can leak fluid on your brand new belt and turn your otherwise perfectly running, no oil consuming engine into a boat anchor.

Most manufacturers are getting away from timing belts, even though the life expectancies are increasing.

No Pruius or 1st gen Insight has one. No Echo or Yaris has one.

thanks Balto

regards
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Still waiting on pics, but I did get word on the belt and it's not been replaced, neither has the water pump. I have estimates from the last car I checked for parts on and I might call again just encase prices have gone up.

I'm thinking if it's dents are small, like quarter-sized or hard to see, $2600 is a good offer. $2800 max, then with a timing belt replacement ringing in for nearly $600, I'll be paying $3200-$3400 total once I deal with maintenance.

I figure $3500 tops if there are seals or misc. things that need attention. I'm going from an aged and tired 15mpg 1987 supra to a 35-40mpg 2000 civic, so that sounds like a worthwhile change to save some cash and travel efficiently to business and pleasure destinations. My supra was hit, but I kept it dented, and the money from that insurance payout will fund 75% of the civic's purchase. It feels less painful that way.

Is there another car that isn't smaller than the HX with 35-40mpg efficiency I should look at? I've been avoiding hybrids for their batteries, and I dislike how many of them look. The insight is just too small for me, or I would have nabbed one a while back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
No AC or not working AC?
No AC and manual transmission means 95+% of purchasers are eliminated right there.
Clutch job would cost what I pay a year for gas in the Sentra, timing belt another 8 months.

regards
mech
Well I won't be paying $4k for one of these, so no worries on the gas/parts ratios. anything is better than a dying 1987 supra with a 15mpg dying breath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Things that can trash a t-belt with little or no warning.

water pump
crank seal
cam seal
tensioner bearing

check for "interference" or "non interference" engines before you decide to test the life expectancy of a timing belt. Most Toyotas are free wheeling. Most Hondas are not.

Most interference engines are never worn out and I have seen pieces of pistons coming out of the oil pan when draining the oil on a $3500 300 ZX engine 20 years ago.

My advice to someone buying a vehicle with a timing belt.

Learn how to do it yourself, perfectly.
Never test the limit of recommended replacement
Pay special attention to the time limits of recommended replacement
Always replace any seal, bearing, or pump that can leak fluid on your brand new belt and turn your otherwise perfectly running, no oil consuming engine into a boat anchor.

Most manufacturers are getting away from timing belts, even though the life expectancies are increasing.

No Pruius or 1st gen Insight has one. No Echo or Yaris has one.

thanks Balto

regards
mech
Thanks mech, how's the water pump trash a timing belt? leak on it?

Good info thanks for your help!

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