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Old 03-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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honda civic- buying advice?

hello everyone!

I need to buy a car within the next month or so, and the sooner the better... I'm buying a house (taking up all my $$) and leaving home, and I must leave behind the 'family car' I've been driving for years.

I am considering a Honda Civic purchase, I want to eventually go completely 'aero' on it- but that is many years off, for now, I want to just be able to drive conservatively and coast a lot with a decent car- that will have good reliability for the next 10 years, and MPG in the 40's (ideally)...

There is a guy offering a 1998 civic EX 5 speed with 112,000 miles on it for $4200. It's a 2 owner car, and is stock.

A. Does this sound like a good price?
B. What kind of MPG's can I expect? -someone with experience?
C. Should I try to wait it out and hope for a 92-95 civic for better MPG? how much better would that be?

my budget is about $5K, so I can't spend much...

Thanks 1,000,000!

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Old 03-23-2010, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is the ad from craigslist for the car I'm speaking of:
Great little 4 door car. Vehicle is in original stock condition with no aftermarket mods. Black exterior with blue-gray interior. 112K. 5speed manual trans gets 30-31 in my in town daily drive. Power locks with keyless entry. Power windows, sunroof and mirrors. Cruise control and A/C work great. Single disc Honda CD player. Clean car with no apparent paint work and all original body panels. It does have a few small parking lot dings. Clear Kansas title. Selling to purchase a larger car. I've had it for a couple of years of trouble free service with just maintenance stuff done like plugs, cap,wires, fuel filter and air filter replacement. Front tires are 1 year old with 5K on them.

/////////////////////////////////
more details I have by email:
I bought the car about 2 years ago with ~106K so I have not put that many miles on it. I just wanted something with good mileage for my commute when gas was $4 a gallon. I bought it from a young lady who was moving to Hawaii to teach school. No really I’m not making that up. It is still my daily driver but I bought a mini van for our expanding family and just need one less car. I have done the oil changes myself every 5-6 mo as I don’t drive that much. I use Fram filters and Mobile 1 which I think is the best out there. I’ll see if I have any of the old records but I don’t think there was much from the previous owner. I just put new Duralast Gold brake pads on the front tonight. It will also get a new muffler this weekend also. I figured it would be hard to sell making noise from the brakes and exhaust.
I have had no issues with the car and would like to keep it but 4 cars for 2 drivers is too much.

The engine is the 1.6L 1590cc SOHC D16Y8. The Vin is 2HGEJ8546WH596993.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't sound like an amazing deal to me. Just kinda average. If I were you I'd be looking for an HX or VX model civic.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah, that is kinda what i was thinking... but it is very nice to have the record keeping that he has, and a 2-owner car gives some confidence that it isn't going to be hot-rodded with.

What would the realistic MPG difference be between a VX, and HX or this: a EX?

If the difference is 5+ MPG stock, I think I'll keep looking... but if it's not really that much, I might just go with this one- I'd try to get him down to the blue book value though first.

anyone with this car have any info on mileage?

thanks!

-Joey
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a reasonable, but not amazing, deal.

Mileage: VX > HX > DX > EX. Probably 3 mpg or so for each step, so at least 5 mpg between HX and EX. You can see below what's possible with the DX.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The EX has a higher performance e-tec engine I'm pretty sure, it's a big car with alot of power options.
Go with the HX if you can find one, with a $5,000 budget you could almost higher out having someone do a full engine rebuild and tranny replacement seeing as how a car like that should cost you less then $3,000 to buy, you should have no truble finding something for $5,000 or less unless you figure your gas and insurance as part of your vehicle perches budget.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How do I find these cars? When I do searches online for the HX or the VX, I find one or two for sale at thousands of miles away... do people just not sell them since they are so good on MPG's and maintenance?

Anyone with this particular car (98 Civic EX) have a record of their fuel economy?

Could I purchase the EX and do a direct engine swap someday with one of the lean-burn engines? I heard on this forum that some racers want to swap engines for little or nothing since those engines are lousy for hot-rodding...

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you can't find an hx or a vx in your area then look at what is in your area, maybe a toyota corrola is going to be easier to find, or a base model civic like the cx hatchback or a Saturn even.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Try craiglist hondas pricing from 1000 to 2000 in your area i garuntee you can find some good ones and That'll save you a bit of money may need a bit of a tune uup if they're older but that still will be a very economical car
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Expect mpg for an EX to be around 25 for a normal driver and high 30s for an experienced ecomodder. Much less than an economy minded civic. Not only does the EX have a performance VTEC engine tuned for higher revs but also MUCH shorter gears to stay in those high revs. These are also heavily loaded cars with all the options.

BUT.
Older civics are getting to be more rare and the VX/HX models are the highest demand on both sides of the rice/eco fence. Base your choice on overall condition and change what you can as you can.
Keep in mind any civic of this age will soon need shocks, bushings, timing belt, water pump, alternator, belts, hoses, radiator, thermostat, input shaft bearing, clutch, syncros, exhaust, and brakes. At least well before 10 years. Don't get me wrong I love these cars but they are 12-18 years old now.

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