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-   -   What is wrong with this $800 2002 Civic with 250,000 miles? Is it a melted crank position sensor? (

Xist 04-14-2022 02:11 AM

What is wrong with this $800 2002 Civic with 250,000 miles? Is it a melted crank position sensor?
This is what I posted in the For Sale thread. I will post pictures when I am on my computer.


Originally Posted by Xist (Post 666093)

It cranks and starts with the crankshaft position sensor disconnected, but runs like crap. It got hot coming up the hill from the valley last summer. Shut it down and had it towed home. I found that the fan circuit was not working and not coming on. So I believe it over heated and may have melted the crank position sensor. I am as far into it as Iam will to go. Asking $800 will need to be towed. The interior is clean, new tires put on, with new shocks and struts. New fuel pump and sending unit. Was a great commute car, donít know why the fan stopped working. Never had any issues prior.
That's a lot of miles, but she is a good-looking car, and for $800 I would be willing to tow it to Napa and ask them to poke it with a stick.


It is 3 years newer than my Accord and looks vastly better, but has another 25,000 miles.

Yup, 11% more miles! :D

If it doesn't have any major leaks then it should be in better shape! :D

Xist 04-14-2022 04:51 AM
In the ad he said the car overheated driving back from the valley last summer. In-person he said the car overheated while driving back from town 15 miles away when it was snowing for the first time.

In-person he said he had it towed, didn't want to work on it in the snow (we never had snow very long, but it was cold). He pointed out that he doesn't have a garage, so he replaced the car, and tried to diagnose it when it warmed up.

The Internet told him to pull the crank position sensor and it cranks and starts with a delay, but he felt in over his head.

The blue book in good condition is $1,961 and it seems like everyone selling a car that doesn't run and drive, unless the car absolutely looks trash, usually says something like "It is probably a cheap fix" and wants what it would be worth if the car ran and drove reliably.

This guy doesn't seem to be hurting for cash. Maybe he does just want to get rid of it, but people usually want more than a car is worth, not significantly less.

The car was first sold on 2/10/2002.
A loan or lien was reported on 06/25/2012 and again on 03/09/2021.
On 05/18/2021 CarFax reports "Title issued or updated
Registration updated when owner moved the vehicle to a new location."
It was the same MVD as in March!
It passed emissions on 7/27/2021 with 248,501 miles and the second owner bought it the next day.
This guy apparently bought it on 08/20/21 allegedly with 254,000 miles, which is likely a typo, because I don't think that second owner, likely a dealer or flipper, drove 239 miles a day, but maybe someone bought it for Uber Eats and overheated it or something.
Except I believe the odometer reads 249,500, so this guy drove the car 1,000, blew the head gasket or something, and didn't do anything for almost 8 months?

AutoCheck says that it lived in Ganado, Arizona until 01/14/2016 and in Queen Creek from 02/01/2016 until 09/01/2021.
It shows 248,501 miles on 07/27/2021 and 248,475 miles on 07/28/2021.

I can see someone rounding 248,475 to 248,500, but 248,501?

It also shows the car having 254,000 miles on 08/20.
It reported liens on 02/10/2002, 03/09/2021, and 05/18/2021.

I believe that the first owner had a lien, but it wasn't paid off for 9 years and a month?

Why were liens reported on 03/09/2021 and 05/18/2021?

Maybe the first driver drove it until they overheated it and then traded it in. Maybe a place like the used car lot in Pinetop bought it with a bunch of running cars and this guy bought it as a project, but he would rather look at cat pictures and argue with strangers than work on it, and he realized that he was never going to get it running.

Maybe he does know what is wrong with it and this is effectively a mechanic's special.

This mechanic says what to check when your 2001-2005 Civic overheats and there are dozens of people commenting about their overheating Civics.

Is that because the Civic is a hugely popular car or is it especially bad at overheating?

Many people reported replacing a bunch of parts and still having problems. Two ended up replacing the head gasket and the mechanic said sometimes the water pump fails: searched for "2002 honda civic overheating crankshaft position sensor" and nobody mentioned the sensor, so I put it in quotes, and found results, but couldn't make heads or tails out of it.

I don't know why I am staying late trying to figure out this myself when I plan on having mechanics sort it out.

Xist 04-14-2022 05:08 AM

I really need to go to bed! I am supposed to pick up a Uhaul in less than 7 hours!

I wondered if he had posted anything about the car overheating on Facebook. Marketplace showed that he sold 7 vehicles significantly more expensive than this in the last 3 years and the latest was 28 weeks ago in Queen Creek, so it looks like he bought this car there.

One was a Challenger and he wrote that he cannot get in and out anymore due to injuries. Another was a car he wrote he bought for his 16-year-old "but she decided to go with something else."

Her bike?

Who gives their teenager options?!

The local Toyota dealership tagged them a couple of weeks ago for buying new 2019 Rams.


Rams from a Toyota dealership?

No mention of car problems, just lame Facebook posts.

Xist 04-14-2022 03:29 PM

Good news everyone! Forbidden milkshake! :D
1 Attachment(s)
I rented a 10' truck and dolly, picked up the car, and tried to get the seller to tell me what exactly led him to disconnecting the sensor, but he said he couldn't find it, and would link it if he located it later.
I was planning on taking it straight to Crazy J's anyway, but I wanted to give him as much information as possible.

I just wanted to stop at the first big parking lot past his shop, but I was further than Mom's house before I found anything, so I drove home, parked the truck in front of the 2000, and carefully drove to the garage while watching the gauges.

The temperature seemed under control, but when I got there the radiator was low, and the oil cap was milky.

We will see what Crazy J says, and when I will hear back.

aerohead 04-14-2022 04:26 PM

2002 CIVIC overheat
Does it have an automatic trans?
A friends Corolla developed 'strawberry milkshake' transmission fluid.
The transmission cooler inside the radiator had breached, allowing the two fluids to comingle.
The engine oil was not affected.
Transmission clutches would not 'grab.'
After a $220 radiator and continuously flushing the trans with new fluid as the nasty stuff pumped out of the coolant line, she cleared, and transmission service was restored.
If transmission fluid got into the cooling system it will cause an overheat.
Heat cannot easily pass through a coating of oil, into the coolant, preventing the heat-rejection.
Ethylene glycol coolant is petroleum based.
If it's not changed at the proper interval, it bio-degrades back to 'oil'. According to our old auto shop instructor.
With improper coolant, the electric -fan thermo-sensor, ECM: ignition timing and electronic fuel injection , would be processing bogus voltage signals.
It might explain the rough engine and overheat.

Xist 04-14-2022 04:29 PM

I topped off the radiator and drops of oil and what I fear are solids from a bottle of head gasket fix floated up.

aerohead 04-14-2022 04:54 PM

floated up

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 666199)
I topped off the radiator and drops of oil and what I fear are solids from a bottle of head gasket fix floated up.

Start pulling spark plugs to identify the offending cylinder.
If you have all the parts, and nothings warped, replacing the head gasket is a one-day job.
You need to understand what the failure mode was though.
On my CRX, the firewall-side of the carburetor has a coolant line for rapid heat.
Mine developed a less than pin-hole sized leak, which under temp and pressure was only a fine mist! Almost impossible to detect.
It took the car down. But came back from the dead.
To get the timing belt off you'll be looking right at the water pump. It's a normal service item for replacement, as well as the belt. Check the cog-belt idler-tensioner while you're there.:)

Xist 04-14-2022 05:36 PM

I know how long head gaskets are supposed to take, but I spent three months replacing the one in my Subaru at the house of a friend I had dated, who announced we were boyfriend-girlfriend.

I wasn't very motivated to deal with all of that.

It took me five months to replace the head gasket on my Civic, at my own house, and I didn't find a bunch of additional problems.

It was a blur, but I am pretty sure Mom kept saying "You are going to get your car running again? Okay, just first do x, y, and z for me!"

Xist 04-29-2022 05:57 PM

Crazy Jay said that he lost the key in his office, so I ran home to get another, just stopping to see if that Civic had a chip key.


I was going to make a spare of the spare for the mechanic that already lost a key.

I found a lanyard, but he had found my key, although he hadn't pulled the sparkplugs or checked compression.

He said that replacing the head gasket could cost $800, which was much more than I expected, but I mentioned that it probably needed a new timing belt, and he said that would just be $200 for the kit.

He said the engine should be fine with a new gasket.

I asked about replacing the engine and he said it would cost $900, so it would cost around the same amount, I would just need to order one of those mythical $300 low-mileage JDM engines! :D

Xist 04-30-2022 02:11 AM

RepairPal says it would cost about $1,170 to replace the head gasket. Your Mechanic absolutely will not give me an estimate, it shows bad results for "Head Gasket Replacement." AAA says that members would pay at least $1,220, but nonmembers would need to pay $50 more! :D

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