1987 Honda Accord LX 4 door 2.0 carburated from North America


These are excellent cars, but can only take so much abuse


Tie rod, intake, alternator, headlight motor, valve cover gasket, very rough idle, now worn engine bearings.

General Comments:


A lil history: The 1987 Honda Accord is the first year they made the body style with the flip-out headlights. I've owned 3 Accords of this vintage. 2 '89 2 door coupes DX and now my '87 4door LX. All bone stock (Some people like to customize these, not me). The first '89 I owned was a 5-speed and very very responsive as far as performance and engine power, and had over 350,000 miles on it when I sold it. All it needed was a CV joint.

The second '89 Coupe I owned was an automatic, not nearly as responsive power-wise as the 5-speed, but decent, sold that one with over 210,000 miles on it, no problems at all except a rusted muffler. Amazing gas mileage on all of them.

NOW onto the car I am reviewing - my 1987 Accord 4door LX Automatic. This car is slow as a dog, not sure if it's the extra body weight as compared to the 2-dr's or if the '87 has less HP than the '89, but MAN it's SLOW. Scary on the freeway trying to merge.

I've had more problems with this one than the other 2. It began overheating shortly (5k miles) after purchase (auction car, buyers beware). My mom kept driving it anyway even with smoke pouring out of the hood; she just kept adding water. Finally talked her into fixing it, had to have a very expensive cooling-system fix, think it was the intake, for over $600. The car no longer runs hot.

But by now it's too late. The car ran fine (still does actually), but now its days are numbered. Since being driven so hot, the car has developed a main knock (not a rod knock, something else like the bearings). When it first starts cold, you hear a light "growly" knock and the engine now sounds growly when you give it a little gas or go uphill. The sound goes away at a steady speed. This never happened until it was driven while overheating, which I am sure is the cause of this problem. I'm honestly surprised it still runs at all.

So I am babying it, no long trips, trying to keep the RPMs low and coast in neutral whenever possible, and despite the terminal engine problem, it still runs great around town (except it idles very roughly at a stoplight, but I just throw it in neutral till the light turns green and it's fine). Any input on the rough idle would be appreciated, maybe a sensor? No idiot lights are on.

ANYWAY, point is I could have got 200,000 miles out of this car if it wasn't abused and driven hot, and now I'll be lucky if she runs another 15 or 20k. REAL lucky. Moral of the story - Take good care of your car and it will take care of you. Abuse it and you'll pay. I'd still recommend an Accord to anyone, but make sure the last owner took care of it, DON'T buy it at an auction, and DON'T drive it while it overheats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2009

1st May 2009, 01:19

I am on my second Accord. The last one was an 89 Exi, this one an 87 Exi. My first was written off when it was hit by a drunk (while parked at night). Wow, did they do me a favor! I got rid of my aged (prairies car) and got a much better shape 87 plus made $50! ICBC was more than generous to me. My car would have only been worth $500! Rust... Ran awesome!

I tell everyone they should drive a Honda, though I'm not big on the Civic. Sold mine a few months ago (2003). Nowhere near as good as my 89 Accord!

2nd May 2009, 00:20

I tell everyone "buy a FORD". Our '90 Civic was the WORST BUILT car I ever saw. It didn't even make 100,000 miles (it was sold to a junk dealer at around 99,000 miles). After that we've stuck with Fords. We have never had ANY problems with Ford, including one that was traded (for another Ford) at 325,000+ miles.

26th Dec 2010, 17:47

I actually own a 1987 Honda Accord LX, and it runs great.. I have replaced the whole front end from the wheel bearing, except the driver's side had to have a whole new hub assembly put in, CV axles, tie rod ends, front rotors and pads..

Just recently my timing belt went out, and with this year of Honda, they have interference engines, which means when your belt goes, it more than likely that it will break an engine valve.. my car did not do this, but that was just luck..

As far as how it handles in winter, there is no limitation to how much snow you get, and it shows up 4x4s like there's nothing to it..

1987 Honda Accord LX 4 Door 2.0 carburated from North America


RELIABLE car's lifespan cut short by neglect


COOLING SYSTEM - Whole thing, intake, water pump, radiator, you name it.

Alternator and battery - Wear-out parts anyway.

Auto tranny slips a little going around a corner.

Motor kinda "surges" when driving - kinda hard to explain.

Runs REAL rough in Drive at stoplights, have to throw it in neutral so it doesn't vibrate and shake. Sensor?

Motor knocks now a little (main, not rod) due to driving it while overheating.

Burns oil.

Interior windows fog up CONSTANTLY (later found out it had previously been in a flood and the carpet padding underneath front seats is SOAKED, so that must be why)

General Comments:

1987 was the first year with the flip-up headlights-style body.

WELL I've owned 2 similar Accords, both '89 model 2 doors (1 stick, 1 automatic). They were the most reliable cars I've owned. THIS one however...

Well I did get it cheap at an impound auction (as I did my other 2 previously) so I knew it probably had some issues, but this one turned out to be a little money pit! Had to replace the whole cooling system and now (probably as a result of my driving it while it overheated), the motor is headed south. Makes a growly knock when you first start it and when you hit the gas, so I try to baby it, keep the RPM's down, and hopefully get as many more miles out of it as I can... My other 2 Accords were 2-door models and much more responsive. This one here is a 4-door automatic and slow as a dog (even when the engine WAS running right). Can't get out of it's own way. Pretty scary merging onto a busy road and hoping I don't get rear-ended.

My first Accord had 211,000 miles, ran much better than this one. My second, 350,000 but it was a newer motor. Those 2 cars were the most reliable vehicles I owned. THIS one however is crapping out at 162,000 miles. Guess it's all about the owners and their maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th February, 2009

21st Feb 2009, 13:29

Actually it was 1986 that was the beginning of the flip up headlights for the Honda Accords. That body style lasted from 1986-89, fortunately you still see plenty of the late 1980s Honda Accord's around.

22nd Feb 2009, 11:52

I can't help but be curious. If this car had been a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge with all these problems, would the title of this review be "Typical American Junk!"? But since it's a Honda Accord, all of those problems must be due to some other excuse. I agree with the reviewer, though, that maintenance makes a world of difference to any car.

8th Jan 2013, 00:18

I've never had a Ford or a Chevy even come close to lasting like my Honda. My 1987 Accord LXI still runs like a champ at 387,500 miles. It has never had the head off, and is still using the original spark plug wires, dated 1986. I do feel it's getting up there in age, because I'm only getting 32 MPG average now.