1988 Honda Accord Reviews

1988 Honda Accord LX 1.6L from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.6L Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired240000 kilometres
Most recent distance307000 kilometres
Previous carEagle Talon

Summary:

Great putting around town vehicle

Faults:

Alternator, battery died soon after I drove it home.

All brakes (regular maintenance)

Engine thermostat.

Front stabilizers.

Blower motor, heat.

Rear defrost.

Undiagnosed shuddering of entire vehicle at highway speeds.

Undiagnosed periodic loss of throttle occurs on highway - turning car off and letting it sit for ~5 minutes usually solves it and I would be up and going again!

General Comments:

No serious, major repairs needed after 4 years of driving.

For all its quirks, this has been a reliable ride.

On average, ~$60-70 per month was the maintenance cost (including oil changes)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th February, 2007

1988 Honda Accord EX 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired206000 kilometres
Most recent distance229000 kilometres

Summary:

Cheap reliable car

Faults:

Rust on body around rear tires.

Spring broke on front right wheel.

Door handle on driver side broke off.

Speedometer misaligned (If I was driving at 50km/hour it would report about 75km/hour) - sensor replaced.

Temperature gauge sensor had to be replaced.

Had to tighten the alternator belt several times to stop it from squealing in the winter!

General Comments:

I expected to have some problems with this car seeing as that when I bought it, it was almost twenty years old. However, overall it has been very reliable in both the hot and cold Canadian weather. I bought this car used for about $1500 Canadian dollars and it was well worth it! I would certainly buy another car from Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2006

1988 Honda Accord LX-i 2.0 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired20 miles
Most recent distance101000 miles

Summary:

I love this car!

Faults:

The compressor broke around 80,000 miles.

Cloth on the back of the headrests in the rear of the car are slightly faded.

Gray trim has faded on the front and rear bumpers.

Paint peeled off of the nut covers on the wheels.

Rear window on the passenger side doesn't work.

General Comments:

This car is amazing for its age. It has power windows, mirrors, moonroof, locks, among others.

It still runs great and gets good gas mileage.

The performance is very good considering it's a 4-cylinder.

The seats are still supportive, and the interior in general still looks great.

It also handles very well at over 110 MPH.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2006

1988 Honda Accord LX 2.0 SOHC Carbureted I4 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 SOHC Carbureted I4 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired191000 miles
Most recent distance195500 miles

Summary:

A great buy and a great choice for anyone doing lots of traveling

Faults:

A/C did not work from the start, at first I believed it needed a charge, but I have noticed that the system itself does not engage, i.e. the fans do not turn on (though they do work for the coolant temp.)

CV joints have been making a bit of clicking on turns, but the boots themselves are in excellent condition so I haven't bothered with them.

Brakes started to show signs of wear at about 195k miles, but I haven't had the money or time yet to replace them before they become poor.

Idles rough especially when the engine is warm or when it is hot out, I have tried a few things including carburetor cleaning and distributor cap replacement (since a plug was oxidized), and it cleaned up about 50% of the roughness.

Sometimes after warm-up is complete and I drive off, it does not switch gears until ~4000RPM although in light driving conditions it should change at 15MPH, 25MPH, etc.

Radiator hose (the one leading from the heads, through the bleed bolt to the heater) popped off at about 192k miles, the end was flayed pretty good and I've had several failed attempts and a bit of money put into new coolant because the clip's design is poor (and placed right below the distributor.) I've since fixed this.

When fixing the radiator clip the first time, the single plastic loop that the screw for the vacuum advance went through broke, and until I can get $33 for a replacement I've JB-welded it back into place.

Exhaust rusting is extensive, the pipe broke right before the muffler at the time I got it, and I've clamped it back into place with some replacement pipe.

Sometimes when traveling ~25-30MPH I have troubles with it hunting or roughing, i.e. the motor will run at a certain speed, but will rough up.

Tachometer is choosy about working under warm/hot conditions.

Windshield was slightly cracked by previous owner's daughter.

The radio refuses to remember my presets, it always reverts to the old ones when I turn the vehicle off.

The routine rust is around the rear wheel wells and fuel door.

General Comments:

The car is a marvel of reliability. The problems I've had were all minor in terms of monetary investment. The thing that's costing me the most in terms of keeping the car up and running is the fuel.

The hood line is very sporty by default, and the pop-up headlights give it an almost sexy look, along with a small increase in aerodynamic efficiency. I've received several praises about my car, even though everything is stock (because it is an uncommon sight in my locale, among many Grand Ams and Tauruses).

The rear end, in my personal opinion, brings down the almost futuristic look, with its blocky, seemingly uninspired tail cluster.

Under the hood is the norm of what you could expect in a 1988 compact sedan, but I will admit I am slightly impressed by the get-up-and-go I get without flooring it and with only 98 horsepower. Some of the more important things, such as the transmission fluid dipstick, the alternator, the oil filter, and probably a few other things, are in the seemingly most impossible places to easily access, however, which is a big drawback for anyone wanting to replace as much as possible to get the most out of their Accord.

On the inside is where the magnificence of the Accord rests. The instrument cluster is neatly laid out, and having an indicator of gear selection on the cluster in addition to on the slapstick, in my opinion, is nice to have so you won't have to glance down. The cluster itself gives off a friendly glow when the lamps are illuminated at night, brightly lighting the numbers and lines and giving the rest of the panel a slight glow to make it easier to read, unlike most unfeeling clusters seen on many late model cars from all makers.

The organization of the controls is handy, and I enjoy the combination stick layout. Everything is in easy reach based on how important a function it provides, e.g. the tilt being down under because it probably won't be adjusted on the fly (and it keeps you from hitting it if it were on the steering column), the ignition having a slight angle to it and a small illumination lamp for easy use, and four independent horn buttons, all on the outer edge toward the ring, so you can keep full control of your car while alerting someone (or something) with your horn.

The comfort of the ride is very kind to a sore back or bottom at the end of a long day of work. Working as a delivery boy, it is also very friendly to constant sitting. The seats give plenty of lumbar support even without the manual adjustment lever, and the cushioning on them is very pleasant.

Also, the ability to adjust the seat belt shoulder height is a nice touch for their day, and the wheel is easy to hold on to for long periods of time.

The climate control is respectable, having easy-to-use pushbuttons to select the type, and the standard levers to choose temperature and fan speed. Honda was even nice enough to add colored LEDs, so if you had defrost selected, there would be an orange LED instead of a green, so you can quickly glance at the panel to know the setting. The same is said for the fresh/rec air settings. The ability to control the side vents from right under the steering column was an interesting option, and it is easy to turn off both vents and point the center ones to the back if only the rear-seat riders wanted heat.

The radio isn't such a friendly player, though, and it is not recommended to even touch it unless you are at a stop sign, because it is hard to navigate.

When driving, the car is nimble, and has excellent handling and steering response. It is very easy to quickly parallel park in the tightest of situations, given your skill at it, because of the large wheel lock and the short size of the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2006

13th Sep 2006, 03:01

UPDATE:

Muffler had fallen off nearly completely, with the pipe to the catalytic converter coming off literally in the mechanic's hand, so it has been replaced.

Left rear tail cluster has been recently vandalized, though only a small section was broken.

Brakes are becoming worse, with the right side making an awkward noise and gripping really hard for stops, so this will get immediate replacement.

Tires are sort of bad, in wet weather they do not grip on take-offs from stop signs, but after started they are excellent, I've managed 70MPH with no hydroplaning on the interstate.

Power windows are becoming a little more picky on the front end when rolling up.

19th Oct 2006, 01:17

UPDATE TWO:

Slight exhaust leak from around the manifold.

LEDs for REC and FRESH air settings are shorted, and choosy about working. The same goes for the heat control illumination.

26th Jul 2008, 18:17

Are you sure they are LED's? Or just little light bulbs? I'm looking into a Honda Accord for my first car. Would you recommend it? The one I'm looking at has around 250 000k on it. Thanks.

17th Mar 2010, 18:04

LOL. The difference in posting dates is 2 years. I'm adding another 2 years. Wikipedia says I have a "2.0L SOHC/PGM-FI I4 (A20A)" but the engine looks like its carburated. I have not got smogged yet and the car has 120000 miles on it. I assume the previous owner didn't take care of it. =(

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 64 reviews