1988 Honda Accord LX 2.0 12-valve carbeurated from North America


One of the most reliable cars on the road!


Windshield cracked due to cold weather, 179K on the clock.

Slight problems attributed to carb (hard to start at times, etc), still continuing.

CV axles clicking, but not worn enough to bother with replacing yet. This has been an issue since I bought the car.

Car needs an alignment fairly badly as of 183K.

Slight valve ticking noise even after adjusting clearances; ignition timing shown to be at 24deg advanced (!) and still running decent.

Slight amount of rust on rear quarter panels.

Stereo antenna is broken completely off; even with that it gets decent in-town reception.

General Comments:

This car, summed up in one word... awesome. It might not have a lot of power behind it (although EFI models are fairly peppy), but it is nimble, feels decently quick, and rides extremely well.

I purchased this car from the original owner at 175,100 miles, and it had been a local car since its purchase. I paid a good deal more than market value, but it was well worth it.

The interior is well laid-out considering the age of the vehicle; a far cry from the curvy, organic dashes of today's cars and a little boxy, but ergonomics are pretty good, with exclusion of the stereo system and climate control unit. The seats are fairly comfortable, but not meant for sport driving, obviously. The seats are a little weathered, but no tears anywhere.

The AC and heat work very well, considering the age of the vehicle. Cabin comfort is pretty nice, and the overall climate control design (other than ergonomics) is very good, allowing for an inlet of fresh air even when running on recirc.

Amenities are great for a car of this age. Power windows, locks, and steering, AC, cruise control, power antenna, and a decent sound system, although aftermarket speakers help. The seats are comfortable enough for longer trips, and pretty supportive. Accords, sadly, don't feature cupholders unless you have (or yank from a junkyard) a set from the top of the line SEi (1989 only, and very rare). I'm a lucky owner of a set, and they help.

Handling is average; the car is fairly nimble, but body roll can be curbed and a little better cornering can be easily added with a set of swaybars from an LXi/SEi. I haven't done this yet, but am planning to fairly soon (after purchase of a MK3 Toyota Supra Turbo).

Reliability is absolutely top-notch. This Accord has never missed a beat, and I'm sure it'll be running well past 200K. Running costs are pretty cheap; other than a timing belt change (just in case), I've only needed gas, oil, and a little bit of power steering fluid. I've never owned a car that's been more dependable than this Honda.

In short, if you're looking for decently-priced, dependable transportation with a little bit of luxury and sportiness, get a Generation 3 Honda Accord (1986-1989). These cars are an excellent bargain if you can find one, and rest assured they'll be (if in decent shape before purchase) a valued vehicle for years to come. I will be keeping mine as long as I can, and I'm sure that'll be quite a while.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2006

24th Dec 2006, 00:32

This is an update from the writer of the review above. I now have hit almost 191K on this Honda, and it is still going strong. The only troubles it has given me are a battery that needed to be replaced, an oil leak (I suspect either valve cover or distributor O-ring), and some vacuum problems with the carb which causes the car to stall in cold weather. I have experienced this problem for about a year and a half now; first it would stall out using premium fuel, then it would stall out during severe cold weather (10 deg. F and below), and the problem kept worsening. I have taken the car to a mechanic who has a great deal of experience with carbed cars (Honda dealerships generally employ techs with much more experience on fuel injected vehicles, and will generally tell you the carb needs replacing. Usually this is not the case, and is extremely expensive compared to getting the carb fixed). There were problems with the vacuum lines which control the carb. They were able to fix the problem for the most part, but it isn't perfect. However, other than this issue, this Accord has been an extremely solid, reliable vehicle which has given me relatively little trouble. Everything still works on it, and I expect to own it for many years to come.

17th Mar 2010, 17:58

I've just got an Accord DX. It doesn't have power windows or locks. What model do you have that has the power locks and windows?

Also, mine needs a smog and I'm not sure if it's gonna pass.

1988 Honda Accord LX 2.0 from North America


1988 Honda Accord


This is for those who have a 1988 Honda Accord LX manual transmission with a Carburetor. I bought mine for 400.00 dollars. but had to sink about 400.00 into it to make it run properly. For those who have "Misfiring" with this engine---double check the choke. If the choke does not open completely after the engine has warmed up, the thermostatic choke may not be functioning. Maybe the one wire became disconnected, or it may need to be replaced. (Can only get that part from a junkyard or the dealer) I found that getting parts from the dealer are actually cheaper in most cases plus its better quality than after market products. (price-check and see for your self!) I have spent a lot of time working on this car to make it a decent car to go to and from work with. i hope this information is helpful to others. if anyone has questions regarding the Carburetor or the ignition system or replacing the alternator. please send me a tell and ill try to help ya out.

General Comments:

So far its a nice older car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2005

21st Dec 2005, 01:53

What are you talking about? Look at all the reviews for older Hondas and then come back to me and say "All Hondas have serious problems"...

3rd Jan 2006, 08:07

I got an accord I gave 3 for and the ignition has been punched any ideas on what wires to touch to get the thing started email me the_terabyte@msn.com if anyone knows.

3rd Sep 2006, 14:56

I purchased my '88 Accord last year, and it was terrible from the start. The car had major trouble starting in the morning, and would always stall out. The car also had trouble shifting from first to second gear. Other than that, it ran well and got great gas mileage!