1990 Honda Accord LX Coupe 2.2 liter 16-valve SOHC 4-cylinder from North America


Honda reliability


Very little has gone wrong with this car and nothing critical has happened to it in its lifetime. It has never left me stranded. I have personally owned this car for over 7 years and put approx. 100,000 miles on it in that time.

Soon after I bought the car and on a very cold day, I attempted to enter the driver's side door and the door latch had seized shut and would not open again (I put up with getting in through the passenger side for about 2 years). I had to remove the inner door panel while the door was still shut, and destroy the back side of the latch with a drill, chisels and various tools, to pop the latch. Once the door was open it was fairly easy to swap the door guts. This was the most aggravating problem it has had, but it has been fine ever since I swapped it with a junkyard part.

Replaced the muffler and tail section of the exhaust twice.

Replaced the original battery with a new one.

Replaced tires a couple times. Typical wear and tear.

Replaced windshield, cracked from a truck throwing rocks.

Typical Honda rust mostly around the wheel wells (but not too bad considering it is 26 years old now). Just cosmetic, not structural.

Water fills the brake lenses up to the level of the bulbs and it has corroded the bulb sockets. I put some caulk above the lens and have drilled holes into the bottom for water to drain out and it seems to be working, however the warning light comes on to tell me that there is a brake light failure even when the bulbs are fine.

Also, if it has rained anytime recently, if you pop the trunk, water will mysteriously pour out of the trunk lid into the trunk.

The most serious problem now is that the front brake rotors are warped and cracked, which makes the wheel and steering wheel shake violently if I have to hit the brakes fairly firmly. They are not pleasant to replace on this era of an Accord. It has a captive style of rotor and requires more work that I really want to do to replace them.

I replaced the sway bar bushing because they were dry rotted and splitting.

Most of the problems involved wet weather and time rotting things away.

General Comments:

I would certainly buy this car again. It was built when Honda insisted on building things right, before all the airbags, ABS, and electronic gadgets.

I paid $4000 for this car and in all the years of ownership I may have put $1000 into parts; most of that cost was 2 sets of tires and mufflers.

I have used and abused this poor car and only do maintenance if I think it's about to cause a problem. I put very little effort into it besides pumping gas into it every week.

Parts are easily obtainable and priced fairly supposing you ever need to replace them. All of the general maintenance things are easy to work on under the hood. I tend to do my own repairs, and the one thing that I find abnormally difficult to fix on these cars is the front brake rotors. If you don't have access to air tools, you would have a very hard time doing them.

I bought this car to replace my sporty cars because I needed something to put a lot of miles on commuting to work and I trust Honda. It was a sort of plain Jane looking car that does not stand out, yet it actually has quite classy styling and proportions and the looks grew on me. It has quite a bit of pep, handles nicely, is fun to drive, and does it with a lot smoother and quieter ride than my previous cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2016

1990 Honda Accord LX 2.2 from North America


24 years later I am still depending on my 1990 Accord every day!


Distributor was replaced at around 80,000 miles with an updated and more reliable part in 1996. Never caused a break down; Honda sent me a letter.

Original Honda battery finally gave up the ghost in 1997 at 95,000 miles. One of the longest lasting batteries I have ever had.

Exhaust mid pipe replaced, muffler, timing belt and tune-up done in 1998 at 100,000 miles.

New radiator in 2000 at 130,000 miles.

New thermal B switch in 2001 with 140,000 miles (fans were staying on after the car was turned off).

Both CV axles replaced in 2001, also with about 145,000 miles.

Replacement battery dead in 2001 as well, after only 4 years.

Motor mounts shot in 2001 (2001 was a bad year) between 145-150,000 miles.

Converted AC to R134a and replaced compressor in 2002 with about 160,000 miles.

Trunk leak fixed (new driver's side tail light) in 2003 with 170,000 miles.

New suspension in 2005 with the turn of 200,000 miles.

Another timing belt job, tune-up, fresh paint job (clear coat was fading badly), valve cover gasket, spark plug seals and all new suspension parts in 2005 to celebrate 15 years and 200,000 miles.

Oil pan gasket sprung a minor leak a little later in 2005 at about 205,000 miles.

Replacement radiator started leaking in same area as the original (upper tank) in 2008 with about 240,000 miles.

Replacement exhaust mid pipe and muffler were due for a second replacement in 2008 between 240-245,000 miles. This time, the exhaust manifold gasket in the engine was also leaking and fixed.

Original starter gave out in 2009 at 250,000 miles.

Alternator regulator and brushes said no more later in 2009 at around 255,000 miles.

Wheel bearings were toast at 270,000 miles in 2010.

Power antenna mast broke in 2011. Motor still works.

Windshield washer fluid reservoir cracked open and was replaced in 2012 with 290,000 miles.

Just completed the third timing belt job and tune-up (which includes new hoses, belts and fluids) this year at 300,000 miles.

Vehicle is still running in 2013 with 308,000 miles needing another set of CV axles, an oil leak somewhere, bad front motor mount and the "S" light is staying on (even with the sport mode button turned "off"). I do plan to get these things fixed and continue driving this car.

I believe I may have also replaced a speed sensor at some point in the car's life, and of course the usuals like tires, brake pads, etc.

General Comments:

Have owned this car 24 years. It was my first car bought brand new in 1989 when the new models first came off the trucks.

The car has never broken down on me in 24 years and 300,000+ miles. No major work has ever been done to the engine or transmission, and both are still original and in great working order (pending on the "S" light staying on in regards to the transmission). The engine starts up the same as it always has, and it has no detectable amount of oil usage between 3,000 mile oil change intervals.

Cruise control, power windows, original radio, interior buttons and other vehicle features are all original and still working.

I cannot believe how reliable and long lasting this car has been... I definitely feel like I've gotten my moneys worth. I do not know how much longer it will go without major work... but I will keep driving it until it does. I have taken this car on long road trips occasionally, and I would still not hesitate to go anywhere in it now.

The interior feels very durable and shows very little wear. The seats are a little firm and I miss having the arm rest that was available in the higher trim levels... but I feel relatively comfortable otherwise.

The car is powerful enough for everything I use it for. I have never raced the engine.

The handling is by far the best attribute of the car... I fell in love with the tight steering and low cowl design during the test drive.

Another thing that sold me on this car all those years ago was the new body design... the car looked much more expensive than the window sticker suggested. It reminded me of the Lexus and other luxury makes during that era. I still remember when the salesman drove the car around for me after it was detailed and I thought to myself "what a beautiful car!!" 24 years later I still get the same vibe from it... especially compared to the alien-like "bubble" cars of today.

In closing, it is 2013 and I am STILL driving the same little white 1990 Accord LX coupe that I bought at the tender age of just 19 (with the co-signing help of mom and dad). It taught me how to be an experienced driver, it got me through school, has taken me to work every morning, brought me to various destinations around the country on vacation and everything in between.

At the rate it is going, I may just still have it 20 years from now... (as long as there is still gasoline to put in it!).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2013

14th Jul 2013, 21:24

As the old saying goes; they don't build them like this any more.

15th Jul 2013, 20:49

And that is another reason I soldier on with the 90... They are certainly the last of a breed.

25th Jul 2013, 01:54

You got your moneys worth, and are obviously smart with money. How many 19 year olds in this, or even that day and age, buy and pay off a car? Not unless parents buy it for them (not just co sign).

That said, you should've saved up some money through the years. Treat yourself to a new Honda. You'll have all the latest safety features (does that thing even have airbags or ABS?) and buying only 2 cars in 50 years will put you WAY financially ahead of the average American (all that interest and depreciation are where all the banks and Wall Street get the suckers, er, consumers).

Be proud of yourself. Best of luck.