High performance bargain
Bought the car in January 2003 at 84,000 miles. On the first day of March, at around 84 something miles, the car suddenly stopped while I was on my way to a friend's house. Luckily I was in a residential area and coasted to a stop. It was the distributor. It was replaced and I got my car back the next day --- only to have the distributor fail AGAIN. The car spent almost a full month in the shop just finding a GOOD distributor. I got it back in late March.
At around 85, thousand something miles, I got out of my class at 9pm and when I tried to turn on my car, all I heard were clicks. The battery was dead. I got it jump started and it was fine the next day. Then the following day, same thing happened---battery dead. Replaced it with a new one and everything was fine.
Approaching 86,000 miles, my Mother was pulled over in the car and alerted that the tail lights were not working. I took the car to my Dad and we changed the bulbs and all---the tail lights still did not work. Also noticed that the panel did not light up anymore at night and the reminder chime no longer came on. A computer diagnostic test showed a relay under the steering wheel was bad. Took over 2 months to replace it (mechanics fault, they took long). Because of this mishap, my car could not pass state inspection and I couldn't renew the sticker.
During the 2 months I drove without tail lights, (I'd say 86 thousand something miles) the car suddenly started overheating and smoking for no reason. Once again, took it to Dad's and found one of the hoses was torn. Replaced that and that was that.
At 87,100 miles, my car FINALLY went into the shop for the tail lights. When the mechanics finally fixed the part under the steering wheel, it was brought back to me and I didn't use the car for a week (Mom was out of town so I used hers). When it came time to use mine, it refused to start. A jump start made it start and I had it checked out for alternator/battery and both were fine. NExt day, it started fine and I went to the store, but when I came back, car was dead again. Changed the cables, cleaned terminals, etc---still refused to start. Fearing it was the electrical system, I put the car back in the shop---recently, I got it back. It seems the battery was burnt to a crisp. It's been 2 weeks and the car is fine now. Let's see what other surprises it has in store for me, though.
Other things that went wrong: Rear view mirror on driver's side is held with black tape. Doesn't look bad at all, the tape matches the car really well.
The A/C was recharged with freon, but weeks later, it leaked out. It was recharged again when the car went in for the tail light repair and so far it's OK.
The antenna no longer goes up by itself. All you hear is the mechanical buzzing like if it's trying to go up, but it won't go up. No problem, I don't use the radio much.
Needs a paint job, is rusting on the hood.
Will take about 2 minutes or more to start on really really hot days.
Other than those quirky things that any old car would normally need, the Honda proves itself to be a good performer and lots of fun to drive. For a month, the whole family had to depend on my car and my Mom's job required her to go all over town, but the car never EVER once failed us during that time of need. It helped us get around and proved reliable for Mom until she got herself a new car.
Unfortunately, because it tends to "surprise" me by needing some new repair, I have a certain sense of dread every time I approach the car. I lost some trust in it, and I can't say it's VERY reliable, but it's reliable to a certain extent.
For a 13-year old car, though, it's an excellent buy. I recommend this car to others who need something reliable for about a year or so until they can get a brand new car or something.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th September, 2003