1991 Honda Accord LX Wagon 2.2 4 cylinder from North America

Summary:

Excellent craftsmanship, designed to last

Faults:

Handles kind of oddly because the previous owners put an airbag suspension on it, and apparently bent one of the strut rods (which is a dealer item and not easily obtained). Even after getting new tires and an alignment, the steering is sloppy and scary at high speeds. Not Honda's fault, though.

The fresh air no longer works -- it's stuck on recirculate.

The air conditioning is out of its charge.

Like most Hondas, the power antenna no longer works (my grandma has a '95 wagon with the same problem).

Driver side outside lock no longer works.

Oil leak -- probably due to the transmission being replaced, and the rear main seal not being replaced at the same time.

Replaced battery.

Replaced CV axle.

Thermostat stuck open, preventing transmission from locking up. I still don't understand why Honda doesn't let the torque converter go into lockup if the engine isn't hot enough, but replacing the thermostat fixed the problem.

General Comments:

This car has a LOT of miles on it, but the engine was rebuilt and the transmission has apparently been replaced three times. The car was owned by teenagers who decided to "pimp" it out, and the airbag suspension they put in caused the CV axles to pull out of the transmission -- probably the reason its transmission was replaced three times (I have no way of verifying that that's true, though). The passenger CV axle was clicking loudly when I bought the car, but wasn't that difficult or expensive to replace.

The exterior is in rough shape -- the paint is cracked and in terrible condition on the roof. The interior is in surprisingly good shape, though.

With nearly 300,000 miles, it's incredible how well this car is holding up -- although it doesn't have the original engine and transmission.

It has impressive power. The car that this replaced is an '88 Camry, and the throttle response is much better in the Honda.

I was hesitant to buy a Honda for a long time because of the interference engine. The timing belt broke on my Camry, but I was able to fix it easily enough because it's free-wheeling. With the Accord, I'd be looking at getting a new head. But there's a logical reason: the valves open farther, increasing power. But they can also collide with the pistons if the belt snaps, so it's important to replace the timing belt in your Honda on time.

This car cost $1,000, which wasn't that bad. I've only driven it for a little over 10,000 miles, but my daily commute is 70 miles and it hasn't come close to letting me down.

I replaced the thermostat first with a 195-degree. This was too hot. The cooling fan came on all the time. Then I tried 180. Also too hot. The stock temperature is 170 degrees, contrary to what many auto parts store employees told me -- some pretty argumentative about it. If the computer says it, it must be true. But the factory thermostat that came out of the engine was 170, and it's the same with my Grandma's '95 Accord: 170. I had to get the thermostat special-ordered because the store didn't have it in stock. Contrary to what you might be told, 170 is correct.

There's a reason that Hondas have high resale values -- they're very well-built vehicles and deserve their reputation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2009

1991 Honda Accord LX from North America

Summary:

If I wait until it "dies" to buy another car, I will be stuck in this thing forever!!!

Faults:

Two motor mounts were bad when I purchased it, and are still bad over 20k miles later. Car still won't quit. I was told by one mechanic that they could be replaced for about $2000. Another mechanic ( who only works on Hondas) told me that most of the Accords he services this old have at least one broken motor mount and are just fine. This was over three years ago.

Replaced water pump and timing belts at approx. 160k miles. Cost less than $500.

Replaced the speed sensor and relay switch at about 150k, for about $200. It seemed like the transmission was going out, so I was not opposed to a $200 fix.

Clear coat has worn off in AZ sun and paint is faded.

Radio antenna broken, tape deck broken. Speakers still OK.

Blinkers didn't work at purchase, have since been fixed for less than $100.

Rubber parts, brake pads, and hoses wear out quickly, but this is the desert.

General Comments:

I am the third owner of this car, originally purchased in New Jersey but now in Arizona. This means the body has some rust and sun faded paint---the best of both worlds.

This car has been incredibly easy to maintain and reliable.

There is evidence that someone has tried to break into it on the driver's door frame. It is high on the list of stolen cars, and it is close to Mexico, but so far so good, I just use a club, and a small red light visible from outside of the car.

I have seen someone flip end over end in the exact same model car going over 50 mph and walk away without a scratch. The car was upside down but looked salvageable.

Has decent response for an 18 year old 4-cylinder, but can be felt straining in terrain that is too hilly.

It's never left me stranded.

Gas mileage could be better, but is very reasonable.

Has a surprisingly huge trunk, and the fold down seats make it easy to move things.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2009