1989 Honda Civic LX Automatic from North America


Fantastic, fun car that never disappoints


Water pump went out last year. Driver's side window track was broken when I purchased car, have had problems fixing it permanetly.

Brakes needed replacing.

A/C does not work.

A major relay and ignition switch had to be replaced.

Radiator had to be replaced.

Replaced both sides/CV joints/Driveshafts.

General Comments:

This little car is a gem. Bought it at an auto auction almost 3 years ago for less than $700. I have done almost all the work myself except for the ignition switch. That is the only time it ever left me on the road.

I guess the mileage is accurate and it runs extremely well. The little 1.5L 4-banger uses no oil, doesn't leak anything and I average between 36-38 mpg on regular unleaded. Amazing.

I change the oil every 3,000 miles with filter and I don't beat the car. The only concerns I have are the trans as is shifts a little abruptly, but have changed out the fluid a couple of times and that helps.

The interior is in excellent shape. Seats are worn, but no holes. I put on some seat covers. Otherwise everything works (except A/C which I am working on).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2004

17th Aug 2004, 11:44

Try changing out the transmission fluid one more time. The same thing happened on my brother's 1996 chevrolet Impala. It was sitting for a year, and the fluid became bad and wouldn't let the transmission shift. We changed it, and it was better.

Your civic probably sat for a while before it was sold at the auction.

I know they are two totally different cars, but give it a try.


1989 Honda Civic DX 1.5L from North America


A reliable, fast bargain


Overheated at 191,000. To remedy, I replaced all the radiator and heater hoses (parts $80) bought some Stop Leak stuff and flush and refilled the radiator. and gave it an oil change.

Looks like clutch is starting to go, so I am watching out for that.

Will work on A/C recharge and new A/C belt.

General Comments:

Handling is wonderful - love that double wishbone suspension.

So far, not a bad deal for $650.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2004

1989 Honda Civic DX from North America


Good car, but old age wears it down


The air conditioning broke about two monhs after I got the car. Now almost a year later, the A/C isn't working again and it may either need freon or it may have a leak. Also my biggest problem right now is that I feel the brakes getting bad. The emergency brake light comes on for no reason, when I make turns and when I first turn on the car. The squeaking isn't too loud though, yet.

General Comments:

Has anyone else had brake problems?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2004

4th Jun 2004, 07:51

You had asked about brake problems. When I had mine, (which I've since gotten rid of), it was great until the entire brake hydraulics system went out.

Unfortunately, I ended up having to sell the car after that to a dealer who fixed it, resold it and then the brakes went out again.

1989 Honda Civic Hatchback (base) 1.5L I-4 from North America


The best car I've ever owned


Nothing but regular maintenance up to 120,000 miles.

Engine started burning a little oil at 120,000 (all my fault), decided to replace engine rather than fix old one. Also changed clutch at same time (first clutch replacement ever).

Spring-loaded wiper stalk gave up the ghost at around 140,000. I never fixed it, just used a rubber band.

General Comments:

I absolutely loved this car. I nearly cried when my wife's uncle drove it away. To say I got my money's worth out of it is an understatement. In fact, I still see it driving around town from time to time. I'm sure it's at or near 200,000 miles by now.

I bought this car back in 1993. It was four years old, with only 43,000 miles on the odo. After three low-priced, high-mileage cars that fell apart on me, I decided to get myself something newer. I was only 20 when I got this car, so it was a big deal.

It was light metallic blue with a blue interior. It was the definition of base - no air conditioning, four-speed transmission, vinyl seats - but it still oozed quality. I remember sitting in the car shortly after buying it just moving the stalks up and down, marveling at the smooth operation. Interior materials were top notch. The seats were (and still are) the most comfortable I've ever sat on. The engine, though a little short on power, had a great sound, excellent throttle response and revved smoothly and freely to redline (whatever that was - it didn't have a tach). It also got excellent gas mileage - I routinely got 30-33 miles per gallon regularly, up to the day I stopped driving it.

It was also the best handling car I've ever driven (and I've driven a lot). Despite being the base model, it had what I call "baked-in goodness." It had the same four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension and taut chassis found on all Civics, including the CRX. Steering was phenomenal, road feel was outstanding (it had no power steering) and grip was progressive, especially after I upgraded the tires (the 155 pizza cutters that came with it were replaced with 175s).

I blame myself for killing - or, at least, hurting - this car. For the majority of its stay with me, I was in my "irresponsible youth" phase. I changed the oil once a year, sometimes. I ran it out of oil many times. Tune ups? Forget it. I may have hand washed it three or four times total in the eight years I owned it. I waxed it only once. I would put gas in it, start it up, and drive. It handled this abuse for 120,000 miles before the engine said, "enough."

It started burning oil, although only a little (about a quart every week and a half). I finally caved and brought it to a mechanic, who told me that for the money it would cost to rebuild the engine, I could just get another one and put it in. So I did. At 120,000 miles, my little Honda got a heart transplant, a 1991-spec engine with 60,000 miles on it. It ran beautifully for three more years and 60,000 more miles, and, like I said before, it's still on the road today.

After the transplant, the rest of the car started succumbing to my past neglect (at this point, I started really taking care of the car, but it was too little, too late). The spring-loaded windshield wiper stalk lost its spring, and I used a rubber band to temporarily fix it, but never got around to replacing it. The left strut for the hatch fell off, but again, I never got around to fixing it.

But I can't complain. I loved this car. It was so good to me. For the $4,000 I paid for it, I got so much more out of it. I even took it on a trip to Texas (sans air conditioning!) a few months after the transplant. It took everything I threw at it and then some, and never left me stranded.

So what happened? Well, in 2001, I decided it was time to upgrade and got a brand-new Civic LX coupe. My poor little Honda sat neglected in my driveway for a few months until I gave it to my favorite uncle-in-law. As I said before, it was a tearful day. Not only that, but after all the problems I had with my new Civic (see my review on this site), I wished I'd never got rid of it.

I recently traded my new Civic on a Saturn Ion (yet another review on this site) and so far I love it. I get the same good feelings about it that I got with my old '89 Civic. In fact, looking back, I should have just kept the old one and fixed it up. Not only would I have saved money, but I would still be driving the best car I've ever owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th March, 2004