1990 Honda Civic LX 1.5 from North America


Trouble-free, economical little car


- Was left stranded once when ignition coil failed, July 1991 I think. Repaired under warranty, then recalled later. No problems since.

- Four alternators (maybe problem was cheap alternators--latest one has gone two years now)

- Three mufflers -- aftermarket ones don't last more than a couple years.

- Condensation/leaks in taillights and headlights. Water would pool inside, and the first year I had the car the taillights were like little fishbowls. Drilled little holes in the lights to let the water run out, sealed taillights with bathtub caulk. Probably should've had a brain and taken it to the dealer under warranty, but never did. Fine ever since.

- Leak in oil pan gasket I can't seal up.

- Had a problem with a fuel pump relay, where the car wouldn't start when it was very hot. This was a big problem the last year I was in Texas (1997) and didn't get solved until I moved to Seattle.

- Some of the coolant hoses have gone, with pinhole leaks that become big enough for me to notice once the steam boils out.

- Right CV joint went out last year, sounds like the other one is going now.

But aside from these things just normal maintenance: brake pads, fluid changes, wiper blades, filters, etc.

General Comments:

The car was purchased new in 1990 and has been a solid little trooper ever since. It has been back and forth from Texas to New England and British Columbia many times and in all that time has only left me stranded once.

The interior is roomy for a small car, and the rear seat folds down to provide a large cargo space. I camped in the back seat/trunk many times. The car has carried more 2x4s and furniture than I care to mention.

The car is easy to maintain, though the rotor cap is always tough to get off. There's really not much to do to it aside from the usual maintenance.

I'm cheap and got the car for that reason, and it's really lived up to that expectation. Every other year since 1997 it seems to need a lot of work--brakes, muffler go at once, plus plugs, belts, etc.--but other than that it's just oil changes. Still can get 40+ MPG on the freeway, but mostly around town now get in the low 30s.

It may look a little dated and frumpy now compared to newer cars, but the paint still shines up nice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2004

1990 Honda Civic Si 1.6 from North America


Reliable, economical fun to drive!


I had to replace the windshield, and despite some spots of rust the car is fully functional. It burns a tiny quantity of oil when driven hard, but the situation is under control now that I'm using synthetic lubricants. Small hole in the exhaust no noise yet, but I'll change it before winter. Check engine light stays on, probably the oxygen sensor. So far so good.

General Comments:

Decent fuel economy depending how I drive.

Good handling and acceleration.

Fun to drive little city runabout.

Mechanically the car was in good shape when I bought it, so I'm not expecting anything major... yet.

Otherwise very reliable and inexpensive to run and maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2004

1990 Honda Civic EX 1.6L from North America


Great vehicle


Only 2 things went wrong with my beloved Civic:

1. The water pump needed to be replaced at around 110,000 (thankfully it happened after a long trip when I moved from So Cal to Seattle). I personally think that is OK considering the car was 8 years old at the time.

2. The trunk leaked... the water would pool in the trunk lid and spill in the trunk when it was opened after a rainstorm. (A bit annoying since I lived in Seattle).

Seatbelt buckle was replaced because of a recall.

General Comments:

I loved my Honda until some teen rear ended it while parked in the street. I knew Honda's were reliable since we had a few in our family, but really didn't appreciate it until I bought a Caravan and all the headaches that come with the Dodge.

I kick myself for not spending a few grand more for the Odyssey instead of the Caravan.

I am now in the market for a Civic...I'd rather cram my family in a reliable Honda instead of the minivan which is on the verge of breaking down every month.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2004