Car in excellent interior and exterior condition upon purchase. Previous owner kept all records. Previous owner changed "A" and "B" pipes on exhaust system (rusted), multiple wheel bearings, and resolved significant brake issues, in addition to timing belt, muffler and water pump replacements.
The cost of all of these repairs would have been much higher if performed at Honda dealerships, using Honda OEM replacement parts. An estimate of Dealer cost is given following each repair.
New parts installed immediately upon purchase: Clutch, distributor (distributes electricity to spark plugs, often faulty on these Civics), spark plugs, spark plug wires, fuel filter, air filter - all at 224,500.
Estimated Dealer Cost: A clutch alone is nearly $1000CDN; Total Cost: $2000.
Slave cylinder seized, unable to engage clutch; car stopped on the road - replaced at 226,500.
It Would have been $500 dollars for a new slave cylinder, plus installation, but was able to get a used one installed.
Cost: $115CDN, plus tow.
Estimated Dealer Cost: $600.
Battery, once replaced, absolutely dead. Admittedly a common problem - replaced at 227,000.
Dealer Cost: Same.
Radiator eaten through with rust, smell of burning coolant throughout the car - replaced at 228,500.
Dealer Cost: $400CDN.
Water pump faulty, coolant spilled all over my driveway; replaced timing belt at the same time - done at 232,000
Dealer Cost: Timing belt along is nearly $700CDN; Total Cost: $1000.
Fuel line rusted, faulty. Fuel dripping out from under the car near the fuel tank. Usually an expensive repair, but was able to get my mechanic to fix it by hand without purchasing any new parts. Replaced at 233,000
Dealer Cost: $250.
Right front wheel bearing faulty; already replaced once by previous owner. Replaced at 236,000
Dealer Cost: Same.
Right rear disk brake caliper seized;
Needed new rotor, 2 sets of brake pads, and caliper - replaced at 242,000
Dealer Cost: $800.
Severe electrical problem. At first was diagnosed as a faulty distributor, which, if you recall, was replaced upon purchase of the car. Then diagnosed as a faulty computer, usually a rare occurrence in Japanese automobiles. Likely also a wiring problem somewhere in the wiring harness near the firewall on the drivers side. Car will not start, no power to the spark plugs or fuel pump. Apparently this is not a unique situation with a '92 Civic.
Cost: Already $1000CDN, problem still not resolved, automobile at mechanic's. This includes 4 hours labor, a tow, and used computer.
Dealer Cost: An OEM Honda computer costs $1,300, plus installation. Total Cost: $2000+, assuming the problem can be resolved.
Total monies spent in 13 months of ownership on repairs: $3,905CDN
Potential costs if repairs had been performed at a Dealership: $7,380
Number of times at mechanic's: No less than 8
Does car run?: No
Would the car run if the repairs had been performed at a Honda Dealership?: No
Would I be bankrupt: Yes.
I still esteem Honda's very highly. I have friends with 500,000km on their Honda's, and knew of one who had 630,000 on his 93 Civic, with very few repairs. Their engines were flawless, and the cars held up very well in general, with periodic re-paintings.
This Honda has not been in any accidents, apart from a very small surface dent in the side and some contact with a curb, both my fault. The original clear-coat is beautiful, and the blue paint looks great, after 13 years. The interior is fantastic. I have rust-proofed the car twice, and the previous owner did so upon his original purchase.
The car ran for 3 months, once. Apart from that, it has been a mechanical disaster. I believe that at 242,500km, a top-of-the-line Honda should not experience these many problems.
I would, and probably will, purchase a newer Honda in the future, perhaps the near future if this car cannot be repaired at reasonable cost. I had looked forward to driving this car to 500,000km if possible, but have been very disappointed.