1998 Honda Civic EX 1.6 VTEC from North America


Big sad face review - threw a rod!


Don't have much history on this car because it did NOT make it home from the initial purchase!

From the test drive.

- Radio dead.

- Driver's side window seals are toast, lots of wind noise.

Oh - The engine threw a rod on the way home!

General Comments:

I had never really believed the hype about Honda's, but decided to give this one a try.

It had 188K, which is higher than I like, but "Hondas go forever" made it seem like this was not too far up the mileage scale.

The price was $1850, so it did not seem like a bad deal.

There appeared to be NO mechanical issues during the test drive. No knocking, no ticking, nothing but normal engine sounds. Then the car was driven home, mistakenly in 3rd. Knew something was wrong when the car would not make highway speeds without excessive RPMs, so the car was driven SLOWLY home. It only lasted about 20 minutes at 5K RPMs. This may sound harsh (the 5K rpms), but this little 4 is supposed to red-line near 7K. It should have been able to run at 5K all day long. Not so much on this one. And trying to find a replacement engine at a decent price is a major hassle and expensive. The junk yards want $800 - $1500 for a USED engine.

It seems most of the good reviews on these cars are at low miles. I would not trust one of these to go 200,000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2011

18th Dec 2011, 10:35

Sounds like this one faced a bit too many stoplight races prior to trade-in.

19th Dec 2011, 21:34

How can you buy a vehicle that you know nothing about that has 188K miles on it and then make assumptions about its quality when something goes wrong? First of all, you admittedly drove it in the wrong gear and over revved the engine. Yes, 5K is too much on an older engine that maybe wasn't taken care of as it should have been. Do you have all service records for this vehicle? Do you know its history? Sounds like "no" is the answer.

I'm sorry, but I see reviews like this all the time. The best cars on the planet need proper maintenance. Since many Civics are hot rodded by kids who can't afford insurance on a real sports car, many of them are dead long before their typical lifespan due to unreasonable abuse and neglect. If you were the original owner, then maybe this review would have some credibility, but that is in no way the case. No one should use this review as any testament to the quality of a Civic.

28th Dec 2011, 15:37

Yeah, because blowing the engine at 5K RPMs because you were in 3rd gear instead of 5th is definitely the car's fault. And even if 7k is redline, well, that's redline! No everyday road car is equipped to run at redline, and with 5k being very near redline, I'd say 20 minutes at this RPM is very good.

24th Jul 2012, 10:13

I bought a Honda and it had 267k on it, and it has no problems at all. You drove it in 3rd all the way home? I had never driven a standard prior to this, and I know better than that. Plus you over revved the engine; what did you think was gonna happen?

18th Sep 2014, 22:54

How does an overhead cam engine throw a rod?

1998 Honda Civic EX 1.6 from Colombia


Ultra reliable, great fuel economy


No major things. I have taken the car to the regular maintenance (timing belts at 150,000km, brakes adjustments and oil changes).

Beside that, I had to go to the dealership just after I purchased it, because somebody at the tire service broke one of the front right wheel bolts when repairing a tire puncture.

Then I had to replace the master brake cylinder at 155,000km. I got the OEM part on Ebay for around USD180.

General Comments:

Great fuel economy, between 38 and 50 km per gallon depending on the route, which I think is good for a sedan that size. It's a 14 year old car that is more reliable than many new cars with a fraction of the mileage that mine has. It has never used a tow service or broke down in the middle of the road.

The interior is very roomy and well built. Everything still works (A/C, electric sunroof, cruise control, electric windows, electric side mirrors) and there are no annoying noises coming from plastic or metallic parts.

Seats are very comfortable. I usually make 6 hour road trips (3 or 4 times per year) and there's no need to stop.

The car is slow climbing mountains on Colombian highways, because of the automatic transmission.

Tends to hit obstacles on non paved roads or the ground when entering subway car parks, because of its short height above the road surface.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2011