Good Lord, Where do I start?
Just since I've owned it:
2 head gaskets.
New clutch at 95,000 (car was a one-owner, I bought it used from an older lady, this may or may not have been the culprit)
Car was Ming treated yearly and still has become a rust bucket after only 9 years. Quarter Panels have completely gone through behind the wheel wells. Door bottoms are well on the way there. Also around the fuel filler door. This car is really looking ugly.
Speaking of sheet metal, I swear this car is so thin it dents from people looking at it.
Passenger side window came off track twice.
Car always seems to get very close to overheating on hot days or when climbing long hills. Two thermostats have not remedied this problem. I do not lug my engine or accelerate hard.
Neither has the cracked radiator I replaced a year ago, or the water pump 8 months ago. It is not the fan either, or any relay related to the van.
Engine knocks and ticks bad in cold weather, or after not being started for days. And doesn't quiet down much after warming up.
Weak heater and Air Conditioner under all conditions, even after recharging A/C.
Alternator at 102,000 miles.
Weak stereo blew speakers and failed completely a year ago.
Lackluster acceleration for honda's somewhat sporty edition of the Civic.
Suspension Components are flimsy and brittle. Honda wasn't kidding about "wishbone suspensions" I've been through a stabilizer bar, two links, 2 sets of shocks, and 2 wheel bearings since I purchased this car.
Car has eaten three sets of brake pads and rotors since I purchased it.
Most of these are not normal wear and tear items!
The previous owner gave me all maintenance receipts since 12/1997. She religiously changed her oil every 3,500 miles or less, Coolant every two years. She must have either thrown away the ones where she was spending thousands like I have, or Hondas just fall apart around 100,000 miles. What could it be?
I bought this car because of Honda's "bulletproof reliability", but have yet to find it on this car.
I commute a long way to work, am fresh out of college, and don't have much money. Therefore I thought a Honda Civic would be an excellent choice to replace My 1992 Cadillac Fleetwood Broughm, a 20 foot long monster which drank gas like a pig.
I drove a '92 Civic CX in high school, no hot rod, but cheap, dependable and reliable. SO the 1998 Civic should be better, right? WRONG!
Well 38 MPG wasn't bad, at least the few months out of the year that this car runs right. I was stuck with the Honda until last week, I sold the Caddy to my friend. So for 3 1/2years I saved almost twice the money on fuel, but spend 4 times as much maintaining a sub-par import. Last week I paid him $3300 and bought the Cadillac back. It has almost 200,000 miles and not even close to as many problems as the Honda. And 21 MPG is not bad for a 2 1/2 ton car with a 350 V8 at 70+ MPH.
I live in Northeast Missouri, and there is no excuse for a Honda to rust like that. We salt the roads in Winter, but we don't get nearly as much ice and snow as they do up north. My Cadillac has virtually no Rust anywhere on it, and you practically have to hit it with a sledge hammer to dent it. There are tons of cars in my area, foreign and domestic, much older even than my '92 Caddy, that aren't even close to rusting as much as this Honda. Even 1980's Chevy and Ford Pickups.
And yes, It's an Economy car, But that's no reason for it to rattle and shake over every minor imperfection on the highway, and break half of the suspension parts in one year. The cheap stereo failing was a nice touch.
Now that I'm finally making some real money, I'm looking into buying a 2008 Nissan Altima V6 Coupe. But I WILL definitely do my research first.
This 1998 Civic will sit and rot in my backyard until I get it running well enough for some sucker to buy it.