1986 Honda CRX Si SOHC 12V 1.5i from North America


One of a kind and always will be


When I bought my 86 Si, it was 7 years old, and just 200 miles short of using that 6th digit on the odometer. I was used to American cars with their five digit expectations, and could not believe my eyes when I came across a Prelude on a used car lot with 504,000 miles on it! My little Rex was just a baby! She went the next two years without a single problem, and almost three before needing a repair.

My first problem was rare, very expensive, and evidently my own fault. I drove around for over a year with a nasty rattle in my transmission. Turned out three of the eight roller bearings on the main shaft busted out of their raceway and were jumping around in my gearbox for almost 7000 miles. But five of the eight rollers, one past the half circle, remained in the raceway, keeping the shaft in place. If I'd lost one more, the four remaining would have been about as useful as a hand without a thumb. That great Honda engineering came through once again. If the shaft had come loose it would have caused a major meltdown in the transaxle, jamming the drive train and possibly causing the front wheels to lock up. And at 70 mph on the freeway, that's a big problem.

I've had the car for 11 years, and driven it 87,000 miles. It has problems more often now. I've been had to replace the alternator twice, fuel pump once. I got a new Timing belt and water pump at the 120,000 mile mark. Now it's time to do it again.

I had a weird thing happen with the ignition switch. It stopped making contact in the "Run" position, so it would start, and then die the second you let go of the key. And I knew I was stumped, it could have been almost anything. It just seemed like it wouldn't start. I figured it out accidentally when I decided to close the sunroof before the battery was dead. My buddy under the hood told me to crank it at the same time, and the top stopped cold when I let the key fall back to run. It should have still worked off the battery.

Now my ECU is apparently going bad. The car has developed a loping idle, and I'm not getting any message codes. I've downloaded three different versions of the blink codes, and the only one that lists no lights as a code adds "...and doesn't start" as a parameter. Mine starts fine, so I don't know.

General Comments:

Still love driving it after all these years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2004

1st Nov 2004, 19:46

OOPS! Now I know what that rattle in my transmission is! I better get that fixed.

20th Feb 2009, 19:39

The lobbing idle is not your ECU. It's a simple vacuum leak. Mine did this until I took it to the Honda dealer and they fixed it right away by replacing a few vacuum lines.

1986 Honda CRX DX 1.5L from North America


An excellent rice rocket that will last a lifetime!


Went through 3 alternators, but that is probably the fault of my CD player and fog lamps, not the car itself.

It started having overheating problems at about 260,000 kilometers. Although I've changed many things (radiator, thermostat, etc.) the problems continued.

The engine always had a knock to it.

General Comments:

Other than the overheating, I had no problems with the car. It still ran great, never left me stranded, even in heavy traffic, with the heat gage almost on "HOT", it always got me to where I wanted to go.

If it wasn't for the fact that it was stolen, I'm sure it would still run today.

Rust was not as bad as some other CRX's I've seen, therefore I was able to patch it up myself.

It ALWAYS started, which amazed me. Canadian winters can be harsh. Up here, in Edmonton, it could get as low as -40 degrees Celsius, and it would start after sitting on the street all night, not plugged in.

I love that car!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2004