1989 Honda CRX 1.6 twin cam efi from Australia and New Zealand
The best small car ever made
On the test drive, the car drove beautifully. Engine response, gearshift, steering and handling were well above average for a car this age. It was also nearly completely stock and looked good.
As these cars are very rare in our state, I decided this was the one. I'd driven a couple others for sale, and their appearance and drivability didn't come close.
As with all used cars, there were some issues...
The previous owner had UV lights fitted in the foot wells and a pair of those blue LED equipped windscreen squirters.
After cutting the wiring to these items, I had a minor wiring meltdown. Silly me.
Then I killed a battery because of an earth leakage.
I quickly addressed that, but need to fix it properly one day.
A few weeks after buying it, I discovered a rusty hole on the inner front guard (drivers side).
This is visible if you open the drivers door all the way, and if the light is just so. Well, I happened to be using a torch for the aforementioned wiring issue and it was plainly visible.
Again, a temporary measure was used by spraying fish-oil on the area to slow it down.
The sunroof skin has rust bubbles, but this affects most cars of this age so it's not of great concern.
My long term intention here is to either weld shut the sunroof or transplant a fixed roof from another CRX.
At 154---km I had the timing belt replaced. The previous owner had not kept good service records and this was just for peace of mind.
During the first summer with this car, I'd sometimes smell burning oil while driving. We found a slow leak from somewhere under the engine. Oil was dripping onto the secondary pipes, thus the smell.
After a few pressure-cleaning sessions to determine the exact location of the leak, and topping up with cheap oil for 6 months, I decided enough was enough.
So in June 2005 (approx 159500km) my mechanic was given the brief to change the rear block main seal, sump seals and cam cover/plug seals.
While things were apart I ordered a new OEM clutch and new stainless muffler.
My mechanic found a new thrust bearing was required for the gearbox and he also fitted new plugs and 8mm leads.
No problems since then.
You might be thinking, "Gee he bought a lemon!". Not at all. All machinery wears out over time. Hondas are no different.
This is my 2nd CRX. I bought my first back in 1991 with only 32000km on it (88 model). Kept that car for nearly 7 years until it was stolen and not recovered.
I learned a lot about modifying these cars during that time. I had slightly modified my current car last year, but there's nowhere to list all that.
The car I have today is the equal, if not better than my 88 model.
Remember, all Australian delivered CRXs were the same. We didn't have HF, DX or Si variants.
They all have the D16A8/9 engine, which is twin-cam, 16 valve, multi-point injection. I love this motor!
The only option was air conditioning and I'm yet to see a car without it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd August, 2005
While that is not an excessive amount of problems for a car of that age, your car sounds quite troublesome for an average CRX of that age.
I've had 2 CRXs, a '91 and my current '92. Apart from routine maintenance, neither has cost me except for replacement of part of the exhaust which is a weak point on Civics and CRXs of that time.
Maybe your car had a prang and a less than cheap repair job done on it before you got it. Bodywork is near perfect on both models I've owned.
Yep, had some sort of repair on drivers side guard.
As mentioned, the overall driving behaviour of the car was well above average given the cars I'd test driven in the 12 months prior to purchase.
Suspension geometry is fine, as proven by values before & after wheel-alignment.
It had a minor leak where the rear washer jet came loose (easily fixed).
The next mod will be an 18mm rear swaybar, but I may fit softer springs at the same time.