1996 Honda 4 cylinder - Pre-purchase Questions

Greetings car people of the world. I am investigating a 1996 Honda 4 cylinder - automatic. It has 196000 miles on it. It looks good but I have 3 questions:
1)The valves seem noisy, what can be done or are they in bad condition. 2) Is it a good idea to replace the timing belt before it breaks, and at what mileage should this be done (will the engine damage itself if it breaks while running)? 3) would you say that, in general, a well cared for Honda will make it to 300000 miles without major overhauls of anything? This is not for myself. I am married to one sister, another sister is getting the car and a third sister is paying for it. I am in the middle of this, so as you can tell its important that I get good information.
--
Seavey
Message Origin: TRAVEL.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Seavey wrote:

Hi, It all depends how it was cared for by previous owner(s) Answer to no. 2 question. Wait until belt break? What if engine is interfering type? If belt is not replaced it is on borrowed time now. My Honda '98 CRV which has 2 liter 4 banger so far logged ~28K Km. No oil leak/burning. belt replaced once. 3rd set of tires. one complete brake job. Has Iridium plugs. No other problem. If you want to buy a used vehicle(which I never do), check the history of the car.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

LX, DX, EX, HX?

Depending on the type of noise, the owner may simply have adjusted the valve lash somewhat high. This is preferable to somewhat low, which can destroy valves. If the noise goes away after half an hour or so of driving, it is probably a valve adjustment on the conservative (safe) side.

Is there any documentation as to when it was last changed?
In this same vein: How many owners has this car had? Have you done a title check using autocheck.com to see if it is a salvage vehicle? Have you compared the asking price to the kbb.com price? Is there a full maintenance history available?

Every 90,000 miles or six years, whichever comes first, for the 1996 Honda. See the maintenance schedule in the free owner's manual at https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/RJAAI001_OMANUAL.asp

It is an interference engine, so the chances are good that a failed timing belt will damage the engine. From reading anecdotal reports, I put the chances at about 50-50. But this is a big risk. If there is any doubt as to when the belt was last changed, change it. AFAIC the first thing anyone should do with an older Honda is change the timing belt, water pump, cam and crank seals, and probably TB tensioner.

In what part of the country has this Honda mostly been driven? The more snow and salt, the more body problems, particularly around the undercarriage.
Otherwise, see my comments above.

You're a good husband and brother-in-law.
All of you should read http://honda.lioness.googlepages.com/buyingused
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Specifically, what model? Civic, Accord, Prelude?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's a little too late. You should've asked for good information before you married your sister.
HH
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.