Greetings car people of the world. I am investigating a 1996 Honda 4
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
major overhauls of anything? This is not for myself. I am
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
that I get good information.
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.
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
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
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
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