My son is looking at a 1999 Honda Civic for a car for college. I think it
has about 50K miles on it. That is all that I know.
Does this car have a good reliability record? What would an average cost be
50K miles is very low for that old a car. a 10 yr old car should have
around 120K miles or more on it.(99's were sold in 1998,too)
(12,000 mi. per yr....,15K/yr is average)
is it a "rust belt" car??
flood damage? (Carfax may help finding out,you need the car's VIN,and it
ocsts $40 for a month's access to Carfax.)
It's possible the mileage was altered.Carfax will help there,too.
Auto or stick shift?
Check tires for odd wear patterns indicating an alignment problem or bad
Take it to a mechanic or Honda dealer for complete eval.
Does it have the immobilizer ignition key system? Important for anti-theft.
I've read that 1996-2000 Civics have a high theft rate(popular with
auto "tuners"/modifiers),and it's easy to get inside them thru the side
windows;that little plastic window guide (at the top front of the door
frame)acts as a lever to flip out the top of the window to be able to force
it down and gain entry.
I'm not trying to be negative,you just need to really check out a used car
these days. (personal experience!)
I suggest you install a well-hidden fuel pump cutoff switch.
Then they will not be able to start the car and drive it off like they did
my Integra GS-R. (despite an alarm with starter disable)
Gone in 60 Seconds....very accurate,in my case.
It all depends on how far the car was driven and if there was another
vehicle in the household. I have a 1997 Civic that only has 74k on the
odometer. It was driven by my late wife to and from work which was only
an 8 mile round trip. I took over driving it in 2005, when she could no
longer drive, and put a LOT more miles on it.
After my wife died in 2007, her car sat there for 10 months while going
through the process of getting the vehicle re-titled, and I finally took
over driving it again in October. After I get the timing belt changed,
I plan to make the '97 Civic my daily driver and keep my sports car at
home! Oh yeah, and I also need to get the AC looked at before summer
time. I had the coil changed in 2005, but all the refrigerant has
managed to escape from the system. Refrigerant leaks suck and my prior
experience with them is that they rarely ever get tracked down.
Now for an AC horror story: I always clown a friend who has a 2002
Tahoe and has spent over 6k on his AC that still doesn't work properly!
He was bitching about one of his credit cards being maxed out, and I
said that the bulk of his charges were probably from his AC alone last
year. He said I was right and then started bitching about his Tahoe
being a money pit.
Can't help you with the cost, but I have a 99 Civic CX bought new.
It's got 209,000 miles on it, and it's been pretty good. Due for it's
second timing belt, but still on the original clutch. Two things have
broken in the past year or two. The blower motor has stopped working,
and the glove compartment is locked shut. Being in California, I can
live without the internal fans, and there's not much of importance in
the glove compartment except for the owner's manual. Otherwise,
everything is original except for battery, headlights, tires and
brakes. I've done the oil changes myself for the last 150k miles or
so, except for a few trips to the dealer or (gasp!) Jiffy Lube-type
places due to unavoidable circumstances. I lose a quart of oil about
every 2000-3000 miles, which I understand is no big deal.
But of course, my car is pretty basic (no AC, no power anything), so
there's not much to break. As always, look carefully before you buy
used. Take it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough check-up before you
The blower motor has stopped working,
Unplug the connector and remove three screws. The fan falls on the
passenger's floormat. Your part numbers and diagrams are at
It's -15 outside this morning, and I can't conceive of driving any
vehicle without a blower fan :-(
Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't realize it was quite that easy.
The fuses all look OK, so I'm pretty sure it's the motor. I looked at
replacing it a while ago when it first broke, and went to the
dealership in San Jose to get the motor. But they told me they
wouldn't take it back if that didn't fix the problem. It was $140 at
that dealership. I balked, and have lived with(out) it since. I know,
I'm cheap! When it's warm I open the windows, and when it's cold I
wear a jacket. I've now moved to SoCal, where I need it even less. The
other advantage is I get to park in the garage because of this. Gotta
have a warm car in the morning to drop the kids off at school. ;)
I have a 99 Civic EX 5spd that I bought used in 1999 with 10,000 miles
I now have 155,000 miles. About 95% of my maintenance has been
performed by Honda Dealerships.
So far, I've replaced the timing belt, the a/c compressor, and the
catalytic converter. That's it! I'm still on the original clutch
with no evidence it will need replacing soon. The timing belt package
was almost $800. I probably spent about $500 getting the compressor
replaced, about about $250 on the cat. On the compressor, I did
aftermarket and had a friend who's a mechanic replace it. He did a
great job, but this compressor is crap. In hindsight, I should have
bought Honda OEM parts (rather than aftermarket) and had the friend
I had to replace the CD player too. The radio worked, but the CD
player stopped working. I bought a $200 aftermarket unit and
installed it myself.
My oil pan has issues, the car drips a little oil, probably from
dealer oil changes where they may have overtightened the dealie? My
A/c blower motor has, at times, made noise for the past 50,000 miles.
But still blows and hasn't made crazy noises in a long time.
All in all, I'm happy with the car. It's still my primary means...
rather only means... of transportation on the 50mile daily roundtrip
I would recommend the car based on my experience. YMMV.
Maybe a bit late now to repy to you .... I have a Honda 1999 Civic
which I have owned from new. It has 67,435 miles on the clock. It was
our only car that my wife drove to go shopping. I got to work via the
bus. Then we bought a second car and now I have the Honda as my main
commute to work car. The low milage is because when she had she would
only drive it to go shopping maybe once or twice a week.
The honda has been reliable and I have changed the timing belt on it
at a Honda dealer. That is an expensive change, about $US 700. They do
the alternator and radiator liquid at the same time.
Problems have been the Check engine light came on a few times. Once I
took to the dealer who charge me $US 105 and had no idea why. The next
two times was (1) for a loose wire that came out of a clip (I found
and fixed myself with the help of an ODBII reader) and (2) the other
unforseen repair was for the primary oxgen sensor which I replaced
myself a week ago.
Other replacements have been battery, brake pads, tires. It has always
been Honda dealer serviced.
The car drives good and has never had me or my wife stranded.
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