Civics: Still dependable in general?

Hi;
I've been driving a 1991 Honda Civic automatic 4 door for 10 years. I bought it used with 50,000 miles on it. It is at 183,000 miles now. It has died on me twice recently, is having things break from
metal fatigue and it is getting harder to get new parts for it. In other words, I think it is time for it to go. It is nearing the end of its service life.
I've been happy with how well it has held up so far, so I am thinking about starting over again with another used Honda Civic ( newer ).
Its been 10 years since I bought a car. I would rather not launch another PhD thesis researching what is a good deal.
Are the 21st century Honda Civics still a good deal for dependability ?
Thanks in advance for any info
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Ah yes. One more question.
Do Honda's still require that the timing belts be replaced about every 60,000 miles to avoid a catastrophic breakdown?
Thanks in advance for any information
Steve
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On 3/5/09 9:58 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@h5g2000yqh.googlegroups.com, "steve"

Honda timing belt change interval moved out to 90k miles in the mid '90s and has been at 105,000 miles since at least 2000 if not earlier.
60k is overkill unless you qualify under one of the "severe service" criteria listed in the owner's manual.
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E. Meyer wrote:

As far as the 4-bangers go, the Accord has been chain-driven starting in 2003, and the Civic starting in 2006.
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On 3/5/09 4:18 PM, in article gopj3n$jfj$ snipped-for-privacy@news.motzarella.org, "Eternal

Accord 4 cylinder engines are now using chains, but the v6's are still belts. That's one of the reasons I have gone with Nissan when I wanted a 6 since '95 (the other reason is the dramatically less road noise vs. Honda).
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I had a 1990 and 2004. Different problems with each, but not major. The 1990s CV joints went out every 50K. Plus a persistent electrical short. 2004 had font brushes at 70K, but under warranty.
I really wish I had airbags in the 1990 (option then) because a car-totalling accident did a number on my back.
The 2004 has as good mileage even though its considerably larger. And it keeps freeway speeds uphill. Everyone swore at me goign uphill in the 1990 at 40.
Timing belts are 90K now. Its the labor thats costly because so much of the engine must be opened.
I think I'll get a Fit next. Civics are too large and pricey.
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I bet the dying problem can be fixed easily. But the rust can be a dealbreaker. I just sold my 91 Civic LX manual transmission mostly because of the rust.

I would be looking at the Consumer Reports reliability matrices (based on surveys of about 1000 people per model-year) for the year 2000 and younger Civics. The April issue every year has these matricies. My recollection is that, yes, by this measure, the newer Civics (c. 2000 and later) are still about as good as one can get for reliability.
Go after a one-owner car using autotrader.com for listings and autocheck.com to check the title for salvage vehicles and odometer tampering. Craig's List is another resource, but multi-owner cars are the rule there. If a one-owner car comes up at Craig's List be ready to pounce, cash in hand. Best bet is probably to leave your name with a number of dealers and say you are after a used Honda year ----. Or you can usually go to their web sites and see their used car inventory. Believe me, salesmen will get back to you. Use www.kbb.com to get an idea of a fair retail price.
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steve wrote:

Unfortunately, the 7th-gen Civic (2001-05) hasn't been as reliable as previous versions. On my 2004 which currently has 50,000 miles on it, the alternator and front struts failed during the last 6 months, and these are somewhat common problems. There have also been reports of transmission failures especially in the '01 and '02, although I haven't experienced that, knock on wood.
I hope that the current 8th-gen Civic will be better, notwithstanding the thermostat issue that was discussed here (or on the other NG). Otherwise, I personally may have to look at a Toyota Corolla or a Hyundai Elantra for my next car. Sometimes I wish I had kept my '93 Accord, which was a great car.
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Each car is different. My wife's 2005 civic EX-SE 5 speed is absolutely the best car that she has owned. She only has 28K miles on it but there have been absolutely no problems with this car. And, the 5 speed is the silkiest manual either of us has driven.
Our 97 EX 5 speed with 90K miles on it did require a manual transmission rebuild last year due to bearing failure. Our daughter loves the car but would take the 05 in a heartbeat due to the silky transmission, spoiler, aluminum wheels and MP3-CD radio. The 97 has had the alternator replaced once but there is no rust on the body (Texas gulf coast).
Both cars do eat a battery every 3 years but that is the summer heat of the gulf coast.
Lynn
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On Thu, 5 Mar 2009, Eternal Searcher wrote:

Over at the Civic forum at edmunds.com, some owners of '06-08 Civics have complained of premature, uneven wear on the tires due to an engineering defect of the control arm (or something like that). This would be something to check if anyone is thinking of buying late-model Civics.
I like the Corolla and it would be my first choice if I were to buy a new car today. My first car was a used '85 Corolla. It was very reliable until the timing belt snapped because of negligence on my part.
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ident wrote:

Were these defective control arms replaced and did it fix the issue?

My folks and brother have Corollas (2004 and 2005) and both have been very reliable as expected. The only reason I chose the Civic at the time was because of a better driving/seating position. But from what I heard, all Corollas now have a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes, so that may draw me to the Corolla next time, hopefully in a couple years.
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On Fri, 6 Mar 2009, Eternal Searcher wrote:

I'm not sure. The Edmunds thread I referenced above is: http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0d71c1
There are too many replies to read through, but the specific problem is in regards to TSB 08-001 (uneven or rapid rear tire wear).
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snip>

if dependability is the only measure, Corolla is the yardstick. Lots of Corollas available on the used market now that gas is back at $2/gal. Put a decent set of tires on it and it will drive much better than with OEM tires.

the new 4 cylinder Accord is likely the most reliable vehicle Honda makes right now. but I suspect it costs twice as much as you want to spend.
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My 2000 Civic has been a (good) dream - have replaced the battery and one O2 sensor, thats it (only 50 K on it)
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any 90's civic will last forever .
--
matt86
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