I think you will prefer the Accord, comfort-wise. I'm not sure how much more
space it affords.
Based on www.edmunds.com, I'd estimate 1994-1996 are possibilities.
As a baseline, Edmunds states for my area (which is not on either coast) one
can expect the following for about $2500:
1995 Accord DX
Change the mileage to 150k miles, and the average private party price goes
down to about $1300.
I wouldn't go over 150k miles. I'd aim for a 100k miles or lower.
I would expect you could get another 100,000 miles out of this car, assuming
you maintained it properly.
Try to get a car with a written maintenance history. Preferably, a 1995
Accord with a 100k miles on it will have had its timing belt changed in the
last few years. If it hasn't negotiate this into the deal. Figure a $500
1991 Civic LX sedan, original owner
We are on our 3 accord. I would highly recommend it. The one I am driving
now is a 92 and we got it 2 years ago for $1200 in central Ohio. Needed a
few cosmetic things for about $100. Still driving it, looks good,
everything works except for AC sometimes. Has 225K miles and I wouldn't
hesitate to take it across country.
Honda resale value is also high, although reliability is typically
better than VW.
Bring the whole family (including the dogs and an infant seat) for
Wagons may be helpful, but they are not common (Civic wagon until
1991 in the US, Accord wagon until 1997 in the US).
Reliability will be most dependent on previous owner care and
maintenance. Be especially careful about checking when the timing
belt was last changed -- it is several hundred dollars to change,
and failure can cause major engine damage. Also, on older Hondas,
do full lock parking lot turns; if you hear grinding or clicking
noises, the CV boots have cracked and allowed dirt into the CV
joints, requiring repair (the boots typically last about 100,000
miles or so).
You might also want to look at Chevrolet or Geo Prizms or 1980s
Chevrolet Novas -- rebadged Toyota Corollas with good reliability
and lower resale value from the "Chevrolet" or "Geo" badge.
Timothy J. Lee
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2005 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: Advice for buying used Accord/Civic, please?
I'm not sure why you say that, except that bargain hunting requires savvy
and patience. For $2000 you can get a Honda that has been well maintained if
you aren't set on getting one a late model one or getting one in a hurry.
There are a number of things to check. The timing belt should have been
changed in the last 50K miles or so, leaving some time on the belt. No rust
in the cooling system and no varnish in the engine are mandatory, and rare -
that 's why the buyer has to be ready to kiss several frogs. The temperature
guage must stay in the mid-range while driving with the A/C on, because of
the chance of head gasket failure. But intermittent failure to start and
stalling are just signs of main relay trouble, a common and cheap failure
that can cause people to drop the price $1000 or more, not knowing they can
fix it for a tenth that amount.
Buying used is like gambling. The high resale value on the Honda makes it
possible for the crook to pan off a lemon while using the car's inherent
reputation to justify the $2000 charge.
Also, GM's Automatic tranny, from a decade ago, has a better reputation then
Honda's Automatics from the same generation. When shopping for a $2000
Automatic, the durability of the transmission
should be the most important qualifier. It doesn't make sense to spend $1500
on a rebuilt tranny for a car that's worthless.
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