Last post on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:11 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Golf
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Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Hatchback
#300 of 667 Long-term Honda roadtest
Apr 23, 2000 (1:58 am)
I'm getting rid of an '87 Civic DX Hatchback in a few months. It has 163K on it but the rust monster has basically eaten the car. I thought a few people out there might be interested in the results of my "road test." As far as maintenance goes, I've changed the oil, air filter and coolant religiously; the car does not burn any oil. Do I want another Honda? No. Why. . .
1. Wiper motor failed at 19K. Replaced under warranty.
2. Carb floats failed at ~43K. Complete carb rebuild.
3. Ignition switch failed at ~53K. Car had to be towed.
4. Radiator replaced at about 120K. This car has gone through 2 thermostats as well. With all that, it still runs much closer to redline than any other car I have ever driven.
5. Cassette has not worked properly since about '93. Right speaker failed in about '95. This car has the worst radio reception I have ever experienced.
6. Starter motor replaced at about 135K.
7. The car has had a vacuum leak as long as I have had it. The idle sounds funny but seems to work OK.
8. The stick has been very sticky since about '96. I am told the problem is bad bushings. Too cheap to fix.
9. Seat belts have failed to retract properly since about 1995.
10. The skin of the right rocker and the structural components no longer touch. Rust in other places too. Left rear wheel no longer perpendicular to road.
11. After about 50K miles, virtually every brake job involved a cylinder replacement.
There have GOT to be better vehicles on the road than this piece of trash. Lest anyone think that I have the only Honda problem child, I have a friend with a Civic that REALLY overheated. Although there was never any coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant, the problem was only fixed at 92K with a replacement engine. Back to my car, both CV joints have been replaced, but I consider that quasi-routine.
Apr 24, 2000 (3:53 pm)
Well, with a couple of exceptions, your list of "problems" are pretty trivial. It's an old car with 163K. Sounds like you REALLY don't like to spend money. Your radio has been broken for seven years and you put up with it....?
I wonder what you would be complaining about if you had bought a Volkswagen instad of a Honda?
Apr 24, 2000 (4:37 pm)
Well I got 96k mi. on my '97 Civic DX htbk now and I 've replaced the following:
0-83K mi. - NOTHING replaced (just did a minor
83K mi. Speed sensor went and blew the alternator
Both were replaced under the extended
warranty I had purchased.
83K - 96K present - NOTHING! car runs great!
Even the battery is factory..
Of course I did replace the timing belt at 91K mi. as part of the maintenance and I replaced the brake pads at 75k mi. (no cylinder, just pads)
Oil is replaced every 3500 mi. Radiator was flushed once at 55K mi. - ALL regular maintenance stuff - cheap..
All my friends have had similar experiences with their '92-'99 Civics as I have (so far).
I drive my Civic very hard and very fast. I average 80mph all the time going to work and back home and I often hit a 100mph for a few seconds (I then remember that I 'm not in my Integra GSR and I slow down). The engine sounds and feels like when I first bought the car and after I tuned up around 83K mi. it's even faster now!
Sounds like you just had bad luck with your Civic but it wasn't too bad. I 've seen a lot worse with VWs. My friend got rid of his '89 Jetta when it had 80K mi. He replaced almost everything in the car except for the motor!! He had to replace the water pump at least twice! Starter, oil pump, voltage regulators, alternators, radiator, you name it! I 'm sure the VWs are better now but I just got a phobia and stay away from them after seeing what my friend went through. I wouldn't blame you either if you didn't buy another Honda but if you had a VW it might 've been worse. You definitely didn't have "your average" Honda but again I don't think your problems were that great either IMO.
#303 of 667 Trivial problems?
Apr 25, 2000 (1:15 am)
Structural rust causing the car to fall apart is not trivial. Working at a large facility, I see lots of parked cars. Hondas have the worst rust of any Japanese brand. My favorite is that stupid strip they still put on the inside of Civic rear fenders and used to put on Accords. Is it because the paint can't handle junk from the road being tossed up there? In any event, that rubber traps water and causes rust at either end of the strip. Without exception. I have yet to see European stuff of any ilk that rusts like a Honda.
Back to the rest, being towed is not trivial. As far as the other stuff goes, my point is that Hondas are NOT bulletproof. My brother has spent more to maintain his Accord than his Blazer. On the subject of that Accord (63 K), its an '87. I have driven it up windy canyon roads in Utah and though it was a great handling vehicle, better than my Civic. I test drove an Accord EX a couple of weeks ago and thought it handled much worse than my Civic. I think Honda engineers have some work to do.
#304 of 667 The moment of absolute bliss
Apr 25, 2000 (3:56 am)
Today I test-drove the 1.8T 5-speed, and boy, I am in love - big time!!! But there is one problem, the dealer stands so firm on the MSRP and would not knock off a cent! It is a supply and demand problem, here in Canada, there are only a couple around (in Toronto, at least) and the average waiting time is about 2-3 months. Does anyone know what the invoice price for the 1.8T?? I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere (including this site). Plus, one dealer offer me a Jetta 1.8T at a Golf 1.8T price, is that a good deal?
My test car comes with sun-roof and alloy wheels and heated seats, and the going price is CDN$30050 on the road with a CD thrown in. I think it is absurd. Any opinion on what the fair price for the car should be?? Do I have more bargaining power if I am willing to wait longer?
One more thing, the dealer told me that any Golf 1.8T that is now in stock is German made,and anything after mid-May would be made in Brazil; is there any truth in that statement??? Does it REALLY matter as in where the car is made (quality-wise)?
My heart is still pounding after the drive, and I feel intoxicated, unable to think straight, please help!!
Apr 25, 2000 (2:25 pm)
Your experience is pretty typical and that's why I like (and sell) Hondas. Are they "bulletproof"?
Of course not! They are pretty predictable however.
Since I live in Seattle where it rains constantly but seldom snows and the roads aren't salted, I can't respond to the rust issue.
I have seen older Hondas with some rust but no more than other cars.
Nasaboy...whatever you drive, you will need to open your wallet once in awhile!
Apr 25, 2000 (2:33 pm)
I know how you feel. I felt the same the first time I drove an Integra Type-R (195hp) and the first time I redlined my GSR (8100 RPM).
Unfortunately if there are not that many Golf 1.8Ts around the dealers can charge whatever they want.
I 'm pretty sure I saw the Jetta 1.8T pricing here at Edmund's and the sticker was around $19,800 US (invoice about $2K less) which is around $26-27K Canadian. The Golf 1.8T should be less or the same as Jetta at the most. So the $30K Can. is way too much. Integra Type-Rs go for $32.5K over there!
Looks like your dealer added $3-4K on top of sticker. The car is not worth that much. You should wait and get a better price.
#307 of 667 Buyer BEWARE in Denver, CO
Apr 26, 2000 (8:51 pm)
If anyone lives in the Denver area and are looking to buy any sort of Honda, stay away from Planet Honda. My story: My wife and I test drove a CRV from Planet Honda. This was the first time we drove one. We made it very clear to the salesperson that we were not interested in buying that day, but were looking to do something in about 3 weeks. Everything went fine until we were almost back to the dealership. The salesperson asked us why we wouldn't buy that day. We said we were waiting for our tax refund so that we could put down a larger downpayment. He said we should lease instead of purchase. I informed him that we keep our vehicles more than a few years. This pressure from him kept up even after we returned to the dealership. He even asked us after we told him "no" several times if he should get the CRV all cleaned up for us to take delivery that day! We just walked away. That night we emailed the dealership our experience with this salesperson b/c we had talked to someone different several months before and had a totally opposite experience. The dealer's response was to have the internet salespeople contact us, who never addressed the problem we encountered, but were very eager to sell us a vehicle. We were contacted 3 different times by the internet salespeople.
There are several other dealers in the Denver area who do not use high pressure sales tactics. We purchased our CRV from Fisher Honda in Boulder. Ask for Suzi Smith or Craig Sweeney.
Apr 26, 2000 (9:08 pm)
I live in New York but have seen many other people say bad things about Planet Honda in Denver. Some had the same experience as you too..
#309 of 667 only1harry
Apr 27, 2000 (3:50 pm)
Thanks for the feedback. If anyone is interested, you can email Planet Honda. This will make them realize they can't make people mad who have access to a computer. They are located at: http://www.planethonda.com