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Old 13 Nov 2011, 12:01 pm
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Default what to look for when buying a 2002 honda civic?

i wnat to know what things and details i need to look at before i make my decision in buying it.
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Old 13 Nov 2011, 12:16 pm
unk unk is offline
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I have a '99 and it's been great - possibly the best all-around vehicle of the 15 or so I've owned.

Pay attention to the following (in no particular order):

1) Mileage and overall condition. You can get at least 200k miles out of a Civic of that era as long as it's been maintained. If possible, find if mileage is city or hwy. Prefer hwy if lots of miles due to the rigors of city driving. Check all the details - seat slides, door latches, etc. to ensure they work well. Road test it and listen closely for odd sounds. If you're not adept at this, take along someone who is. Do some tight circles in a parking lot - both fwd and reverse - and listen for odd sounds. Check the body - sight along the sides and look for ripples that may indicate body work. Check the seams along doors & hoods to ensure they're uniform. A vehicle that's had major work often won't have uniform seams. If uneven, look closer.

2) Modifications. If loads of modifications (e.g., suspension, etc.), look closer. Some owners think they can drive like the guys on "Need for Speed" and beat their cars. Look closely at the engine & suspension components to see if it was modified but the modifications removed.

3) Drive train. Some transmissions were weak in this era of Civic. Check the gearbox to ensure it shifts smoothly through all gears.

4) Maintenance Records: See if owner has maintenance records. See when the timing belt was changed. Check the actual maintenance against the recommended "normal driving conditions" listing in the user manual. Look for this online and be prepared ahead of time.

5) Title type. Avoid anything with a "Reconstructed" title unless you know what you're doing. Not all reconstructed vehicles are bad; however, they've been salvaged or rebuilt for some reason. It's best to avoid them unless you're a pro - You really don't want a "flood car."

6) Carfax is nice to have. Although some swear by carfax, not all mods are included. Carfax only indicates what someone has bothered or wanted to enter into the database. I've seen cars with significant work & component replacements that haven't shown up on there. Although it's nice, it doesn't always mean it's complete.

7) Look at the headlights. They have a way of hazing. This can be fixed easily.

8) Don't be swayed by bling - shiny additions, aftermarket stereos, added neon lights, etc. Stick with checking the condition of the car itself.

Good Luck & happy motoring.
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