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Five Overlooked Problems to Watch Out for When Buying a Used Honda Civic

Honda Civic a Carolina Favorite

The Honda Civic is by far among the most popular cars in the Raleigh area. Folks love the Civic’s reliability and low cost of maintenance. It’s also quite fun to drive. However, always invest in a pre-purchase vehicle inspection before buying a used Civic. Undetected issues can put you in a financial hole. Here are five overlooked problems to watch out for.

1. Rust
When shopping for a used Honda Civic, many people forget to properly inspect the car for rust. Even a small rust spot should be taken seriously. It’s only a matter of time before it worsens.

Civics that have spent a lot of time in snow-prone regions are especially susceptible to experiencing rust. Road salt can literally eat away at the metal. Although you may not notice any signs of oxidation on the vehicle’s exterior, there could be rust hidden underneath. A mechanic will need to examine the subframe, wheel wells, exhaust, and rear quarters.

2. Faulty HVAC System
The last thing you want is to buy a Civic with a malfunctioning HVAC system. Heating issues are more common than you may think. Oftentimes, the issue stems from a bad thermal fuse.

During the summer, some Honda HVAC systems fail to cool. There could be a refrigerant leak, which means an AC recharge is needed. However, you could also be dealing with a bad AC compressor. The only way to solve the problem is to install a new one.

3. Poor Modifications
It’s no secret that some drivers like to modify their Honda Civic to enhance performance. Unfortunately, this can dramatically hurt the car’s reliability. Never buy a used Civic that has been heavily modified.

While a lowered suspension may look cool, it can cause parts of the underside to become damaged. Extra stress could also be placed upon the various suspension and steering components. Of course, engine mods tend to be the worst.

4. Worn Timing Belt
If you’re looking to buy a used Honda Civic that was made during the late 90s or early 2000s, there’s a good chance it features a timing belt. This part needs to be checked before you decide to get the car. If a worn timing belt suddenly breaks on while you’re on the road, major engine damage can occur.

A professional mechanic can determine if the timing belt is severely worn. However, they can only give a rough estimate as to how much life the belt has left. This is why maintenance records are so valuable. By looking at a vehicle’s service log, you can determine the specific date when the timing belt was last replaced.

5. Bad Engine Mounts
Many Honda models are prone to experiencing bad engine mounts. These rubber components are designed to help ensure a smooth performance. When the mounts wear out, expect the engine to vibrate and rattle.

If you do decide to buy a used Honda Civic that has bad engine mounts, the seller will need to reduce the car’s price. You’ll have to factor in the cost of labor and parts.

About the Author
Chris Whitfield

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