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Thinking about buying an accord


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I'm thinking about buying a 1989 Honda Accord DX but, I know nothing about these cars. How long do they usually last? The one I'm looking at is adult owned and has had regular maintenance, oil changes, ect. The body is great except for minor paint chips and the interior is immaculate. The only thing is, it's sitting at around 219,000 miles. It has a small oil leak, will need new brakes soon, but has no other major problems. He's only asking $800 so that's why I'm thinking this car is on its last leg. Is 219k miles pretty high for these cars? Any other things I should know about these cars before getting it?

 

Thanks

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$800 is fair market price for a 20 year old car with 200+ miles on it. Provided you can do your own minor repairs you should have no trouble keeping it on the road for a while. Really, at $800 how long does the car actually have to survive for you to get your money's worth out of it? 3-6 months or so and anything after that is bonus really.

 

if you really want a vehicle that was going to last very long you shouldn't be looking at cars under a grand and 20 years old. not that it won't, but the statistics are not in your favor unless you are a mechanic and love your car.

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I'm thinking about buying a 1989 Honda Accord DX but, I know nothing about these cars. How long do they usually last? The one I'm looking at is adult owned and has had regular maintenance, oil changes, ect. The body is great except for minor paint chips and the interior is immaculate. The only thing is, it's sitting at around 219,000 miles. It has a small oil leak, will need new brakes soon, but has no other major problems. He's only asking $800 so that's why I'm thinking this car is on its last leg. Is 219k miles pretty high for these cars? Any other things I should know about these cars before getting it?

 

Thanks

Ugh why that year? And why a sh*tty DX trim? That's the lowest trim, and Accords of that year had the flip up lights and they probably don't work that well at this point. I'd save your money and buy something newer and nicer.

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Thanks for the replies. Honestly I am a broke college student looking for something to get me too and from school/work. It's not the best looking car but, I have heard with proper maintenance these cars will last a long time. I don't really care what it looks like as long as it doesn't break down on me like my last car. 1989 BMW. I'm looking for something that would last about 8-10 months. I would be happy if it lasted 8. So, besides looks, what can I expect as far as reliability, durability and money. Am I going to be dumping a lot of money into this car? The guy selling it changed the timing belt at 206k, new clutch, water pump, radiator, and battery.

 

heres a pic

 

honda11.jpg

 

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timing belt is your major maintenance item. other then that, who knows?

 

200k is about the max lifespan for half shafts, wheel bearings, tie rods and ball joints too. These things usually don't make it over 200k and likely have already been replaced, but you never know. You can ask the guy if he knows, but how picky do you want to be for $800? The car really doesn't look that bad of condition. I'm rather impressed actually.

 

A quick check for those things when test driving is listen closely for an unusual hum coming from the front end, sometimes can be a slight pulsating sound or feel for bearings or shafts. As for ball joints and tie rods listen closely as you make 90 degree turns. Pops, clunks or clicks are a giveaway. If you are driving down the road and the car seems to wander even though you seem to be holding the wheel steady you might have some bad tie rods.

 

Otherwise, from the little you have/gave me no reason to believe it wouldn't give you a solid year.

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Yes they have carbs on them and they typically get really good fuel economy. I was getting around 44 mpg on my 86 accord DX before I sold it at 428K and I sold my 89 DX at 315K (both manuals). The only potential head pound problem that can occur on that generation that I had to deal with was because of the carb there is a "ton" of vaccum lines on the car (much more then the fuel injection of that generation) and if there is an issue in the "magic box" or a bad wax driven thermovalve or a cracked vaccum line, etc. you can chase your tail for days trying to diagnois the problem. Every once in a while we would get luck and find the issue in a couple of hours. Once in a while I still have to work on one and I start having flashbacks...

 

Honestly I don't like the looks of the cars either but the fuel effiency is a definite bonus, and +1 to everything stated above. Also they are pre-airbag if you are concerned about that.

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88 was the crossover year I think, you could get an accord version with carb or FI. I have no idea which models had which. 89 i think there was just one model with a carb. 90 they were gone.

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Thanks for all the replies. The car ran great when I went to check it out. I checked for any clicking or pulsating and there was none. I had a similar problem in my last car ('89 BMW) with the clicking. I think it was a bad CV joint. But, I couldn't hear anything when I drove it or made tight turns. The clutch definitely took some time to get used to but it handled great. I handed the guy $800 and drove off with it. Been driving around all over the place with no problems at all except for just tonight, driving home, the low beams decided not to work...fuse? Bought new emblems and fixed the glovebox. Other than the rust, I can't seem to find any problems with the car. She runs strong and I think I could get a year maybe even a couple of years. Most of the time its going to be sitting in a parking lot at college and won't be driven too much. Looking forward to saving a lot on gas!

 

Thanks for all the replies. The car ran great when I went to check it out. I checked for any clicking or pulsating and there was none. I had a similar problem in my last car ('89 BMW) with the clicking. I think it was a bad CV joint. But, I couldn't hear anything when I drove it or made tight turns. The clutch definitely took some time to get used to but it handled great. I handed the guy $800 and drove off with it. Been driving around all over the place with no problems at all except for just tonight, driving home, the low beams decided not to work...fuse? Bought new emblems and fixed the glovebox. Other than the rust, I can't seem to find any problems with the car. She runs strong and I think I could get a year maybe even a couple of years. Most of the time its going to be sitting in a parking lot at college and won't be driven too much. Looking forward to saving a lot on gas!

 

thats weird it posted it twice...

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...anyways, I like the car but, it is extremely slow. Anything I can do to give it a little boost in performance?

Get another car. Those cars are just slow. Not much you can do to really see a difference except for boosting it.

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Just leave the car alone and drive it like an 80 year old lady. With that many miles on it the last thing you want to do is start bumping up hp and driving it more aggresively. It will not survive that kind of abuse. Driven sensibly, like you originally posted you needed it for, that car might last quite a while, but if you start pushing it the life expectancy goes down real quick.

 

Look at it this way, all you wanted was dependable transportation to last you a while. You have that, and the car will still be worth almost what you paid for it when you decide to sell it, if it is still running like now. Don't mess up a good thing. LOL

 

 

Don

Edited by donsrods
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