Car Remodeling Business Tips and Guides
Remembering My 1986 Honda Civic
Honda has a reputation for quality, which is why when I bumped into a low-priced 1986 Honda Civic on a used car lot, I thought it might make a pretty good car. Man was I wrong.
I should have known better when the salesperson willingly replaced the radio, windshield and battery as part of the deal. But, I went on and bought it anyway.
The problems started a few days later when I went out to start the car. It didn’t start up. Dead battery. The used car dealer was quite helpful since the car was still within the state’s return the new Canadian brakes and brought a new battery out to me.
The radio, which had been swiped out of some other car on the lot worked fine, if you didn’t want to be able to pre-set any stations, so I replaced that fairly quickly. Shortly thereafter, the antenna broke off while I was driving down the street and I hadn’t even taken it through the car wash.
That’s when the real trouble started. I got the coolant flushed by a local shop and set off on a road trip. An hour into the trip, I noticed my temperature gauge was trying to advance past the red warning zone. Blown head gasket. I probably shouldn’t have repaired it, but I did. Several hundred dollars in labor for a two dollar part.
The Civic provided me with two decent years after that. It got me where I needed to go and was much more reliable than my friends beater of a car, which you had to hold the doors shut on sometimes in the winter because the latches froze open. But, the good times didn’t last.
The ugly end didn’t come quick enough. First, one of the rear brake cylinders started leaking causing me to have to slam the brake pedal into the floor with two feet to stop the car. I fixed that myself by tightening everything up, bleeding the line and refilling the brake fluid.
Then I stopped in a sporting goods store and when I came out the care wouldn’t start. Ignition switch failure. Then, I tried starting it on the way to work one morning and nothing happened. The shop replaced the spark plug wires and the fuel filter.
On my way to work another morning, my battery light came on. I noticed that as I was driving down the highway, as long as I kept the car above 60 miles per hour, the light would go off. The car died in my office parking lot. A jump and a scary ride to the nearest garage later (which included a police officer helping me push it the last 27 feet due to it stalling at a red light), I had the alternator replaced.
Of course, I didn’t get the hint yet. I had to wait until the car really kicked the bucket for that. One night, after staying late at work, I set off for home only to find that something in the transmission was slipping so badly, the car wouldn’t go above 15 miles per hour. I abandoned it in a gas station for the night and had it towed to a charity lot the next day.
I never realized how bad that car was until later, when my next car went 12 years before needing a major repair. The 1986 Civic had all those problems in just three years.