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Honda Civic Forum - 4th Generation Civic Owners Club
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:46 am 
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A small simple buyers guide for the main bits to look out for when buying these awesome cars. Do not take this guide as absolute Gospel! This is from my experiences, It will not list EVERY fault to look for, as most things will be obvious. I see this guide as a 4G Specific and Common issues to look for when looking to buy one.

This guide covers pretty much all models of civic (DX, GL, 16i, VT, Hatch, Sedan, Shuttles and Imports)

RUST

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FIG 1 - Rear bumper mount - Prone to rusting around the pilot holes for the mount, Bumper should sit flush and parallel against the metalwork. Slide your hand behind the back of the bumper and feel for rust and corrosion

FIG 2 - Lip Protector - Honda fitted rubber lip protectors and every one that left the factory and is fitted to protect the inner and outer arch spot welds. Overtime this seal will collect water accelerating corrosion. If it still has this seal fitted, carefully remove it to inspect the entire arch lip. If its rusted through, prepare to replace the arch panels soon.

Fig 3 - Rear Sill - The rear section of the sill is prone to excessive rust, due to Honda not putting a drain hole at the rear, water collects here rusting the panel through and corroding the spot welds between the Floor, Outer and Inner sill.

Fig 4 - Outer Sills - Common on most vehicles, prone to rusting from where the water collects near the drain holes. The sills come Painted in body colour from factory with black stone chip protection over the top. If they are completely body colour, Be aware repairs may have been done previously.

Side Note - VT's come fitted from the factory with plastic sill covers. Remove these if possible (Remove Mudflap, 4-5 Scrivits on the bottom, Remove End cap and they then slide towards the rear about 1/2" and then come off) Common to rust around the mounting clips and holes on the bottom for the scrivits

Fig 5 - Aerial Hole - Common to rust around the aerial hole, mostly surface but has been know to completely rust out. Awkward to repair due to proximity to the windscreen

Fig 6 - Front wing - All Civics come from the factory fitted with front mudflaps (Rears where optional), Remove the mudflap if you can and inspect the bottom of the wing. Prone to rusting through meaning from where the mudflap sits.


Engine

Fig 1 - Front Engine Mounts - Bush deteriorates and separates from the outer mount - Now and MOT Failure!

Fig 2 - GL Down on Power and Hesitation - GL's are fitted with CV Dual Carbs. Low Mileage, Autos and Poorly serviced examples, the needle slides within the carbs collect dirt and grease, which stick to the shaft reducing the movement of the needle. If it feels down on power (GL's are pretty nippy!), Consider removing the 2 Lids of top of the carbs, Removing the spring and then removing the slide to check for dirt on the slide - See this Dual Carb cleaning Guide - viewtopic.php?f=22&t=17333

Chassis

Fig 1 - Bushs - The usual deteriorating bushes like on every vehicle. One thing to look for is Torn RTA (Rear Trailing Arm) Pivot bushes, Especially on lowered examples. Lowering puts more stress on this bush with can lead to it tearing. you can either visually check it, or when test driving, the vehicle may seem to wander around slightly.


Interior

Fig 1 - Water Ingress - Check the spare wheel well for water. Its not unusually to find a pond! Usually means either the rear light seals need re-sealing or the rear sunroof drain tubes are blocked. Both are an easy fix.

Fig 2 - Sunroof Tray - If you get rained on whilst driving, Check this out. Common for the sunroof trays to rust out. Open the sunroof and from outside looking down into the sunroof, check under the chrome wind deflector for rust. The trays removable for repairs. Replacements are easy to find.


OEM Optional Extras to Look For

British spec cars didn't get all the fancy extras the European, US and JDM Markets got - So this will list UK Specific extras only!

Dash mats - Optional Extra, Not that rare, easily available. But a nice Touch

Rear Mud flaps - Optional Extra. With the exception of the i-VT All other models only came with front Mud flaps. Not that rare, easily available. But a nice Touch

Wind Deflectors - Optional Extra, Quite rare if fitted to a UK Spec Vehicle. OEM Ones have "Honda" Embossed in the plastic at the top of the door

Sunroof Deflectors - Optional Extra, Un-common fitted to a UK Spec Vehicle. OEM Ones have "Honda" Embossed in the plastic in the center

Central Locking - Optional Extra, Not seen that many with it, but they do exist

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:51 am 
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Wow :shock: Now that is an AWESOME guide, thanks Gizmo! :top:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:33 pm 
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Gizmo, not sure about the sills.
Mine are silver up to a point then black, for sure my car is original ;)

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Last edited by zakflip on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Ive changed it. Spelling mistake on my half

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Cool guide Giz. Really helpful to new buyers.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:17 am 
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Great guide....will be using this as a guide for sure!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:12 am 
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Great guide... Mine seems fully loaded for a UK car... Dash mat, rear mudflaps, OEM wind deflectors and sunroof deflectors (wind deflectors now broken up so I removed them :( ) and a centre armrest which isn't mentioned on the guide.

Were the centre armrests rare?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:00 pm 
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They seem to rust around the front door hinges as well, welded both of mine there!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Edges of windscreen rust too

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:42 pm 
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You forgot the loose 'o jaysus' handle ...

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