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1999 Honda Civic DX Maintenance Questions

I’ve taken pretty good care of the car and gotten everything that’s needed fixing taken care of and haven’t let there be much more than 3,000 miles between oil changes. However, it’s getting kinda old, startin’ to creak a bit and and a bit finicky in cold weather which isn’t bad considering it’s about to pass 200k. I guess what I wanna know is if there’s anything I should really be focusing on maintenance-wise to ensure that it keeps running well and doesn’t destroy itself needlessly. Also, the clutch is starting to go a bit, nothing too crazy but I’d say it’ll need a new one (still original) within about 10-20k, so I was wondering if it’d be worth it to replace considering the age. I mean it has literally 0 rust on it and no electrical problems that I know of but at the end of the day it’s only worth about $1800 so I don’t know if a new clutch would be worth the investment. I appreciate any responses, thanks!

The issues that I would be concerned with most (assuming they haven’t been done) is the timing belt kit replacement and a valve lash adjustment.
Either one of those issues if neglected can lead to major engine damage.

If the car is fairly clean, runs well, and doesn’t lose more oil than a grounded tanker I’d say that a new clutch is a good investment.

Definitely haven’t gotten those done but will if you think it’s a good idea. Can you explain what a valve lash adjustment is a bit? Sounds good to me, it’s only down about 1/4-1/2 a quart at the most. I had the valve cover off a couple months ago and it looked super clean so I figure the oil’s been doing its job. How much do you think a clutch would cost me?

The valve lash is a procedure which is done when the valve cover is removed. It’s actually a good idea to check this about every 30k miles although that is seldom ever done.
The majority of car owners will not have any issues by ignoring it. For a chosen few, ignoring it can lead to burned valves and a cylinder head rebuild.

The procedure is not difficult if you’re mechanically inclined. If not so mechanically inclined it’s a job that can be easily botched and create a burned valve situation.

That thing is still on the original timing belt? Wow. God is on your side. On a Honda when the timing belt snaps the engine will suffer severe damage and there will be zero warning before this happens.

Repair costs vary greatly depending upon locale, shop rates, parts sourcing, etc but a rough estimate on the clutch could be 6-800 dollars.
If the clutch still works fairly well I would push that aside for the time being and get the timing belt and valve lash jobs done. The last inspection is not a major repair.

Really? I honestly had no idea that was even a concern, I’ll definitely get it checked out next time I bring it into the shop though! It’s still original indeed! I haven’t even thought to get it replaced but now that you mention it, I’ll definitely get that done too. Yeah the clutch doesn’t slip fortunately but I can tell it’s on its way out. What else do you think I should do maintenance-wise or is just continuing with regular oil changes and what you’ve already mentioned enough? Thank you by the way, I appreciate your responses.

Look at the maintenance schedule for your car. The timing belt change should be there. While the belt is being changed, change the water pump, tensioner, and thermostat. Probably the coolant also.

If all you have been doing is oil changes, you are very lucky, so far.

Other items are brake fluid, air filters, fuel filter, spark plugs, transmission fluid. Again, check the manual. Check the radiator hoses.

Wait. You’ve never done the timing belt and it’s got 200k on it? You’re more than 100k overdue, it could snap at any moment, and that will wreck the engine. Get that done yesterday.

Yeah I’ve begun to realize the timing belt thing is a huge issue, I’m not the first owner but I asked the person who had it before if they had it done and they said no so I’ll definitely get on that. I think I’ll take it in for a tune-up soon to get some of the other stuff you mentioned done. I graduated high school recently so before that I couldn’t make enough money to get any real maintenance work so now I’m trying to change that trend.

A car that age with the timing belt not done; DO IT NOW!!!