A Tale of Two Hondas

Dear friends,

I’m writing because I am in dire need of help, and I don’t know who else to go to with my unique question.

I must preface that I really hate all the stuff that comes with car ownership- insurance, paying for gas, keeping up on maintenance. I just don’t feel like I know enough about it. None of it seems straightforward and it all seems like a monumental hassle with little benefit. Well, my girlfriend and I are civilians stationed with the Army in Germany and we’ve have realized that our life here could involve more local travel if we had a car available to us.

Recently, an older teacher gave us his 1998 Honda Civic before being transferred to another duty station. This car was on its last legs when I received it, has made a valiant last few grocery runs and is now parked, immobilized in the parking lot where I work. The problems with its transmission are too expensive for me to fix. I wasted a lot of money on on this car at the garage on base before they told me that none of the repairs they did would make any difference because the car needs a new transmission. I had my transportation hopes raised and then subsequently dashed.

It seems miraculous, but now yet another coworker is interested in giving away a used Honda. This time it’s a 2001 Accord. Now I am insured to drive two used vehicles: the '01 Accord and the dead '98 Civic. I’m going to have the Accord registered to me tomorrow. Both cars are American spec.

My questions are these: First, do you think that anyone would have use for a Civic with a transmission problem? The coworker who gave it to me was going to have it towed to the strip lot, but he gave it to us because he knew that it had a few more grocery runs in it. We got some use out of it, but it’s too expensive for me to fix. I can have it towed away, but I haven’t yet because I thought that having two Hondas might actually be advantageous. Do the two cars (different models and 3 model years apart) share any useful parts? In other words, is anything in the '98 Civic worth salvaging as parts for the '01 Accord? I’m trying to think of all the angles because just throwing away car parts, even on a dead car, seems like a waste.

Any help would be appreciated!

The cars don’t share many parts. Put the Civic up for sale “as is”. Some folks like old Civics and they might swap out the transmission and have a decent car. Keeping both cars doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

Nothing is shared, so that would say get rid of the Civic.

Bye, bye Civic.

Why pay insurance on a dead car? Cancel the insurance and have it towed away. It was free to you, so just say your good-byes and let it go. If it goes to a salvage yard, someone will find a use for some of the parts. Here in the US, scrap metal prices are making it very profitable just to haul it to a scrap yard or salvage yard. A you-pull-it salvage yard in my area is paying $13.50 per hundred pounds for dead cars.

Are the wheels or tires the same size?

These cars are totally, 100% incompatible (for parts). Somebody will buy the Civic as a “parts car” for their Civic or as a “mechanics special”. The 2001 Accord is a fine vehicle. If it is an automatic make sure you take care of the transmission services since it is a model known for tranny issues.