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Everything I wanted to know about my 1992 Honda Civic LX

I bought this car new (it’s 18 now) and it has 189K miles. I want to keep it forever! Can I? What should be going wrong and how can I stop it? Thanks! Kimikimkim

It’s possible. I have a friend who owns his grandfathers original 1925 Model T Ford and drives it every weekend. You will just have to replace the parts as they fail. Keep up the maintenance and keep your eyes and ears open for any problems. The drivetrain is usually the first to go but which exact component is anyones guess. Good luck!

To add a bit of clarification to missileman’s excellent advice, what I do is whenevr I have the hood open or am under the car for any reason whatsoever, which is generally about once a week just to look, I simply check all the fluids and I look around for anything that looks not-right. I look at hoses, reservoirs, the radiator, whatever I can easily see.

By noticing something like a small drip of coolant, or a heat-deformed fan shroud (I had one once…the failing fan motor was actually getting that hot) and addressing the cause immediately, you can prevent a little spot of radiator corrosion or a failing fan motor (both minor to repair) from becoming an overheated and dessimated engine.

I noticed on my old pickup once a crusty green area on the radiator, with a dab of coolant. I went straight to a radiator place, picked up a new radiator, and went home and installed it. After I finished, I pushed the crusty spot with my finger. The spot collapsed under my finger. It was a radiator blowout on the verge of happening.

You’d be amazed at the serious problems you can prevent by just looking around.

Keep doing what you have already. Most cars have a hard enough time going 18yrs so you are doing something right.

Timing belt and transmission fluid changes (if an automatic) are the two most important things. If the timing belt isn’t changed on schedule (mileage or time, whichever’s sooner) it’ll break and ruin the engine. Make sure you get the valves adjusted at the same time or sooner if the maintenance schedule calls for it.

I’d also mention that in my experience, most old Hondas get junked with running engines but bodies that are falling apart. So if you’re really serious about keeping it forever, I think being proactive about fixing things like squeaks and rattles and dents and such is almost as important as keeping it in good shape mechanically.