Head gasket / distributer on a 96 honda civic

is it worth fixing? I got 200,000 miles on it. the mechanic says it is - but he seems uncertain. I want my car to last till at least 250,000 to make it worth the cost of repairing.

If you’re doing the repair yourself the labor is free. If you’re paying someone for the repairs, take that money and put it towards a replacement vehicle. The vehicle is 14 years old with 200,000 miles.


Is the car up to date on ALL of its maintenance, including the timing belt?
If it has an automatic trans, have you faithfully changed the fluid every 3 yrs/30k miles?
If it has a manual transmission, when was the clutch replaced?

If the car needs any of the above items, you can add anywhere from a few hundred $$ to…perhaps $4,000 to the repair costs that you have already identified. And, of course, there will be the other inevitable things that will go wrong over the next 50k miles with a car that is now 13-14 years old and getting older by the day.

If I were you, I would consider that I had gotten my money’s worth from this car, and just move on to something a whole lot newer.

Agree; time to say goodbye to an old and faithful friend. You are now at the beginning of potentially seriouis repairs, and another 50,000 miles, although possible, will be expensive. As pointed out, save that money and move on to something a lot newer.

Experienced used car owners buy good cars about 3 years old with low mileage and drive them till they are 14-15 years old and beginning to get expensive. The next owner may be a student who drives little or someone who wants a second car for a few errands. The last owner will run it into the ground, so to speak.

thanks everyone. I guess that is the route I will go. I cant seem to find anyone to buy it for more than 500 though. that seems pretty low even with the gasket repair.

i know i was going to get the timing belt changed as well if i needed it.
other than that i keep it in pretty goood shape

$500 is great for a headache with a potential nest of unknowns. Take it and smile.

The iffy part about a head gasket repair are the circumstances surrounding the failure.

If the car is in good shape otherwise, ran good, and burned no oil, and IF (a big IF) the car was not operated while severely overheating and IF it was not driven around with a leaking gasket then I might be inclined to say fix it IF (that word again) the repair costs are not in the very high category.

If the car was severely overheating, coolant mixing with engine oil, etc, etc. then I agree; it’s time to send it down the road.
A junkyard won’t pay that much but you might list it on Craisglist with a “Best Offer” heading and someone may jump on it. Maybe someone with a wrecked Civic that has a bad engine would be willing to up the ante on it.