Honda Civic Passes 200 - Do We Need a New Car

Our Honda Civic just passed 200,000 miles (1997 5-Speed Manual EX). How much more can I expect out of it? We take good care of it, get everything flushed, oil changed, etc. as recommended. Other than burning a quart of oil every 500 miles or so, it still runs well. Everything else is in working order. It had a new clutch about 100,000 miles ago.

Essentially, I would like to know if we should start saving for a new car by necessity in one year, two years, or 3 months. We drive about 10K-15K a year.

This model itself is capable of 300,000+ miles, but that assumes diligent maintenance. I’m surprised you are using a quart every 500 miles-that would suggest that maybe some maintenance wasn’t as good as it should have been. That said, it should serve you reliably for at least another 2 years if you keep an eye on the oil.

You might want to track down the cause of the oil loss- maybe a leakdown test to see if it’s rings, check if one cylinder is abnormal.

As long as it’s running well keep it until it dies.

What concerns me is the amount of oil it’s burning. There are some problems with that much oil.

If it’s really consuming a quart of oil every 500 miles, I suggest you plan to purchase something else within the next year. You should have started saving a long time ago, but that’s not the point. Your car will not last forever. Start planning for you next car, and do it quickly. This one is wearing out.

Start saving. It may last a good deal longer but the quart every 500 miles is excessive.

Also the timing belt is due sometime in the near future.

My wife’s 1996 Civic LX was burning a quart every 800-1000 miles at 180k. She was great about oil changes every 5000 miles never over since new. They are not infallible cars like every thinks.

Are you sure its burning it and not leaking it? Some leaks can be hard to find. It could be due to something as simple as a valve cover gasket or an oil pressure sending unit. You should be due for a timing belt change at around 210k, that would be a good time to get the front crank and cam oil seals replaced.

I would also suggest that you do a little new car shopping. Price out a new car that you like, figure out your monthly payments, include any additional insurance costs, and start making those payments into a savings account. Use the account to pay for any minor repairs, but if a major repair comes along that would wipeout the account, then you will need to consider whether use the money to buy new at that time or make the repair.

If your lucky, by the time the Honda needs a major repair, you’ll have enough money to pay cash for the new vehicle.

You should have started saving for a new car 100,000 ago and you would now have enough to cover that cost.

There is no way of knowing what is in the future or when you might need a new car. You could be hit by someone running a traffic light today and need a new car. If all goes well you could go to 300,000 and more miles.