Honda Civic Si 246K miles!

Hey guys. I am currently interested in buying a used 1999 Civic Si with 246K miles on it. I’ll probably snatch it for about $2,500. I was just curious if this is a wise purchase. This is a 1 owner vehicle. It was meticulously maintained. In may 2012 it had a tune -up , timing chain replaced, new water pump, and valves adjusted. The car practically looks new. I think I can get at least 100K more miles out of it. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

KBB lists the value of this vehicle from a private owner in very good condition at $2000.00.


Agree; offer less since a car that old gets little premium for good condition. However, you will be spending a lot of money in the future; many items will need replacing (if not already done recently) in the next 100,000 miles:

  1. CV joints and shafts
  2. Brakes
  3. Radiator
  4. Alternator
  5. Starter
  6. Battery
    7 Tires
  7. Fuel pump.
  8. Fan motor
  9. Heater core
  10. A./C compressor
  11. Timing belt and water pump.

The above list is not a condemnation of Hondas; it is a tribute that these cars last so long with reasonable care. If this was a Chrysler product it would be worth $500 or so and would head to the scrap yard within 2 years.

Good that it’s a one owner car that has been well maintained, but with that kind of mileage I would try to get it for $2K. As Docnick said, it could need a lot of parts in the next few years.

I agree with Tester. I would not pay more than KBB book value for this vehicle. I would also make sure you take a close look at the underside of this car. People can wash and wax the outside of the car and take meticulous care of the interior but mother nature eats cars from underneath. Brake lines, fuel lines, and subframes (front and rear) are all items that are expensive to replace and will quietly rot out on beautiful looking cars that are old.

I would probably not buy this car. Civic drivers, especially Civic Si drivers, push their cars hard. This owner may say he kept up with the service, and maybe he did, but he probably also drove this car with a heavy foot. On a car this old, you have to expect problems.

$2500 seems a little steep to me. Remember that you can only glean a limited amount of useful info by what the car looks like, inside and under the hood, and from what the owner shows and tells you. There are a lot of uncertainties, esp with this many miles. If you can get 100K out of it without any repairs beyond normal, routine maintenance, it would still be a good buy at $2500. I concur w/that. But I don’t think that is going to happen. I expect you’ll need some repairs, even if they are mostly minor. Esp any part made of rubber or plastic is suspect and could fail at this mileage and age. If the part needed to repair is only available at a dealer, it might cost $500 just for the part. I went to a Toyota dealer to buy a part for my Corolla last week, a simple thermal switch that screws into the cooling jacket, and they quoted $150. Fortunately I was able to find it as a non-oem version at the local auto parts store for $25. But if it were only available from the dealer, I’d have had to cough up $150. If you like this car and have a hunch it will work out good for you, offer $2000, maybe you can get it for $2100 or $2200, something like that. Best of luck.

Value guides or not, a 15 year old car with a quarter million miles on it is not worth anywhere near the asking price; at least in my opinion. A thorough inspection by a competent mechanic will more than likely turn up some issues the seller is not even aware of.

The phrase “meticulously maintained” is often a subjective opinion too.

You might ask the seller about the details as to how the valve lash procedure came about. That may or may not mean something…

I bought a 1997 Honda Civic EX with 225K miles in May for $1,500. I have put nearly 5K miles on it. I took it to the dealer and asked them to go over it with a fine tooth comb. Everything on the list came to $1700 and I let them do $1100. Most of it was wear and tear stuff. Just my experience.

This car most likely has a timing belt - not a timing chain.

Do you live somewhere that uses salt on the roads?

I bought a 1989 Civic Hatchback with 256K miles. I ran a compression check before buying it. I has 270K now and is still going strong. I suggest you have a mechanic inspect it and run a compression check as well. If compression’s good and no other problems are noted, I think it’s worth $2,500, considering what most cars cost these days.

I currently have a well maintained, original owner 2000 Accord with 260K miles with a new timing belt I am selling for $1900 bucks. I expect it to go another 100K miles, so your expectations are not out of line but like everyone else said, consider buying the car cheaper as you may have some parts failures along the way.

Hmm, I’m not sure why your KBB value is so off from mine. In my area it states fair condition $2,750, but anyways I definitely will try and get it for cheaper. The car is from LA and I live in MS so we don’t have to worry about the cancer northern cars get.

The timing belt was changed last year so i’m not worried about it. Parts are generally cheap for a Civic so I think it should be a fairly good little car. I now recall my friend had a 2002 Civic EX coupe which he sold at 270K miles and it ran great even on the day he sold it.

I think that one owner vehicles, especially ones such as this one that are so clean and well maintained should last quite a long time. I sure hope so anyways.

Thanks for the comments (feel free to keep them coming) and I will definitely update the post in regards to what I ended up doing.

Have you seen the car in person?

Pros and Cons,thats a lot of miles,I love Hondas-but an Si may have been “riced”-Kevin

Not only because the motor has that many miles but everything else does too. It matters not how reliable a vehicle is when new, none are that reliale with that many miles. I vote NO also !

Have you actually laid hands on this car and driven it?

I ask because of the you’re in MS and car is from LA reference. The latter could be taken to mean the car is no longer in LA or it’s still in LA sight unseen by you.

This is not some kind of eBay thing is it?

Timing belt change mean a belt only or a timing kit change? If the former, then toss the phrase “meticulously maintained” out the door. There should be receipts to back any belt change up. Otherwise, it means nothing.

Judging from the OP’s response to the first round of advice, this person already has her/his mind made up.

Based on my experience with past ownership of two Accords (1987 and 1996). Reaching 350k miles is very doable. HOWEVER…Unless I personally knew the person who owned it and know for a fact that hey maintained the vehicle religiously…then and only then would I consider purchasing ANY vehicle with that kind of mileage.

Ok, I’m busted. Yes, I’m in love with the car already. Yes, I’ve only seen it in pictures. I did a bit of sleuthing and contacted a local Honda dealer and requested maintenance records using the vin and was given the info I advised earlier. Everyone is hesitant about me buying it and I agree, I’m nervous as well. I guess I’m a gambling man and I am willing to roll the dice. Are there not people out there that love their cars and perhaps do ride them hard, but at the same time keep the maintenance up? I sold a '09 Civic Si because I could no longer afford it and I babied that car. Yes, I drove it hard occasionally, but I also took care of it.
Just my two cents. :stuck_out_tongue: