How reliable is a 1993 Honda Civic?

How is 1993 model known for reliability?; what is the highes mileage reported on that year?

Why do you ask? A 1993 has long passed the reliability point. All you can do is hope for the best. I guess you want to know the miles one has gone, how would we know that .

I guess what I was asking is: How was that year overall for those cars? I’ve heard of some civics accruing 600,000 miles; have you heard the same stories? That’s all. I know a 25 year old car is not reliable in the sense that it’s a 25 year old car. But this Civic only has 178,000 miles on it, or the odometer rolled over. In either case, I’ve had it a month and all ready put 1500 miles on it, so I was just wondering what to look for to keep it going until I can afford something newer. Timing belt problems for example. Should I get a preventative timing belt change?

YES! Good quality belts have a recommended replacement at 110,000 miles or 7 years. Unless you hold a receipt in your hand showing the date a mileage when the belt was last changed, change it NOW. Assume nothing.

As for the rest of the car. Aging of rubber and plastic parts, rust, and other corrosion all will conspire to kill this car. You didn’t tell us where the car has lived its life - Rust Belt NY State? Or dry, hot, Arizona? Each creates its own set of problems.

A 25 year old car is a crap-shoot. Roll the dice and maybe you get 7, maybe you get Snake-Eyes. Good Luck, hoping you roll 7’s.

Thanks. That was helpful.

Make sure your Civic actually has a timing belt to replace.

I’d assume this one has a 4 cylinder engine, and my experience has been 4 cylinder Honda engines have a timing chain. Which generally lasts the lifetime of the engine.

Good luck.

This new to you car should have all the fluids replaced (oil, transmission, brake, coolant, power steering) unless you have written proof they’ve been changed recently. Have you had a trusted mechanic go over it bumper to bumper to check it out?

And don’t believe the ‘it can run to 600,000 miles’ stories, just about no cars do that without major repairs.

Pre- '06 Civics had timing belts, all the way back to the 1970’s. They also had interference motors, so not replacing it is gambling where if you lose, you grenade the valvetrain.


I took it to Midas and had the oil & fluids changed. They inspected the car and the only problem was the front passenger axle cuff was separated. I new axle was put on. They said change the oil every 3000 miles.

The only other problem I had, and I’ve averaged about 80 miles a day for the past month, is the a/c is broke—go figure. And a small amount of hot air seeps out of the vents, even when the selector is in the off position.

My experience is that the most valuable single thing you can do that will prolong the life of your car is to resolve to learn how to fix small stuff that will continue to break down. If you have to pay someone to do small repairs your wallet will soon be screaming at you to get a newer more reliable car. The cost of a service manual (which might be available for download somewhere on the Internet) and a basic set of socket wrenches, etc., will be paid back quickly. Almost every tool you buy will cost less than the labor charge on a single repair job, and you’ll still have the tool for another project.


If that bugs you, turn “recirculate” on.

If you have good reason to trust Midas, fine, but I’d prefer finding a good independent shop. I’ve had bad experiences at the chains.


My 1999 Civic is probably the best, most reliable, longest lasting car I will ever own. I did need a new used (junkyard) AC compressor a couple years back. I have changed the timing belt twice. It’s at 181,000 miles now. Changed rotors twice, rear drums once. Most expensive repair was to replace brake lines to the rear wheels - one rusted out. That’s life in MN and WI. I check and adjust valve clearances about every 35,000 miles. Replaced headlights once due to clouding - great improvement in appearance and night vision!

If there is hot air, look on the firewall for the valve that opens and closes to let coolant into the heater core. Maybe it is not closing all the way.

3,000 mile oil changes are excessive with today’s oils. Every 6 months or 6,000 miles is still a very cautious regime.

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Thanks shanonia

That is outdated . But the oil change places still say that to generate business and also to play it safe. They really don’t know a persons driving habits so they just call all vehicles as needing severe service .

Thanks, Volvo…v70

This is a 1993 car. I’d look at the owner’s manual before making that statement.

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No 25 year old car can be considered reliable. I’m driving a 20 year old Honda Civic, and it’s not reliable anymore.

The thing to consider is that there are probably still a lot of original parts on that car, so it’s just a matter of time until they fail. I knock on wood as I drive around with a 20 year old fuel pump, transmission, and bearings, all of which are still the originals on my car.

On top of that, your car is used, so you don’t know which parts are originals and which parts were replaced recently. That’s not a recipe for reliability.

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With a 25 year old car, I’d probably do every 3,000 miles or at the most maybe every 5,000

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Factory recommendation is every 7500 miles, I’d have no problem if somebody wanted to do it at 5,000. 3,000 is overkill, to me.

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