Low mileage high headache

Hey all

I really need some other options.i got a 04 civic with 7400.miles that’s right not even 8000 miles yet and in good cosmetic condition. I thought it would be a good deal. But it seems like hell on wheels. I had it now for 6 months and it basically is falling apart every week its an issue . I have replace the battery and rotors brakes oil changes and it was due for inspection next month.but now the check engine light is on and found it had a EVAP canister leak . And now it would seem like a squirrel has chewed my brake line the pedal goes to the floor so now a new problem. Honda can be great cars if kept well but it seems like it will need an overhaul.
Basically I am asking is it worth it .I don’t mind working what I could myself but there will be stuff I can’t…and will seem costly considering I paid 4 grand for it should I cut my losses with the lemon

Nothing major, that CEL might just be a bad gas cap, I’d replace it and see. As for brakes, they’re 18 years old, so repairs are expected. I’d find a good independent shop, have it towed there, get the brakes fixed and the rest of the car inspected. I’d change all fluids (brake, cooling, power steering, and transmission with Honda ATF). How old are the tires?


Dump it fast. Next time you buy a used car have a pre-purchase inspection done my a mechanic of your choice. It will cost about a $150 but will be well worth it. And, you didn’t buy a lemon,you bought an old (22 years is OLD), poorly maintained car.

That vehicle has set for a long time so rust and non use can cause a lot of problems . Have it towed to a shop to put the brakes in good working order and solve the CEL problem . Then make a decision as of now it is almost worthless . After it is fixed you might even sell it for more then what you paid for it.

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All Civics that age near me are $5000+ with 130,000+ miles. Get this one fixed up (if nothing major is wrong), and I’d bet you’d come out ahead. But I’d keep it and drive it.


… and be sure to maintain it properly from here on.

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Yeah, all of this sounds like regular maintenance on an 18 year old car.

Get everything fixed, and it should be fine. Keeping this car is definitely cheaper than getting something else, in these crazy car times.


A BIG +1 to that question! If the tires are original they need to be replaced NOW, not in a week, NOW. Rubber ages and 22 year old tires are not safe no matter how much tread they show.

Same for rubber brake hoses. Maybe some other rubber hoses, too. Take a careful look around.


Timing belt kit is a NOW item. If that belt breaks engine damage will occur as it is an interference fit engine.
Given the car market prices, I would say fix it and the car is NOT a Lemon.

Rubber parts degrade, batteries fail, and brakes go south on every make of car and it’s not Honda’s fault a rodent decided to hone its teeth.


Despite the low miles, it’s an 18 year old car, so you’ve got to expect repair and maintenance issues. Especially regarding parts that have rubber in them, brake hoses & calipers, bushings, fuel system valves & seals, etc. I know whereof I speak on this matter. I own two vehicles, one 30 years old, one 50. I don’t see anything unusual w/the problems you are reporting. They’re expected on a car of that vintage.

Suggest you locate a well-recommended independent shop that specializes in Honda’s or at least Asian cars and to get started ask for a general inspection service. They’ll look over the situation from the top and from the bottom, inside and out, and give you a list of what needed to be done now, and what can be deferred.

As far as $$$, remember if you don’t keep this car you’ll have to buy another. And if you buy a newer one, you’ll be paying higher payments, higher insurance, and higher registration fees. On the plus side, there will likely be fewer repairs needed. Still, there’s no free lunch.


The tires i replaced already. They were shot .

Thank you . That was a good chunk of uncertainty you help me hammer out. I will have it gone over by a pro and see what’s left to be done

You have been given some really good advice here thank you . I will post an update after this brake repair

The 1.7L engine uses a belt. The 2.0L uses a chain. If this is the 1.7, a new timing belt is overdue.

Or may be overdue: can you find out if/when it was done?

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I think you’ve probably got a great car. The problems you mention are all normal maintenance esp. on a car that sat for a while. I have 3 cars all over 20 years old that I maintain myself… There are times when several problems happen at once and you think maybe you should get something else. But usually they are relatively small problems, especially if you do the work yourself. The Civic is a very reliable car–I have an '02 Accord with 118,000 miles and no serious problems. Your engine is almost new. You’ll never find anything that good for anywhere near the money you paid.

Squirrels do like rubber. I often have to replace a plug wire or two on one of mine that parks under a tree. But replacing the rubber brake hose is easy and not a bad thing to do on an older car. If you don’t know brakes, have someone you trust look at it. But everything I say only applies if you enjoy fixing things yourself. Over time you build up knowledge and the tools needed, and you save thousands of dollars in new car costs and repair bills on used ones.

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Are you sure the odometer is just not starting over again?

Shouldn’t be difficult to detect the difference between one million miles and 8,000.

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How long did it sit for? Did you add any brake fluid? Did you bleed the brakes or see where the fluid is leaking from? The car must have either been sitting for many years to where the rubber parts in the brake system deteriorated or it actually has more than 8000 miles on it. If it was driven a couple of times per year these problems shouldn’t be happening after only 18 years. It sounds like you’ve been driving it. So the brakes worked when you got it but 6 months later you’re having brake issues? A brake fluid flush would be overdue after 18 years. I read that they use DOT 5 brake fluid in military vehicles that sit a lot since it is a different formula than DOT 3/4/5A that can be stored longer.

But note that Dot 5 is silicone based and completely incompatible with Dot 3/4 fluids that come in cars/SUVs.