In 1979 I bought a 1977 Honda Civic CVCC 5 speed with 20,000 miles on it. Honda had just done the recall on this Civic to replace a potentially bad head gasket.
The Civic required a set of ignition points at least once a year & occasional adjustments to the non self adjusting rear brake shoes. I took the carburetor apart twice in the 13 years I drove the car, mostly just for cleaning & partly to satisfy my curiosity. Also, the air filter would get occasional small pieces of road gravel & debris in it because of a poor fresh air pick up location. I changed the timing belt & the water pump once. At 160,00 miles the car quit on me on the freeway, the problem ended up being a blown fuse in the electric fuel pump circuit.
One day I was changing the engine oil & the fuel filter, when I got curious about what was under the plastic cap on the adjacent fuel pump. I removed the cap & saw something resembling a set of permanently mounted ignition points controlling the pump. One of the contact surfaces had worn away, & the contact arm itself was the only thing making the connection to the remaining contact! I went directly to Honda, bought a new fuel pump & installed it. The next morning the car started normally & off I went to work. As soon as I got on the freeway onramp, the engine quit! I had left my tools & the old pump in the trunk, so 30 minutes later I had the old pump back on. I drove back to Honda & told them the new pump had failed, the parts man told me Honda fuel pumps don’t fail & reluctantly called a mechanic in from the service department. The mechanic took the pump & was gone for 30 minutes. When he came back, the parts man told me I was “Lucky” because they had a car in the shop that used the same pump as mine & that the mechanic installed my new pump on that car & it didn’t work. So they gave me another new pump, ironically I’d been standing there staring at the “No return on Electrical parts” sign while I’d waited. I put about 250,000 miles on that car, & when I sold it, it needed a new clutch.
To replace the 1977 Civic; I bought a new 1992 Civic DX 5 speed, during the time that we had fuel shortages & 55 mph speed limits. I drove at 55 mph on the freeway for as long as the 55 mph limit was in effect and was blown away at the car getting over 50 mpg on my commute. 188,000 miles later, I still own this car, & it continues to get good mileage & doesn’t use oil between changes. I’ve used regular Dino oil & change it every 4,000 miles. At 65 mph, this car delivers 40 mpg.
It has broke down twice within the last 2 years. The first time was my fault, the carbon brush in the center of the distributor cap wore completely down & I couldn’t even find a trace of it left. It must have been quite a while since I had replaced the distributor cap. The second breakdown, the main Computer inside the car burned out a large capacitor & destroyed a lot of the circuit board. I bought a used computer for $75 on eBay, it worked fine.
I’ve gone through 4 sets of tires, 1 timing belt, a water pump, several air filters, both headlights, 2 sets of brake pads & a set of fan belts.
My biggest complaints with this car, I didn’t buy it with AC.