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Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Old 06-10-2018, 12:39 PM
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Default Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

I want to buy a cheap, reliable car for my friend so that he can get a job. The best deal on Craigslist (assuming it's not a lemon) is a 2003 Civic for $900. The car recently went into limp mode for a brief period, but the seller says it is likely due to the fact that the steering wheel was changed. The car has been driven for 30 miles and hasn't reentered limp mode.

Can changing the steering wheel make the car enter limp mode, or is there likely some more serious cause? Any buying advice would be appreciated.


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Old 06-10-2018, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

No, the steering wheel change will not cause a CEL / Limp mode.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

That interior made me go into limp mode.

Google how to check the error codes, I'm pretty sure it will tell you the error even if no CEL anymore?
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Originally Posted by Klasse View Post
That interior made me go into limp mode.

Google how to check the error codes, I'm pretty sure it will tell you the error even if no CEL anymore?
It'll depend on how long its been since the CEL was active.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Originally Posted by Klasse View Post
That interior made me go into limp mode.

Google how to check the error codes, I'm pretty sure it will tell you the error even if no CEL anymore?
(Got 'em)

Mileage? I'd look at the transmission suspiciously if it was over 180kish
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Originally Posted by Klasse View Post
That interior made me go into limp mode.
Too true.

I'm assuming OP is already gone and never to be seen again, but yes I would pass this ricebucket up. You can find better options in the $900->$1200 range if you look enough.

And no, steering wheel change will not, ever, in any car, cause it to go into limp mode. That's not what that mode is there for.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Thanks for all of your input! I'm going to pass on this potential money sink.

Is there anything I need to watch out for when purchasing a Honda with around 200,000 miles? I see a lot of listings with head gasket problems which I've been avoiding.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Buying beater Civic for friend; is this one a lemon?

Uh, yeah, headgasket. Make sure the trans is good. Check for suspension work and fuid/timing changes and receipts. See if all the body panels match. Basically just be smart.
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