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A 1.6 VTEC Aerodeck that is suitable for my purposes as it meets the London emissions rules has come up for sale. Unfortunately It is almost 150 miles away with no MOT. That makes going to look at it a problem with lockdown and the risk of being fined. Whenever these cars come up for sale they are never anywhere near London.

 

The mileage is 139,000. Seller claims the manual gearbox is noisy. Asking price is £300.

 

It failed an MOT earlier this month on the list of problems below. Looking through its history it has never failed on any structural rust which is a good sign. These defects seem like they could be sorted fairly easily. Does this seem like it could be a worthwhile project?

Do not drive until repaired (dangerous defects):

  • Offside Front Tyre has ply or cords exposed (5.2.3 (d) (ii))
  • Nearside Front Tyre has ply or cords exposed (5.2.3 (d) (ii))

Repair immediately (major defects):

  • Offside Stop lamp(s) not working (4.3.1 (a) (ii))
  • Service brake excessively fluctuating both front (1.2.1 (e))
  • Exhaust hydrocarbon content after 2nd fast idle exceeds default limits (8.2.1.2 (b))
  • Exhaust carbon monoxide content after 2nd fast idle exceeds default limits (8.2.1.2 (b))
  • Exhaust Lambda reading after 2nd fast idle outside specified limits (8.2.1.2 (c))
  • Exhaust carbon monoxide content at idle exceeds default limits (8.2.1.2 (b))

Repair as soon as possible (minor defects):

  • Windscreen damaged but not adversely affecting driver's view (3.2 (a) (i))

Monitor and repair if necessary (advisories):

  • Oil leak, but not excessive (8.4.1 (a) (i))
  • Fuel filler hoses heavily corroded
  • Nearside Front Service brake binding but not excessively (1.2.1 (f))
  • Offside Rear Suspension arm pin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement trailing (5.3.4 (a) (i))
  • Brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened front (1.1.14 (a) (ii))

 

 

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I guess that the emissions is the potential tricky part of the failures, but I suppose it depends on how far out they are.

 

Otherwise, brakes and tyres should be fairly straightforward. 

 

Viewing and getting it with no MOT and lockdown is going to also be tricky. 

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Hmmm, I does it have full service history (or any at all). This can sometimes give you an indicator as to how difficult solving the emissions issues will be. Full history, shows engine has been cared for so emissions should be easy to fix. No history, engine hasn't had regular oil changes and emissions could be due to wear on the engine due to contaminated oil. Going by the state of the tyres, which are both illegal and dangerous, I'd wager that Civic has been very neglected so doubtful its had any servicing/maintenance done mate.

Seller says gearbox is "noisy", so again, probably never had the gearbox oil changed, thrust bearing is on way out or gearbox is worn. Either way, that needs changed. Not expensive, but pia to have to do that.

Sounds as though all brakes need replaced. The "front brake fluctuating" is due to the discs being thin/worn so they'll probably be warped. Easy and cheap to replace, if all the bolts come out ok. 

I think with that fail sheet, you have a lot of wiggle room to haggle the price down lower. Expecting £300 for it is a wee bit cheeky unless body wise it's mint. There are a few folk on FB do transporting so you  could search and get quotes for getting the car trailered to you. Thing it, can't see that being any less that £200, so factor in that it makes it an expensive car with buggered running gear that can't be driven on the road until more money is spent on it. 

If it was me in your situation regarding the distance etc, I'd be walking away from it.  You can get these with an mot and running fine for around £500. Yes, the 2001's don't come up as often, but they are out there mate. And with an mot, least you can drive it home.

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There are better ones out there, got one last weekend with full mot in good condition other than couple of dents. This was from Near Heathrow, drove back to Leicester without missing a beat, so would advise keep looking. 

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Thanks for the replies. I am interested in this particular one as it is the first 1.6 VTEC I have seen on a Y plate. Most of the others have been 1.4 hatchbacks. The numbers the original brochure gives for the performance of the 1.4 are underwhelming at a 0-60 time of 13.3 seconds compared to 10.6 for the 1.6 VTEC.

 

This car is being sold as spares or repair by a garage/MOT centre. If it was closer I would go and have a look at it and ask how much they would charge for the necessary work to get it through an MOT.

 

For the emissions I would first try a new air filter, set of spark plugs and the valve clearances. The state of the exhaust would be the next part to look at, then the cat and 02 sensors.

 

Brakes and tyres don't seem like much of a problem assuming it is only the discs and pads. How easy is it to change these on a model with ABS? I have read before that pushing the caliper pistons in can damage ABS units on some cars. I have changed discs and pads before on an older car with no ABS so have an idea what that job involves.

 

Are the manual gearboxes the same on both the 1.6 Hatchbacks and aerodecks? if they are, the easiest solution may be to swap it for another used box. If the car was legally driveable, that could be looked into later. Hopefully it is just the clutch bearing.

 

 

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6 hours ago, YRegMB said:

Most of the others have been 1.4 hatchbacks. The numbers the original brochure gives for the performance of the 1.4 are underwhelming at a 0-60 time of 13.3 seconds compared to 10.6 for the 1.6 VTEC.

I had the 1.4 MA8 pre-facelift Civic M and tbh, it was a nice revvy little engine and the car felt pretty nippy. Mine was also an auto so not sure iof it would be quicker/slower on take off than a manual 1.4. To be fair, I doubt the 3 secs difference would be that noticeable in the real time world as the 10.6 isn't quick by any standards lol. Be aware that the "vtec" in the 1.6 isn't performance orientated vtec found in the B series, it's more for fuel efficiency.   

6 hours ago, YRegMB said:

 

 

Brakes and tyres don't seem like much of a problem assuming it is only the discs and pads. How easy is it to change these on a model with ABS? I have read before that pushing the caliper pistons in can damage ABS units on some cars. I have changed discs and pads before on an older car with no ABS so have an idea what that job involves.

 

Are the manual gearboxes the same on both the 1.6 Hatchbacks and aerodecks? if they are, the easiest solution may be to swap it for another used box. If the car was legally driveable, that could be looked into later. Hopefully it is just the clutch bearing.

 

 

Brakes are easy enough mate. Only thing to be careful of is the abs sensors, don't damage them. Never heard of the abs unit being damaged by pushing the piston in. As long as you have the resevoir cap off, you can push the piston back on easily. Gearbox wise, both the hatchback and Aerodeck use the same gearbox so you're ok there.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I know that 10.6 seconds 0-60 is not actually any kind of high performance number. My current car is an early 1990s 1.6l 4 Cyl. The given 0-60 time is 9.6 seconds for that particular model. It's a fairly plain type, but still seems to accelerate better than similar engine size newer cars I have driven. I knew someone that had a 2000 Nissan Almera 1.5l. That had a published 0-60 time of 13.4 seconds and always felt really slow compared to my car.

 

As for the brakes, I have read that some newer cars have to be plugged into a diagnostic machine to change the pads. This apparently has to be done to put the ABS unit into a maintenance mode before the pistons can be pushed back without risk of damaging valves in the unit. I have no idea how true that really is.

 

Are the rear calipers on the Aerodeck the self-adjusting handbrake type which require a wind-back tool? I have dealt with these before on another vehicle and the handbrake cable had to be undone underneath in order to release the tension to wind back the pistons.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, sorry a bit off, but hunting fob/ remote for 98 Aerodeck. Bought few already but have no clue how the original looks like. If you can help me out with a picture or any information where can I find, would appreciate! Thank you!

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