1997 civic dx hatchback Vs. 1994 Civic VX which to buy??? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-31-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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1997 civic dx hatchback Vs. 1994 Civic VX which to buy???

I am currently looking at a civic vx a 1994 its about a 7 hour drive from me has 175k on it pretty clean shape no rust, a couple tiny dings nothing major missing a tiny bit of paint on the front bumper, white looks like a pretty clean car.

Fresh A/C,....the guy is asking 2200.00 firm, I would have to greyhound it down...which sucks.

The other car I am looking at is a 1997 civic dx silver super clean 1 owner 87k on it, everything is perfect except the a/c is dead dont know what is wrong...the guy is asking 3900.00 seems like a great deal especially if the a/c just needs a charge.

Which would you go for?

Im not made of money...which would be the best car for the money?
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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The VX! Sucky drive, but worth more money than you'll be paying for it I think,
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:16 PM   #3
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I'd vote for the VX. Although it's at 175k on the odomoter, if the guys taken care of it, it is largely just getting broken in. If the engine is gone you can get a used Japanese replacement engine for $400 or so and install it, or have someone install it. $2200 for a VX in fairly good condition is a pretty fair price, IMO.

Can you do a one trip flight and just return with it? Their is a person on here who purchased one in Arizona, hopped on Southwest and picked it up. He drove it back to California and got 50+mpg, so it wasn't really to bad, except for the time, maybe.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:18 PM   #4
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Buy the VX - only the CRX HF tops it!

94 VX VTEC-E 39/50/43
97 DX VTEC 26/33/28

New 2008 revised EPA ratings.

Man, the 97 DX VTEC is a fuel hog!
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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The 97 DX never had vtec!
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:12 AM   #6
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OK, No VTEC in the DX but MPG is still lousy

28/35/30 still can't compete with 39/50/43.
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:55 AM   #7
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Nope, sure can't!
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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What are the major things to look for when buying a VX besides the condition of the body, I want no rust or body damage. What are things to look for in the engine bay or to notice when driving?
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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The one I am looking at is white, 178k, clean car fax, no rust or major body damage, rip on the drivers side seat bolster, besides that a clean interior, 2 new tires, new brakes and resurfaced rotors, records of oil changes for the last 4 years, a/c serviced in last year it blows cold, the paint could use a good buffing. I am going to get some more photos of the car today the ones I have were taken with a cell phone so they look like crap. Oh, this one has mudflaps, and a radio and passenger side mirror. The guy wants 2200 firm, im going to be taking a 11 hour greyhound trip to get it because flying from tallahassee florida is EXPENSIVE....470 for a ticket to Miami..greyhound is 68bucks...and im on a budget.

Let me know if you can think of anything to ask this guy before I go all the way down there to pick up the car.

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:08 PM   #10
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Check list for VX

Idle at 550 to 600 RPM with no accessories on - fan at lowest speed. Engine should not shake at all at this idle speed.
Idle at 750 to 800 RPM with A/C or headlights on. Fan speed at next faster setting can increase idle to this range as well - I don't know why.

Make sure that the alternator is charging the battery so you don't get stuck on the highway going home. A multimeter and some duct tape will work for your test drive. The alternator should be charging the battery at highway speed and your battery reading should be about 14 volts.

Check the alternator belt for tightness and check the a/c drive belt for tightness also.

Ask when the timing belt and water pump were replaced. If they don't know you are taking a moderate risk - especially to drive 350 miles.

Minimal engine noise at idle - any grinding noise with the clutch disengaged (pedal not pressed) means a bad transmission bearing either the input shaft bearing or mainshaft bearing. My current VX had this problem when I bought it but I bought it anyway - turns out it was low on transmission oil because one of the axle seals was leaking. So inspect for leaking axle seals at both sides of the transmission and torn CV joint boots near the wheels while you are there.

Engine rpm should be 2100 in 5th gear at 70 MPH - VTEC-E should be active meaning that if you try to accelerate in 5th at 70 MPH it will not impress you - two valves per cylinder operation or about 70 horses in VTEC-E.

Check the coolant overflow for color/clarity. If its brown or murky that could be a problem. Take off the oil filler cap and look for light colored gel like deposits that might be coolant in the oil. Also pull the oil dipstick and look for the same thing. Check exhaust for white, blue or black smoke - really push the engine hard to see if there are any head gasket or bad cylinder issues. Check the coolant temperature gauge - it should not make it to the mid point between cold and hot at any time - idling or running at high load / high rpm.

Check the tire tread for unusual or unbalanced wear. My current VX had worn front lower control arm bushings and the outer edges of the tires wore more quickly than the inner edges. It's fixable but it's not too fun to do!

Check that the master cylinder has enough brake fluid (don't remove the cap!).

After running the car through its paces, stop and check the ground under the car for any leaks other than water from the A/C. If there are any oil or coolant spots on the ground after a couple of minutes - don't buy it.

These are some of the things that can be wrong. There are more but I can't think of any right now.
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