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Old 06-09-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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I haven't even done a trans fluid flush on it.
you don't need to. changing the filter and fluid is all you need to do.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #12
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"I need expert advice."

well, don't ask here then!
LOL funny.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:08 PM   #13
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Parts are cheap, the car is easy to work on and they seem to last forever even without the best maintenance record. The main problems with these are (especially an older one) the rust. It is sometimes hard to find a clean, rustfree Civic.
I'd say the main problems with a Civic are cost (purchase price and parts price) and condition (so many have been riced and abused).

http://www.rockauto.com/repairindex/
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:19 PM   #14
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id do the caviler, as an owner of a 95 s10 yes i will agree they are pretty easy to work on (what little work there is to do) very basic 4 banger pushrod engine.

yea cavilers are pretty much a no frills car but it fits your criteria easily and are cheap and plentiful.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:52 PM   #15
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I hate to say it but Civic's are the way to go if you aren't on a tight budget. I have been through the engines of both a Civic and a Cavalier. Cavalier engines are too old fashioned. They have extra moving parts, because they dont have overhead cam. Cavalier engines have iron blocks (heavy) while Civics are all aluminum. I am a firm believer that American cars are built with cost in mind. Us automakers will build a product the cheapest they can. Japanease cars are built with quality at the top of the list. Ever hear of the Demming award. They take quality very serious. If you want a vehicle that will last buy a Civic. If you want a cheap car buy American. Also remember a Civic gets better MPG so you may come out ahead paying the little extra.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:19 AM   #16
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I hate to say it but Civic's are the way to go if you aren't on a tight budget. I have been through the engines of both a Civic and a Cavalier. Cavalier engines are too old fashioned. They have extra moving parts, because they dont have overhead cam. Cavalier engines have iron blocks (heavy) while Civics are all aluminum. I am a firm believer that American cars are built with cost in mind. Us automakers will build a product the cheapest they can. Japanease cars are built with quality at the top of the list. Ever hear of the Demming award. They take quality very serious. If you want a vehicle that will last buy a Civic. If you want a cheap car buy American. Also remember a Civic gets better MPG so you may come out ahead paying the little extra.
I agree... Plus the parts might cost more on the Honda, but at least in my experience (again, I have owned both), you do not have to buy parts for the Civic as often as the Cavalier.

I feel the Honda is a LOT more forgiving about being lenient on the maintainance. So sure the Cavalier might cost less for parts, but if you have to buy parts twice as often, are you really saving anything?

There is a reason I did NOT buy another Cavalier when I was looking for a cheap, economical car after selling my modified Regal. Gave tje Saturn a try and did love it, but since I could only find an automatic, it was not getting the fuel economy that I wanted.

So if it was not evident, my list, in order, of the cars mentioned would be:

Honda (Civic most likely)
Saturn (I liked the SC/coupe, but you want 4 doors and I did like both my SL's as well)
Chevrolet (Cavalier)
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:24 AM   #17
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the only thing that I can really argue against honda on is price. that is a double edge sword though as the value stays high and there is a reason the prices stay high.

I can say that my cavalier has done me well and there are a few guys on here that are doing pretty good with their cavaliers. there is a user named phleas. he hasn't been on here in a while but he is doing really well.

most people that purcahse a cavalier aren't in it for the mileabe but because it is cheap. mine was $2000 when I bought it 6ish years ago. a friend of mine bought an '89 civic hatch and spent $1800 for it. it is almost 10 years older than mine. I think it had over 100k miles on it (mine was at 95k).

seriously speaking, you can get better mileage with a civic and it will hold it's value better but what about the initial cost? i know the mechanics are more up to date and it is lighter. I know the displacement is large for a 4-banger.

there are many disadvantages of a cavalier vs a civic but many advantages too. this is coming from a guy that ownes a cavalier and a honda (element) and I don't really have negative things to say about either of them. they have both been wonderful vehicles

in the end, it is all about what is important to you.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:20 AM   #18
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You can get a decent 5 speed manual Cavalier for about $1,000. I found these with a quick search of my local craigs list. Look to spend at least 2 or 3x more for a decent running Honda that hasn't been hacked by some teenager thinking he had a racecar.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/d...782862271.html

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/m...778789999.html
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:24 AM   #19
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What about the Corollas/Prisms, Accords and Camrys? Are they are hard to work on?
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:44 AM   #20
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Accords are plentiful & relatively cheap. They were available with a 5 speed, but they are larger cars and will not get the same mileage as the Civic/Cavalier. I have absolutely no experience with Toyotas so I really cannot comment on them.
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