Junkyard Find: A 1993 Honda Civic DX Sedan With 323,486 Miles

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
As the owner of a very battered fifth-generation Honda Civic, I’m always aware of examples of Honda’s 1992-1995 subcompact when I spot them during my junkyard travels. I see plenty of these cars with odometers showing better than 300,000 miles, but it has taken a frighteningly wretched-looking one to get me to whip out my camera while on a junkyard-photographing mission.On a recent trip to grab a heater-temperature control knob for my car (lost in my garage clutter when I removed the dash during an ill-advised engine-swap-related rewiring job), I found this used-up ’93 sedan and decided that this high-mile veteran ought to be documented before it heads to The Crusher.
Apart from the fragile head gasket (never overheat a Honda D or B engine) and a tendency to dissolve in rust-prone regions, the fifth-generation Civic was one of the most reliable motor vehicles ever sold. Nearly all the examples I see in junkyards have more than 200,000 miles on the clock. I’m sure most junkyard 1970s and 1980s diesel Mercedes-Benzes racked up even more miles, but most of the ones I find have five-digit odometers or missing instrument clusters.
The sturdy D15B7 engine, rated at 103 horsepower. You have to spin the hell out of the this non-VTEC engine to get moving, and even then you won’t go very quickly. My trouble-free 200k-plus-mile D15B7 now sits on the garage floor, awaiting donation to a 24 Hours of Lemons Civic team that will kill it within hours.
Turn-signal light getting a little rattly? Spray foam to the rescue!
There’s some rust here, nothing too terrible but enough to knock the few remaining dollars out of this car’s potential resale value.
Members of the fast-n-furious Civic-modder crowd prefer the hatchbacks for some reason, so there wasn’t much chance that one of the vape-and-big-eBay-turbo group would rescue this sedan.
This is the exact same industrial-gray interior found in my car. Actually, it’s nicer than the interior in my car.
I pulled the knob off the temperature slider, shot my last photograph of this car, and abandoned it to its fate.
In Japan, Jodie Foster helped move these cars off the showroom floor.
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Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on Oct 29, 2018

    Thanks for the Jodi Foster videos. At 3:04, it could have easily been a Mentos commercial.

  • Lamp Wick Lamp Wick on Jan 24, 2019

    I just purchased a running rolling,unmolested 93 DX w/ 299 on the clock. Drove it home,and have been driving it for the last three days. ...o,and I paid 3 bills for it

    • Shane Shane on Jul 12, 2019

      > I just purchased a running rolling,unmolested 93 DX w/ 299 on the clock. I have a '92 Accord, in brilliant shape inside and out, bone stock, runs great after some minor maintenance, 148K when bought, 165k now. I have now doubt that the reason it was unmolested and well cared for by mature adults is because it's an automatic.

  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, both China and the EU use a standardized charger connection. About time the US & Canada to follow.Would take some of the anxiety out of an EU purchase and accelerate adoption. 🚗🚗🚗
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