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Old 29th March 2008, 20:36   #1
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Cool Used 98 OHC 1.5 efi AT. Initial Comment

Hey Forum,

I recently moved to Malaysia on a two year assignment. I couldn't bring over my beloved Fiat Palio 1.2 NV Elx, sadly as Palios are not sold in Malaysia and therefore would have been difficult to maintain. So gifted the Palio to my dad and stated hunting for a used car.
My requirements:-
1) Fun to drive-Absolutely Essential.
2) Should be able to last me a coupla years without problems.
3) Not more than 10 years old.
4) Within INR 4 lac equivalent.

The first car I chose was a Citroen ZX 2.0 Volcane. But the deal fell through as the owner couldn't deliver on the promised date and Citroen ZX has a bad reputation for breaking down in Malaysia so I didn't really push so hard. Although I am not one for public opinions( I bought a Palio in start 2007) but some people with personal experience advised me against it.
But enough about me and now about the Car.
Its a dark blue, end 98 1.5 EFI Auto OHC. Has run 158 K which I admit is pretty high but a coupla petrol-heads told me that a maintained Honda is good for atleast 400-500 K km, and I'm only here for two years. Anyway Malaysian roads are easier on the car than our Indian ones.
Found it over the Internet with one of the reputed second hand car dealers here. Fixed a time and went over for a test drive.
The car drives very well and doesn't seem 10 years old at all. I had earlier tried to rent a 8 year old Proton Saga(Malaysian car) here and just reversing it at the garage I felt as if I was sitting inside a ticking time bomb. Absolutely everything had rattled, tittered, screeched or otherwise screamed for attention when I just started that number. Quality Baby. That's what we need and dont get.
But no rattles at all from the Honda. Nothing makes a sound but the exhaust which has a sweet note. The exhaust is the original factory fitted one. Grumbles on low gears but doesn't scream at high RPM. I'm the type who let the speed cameras do the talking instead of the exhaust so I'm quite happy with it. There was some noise during the test drive from the front suspension when going over pot-holes (ya u can find pot-holes here too, if you really want to) but I asked the dealer to repair that in case I bought the car. He agreed and also put in a free service prior to delivery. The deal was closed at about 3 lac INR equivalent.
Anyway received the car about a month ago. Have been driving it around the city ever since-that's what its for- its a Honda "City" isn't it?
The old lady has been treating me right ever since. The acceleration is Good, infact didn't expect that from an auto. There's no problem going up-hill with the AC on full swing- something that happened sometimes with my Palio back home. The gear shift is spot on. The controls and also the audio are very accessible from the driver's position. I don't have to bend forward to change radio channels. I had a minor accident in my M800 a few years ago when increasing the audio volume, so have been very sensitive on this point ever since( My Palio in India has steering mounted controls for the Kenwood head unit). There is enough space for 5, though not class leading. The suspension is a tad soft, but I've never hit the tarmac over a speed breaker (ya those too exist in Malaysia, in fact are more common) yet The AC cools instantly and is really powerful. All summed up, the car is in pristine condition.
But what is more. It feels right! The driving position is good. The handling is fine, much better than the Proton Wira I drove for a couple of months here. The door closes with a resounding Thunk! and the engine always does what I tell it to.
Problems? Yes a couple. 1) The AC fan doesn't work at the first two notches. Have to keep it at 3 or 4. 2) One of the headlamp bulbs has gone for the dipper position. Will get that changed first thing tomorrow.
Intended changes in near future:-
Sun film(absolutely essential)
ICE upgrade and steering mounted controls for the audio. (Anybody selling used JBLs?)
Wanna get a spoiler, it looks way cool on the OHC, liked GTO's OHC's spoiler, will try to find something like it.
There is a metallic white piping(factory fitted I guess)round some edges. I don't like it and will probably get it painted black.
Some artistry (sticker or paint-job) to express its uniqueness. Like Brad Pitt said in Fight Club-'You are not the car you drive.' But I do believe what car you drive says something about who you are. And the OHC says the right things about me I think. It suits me.

Help needed from the forum on one point though. The car didn't come with the original Owner's manual. Please share with me if you have a soft copy. Otherwise any tips on service-schedule, maintenance will be much appreciated.

Enjoy the passing scenery, the winding road and the whistling wind. There's much more to your drive than just the speedo.
Play Safe and Drive Safe
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Old 30th March 2008, 13:46   #2
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Ah, the OHC bug is trans-national Yes a well maintained one should last 400k-600k, from what I've heard around here too. I guess the zero-rattles are because of good roads - my 2001 does squeak a bit on bad roads, tho its smooth on good surface.
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Old 30th March 2008, 17:36   #3
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Originally Posted by zenx View Post
Ah, the OHC bug is trans-national Yes a well maintained one should last 400k-600k, from what I've heard around here too. I guess the zero-rattles are because of good roads - my 2001 does squeak a bit on bad roads, tho its smooth on good surface.
400-500k - i am doubtful...all though we have members whose cars are running at 100-150k ..

rattling is definetly an issue with this car becos clearly its not as "solidly " built as european cars..

service interval is once in 5000kms .
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Old 30th March 2008, 19:29   #4
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Congrats and welcome to the OHC club. I am sure honda will last you till 400K. Honda city engines are bullet proof and built to last. The A/C not working for first two speeds is a very common problem with OHCs.
The OHC has a high revving engine so for performance keed the rpm above 3.5K though you might feel lack of low end torque. Are you considering any performance mods?
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