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Old 5th June 2023, 00:38   #1
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2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Summary


As my first car, I purchased a pre-owned 2008 bronze Honda Civic V-MT, 1.8 i-VTEC with 8xxxx kilometers on it. Over the past three and half months, I have driven it for 2xxx kilometers, with a significant portion on highways and ghats around Pune, and some city driving to get around.

2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice-1.jpeg
2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice-2.jpeg

What I like

  • Exterior - I can't help but linger around the car just a bit longer after it's parked, often stealing glances as I walk away. That's all you need. It is a classic stunner
  • Engine - Wafts quietly in low RPMs, sounds like a dream and pulls hard in high RPMs
  • Handling - The car is fun on curves, thanks to its sharp front end and low stance
  • Interior - The car is spacious and comfortable, especially the rear seat. The interiors are beautiful and aging like a fine wine, especially the dashboard
  • Safety - It has ABS, a couple of airbags, a strong build, and achieved a 5-star NCAP rating when it was tested back in the 2000s
  • Experience - You feel special every time you take this car out
  • Reliability - Everything has been working well so far after 3 months and 2000 kilometers of ownership

What I don't like


  • Low ground clearance - The car is prone to scraping its underbelly on illegal speed-breakers and especially bad roads, especially when loaded
  • Easy to stall - The clutch has a long travel and a relatively sharp point before it starts moving, making it easy to stall. This often results in a slow getaway in bumper-to-bumper traffic
  • Bit of a challenge in city - You cannot see the bonnet of the car, so it takes some practice to comfortably maneuver in the city. Low ground clearance and the long travel clutch does not help
  • Large front glass - It heats up the car quickly. Visually, the large glass looks a bit too tall and weird when viewed from certain angles
  • Bumper body gaps - The edges of the bumper, both front and rear, slightly protrude from the body structure, which stands out upon closer inspection
  • 15-inch alloys - They look underwhelming
  • Missing features - The car lacks some new, helpful features like bluetooth, fuel efficiency indicator, cruise control, and remote boot opening

Introduction



I love speed, adventure, and the outdoors. Whether it's jumping out of small Cessna airplanes, cycling for hundreds of kilometers and flying down hills in an aero position, swimming in the oceans, running for hours under the hot sun, or setting some quick times on go-karting circuits.
Back in February 2023, I had just turned 23, had a job, and wanted to get my own transportation. Since I only had to go to the office once a week, and the office was barely a kilometer away, the primary objective of this vehicle would be good old-fashioned fun, and not something that would have to endure daily scheduled traffic runs. So, I felt like I owed it to myself to get a fun and exciting car/bike. I wanted something that would complement this fast-paced early twenties phase of my life and be an enabler for fun trips and good times!

How about a bike?



I considered getting a bike. The idea of snaking up a winding ghat on a fast and loud bike ran circles around my head for a while. However, since I did not have significant experience riding powerful bikes, I was looking for a sub-300cc bike to start with before upgrading to something more powerful, or maybe even a Royal Enfield for a cool cruiser vibe.
One day, I did a test ride of the Gixxer 250, FZ 250, and R15 in the middle of the day. However, I was left feeling a little underwhelmed. Upon further consideration, I realized that the lack of protection from the elements, lack of safety, and limited space would severely limit the bike's use case for me. Plus upon asking, all my family and friends chose getting a car over a bike. I had little reason to pursue getting a bike and ended up dropping the idea. Maybe I'll consider it again sometime later.

Nah, a car is better



What I was crazy about is cars. When it came to choosing my major after my bachelors at IIT Madras, I opted for Automotive engineering simply because I enjoyed it, even though I knew I wouldn't pursue a career in that industry.
I remember reading the Overdrive and Autocar magazines in the early 2010s and I could make out the vehicle model and sometime even the variant just by the slightest of a glance back then. That time was also dominated by relatively accessible fast sedans. You got a v6 in the Accord and the Superb. I was particularly fond of the butch Cruze, the elusive Kizashi with its exotic rear, and the clean Passat. But the Civic held a near mythical status due to its design and its NFS influence. Plus JDM car culture was quite hot in the late 2000s. Countless hours were spent in my formative years playing NFS and that did feed my love for fast cars.
My uncle owned a Chevy Optra since the mid-2000s, and I think that also influenced my love for fast sedans. There was a story about how the Optra once was near its top speed on an empty highway, but there was a old Honda City up the road that it just couldn't catch. However, I'm not sure if it really happened.
In short, I loved the cars from the 2010s.
I did not want a long-term commitment as I may move overseas, or the upcoming automotive policies could be unfavorable for pure internal combustion cars in a few years. I would not be using the car for more than five years, and the running would be limited to approximately 8,000 kilometers per year. The car would primarily be used on open roads rather than being stuck in traffic. I wanted to experience pure internal combustion engines before they become obsolete owing to increasingly strict emission regulations and a shift towards electric/hybrid vehicles.

Requirements from the car



Important
  • Should be a special car that I can fall in love with
  • Powerful engine and quick
  • Engaging to drive
  • Well built and safe
  • A beautiful and timeless design
  • Only 4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine
  • A manual petrol
  • Only hatchbacks and sedans, no SUVs
  • Should fit my road bike inside it somehow, either with seats folded or in the trunk. I did not want to use an external bike stand
  • Reliable and justifiably priced spares in case of a pre-owned car
  • Ideally within 12L for a new car and 10L for a preowned including the restoration. Could stretch if required

Not so important
  • Did not care much about the latest gizmos and gimmicks. A spartan but well built car with was basics would do
  • Rear space was not a concern since most on the time only the front seats would be occupied
  • Since the running was expected to be ~8000 kilometers, fuel efficiency was not important

The Civic satisfied all criteria but given that it was a 10+ year old car that was long being discontinued, I was on a lookout for saner alternatives, just for the sake of being exhaustive.

Alternatives



Looking at the current car line-up, I didn't feel anything about them, but I decided to give it a shot mostly because my father wanted me to buy a new car.
I looked at the hatchback market, which consisted mostly of 3-cylinder engines or weakly constructed cars. I wasn't excited by any of the offerings. While I thought the Slavia and Virtus were quite nice, the 4-cylinder options would cost ~20l, which would require a budget stretch. And they had turbos. The depreciation hit on new cars would also be quite significant after I sell them in ~5 years. The pre-owned market would have a significantly better value proposition, so I exclusively started looking at pre-owned cars.

I was most fascinated by the Polo. It had the reputation of being one of the most fun-to-drive hatches in the country. Upon checking it out and driving it in a Spinny showroom, I loved the simple interiors, beautiful timeless design, and the strong, no-nonsense build. However, I didn't go ahead with this car because
  • The latest models had 3-cylinder engines
  • The rear seats, when folded down, did not sit properly and kept popping up a little. It was very important to me that I could fit my road bike properly inside the car. With this setup, it would be jumping up and down
  • Questionable reliability and high repair bills when something went wrong
The 5+ year-old European cars had a reputation for being high-maintenance and expensive to repair when the inevitable issue occurs. Hence, I did not bother much with the used Volkswagen, Skoda, or even some super-depreciated Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
Honestly, I just wanted the Civic. I decided to check out a few cars and see how I felt about them. As long as I found a good car, it could give me a few years of fun and trouble-free experience! It also had a super-reliable engine and strong built quality. It was usable and reliable along with being one of the most exciting cars to drive, and that engine sounded like a dream.

Buying A Civic



After filtering out Civic cars on OLX/Carwale that were automatics, CNG fitted, driven for more than 100,000 kilometers, or had three or more previous owners, or visually in poor condition, I decided to look at three shortlisted cars in person.

When I spoke with the dealer for a 2008 Civic, he informed me that he had already reached an agreement with a buyer for a price lower than the listed price, and that the buyer would be picking up the car the next day. Nevertheless, I decided to visit primarily for information gathering.
Since I knew I would also be doing some work on the car, I kept a list of how much extra I would need to spend on it. I also spoke with a nearby Honda Service Centre and planned to take the cars I liked there for a further detailed checkup.

I saw a 2011 car first, registered as MH20, parked outside with no shade. The steering wheel had turned yellowish, and the silver paint on the door armrest had worn off. The closing button did not work for the left ORVM. Overall, these were issues to be expected, and I knew they could be fixed relatively cheaply. However, that car had a yellow engine light on and sounded a little off when revved. I could see that the car had been maintained in an okay condition. The person in charge told me that I could bring in a mechanic to check the car, but that I could not take it to the Honda Service Centre. He also did not offer a test drive, saying that I had to pay a small booking amount first. I knew that some influence could fix that, so I told him I would come back next week with someone experienced and check again.

Then I went to see the 2008 model which was apparently booked.

As soon as I saw the car, I was in love with it. It was properly parked in shade and looked pretty good from the outside. I had a little time to examine the car on my own before the dealer arrived. The car had a well-documented service history from an authorized service center, with the previous service having been done just a month before. It was owned by a fifty-something year old gentleman, who was the first and the only owner. Every single thing worked in the car. E-v-e-r-y single thing. The engine was quiet when idling. There were some minor dings, a dent on the underfloor panel and a repainted door, but that was to be expected. There were no smudges on the roof liner, and the car's interior was in pristine condition. It was clear that the car had been well well taken care of. I knew I wanted that car, it was perfect!

I took the car around for a spin, checked the engine note while revving it, everything seemed to be in order. The dealer was upfront and honest about the proceedings. He personally owned a 2001 Honda City and a two-stroke RX-100 from the '90s, which helped his image a bit. Now I had to make the decision that day as the next day, it would be sold to another buyer. Also I had to fly out the next day and Iíd be away for a week, and it would surely be gone until Iím back.

I told the dealer that I liked the car but wanted to get it checked from the service centre before. Initially he was reluctant, but I stood my ground. He asked me what price would I give for the car. I told him if everything was in order and there were no major red flags, I would give a price more than the previous buyer (but lower than what it was listed for online) and would immediately take the car off his hands.

He accompanied me to the service centre where the car was checked for a couple of hours and deemed to be in a good mechanical condition given its age. The engine and transmission were in good shape and confirmed to have a good life in them. The servicing schedule was also confirmed. They mentioned that a complete suspension overhaul and replacement of engine and transmission mounts would be necessary by the end of the year as it was weakened. However, I was aware that most Civics of this age would require this if it hadn't been done already, so it was not a concern. I would need to re-register the car with the RTO, which would cost a bit, but it was good to go! The consultant I spoke with at the service centre gave me the green light. I decided to skip checking out the final Civic as it was almost the end of the day, a second owner white 2012 model in slightly worse condition based on the images, with a lower mileage but was listed at a significantly higher price.

We returned and he called the other buyer to cancel the deal, promising to find another Civic at a good price. After verifying that all the papers were in order, I made the transfer and brought home the car on the same day!

Although I did consider the possibility that the potential buyer was a ploy by the dealer to force me into making a decision that day, I dismissed it. The dealer had informed me about the potential buyer when I first called him, and had also disclosed the agreed-upon price, which was much lower than the listed price. By doing this, he risked me not showing up at all, and also sacrificing some extra margin.

In hindsight, I couldíve quoted a bit lower amount to him and saved some money. Also I couldíve handled the situation so that I also got a chance to look at the last car, the 2012 model instead of just going with the flow and cancelling the plans to see that car, just to be more exhaustive. However, I had already seen quite a few Civics on the internet and knew that finding one with a well-documented service history, a single owner, and that satisfied all my criteria would be hard to come by. I had looked at every single Civic on sale in Pune which was available online. It would have been better if I had found 2012 model in similar condition. Mumbai registered cars were a strict no-no due to almost certain rusting. Pune was the next biggest hub after Mumbai, and there was nothing significant afterwards. I did not have enough time or interest to look at cars from other states. It took me just 24 hours of active action to call shortlisted dealers, visit them, select a car, get it checked by the authorized service centre, do a background check, get the papers, and transfer the amount to finally take home the car.

Yes, I had made tiny mistakes but thatís okay, and the downsides for those mistakes were limited. Honestly speaking, I was super satisfied with what I got and was thrilled with my first used car buying experience.

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Last edited by tri_life : 7th June 2023 at 04:12.
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Old 5th June 2023, 02:22   #2
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Re: Honda Civic 2008 Ownership Report: An inspired choice

Work done on the car



Since I’ve bought the car, I have done the following upgrades on the car

Bodywork



2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice-6.jpeg
Before starting the bodywork

I did the bodywork at Autozilla Pune, as it was close to my home. The owner Ashish explained all the procedures very patiently when I took the car to the studio for the first time. They were doing PPF application on a Macan and had a 320d GT and a Q3 in queue. That signaled that I can expect quality work from the studio. He was very helpful throughout the entire process and his inputs proved to be valuable. Overall, it was a great experience and I loved the final result! The following was done as a part of bodywork
  • Ceramic coating - I wanted the car to look good, it was a no brainer to get the ceramic coating done.
  • Matt black alloy and red calipers - I was considering shades of grey in glossy paint initially, but Ashish strongly recommended black with red calipers, also showed me how the combination looked on his A4. After much consideration and seeing Ace F355’s grey Shark, I finalized matt black with red calipers. Matt can be turned into gloss easily and cheaply after sprinkling some pearls and applying a clear coat in case I did not like the finish. However I loved it once it was done, and decided to keep it as it is. Black wheels suit the car so much better than the original silver finish!

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Side profile post bodywork

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Rear three quarters post bodywork

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Back in the parking spot

LED headlights



The original headlight throw of the halogen lamps was pretty bad. I replaced them with a couple pair of Moco 156W warm white LEDs and that changed the entire game. These lights are very powerful and I have to be careful not to blind the oncoming drivers. I use low beams 95% of the time, only using high beam to warn vehicles ahead, or on highways where there is a tall divider and no vehicle in close vicinity up ahead. Night drives are so much easier after this upgrade.

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Sunfilm



As we were approaching the summers and temperatures were rising, I decided to install a transparent UV block film on the front windshield and a 70% tint film on the rest of the glasses. I found the laws to be a bit grey over sunfilm application. A tint as low as 50% was acceptable, but some said that only the OEM tint was allowed, while others said that you can apply RTO certified films from brands like Garware. However I decided to take the plunge as the car used to heat up very quickly when parked outside. The car does run cooler after the application, and it does not get as hot as before when parked outside for extended time. It also looks quite nice.

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The tint looks quite nice from the side profile, plus keeps the car cool

Rear parking sensors



Initially I wanted to only install a camera, hidden away inside the boot hood, but the main problem was the screen. I considered getting Apple Carplay for navigation, music and the rear camera but all the outer plastic replacement pieces I saw were just very ugly and were often protruding. I knew that I can’t live with the eyesore given I’d be spending most of the time in the driver’s seat. Plus the volume control knob would be replaced by a tiny button, or worse, a touchscreen menu. And I loved the original dashboard design, and touchscreen then was a hard no. I considered getting a small independent screen for my camera, but again positioning was an issue and these screens were often dim and low resolution. Also, it would not have a reliable distance marker. Dealing with occasional tight spaces was starting to be a problem, so finally, I just got the parking sensors installed with a heavy heart. I could not find the exact color match to the bronze color, so I just got the black ones. They come with a tiny screen installed on top of the IRVM that shows the distance till obstacle detected by all 4 sensors when the car is reversing and is inconspicuous otherwise. The sensors looked hideous and I couldn’t sleep properly that night. I immediately got them repainted the next day. Undoubtedly a visual downgrade, but it helps, so I begrudgingly made peace with how it looks.

Suspension and mounts overhaul



When I first got the car checked up at the Honda Service Centre, they told me that I can expect to replace the suspension and the mounts by the end of the year. However, the front of the car jerked a bit at the speedbreakers, and it often scraped tall speedbreakers. I decided to fix that right away as I wanted the best possible experience in my first year, and waiting until they are completely dead did not make sense, so I replaced whatever was necessary. The garage replaced everything except the springs as they were still in acceptable conditions. They used used Monroe components as the OEMs had a long wait and were much more expensive. The car runs significantly better now however, I may go ahead and replace the springs as well for the best possible experience as it does feel like the springs are weaker in comparison to the dampers.

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Car looks much more balanced after suspension work

Tyres



Upsized the tyres to Goodyear 205s primarily for increased ground clearance, better comfort and better looks. The ride is noticeably more comfortable, however i cannot determine if it is because of new tyres or bigger tyres. It does however look a bit nicer and the ground clearance has increased by around a centimeter.

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The tyres are taller and fill the wheel arch a bit more

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A close up. Note the water beads glistening on the hydrophobic surface

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Last edited by tri_life : 6th June 2023 at 16:04.
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Old 5th June 2023, 03:55   #3
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Re: Honda Civic 2008 Ownership Report: An inspired choice

Impressions



These are my impressions after living with the car of about three and half months and driving it for over 2000 kilometers.

The Engine



Of course, the primary reason for getting this car. Wafts quietly below 2k, starts that little growl at 3k growing louder till 5k, that’s where the insanity starts with vtec. It howls all the way until the 7k redline! You get a nice purrr as you get off the throttle at the high rpm as you let the engine braking reign you in a bit. Even the cold start sounds lovely with a low purr. Low gear pull is insane, overtakes are done in an instant. I use high gears only for wafting, and use the low gears for all the acceleration and overtaking. I found the low RPM torque to be good enough for relaxed accelerations/overtakes. Folks around love the sound. People have asked if the exhaust is stock, because of how it sounds. Heck even my grandma loves the way it sounds! My girlfriend’s eyes light up like she’s getting a candy when I drop gears and line up for the excuse of an overtake. When I drive the car, it engages me fully and I forget about everything else, the engine plays a major part in that.
Check out these YouTube shorts for the soundtrack.




The looks



I am obsessed with this machine and looks play a big part. It is big, imposing and hauntingly beautiful to look at. The matt black rims and the red calipers on bronze, almost grey body gives is a very clean and classy look, with a good dose of aggression. I love those fighter jet inspired twin round rear lamps, absolute classics and I would imagine a flyby would look pretty amazing as this car zooms past you in the middle of the night. The gleaming twin exhaust completes the almost perfect rear of this car. It looks elegant, almost beautiful from the front with its low stance, the low headlight positioning and all those curves. However, bend down a little and look at the car from dead front, and the super tall front windshield makes it look like a minivan! The ORVMs look cool with long triangular turn indicator. It is a beautiful machine and you can look at it all day long, and I often catch myself scrolling through the pictures of my car, or linger around the car for a bit too long after I park it anywhere, stealing glances.

The Gearbox



The car shudders a tiny bit when lifting the clutch to crawl ahead. There is a long travel and you have to be careful not to lift it very fast as this car is again very easy to stall. This often leads you slow off the lines which is a pain in stop-go situations. The gear ratios are a bit tall. Gear changes are nice and smooth and the gear slot in with a satisfying click sound.

The first gear is a bit too jerky to be used for anything other than getting off the line.

The second gear is brilliant. It starting to pull from 12km/h and maxxes out at 100 km/h. This gear is perfectly positioned to be used for spirited ghat road driving, instantaneous overtakes, that decelaration purr and the exhaust would announce your arrival well in advance to the oncoming car aiding safety. This gear if significantly smoother than the first for acceleration/deceleration. You cannot accidentally redline it, so it also keeps the speed in check. Reminds me of that meme

“Civic owners producing the most ungodly level of noise humanly imaginable just to reach 30 mph”

It’s just perfect for some low speed fun, and essentially this is where most of the fun is, quick accelerations, direction changes and the sounds. And its safer. You don’t need to drive this machine upwards of triple digits to have fun, though of course you can do that very easily if you want to.

Usually for cruising, I’ll shift to third gear upwards of 30 km/h, fourth gear upwards of 50 km/h and the fifth upwards of 80 km/h.

Handling



This car is a dream to drive on ghats and highways due to its groundhugging stance as long as the road is relatively smooth. The front end is quite responsive and sharp. Turns quick and the steering has a nice feel to it. The car feels planted at high speeds. As many have reported, it is best driven with only the front seats occupied, as it does lose that edge when you have two more passengers at the rear.

Ride Quality



This car hates the speedbreakers. I have scraped the car often before suspension and tyre replacement. Since the suspension and tyre upgrade, scraping is significantly rarer. You have be careful when the backseats are occupied. It is not ideal to drive it on rough roads that are pothole ridden, you have to go touch slower than the traffic around you. The thuds are pronounced. But overall, it is a super comfortable car to drive and be driven in. I may replace the springs in the near future.

Driving Position



I love the low driving position. I prefer to keep it in its lowest setting all the time, and it feel quite special, unlike anything out there.

Audio System



Since this car does not have bluetooth, I plug a spare iPhone SE with its 3.5 mm jack into the AUX cable for audio. It has all my spotify playlists, I just shuffle the one I want and keep the phone inside one of the storage spaces with cover, so that it well hidden. Overall a neat solution, and works very well for me. The AUX allows for a higher fidelity audio transfer than bluetooth, so that is an advantage of using this system. The audio quality is acceptable, nothing spectacular, but gets the work done nicely.

NVH Level



The car is quiet when you are cruising at low RPMs. There is a sweet sounding growl when you are at high RPMs. However, the insulation does mute that noise to quite some extent. The thuds when dealing with sharp speedbreakers are noticeable.

The Interiors



The interiors are big and roomy given it is a big car and there is plenty of space for everyone. Everything feels plush and high quality. The dashboard does give away its age, however I find it beautifully vintage. There are plenty of lights inside the cabin. The steering wheel is beautiful and the split instrument cluster is exotic yet super functional. The driver seat has height adjustment and you have tilt and telescopic steering. The seats hold you nicely and firmly in place, they have gotten a bit firm, but no discomfort during long drives so far. Climate control is a good to have and the AC works pretty well. There is plenty of storage space in the cabin, and I love that it is properly covered. It has simple, functional and beautiful interiors. At night, the tiny lights on the center console look quite spectacular. In terms of gizmos/extra features, this car surely is minimal in comparison to modern cars, but that is alright with me. You have everything that is necessary.

I had the pleasure of being driven on the rear seat, and it is a treat. There is plenty leg space and there is this big meaty centre armrest to and you can also control the music volume from here. Soft suspension does pay off when you’re being driven around.

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The cabin

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Love the old school console

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Love the simple and beautiful cockpit

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Daytime without lights

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Best suited to seat two at the back

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Surely a good place to be

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Plenty of space at the back

The Condition



A few family/friends (of course non car enthusiast ones) have confused this for a new car, thanks to the ceramic coating and my habit of keeping the car (interior and exterior) perfectly clean coupled with already great condition of the car. I was driving with one of my friends who randomly said that this is in quite a good condition for a 5 year old car (?)

Experience



Everytime I drive this car, there is a sense of occasion. Even now after all this time, I am super excited to take the car out, even if its just for a kilometer and it feels special every single time. It is super engaging to drive and I find myself saying something like “shit this is so much fun!” frequently on drives. And after I park it, I just find myself looking at it for much longer than average.

Fuel efficiency



In city, it returns a mileage of ~9-10 kmpl. It dips to 8 kmpl if there are too many short (<3 km) runs in the city. On highways, it returns anything between 11 kmpl to 16 kmpl.
Overall, I feel like the fuel efficiency is adequate given its engine displacement and my driving habits.

Family's impressions


My father has overcome his aversion to used cars with this one.
When I took the car to my sister’s wedding, extended family members were very surprised to know that it is not a new car. Of course, Indian families love big cars so the Civic was received well.
I got a nod of respect from the older members of my extended family for getting so much of a car for so little money after they inspected and drove it. Everybody loved the engine! Some spoke of how they were stunned by the car when it was launched and wanted to purchase it, but how life/practicalities got in the way.

Up Ahead



I may replace the springs in near future, but apart from that, nothing much is planned. It would be used frequently for the weekend trips, plenty of ghats and highways. I want to use the car for the next 5 years, and I hope there are no terminal issue that get in the way of that. The first quarter has been absolutely fantastic, let us see what the future has in hold for us. Looking back, there is no other car that I would rather have at this point of time.
Enjoy the random pictures of the Civic until I post next set of updates.
Cheers!

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Felt adventurous, decided to take the Civic to MG Road on a Saturday
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The Civic was decorated with flowers for my sister's wedding
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Last edited by tri_life : 7th June 2023 at 03:57.
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Old 7th June 2023, 05:29   #4
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th June 2023, 11:35   #5
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by tri_life View Post
As my first car, I purchased a pre-owned 2008 bronze Honda Civic V-MT, 1.8 i-VTEC with 8xxxx kilometers on it.
Congratulations on the purchase, tri_life. This generation of the Civic will always have a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts in India, and especially people our age. What incredible luck that you found a fairly elusive well-kept example. Absolutely Love that you're taking such great care of it. Looking forward to more updates from you on this beautiful ride and hoping to live (and own this ) vicariously through your posts. Wishing you hundreds of thousands of happy miles with it. Enjoy it.
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Old 7th June 2023, 12:54   #6
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by tri_life View Post
As my first car, I purchased a pre-owned 2008 bronze Honda Civic V-MT, 1.8 i-VTEC with 8xxxx kilometers on it.
Woah, Congrats! That's a stunner and well kept. Enjoy the exhilaration, that only Civic can give


Quote:
[list][*]Low ground clearance - The car is prone to scraping its underbelly on illegal speed-breakers and especially bad roads, especially when loaded
[*]Bit of a challenge in city - You cannot see the bonnet of the car, so it takes some practice to comfortably maneuver in the city. Low ground clearance and the long travel clutch does not help
[*]Bumper body gaps - The edges of the bumper, both front and rear, slightly protrude from the body structure, which stands out upon closer inspection
For low ground clearance, RogerAb insert on rear shocks will slightly benefit. They are good and will hold well.

For front lower side visibility, the two zone parking sensor could be a good idea.

Bumper body gaps - Most likely the clips might have broken off, and unfortuntely having a new set is the only option. Since these are very small imperfections, spending on a new number set won't be a sensible solution.

Quote:
Yes, I had made tiny mistakes but thatís okay, and the downsides for those mistakes were limited. Honestly speaking, I was super satisfied with what I got and was thrilled with my first used car buying experience.
Machines are meant to be like that. This one is destined to be with you, so enjoy every bit of it. Drive safe and enjoy!
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Old 7th June 2023, 13:29   #7
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Congratulations on the Civic.
I had a very similar story starting with bikes and ended up buying a Civic. Mine is a 2008 Civic with around 75k kms. Bought it when the odo was at 63k. The experience has been pretty good so far. Although I do have some expensive part changes lined up. Suspension, brake pads and rotors, steering rack, ad some body work.

But the way it makes me smile every time I drive it is incomparable. The fuel efficiency is something that is bothering me. It is not a very efficient car especially in the hilly regions.
Also i agree with you on the fact the 15 inch wheels are too small for the Civic. Cars outside India had 16,17 or 18 inch wheels. Better wheels and slightly fatter tyres makes it handle so much better. Turn ins become very fast and the steering becomes extremely responsive, but the ride does take a hit.

Wishing a happy journey tri_life.
Posting some pics of my Civic
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Old 7th June 2023, 14:55   #8
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Very nice write up on a timeless beauty. It deserves every word of it.

I drive a 2007 Civic with around 90K on the odo and do quite a few highway runs. It is supremely comfortable, not only for the driver but for all passengers as well. Nobody complains even after long non-stop runs. It does handle beautifully and the steering is sharp and precise. Due to the low ground clearance and solid weight, it does give a planted feeling, apart from the beautiful stance. Handles corners well- not really a corner craver because of the long wheel base but still I have never felt the rear wheels giving up on me. Super powerful brakes is something which must be mentioned. At any speed, just a light foot on the B pedal gives you a sense of security and it tames great speeds in split seconds. I generally drive sedately cruising anywhere between 80-100 on the highways with short bursts of higher speeds and that sees me a fuel efficiency of 15KMPL easily most of the time. Though I would agree that if I were in my 20s, probably like you, I might not have had the patience to keep it from redlining due to super free revving engine. It does reach insane speeds in no time. All of this with Honda reliability. Perfect match for me.

And did I tell you that it still looks so much beautiful even among the crowd of newer cars. It is a design to be cherished.

Thanks for your write up which re-ignites the spark of Civic among us. Congrats on the clean example that you have picked.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 7th June 2023 at 15:19.
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Old 7th June 2023, 17:53   #9
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

What an acquisition! You probably have one of the best maintained Civic in the country, I was looking for a used Civic auto or a Fiesta S last year before I took the plunge on a new Octavia (there is something about these 3 box sedans that I love), I was never able to find any good examples, especially the interiors, almost all Civics I saw had too much wear on the interior front, this one looks out of the factory!

I absolutely agree with your assessment on 3 cylinder options, no matter how powerful and advanced these are, the balance of 4 cylinders is unmatched, most recent 3 cylinders are fun to drive, but don't sound good at all, especially at idle or lower down the rev range

Very prudent decision to go with a pre owned option considering your use case and possible future assignments overseas

This is a keeper and should serve you well for at least 5 years from now, given the condition, Honda may buy it from you for the purpose of display in one of their Museums eventually

Many Congratulations!
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Old 7th June 2023, 20:15   #10
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Congratulations, your car is a stunner. Engine note, the wheels, stance all are mindblowing. Interiors, though a bit old instrument cluster, the comfort inside an old City or Civic is prime.

Happy revving. Cheers.
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Old 7th June 2023, 21:23   #11
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Re: Honda Civic 2008 Ownership Report: An inspired choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by tri_life View Post

The car shudders a tiny bit when lifting the clutch to crawl ahead. There is a long travel and you have to be careful not to lift it very fast as this car is again very easy to stall.

The first gear is a bit too jerky to be used for anything other than getting off the line.
Congratulations on such a nice acquisition. Such a gem of a car and a keeper.

Doesn't the info here about the transmission sound like a worn clutch plate. The jerk and the high clutch travel? Might be worth a look?

Last edited by twin_turbo : 7th June 2023 at 21:33.
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Old 8th June 2023, 18:26   #12
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by cg99 View Post
Congratulations on the purchase, tri_life. This generation of the Civic will always have a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts in India, and especially people our age. What incredible luck that you found a fairly elusive well-kept example. Absolutely Love that you're taking such great care of it. Looking forward to more updates from you on this beautiful ride and hoping to live (and own this ) vicariously through your posts. Wishing you hundreds of thousands of happy miles with it. Enjoy it.
Thank you for your wishes cg99. We grew up watching these cars on the road during our most formative years. I am looking forward to update the thread with new experiences and take you for a ride alongside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathlal View Post
Woah, Congrats! That's a stunner and well kept. Enjoy the exhilaration, that only Civic can give




For low ground clearance, RogerAb insert on rear shocks will slightly benefit. They are good and will hold well.

For front lower side visibility, the two zone parking sensor could be a good idea.

Bumper body gaps - Most likely the clips might have broken off, and unfortuntely having a new set is the only option. Since these are very small imperfections, spending on a new number set won't be a sensible solution.

Machines are meant to be like that. This one is destined to be with you, so enjoy every bit of it. Drive safe and enjoy!
Thank you sarathlal for you wishes and recommendations. I'll check out RogerAb coil spring buffers. Did you experience any downsides after installing them? True, you need to get new bumpers to fix the gap issue, not worth it. I have read that front parking sensors are troublesome in bumper to bumper traffic. Do you have any specific aftermarket recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephilip View Post
Congratulations on the Civic.
I had a very similar story starting with bikes and ended up buying a Civic. Mine is a 2008 Civic with around 75k kms. Bought it when the odo was at 63k. The experience has been pretty good so far. Although I do have some expensive part changes lined up. Suspension, brake pads and rotors, steering rack, ad some body work.

But the way it makes me smile every time I drive it is incomparable. The fuel efficiency is something that is bothering me. It is not a very efficient car especially in the hilly regions.
Also i agree with you on the fact the 15 inch wheels are too small for the Civic. Cars outside India had 16,17 or 18 inch wheels. Better wheels and slightly fatter tyres makes it handle so much better. Turn ins become very fast and the steering becomes extremely responsive, but the ride does take a hit.

Wishing a happy journey tri_life.
Posting some pics of my Civic
Thank you josephilip for your wishes and sharing the pictures of your Civic. That is one heck of a good looking Civic. Especially love the picture from back with the front left wheel turning left, wallpaper stuff.
I think efficiency is acceptable for an engine of such size, though yes 15 inches are a bit underwhelming. One plus though is that the ride is super comfortable and it deals with bad roads better with chunkier tyres.
All the best for your replacements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Very nice write up on a timeless beauty. It deserves every word of it.

I drive a 2007 Civic with around 90K on the odo and do quite a few highway runs. It is supremely comfortable, not only for the driver but for all passengers as well. Nobody complains even after long non-stop runs. It does handle beautifully and the steering is sharp and precise. Due to the low ground clearance and solid weight, it does give a planted feeling, apart from the beautiful stance. Handles corners well- not really a corner craver because of the long wheel base but still I have never felt the rear wheels giving up on me. Super powerful brakes is something which must be mentioned. At any speed, just a light foot on the B pedal gives you a sense of security and it tames great speeds in split seconds. I generally drive sedately cruising anywhere between 80-100 on the highways with short bursts of higher speeds and that sees me a fuel efficiency of 15KMPL easily most of the time. Though I would agree that if I were in my 20s, probably like you, I might not have had the patience to keep it from redlining due to super free revving engine. It does reach insane speeds in no time. All of this with Honda reliability. Perfect match for me.

And did I tell you that it still looks so much beautiful even among the crowd of newer cars. It is a design to be cherished.

Thanks for your write up which re-ignites the spark of Civic among us. Congrats on the clean example that you have picked.

Regards,
Saket
Thanks saket for your wishes. True, everyone except the fifth passenger is pampered. Sometimes the rear seat seems more appealing than driving, especially when its loaded. I am learning to just kick back and drive sedately, and honestly that is fun in its own way, like floating a big land boat.
It does look quite special and unlike anything out there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abaliga View Post
What an acquisition! You probably have one of the best maintained Civic in the country, I was looking for a used Civic auto or a Fiesta S last year before I took the plunge on a new Octavia (there is something about these 3 box sedans that I love), I was never able to find any good examples, especially the interiors, almost all Civics I saw had too much wear on the interior front, this one looks out of the factory!

I absolutely agree with your assessment on 3 cylinder options, no matter how powerful and advanced these are, the balance of 4 cylinders is unmatched, most recent 3 cylinders are fun to drive, but don't sound good at all, especially at idle or lower down the rev range

Very prudent decision to go with a pre owned option considering your use case and possible future assignments overseas

This is a keeper and should serve you well for at least 5 years from now, given the condition, Honda may buy it from you for the purpose of display in one of their Museums eventually

Many Congratulations!
Thank you abaliga for your wishes. Congratulations on your new Octavia, I'm sure it would be quite the treat! True I was fortunate with the interiors. Yes, you can spend some money and restore interiors, but the condition of the interiors reveal how the car was used, and that is important information when buying a preowned car. Plus it is satisfying that everything inside is stock.
True, 3 cylinders have unbalanced forces and widely spaced strokes that you need to overcome using balancing shaft and mechanical wizardry. Not like the naturally balanced and very elegant 4 cylinders.
Haha, I hope Honda stays in the country to create such a museum. Or it would be fantastic if such cars appreciate in the future, or become a collector item of sorts, one can dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livetodrive View Post
Congratulations, your car is a stunner. Engine note, the wheels, stance all are mindblowing. Interiors, though a bit old instrument cluster, the comfort inside an old City or Civic is prime.

Happy revving. Cheers.
Thank you livetodrive for your wishes. True, these are some special cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twin_turbo View Post
Congratulations on such a nice acquisition. Such a gem of a car and a keeper.

Doesn't the info here about the transmission sound like a worn clutch plate. The jerk and the high clutch travel? Might be worth a look?
Thank you twin_turbo for your wishes. There is no slipping and the gear shifts are slick for the most parts. I also read an old review of a brand new 8th gen Civic and even there the long travel and a sharp point was mentioned, and that made me think that this is normal in Civics. But yes, I'll check that.
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Old 9th June 2023, 15:24   #13
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Great write up tri_life on a legend of a car in India. You have captured so many details meticulously and photos are amazing as well. Wish you a fantastic, memorable and fun filled ownership, this car is a keeper as long as you accept its flaws, because it will reward you with so much joy of driving.

As Sarathlal mentioned, I would recommend putting the Rogerab bumps in the spring, I always had them since 2013 and they are really effective on our uncertain road conditions and crazily designed speed breakers!

I still miss mine, having sold it 6 months back, my kids grew up loving the civic and wish I could have kept it forever. Traveled from Kerala to Rajasthan in it.

Sorry to spam your thread with some photos, but it brought back fond memories of over a decade! The last one near metro board is the day I let her go.
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Old 9th June 2023, 16:11   #14
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by tri_life View Post
I'll check out RogerAb coil spring buffers. Did you experience any downsides after installing them? True, you need to get new bumpers to fix the gap issue, not worth it. I have read that front parking sensors are troublesome in bumper to bumper traffic. Do you have any specific aftermarket recommendations?
There were no downsides.
I just had them on the rear shocks, and not on the front. The benefits were pretty positively evident in navigating regular bumps and few ramps. I did not feel any disadvantage in the highway runs.

Regarding front parking sensor, this was fitted long back at Honda itself, so am unsure of the brand name. One feature that you need to look for is to get one with the option to turn it off completely with a switch. This is the one I have, where I switch it on only when I need it. This avoids to unnecessary beeps in bumper-bumper traffic.
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Old 9th June 2023, 20:03   #15
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Re: 2008 Honda Civic | Ownership Report | An inspired choice

Thank you Meer for your wishes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meer View Post
As Sarathlal mentioned, I would recommend putting the Rogerab bumps in the spring, I always had them since 2013 and they are really effective on our uncertain road conditions and crazily designed speed breakers!
That is one glorious looking Civic! Unfortunate that you had to let it go. What spoiler did you install on the car? They looked fantastic.
Is the Rogerab buffer same as a coil spring adjuster/assist which is mentioned in a thread by GTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathlal View Post
There were no downsides.
I just had them on the rear shocks, and not on the front. The benefits were pretty positively evident in navigating regular bumps and few ramps. I did not feel any disadvantage in the highway runs.

Regarding front parking sensor, this was fitted long back at Honda itself, so am unsure of the brand name. One feature that you need to look for is to get one with the option to turn it off completely with a switch. This is the one I have, where I switch it on only when I need it. This avoids to unnecessary beeps in bumper-bumper traffic.
Thanks a lot for the inputs sarathlal.

I just did a trip in a fully loaded Civic for the first time and rear suspension shortcomings were pretty evident, so this advice is coming at the right time.
I will be rechecking the spring condition and mostly get a buffer.
I'll update the details here.
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