Did I make a mistake buying a used 2004 Honda City with over 2 lakh km?

After the initial excitement, I found a few things wrong with the car, which put together brought the repair bill to a hefty Rs 90,000.

BHPian PainlessDeath09 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello, fellow BHPians!

I just got my first car, a used Honda City 2nd-gen (i-DSI), 2004 make. She's run a lot, about 205k on the odometer and still runs like butter. The owner(friend of mine) sold it for about ₹75k which seemed pretty reasonable to me considering that the car was aesthetically fit.

Now that the initial excitement has worn off, I took it to a mechanic and found quite a couple of things wrong with the car. Replaced the clutch plates, engine mounts and the suspension system, steering rack and a bunch of other things the bill came out to a hefty ₹90k.

After all this, I was slightly on the fence about the purchase. I admit it was very hastily purchased and well, nothing can be done about it. So I had a few questions:

  1. Do you think mistakes were made?
  2. What other things should I be looking out for/What should I be wary of with old, high-run, Honda City NHCs?
  3. The headlights are painfully dim and I can barely see in the night, I've heard adding LEDs to halogen housing is highly discouraged so what are my best options?

I plan to have this car for at least another 3 years, I'm fresh out of college and just started my career so I bought this thinking it would be the most economical option for me. Lend me your thoughts!

Here's what BHPian vigsom had to say on the matter:

Congratulations on your first car, @PainlessDeath09. There's nothing more thrilling than getting one's own car. It is normal for one to spend on suspension, steering and clutch on such a high-run car. I wouldn't be concerned about the high odo reading as these engines are capably provided they are kept well.

Now, for what you'll have to look for:

  1. Unless they've already been changed (which I feel must have been done), the ignition coils/cables are a potential failure area due to ageing. One of my relatives had these replaced at approx 1,60,000km on his 2007 Honda City ZX. OE ones are expensive but there are lower-cost alternatives available
  2. Spark plugs are reasonably cheap; no need to change them if they've been changed less than 40k km ago
  3. The body of this avatar of the City is prone to rust - please check for rust developing in the bottom of the doors, the area around the strut aprons, inside the boot - areas where water is likely to collect and stagnate. Corrosion is something that can NEVER be eliminated once it starts. It can be fixed by gas welding and the like but will resurface.
  4. Radiator and coolant - very very important but neglected area - please check if the coolant is in good shape else have it replaced with a long-life coolant. Honda Genuine blue coolant is good, but an alternative is Servo Kool Plus (diluted 1:3 with pure DM water)
  5. Tyres - I presume these are good
  6. Aircon - hope this is working well. Please try to check what components in this have been already replaced

Here's what BHPian NEMatters had to say on the matter:

I have a 2015 4th Gen, preowned in 2019 only 17K driven at that time, now it is already ~60K. Based on my experience I can say the following.

  1. Usually City's are really reliable, do the usual checks, engine oil, brake oil, radiator coolant, brakes, tires,
  2. Check for any nicks and bumps - any repainted surfaces. Those are the prone to rust areas usually. Thoroughly check the underbody for any major damages.
  3. Check interiors - the driver armrest lock is something which can break if not used wisely. Any aftermarket installations? check for any mods done and whether done neatly or not.
  4. Try to get the service history - Honda has any time warranty of 10 yrs on its vehicles. You can opt for it for peace of mind.
  5. Price in Bengaluru is very difficult to estimate - since it's quite high here. Take an estimate based on the purchase price, no. of years, km driven & condition of the car. You can relatively compare I would say in Olx or Orange book value and other places. Try to estimate, the rest is on your negotiation skills.

Happy Shopping!

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