Automatic vs. manual transmission in a used Honda Civic

Discussion in 'Civic' started by Jacqueline Passey, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. I am trying to find a good used Honda Civic hatchback with a manual
    transmission in the Seattle area and so far haven't been having any
    luck. I have found a few with automatic transmissions. The reason I
    was looking for a manual is that it's a cheaper repair if/when it
    breaks than an automatic (this is a car that I want to be able to drive
    for a long long time) but since it may not be possible to find one I
    was thinking maybe I should compromise and go for the automatic

    Can anyone tell me more about how likely the automatic transmission is
    to break down, at what approximate mileage range, and how much that
    repair costs when it happens? Vs. breakdowns and repairs with the
    manual transmission?

    Jacqueline Passey, Nov 11, 2006
  2. Jacqueline Passey

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Uh, not really. Go price tranny rebuilds for both. Don't forget to
    include clutch replacement for the manual version.

    NO-body will give you a hard-and-fast number for rebuilding a manual
    transmission. EVERY-body will give you a quote on your slushbox.

    Your questions are quite unanswerable as arguments in themselves.
    TeGGeR®, Nov 11, 2006
  3. Jacqueline Passey

    Earle Horton Guest

    No, it isn't.
    A broken manual transmission is just that, broken. Automatics on the other
    hand have a lot of parts that wear out, but can be replaced. Typically, one
    buys a kit, replaces all the friction materials, and the auto is good to go
    for a hundred thousand more, assuming that the fluid is replaced at the
    recommended intervals. When a manual transmission goes, something breaks,
    and typically pokes a hole in the side of the transmission case, resulting
    in a total loss, of the transmission anyway. If you are looking for an
    older car, and you do find a manual, it will probably last a pretty long
    time, assuming that the previous owner didn't use the clutch pedal for a
    foot rest. Clutch replacement isn't so bad though.

    Comparing manual transmission repair costs (or anticipated repair costs)
    with auto transmission repair costs, is a lot like comparing apples and
    oranges. Hope this helps. The main reason to get a manual transmission, in
    any car, is that you like driving one.

    Earle Horton, Nov 11, 2006
  4. Jacqueline Passey

    nm5k Guest

    The automatics are fine as long as the previous owner didn't
    beat it to death, or never changed the fluid. IE: I usually wouldn't
    be afraid to buy an automatic from any older person that drove
    reasonably, and did the upkeep over the years. On the other hand,
    if the owner was a young guy who fancies himself as Speed Racers
    lost stepchild, I'd run away as fast as I could. I like manuals
    as I get to pick when to change gears, and the mpg is generally the
    best. But the automatics are ok, and some "most?" have lock up
    converters so that helps. The 89 accord that I bought with 150k on it
    has a 4 speed auto with lock up converter. It could bomb out, but
    I don't dog it, it'll probably last a while. If it did, I would
    probably go
    find one at a junkyard if money was an issue. The junkyard will
    it long enough to see if you have a lemon or not.. :/ The difference in

    salvage auto trannys and salvage manuals is probably not that great.
    If the car was owned by a sane person, and it seems to shift right,
    I wouldn't be afraid to buy it. I would change the fluid right off the
    if it needed it. Thats what I did on mine, and it made it shift better
    think. I actually need to change it a couple of more times. You don't
    get out all the dirty fluid on one change. So you have to cycle the
    around and do it again.. I still think it's easier than say yanking a
    pan, filter, etc. With the drain plug, it's as easy as an oil change.
    nm5k, Nov 11, 2006
  5. Jacqueline Passey

    Eric Guest

    Not in my experience. I've rebuilt several Honda manual transmissions.
    They typically just need new bearings, seals, and synchros if they're worn.
    Honda manual transmissions are very rebuildable.

    Eric, Nov 11, 2006
  6. Jacqueline Passey

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Mine has nearly 300K miles on it. I've been mulling over rebuilding it
    myself, since it's light enough to carry into the basement.

    It's fine now except for a bit of noise from the bearings, and my mechanic
    figures it will probably go another couple of years. An eventual rebuild is
    inevitable, though.

    What special tools would I need besides a hydraulic press?
    TeGGeR®, Nov 11, 2006
  7. Jacqueline Passey

    Earle Horton Guest

    Find out if Eric will do the job.

    Earle Horton, Nov 11, 2006
  8. Jacqueline Passey

    jim beam Guest

    1. civic autos are good for 300k or more if maintained ok and not taken
    to a rip-off mechanic who'll use the wrong transmission fluid, then tell
    you jerky shifting [as is what happens with the wrong fluid] is a sign
    that the transmission is "about to go" and that you should give them $3k
    to fix the problem "before it gets worse".

    2. automatics are a lot more re-saleable.

    3. it's cheaper to buy a jdm import transmission than it is to repair
    any existing one. but again, unless you're looking at a vehicle with
    very high mileage and intend to be high mileage yourself, civic autos
    are very reliable so i wouldn't worry about it.
    jim beam, Nov 11, 2006
  9. Jacqueline Passey

    ACAR Guest

    Kinda hilly in the Seattle area, no? That makes a difference. A well
    cared for car with an automatic is likely to be cheaper to keep than a
    manual transmsission car unless you are sure the manual was driven by
    someone who knew enough not to wear out the clutch.

    The Scion tC (coupe) is also a hatch but it's pretty new so even used
    prices are likely high.
    ACAR, Nov 13, 2006
  10. Thanks all for the information. I did end up finding one with a manual
    transmission, so I went with that.
    Jacqueline Passey, Nov 15, 2006
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