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My parents have offered their 1993 Honda Civic to my daughter, who is 16. It has around 80,000 miles on it. I think that if we take it in and have it completely serviced, it should be a good car for her. My husband does not agree: he is worried that it is not safe enough. What do you think?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Martha, Honda's are known to be safe hearty vehicles, 80k miles is just getting broken in, in my opinion. I believe at 90k they are due for a timing belt replacement, water pump, spark plugs, and a transmission flush. If they car is just given this service, then it would be worth the investment to take to a dealership and have a full inspection. Honda's are great starter vehicles, teach her how to check oil and change a tire. AJ Pierce

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Martha, A Honda Civic could be a great little car for your daughter. But this will all depend on a couple of things: 1. Is she a safe driver? Or is she easily distracted and prone to fender benders. I would ask your husband what about the Civic he feels that it would not be safe enough for your daughter. 2. Even though it is being given to you, I highly recommend you take it to your regular automotive technician for a thorough used car inspection. You want to find out any repairs it needs to be safe and any service it needs to be reliable. You want to make sure that it is a solid vehicle and worth putting money into before you start spending anything.

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Martha, I worked for Honda for 7 years. I still recommend them, and 80,000 miles is nothing if it's been maintained. I drive a 1988 Toyota with 271,000 miles on it. If you're not sure, then have a technician look it over and tell you if there are any problems. In general, this car should last many more years. Good luck. Lori Johnson

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Martha, In my experience, as long as routine maintenance is performed, Hondas are generally very reliable vehicles. I would suggest taking the vehicle to a technician that you trust and explaining that your young daughter will be driving the car. The technician should be able to check the brakes, tires, and steering and suspension for a minimal cost. Also, you may want to do a little research to find out the crash test rating on that particular mode. Suzanne

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