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Tips on Buying Cars/2003 Honda Civic Issues


QUESTION: Hello Ray.

I own a 2003 Honda Civic, it's got 88,836 miles on it and I'm beginning to see some signs of wear and tear. First of all, I always have the a/c vents up all the way and now I can feel that they are not as powerful as they used to be. Second of all, the other day my battery went dead after I had the vents on for 9 minutes in the hot sun. I didn't have the a/c on, just the vents, so I was very surprised that my battery died because of that. I got a jumpstart and was able to get home and then I tried to restart the engine just to see if it would start and it did. I'm guessing that it was because the engine was overheated. However, when I when I went to pop open the hood to get a jumpstart, the lever broke off! I was very surprised that this happened. And to top it all off, every time I make a u-turn, the steering wheel locks up and freezes for a couple of seconds. It scared the hell out of me because I temporarily lost control of the car.

Are all these issues of vents, battery, hood lever, and the steering wheel are indications that I should trade in my car, considering that it will most probably cost me more to fix this problems than to get a new car?

Best regards,

Zip code: 33071

ANSWER: Hi Julian,

I am not a mechanic, my expertise is the buying process. If I was buying a car 10 years old with only 88K, A Honda Civic would be a top choice. Here are my thoughts to ponder.

1,,, If you are thinking to upgrade into another vehicle being slightly newer at a cost of a few thousand dollars then personally I would fix the current problems, especially with your vehicle being a Civic.

2,,, If you are thinking upgrade to brand new or something only one or two model years old then yes go shopping.

3,,, If you like the Civic except for the reasons mentioned, take it to a Honda service center or a shop you trust for an estimate. even at a cost around $1000 to $1500. it's a better choice than #1

The hood lever is minor, you may only need a new battery or having to replace the alternator along with steering fluid,,, but I am not a mechanic... I will be interested to know which avenue you pursue ? If you decide to trade, then I will be here for you to check for red flags and make sure you get valid value.  

Have a Blessed day
From the computer of
Ray Paulsen ^_^

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again, Ray.

Thanks for your feedback. I just got the battery replaced and next, I plan to get the hood lever and steering issue fix.

In answer to your question, I purchased my car at the Rick Case dealership in Weston, Florida.

To be honest with you, I would rather not trade it in for now because it has served me well, considering that that model did not perform well, based on what other owners of the 2003 model are saying.

Also, I am very interested in learning on how to become a car salesman. I have an outgoing personality and I'm a peoples' person.

How can I get started and get the necessary training?

Best regards,


You want to become a car salesman,,,lol,,, someone just send me this video clip a week ago, listen very carefully it has a lot of truth in the audio

look in your local paper, some dealerships want to hire with experience and others will train the right people, or simply enter a dealership that you fancy with brass balls and ask for the manager and tell him you need me because I know I got what it takes blah blah.

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Ray Paulsen


confused buying new or with confidence from dealer or private...consumer fears...paying to much...getting a lemon...accident car...fair value for trade...negotiation simply want a fair deal... YOU MAY QUICKLY FIND ANSWERS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AT MY WEBSITE or feel free to make contact for a detailed answer to your specific question.


over 35 years in automotive industry, management, retail, wholesale, appraisals, auctions, vintage

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