kazoospec SuperDork
Aug. 17, 2017 5:59 p.m.

Looking for a winterbeater to fill in for the Miata when the dreaded white stuff flies. I've been looking for a first gen Honda Fit. For some reason, they all seem to have stupid high miles on them. There are several in my area and price range, but they all seem to have 150K to 175K on the clock. I don't drive a ton of miles annually, so I'd probably need to get 200-250K out of it for it make sense financially. Do they typically run that far without replacing the pricey stuff? Any particular problem areas to be aware of? (I'm looking exclusively at 5 speeds BTW)

Pete Gossett MegaDork
Aug. 17, 2017 6:20 p.m.

In reply to kazoospec:

We bought an '09 new and passed it down to our older daughter last year. It has 185k on it now with nothing but tires an occasional maintenance. Her & her soon-to-be husband will be shipping it to Germany in about 6-months.

We picked up an '07 for our younger daughter back in May. It has almost 160k on it, and other than needing to replace an idler pulley recently is in very good condition.

FWIW the 2nd generation is about 6" longer, which means you don't need the front seats almost all the way forward in order to flip down the rear seat backs with their head rest still in place. Not sure if that would ever be a concern for you though.

If you have any other specific questions let me know, or if you want I can go through our maintenance history for you in more detail.

Knurled MegaDork
Aug. 17, 2017 6:22 p.m.

150-180k isn't very high miles for a Fit that I've seen. If it isn't beat up, it's good to go.

They're actually dang good cars, like the reincarnation of an 80s Civic. (Regular ignorers of my posts are shocked that I actually said a given car isn't fraught with problems) Their main "fault" is that 100hp feels slow nowadays. If you think of the car as a new '86 Golf without German electrical headaches, however, it's awesome.

The only thing that I see go off on them is more of an annoyance than anything - the A/C compressor relay can stick on. Because the clutch and fan are controlled separately, the compressor builds up pressure with no fan to cool the high side off, and it will clamly blow all the refrigerant out of the safety blowoff valve. BFD, get a new relay, recharge the system, go back in action.

Trackmouse SuperDork
Aug. 17, 2017 11:21 p.m.

As an owner of a first and second gen I can tell you they don't need hardly any maintenance other than oil changes and plugs. They don't have a timing belt. It's a chain. Typically are bulletproof. A guy a fitfreak used one as a Canadian mail carrier vehicle and racked up 400k miles.

Crackers HalfDork
Aug. 17, 2017 11:41 p.m.

My parents have an 05, I think, but it's only got 140k on it. (Which is on the low side for a rural TX car.)

It's killed the #1 coil twice, but otherwise it's just been regular service.

Cblais19 New Reader
Aug. 18, 2017 7:01 a.m.

People seem to drive the piss out of their Fits - I know I did, racking up nearly 70k miles in just over two and a half years. Would have kept driving it, but it was never quite the same after the ex got in a rear end collision and caused frame damage. Only weak point I found was that perpetual Honda issue of warping brake rotors - after driving through near blizzard conditions in the mountains around the W.VA / MD border area mine were nice and warped.

Fantastic little cars, now that the 2018 revision has apparently toned down a bunch of the NVH and includes Honda Sensing availability I might be back in the market (plus a gorgeous bright orange...).

Erich UltraDork
Aug. 18, 2017 7:57 a.m.

Our 2008 just hit 155k miles. Over the last 9 years (9 years today exactly actually!), we have replaced:

Wiper blades
Spark plugs
O2 sensor
AC evaporator

That's it. Original clutch has a small bit of chatter. It burns a tiny amount of oil between changes but never enough to top off. The first generation is prone to water leaks at the rear hatch, which are fixable. Throw a set of snows on it and it's unstoppable.

I have no concerns putting another 100k miles on it. It's ugly after a couple fender benders but no worse for wear.

pointofdeparture PowerDork
Aug. 18, 2017 8:13 a.m.

I've had a 2013 since almost-new and it has been a great car. I am probably trading it in on an Accord Coupe since I'm not a huge fan of the seats and NVH for how long I spend in the car every day, but that's my only complaint. Mine has been excellent in the snow as well with some decent tires.

The L15 may only make 110-ish HP but it is tuned very well. It feels like a willing partner and is happy to rev, the car always feels like it is eager to keep up despite not being very powerful.

AFAIK the only maintenance item you really need to stay on top of with them is valve adjustments every 50k, otherwise they start clattering. That being said I have seen more than a few near 200k clattering away without any issues...

clutchsmoke SuperDork
Aug. 18, 2017 8:47 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture:

I also have a 2013 that I bought new with just under 50k miles. Has needed nothing other than fluids, filters, wipers, etc. It's a beast in winter with snow tires and fun with the conti DWS on it in the summer. I'm planning to get rid of mine. I have too many vehicles and don't need something this nice/new anymore.

bigev007 Reader
Aug. 18, 2017 9:04 a.m.

The first gen cars can leak water through the roof seams. I know of at least two personally, but have seen lots of complaints online. It's really hard to get sealed. Check for dampness in the carpet in the rear (they'll fill up enough to audibly slosh, but the owner will probably try to hide that). It's a problem with the seam sealer in the rain gutters near the rear, as I understand.

Driven5 Dork
Aug. 18, 2017 10:08 a.m.

In addition to the mechanical reliability and ease of upkeep, I have been impressed with the overall build quality and durability. I don't know if this effect stays linear at higher mileages, but our 2011 is nearing 100k of urban commuting and general abuse. Yet compared to most other cars I have experienced, even those originally costing considerably more, the Fit generally still looks/sounds/feels like it has maybe half that.

Regarding valve clatter: It's a non-issue. Adjusting the valves on mine, from all being out of spec loose to all being on the tight side of the spec, made no appreciable change. Being a somewhat clattery little engine is apparently just part of its character.

Trackmouse SuperDork
Aug. 18, 2017 10:32 a.m.

I've always heard that the "clatter noise" was just the DFCO. (Decelerative fuel cut off). It makes sense since I only heard it when letting off throttle and decelerating.

Pete Gossett MegaDork
Aug. 18, 2017 10:39 a.m.

One thing I should comment on for anyone who may be test-driving a Fit for the first time - on both our cars(1st and 2nd gen) when you flip the rear seats forward, then put them back up to latch them they don't fully latch into place. They'll feel secure, but once you start driving you'll hear them rattling like crazy. You need to pull the release handle, then push the seat all the way back.

Of course if the seller doesn't know this you may be able to use it as a bargaining point.

Driven5 Dork
Aug. 18, 2017 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Trackmouse:

I suppose it might depend on how one defines 'valve clatter'...Maybe 'valve tick' is a better description. It's a tickey little engine, especially at idle.

bmw88rider SuperDork
Aug. 18, 2017 1:07 p.m.

Any easy way to add 30-50 HP without killing reliability? I know there were some supercharger kits out there but it seems like a perfect car to go with the miata just with a little bit more HP.

tuna55 MegaDork
Aug. 18, 2017 1:21 p.m.
bmw88rider wrote: Any easy way to add 30-50 HP without killing reliability? I know there were some supercharger kits out there but it seems like a perfect car to go with the miata just with a little bit more HP.

I am interested in the answer, but 30%-50% is not "just a little bit more"!

Erich UltraDork
Aug. 18, 2017 1:32 p.m.

My understanding was the supercharger kits don't add any real speed at all. Something about the ECU compensating for any increased power? I remember an HKS Turbo kit that only dropped a tenth in the quarter.

Driven5 Dork
Aug. 18, 2017 2:17 p.m.

In reply to Erich:

There was originally no easy tuning solution. There is now.

kazoospec SuperDork
Aug. 18, 2017 2:32 p.m.
Driven5 wrote: In reply to Erich: There was originally no easy tuning solution. There is now.

Don't be cagey son! (I never leave my cars unmodified anymore) Details, man, details.

FuzzWuzzy New Reader
Aug. 18, 2017 2:36 p.m.

These things have always interested me just for the MPG factor and them being so damn cheap.

How's the cargo room and as previously mentioned...30-50% increase in power how and how much?

Driven5 Dork
Aug. 18, 2017 2:44 p.m.

In reply to FuzzWuzzy:

More useable cargo volume than anything in its class, and even than many in the next class larger. The most efficient utilization of space this side of a stow-n-go equipped Grand Caravan...In fact, think of it functionally like a miniature minivan (micro-van?) with a stow-n-go ("magic") second row.

FuzzWuzzy New Reader
Aug. 18, 2017 2:46 p.m.
Driven5 wrote: In reply to FuzzWuzzy: More useable cargo volume than anything in its class, and even than many in the next class larger. Functionally, think of it like a miniature minivan (micro-van?) with a stow-n-go ("magic") second row.

Ooo I like that. Might replace the Accord with one. Get some good MPG for a change.

Bobzilla MegaDork
Aug. 18, 2017 3:02 p.m.

mY #1 problem with the Fit is the buy in price. Because of the Honda badge it brings a premium over similar cars in its class. (Accent, Rio, Versa, 2, etc). I mean, a 2008 with 100k miles goes for $5700-6k. A similar Accent goes for $2-3k. Same milege, same year. Just as indestructible.

Just seems you can get more care for less when you don't shop the name brands.

Klayfish PowerDork
Aug. 18, 2017 3:11 p.m.

The Fit is so indestructible that it could probably go 150k miles without an oil change.

Not that I'd recommend trying it...

Pete Gossett MegaDork
Aug. 18, 2017 3:47 p.m.

I hauled 8' lumber in our '09 Fit.

In reply to Bobzilla:

The '07 Sport we picked up in May was $3500, but the seller priced it for a quick sale.

In reply to Klayfish:

Our dash indicator usually calls for an oil change about every 10k, which we've followed since new. Just straight dino juice the whole time.

When I was driving it 100-300mi/day for work I could average 35mpg pretty consistently(ours is an automatic FYI), and hit over 40mpg twice. That's measured at fill-up, not calculated.

One other detail - for our '09 Fit Sport there weren't many options for the stock tire size, so I usually went for the next size wider, which also increased diameter slightly. Never had a problem with it.

And possibly the most shocking detail: after 7-years of IL winter abuse and very infrequent washes there is no rust on the car. None. When I changed the shocks again last winter there weren't even any stuck bolts. I didn't think Honda was capable of that...

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