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Looking to buy an FRV - Advice Please!


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I'm new to the forum but not new to Hondas. We have had 3 Hondas over the past 20 years or so, a Civic Type-R and two Jazz's but we are looking for a cheap car with 6+ seats for family staycations and driving trips in Europe.  I'm looking at the FRV 1.8 manual and was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on what to look out for. 


My main concern is it breaking down while I'm on holiday or having to spend lots of money fixing it after I've driven it away. Most of the FRVs I've seen so far are well in excess of 100,000miles and 98% of them are still using their original clutch - is this a problem? How long does the original clutch tend to last on average? Any common faults or points to look for? Does the automatic last longer?


Normally I would get an independent inspection done but I've been caught out before when I booked the inspection only for the car to be sold before the mechanic arrived but I still ended up having to pay. So, as this is just a second car for occasional long trips and probably will do no more than 2000miles a year with it, I'm thinking of taking my chances and not have an inspection. I'm not a mechanic but I do a lot of the usual maintenance work on the cars myself so have some appreciation. 


One thing that my wife has noticed is that the black pebble fabric interior tends to attract dirt and grime far more than the blue/grey fabric. Is this true and should I avoid the black?


Any advice would be much appreciated! :)

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This post was recognized by Trevor!

ec5780 was awarded the badge 'Great Support' and 30 points.

There was a post on this on the old Honda Karma/H-Tune forums before they disappeared, can't remember everything that was mentioned but offhand:

  • look for rust around the wheel arches
  • brakes have a habit of binding when the callipers get stuck

Otherwise in general they're reliable cars - automatic and manual.


Not applicable to the model you've mentioned but:

  • pre-2007 petrol models (1.7L and 2.0L engine) are a target for catalytic converter thieves, so it's likely that the catalytic converter will not be the original one. From 2007 onwards the catalytic converter is in the engine bay so much more difficult to steal.
  • possibly something about the flywheel on diesels but I can't remember what
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  • 5 weeks later...

Came here to say the exact same as above, goes without saying but obviously do an MOT history check. 

I got my FRV a year ago for £600 (great) but obviously had a few issues.


1. Rusted Arches

2. Worn Clutch, 

3. Worn drop/end links

4. Worn rear break pads and disks (this was due to a stuck caliper)


I would say check these but I got mine so cheap I didn't mind putting few quid into it. 

Spent about 300 upfront on the breaks (cleaned a greased the calipers), drop links and bushes and a service. 


Booked in next week for a clutch and full detailed service with a Honda service center for approx 600.


Hope this helps.. 



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