1991 Acura NSX Long Term Test

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1991 Acura NSX: In Good Hands

October 29, 2012

Jim NSX.jpg

You're looking at the proud new owner of our long-term, and now smog-legal, 1991 Acura NSX. Jim is the director of product management here at Edmunds. He followed the car closely in the blogs and waited patiently until we offered it to employees.

Edmunds employees get the first chance to buy our long-term cars before we offer them to outside private-party buyers or to Carmax. To avoid any perception that we're playing favorites with employees, we offer cars to them at a "no-haggle" Edmunds private-party TMV price.

Jim is a big fan of the NSX and had always wanted to own one. He was the first to reply to the employee listing for the car and he knew more about it than I did. When the NSX failed its smog test, Jim wasn't deterred, and he helped us troubleshoot potential causes.

The selling price was $28,461. We could have sold it for more to an outside buyer, but if it means we keep car in the Edmunds family, we're OK with taking less. Plus, we'll be able to check up on the car in the future.

Jim doesn't plan on making any major modifications to the car. He wants to keep it as close to stock as possible. However, when the tires are due for replacement, he is considering getting a set of wheels from the 1997 NSX.

We wish Jim well and are happy that the car is in good hands.

Final Odometer: 58,393

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

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1991 Acura NSX: Total Cost to Sell

October 27, 2012

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From the time we decided to sell our 1991 Acura NSX to the time it completed the smog test hurdles, we spent some cash. This was not a cheap car to get ready for sale:

$125 for a car wash and detail
$65 for smog test #1
$148.66 for a dealership diagnosis of the problem
$610.29 for replacement of the air temp and O2 sensors
$65 for smog test #2
$1,195.97 for two new catalytic converters, installed
$20 for smog test #3

Get out those calculators. We spent $2,229.92 to passify the government and deliver a shiny NSX to the next owner. It feels like a lot because it is. This is the most we've spent on any long-term car to prep it for sale. So why the picture, you ask?

Well, last night the Acura ran out of wiper fluid. I grabbed a gallon at the nearest gas station for a whopping $3.25. It doubles as headlight fluid, so in reality, we got a deal on the stuff. That pushes the total just over $2,230.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 58,389 miles

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1991 Acura NSX: Smog Test Results, Compared

October 25, 2012

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When we purchased our 1991 Acura NSX the car received a smog test. As you can see from the results above, it passed with decent marks. And we had the smog performed ourselves.

In California, a used car buyer has two options: (1) have the seller smog it first; or (2) agree mutually and in writing for the buyer to do it. We opted for #2 when we got the car. But now that we're selling it, we chose the more common option #1. That's were we encountered problems. Take the jump for all results...

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1991 Acura NSX: Finally Passed Smog

October 26, 2012

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Our 1991 Acura NSX finally passed a smog test. It was both an educational and costly experience. Here is how the saga wrapped up...

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1991 Acura NSX: Second Smog Failure Diagnosis

October 25, 2012

nsx_cat2_full_1600.jpg

When our 1991 Acura NSX failed smog a second time, we bit the bullet and started shopping for replacement catalytic converters. All along we feared they were garbage, but we didn't want to spend the money if we didn't have to. Take a look at this one. The other is uglier...

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1991 Acura NSX: Failed Smog a Second Time

October 24, 2012

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The smog station technician pointed at our 1991 Acura NSX, and then to the word FAIL on the printout in his hand. "I think you might need new catalytic converters," he advised. I was dejected. For the past 30-40 minutes I'd been running the NSX to make sure the cats were hot and ready for the test. We hoped the sensors would do the trick. Crud.

He must have seen the look in my face. The tech tried to offer reassurance, "If you bring it back in the next 30 days it is only $20 to retest." I thanked him for his time and hit the road. Back to the drawing board. And deeper into the wallet.

Smog test: $65

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 58,290 miles

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1991 Acura NSX: Trying to Pass Smog

October 23, 2012

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(Photo by Ron Montoya)

Our first stop after the NSX failed smog was Acura of Santa Monica. Convenience and the hope for a diagnosis took us there. The dealer took a peek and ultimately recommended that we replace both oxygen sensors. "It could be the catalytic converters too," our advisor added, before we asked him for the keys back.

Exorbitant dealer fees were not in our budget. So we drove the car down to a shop we had used in the past, Autowave, for a second opinion...

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1991 Acura NSX: For Sale, But Wait...

October 22, 2012

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(Photo by Dan Edmunds)

The time has come to part ways with our 1991 Acura NSX. We've had the car for a year now and turned the odometer about 12,000 miles. So in its last days the sales routine began. Give the Acura a good detailing. Determine the asking price. Organize pictures for the ad. Smog test the car for the next owner. All of the usual items.

Things proceeded as planned. We even fielded some prospective buyers. Then our NSX failed its smog test. After the expletives left our system and we caught our breath, it was time to ask the big question. Now what?

More to come...

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 58,223 miles

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1991 Acura NSX: Going Back Home...Sorta

September 27, 2012

There have been many NSXs here before. But today just one.

Here is Honda's Proving Ground in Mojave, California about 150 miles from our office. It's a huge facility with a 7-mile oval, two road courses, several off road courses, including a full motocross track, a wet skidpad and much more.

When business called me to Honda's desert facility a few weeks ago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to drive our NSX to and from the place, and of course, all around the facility. It just seemed right. And it was right. Sort of coming home for the sports car in some small way.

The NSX and I toured the place. Alone. We were completely unsupervised for 30 minutes or so. Just the car, myself and the dry desert wind. No real need for speed. This was a moment to remember for many reasons beyond the thrill of a fast car on an empty stretch of track.

We're about to sell our NSX. I'm glad I got to do this with it before it belongs to someone else.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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1991 Acura NSX: Feels Good at 132 mph

September 13, 2012

This of course took place on a closed course and with the Acura under the control of a professional driver. As you can see, the NSX still had about 2,000 rpm left on its tach. At 132 mph it was just gettin' rolling. Stability was exceptional.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 58,103 miles

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