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Honda Civic GX Transmissions Troubles



  • beancivicbeancivic Posts: 4
    wasn't talking about older gx 1999-2000. They have a different motor 1.6L. But reg civic motors 20001-2005 had same 1.7L block as the 1.7L gx. Should be a lot easier to find and should bolt up. 2006-2007 motors were 1.8L dont know if there 5sp auto would bolt up or not?
  • What about the dreaded ECM that keeps popping up in the discussion? Will it work with the non-CVT (NCVT?) :-) I'm guessing the linkage, vaccuum connections, etc. would be the same?

    What a nice solution that would be! Any Honda techs out there that would care to find out?

    BTW - Murph: I've talked to you on the phone. Really nice and helpful. Thanks.
  • lakewood90712lakewood90712 Posts: 108
    Hey Murphy. Phonix transmission (the one on Roosevelt)does remanfactured cvt's for the honda civic hx and the honda civic hybrids at a reasonable cost.(under 2 k with exchange) The internal parts on all honda cvt's have common parts. With you being in the car business , can you talk to them and see if they will help us 01 - 05 owners?. Also , do they have a good reputation for the rebuilt's they supply ?

    Also , off the trans topic, how about you becoming a supplier of cng filters without honda's "Gold Plated price".

    Thank's . John.
  • kate_gkate_g Posts: 8
    Hi all, glad I found this forum, lots of helpful info.

    I'm considering buying a 2002 GX with 72,000 miles from a private owner. On the test drive I noticed the transmission "shudder" when accelerating from a stop. I didn't get on the freeway so I don't know if it does the surge too. The current owner bought it at 64K miles and hasn't had the fluid changed. He didn't seem to know how long the shudder had been going on. In general he seemed kind of clueless. :P

    Should I run? Carfax says it was a fleet vehicle, then a dealer bought it and sold it to this guy. No records of previous maintenance. Sounds like the 2001 was the really bad year, but my fear is that the fleet dumped it when the CVT trouble started, this current owner has been driving it obliviously for 10K miles, and I'll end up stuck with thousands of dollars of repair work. I'm planning on having a pre-purchase inspection done by a Honda shop, but will they be able to tell if it just needs a fluid change or if the problems are deeper?
  • tsmith5tsmith5 Posts: 5
    I recently purchased an O1 GX with a shudder i thought i would fix by replacing worn motor mounts. That helped the torque flop that occurred at take of but realized the tranny also had an issue. I looked into it and found flushing 8 quarts of 9 dollar a quart tranny fluid in 2 flush and fills helped somewhat. This car only shudders at take off. If I accelerate slowly it doesnt do it at all. However, after hearing and reading all that I have concerning these cvts why hasnt honda stepped up and recalled these trannies and replaced them with a quality part?
  • If you can get the car for about $5000 , great, that will factor in a major cvt repair ($2000 - 5000 depending on if the dealer will repair it or need to exchange it with a rebuilt unit). 01 and 02 had a transmission servo recall . Any honda dealer can check to see if this has been done. The shudder thing can start thousand miles before the 'freeway surge stage".

    Why do you want a GX ? For carpool lane and bridge toll perk's ? ok. If it is about fuel cost , the only place with really cheap cng is Utah.

    In 99,000 miles my 01 GX has had had 3 sets of front brake pads , motor mounts, normal fluid and filter changes, tires at 78,000 and cvt transmission replaced at 2500 miles ,62,000 miles and 88,000 miles (the last one was a bearing , not surging), and an electrical switch recall that was on all civics , not just cng powered.

    Honda care extended warranty covered the motor mounts and 3 transmissions.

    The cvt problems Go back further than 01. the automatic HX gasoline civic was the first cvt model.The weak link is in the starting clutch assembly". It is simular to a design used on hondas automatic clutch motorcycles in the 1960's and 1970's. The starting clutch is used instead of a torque converter . This design is more efficient and has no slippage at all when working properly. The cvt is also used on the Civic hybrid , mainly because it needs no hydraulic pressure to work.The transmission is designed and supplied by Jatco , one of hondas major suppliers.

    Now, CARFAX. All of my service was done at the honda dealer. I ran a Carfax on my own car and NONE of the warranty repairs showed up, a smog check 3 mos. ago also did not show up, only the electrical switch recall did.

    Carfax only guarantees the data that they get from other sources. An example is major body damage and the owner had it fixed with no insurance claim. That may not show up. Not the fault of Carfax, but it is a database only.

    I will most likely will buy a Honda next time . With a Hondacare warranty , as it saved me after the original coverage ended.
  • kate_gkate_g Posts: 8
    Hey lakewood, thanks for the thoughts. $5K is, needless to say, much less than this guy's asking price. But I did tell him the transmission would be $7K to replace (a figure I saw elsewhere), so maybe he won't be too surprised if I offer a few thousand less than he's asking...

    >>Why do you want a GX ? For carpool lane and bridge toll perk's ?
    Yep! :shades:

    Actually, maybe this is the question I should have asked y'all... From others' reports, it seems you can make the CVT shudder go away for a while by changing the transmission fluid. So... In your various experience, once the shudder develops, is it guaranteed to fully crap out and need to be replaced eventually, even if the fluid changes help for a while? Or might it go forever (say, another 100K miles) with nothing more than regular fluid changes?

    Oh and... This guy has only had maintenance done at a gas station and the transmission fluid dipstick surprisingly doesn't say "use Honda CVT fluid only" like I thought it was supposed to. So if by some chance it had been filled with regular A/T fluid...? (Would that cause shudder, and is it permanent damage or would a flush & fill set things straight?)
  • I just bought a 2001 that shuddered only when going from 0-15 mph (appx) but it also seemed to be underpowered. My local mech. ran the codes and found it was more likely a tune up issue. Tuned it up (coil packs and plugs as the packs were sparking) and she now runs great. This CVT was not the culprit this time. :)
  • dejapoohdejapooh Posts: 40
    So, Is there an opinion here. Is the trouble pretty isolated to the 2001 or the 2001-2005? I have a friend looking at a used 2005, and I would hate to have him get into trouble with it.

  • kate_gkate_g Posts: 8
    Also, a broader question for anyone in the group with more general Honda experience...

    '01 was the first year for the CVT in the GX, and it seems this one model year had an abnormally high incidence of CVT trouble.

    But the *HX* (regular gasoline) had a CVT starting I think in '98.

    Does anyone know whether the '98-'01 HX CVT is also problematic? Or maybe it was just one bad year and the HX and GX both had problems only in '01? Or is it a problem totally specific to the '01 GX?

  • The Civic hybrid also uses a cvt . Go to the civic hybrid forums and look at the posts on cvt transmission problems. Far more civic and insight hybrids are on the road than gx and hx models.

    p.s. The cvt fluid was not developed until 2003. It is recommended when changing the fluid on all cvt models. Before that they said just use the honda Z automatic fluid as was in all honda automatic transmissions.

    Cvt failures on the Insight are rare , but that is a much lighter car (2 seat aluminum body)and a 3 cyl. 1 L. engine.
  • Hey all you CVT owners , especially Deon, Honda is covering the 01-05 cvt for 100k miles,covers gx , hx , and hybrid. And if you paid to have one fixed, it's retroactive!!!!!!! See your dealer or call 800 999-1009. And if you owned one and paid for a cvt repair, then sold it, you can get reimbursed too !!!!!
  • My CVT failed at 37k miles. The car stalled in the 115 degree heat of Las Vegas. I was able to drive it back at night, but the transmission was surging, especially when I exited the freeway. Also, the "D" indicator on the dash was blinking. Took it in and Honda replaced the CVT, under the extended warranty.
  • tsmith5tsmith5 Posts: 5
    took my gx in for a fuel issue that cost 2700.00 but while it was there the service manager asked how the car shifted? I told him it shook and jerked taking off and then shifted fine after that. He said they had a recall that amounted to flushing the fluid in the tranny. I explained that I had already done that and it helped but didnt fix. So they changed a couple of Servos under the pan and now it shifts perfectly. I am also aggravated that I payed 600+ dollars on diagnostic. They don't know these cars very well and the customer pays for their lack of experience. They should pay us until they get it figured out.
  • If the car has less than 100,000 miles and the in service date is less than 7 years , Honda pays for the trans. repair. The servo issue was one of the first cvt upgrades.
    Someone in my office with a hybrid cvt got that same B.S. about a "deductible/diag. fee. Many dealers put the least experienced technicians on warranty jobs because the factory will only pay clock time , not book time for a repair. Honda , Ford , GM , Toyota and the rest will not reimburse the dealer for guess work on warranty issues,so they try to get the customer to pay.

    Call Honda customer service at 800 999-1099. Stay cool on the phone , and you will prob. get your money back.
  • freedmlfreedml Posts: 43
    I have a 2001 and a 2002 GX. Both have had the CVT replaced recently under the new 100k warranty. The 2001 was at 110k miles, so the dealer got Honda to pay for the transmission and I paid $550 in labor (I decided not to fight for the last $550 although I probably could have).

    I had been having trouble starting at 70-80k miles so it can go on a long time before it gets bad.

    The 'flashing D' means the trans is in 'fail-safe' mode and won't go into 'high gear.' It will reset when you turn the car off and on again. I found that a 10 minute rest was enough to get rid of the slippage problem, at least for a while.

    A 'rebuilt' trans from Honda is either $2000 or $2500. A new one is $6000.
  • mimblermimbler Posts: 1
    Honda paid for my repair under their extended warranty. Did you have the Service Dept check your vin to see if your Honda was one on the extended warranty list?
  • My 2001 GX was at 107k when the work was done. I paid $500 to have a rebuilt installed instead of around $3000. In this kind of case, I think that Honda supplies the parts for free and the $500 goes to the dealer for labor.

    I was upset because I had been having problems for 30,000 miles and had been to several Honda dealers who advised me to just keep changing the fluid and hoping for the best. Honda sat on the extended warranty mailing until after I passed 100k. So, I was irritated that I had to pay $500 to replace a poorly designed transmission for exactly the same component, but I guess it's a lot better than paying $3000.

    I'm also pretty upset that a major component like a transmission from a company like Honda can't be repaired.
  • Thanks for the reply. Was it difficult to get Honda to do this? Did you arrange it thru a dealer or directly with Honda? Thanks, Paul
  • You have to go through a dealer service department. Honda's help line is only useful if you're having problems with a dealer doing what they say or should do. Be prepared to leave your car with them for a while -- diagnosis, negotiating with Honda, getting the transmission and putting it in can take weeks.
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