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Honda Civic Hybrid Transmission Problems



  • I have a 2003 HCH with 90k miles. The battery went out in Nov. was replaced by dealer at no cost. The transmission failed a month later. I was driving and it felt like the trans went in to nuetral, the engine light came on. I had to get the car towed to the dealer and it cost $3500 to get the trans replaced with a new , along with the drive plate. When I looked at the old parts the spline on the drive plate was worn out and I think the problem maybe more the problem and cost a lot less money. Also , the service rep and repair person made statements about the transmission fluid or pack should be changed a lot more often than the service manual says. They suggested every 10 to 20k miles. This is the last Honda I'll ever buy I am so upset with Honda to put out such a piece of defective equipment I think all HCH should file a major lawsuit against Honda for the lemon they have manufactured and should refund the initial cost of the vehicle. They are over priced junk and I think they are scamming the owners with pricey repairs that are not necessary.
  • Today I got a "warranty extension" notice for 100,000 miles or 7 years for two symptoms of CVT failure: "Judder and Slippage." They agree to reimburse all costs for transmission repair or replacement. All of you owners above should contact your dealer! I think the reimbursement is new.

    I had "judder" three years ago in my '03 HCH and they would only agree to double change the transmission fluid in 2005. As I was about to trade the vehicle in, the used car evaluators (three dealerships) drew the judder to my attention, and reduced the value accordingly--except at Honda, where they told me is was under warranty. I have an eight-year all-parts extended warranty which covers the CVT also.

    Last week I took it in to have the clutch replaced. They told me it would be a day-long job. Then, they corrected that to two days, which was OK with me,since I have another vehicle. It was three days before it was ready.

    I picked it up and drove 15 miles. I worked beautifully. Then the transmission started to slip; next the engine light came on and it failed on the highway in less than a mile!. They towed it back to the garage for me. My HCH has only 30000 miles on it! Any advice for me?
  • I just recieved my extended warranty for my 2003 HCH the other day and called for some relief. I am still waiting on an answer.
    Here is the problem,
    My car has 124,000 miles on it and has been having the shudder at statup problem since 66,000 miles. When I first brought it into the dealer for the problem they told me it was the EGR valve and also that I needed to change the transmission fluid $400 for the EGR vavle and $440 for the 60,000 mile service which include "special transmission fluid". I asked about my 7 year 100K warrany and she looked it up and said I was covered for the EGR but not the 60K maintainence. Sounded expensive but fair to me. Since then I have had my car in 3 times in the last 60K to have the fluid changed at $66 a change. It is shuddering again so I called American Honda.
    So far what they want to do is have me bring the car in for a diagnostic check to see if the problem is the transmission and pay for it and then they will determine on a case-by-case basis if they will reimburse me for the repairs and diagnostic.
    My point and problem is that they should have fixed it properly at the 66K mark and then when I brought it in each time for a transmission fluid change. and not tell me that they are sorry I am out of the warranty and I will have to be taken care of on a case by case basis.
    Any suggestions?
  • My situation is almost identical to yours. I'm at 120,000 miles on my 2003 HCH.
    Had the same problem starting at about 65,000 miles, did the EGR thing also. Problem continued. 2nd time in they said it was motor mounts, so I had to pay the $100 for the diagnostic and $50 deductible on extended warranty. Problem continued. Did the transmission flush also. Problem continued. After receiving my notice I also called in for some relief (good will consideration) and got the same lame answer. I've already paid Honda once for a WRONG diagnosis, I don't think I should have to pay again, especially with no guarantee they will do anything for those of us outside the 100K mark. In my opinion they intentionally dragged their feet on this problem to avoid responsibility. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure the probability that many of us would be outside 100K by now. I'm thinking the only option left may be to lodge a complaint with the national highway safety agency at . I don't know what else to do at this point. I'm totally frustrated with Honda and this vehicle. What's worse is that the transmission is also slipping at higher speeds - a much more dangerous problem.
  • The maintenance minder on my HCH, has three levels that I know of. The first is an LOF, the second is an air filter and cabin filter replacement, and the third is transmission fluid and filter replacement. My first quesion is, how much do aftermarket air and cabin filters cost compaired too the Honda ones? If they are avaliable? Cause at the dealer the number two service costs over 100 dollors! And my second and most important question is, that the number three service light came one at about 20,000k. The writer at the dealer said that hybrids need too have the transmission fluid replaced alot because it is a hybrid. So considering I have no knolwedge on the drivetrains of hybrid cars I was looking for information on how often the transmission fluid and filter need too be replaced on at 07 HCH?
  • To begin with, I posted on this board a while back and my history with my 03 HCH includes 2 transmission replacements, EGR replacement, fuel filler door cable replacement and now my check engine light just came on yet again. I hoped it was related to the computer update that the car was scheduled for but it wasn't, instead I need 2 new O2 sensors. Parts and labor? $700. approx. BUT they are doing it for free... Why? There must be a silent recall because I have 76,000 mi and this wouldn't normally be covered under warranty... dealer acts like he's doing you a big favor and also denies that there are any transmission issues with this car... mine is the only one! I just love being talked to like I'm stupid... last Honda I'll ever buy.
  • I don't think an auto manufacturer should be experimenting on us with it's vehicles, especially when it involves issues of safety. It seems to me that we have enough examples of major component failures for this vehicle that the legal system may offer us relief from a corporation that has failed to give us the safe and reliable vehicle that it advertised. Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to proceed?
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • I don't have an answer to thee class action lawsuit but I would join one if there were one. The transmission problem brings me to mind of the paint peeling problem that GM had in the 80-90 time frame. They bit the bullet and took care of the customers.

    However Honda does know they have a problem with the transmissions and are hiding behind legalities as the Customer Service Rep has told me "It's not a safety issue" so there is no recall. Obviously he doesn't drive this car. It is also interesting to see that Honda had a problem in Japan and took care of it there and if you read the NTSB Bulletins on the links below they are hiding behind the letter of the law to keep from helping their American customers.
    Links to NTSB - - ampaigns/2003/F-Campaigns/FRCL-03F075-4164.pdf - - ampaigns/2005/F-Campaigns/FRCL-05F063-4277.PDF
  • Since Feb 14, my HCH is back on the road, and working perfectly. They replaced the CVT Clutch again because "a hose broke" and all of the transmission fluid drained out! They assured me that it would not happen again! (I really believe them). I expect this car to go at least another 30000 miles... Everything else works. I averaged 37 mpg over the first 30,000 miles (40% highway and 60% in town). Not bad.
  • jonathannjonathann Posts: 55
    I have a 2007 HCH with 10,500 miles on it.

    I am very happy with car, the mileage and the CVT. I tested the Dodge Caliber when it was introduced and hated the CVT in that vehicle. The HCH CVT seems much more sophisticated, and very smooth.

    However, there are well documented problems with the phase 1 (up to 2004? 2005?) HCH CVT.

    Has anyone experience the same problems with the phase 2 models? Was the transmission part of the re-design? Will the 2007 CVT experience the same problems?
  • geebotgeebot Posts: 7
    Just an update for everyone.

    Brought my car in for service because it was starting to "judder" again. Mainly when I have passengers in the car. Nothing constant but I remember that this is how the initial problem started when I first noticed the judder.

    I wasn't planning on bringing in the car until the judder got worse since they just worked on my car a few months back and the dealership had refinished my burnishings to eliminate the judder. It worked but it's starting to haunt me once again.

    The main reason I brought the car in was that my check engine light turned on with the IMA light as well. This happened before but I had a friend in a dealership reset the code so by the time I brought it into the dealership that was going to diagnose, the error code was no longer in the computer history. I was in a panick since the battery pack could cost as much as $8k if it was out of warranty. Luckily, it was still within the 150k mile limit.

    Judder is still there but I was told that the new judder was caused by the faulty battery that they replaced.... that it was going away with the new battery. STILL there but I would just have to wait until it gets a bit more pronounced so they can feel the difference too.
  • fatboymfatboym Posts: 3
    We bought our 03 Hybrid Civic new in 03; we currently have put 105, XXX miles on it. The transmission "judder" started at 22,XXX miles, had that trans replaced (w/a rebuilt one) at 25,XXX miles, then that was replaced at 35,XXX (w/a new one) & received a extended warranty for 75,XXX miles for that one. Now we have just got the car back with a remanufactured Trans at 105, XXX miles.
    Needles to say we are on our 4th trans: the 1st & 2nd were under mfg warranty, when the 2nd replaced (because my wife contacted Honda of America the "Case Carrier" at American Honda was very nice & understood this is not "normal" so he extended the warranty to 6yrs or 75,000 miles. Now at 105, XXX miles we are done with Honda!!! The current "Case Carrier" is a snide, rude, arrogant SOB. We have begun a personal campaign to get this resolved or tell as many people as we can that this product (Civic Hybrid) is a piece of junk.
    I know it is not all of them but, come on 4 TRANSMISSIONS! Someone there should step up & either replace the car or warranty this 4th one for another 75,000.
    My wife & I are pretty easy going but this is so irritating, we are not able to get any help from American Honda. The dealer is going to do his best but if anyone has a similar story or good contacts to help please let us know & to ALL who read this BEWARE the Honda "reputation for reliability" is GONE!!
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :mad:
  • alycat11alycat11 Posts: 1
    I had to take my 2004 Civic Hybrid in for Services work yesterday and I was told that the Battery was dead and needed to be replaced. I’m not talking about the little battery that every car has, I’m talking about the BIG battery in the back of the car. My car has a little over 92,000 mile on it and they are telling me I need to replace the battery at a cost of $3600. I could not believe that!!! I have had transmission problems in the past with this car (taken it in 3 times) the problem has never been fixed; now they tell me that I have to pay $3600 to have the battery replaced & if I don’t want to then the car is no good. Oh by the way my car is still under warranty but they are saying the Battery is not.

    Never again will I buy a Hybrid or a Honda for that matter!
  • Just bought a used 2006 honda civic hybrid (32000 miles). Noticed a clicking sound and quess what, the transmission is being replaced. Thank god is was still under warranty.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,855
    I sent you an email, but I'll post here too. One of our senior editors would like to speak with you about your battery replacement problem for a story. If you'd be willing to talk with him either let me know here or drop me an email at and I'll put you in touch with him. Thanks!

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  • geebotgeebot Posts: 7

    I had the exact same problem with my IMA battery. Did your check enginge and IMA light go on when this happened? There was an error code and it's usually 1433 and it has to do with a "faulty battery." You might want to check another dealer since mine was replaced by the dealer with NO CHARGE. Apparently, Honda extended the warranties on these batteries for 10 years and up to 150k miles. I was actually lucky because I have a 2004 HCH with almost 150k when the problem occured. I hope this helps.

    Good Luck!!!
  • We had a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that we bought new. At about 77,000 miles the transmission died. I'm so glad I found this link, otherwise we would have kept it...the dealership replaced the transmission, no charge. (We're still covered under an extended warranty that we purchased with the car.) SO, we wanted to trade it in, for either an 08 HCH or a Prius. We were leaning towards the Prius, but thought maybe Honda might try to compensate for our trouble with a deal. Wrong!

    When I offered the '03 for the trade in, they told me that it was basically worthless. He showed me a list of things that are wrong with that model year. Not only transmission, but something about deceleration and steering! He said it could never be properly fixed, they won't sell used 03's on their lots, and it would just be sent to auction if I traded it in. They offered me a price of $5500, you know, just to be nice. (the car would be worth $9,000 if it weren't for the design flaws.) They wouldn't give me any real deal on a new one, either.

    The Toyota place gave us a much better trade-in price, and I THINK they know these are problem cars. But they gave us a much more fair shake than Honda in spite of it. And we have a new Prius! So far, so good.

    I would advise anyone not to buy a used '03 HCH.

    Oh, and my friend's husband has an '04 HCH. I asked him how it was doing. Guess what? He just had to have his transmission replaced! This is UNbelievable! :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • bbb99bbb99 Posts: 55
    Well, I have an 03 with 80,000 miles on it. I've only had to replace the egr valve to the tune of $200. But the other miles have been fine with a lifetime mpg around 45 mpg. It's strange to me how different peoples experiences have been with the 03 hch. BTW, my wife has a prius with 80,000 miles that hasn't had any problems. Would you mind sharing your vin on your hch? I ask because I want to see how close it was to the production line as mine. You just have to give me the last 6 numbers. I hope my car keeps being good for me. I just wanted to give others a positive outlook on the 03hch.
  • The last 6 numbers of our vin are 004263. We had no complaints about our HCH either until a couple of weeks ago. The transmission went without any warning. Hope you have better luck!
  • Last February I bought a used 03 HCH mainly to continue higher education 60 miles from hometown. I received 2 letters from Honda auto division..1 for a check engine update to keep the check engine light off something about a malfunction in cpu or whatevr...also a warranty extension for transmission judder or slippage.. it states the CVT has been extended for 7yrs or 100,000 miles. If vehicle is experiencing hesitation or slipping during acceleration to bring it in..They suppose to have both of these things done for free. I called and set up an appointment..I was told it was a recall or something similar. I hope that is the last of my problems. I just need this car to finish college than upgrade to something better.

    I mean there are no perfect vehicles they all have Im being patient especially since this is the 1st incident.
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