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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair



  • I know this is a popular issue for Civic owners of certain model years. I have a 2001 Civic EX automatic. I drive very little and have only 55,000 miles. One of the front struts started leaking a couple of years ago. The extended warranty covered a replacement. Now another front strut is leaking. I understand that this is a popular problem, and I'm not all that excited about getting new struts again. Has Honda, or anyone for that matter, come up with a permanent solution to this problem. I'm not all that excited about replacing the struts every year. What if I do nothing and just keep driving the car until I absolutely have to replace them? So far, I haven't noticed any problems with driving.
  • I had the same problem on my '95. It's usually a sign of an alternator on the way out (failing diodes). I replaced the alternator and the problem was resolved. It also helps to check and clean chassis/engine grounds at the same time.
  • The reason the heater works is that it's a mini radiator. Also, it points to the fact that either (1) there is not enough coolant flow through your radiator, or (2) more heat than normal is being produced by the engine.

    For (1), did the problem start after the new thermostat? If so, it could be in backwards or is bad. If not, then you could have a radiator that is clogged up.

    For (2), the classic cause if a failing head gasket. I'd find a new mechanic who will actually test for that possibility.
  • The water pump was replaced when the timing belt was changed which was the same time the mechanic replaced the part my BF broke off. The thermometer has not been checked as there was some reason to believe it could not be the issue. I guess it's worth a try though. In the mean time, I just keep adding coolant/water every couple days and don't drive for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Sure wish I had the time to get this worked out. ;) Thanks.
  • I have a '93 civic that has no problem starting, but the last three times it has rained heavy, it will not start the next morning. it cranks fine, but will not fire to start. when it sits and "dries out", (could be hours) it starts fine. any ideas? thanks
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    sounds like moisture is getting into the distributor cap/rotor. Check the distributor cap for any cracking in the plastic, and see if the rubber seal is missing off of that cap. Also see if there is any moisture inside the cap, this will confirm where the issue is.

    The part that gives the "juice" for the spark is called the igniter, it's inside that distributor cap and if it gets moist, it wouldn't be able to start. Please be careful, remove the cap slowly and gently, the igniter has a ceramic tip to it and you can break it off if you don't remove the distributor cap slowly.

    Let us know what you find! :shades:
  • we are having the same problem with the same year car. i don't understand why this prob would all of a sudden start, is it because we are living in an extremely cold area now, or is it something that just happens?
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    no that's not something that just happens. car should start regardless of temperature.

    Have you checked the battery? Have a load test done on the battery. As temperatures fall, the battery's ability to produce enough amps/volts to start the car also fall. If it's a bad battery, would start fine when warm, but get it to an extreme cold, and poof! It won't be able to start the car.

    Check that first. If you've already done a load test and the battery checks out ok. Then I would look into the same as I mentioned before, the distributor cap, even to go as far as to check the igniter for good operation. I don't know the measurements but a good service manual would tell you.

    Let us know if you had a load test on the battery...
  • thegagethegage Posts: 13
    Classic sign of weak spark--either gettting shorted to ground in the cap due to moisture or somewhere in the wires, or due to worn plugs. When was the last time you changed the spark plug wires and the spark plugs?
  • Hi have a strange one, think I know the cause but some advice could be good if im on the right track.

    The full story is.

    Have a Honda civic 1.6 automatic 1998 model I think. Drove around town and noticed temp gauge was right up. Checked radiator well and was bone dry as was radiator, refilled both seemed to be okay, but by mistake I topped up with screen wash not antifreeze that I thought was in the car oops.

    Had to do a 200 mile journey on motorway/highway traveling on average at about 80mph well needed topping up but all seemed okay, not until the last 10 miles did the temperature go back in the red again, rest of journey normal, no air con or heating on as nice day.

    Made it to destination with another top up of water, remaining in well was boiling. (there is nor thermostat in the card, removed last year and never put it back in although new is in my glove compartment)

    This morning did a short journey to test straight into the rep, called recovery out, found pipe going into the back on the manifold had sheared off, did a temporary repair by wrapping remains of pipe over the stub left on the manifold checked for water leakage and that pipe to radiator was getting hot and all seemed okay.

    Drove another 5 miles and back in red again, let car rest, topped up water levels in radiator and well and all seemed fine for around 20 miles, then back in red. Switch on the heaters and stayed at correct temperature.

    Gambled and drove the 200 miles back at about the same speed with heater on full, stopped after 100 miles found well was dry topped it up again.

    Tried turning the heaters off to test as we went, heat went straight back up, soon as you switched them off heat went back down.

    Made it home crossing every finger I had.. But need to get fixed fast as im going to boil having the heater on all the time.

    Whats going wrong,??????
  • I have a 93 Honda Civic and have no issues with it until warm weather comes along.
    The car will not start. Starts in the morning no problem, but once it has sat all day in the warm temp you come out to leave and the thing won't can wait till the temp goes down and car starts fine. We have had it in the shop NUMEROUS times and they can't firgue out whats wrong. Everything checks fine - fuel pump, lines, alternator, battery. Had the disp.cap replaced...going nuts. Can someone give me a clue?
  • lloyderlloyder Posts: 1
    Hi i bought my wife an auto civic 1600 1993,its started to slip gears now 101,000mls and i wondered given the age i do not want to spend thousands of pounds fixing it can i change the gearbox easy enough for a reconditioned unit.I am good with spanners but by no means a qualified mech.I just wondered if i could do it easily enough.
  • tmickeydtmickeyd Posts: 1
    I have a 98 civic LX. When I turn my headlights on my dashboard lights go out! Also i think this problem is causing my radio not to work. Any ideas as to what the problem is? Thanks.
  • paulbrpaulbr Posts: 3
    Hello all,

    I have a 2002 LX 4 door 5 speed with 85k miles. When I am accelerating quickly (merging onto the interstate) or traveling around 75 mph, the engine hesitates and lets out a very short squeak. It only happens between 3000 and 3200 rpm.

    Any idea what this is? It hasn't gotten any worse since it started 3 or 4 months ago, but I don't want to ignore what might be a serious problem. I figure it's some sort of belt issue, because that's what the squeak sounds like.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • enverenver Posts: 4
    It probably is a belt slipping. Is the AC engaged when this happens? It might be the AC clutch providing a bit more load to a loose belt which slips and squeals. Try tightening the belt. ;)
  • robert141robert141 Posts: 1
    I have had the same problem and I have found something that seems to work so far.. even in humid 85+ degree days!... just fill the tank with the highest octane the gas station provides.. a little on the spendy side but I have not had a hot start since then, sometimes a foreign car needs that extra octane to start up. If that doesnt work then i dont know what the issue is with your car.
  • tigeriiitigeriii Posts: 5
    My steering wheel sounds like it is rubbing against rubber when I turn it to the right. It is also a little hard to turn. Any ideas what is the cause?
  • Hi I have 2008 honda civic with 12,000 miles on it and I have been seeing that wiper blades have been streaking when they are used. It has been happening for couple of months probably around 9,000 miles. I don't usually use them that much only when there is raining and I clean them up whenever I fill up the gas at the gas station. can anybody tell me how often should these be replaced? I live in midwest.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,490
    The rubber that Honda oem uses is quite durable when cared for. However if ignored, a 6 mo change will cure what ails it.

    I had to finally change a set after 5 years (80,000 miles) because one wiper blade started to tear ever so slightly.

    There are a few tricks if you are interested. If not, I don't want to bore folks.
  • crazyflycrazyfly Posts: 61
    In my experience the very cold weather shortens the life of a wiper blade rubber to less than a year. Mileage doesn't matter in this case becaue it is the weather that makes the wiper blade brittle after which it starts streaking. I've lived in midwest and northeast and experienced this first hand. I now live in the south and the wiper blade lasts a few years.

    I would recommend replacing the wiper blades inserts every year before the winter season. They cost less than $15 a pair and you can install them yourself. The replacement inserts come in a plastic wrapper that has instructions printed on it. Takes less than 10 mins of your time with no special tools.
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