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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions

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  • I have a 1998 Civic EX with 70,000 miles. I just took it to the dealer and they told me 3 things were recommended to be fixed:

    1) Right rear trailing arm bushing is torn, and left is cracked, they recommended repairing both and performing a wheel alignment. Estimate: $595.

    2) Battery failed load test, they recommended replacing the battery. Estimate: $109.95.

    3) Oil pan gasket is leaking, they recommended replacement. Estimate: $310.

    I wanted to know if these are common problems, if the estimates they gave were appropriate for the work to be done, and most importantly, if anybody knows any service shops in the area that are good. I live about 30 miles south of San Francisco in Palo Alto, but would be willing to drive up to San Francisco, or down to San Jose for good service.

    I appreciate any recommendations.
  • I have a 97 Honda Civic LX with 110K miles on it. When taking off from a dead stop and the shift selector is in D4 the transmission will not downshift to 1st. I have to manually downshift or it sounds like a manual starting off in 3rd gear. Another interesting thing I noticed is when the vehicle is under way and I mash the accelerator it downshifts fine. I have noticed when the engine and tranny are cold everything works like it should. The problem only starts after about 15-20 minutes of driving.
    I just recently change the tranny fluid with Honda fluid and, per another forum, I replaced the linear solenoid.
    thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    If the battery is the original one in the car, that's probably a good idea.

    The pan gasket really depends on 1) how much it is leaking, which you can determine by placing some newspaper under the engine after you turn it off, and seeing how much oil leaked on the paper, keeping in mind that it "spreads" on paper AND 2) whether or not someone has gotten under there and LIGHTLY tightened the pan gasket bolts.

    The bushings? Hard to say. I'd get a second opinion from a TRUSTED front end/alignment specialty shop, not a CHAIN store, but an independent who's been in business in your town for a while. Sometimes a crack or tear is nothing, sometimes it is a safety concern and sometimes it can go quite a while longer.

    MODERATOR

  • My girlfriend is having the exact same problem with her 1998 Civic Hatchback. Although her symptoms are not to the point of not being able to start the vehicle.

    What was your solution? We have already replace the VSS. Any guidance at all would be greatly appreciated.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    " 2) Battery failed load test, they recommended replacing the battery. Estimate: $109.95. "

    $109.95??? Man I'm in the wrong business. Take it to Wal-Mart, should be about $50 plus free installation.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    Well it's a dealer after all. You pay for convenience and you're paying their shop rate.

    MODERATOR

  • i have a 91 honda civic DX with approx 235,000 miles i just bought it from a lady that supposably dogged it out pretty bad. at first i noticed when its in a high rev it blows out a bluish grey smoke and it sometimes back fires when in around 2nd or 3rd gear. i just got it about 3 weeks ago and i have drove it about 30 miles trying to figure out why it overheats after 10 minutes, wont start after 10 minutes of driving, engine knocks, and sometimes in 1st gear the power just is lost when u floor it. today i was checking the fluids in the car because supposably the women that sold it to me said everything was takin care of engine wise(it runs great)....turns out it has rust in the radiator no water...quart low on oil... and no oil change since 03'. we put tap water in the raditoer cleaned the radiator return out and filled up the oil because its only been sittin not runned so the old oil is still good i think. i runned it and less bluish smoke came out but the temp gauge didnt seem to work right and eventually it overheated again and then we popped the radiator cap off and it was boiling but the temp gauge was still down, is my engine done for, new radiator? timing ? maybe no tempature gauge? i am clueless plz help!!!!!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Oh My Gosh..........I just watched Jeff Foxworthy.....You might be a redneck if....

    " new radiator? timing ? maybe no tempature gauge? "

    How about a new car?
  • I also say get the battery replaced. Don't forget to write down your radio presets before taking it in. Trust me, if you were driving an American heap, the dealer would never check the battery at any service interval with a voltmeter before it failed. You'd be on a hook.

    Sure, your dealer wants to make a few bucks, but I found they also want to keep their customers happy, because that means repeat business and future product sales. It also means no angry customers a month later coming in on a tow truck for a dead battery. Personally, I think you have a good dealer. Pay to get this done while it still starts.

    As for the rest, you be the judge. Oil on the ground is a dead giveaway you've got a problem. Make sure to keep an eye on your oil level. If the engine is not losing any oil and the leak is extremely minor, you can let it go for awhile. As for the bushing, I'd be more concerned about that. Bad signs are usually uneven tire wear, vibrations, or the vehicle doesn't "ride" like it used to. Then again, it could minor and last a good deal longer.

    If your past experiences with this dealer have been impeccable and you can afford to have the work done, then by all means go for it. But get the battery replaced no matter what else you decide about the other work.

    As for the HOST'S newspaper recommendation, I'd avoid it. It's a fire hazard. One gust of wind causing the newpaper to touch anything close to a HOT exhaust or for whatever reason causing the newspaper to attach itself to the vehicle is asking for trouble.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    fair enough....heavy piece of cardboard then.

    MODERATOR

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    Sounds like all your running problem are related to very intense overheating. Is the electrical cooling fan working? If there's no water in the cooling system the temp gauge isn't going to read---it can't read steam in other words.

    If the fan is working properly, you might replace the thermostat (probably all gunked up anyway), and if those two things dont' do it you have to dig deeper and pull out the radiator and have it cleaned out. It's probably a mess.

    If you see WHITE smoke coming out of the exhaust, like steam, then you have a bad head gasket and that sounds like the end of this car. But if not, you might be able to save it doing the other things I mentioned.

    MODERATOR

  • My daughter's 99 Honda Civic was over heating, it doesn't look like the radiator fans are working. Is that an expensive repair. :cry:

    Thanks for any help offered.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    depends on whether it is only the sensors that read the temperature, the relays that work the system or the fan motor itself. Probably the biggest expense will be the proper diagnosis, but figure one hour to figure it out plus parts and not too much labor.....at best, under $100, and worst a couple hundred bucks?

    MODERATOR

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    i have a 91 honda civic DX with approx 235,000 miles i just bought it from a lady that supposably dogged it out pretty bad. at first i noticed when its in a high rev it blows out a bluish grey smoke and it sometimes back fires when in around 2nd or 3rd gear. i just got it about 3 weeks ago and i have drove it about 30 miles trying to figure out why it overheats after 10 minutes, wont start after 10 minutes of driving, engine knocks, and sometimes in 1st gear the power just is lost when u floor it. today i was checking the fluids in the car because supposably the women that sold it to me said everything was takin care of engine wise(it runs great)....turns out it has rust in the radiator no water...quart low on oil... and no oil change since 03'. we put tap water in the raditoer cleaned the radiator return out and filled up the oil because its only been sittin not runned so the old oil is still good i think. i runned it and less bluish smoke came out but the temp gauge didnt seem to work right and eventually it overheated again and then we popped the radiator cap off and it was boiling but the temp gauge was still down, is my engine done for, new radiator? timing ? maybe no tempature gauge? i am clueless plz help!!!!!

    I hope you didn't pay more than $25 for the car, because this is what a junk yard will give you for it.

    Did you check al those items prior to buying? Or did you just hand over the money and took the car? It sounds like something a 16 year old would do.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    Fortunately all of us here were very smart when we were young :P

    MODERATOR

  • My significant other has a 2002 Civic Couple LX with over 30,000 miles. No problems with the window regulators.

    I agree with blueiedgod's post. Contact Honda corporate.
  • I have a 99 Civic LX and when I had it smogged recently it passed but they found a crack in the exhaust manifold. Every Honda shop I've talked to wants $800 - $850 to replace the manifold. This seems pretty extreme to me. I know the cat is in the exhaust manifold but dear god... Can anyone recommend a parts house that may carry the manifold with cat?? Every place I've checked only has the performance headers, etc for EX/SI and not the manifold/cat combo for the LX.
  • 1989 Honda Civic DX 1.5L (5sp, 240K) My car stalls when I press the A/C button while idling. If I just turn on the fan there is no problem, it only occurs when the fan and A/C are on together. Also, I noticed that if I downshift when traveling at least say 20 MPH, the car does not stall. One last thing, almost every morning when I drive to work, when I get about 3 miles from the house the yellow check engine light comes on for a second or 2, the car tries to stall, but since it's a standard, I can keep it going. The check engine light doesn't come on anymore. The error code had to do with Fuel Injectors. I think it was 16 flashes for Fuel injector circuit. Thanks for any help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,900
    DId you click on H&A ad at the top of this page?

    MODERATOR

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Dorman makes one:

    http://motormitedormancatalog.com/item.wws?sku=674-439&mfr=Dorman (OE%20Solutions)&cooki- - eID=1LX0CPY4G1LX0CQNJS&drillid=12&clientid=motormitedorman&clientid=motormitedorman
  • I have a 97 Civic EX Coupe, with 139,000 miles on and yesterday I noticed a problem with my drivers door. In order for me to open the door. If I use the power door switch the door lock doesn't move. I have to move the door lock manual and open the door with the handle on the outside of the car then close the door, lock the car again with the door lock then open the door with the inside handle. I have to hold the door lock unlocked before I can open the door from inside the car. The passenger door works fine.. It doesn't seem like a electrical problem cause the power windows and the passenger door works fine. Has anyone seen this problem before? Will this be an expensive fix. I need to get this fixed soon as I am selling the car to buy a 2005 Odessey.

    Help,

    Dan in PA
    :sick:
  • I have a '91 honda civic LX 4-door with 200k+ miles. For the most part it has been fairly reliable but in the last year I have had some issues. The main one was overheating due to a bad radiator that may have caused a head gasket leak. Not wanting to invest much more money in this (Just spent ~$1000 to get new air put in last summer) I used K$W Permanent Block seal after I noticed moisture in the exhaust and hard starts. It seemed to correct the problem at least for now. There never was any mixing of oil/radiator fluid and there is no moisture in the exhaust.

    I'm not thinking that this has to do with the problem I am having now, but wanted to give the back story.

    Because of all of that and the rough running I changed all plugs, wires, rotor and distributor cap. It has been running very well for the last three months.

    A couple of weeks ago I drove about 250 miles round trip and before I filled up I decided to put in a bottle of STP injector cleaner since I would be going through a tank of gas.

    I was worried about driving it because of the mileage and recent problems, but the vehicle performed great. After I got home and the tank got close to empty, I noticed a little bucking at a stop sign on my way to put in more fuel.

    Assuming a "hiccup" with the car I drove it to my fathers and on the way there it got progressively worse. I would have to throw it into neutral at stop sighs and really give it the gas on take off to keep it from "bottoming out" on takeoff. It would lose major power on hills

    I have replaced the fuel filter and plugs and wires again assuming maybe one of the recent repairs or the fuel injector cleaner may have been involved. I've disconnected the fuel line and the fuel pump seems to have no problem with it's initial "ignition on" squirts of fuel.

    The weird thing is in the morning I can start it and it seems to run and idle ok for a few blocks and then starts to sputter at idle, and die under transmission load. This is consistent. I can drive around the block a couple of times and it appears to have cleared (got me into trouble taking it to work on one day) and then start bucking, almost like it has to do with engine heating up, or pressures building.

    I still can't figure out fuel or fire as the cause though. Some are recommending fuel pump but I'd hate to drop the tank and put out the expense for something that may not fix it. Any best guess cheap things to try first would be appreciated.

    FYI - i removed the plugs to inspect them and they appear fine with a light tan burn and no fouling.

    Any help appreciated. I'd love to fix this without having to replace half the vehicle components. Hehe
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    I have a 99 Civic LX and when I had it smogged recently it passed but they found a crack in the exhaust manifold. Every Honda shop I've talked to wants $800 - $850 to replace the manifold. This seems pretty extreme to me. I know the cat is in the exhaust manifold but dear god... Can anyone recommend a parts house that may carry the manifold with cat?? Every place I've checked only has the performance headers, etc for EX/SI and not the manifold/cat combo for the LX.

    If the Civic has less than 80K miles, the manifold is still covered under the 8 tear/80,000 mile warranty, and should be covered. IF you are over the miles, try the online parts dealers, such as:

    Site sponsor HandA They are on the west coast.
    On the east coast, Northeast particularly, try Fair Honda in Danbury, CT

    Neither has the parts you are looking for listed on the site, but give them a call.
  • The low exterior maintainance required of my 2000 Accord is something I greatly appreciate. I can be lax about cleaning off bird droppings in between car washes (which is a period of weeks), without causing any harm to the paint. Who has the time to inspect & do spot cleaning every time the car has been out of the garage?

    I'm thinking of purchasing a new Civic now. What are people's experiences with the paint durability of recent year model Honda's? Does anyone know whether Honda is still using the same types of paint & finishing processes as they were 5 years ago?
  • I'm looking for an aftermarket catback exhaust for a 92 honda civic si any suggestion on a good brand at a decent price
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Nice language. I'm surprised our gracious hosts haven't deleted your post yet.
  • I have an 88 civic that I just acquired with 200g mile and it runs great. After warmup, it will rev up between 1000 and 1500 rpm at idle. I've seen this problem posted in the forum before but could not see any replies to this problem. Does anyone know what could be wrong? It is a straight drive, 5 speed.
  • Burk1,

    Thermal Research makes a nice catback exhaust for the civic's. I used to have one on my 97 civic ex coupe.. The sound on the thermal is nice.
  • I have a 1999 Civic DX (manual trans.,98,000 miles) that is losing a quart of oil every 600-700 miles.I use the Civic on a daily newspaper delivery route that is approximately 80 miles in length with 400 plus stops.Of course,this involves alot of upshifting and downshifting between stops.The car generally runs strong with just a slight loss of power noticable since I purchased it 35,000 miles ago.I am seeing no oil on the plugs,no visible oil leaks on top of or underneath the engine,and no smoke out of the tailpipe,although the inside of the tailpipe is very black and sooty.Also,I had the valves adjusted approximately 25,000 miles ago.What are some of the possible repairs I could be looking at?I know I am probably reaching,but could something as minor as the valves needing to be adjusted again cause this?Thanks so much for your time and help with this.
This discussion has been closed.