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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions

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  • Before this goes on another "oil" tangent, let me remind everyone (once again!) that this topic is strictly about Honda Civic problems and solutions. If you wish to discuss any other make/model, please do so in its designated topic, which you can find by using the search function.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    ..."Honda's 5,000 or 10,000 mile oil change interval is a "pipe dream"! "...

     

    My take is more like: the 3k oil changes are more like belt and suspenders type of "dreaming"

     

    Lets just put it this way, Honda is not above trying to deny REMOTE engine warranty claims within the meager warranty period of 3 years/ 36,000 miles.

     

    Thankfully, Honda DOES NOT unlike some of Toyota's have engines that operate at temperatures that literally "COOK" the oil, that will over time cause coking. The real long term answer is redesign those engines that operate OUT of the heat range the oil is designed to run. Since Toyota's warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles, and they really DID/do NOT want to redesign it or recall them, their answer is to change the oil more often, which does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the oil "cooking" and then coking. They basically cover the real PITA people with the "secret" warranty.

     

    While I understand the host/hostess wants to stay on topic, to me it is pretty germane in that I was pretty sour about certain Toyota's from my own experiences with the Toyota Camry 1985 at app the 75,000 mile mark. So this is by no means a new problem. (2005-1985)=20 years.

     

    I changed oil religiously between 2,500-3,000 miles(Catrol GTX). This of course did NOTHING to stop the massive coking. The neatest thing from Toyota's point of view is at 36,001 ANY engine repairs are now on YOUR nickel. So at app 75,000 miles when a part of the engine failed and let all the oil stream out they steadfastly stuck to their position that the warranty was indeed up. As they began the tear down procedure to assess the damage, it was more than easy to see the engine was massively coked up. Just this portion of the repairs started off at 1,500 and then ended up at app 2700 dollars.

     

    Needless to say I was not very pleased. I have to say however in all fairness, they did invoke the "secret warranty". (Perhaps I met their criterion for being a PITA. :) ) Unbeknownst to me this model also had brake pad and rotor and suspension problems. They at no charge replaced the brake pads, rotors, springs, shocks, and struts, etc.

     

    I also at the time had a Honda Accord manual transmission that in effect ran like a top, but I did get rid of it also, due to guilt by association of being a 4 cylinder engine. : ( :).

     

    Upshot is this is a round about way of saying for a number of years I would not go near these belt driven 4 cylinder engines!

     

    So the upshot is 1. don't get the engines that cook oil and then coke 2. Honda Civic (the one I have) does not have the engines that do this 3. I am good to go to 9/10k on ExxonMobil Superflo5w20 or to 20,000 after the meager warranty period of 3 years/36,000 miles with Mobil One 0w20.
  • hatchhatch Posts: 2
    Hi everyone, and happy new year!

    I have a 1995 very basic Civic Hatchback DX, no power steering, manual drive. Overall it is in very good shape and I do take good care of it (this a 'previously owned' car). But I found out the radiator has a "slight leak" and it will cost more than $500 to replace it. I looked into buying a Honda radiator for my model and found one online for a pretty good price, but the garage I use refuses to install it. I know that having a perfect radiator is of critical importance, but I also don't have more than $500 to replace it right now. It's winter, does that help keep the engine cool? Are there any effective, short-term solutions? Thank all of you for your help.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    Short term, it might be as simple as hose and hose clamps not doing their job. If you have cracks in the radiator it can be spot welded. Not to be the bearer of bad news, for folks have a tendency to shoot the messenger, at the worst:long term, it is just a matter of when you will have to replace it!

     

    So if a radiator costs say 200-250 dollars that means shop time of 250-300 at your areas going rate.(3 hrs app)

     

    I replaced one on a Toyota Landcruiser, after being welded in serveral places and times, but the part wholesale was 399. and it was 200 in labor. The problem occurred at the 12 year mark and very close to 214k miles.
  • hatchhatch Posts: 2
    Hi ruking1,

    Thank you for the info. I know the radiator itself has cracks, but that the leaking is not too bad. I didn't mention spot welding, but my mechanic didn't mention spot welding as an option when I asked if there were short-term solutions. I don't drive a lot, but do need a dependable vehicle when I do, and I certainly don't want to kill the motor. And I realize I will have to replace the radiator eventually, but I would like to put it off for a while if I can.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    That being true, I would take corrective actions like making sure on a short periodic schedule that the fluids were TOPPED UP. So carry distilled water and antifreeze, or carry premixed (50/50) antifreeze and distilled water. Needless to say, this is not the best solution, but I understand what you are trying to accomplish.
  • I just purchased 2 cabin filters for my 01 Civic at the outrageous price of $28.30. They are really cheap quality and probably cost 50 cents to make. Any ideas as to low cost solution? How necessary are they?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    Lower cost (19) yes but still low demand makes it pricey.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    If you are on a budget, the first thing that I would do is buy a container of radiator "stop leak" for about $5 at your local automotive parts store. This stuff worked pretty well for older model cars (1980-1990's)-haven't tried it on newer model cars.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    The radiator should be an easy swap in that car. It's not that big and from what I remember about my 93', the fasteners and hoses were pretty easy ro get to.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Hi everyone, and happy new year!

    I have a 1995 very basic Civic Hatchback DX, no power steering, manual drive. Overall it is in very good shape and I do take good care of it (this a 'previously owned' car). But I found out the radiator has a "slight leak" and it will cost more than $500 to replace it. I looked into buying a Honda radiator for my model and found one online for a pretty good price, but the garage I use refuses to install it. I know that having a perfect radiator is of critical importance, but I also don't have more than $500 to replace it right now. It's winter, does that help keep the engine cool? Are there any effective, short-term solutions? Thank all of you for your help.


     

    If I am not mistaken the 1995 has the "half sized" radiator, where the A/c core and radiator are side by side, instead of one behind the other. Replacing a radiator is even easier with this configuration. The online dealer's price for OEM radiator (Denso) is $201.

    You would have to look at it to see if you have to remove the bulkhead or just undo the bushings and slide it out, after disonnecting the hoses and removing the fan. I replaced a few radiators on varyous Honda's and it may take you, the first time, a good portion of a saturday morning. After a while you can do it with the eyes closed.

     

    try these for cheaper OEM parts

    East coast: http://www.fairhondapartsforyou.com/(Connecticut), http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/catdisplay.jsp (Rhode Island)

    Mid West http://www.hparts.com (Oklahoma)

    West coast http://www.handa-accessories.com/

     

    The reason I offer the dealer by locality is because they may give you free shipping if you are in their region. I can vouch for Fairhondapartsforyou, I was so impressed with their service, that I ended up buying my Si from them. If you call them and buy from them mention to John that Dave (black Si) sent you, and he will cut you a better deal. I have sent a lot of people there. I think a few from Edmunds actually ended up buying cars from them too.

     

    HandA are good too, but they are on the west coast and shiping take a week and costs a bit.

     

    Most of them would not list the parts on the website, except for Majestic Honda, so you would have to call them.

    I have bought from Hparts back in the late 90's, they were the pioneers of the OEM internet parts dealers.

     

    The "stop leak" is a very temporary solution and may clog up the cooling passages in the engine. All it is a bunch of copper flakes with some binder that "supposedly/allegedly" seals up the leaks from the inside. Would you in the right mind put metal flakes in your cooling system? I wouldn't. This is for a crooked used car salesman to seel a junker that does not leak on the parking lot. If you really want a temporary solution, that would not harm the engine, seal it form the outside with JB weld, but once summer comes, you would still need a new radiator.

     

    Don't forget that you can not use generic antifreeze, when buying radiator (if you do go ahead with replacement) ask them for the HOnda OEM 50/50 antifreeze. Honda water pumps are very sensitive to silicates present in regular "off the shelf" antifreeze. Silicates act as abrasive in the water pump.

     

    If you are new to Honda, there a re few fluids that should only be OEM: Antifreeze, power steering fluid (does not apply to you), ATF fluid (does not apply to you), and rear differential fluid (does not apply to you)

     

    Good luck.

     

    P.S. You can get a Chilton, Hayes or Helms repair manual for your car. Helms is the best, but also the priciest ($70), Hayes is OK and decent price, Chilton is the least attractive but cheap ($10 at auto zone).
  • Are they necessary? I suppose that you could consider them a luxury item, these type filters first appeared in the higher end cars. Historically, air entered from the outside of the car and was blown or circulated to the inside without filtration. There are many cars that still do this today. If you decide to leave the old ones in place, gradually the air flow from the outside will decrease as the filter clogs. If you remove them and don't replace, ducts, vents, etc. will start accumulating dust, pollen, etc. Probably have the odd insect carcasse make it through from time to time. For a lot of people this is not a problem. If you are lucky enough to live in the Southeast in the spring time, you might be greated with a blast of pollen first thing in the morning.

    Up to you, I guess I like the luxury and keep replacing mine. I have noticed recently in my local autoparts store that one of the aftermarket vendors has a part number for the cabin filter. My store didn't stock, so not sure of the price.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    Judging by my VW Jetta TDI charcoal cabin filter at 47,000 miles, I would say no, they are not necessary. It is not like your engine is ingesting and combusting "silicon" particles that might affect the wear of your engine. If the price of the 2 filters is a shocker, I would just double/triple the change out time and/or vacuum them clean and put them back in.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    For people with allergies, a HEPA filter is a must. I think the Si cabin filters are HEPA, but I am not 100% sure. I just know that in the spring I don't feel like I am ready to sneeze my brains out after driving for an hour in the mountains. To me, the cost is minimal on the grand scheme of things. You just spent $15,000-$20,000 on a car, what is another $20-40 once a year? The cost of your gas, oil tires, brakes, and other maintenance items are much greater than the cabin filter. If you are not ready for those expenses, maybe you should have stayed with the old clunker you had before.

     

    On-linde parts dealers may sell the filters cheaper, I don't remember how much it was exactly from Fair Honda, but it was cheaper than retail.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Three weeks ago I purchased a 2001 Civic LX for my wife. This vehicle had everything that she wanted with the exception of a center armrest. Have any of you retrofitted a center armrest for your 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? I haven't priced one yet--and really don't even know if any of the 2001 Civic models had a center armrest. So, that's the main question. Could you get a center armrest in a 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? If so, do you feel as though it would be fairly easy to install one in a Civic that was built without one?

     

    Ron M.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    why don't you click on the H and A banner at the top and follow the links to Honda, Civic and Armrest, then View Installation Instructions? ;)
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Three weeks ago I purchased a 2001 Civic LX for my wife. This vehicle had everything that she wanted with the exception of a center armrest. Have any of you retrofitted a center armrest for your 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? I haven't priced one yet--and really don't even know if any of the 2001 Civic models had a center armrest. So, that's the main question. Could you get a center armrest in a 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? If so, do you feel as though it would be fairly easy to install one in a Civic that was built without one?

      

    Ron M.


     

    You can probably install Center console from the EX. I don't see why it would not fit. It has armrest and storage compartments.

     

    P.S. Like the previous poster said, go to the top banner and get the arm rest from the site sponsor. Not a bad deal for $42.

     

    http://www.handa-accessories.com/civint01.html
  • sp0tsp0t Posts: 4
    I own a 1998 Honda Civic EX automatic. I got it from an auction so therefore I didn't get a chance to test drive it. It's a great car and I haven't had any problems with it. I was wondering, though, if any drivers of this model have had any problems with brake sensitivity? Does anyone know if the ABS has anything to do with brake sensitivity? The car that I drove before I purchased my Honda had brakes that were much more sensitive. When I'm driving my Honda and I come to a complete stop I'm constantly putting pressure on the brake pedal to keep the vehicle from rolling. The slightest release of pressure from the brake pedal lets the car roll. The car that I drove before my Honda, however, when I would come to a complete stop I could release some pressure from the brake pedal so my foot wasn't constantly pushing down on the brake pedal so hard. The previous car would stay put when I released a little pressure from the brake pedal. Any ideas of why the brakes in the Honda aren't very sensitive or are they supposed to be like that?
  • dave28dave28 Posts: 1
    So, the remote access FOB on our 1997 EX has gotten a lot weaker. The distance to the car for it to work has become about two feet away. Replaced the battery. Didn't change anything. Took it to dealer, replaced the whole key FOB, did NOTHING! Dealer is stumped. I think it must be the RECEIVER, by process of elimination. But where is the receiver in the car, and what can we do to replace/fix it? Other ideas? By the way we tried it in various locations thinking it might be electronic interference. No difference...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    This doesn't sound normal. Have a competent shop check your brakes. Nothing to fool with.
This discussion has been closed.