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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • Hi,
    My '93 Civic EX Coupe has 114K mi. on it and about 8 mos. ago the a/c went out. I was sitting in it parked and running with the a/c on and all was working fine. Suddenly I hear a deflating sound really loud as if a tire had been punctured, but I was just sitting there. I get out of the car while it's still running and I can tell the sound is coming from under the hood. I looked but could not find where. I get back in the car and the a/c is still going but now only hot air is coming out. I took it to the shop. They said the presure valve was bad and replaced it. A few weeks later it stops cooling again. I take it back. It was out of freon so they said there's a leak. They replaced the hose to or from the condenser (the one with the red cap - I don't know if that's supply or return). Again a few weeks later out of freon. So it's never been fixed properly and clearly has a leak because when there's freon in the system, it all works. No one seems to be able to find the problem and I feel like these repairs were unnecessary and futile. I managed to get my money back and took it to my regular mechanic. He says he thinks the condenser is leaking and it would be at least $650 to fix. Here's the thing - I don't have time or patience for any more guessing. I trust his instincts about the condenser but $650 seems rediculous for a car of this age especially when I know I can get a new Honda condenser for less than $300. I'd like to just do this myself. The system's already evacuated obviously, and I'm pretty handy and have a repair book. Anyone have any tips for me or know of any repair shops in LA that are specific to a/c. I would only go the shop route again if I know I have a specialist and it's not going to be rediculous. I'm just trying to get through the summer while I wait for some more hybrids to come out. If I was going to keep the car for any extended period, I wouldn't mind the expense but it's too much for a car of this age and how long I plan to keep it. Thanks for any suggestions. p.s.-the system is R134. It was changed over after an accident I had in '97 or '98.
  • trantitranti Posts: 51
    Hi! Take your civic to any Honda dealer. They will find out the radio code for your car. It cost around $50 , I guess. Good luck!
  • When i start my '99 civic dx, it idles fine, smoothly. but after like 2 minutes, it starts to make a wah, wah, wah, noise and idles choppy.i put a different throtle body on and still the same problem.
  • Yesterday I checked the oil and it was lower than expected. I added about 3/4 quarts to bring it to the recommended level. I'm not sure why I had to do this since I had my oil changed at the honda dealership 4 months ago (I've driven ~2-3k more miles).

    I checked the oil since I could hear a crackling noise (light but noticeable that wasn't happenning before). Driving today to work I didn't hear the noise, but on the return trip I heard it again. I believe its coming from the front of the car. Both windows are closed (earlier message mentioned something about crackling due to a window - I doubt this is the problem since I haven't openned my window earlier in the week and didn't hear anything before). Today, I heard the noise going between 55-80mi/hr and also during some of the bumps when coming home.

    The car was purchased in March 2003 and now has a bit under 20000 miles on it.

    Also, how often do you guys change the oil on the newer hondas? My owner's manual says every 10000 miles or once a year, whichever being shorter if I'm driving in "normal" conditions.

    Thanks in advance for feedback.
  • civic2001civic2001 Posts: 30
    My 2001 Civic (41k miles) has developed an annoying squeaky / rattling noise from the left rear since last week. The noise is very obvious, especially when going over any small bump at low speed. Both a Midas store and a Honda dealer thought it may be coming from a bushing that is drying up - except they could not tell exactly which one. They both tried to spray lubricant over all bushing. However, this approach has not helped. I could also duplicate the noise by either pushing down or lifting up the rear bumper.

    Interestingly, neither store thought it could be from the shocks. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.
  • tanya2tanya2 Posts: 29
    I still believe in 3,000 mile oil and filter changes. I know, the owner's manual recommends 5,000 for severe service, and 10,000 mile for normal service, but I like to give my vehicles extra maintenance. My goal is to keep the engine, and crankcase clean! In terms of the noise in the vehicle, I would bring the vehicle to the dealer, and have the suspension examined for damaged parts. You could have hit something in the road, (a hole), and damaged a component! My Honda does not use any oil between oil and filter changes. When the vehicle is on the lift, the mechanic could look for exterior oil leaks. Does the engine smoke when coasting going down hill? Do you have the correct type of oil in the engine? Do you see oil drips on the roadway when you move the vehicle from it's parking space? ----------Tanya
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,700
    I can't say that a 3000 mile OCI hurts anything as compared to a 10,000 OCI except for increasing the per mile lubricated costs. A lot has come a long way considering the 10,000 mile OCI's are done with specified CONVENTIONAL oil. Also noteworthy is the recommendation of every other oil filter change or 20,000 miles.

    My goal is also to keep the engine clean (etc) and INXS of 250,000 miles. So over 250,000 miles as an example, one will do 83 vs 25 OCI's.

    After the meager warranty period of 3 years36,000 miles. I have no qualms in going to Mobil One 0w20,5w20 and doing OCI's of 20,000. or 13 OCI's
  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    The front end on my 2003 also clunks when during low speed driving, like backing out of parking spots etc. Is this the same problem that is common with the newer Civics?
  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    My drivers seat rocks back and forth, like a quarter inch or so, just enough to drive me nuts. Anyone else have this problem, and if so whats the fix? Thanks.
  • civic2001civic2001 Posts: 30
    What year is it? My 2001 Civic EX had a similar problem in 2002. Dealer determined it was due to a worn bushing and replaced the driver seat rack under warranty (SB 01-057).
  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    Its a 2003, sounds like a similar problem. Thanks for the info.
  • My 2001 Honda Civic needs to have the struts replaced already with 45K miles on it. Apparently the local Honda dealer replaces the struts on 8-10 cars PER DAY, and have not sent out a recall on the junk parts they put in during production. Take your car to the dealer and insist they fully inspect your struts, and replace the rusty screws & bolts. Maybe your struts are leaking (which has been an issue with the 2001 Civic).
  • kaushikgkaushikg Posts: 26

    I have a Honda Civic 2002 LX model. It has 55K miles on it.SInce I bought it new I have gotten all the scheduled 10K,20K up to 50K maintenance done at Honda service center. Also the intermediate oil changes have been done at the same location. AT the 50K servicing they recommended flushing the oil in the engine for $200 and also to get the fuel intake cleaned. They said it will help in improving performance and also improve life of the car. Being a mechanical engg. and having taken good care of my car I thought it is not necessary and so I asked them not to do anything.

    Is it necessary to get these things done?
    Is every 10K maintenance necessary?

    Also I get a lot of rattling from the front dash, is there any clue to that problem.

  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    What are the symptoms of the bad struts Hondas been putting on the Civic?

    I have a clunking noise somewhere in the front end of my 03, could it be the bad bushings someone else mentioned or maybe the struts? I only have 13,000 miles on the car, hard to believe this stuff can go bad so fast.

    I too have a lot of rust on different front suspension pieces. :(
  • fe203fe203 Posts: 21
    I've been told by a honda dealer employee since 2001 when honda started putting sway bars on the frontends, the two bushings which keep the bar off the underframe wear very fast. The bushings wear & it gives the swaybar room to move causing a knock /clunking noise especially at low speed when going over small bumps, dips etc. I replaced the two bushings on my '01 civic coupe last weekend in less than an hour & the noise is no longer. Also, the dealer replaced both my front struts about 6 weeks ago under a " hidden recall. I didn't notice anything wrong with the struts at all, but hey if honda wants to put new struts on at their cost, works for me.
  • fe203fe203 Posts: 21
    I've been told by a Honda dealer employee that the problem is with the suppiler of the front struts to Honda on 2001 & up Civic's. In the manufacturing of the struts small metal filings are left on the strut piston shaft. As the strut compresses & releases these filings tear away at the seals in the strut body causing fluid / gas to leak. To the best of my knowledge there has been no recall, but if a customer complains they replace the struts with supposely a updated model of the strut assembly.
  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    Thank you for all the information. I think I definitely have the bushing problem you described.

    I'm still well within my warrantyand I hope my dealership won't give me the usual "can not duplicate concern" BS I usually get.
  • eddief1eddief1 Posts: 13
    why are there so many vacuum lines on this motor? i did check for leaks spraying soapy water looking for bubbles.there were no sign of any leak.i did find the screw to lower the helped but now when the car is warmed up you can hear the idle go from high to low very slightly.
  • Has anyone else experienced sloshing noises from the gas tank in their Civic? I hear a very distinct sloshing noise when the tank is below 3/4 full. The dealer just blows off my questions. I am very worried that since there is certainly no insulation between the tank and the back seat, it could be a real safety hazard
  • Fuel is a liquid. Take an empty milk jug, fill it with water, seal it, and shake it around and you will probably have the same effect. The fuel is bound to move around due to you accelerating, braking, etc. Especially with economy cars there isn't as much sound proofing, so you are more bound to hear these things. You have nothing to worry about on a safety standpoint though.
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