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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions

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  • bwadbwad Posts: 7
    Call the toll free customer service number in your manual. I have made three calls and have been satisfied with each result. Two were for problems out of the warranty period and they covered replacement parts in both cases. I saved a total of $500 in parts just by complaining. In the third case the alloys had corroded during the warranty period and the dealer said that was normal. I called to complain and they gave me a new set of four alloys and said the dealer was at fault. Compared with what I have read about customer service from other makes I have been satisfied with compromises Honda has made for me.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    My daughter and her husband bought a 2005 Honda Civic May 9th 2005 and were driving it home from the dealer (60 miles on the vehicle) when the clutch shattered, the car stopped quickly and Honda is claiming that for some reason she must have down shifted going from 5th to 1st at 45 miles an hour on the freeway intentionally and therefore will take no responsibility. She is currently still disabled from a back injury due to the accident and can't drive, work or finish her college program, she DID NOT downshift. She was happily driving her new car home, going 45 in fourth on the freeway and cruising nicely in the slow lane (it's her first new car and she was being cautious). Since no one hit her (there was no impact whatsoever) the airbags did not deploy and thus her injuries are worse, but no one believes she could be this hurt from a nonimpact injury, plus now that Honda has rendered its verdict, 2 lawfirms have turned her case down. I'ld take any advice from anyone anywhere! Thanks

    I don't understand, she got injured from the shattered clutch, but there was no impact? How does that happen? Unless pieces of the clutch punctured the bell housing, and firewall and flew into the cabin, I can not see how shuttered clutch would cause injuries. Even if the shattered clutch seized up the fly wheel and cause the wheels to stop turning, the CV joints would have given way to the momentum. I think siezed up tranny shock is less than full power brake (to lock up) application at 45 mph. I have never heard of anyone getting injured from slamming on their brakes.

    It is very easy to determine what happened at the moment. Most new cars computers store on board information up to the last 3 minutes. If she indeed downshifted into 1st at 45 mph, the computer would show a sudden surge of engine RPM's past the red line, past the rev limiter. I am not even sure it is possible to shift into 1st at 45 mph without rev matching, but this would be beyond engine's rev capability. Also, the synchros would show damage from shoving the shifter into 1st at 45 mph. It is quite possible that she was able to shove the shifter in 1st at 45 mph, which caused the clutch plate to spin beyond its rev maximum, which increased the centripical forces on the friction material, which just started being flung off the plate, even before she had a chance to release the clutch. Which would not show in the engine record, but will show in the ECM's tranny record.

    I am still puzzled how one gets injured by mis-shifting or shattered clutch.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,488
    Something doesn't seem to track to me either. The only thing I can see is that they are taking protective measures due to an anticipated lawsuit, which they feel they can not resolve in the warranty process.. So I am thinking during the course of trying to get resolution, a pre existing injury was mentioned and either it was communicated a lawsuit was forthcoming or they deduced one was coming. In any case if the situation was exactly as billed, I would start the process to hire an aggressive lawyer to handle the case without trial or failing that, to adjudicate the matter in civil court.
  • wftwft Posts: 7
    Try having someone hold the door handle in the open position and take a screw driver and place it behind the latch assembly and pry it open while the door handle is being pulled ( Try inside and outside handles if needed ).
    You may have to pry rather sternly if it is jammed.
    That should work. Good luck
    wft
  • civic96civic96 Posts: 1
    My manual transmission 1996 Civic LX shakes really bad when I drive forward after starting it for the 1st time during the day. The shaking also happens when I shift from 1st gear to 2nd. It is similar to the shaking that happens when someone is learning to drive stick and almost kills the engine (this isn't my problem...I've been driving stick for years). It does not seem to make a difference whether it is really cold outside or really hot or whether I let my car sit idle to warm up. The shaking does go away after I've been driving around for about 5-10 minutes.

    Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong?

    Thanks for your help!
  • I really appreciate all your information. I am not at all knowledeable in autos and can only "tell it like it is". Honda is the one who has diagnosed the shattered clutch. My daughter was cruising. She hit no brake and didn't even try to shift out of 4th. She was comfortably going 45 miles an hour on I-5 south and had miles to go before her next exit. She was simply cruising. Her recollection of the incident was that there was a big jerking sensation. She was afraid she had hit a huge pothole or animal or something. Then the car lost all power ( Not electric...the see manufacturer light came on or service or whatever it says), she put it in neutral and coasted off the slow lane to the shoulder. By that time there was enough of a bad smell that she got out quickly. There was no pothole, no impact and no animal. The police were there and their report verifies this. The reason this "jerk" hurt her more than an intentional quick breaking at 45 miles an hour may have to do with the fact that if you break or downshift, you are anticipating a huge change and brace your body for it. I don't know. I just know that when she called 911 and they took her to the hospital for x-rays, a very healthy 18 year old girl was diagnosed on x-ray with a facture of the T-11 vertebrae and she has been home unable to sit upright since. My husband was excited to be reminded by your note of the tranny record. He is going to talk to our service engineer about that. And I am in the process of trying yet another attorney referral, this one is supposed to be good at new vehicle and lemon law issues. I wish we could have handled this with just the car problem, but with the back fracture and uncertainty of her prognosis we did feel we needed guidance and whether we got good or bad, I'm sure it didn't make Honda happy. Anyway, thanks again!
  • Thanks for writing. I, too, think they may have reacted to the lawyer involvement. Just to clarify though, there was no pre-existing back injury. This was caused by this incident. And it isn't small. The x-ray report of the night it occurred after she was taken by ambulance from the scene shows a compression fracture of the T-11 vertebrae and she has not been able to sit upright since. She had to quit college and cannot drive or work. She is in physical therapy and ever so slightly better, but we still don't know her prognosis. That's why we were terrified to do anything without an attorney. I have another attorney referral to try, this one a new car issue-lemon law pro and do appreciate your mention of civil court. We'll learn what we can about that. Thanks again.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    But I have to say that I agree with those that find something amiss... It seems rather strange that there could be that much physical injury from what amounts to at most locking up the front wheels for a fraction of a second. You have a long uphill battle ahead.

    Additionally, who cruises in 4th gear on the expressway?
  • maddy51maddy51 Posts: 1
    Yes the same happen to me $450.00 and Ill be happy.(per dealer) I have checked all the harness underneath both font seats and found them all secure, however my driver side light switch plunger had not been working for a while, so I took that apart and found it had worked itself lose from the holding bracket, and now works fine. And my SRS light went out.Go fiqure...
  • Who cruises in 4th gear on the freeway? An 18 year old girl with her first brand new car and she wants to take it easy and slow her first drive home in the dark on a road she's only been on maybe 10 times as she grew up in New England and just moved out to the Seattle area. Thank God she did or more than likely someone would have been behind her and creamed her and them. I'm truly so sick of having people imply she is less than as hurt as she is. She goes to her orthopedic doctor tomorrow and we are demanding a bone scan to comfirm the x-ray already done so we have a complete diagnosos and maybe prognosis as well. Thanks for the luck...we could use some right now.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    4th gear and "taking it easy" at 45 mph on the freeway sound like a novice behind the wheel. It's not the speed, it's the 4th gear that puzzles. "To most people "taking it easy" would have the RPM at the lowest point possible. "Cruising" at 45 implies that they had been at this speed for a while. Why would anyone "cruise" on the freeway and not be in overdrive(5th)? If this matter goes to a trial, I'm no lawyer, but I'd have a field day with that tidbit alone. Without other Civics suddenly slamming to a halt due to the clutches disintegrating at relatively low RPM, you have a hard road ahead.

    Other tidbits that don't make sense...
    How did the clutch shatter while cruising at such a low speed? You'd think it would be pressed against the flywheel so hard that that that would keep it from coming apart. Shattered clutches nearly always happen while shifting.

    What's left of the disc? It actually would be pretty easy to see if that damage was caused be a missed shift. There should be some shear to metal in the reverse direction of drive.

    Are the tires flat spotted? A force that hard should have locked up the tires.

    Did the ECU record a RPM spike?

    Was there any other damage to the car?

    Most telling is that there are no lawyers so far that will accept the case. It doesn't sound winnable to me either. I hope you have health insurance for these bills.
  • Boy, for a mom you guys are a tough crowd. I don't care if she was in fourth, it was a brand new car and no clutch should have done that. As for the clutch, it is in evidence at our service engineers. The car is being towed on a flatbed to their condo and the transmission and associated parts are boxed with the vehicle. No miles have been put on the car since May 9th. Why the inspection authorities didn't ask the same questions you have I don't know, maybe I'll be lucky enough to find an attorney who knows that much. We have to believe since it was that simple that it was a defective clutch or installation of the clutch. Yes we're insured but that won't help my daughter much if this fracture doesn't heal properly. Back injuries are something you sometimes never recover completely from and can come back to haunt you in later years. We were advised by a friend to try sites like this to see if we could find people with similar experiences but so far it doesn't see that's going to be the case. Thanks for your honesty.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    A brand new clutch shouldn't have done that. That's just another fact you have to overcome to prove your case. Another reason it's proving so hard to find a lawyer. If there is any evidence to the contrary, this case has the potential to be CRAZY expensive to win. You will need expensive experts and examinations of the parts involved. You think the medical bills are high? Clutches don't normally fly apart. And honestly, even if it did "shatter" I don't see how it would have locked up the transmission firm enough to cause injury. Especially while cruising. It sounds nearly impossible. Clutch discs are rather lightweight parts only designed to be friction material.

    Good luck.
  • wftwft Posts: 7
    Does the 1994 Honda Civic EX have any sensors on or connected to the Evaporator core or is it just the expansion valve inside and the pressure switch and relay outside ?
    I evacuated the a/c and re charged with the correct amount of R134 and during the day when it is hot the a/c stops cooling but in the morning it seems to do ok.
    Any ideas, If I wasn't already losing my hair this would surely start it..
    Thanks,
    wft

    :confuse:
  • You are so right. I am learning so much so quickly. I am by no means sure that their diagnosis is the final outcome in this. But many of the lawyers who turned down the case were respectfully clear about the amount of money they would have to put out to fight it and that it wasn't something their firm could handle. I have one more to try tomorrow and then we will probably give up on the legal end. Me and my husband, anyway. The two car owners (my daughter and son-in-law) may try the states attorney general and the media. The very best case scenario I see now is her total recovery and somehow a reasonable ending to the car part. I don't really think it is going to end up entirely consumer fair. But, just give me a good wish in the recovery, that's what counts the most. And thanks for your input....I asked many of your questions to the service engineer who has the car. I guess this car doesn't have the electronic memory of the transmissin history. So it can't say what actions were taken at the time of the occurance. We'll be OK. Our family is very close and if this injury persists, we can transfer my husband's job to be near them in a year or two and make the best of it. Thanks again! Mom
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Your best approach is to have your legal counsel recommend a forensic mechanic who can inspect the vehicle and make a determination of what happened. That's an area where I'm occasionally employed, and my testimony has had impact on court rulings. It has been suggested by some posters here that the vehicle's onboard computers can be accessed to extract data re the operating conditions prior to the event, but this is bunk. The only information that can be extracted from onboard computers is "freeze frame" data from the engine control computer at the instant that a check engine light was set, or, in limited applications, data from the SRS computer for a five second period prior to an airbag deployment. That information currently consists of:

    State of Warning Indicator when event occurred (ON/OFF)
    Length of time the warning lamp was illuminated
    Crash-sensing activation times or sensing criteria met
    Time from vehicle impact to deployment
    Diagnostic Trouble Codes present at the time of the event
    Ignition cycle count at event time
    Maximum ΔV for near-deployment event
    ΔV vs. time for frontal airbag deployment event
    Time from vehicle impact to time of maximum ΔV
    State of driver's seat belt switch
    Time between near-deploy and deploy event (if within 5 seconds)
    Passenger's airbag enabled or disabled state
    Engine speed (5 sec before impact)
    Vehicle speed (5 sec before impact)
    Brake status (5 sec before impact)
    Throttle position (5 sec before impact)

    These are parameters for GM vehicles, and some selected Ford models.

    Currently, automotive technicians are unable to access this information, but the manufacturer can for the purpose of airbag system evaluation, and only through Vetronics Diagnostics. This information is not generally released to anyone. However, under certain circumstances, the police may access this information with the aid of the manufacturer or special computer programs.

    The resulting data may find its way into a courtroom during a civil or criminal action. Such information has been used in court to prosecute an at-fault driver in a fatal collision.

    To my knowledge, Honda does not yet have this capability.

    For more information, check:

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/studies/record/chidester.htm
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    We were discussiing whether we would want that "capability" in our cars. There was a case where that information was used to convict a teenager of wrecklessly killing a mother and daughter. I decided since I do spend a lot of time at an illegal speed that I didn't want that on my car.
  • Hi, I'm still working in checking all the electrical connections related to the SRS system (Seat belts switches, air bag sensors, fuses etc). I think I solved the problem because I found a loose connection in the sensor of the airbag in the steering wheel. Yet, the repair manual of the 99 Civic says that even after the repair has been done, SRS light willl be on until the memory of the computer will be erase and reset.

    Good
  • I have a 1998 LX; it's doing the same thing but of course won't do it while at the dealer. Have you found any answers since your posted this.
  • bwadbwad Posts: 7
    Is the condenser fan running?
This discussion has been closed.