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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • I really don't know what people here expect from a vehicle that goes for a price in the mid-teens. If you want flawless engineering, spend somewhere in the vicinity of $50,000 for an Acura, BMW, or Mercedes. Every new vehicle is going to have bugs. There are some nagging issues with my '01 LX Sedan, but then I ask myself what excactly I am complaining about. I have over 14,000 miles on my Civic and it runs cherry. Not one single SIGNIFICANT problem. Why don't you all go out and buy a Focus? Then you can see what customer dissatisfaction is all about.
  • Even the so-called "perfect" German automobiles have problems. You all should be so lucky to have a Civic.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    Even the bashers realize that no car is perfect.

    Misery does like company however, and these boards are a good place for unhappy people to meet and share tales of woe...
  • I know what you mean. The Honda service manager here is known as the "Maytag Man" to the Honda owners. The Volkswagen, Subaru and BMW managers' lines for service seem to be a lot longer... :)
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Mudd, I only reach underneath my car to get at the drain plug so I use a large floor jack and don't bother with stands. Obviously, no one is going to officially recommend you do this but even if the car drops, no part of me is going to get crushed. I get at the oil filter from above.

    There are oil discussions on this forum but don't feel bad using any SL oil in 5W30 ... or if you live where it's unbearably hot, 10W30. Brand shouldn't matter that much but I'm partial to Valvoline.

    Honda OEM filters used to be really good ... but the good ones (made-in-USA) are slowly disappearing and being replaced with made-in-Canada filters wich are actually Frams in disguise. Purolator Pure-One filters are really good and easy to find.

    Us the end-cap type wrench (made by K-D Tools) that fits the filter and uses a 3/8" ratchet as a handle. You might need more than one size of these. I have 3 for all my vehicles.

    You should replace that drain plug washer every time. For times when I don't have a new one, I flip the old one around the other way and re-install it.

    --- Bror Jace
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Most of the codes we see on the older SRS units are control unit power failures. With most being caused by a slow cranking and or dead battery giving off a low voltage signal to the control unit. To find out have the code cleared by a scan tool and see if the light comes back on. Good luck
  • Hello, I am in the market to purchase a used Honda Civic. I will be buying either a 94 or 95 EX 2-door, most likely a 5-spd (having a hard time finding autos). I was hoping some of you could provide some tips on what to look for or what are some of the common problems with these vehicles. My wife had a 90 Accord LX so I have some familiarity with Hondas and working on them. The Civics that I am looking at have between 70 and 100K miles on them. This will be a commuter/around town vehicle. Thanks in advance!
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I have a 00 Civic (it's been great) but need a tube of metallic silver paint, anyone have some they want to get rid of ?
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Go to one of the on-line parts suppliers. Only a few bucks. I've had good experiences with
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Same as a 94-95. When you buy it make sure the inside of the valve cover is clean. And as with most cars check for accidents.
    When you buy it, put it in a reputable shop and have a thorough going over done on it.
    I've bought a LOT of used Hondas and blah blah blah
    Just check the CV's, timing belt, belts, and brakes. There aren't any real glowing issues with Civics just maintenance. Mine loves regular trips to redline with 140K on it. You'll love your Civic.
  • Hello,

    My Civic just started stalling every so often in town when I shift into 2nd or 3rd. I runs good on a 90 mile trip and back.

    Now its a bit hard to start too.It seems ok other wise, I had a tune up a while back.

    I hate to sound really stupid but I am a college student and on a budget and wonder if this is a common probelm? A local mechanic said he can't find the reason.

    I appreciate any help at all or suggestions. Thanks in advance!

  • Sorry , it is a wagon, not a hatchback ...doh
  • Well I picked up my 94 Civic EX coupe last night, the owners are the originals, had receipts for the major stuff. Has 92K on it, timing belt, fuel pump and 1 CV boot were changed at 77K. So im good to go in that dept. for a good while. It drives great, I will be doing sparkplugs, wires, rotor, cap, fuel and air filters at the next oil change to make sure everything is new and I will have a baseline to go off of. The airfilter looked new when I checked this morning, and he said the spark plugs were changed about 1 year ago but I think I will do it anyway to be safe. Thing runs great and everything works. Glad I bought it, much better to commute in than my Jeep Cherokee! Any thought on going to synthetic motor oil at this mileage? I run it in my wife's 2000 Jetta and run it in my 2000 Cherokee, but both were switched with less than 20K. I have heard the stories and urban legends on this subject and don't want to start a leak fest, but I truley believe that syn is much better to use. Your thoughts?
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    I have a '95 DX Coupe 5-speed. At 77K, I think you're safe for a switch to a synthetic motor oil but Mr. Detailer may be right that Val Max-Life is a better oil for the money ... and safer for a high-mileage vehicle. My best friend has switched all of his Civics over to this stuff including the '96 he just got for his wife.

    If the tranny oil hasn't been changed recently, I recommend you get 2 quarts of Red Line MTL and use that stuff. Great all around shifting but especially on cold mornings.

    The problems with these cars are minor ones like body creaks in really cold weather and not so minor ones like head gaskets. Might not be a bad idea to do a leak-down test or at least look for the tell-tale signs of head gaskets that are going.

    Listen for CV joint noise. A clicking or knocking sound while turning at low speed (in gear) maybe CVs or axles ... or both. Mine are loud and have been loud for a couple of years but I'm at 113,000 hard miles and they're still hangin' in there.

    On cold start-up, you might here a 'knocking' noise. This is a minor problem called piston slap which will go away when the car gets warmed up. I switched to Red Line synthetic 5W30 and this noise went away. >:^) Other synthetics had no effect on this noise.

    For spark plugs, use OEM NGKs. Others, even the exotic ones, don't seem to work as well.

    If you live in a salt-ridden area, expect to replace your exhaust in the next year, year and a half. $300-500 including labor if you use quality parts.

    I love my silly little Civic. I hope you enjoy yours. >;^)

    --- Bror Jace
  • Another question/concern. The 94 Civic EX Coupe I just bought has one issue that is bothering me. The 5-speed shifts very smoothly but has one oddity. From a start, it is VERY difficult to get it to pull away without a lot of shuttering. I can do it sometimes, but it really vibrates badly. All the other gears both up and down shift smooth as silk. Could this be a bad motor or tranny mount? My wife's Jetta is a stick so Its not my lack of driving skills. The previous owner had the clutch master and slave cylinders changed about 1 year ago for I don't know why, I should have asked. The motor runs very smoothly. Help!
  • phelpsgphelpsg Posts: 15
    The speedometer on my 94 Civic EX jumps around at times but not all the time. Sometimes it will jump around while stopped at a light. Since the car is not moving when this happens, I'm thinking it must be a faulty vehicle speed sensor rather than a problem with the speedometer head. Has anyone had a similar problem.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    After defective mounts, the most common cause of clutch shudder is oil from an engine rear seal or trans front seal contaminating the clutch disc. Are there any drips under the car?
  • I haven't noticed a leak, but I will crawl under it today and give it a carefull look. Would this only cause shuttering staring in first gear or all through the gears? I bet its a mount, Im going to have it looked at a good shop that I know.
  • devoredevore Posts: 39
    I don't know much about clutches, but isn't clutch shudder from a standstill indicative of a worn-out clutch? You said that the master and slave cylinders were replaced recently - is this the equivalent of "having the clutch replaced?"

    I just remember when I owned my 87' Accord that it seemed to shudder a lot when starting from a stop, and it went away after having the clutch replaced (whatever that means, exactly.) After the clutch was replaced, the car almost seemed to want to jump of the line.
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