2009 Honda Civic Problems

Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
Issue 1: I have a 2009 Civic LX-S Automatic with an annoying starting problem. If the car has been sitting in "cold weather" (55 degrees Fahrenheit or less) for several hours, the car will not start the first time I crank it, OR the car will start, and then putter to life, or just die out.

In a brand new car, this issue is quite embarrassing and disconcerting at the same time. Based on the discussions in the 2008 Civic problems thread, it seems as though Honda has supplied oem batteries with insufficient cold-cranking amp ratings. When a battery gets cold, it loses efficiency and tends to degrade in performance. For a new battery to have problems starting in 45-55 degree weather is pathetic. Any thoughts?

Issue 2: From day one the car has "wandered" on the freeway. Not pulling to one side, but wobbling side to side over certain freeway surfaces. I haven't ruled out that it could just be the tires, but I doubt it. Now, the car is beginning to produce excessive tire noise over most types of pavement. I have not noticed excess tire wear yet, but I'm only at 5,600 miles.

I'm wondering if the alignment/control arm issue from earlier 8th generation Civics has still not been remedied. I'm taking the car in for an alignment and tire rotation this week, and I'll see if that takes care of the wandering and excess road noise. Once again, any thoughts?


  • johnny__rfjohnny__rf Member Posts: 83
    issue 1 similar behavior with cold weather starting problems. Mine is intermittent 1-2 times per week approx. Car always starts on 2nd attempt. I'll be calling dealer to report this to see if other vehicles have had similar behvior.

    Issue 2 I am not experiencing

    2009 civic ex auto
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    Issue #1 doesn't seem (to me) like a battery issue. If the car cranks over quickly, but just doesn't start the first time or sputters to life only to stall immediately it isn't the battery's fault. We own a 2006 Civic EX sedan and it has gone through 3 Pa winters and it has been in the single digits (7 degrees once and 9 another morning) with quite a few middle teen mornings this winter alone with no starting, or more relevent to this discussion, battery issues. While you are correct when you say cold weather diminishes battery performance but 45-55 degrees is downright balmy for a battery.
    Issue #2 Honda seems not to be able to correct "production and supplier issues" from model year to model year even though the problem is known and a service bulletin has been issued for a quick fix. So, it wouldn't surprise me that the rear control arm problem still exists in 2009
  • joconnorjoconnor Member Posts: 26
    I have an 09 Civic. When it sits outside below 20 degrees it will only start on second try. If you go to 8th Generation Civic site, you will see that it is a common problem. When starting turn key to accessory, when you see the gas gauge reset - 2 seconds - start car. My car was made in Canada.
  • temj12temj12 Member Posts: 450
    Issue #2
    I have an '06 Civic and the alignment issue was a problem then. There were several complaints on this forum. My tires wore out at 15,000 miles; my dealer said that it was out of alignment. Later after I paid $1000 for a set of Michelins, I read about the problem here. Surely by 2009, they have fixed this problem. We are talking about the third year of this design. I just finished looking at the thread on the 2008 Accord with vibration problems. I also have an '05 Accord and it has been the best car that I have had. Maybe, Honda is not making the car they did.
  • rogerroyrogerroy Member Posts: 6
    I just bought an LX-S also and am noticing the tire noise. Do you have Continentals on your's?
  • Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Here is the latest update:

    Issue 1: The starting problem still persists. I had the dealer check the battery, and it checked out "ok," and within spec. No surprise there, I just wanted to create a paper trail regarding the issue and bring the issue to Honda's attention. I don't have the luxury of leaving the car at the dealership overnight or for a few days while they try and replicate and diagnose the problem.

    I have found that when I turn the key to the "Acc." or "On" position for a few seconds before I start the car, the car starts on the first try, and the hesitation or stumbling is greatly reduced. Perhaps this is a problem with the tune being too rich, or an issue with the coil pack then???

    Issue 2: I had the tires rotated but Honda was hesitant to perform an alignment on their dime since the car "felt normal." The car still exhibits wandering tendencies, and now with 7,600 miles, the tires seem to be more worn than they should be. I have Continental ContiProContacts for the record. The road noise isn't as bad after the rotation, but I have a feeling by 10,000 miles it will be. The next time I take the car in for service, I am going to demand an alignment; I have a feeling that will put this issue to rest.
  • Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
    Today, the car had trouble starting in 80 degree weather! The car had been sitting for 6 hours, and when I went to leave work, the car took a LONG time to start and stumbled for a bit.

    Now I'm frustrated! I thought this was only a "cold" weather starting issue??? I'm now considering it could be the starter, coil pack, or tune...Any input?

    By the way, the two biggest problems people are having with the 2008 Civic are the exact two issues that I started this thread with; see the NHTSA complaints database and select "2008 Honda Civic."

    See link here: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • jwifferdilljwifferdill Member Posts: 13
    Check out this link. I suspect this first suggestion would solve my problem. I'm going to have the dealer check it out this weekend and will report back with the findings.

  • Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
    Thank you so much for that link. The problem described does sound very similar to what's going with my car....

    Time to see what happens when I go to the dealership...
  • Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
    Well, I took the car in for an alignment, and it was only a little bit out of spec in regard to the toe settings. The camber specs were all ok. I guess these Continentals just make a ton of noise by nature. By the way, I'm only at 8,600 miles now.

    The car does not have difficulty starting as long as I turn to the accessory position for a few seconds before trying to fire her up. But, if I try to start her up in the morning without doing the aforementioned procedure, the car has a really hard time starting. I'm sure that the main fuel control relay is the problem (per the link); and I will request that it be replaced once I have more evidence, or I have more time to argue with my dealership.
  • alz79alz79 Member Posts: 4
    Hi Lonewolf77,

    I am having the same problem with my 2009 Civic. At first it was in he cold weather so I wasn't too concerned, but when it got nicer out, I knew it wasn't the cold weather doing it. It's at the shop today and they called and said nothing is wrong. I told them to keep the car overnight because sometimes it does it after sitting for a while. Have you heard any other new info about what this could be?

  • Lonewolf77Lonewolf77 Member Posts: 8
    Sorry to hear that you have the same issue.

    Even with the weather getting better, it seems that this problem will not go away on its own for me either.

    From the link in another post, the problem may lie with the main fuel relay. Apparently, this problem has affected older Civics as well.

    As long as I turn the key to the "accessory" position on the ignition switch for a couple of seconds before I start the car in the morning, the car starts just fine. I just think that a modern, new car, should not have to have this annoying procedure done to start in the morning.

    Honda won't do anything about this issue unless we make a fuss about it; I suggest taking a few minutes and filling out an online complaint form at the nhtsa website here: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • ski353ski353 Member Posts: 4
    I purchased my 2009 Civic LX-S in November and recently have been using the A/C. I find the A/C not to be very cold and was wondering if anyone else had encountered this. The air blowing is somewhat cool but definitely not cold. I think my old Acura Integra had a better A/C.
  • sweetysoniasweetysonia Member Posts: 7
    Hi all,
    I got my new 09 civic coupe,MT about 3 weeks back. I'm a first time buyer, I some how have this feeling that the engine is making very loud noise. I have noticed this sound even after it is completely warm. I dunno if this is common issue in Civic.If would appreciate if anyone can throw some light on this issue

  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    A simple way to find out if yours is different (I suspect its not, having put many miles on a Civic myself I know that they're great to drive but not quiet) would be to go request a test-drive of one on your dealer's lot, even a pre-owned one from 2006-2008.
  • bryan200kbryan200k Member Posts: 64
    I have had my 2009 Civic LX-S for 10 days now. I will have to echo the sentiment that the AC isn't as cool as my other cars. Something I noticed right away with the AC in mine (even just driving consistently down the highway) is that the temperature of the air blowing out fluctuates back-n-forth between cool and slightly warm. Not sure what the heck is going on. Anyone else experiencing this?
  • chicago1985guychicago1985guy Member Posts: 10
    I second That!

    My A/C is not really cold either. Not feeling comfortable at all, with the weather in chicago in the last 2 days. This is Not the ICE Cold A/C I would expect from a brand new car. I also have a 2009 LX-S. Love the car, but the A/C is not great! Please let me know if you take the car to the dealers or somethign and what they say.

  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    To all commenting (complaining?) that the AC on the current generation (2006-2009) Civics isn't as ice cold as a domestic or even other imports and are wondering if the dealer can correct something the answer is.....NO they cannot unless there is actually a leak of "freon" or a mechanical failure. This issue was noticed back when the current generation was released for 2006 and kicked around here by owners as well. Although some tried for an improvement by seeing their dealer no one seemed to get any (improvement). The general consensus of opinion is "they are designed to operate that way" or "they all work that way" so to quote my dealer..."get used to it" and I guess we have. We own a 2006 EX sedan automatic. It is funny though that now 3 model years later there is still no improvement.
  • chicago1985guychicago1985guy Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for your reply!

    You know what ... that kinda sucks! with this no improvement in 3 years. because it really would push me into a different automobile....

    its going to be a long summer in chicago... =(
  • golflinksgolflinks Member Posts: 1
    Purchased my civic sept 08 - mileage now june 09 around 14000 kms - having problems starting car. Took to dealer - checked it out - said car not being used enough - short trips could cause this. Car also cuts out when coming to a stop light - honda could not find the problem - different friends drove my car and also noted the same problem - cutting out and having to restart.
    Last week went on a 2 hour shopping trip. When I went to start the car - it was dead - just a click - had to call roadside assistance.
    I have Sirius Satellite in my car - they said it causes serious battery drainage - I contacted Sirius (I had the radio professionally installed) and they said they never heard of such a problem. My boss never unplugs his and he has had it for 3 yrs.- frustrating to say the least. Not impressed with the service at my Honda Dealer might go to another dealer. Seriously thinking of trading it.
    Any thoughts on my problems would be appreciated
  • bryan200kbryan200k Member Posts: 64
    Thanks for the info 'targettuning'. I guess this is something that I'll get used to. Was actually thinking about the AC driving home this morning in this Southern PA weather. If I need it cooler, I'll just crank it a little cooler on the dial, and put it on Recirc like the dealer (AntrimW) delivered it to me.

    Wasn't complaining too loud. Just reporting on my experience. Heck, my Chevy's AC worked crappy for a long time, until the garage (Jennings) finally figured out there was a Tech Bulletin on a defective (from the factory) part in the AC system.

    I bought this Civic for the daughter, but I've been driving it to work at night. I really like it. .

    There are four Civics in our parking lot on the graveyard shift. We've been comparing notes. One SI, one LX, one EX and mine (LX-S).

    Have a great day!
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    You must be in the Chambersburg area as well!! Bought ours at Hagerstown Honda but have had it serviced lately at Antrimway....small world indeed.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 5,728
    Don't bring in the outside air when using the a/c or it will feel hotter. Always use recirculate and the car's like a meat locker...you could hang beef in there! Usually turn it down cause it's too cold.
    Hopefully this will help y'all...great a/c in my '06 LX.

    The Sandman :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • bryan200kbryan200k Member Posts: 64
    Yes, I live in Chambersburg. We shopped around all over Central PA and Maryland for our Civic.

    I bought my son's 2007 Accord SE at AntrimWay, and now my daugher's 2009 Civic LX-S there. Their service department has always treated us fair and well. One of their service managers was GREAT with us when the wife and I surprised our son with a wing spoiler on his Accord for a graduation present. He gave us fantastic attention, and helped keep it a surprise for our son. I think he was as excited about surprising our son as much as we were.
  • satxmarinesatxmarine Member Posts: 1
    2009 Civic LX-S. The A/C is lousy. Yeah, I'm in San Antonio, Texas and it's hotter than blazes, but the '94 Geo Prizm I was in before this would freeze me out of the car within a few minutes of getting underway. The Civic A/C fluctuates in temp blowing out the vent--never getting truly cold. It seems to fluctuate less and blow cooler while running at steady highway speed. It's terrible while sitting in traffic; where the air right of the vent goes from warm to kind of cool and back to warm again--never cooling the inside of the car. Given that it does better at highway speed (i.e. higher rpms) it seems like its an issue of not getting enough electical power at lower rpms to operate properly, but who knows. I just know when I finally get a chance to take it to the dealer, they're gonna' tell me everything checks out and is functioning "within normal range."
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    This is exactly the scenario the complaints centered on back when the newest generation Civic came out for the 2006 model year. At idle, at a traffic light or in traffic the AC alternated between blowing "cool" (not cold) air and warm air but works OK at speed. It isn't an electrical issue but instead it was thought to be a compressor "on-verses-off" time problem at low engine speed plus many feel the entire AC system is under designed i.e. not enough capacity. And yes they will tell you it is operating within normal parameters.
  • corgimomcorgimom Member Posts: 1
    I've noticed the same thing in my 2009 Civic LX. I used to drive a GMC Envoy, that thing was colder than a well digger's knee in the Klondike!

    I also have another beef with Honda (this is my FIRST Honda purchase). The way the windshield and rear window are placed makes it IMPOSSIBLE to clean the inside of the window all the way down! I'm a female with medium sized hands and can't get my hands past the hump on the driver's side! Same thing with the rear window and the brake light.

    Is Honda behind the marketing of the "Windshield Wonder"???
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Member Posts: 167
    I think it is the size of the front windshield.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    Maybe not since some other cars have this extreme sloped windshield/backlight but it works pretty well to clean the bottom and corners...I have one!!
  • wcooperwcooper Member Posts: 6
    Have a new Civic LX and noticed that a light is on one of the air vent buttons all the time (showing direction of air flow) even when the fan is off, a/c off, etc. Why? Anyone else notice this? Thanks in advance!
  • sabrasabra Member Posts: 3
    Where do you find the windshield wonder to purchase? Thanks
  • accordhunteraccordhunter Member Posts: 24
    I bought my Civic at the end of March, and never used the A/C until recently. After I turned it on for 20 minutes on Highway, I was surprised to find out that the A/C was much worse than I thought. I brought the car back to the dealer this morning, and they told me (after 6 hours) that the Freon was low and needed to be refilled. They also said that the Freon was a maintenance item and WAS NOT covered by the warranty. The charge was $150. This is the first time I turn on the A/C in this new car, and I need to pay for insufficient Freon? I complained to Honda America, and they gave me a case number; I'll see how it goes.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 5,728
    Y'all probably should've turned on the a/c at least once a week to make sure things were working according to the specs. It's a closed system so there must be a small leak somewhere for the freon to be depleted. From now on, use the a/c more and in the colder months, turn it on some to let the freon circulate.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • xxyxxy Member Posts: 16
    I would have been ticked--what amazes me is the length of time the civics run between oil changes. I purchased the warranty where the maintaince was done for the next 5 years or 60,000 miles. I have to wait until the little wrench icon pops up on the reminder window or the oil life is at 15. Seems odd that at 20k miles I have only had 1 oil change in the life of the vehicle--it is an 2008 civic ex-
  • alz79alz79 Member Posts: 4
    I have to say, my A/C has actually been great - too cold, in fact. I'm sorry to hear so many people are having so many problems.

    A few months ago (between February and April) I was having trouble with starting the car. I never really gave an update... sorry! So, I was told that it was normal for the car to take up to 15 seconds to start. I think that is ridiculous, but the repair guy read it out of a book. It had trouble starting when I dropped it off. I was standing right there, and they said, "oh - is that what you're talking about?" so we all knew it happened. Then after three days, they said there wasn't a problem, so I took it home. It had trouble starting one more time in April, and then never again. I have it documented, so if something else happens, at least they'll know that it wasn't the first time.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    A few questions then my comments on what Honda told you. You say you bought the car in early April (or the end of March) correct? I see that by the title of this post it was a new 2009, correct? I will tell you that we own a 1995 Dodge and I HAD been returning it to the dealer at the beginning of the cooling season (April..May) each year for a system check thinking that from year to year it might need "topped off" with R-134a (I will use the term Freon in this post but it is R-134a) but after a few times I was told it needed none so I have not done that particular service in a couple of years. Knock wood but the car still blows cold on its original compressor and all other AC components. The AC lines have not been tapped into except to check the freon level those times I had that service done. This is a long winded way to say.....a new car should NOT need freon unless it was insufficiently filled from the factory. It could, but should not, have a leak. You should be able to "not" use your AC for years (although you should to circulate the oil that exists within the freon to condition seals and lubricate the compressor) and still have no freon loss on a new car. If this happened 12 years down the road I would say OK something developed a leak through age and use....but I disagree with Honda that you should have to pay for this service/repair since clearly there was a low level since new. The only other way this could have happened was for a stone or other road debris to puncture the condenser in front of the radiator which is a known issue with this generation Honda.
  • alz79alz79 Member Posts: 4
    Sorry if that was confusing... I bought the car December 1st of 2008. Then between February and April of 2009, I was having trouble starting the car. It was taking two turns to get it started or up to ten seconds for it to catch. After April - no more problems.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    I was replying to "accordhunter" who has, it seems, AC problems with a 2009? Civic.
  • accordhunteraccordhunter Member Posts: 24
    I was quite surprised when they told me that the A/C work would be covered under warranty this time. The service advisor told me that the A/C is running fine for the time being, but I still need to monitor for any changes if the Freon leaks again. I’ll follow her advice, and I would like to thank you for your and Sandman’s comments to this matter.

    Credit to Rt.23 Honda in NJ and American Honda.

    BTW, the dealer also replaced a defective trunk release--yes, it is a new 2009 Civic and was made/assembled in Canada.
  • montiepmontiep Member Posts: 1
    I don't know anything about cars, so I might sound stupid here. I got a 2009 Honda Civic LX in May and I've put around 5k miles on it so far. For about two months it's been having a very intermittent issue. It's only happened maybe once every three or four weeks, but I'll go to start it and it will take 5+ seconds to turn over. I always turn it to on first before starting, and this may be inconsequential but when it happened yesterday i pushed the key in while it was cranked (like when you push it in to turn it off) and that's when it turned over.

    I know once or twice I forgot I hadn't started it yet and put it into drive with it off...hopefully making that mistake two times wouldn't hurt anything?

    Any idea why a brand new car would already be having issues starting in the middle of summer? Could it be a certain type of gas (I don't always go to the same station). I haven't taken it to the dealer because I was waiting for my first oil change/service appt.

  • diamondsnrustdiamondsnrust Member Posts: 7
    Hello all,

    I bought an 09' Civic LX in July. It is an automatic. The car has ~450 miles on it thus far, and I have begun to notice something-the transmission often seems a bit 'jerky', especially when switching from first to second gear. This is also very noticeable when the car isn't warmed up; the first gear change of the day is the worst. Yet I feel like there may be something wrong with it. I used to drive my parents' 04 Toyota Corolla and I seemingly noticed that that car's gear changes are much smoother. Is this just the way the Honda transmission is designed?

    I read somewhere that Hondas are meant to be driven with a 'little bit more medal to the pedal" than other cars if you know what I mean. Likewise, when I drive more so like this the gear change seems to be smoother. I am curious as to whether or not anyone else notices that the transmission is a slight bit jerky or has trouble making up its mind? Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive and worried that something is wrong with my brand new car! Just for anyone that wants to know- I drive my cars very easily. I rarely gun it (only if I have to!) and I always make complete stops when changing gears.

    Please help me put my fears to rest!
  • alz79alz79 Member Posts: 4
    I noticed mine was a little jerky as well, but I thought it was more when I was accelerating quickly after a stop. It was like it wasn't ready to go that fast that soon. I also feel like if I need to step on my break suddenly, it shifts down too much and I have to step on the gas to keep me coasting along and not coming to a stop. When my brother drove it he told me he thought there was something wrong with the transmission, too. My dad's Toyota Camry shifts more smoothly, but my mom's Toyota Rav-4 shifts just like mine, so I'm not too worried about it at the moment.
  • diamondsnrustdiamondsnrust Member Posts: 7

    Yes, my car also does the downshifting when I break. It's kind of annoying because you can feel it very well. I also agree about accelerating quickly after a stop- it's almost like the car is straining itself. Could this have anything to do with the i-VTEC engine? Mind you, I really am not smart about cars. Well, if yours does pretty much the same things as mine I'm assuming that's just how the civic transmission is. Do you have an automatic or a manual?
  • texastownhalltexastownhall Member Posts: 22
    For those with 10K, 15K+ miles on their 09 Civic? No more execessive wear on their tires? Civic is a great little car, I was wondering if Honda went ahead and resolved this problem at the factory for 09 model.

  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    Gee, if Honda really did resolve the abnormal wear problem on the rear tires it only took what?... three model years? Yeah, that is correct since this showed up on 2006 models....great little car with an unusual number of problems. Yes, I own one.
  • yankee28yankee28 Member Posts: 3
    This is a weird issue that I can't see a thread for. Once in a while when I try to put up the drivers window on my 2009 HCH, the forward portion of the window seems to drag and the rear portion keeps rising and pushes the window outward from the track. I have to put the window up and down several times before it stops and once I had to get out of the car and pull the front of the window up (just missing my fingers!). Has anyone else experienced this issue? :confuse:
  • cobjobcobjob Member Posts: 1
    Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99
  • bananiesbananies Member Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem. I push the auto window button up and it stops 2 inches from the top and goes back down again.
    Just a couple of hours ago I parked my car and I was messing with the window for 10 mins before it went up right. I had to pull the window up too.
    i was reading that previous civic have the same problem too. its the regulator that causes the window to go off track.
  • diamondsnrustdiamondsnrust Member Posts: 7
    Ok so as this is my first car, please understand why I am slightly OCD about it.

    Does anyone else have a wobble in the car at high speeds? I bought my Civic in July, it has 2200 miles on it, and I've been pretty easy on it. Sometimes when it gets up to 70-75 mph, it wobbles, almost like there's gusts of wind outside. I'm baffled by this! it's brand new!

    also, when accelerating, does anyone else sometimes feel a clunk in first gear? Not every acceleration but randomly?

    What is wrong with my brand new car?! I bought it with 9 miles on it!! :(
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Member Posts: 167
    I had a problem with the drivers window. It happened when I lowered it and then raised it back up right away. Like at work, swiping my badge at the gate. It would go up almost all the way, then lower itself (electrically, not fall down) about half way down and stay there. Then I would raise it, and it would come down again, sometimes not. I took it to the dealer maybe 6 - 8 months ago. Can't remember exactly. Didn't keep the receipt, as it's where I get all my services done and it's on the system. They replaced the motor that moves the window up and down, and a (the ?) track, I think.. Under warranty.
    Once I pulled up on the window and thought that was the secret, but no such luck trying it after that.
    I'm over 41,000 miles now, so slim pickins on warranty work unless something big under the hood goes out!
    The window doesn't come back down on it's own anymore , or it was half way to be more accurate. It has started to make a slight squeek or squawk on the way dow, but not all the time. A bit worrisome, I just hope it keeps working as I don't want to spent any money for something that is exactly the reason I bought this car instead of a European car.
    I am happy with the Civic, as the 41,000 miles show!
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