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2009 Honda Civic Problems

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?


  • 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 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 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 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 Posts: 6
    I just bought an LX-S also and am noticing the tire noise. Do you have Continentals on your's?
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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 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?

  • 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:
  • ski353ski353 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.
  • 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 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 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?
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,282
    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 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) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • bryan200kbryan200k 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.
  • 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 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 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 Posts: 167
    I think it is the size of the front windshield.
  • targettuningtargettuning 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 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!
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