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Honda Civic (coupe/hatchback)

mznmzn Posts: 727
edited March 2014 in Honda
This is the place to continue our conversation
about the popular Honda Civic. To read previous
post, please click here.



  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    I'm not an expert but, if your car smokes when it's warm out. If the smoke smells kind of sweet like radiator fluid, it's your head gasket.

    If your at all mechanically inclined and have a Helm manual, do it yourself. I replaced the head gasket on my 90 crx last spring and it was no big deal. Just follow all the specs in the manual. Save $400+
  • matcukmatcuk Posts: 8
    Thanks for the tip. I'll check this out. Not sure if I'm up for this job in January in Chicago in an unheated garage, but this is a good lead to follow.

  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Is there any antifreeze on the ground? (sorry haven't read original post). If yes, it could be the waterpump or a leaky radiator hose.
    If this car has a lot of miles like 175K & up, could very well be a head gasket. A guy I work with replaced the head gasket in his '91 Civic at 196K mi. Paid $400. He kept it for another 15K mi. or so and he gave it away to his neighbor's 16yr old kid. He said the kid told him the car has close 230K mi. now. Not bad, another 35K mi. for $400 and the car is still going..

    PS. some people blow their head gasket because they don't realize they have a slow radiator or hose leak, nothing to do with engine age..
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • I'm in the market for a 2000 DX HB without A/C. DO I have a better bargain standpoint compared to the A/C people? How close to invoice could I expect to pay if I decided to stick to a $$ amount and just shop for dealers until I got a hit. Invoice - $11,441
    MSRP - $12,615

    Does anybody think that $11,900 is a ridiculous offer?
    Ryan R.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    just fyi: a guy in my office went in and offered $250 over invoice on a EX coupe and got the car! I paid $400 over invoice on my SI (though it was at the end of a model year), so you might be able to start at a lower price point and then give them some over that.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    Just wanted to update on the problems I had with my '98 DX hatchback, in case anyone was wondering. I just took it to the garage for my 30,000 check-up (didn't take it to the dealer - they just give me the runaround). BTW, if anyone's hurting for a good mechanic, and don't want to go to the overpriced, incompetent dealer, do what I did, and go to the Cartalk website. They have a great section where people write in about mechanics they recommend. I found one that had many, many recommendations, and now my car runs better than new!

    I was the one who had the alternator replaced at 11,000 miles, and then the "chirping" problem on start-up, and other problems. Well all is well now. The mechanic I took it to gave it the once-over, and now the car runs better than when I bought it. I was about ready to trade it in, but now I've changed my mind. What a difference a good mechanic makes! Plus, I would miss all the capabilities that this car has. In the 1 1/2 years I've had it, I've hauled all the parts for a 6ft fence with it, and transported all kinds of furniture with it, among other things.

    Too bad that the Honda dealers around here are such jerks. They're not accomodating, they charge too much, they won't explain anything to you, and they just treat you like dirt. If it wasn't for finally getting the car running the way it should, I would have gotten rid of it in a second! I never had this problem with any of the Toyota dealers I dealt with. But I am going to keep this car now that I know how it CAN run. And I'll do my very best to never step foot in a Honda dealer again, if I can help it!
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Same here. I hardly ever go to the Honda dealer. They reason they don't want to do anything to fix your car is because they don't get too much money from Honda while the car is under warranty.
    If you went back to them when the car had 37K or 40K miles they 'd jump on it and charge you an a arm and a leg and it's possible they still wouldn't fix anything.
    When the car is under warranty they try their best to turn you away and tell you there is nothing wrong and that's it's normal, etc.. You have to yell and scream at them and call Honda on them to get them to fix a problem. Although not every dealer is like that (I have heard some good stories) it seems that it's the majority.
    You 're absolutely right. Find yourself a good mechanic after your warranty runs out.
    It's such a misconception that the dealer knows the car better.. that's a lot of bull. Many times they have inexperienced young kids working there and the service advisors try and rip you off all the time. I think they work on commission some times. I took my car to the dealer because they were running a special on oil changes so I figure let me get a genuine Honda filter and save some money at the same time. I asked the service advisor how much to install the 4 Honda spark plugs I had bought (from a Honda/Acura specialist shop near my house - cheaper than the dealer).
    He says ONE hour labor! I said "forget it, your mechanics really suck if it takes them 1hr to install 4 plugs". Then he said .75hr I said I 'll do it myself. Then he pretends he 's looking at the book and comes back with 1/2 hr labor! I said nope, it takes me 10min. Finally he said "ok, 1/4 hr (15min) but only because he is under the hood already and you 're getting an oil change"
    I said fine because I was too lazy to do it. They 're all fricking thieves. It took the kid exactly 8 min. to put them in and he was taking his time. I was outside watching in because they had the garage door open and I timed him :-)
    Although I also had a problem or two during the warranty period with my '97 hatchback they couldn't turn me away because the speedometer was not working and the alternator was dead! They fixed them in a timely manner (the next day) and I got the hek out of there. They charged Honda back only 1.25hrs labor for the alternator and speed sensor. Imagine the labor they would 've charged me for an alternator if it wasn't under warranty, considering they wanted 1hr labor for spark plugs!
    But there are dealers with good mechanics out there just not around some of us. And the service advisors/managers make it even harder on us even if they have good mechanics because they wiesel their way out of doing warranty work..
    Sorry for the long note. Dealers just piss me off.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    I hear ya'! I don't know about all Honda dealers, and I'm sure there must be some out there that are good, but the ones around here leave a lot to be desired. I'm just glad I can finally enjoy driving the car, instead of worrying about when it's gonna break down.

    At least I did the right thing by not buying their stupid service agreement. This way, I was able to find a great mechanic who could make this car run the way it should. It has never run this good - even when I drove it off the lot!
  • I recently bought a new '99 Honda Civic Cx Hatchback. Everything has been fine so far except for the driver's seat. I'm a pretty big guy (240lbs.) and the seat bottom is uncomfortable. I think the padding isn't up to Honda's reputation for quality. Can anyone recommend a place for replacement seats or a type of cushion\fix. I'm from Edmonton, Canada. Thanks
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    I 'm 212lbs (weighed myself this morning, hehe) and 6'2 and drive a '97 DX htbk. I think the seat is pretty comfortable. I 've been seating in it for 88K miles.. But everyone is different. What's comfortable for one person could be the opposite for another especially with people's back problems..
    I have to admit though, my Integra's seats are more comfortable than the Civic's although the Civic's don't bother me a bit.
    I would do a search on the Web if I were you. Search for "car seats" maybe?
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Bruce35, you may also want to look in our Aftermarket and Accessories conference for suggestions. Please, let us know if you find a good solution.

  • I am sorry to hear about your experiences at the dealers. I work for a dealer in New England I am dumbfounded to hear that a dealer charges 1 hr. labor to do plugs at $75 an hour. That wrong! These guys are the reasons that make the the good dealers look bad!We get 1.2 hrs. labor to do an entire tune up at $57.75 an hour.We will also spend countless hours on warranty work, and your right, HONDA, if the pay us, pay next to nothing to correct your problem. Its all about morals, and it sounds like some dealers just dont have it! If you have problems with warranty and you feel that the dealer is giving you the runaround, you can call HONDA's customer relations to report this and have a DSM(District Service Manager) look at the problem.Honda rates each dealer per zone by TSI(Total Satisfaction Index), this can give you a pretty good idea on how a dealer is.
  • Does anyone know whether the seat mounting points in the hatchback match those of the civic coupe? I would like to get a civic hatch but since I'll need to put a baby-seat in the rear, I would like to put one of the easy-entry (flip-forward) seats from a coupe into the passenger side if I can find one at a wrecker. Is this possible without fabricating new seat mounts/tracks/etc?
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    It fits fine! I had a baby seat in the back of my '97 Civic hatchback for 2-3 years. Took it in and out every couple of days to put it back to my wife's car. Never had a problem. It was a pretty big baby seat too. This was a 2nd baby seat that was for toddlers and used it until my son was 5 yrs old!
    The front passenger seat goes pretty far down and the seat goes way to the front almost touches the glove compartment. You won't have any problems.
    You just have to put the seat in first and then the baby in it. This is because you have to put the seat in a little crooked at first through (put it sideways)
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • Hondatech - which dealership are you at? I live in Mass, and bought my '99 cx from Honda Cars of Boston.

    The car is wonderful, and I currently have 11,000 miles on it. I change the oil every 3,000 miles (even though they say you can wait until 3,750 miles - i like to be safer than sorry).

    ***** The only issue I have, is that the car takes longer to start when the gas tank is down to 1/4 tank or less. It seems to crank longer before it ignites. When the gas tank is filled greater than 1/4 tank, it starts immediately. I NEVER run the car out of gas, and usually fill up when it hits the 1/4 mark.

    Any ideas?
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    I have a 1998 CX and I have the same problem! Although it always starts, it needs at least 2-3 more seconds before it starts when the tank is less than 1/3 full. But it doesn't do it on a regular basis.
  • Daniell -
    who can help us? Bueller? Anyone?
    Have you ever asked the dealer about it? I'm thinking of trying that, though I am skeptical that they will provide a knowledgable and truthful answer.
    I try to fill-up the tank as it hits the 1/4 mark, all the time.
    As long as I do that, there is no start-up issue.
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    I have a 00 DX hatch with the same problem ... although I don't know if it is a problem. It eventually start after it turns over about 4-6 times. Should I care?

    I guess over the long run it puts more wear on your starter, fly wheel, and battery but how significant is it?
  • My 98 DX does that also. I noticed that if I let it slip under 1/4 full, it takes a couple more seconds to start it up. But when it's over 1/4, it starts up right away. This being my first Honda, I just assumed it's a Honda trait. I have 30,000 miles on it, and it's always started - eventually!
  • After all the negative experiences I've relayed on my 98 DX hatchback in the past, I thought I'd share something more positive.

    I live in Raleigh, NC, and we just got through with the worst snow storm we ever had here (20.3" of snow!). I know that may be more common up north, but down here, this city shuts down for an inch, let alone 20". Anyway, I was able to get around just fine in my car, after the first day or so - and I don't have snow tires or chains or anything like that.

    I have a friend with a big F150, and even he spun out and slid off the road, but mine never did slide more than a little wiggle. I don't know how much is the car itself, but after seeing every kind of car, truck and sport utility slide off into ditches, telephone poles and other cars in the last two weeks, I am very impressed at the handling capabilities of a small front-wheel drive hatchback in such foul weather.
  • rae52rae52 Posts: 103
    I own a '99 dx hatch w/ 5spd. Iexperineced a similar problem here in northern New Jersey when the weather changes from late spring to early winter.
    It seems during that 2 week transition period of time, the gasoline is oxygenated and will cause a longer than normal cranking time.
    I always use name-brand regular gas as per owners manual.
    I hope this post helps.
  • I find that the Civic will start if I just hold down the ignition a couple of more never leaves me stranded. I am just wondering if anyone has asked a dealer about this, or a qualified mechanic, and/or had the problem addressed and fixed. Anyone?
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    It's not a problem. I have a '97 DX with 90k miles and it still does that. Not sure if it's related to the gas tank level though. It probably is, never paid attention to that but then again it doesn't really bother me.
    In '96 when our hatchback first came out, Autoweek went and got one to test drive it. It did the same thing! Took a few cranks before it started and other times it started right up. They took it in to the dealer and they said everything was fine and that it's normal.
    Now in another article in early '97. I think it was Automobile magazine, they took it to the dealer for the same problem and were told that there was a "technical service bulletin" (not a recall) on the water pump of certain '96 models and they replaced it for free. Supposedly the water pump was what was delaying the startup. If the waterpump doesn't function right the computer will not let you start the car or will delay ignition until the water pump starts pumping the water. That's the explanation the magazine editors were given.
    I also went to my dealer in '98 after I had my car for about a year and pointed out the service bulletin but they said that was only for '96 models and that there is nothing wrong with '97 & up water pumps.
    Well 90k miles later the water pump and the car are still doing fine. The only problem I 've had was with the speed sensor that went and blew out the alternator at 80K mi. They were both covered under the extended warranty I had gotten for $600 (100k mi. no deduct.) from the dealer when I bought the car.
    I think the only real problem all Civics have is their crappy cheap brake rotors that warp easily or after one or two panic stops..
    But luckily they 're cheap. I was able to get them on the Net for like $54 ea. Dealer wanted $78.. It's cheaper to replace them than having them resurfaced..
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    Wondering how replacing is cheaper than resurfacing? My local auto parts store will turn rotors for $6. Is there something else you are factoring in to the equation?

    Just a thought, if you don't like Honda's rotors why not replace them with some high quality aftermarket rotors?
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    I found an autoparts store around me that wanted $15 per rotor. Where do you live? Do they do a lot of these? I 'd be careful. You get what you pay for most of time.. Anyway,
    I was not referring to people that do the work themselves but to people that go to the dealer or a garage to have their rotors replaced or turned.
    My neighbor paid the Honda dealer $140 to have them resurfaced! The problem is, they charge you a minimum of an hour labor no matter what they do at the dealer so he ended up paying for 1.5hrs labor + $50 for turning the rotors! Here in NY dealers don't let you walk out unless you pay them at least $100 for some bull**t work that would take me or you 15min to do.
    I paid $115 (including shipping) for 2 brand new rotors and $30 for new brake pads. I had my mechanic put them on for $40 in the garage I 've been going to for 15 yrs. Took him 45min. and we were BSing and he had a smoke in between wheels!
    My car had 85K mi. at the time and the pads were more than half worn and the rotors were so warped the whole car was shaking violently when I applied the brakes, that I just wanted all new stuff.
    Also be aware than you can ony cut the rotors maybe twice, especially Civic ones because they 're very thin.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133

    I'm about 40 miles NW of Detroit. Most places around here charge $5 - $8 per rotor. I would NEVER go to the dealer for anything I thought I could do myself. My local dealer is excellent but, mechanics are just too expensive.

    The first time I went to my local Honda dealer I had them do the timing belt / water pump plus replace the fuel filters and front pads. I brought it in Saturday, they told me the car would be done Monday at 4 and cost $420.00. They called Monday at 10:30 am said it was done and they only charged me $360!

    One of the things I personally like about the Civic is how easy it is to work on myself. Rotors and pads are a snap. Of course I have a large well lit garage and all the tools I need.

    Have you thought about aftermarket rotors? Maybe good cross drilled racing rotors would disperse the heat better and last longer? I know the rotors on my 00' are vented, yours?
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Don't know. I think they are. Gotta check on that. I know my Integra's are vented..
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • Here's something I found at The Temple of Vtec regarding the 2001 model year Civic posted by an anonymous source:

    "Finally, I was able to view the new re-designed 2001 Honda Civic sedan. The two sedans were sent over from Japan recently to the Honda plant in
    Alliston, Ontario, Canada. Both cars were proto types and most interior body panels were plain plastic.

    The Civic body style is "cab forward" so the engine compartment isn't as roomy as previous Civics. The engine still remains a 1.6 litre
    displacement, however there are some interesting changes in the engine design. Gone is the distributor cap and spark plug wires. Each spark
    plug will have its own ignition coil placed directly on top of the plug. The intake plenum is plastic. I'm not sure if the plastic intake
    will be replaced by aluminum once production begins. Same double wishbone suspension. Tires are now 15 inch as opposed to 13 and 14 inch
    on previous Civic models. The exhaust manifold is no longer cast iron and is replaced by a steel header. Heating and cooling has changed.
    The ventilation system now has a replaceable micron air filter. Both the A/C condenser and radiator are full size as opposed to the half size
    on previous models. The new system is expected to be much more efficient at cooling and heating the interior cab. Interior space is 'slightly' larger (don't have specs). Interior upholstery and
    instrument panel has a european design to it (hard to explain). Driver and passenger side air bags are available. The air bags are placed in
    the side of the seats around the lumbar region. The over all shape to the car has changed. The back end is shaped like the Honda prelude.
    some say the [non-permissible content removed] end looks like a BMW. The front end is slightly sloped forward. The headlights have integral circular fog/day time running
    lights. A/C will now be a factory option on any Civic grade. Before the dealers used to install the A/C system.

    What I don't have are the specs on the horsepower and torque figures of the engine. I suspect that horsepower will be slightly increased over
    previous Civics. For people in Canada the Acura EL engine will be replaced by a 1.7 litre engine with the same design as the above mentioned Civic engine. I don't know what colors will be available but you could probably expect the same generic colors that were seen on previous Civics.

    Trial production runs will start in April 2000. Mass production will start in August 2000.
    Incidentally, for those who want the Civic hatchback, it will no longer be produced after this year due to lack of sales in North America.

    Hmmm, this sounds interesting. The new Civics seem to be shaping up into tantalizing little cars. A 1.8L option wouldn't be a bad idea - more torque means less throttle application, and better "real-world" fuel economy. I doubt it would cost significantly more for Honda to equip them with 1.8s. It's a shame to hear about the demise of the
    hatchback too... Jeff"
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    Well well well... I never noticed the correlation but, now I do. Car starts right up with a full tank. I'm going to to ask Tom and Ray if they have an explanation.
  • i'm really upset about the hatchback getting the boot for 2001.

    how can they say lack of sales? i see them in Mass all the time!!!
This discussion has been closed.