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Honda Civic 2005 and earlier



  • Please don't downplay the importance of ABS in a Civic. I could have avoided an accident (and $3500 damage) if it had ABS. Back in 1996 Honda did list ABS as an option for the LX model, but the dealers couldn't locate any. We have had other problems (rattles, jerky throttle, fading center console, rust under the dashboard and trunk area come to mind) and were lured by the Honda "reputation" and our experience with an older style Prelude (much better quality car). Honda has been cutting corners for the last few years and this will come to haunt them as the cars age. We will not buy another Honda until the company changes its philosophy to what it made it a success 15 years ago.
  • Just to update everyone... it was a bit warmer the last week just below freezing (instead of WAY below freeze), and on my last tank I got about 32mpg (US) or 7.3L/100km in mixed driving (compared to 27mpg previously).

    So how much does cold temperature affect your milage? BTW, even though it wasn't as cold I still used the same accessories (heated seats/mirrors etc...) for the same length of time. I never idle for more than 2 minutes, but it obviously take more time "driving like granny" for the car to warm up when it's colder.
  • oops13oops13 Posts: 16
    Dateline did a special last night on 5 mph bumper testing. They had a wide variety of cars including the new civic. I was quite pleased to see that it suffered no body damage from the 4 different tests , however I found it to be odd that it did have an engine mount fail. I was suprised to see the new $14,000 Hyundai Elantra and Civic to be the best of the group that they tested and the $40,000+ Lexus and Mercedes do the worst. I guess you really can have your cake and eat it too. I believe it was Mercedes that replied back to Dateline stating that they designed for higher speed crashes and that they would have to compromise in that area to excel in the low speed tests. I guess someone forgot to tell Hyundai and Honda that they couldn't do well in both areas. Hyundai got 5 for both front and side impact at the higher speeds while Honda's coupe got 5's in both and the sedan got a 5 for front and a 4 for side. I just know that I can't help but laugh when I see some fool throwing good money away at the gas pump filling up their "super-safe" luxo-pig being while being excited that they broke 20 mpg. I just got 38 mpg ,in vey cold weather, on my last tank in my 5-speed LX
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Well said! The one thing I wonder though is this:

    If the car gets damaged, some say that is good because it has taken the brunt of the impact, not the passengers inside. Interesting...I don't know what to think.
  • rls9rls9 Posts: 9
    I am about to buy an EX Sedan with airbags,cassette, and security system. I have read that there has been a lot of trouble with the radio presets as well as with the PCM. Am I better off ordering it hoping that they have fixed the bugs rather than take my chances with what they have on the lot? Is the extra security system worth it? An internet manager quoted me a price of $17922 for all of the options above. I'm thinking that might be a bit too high....that dealer is an hour drive from me so I am thinking of taking that offer to a local dealer to see if they can match or do better! I really don't want to drive that far if I have problems later....
    This is my first car purchase ever so I want to do it right!
    Thanks for your input in advance!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,559 *might* have avoided that accident if you had ABS.

    And on dry payment,having ABS can take you a greater distance to stop.

    I'm not saying ABS is's not. We have two cars with ABS and one without.

    Personally, I think they are equally as safe. 1996 ABS was never an option on an LX Civic. It was in some earlier years but was such a poor seller it was dropped.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    I believe the EX comes with the CD. Yes, $17,922 seems high. Start with invoice and watch 'em sweat.
    The security system need is relative. You can always add the factory alarm later, unless you get a good deal now.
    Personally, I have not found the "Internet Dealers" to be advantageous. The local dealer can always match them, and you can see right away what you're getting. As far I'm concerned, we are all internet dealers/buyers using the same info base.
    The key is to always scrutinize the numbers - they never lie. Remember also that you both have a business relationship - there is a FAIR price in there somewhere. When the time comes, never visit the dealer without a pre-approved loan (check out
    Don't fall for $0 down deals or no Int/Payments for 2 years - you'll eventually PAY for it (again, the math/contract will show you that).
    You never know either what the dealer order-of-the-day is. The dealer may make a deal on the remaining 5 Civics on the lot. Or, full msrp on the silver EX.
    Good luck and enjoy.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    "And on dry payment,having ABS can take you a greater distance to stop."
    Care to explain?
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    on dry pavement, and in gravel, ABS causes LONGER stopping distances than with locked up non ABS brakes. That said - ABS is one of the best safety features to have I think. Right after the seat belt.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I think you messed up your facts a little.

    It's presented as a fact, and I agree with it, that by locking your wheels you can improve
    stopping distances on packed snow surfaces and certain types of the
    loose gravel roads.
    Under about every other condition ABS wins, including dry pavement.
    BTW the ABS brakes are mostly about maintaining control, not stopping
  • I'm looking into purchasing a Civic EX, and am wondering whether the coupe or sedan is a better choice. I'm leaning towards the coupe because I think it looks better and safety is paramount, but it didn't do too much better than the sedan.

    I will defintaly order it with an automatic transmission and side airbags, but are there any other options to consider, such as fog lights (do they actually help in fog/rain/snow?), the security system, wheel locks, or floor mats?

    I am hoping not to pay too much more than the $16,223 invoice that Carpoint gave me with the automatic and side airbags.

    Are all Civics having the PCM and radio problem, or only those manufactured before a certain date?

    Is there anything else I should be aware of before I make the deal?
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    I guess we are looking at different sets of facts. On dry pavement, if you wheels lock, you don't lose control (at least I don't), so ABS makes you take longer to stop. Now - don't get me wrong - I don't wait until the last minute to break anyway, so I would never notice it. But, if tests were done on dry pavement between a Civic without ABS, and with, I think the one without would have shorter stopping distances. Assuming the drivers could control a car with locked wheels.

    I agree, ABS is more about control, and most drivers can't drive worth a sh** as most of us know here in the DC area, so ABS is great. I love it too - makes me feel safer on slick roads.
  • Just wanted to say how helpful the town hall community has been in helping make an educated car buying decision (I've been lurking around the Hall for about two months). My wife and I are very thrilled with our silver, manual sedan - yes the radio has coded, but I was prepared --let's see how long the replacement takes to come in. The Civic is a big upgrade from a '90 Geo Metro. For those of you looking to buy I would reccomend checking out We spent $17.500 (Tax is high in San Francisco) with side air bags.

    Thanks again
  • ellohelloh Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a Honda Civic LX Sedan in the Bay Area. The dealer I worked with helped me finance my car for 8.8%. I read on the Honda web site that Honda Financing offers a "College Graduate Financing Program." The web site states that if you graduated from a four year accredited college or a graduate school within the last year, you can qualify for the Honda Graduate Financing program. Does anyone know if this program includes recent Law or M. B.A. grads? The dealer I spoke with isn't returning my calls. I want to learn more before I call him again. I'm hoping to get a better rate. Thank you!!!
  • My parents are going to buy me a 2001 Civic EX 2 door (auto) w/side airbags to take to college next year. However, all of these problems have me kindof worried. I know about the radio problem, but I'm not exactly sure what the PCM problem is. I'm guessing that stands for Powertrain Control Module? Have there been any other problems with the new Civics? Also, is $16,421 a good price for a 2001 Civic 2 door EX (Auto) with side airbags? Thanks...I really appreciate it.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You are a bit misinformed regarding ABS. Car and Driver has done a test that showed the differences between ABS and non-ABS brakes on the same car (1 car was equipped with a switch that allowed them to disable the ABS funtion). ABS SHORTENED stopping distances in every test except on gravel and on ice. Not only do you gain control with ABS, but you also gain the ability to stop much shorter on dry and wet pavement. The biggest difference was on wet pavement, but the car stopped about 10 feet shorter with ABS than locking up the brakes on dry pavement (difference between slammin the rear end of a car and a near miss). Keep in mind that ABS allows the brakes to operate at their maximum threshold of braking power (max stopping power is achieved right before the brakes lock) whereas locking them does not. As far as not loosing control when the brakes lock, I don't see how you can state that. When your front wheels lock, you loose all steering abilities of the car. The car just slides and you can't do much about it. If that's not loosing control, I don't know what is. I have locked the front brakes on my VW a couple of times in the dry and lost complete ability to steer the car. The wheel turned to the right on its own and the car slid str8 forward. Luckily, I had enough space to stop. Now, if only the rears lock, you can still at least steer the car and have some control over what it does. But it won't do you much good if you make a sudden steering input, as the car will easily swamp ends if the rear brakes are locked and you will have lost complete control at that point. Remember, a computer can make a decision a hell of a lot faster than you can and, therefore, could easily outstop your best attempt, no matter what your ego thinks :)
    If you would like an example proving my point while using the Civic here it is: Car and Driver tested a '00 Civic LX sedan without ABS and it stopped from 70 mph in 195 feet. The '01 Civic EX coupe with ABS stopped from 70 mph in 186 feet. A difference of 9 feet in ABS's favor, and that did not take into account that the new Civic weighed 190 pounds more than the old one. There would have been a greater difference had it weighed the same as the '00. The difference between ABS and non-ABS is greatest among pickups (with ABS improving stopping distances in the dry by as much as 20-30 feet). Anyway, I thought this info might be interesting to you and it might help those that are debating over the merits of ABS. I think its a worthwhile option that should be bought if money and model permits it.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    My 2001 EX COupe auto has not had any of those problems. I think those might be reserved for sedan owners? Not sure...

    No PCM or radio issues - over 1700 miles so far.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    I understand what you are saying. And, I suppose, if Car and Driver says it, it must be true!

    My personal experiences have been different, however. Perhaps they are the exception - it certainly would not be a first for me ;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,559
    It all depends on which article you want to believe. Lots of "expert" opinions out there!

    Myself...I wouldn't let the lack of ABS stop me from buying a car nor would I reject a car with ABS. I own both.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    What I was referring to was not an "expert" opinion. It was just simply an article stating the cold, hard data of a test. Opinions had nothing to do with what the test numbers showed. They deduced after looking at the data that ABS brakes are beneficial in almost every circumstance. I have never seen an article that stated ABS brakes were a detriment to your stopping abilities, so it really shouldn't matter what article you read. The problem lies in how people use ABS. Some might get scared of the jerking of the pedal and the weird noises and therefore back off the pedal to make it stop, which in turn could lead to longer stopping distances. What a person needs to learn when they have a car with ABS is to slam on the brakes for all they are worth and keep your foot firmly planted on the pedal in an emergency. If that's done, ABS will outstop non-ABS everytime. As far as I'm concerned, each extra foot is a greater safety margin and could mean the difference between a hefty repair bill and injuries and nothing but shaken nerves.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,559
    But...a few years ago, I read an article in some auto related magazine that clearly cited longer stopping distance on DRY payment.

    But...who knows? Like I said I can take them or leave them. I try to drive in a manner where I don't need to rely on them in the first place.

    Still, if I'm driving in the snow or ice (rare in Seattle) I'ld rather have ABS than not.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    You hit the nail on the head with your statement:

    "What I was referring to was not an "expert" opinion. It was just simply an article stating the cold, hard data of a test."

    Key term there being, A test, not THE test. There are many tests, and the one you read obviously supports your opinion. ISELLHONDAS is also correct, as am I, that some tests, (including my personal ones, which are really the only ones that matter to me), show that non-ABS works better on dry pavement. ABS is certainly great on wet pavement. That said - I'll take an ABS car vs. non ABS car anyday.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I don't know if it ever crossed your mind, the ABS technology is being constantly developed as any other component.
    The ABS developed and installed in the cars few years ago are using completely different hardware and software than the 2001 models.
    The modern systems are way more effective. They are faster, smarter and quieter.
    And cheaper too.
    The modern ABS is clearly superior in the wet and DRY conditions.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    I agree. Current Tech ABS is certainly superior - to the old ABS systems.

    One thing I don't understand. Why don't all cars have disc brakes all around? The discs are easierr to repair, and seem like they should be cheaper and easier to install. Why are drum brakes still around? I know they are cheaper - but why?
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    All I can say is that the caliper assembly and the rotor itself require more precision in its manufacturing, design and better materials than the drum assembly. Don't have any specific info on costs.

    Also, check out this side:

  • I just got a CD player for a 01 civic LX. Accoding to the installation manual I am supposed to pry out on the lower cover to release 6 retaining clips. I don't want to damage or break any clips and introduce noise in there. Does anyone have experience on doing this. Any suggestions or comments? It is not very obvious where to pry out. Do I put a flat screwdriver in the crack around the cover and push out? Thanks.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    All I'm gonna ask is, have you ever actually taken your old non-ABS car and measured its distance to stop and than taken your ABS equipped one and did the same exact test? Didn't think so. What you are referring to is mere "personal feelings and judgement" not real facts gathered by a real "test". What may seem to work better to you may not actually be true as you have no basis for measurement. I would be willing to accept what professional drivers have measured over a "personal judgement" anyday. You also can't compare the braking systems of 2 completely different cars. It's very possible that your old non-ABS car simply had more powerful brakes compared to your new ABS equipped one. Just because its new doesn't mean its better. I think that the whole screeching to a stop gives the impression of stopping faster since you don't hear that with ABS. Anyway, I am done ranting about ABS, LOL.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Glad your done ranting. Arguing someone else's personal experience really doesn't make much sense....
  • GT200002879 - I did the install on the CD player. The only thing that might happen, it happened to me, is that the clips can break if you don't get them off correctly. They cost .16 cents each so no big deal except ordering them. I bought 10 for garage stock since they use them all over the car.

    No squeaks at all after install. Good luck.
  • I just installed that CD in my wife's civic a month ago. Easy as pie. The lower cover you are refering to is soft material and won't require much effort to remove. Use a wide tip screw driver and you won't cause any scratches. Armor all on your interior will provide more protection also.

    On ABS, I swore by it yesterday. Toke a curved exit at 75 MPH in my new Celica, got around the corner and traffic was at a stand still. (A semi-truck had gone over the side railing) Nailed the brakes, and she stopped beautifully. Had I not had ABS, my car probably would have skided sideways and caused another accident. I am definitely safer with ABS brakes.
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