Honda Civic Care and Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited September 2014 in Honda
Please share you Civic care and maintenance regimen!

Owner's Clubs


  • bigkahunaflbigkahunafl Member Posts: 128
    I only have 2000 miles on my Civic EX Sedan so I still haven't gone back for an oil change yet.
  • bordsourcebordsource Member Posts: 95
    I will definitely be going in for service within about 1 month. I do a lot of city driving in the snow belt, so my car has it rough. I drive about 20 to 25 miles per day, usually in 5 mile spurts or so that take 15 minutes. Add to that the salt around here (everyone spray under your car when you wash it!), and the intense cold (underfreezing with subzero winchills all December) and it's time for an oil change
  • gibnutgibnut Member Posts: 4
    I am curious to here what type of cleaning products work well for cleaning the interior windows, and vinyl.
    I've used "Armor All" on the vinyl, but do not like the greasy and slick surface it produces. Is there a product that works but with a matte finish?
    As for the windows, I have been using ammonia and water. I have contemplated using a mixture of alcohol too. I figure the alcohol would dissolve the film build-up from the vinyl. Any thoughts?
  • cwosignscwosigns Member Posts: 13
    I own a '97 EX Coupe that I bought used. The dealer didn't do a very good job of detailing it, so I went to WAL-MART and bought some wax and Armor All.

    Armor All now has two types: the traditional "wet look" finish (which I don't care for), and another that is a more natural matte finish. I used it last Sunday, and it makes my car look like-new clean, but not wet.

    Hope this helps...

  • gibnutgibnut Member Posts: 4
    Yes, that is just the kind of info I was looking for. Thank You Chris
  • excivic2001excivic2001 Member Posts: 1

    I just bought a new Civic EX and the ride is fantastic. Unfortunately, city driving makes avoiding all potholes nearly impossible. My question to anyone who can shed light on this for me is how much damage does hitting a pothole do to one's car? What exactly is being damaged? Or are Civics (or cars in general) built to handle a certain number of bangs and bumps due to potholes?

  • bwalter01bwalter01 Member Posts: 1
    Well, to an extent, all cars are designed to take a little bit of abuse from potholes now and then. If you can avoid them, so much the better. If you can take them at the right speed, that helps too.

    If you're going down a residential street and can't avoid a serious pothole or crack, slow down and take it like you would take a speed-bump. No damage.

    If you see one on a highway, you're better off not slowing down too much because the speed and momentum of your vehicle can help you coast over some of them with less impact. Obviously going very slowly over all potholes is a good idea, but if you want to live, I don't recommend slowing down to 10 mph on an Interstate. :-)

    What you're damaging (if at all) are the tires, wheels, and to a lesser extent the suspension. If you hit a really big pothole, you can damage just about anything. (My father broke off his muffler on a pothole once, true story -- 1982 Prelude)


    P.S. Today's Free Tip: Don't rest your arm/wrist on your manual shifter, while driving, for long periods. The stress from the weight can damage your gearbox over time.
  • dudkadudka Member Posts: 451
    don`T slam on your brakes if you realize you are going into a pothole, because the wheel will lock up, and put additional stress in the suspension as it hits the exit side of the pothole.

    i always wondered why honda said in the manual not to rest your hand or even hold the shifter if not shifting. thanks for your tip (bwalter01) but how it would damage the tranny, the tranny is not directly under the shifter. i remeber that a friend of mine had a problem with his `87 maxima, the shifter would pop out of the gear, and he had to hold it in. is that the kind of damage you are talking about?
  • mcbuddahmcbuddah Member Posts: 3
    Question: What makes my 1990 Civic alternator(s) keep going out? I am on #3.

    I own 2 1990 Civics (one DX 5 speed, and one LX automatic). They both have about 150k miles. Should I expect the other's alternator to crash soon?

    What do you do when an Automatic trans goes out in a 1990 Civic? Sell it for parts?
  • self_mechanicself_mechanic Member Posts: 95
    My 97 Honda Civic with 70K mile has engine check
    light comes on. Does anyone has any idea what
    could be the cause? Appreciate your help.
  • galantgtz2000galantgtz2000 Member Posts: 4
    I own a 2001 Civic EX coupe and I put some major miles on it, about 2000 per month. I was calling around several of the local Honda dealerships to get a price for the 7,500 mile service. I had 2 dealerships tell me that with the 2001 Civics, the service intervals had been pushed back. So what was the 7,500 service, is now the 10,000 service for 2001 Civics. Have any of you other 2001 Civic owners heard of that?
  • pj23pj23 Member Posts: 158

    If you read the maintnenance schedule in your owner's manual, you'll notice that it provides for 10,000 mile service intervals under "normal" driving.
  • koineboykoineboy Member Posts: 2
    I read the manual and saw the 10K recommended service material. The dealership (rat bastards) told me every 3750. Do I trust the dealer or the engineers?
  • rsreenyrsreeny Member Posts: 2

    This is my first car bought in Dec 2000. I have been experiencing the following problems :

    I kept getting the humming noise whenever I turned my wheels. The service people found out that Power Steering Rack was leaking and replaced the whole steering gear box assembly.

    I was thinking may be something was wrong with the way I drive (too much turning of steering
    to extremes), still nagging doubt is the mechanism so fragile that it won't even take pressure from a new driver.

    I learnt that it had happened to some of my friends who bought it around the same time. Is it a common problem in 2001 Civic LX, Any recalls so far ?

  • arijitmarijitm Member Posts: 2
    I too have doubts about the scheduled maintenance of Civic Ex 2001...

    Can any one tell me the correct maintenance schedule of 2001 Civic EX? The service center of the dealer says different things at different times. I did my scheduled 5000 miles oil change when my odometer was around 5100 miles. At that time they put on a sticker on my car saying my next maintenance schedule would be somewhere around 8800 miles (the problem is that I can't read it anymore - it's so faded) - and when I called them to confirm it, they are saying that the next maintenance should be at 10000 miles.

    Well I know very little about cars - and this is my first car. So can anyone tell me if I should go by the schedule given in the book (the manual)?
  • goody01goody01 Member Posts: 11
    When in doubt, follow the book. The dealer (or anyone else who wants your business) has an incentive to get you to keep coming back, so their advice may not be the most objective.
  • warnerwarner Member Posts: 196
    On the Civic that I purchased last night, I negotiated the service contract for 5years/100,000 miles and ZERO deductible for $870. I consider it a little extra insurance that will help me past the 3yr/36,000 mile warranty. Not that it's likely, but wouldn't it suck if something major broke at 45,000 miles???



    Here's how the whole thing played out for me:

    I got a 2004 Honda Civic LX 5-speed for $14,700 including destination fee and a few options.

    The cost breaks down like this:

    Base Civic LX 5-speed $14,281 (incl dest.)

    Alloy (EX model) wheels $419

    Splash Guards $0

    Wheel Locks $0

    (The options RETAIL for a total of $833, so I paid about half price for them)

    Invoice on this car with destination fee but not including the options is $14,531 so I think I did well.

    Other things that I opted for:

    After I thought about it, I did opt to pay for the 5 year/100,000 mile Hondacare warranty. The dealer was asking around $1,200 for this but I negotiated it down to $870 for the zero deductible plan. Maybe this was a waste, but I consider it a bit of additional insurance past the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty period. I hope that I don't have to use it, frankly - it won't hurt my feelings if nothing breaks. And since I only put $500 down on the car, I also opted for the gap insurance which I negotiated down to $400; spread over 5 years of payments at 2.9% finanace rate, it works out to about $7 a month. God forbid something should happen (the car gets totalled or stolen) in the first couple of years of ownership, I'd hate to be out a car and STILL have to pay the difference between what I owe and what the insurance company gave me for it. They wanted a lot more for this, but I was very reluctant to purchase this, but after he dropped down to $400 for this, I figured that for SURE if I didn't get it at that price, something WOULD happen. Maybe I'm a nervous freak, but at $7 a month I didn't think I'd kick myself for getting it, and it may even lower my insurance rate on the car (have to check with my insurance company on that). So, that's my story. I did get the 2.9% financing for 60 months so even with all that additional junk that I opted for and only $500 down on the car, my payment is right at $300 a month.

  • beanbean Member Posts: 4
    my 95 civic has a engine light on, and the tech want $90 just to take a look at it, anyone has a qick fix?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Check out the new Maintenance Guide! Link is provided in the Additional Resource Box.

    Owner's Clubs
  • zepplinlzepplinl Member Posts: 8
    Where can I find all the Honda recalls? Specifically Honda Civic (2001)? Like a webpage or something? Thanks All!!!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Click on Edmund's Maintenance Guide in the blue sidebar, fill in the info for your make/model. The final results will list the recalls and TSBs.

    If you need any more assistance, let me know.

    Owner's Clubs
  • kdub100kdub100 Member Posts: 1
    Hi I just bought my 97 Civic EX about 4 months ago. I had heard that there may be problems with the timing belt on this year, and problems that could occur if I didn't take care of it a 60,000 miles. My car is at 63,000 now and I was wondering if anyone else knew about this or had any experiences!
  • hondaguy0620hondaguy0620 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Civic EX with 96K miles on it. Recently, I decided to change the spark plug wires, distributor cap, and the rotor button. These are simple items to replace....or so I thought. The plug wires and the distributor cap are easy, but inside the distributor cap is a plastic housing that would not allow access to the rotor button. I looked everywhere for a way to get the housing off, but did not see anything. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.
  • hondaguy0620hondaguy0620 Member Posts: 2
    As for the Civic with 63,000 miles....I wouldn't worry about the timing belt just yet. The timing belt is a very essential item, but I would advise you to wait until about 75-80K before replacing it. I own a 1996 Civic, and replaced my timing belt at 83,000 miles. You should expect to pay around $400 for the service. When you have the belt replaced, they should also replace the water pump, belts & hoses, and coolant. Hope this helps you. Good luck.
  • mgreene8mgreene8 Member Posts: 8
    Are you using the ammonia/water solution on the inside or outside of the windows?? I'm looking for something that will thoroughly clean the outside of the windows, remove any current/old water spots and not leave any scratches or take paint off the body from the runoff.

    Re engine light,,, have you removed and then replaced the gas cap, tightening it just a few more clicks?? My Civic is a `98 and that happened to me. That was all it took and only happened one other time. The light won't go out immediately, but it will, at least mine did.
  • manualtransmanualtrans Member Posts: 10
    I have just purchased the 2002 Honda Civic EX. I know that it is required by California Law to install the license plate on both the front and back of the vehicle. My question is ... how am i supposed to install the license plate onto the front bumper? It seems to only have 4 small dents into the bumper. Am i supposed to drill the 2 screws into the bumper??? Please give me suggestions, or advice on how to install my front license plate. Thank You.
  • gman40gman40 Member Posts: 15
    Bought the car new in 1994. Currently has 187k miles. I Change the oil every 5000 miles. I had the timing belt, water pump and accessory belts
    replaced at 100k. Replaced both drive axles at
    160k. Most recently replaced the exhaust and the rear brakes(first time), I am now on my third set of front brake pads. My Honda dealer is amazed I haven't needed a new clutch yet. Anyway this has been one amazing car. The moral of the story is with proper upkeep Honda's will go a long time.
    Hope this gives some recent Civic owners some insight on the limited amount of maintenance necessary for these cars.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358

    You could take your Civic Ex back to dealer and ask them to install the front license brakcet for you.

  • knapp3knapp3 Member Posts: 112
    I spoke with the local Honda dealer about a new Civic this week, and asked about the 10K break in period before changing the oil for the 1st time. After a while he claimed Honda puts Mobil 1 in new Civics at the factory, and that's why they can go 10K miles. I simply didn't believe him, especially since Honda calls for 5w20 oil and Mobil doesn't produce that weight in their synthetic line that I know of. Has anyone else heard anything like this from their dealer?
  • igloomasterigloomaster Member Posts: 249
    howdy. weird thing just started happening.

    my gas pedal will stick a bit when starting off or after backing off of the pedal completely and then reapplying pressure.

    for example -- i will apply the normal 'gentle' pressure to get going, and the pedal doesn't want to move. the only way i can describe how it feels is that of an unlubricated door hinge. it takes more muscle to get it to do it's thing.

    adding a little more pressure than i am comfortable/familiar with gets the pedal to work, but results in too much of a burst in speed due to the pressure needed to get the pedal to go down.

    i tried to grease up the joints on the pedal itself, but that didn't help at all. any ideas?
  • rangers_frangers_f Member Posts: 7
    If you go to the Honda web page, you can put in your VIN number of your Honda and it will tell you whether your specific car has a recall on it or not. When I first bought my car, the dealer gave me this service booklet that I "should" follow. The booklet is following the severe driving conditions servicing. At first I went by the thing, until I looked at the owners manual. I am almost at my 22,500 service and the dealers booklet tells me to have the mechanics check out all this BS and the only real service being done is an Oil Change and Tire Rotated. Check this check that. Like they are really checking that crap. So unless you guys are in "severe driving conditions" watch out to the dealers BS servicing. The dealers mechanics are the same crooks as anyone else. They just hide behind the "honesty" of the Honda dealers name. What a joke.
  • igloomasterigloomaster Member Posts: 249
    thinking of buying a 2002 LX auto w/a/c.

    I'm a musician and will be transporting roughly 300 - 400lbs of cargo in the trunk and some in the back seat -- -- on a regular basis.

    No, I don't want a truck or van.

    Question: can the Civic 1.7 liter engine handle carrying this weight, or will it be constantly straining and thus could wear out fast?

    I guess the weight is about the same as transporting 3 adult passengers in addition to the adult male driver, all the time.

    Anybody have any experience to share?
  • bbpalumbobbpalumbo Member Posts: 9
    Can anyone recommend a particular brand they are happy with, for my 99 Civic LX? I live in the Northeast, so rain and snow are issues.

  • kermit66kermit66 Member Posts: 3
    I have had service "machine discs" on my brakes 2 times and will be going in for a 3 time soon. Is this acceptable???

    I realize that a rotar should only be machined once, but when I took it in the dealer they said this would solve my pulsing foot pedal problem.

    I drive a little hard at times but all in all I would say I'm a average driver.

    Has anyone else had problems with the discs waring out quickly.

    Thanks for the reply,
  • mixturemixture Member Posts: 1
    First off, let me start off by saying my 2002 is a piece of crap and will never buy Honda again.
    Within the first week, a weird noise kept going off, sounded like manual steering pump was broken. The dealership replaced. Next week, the noise appeared again, took it back ( Spent 18 hours driving back and fourth to teh dealership and 500 miles...) This time they replaced entirely difefrent part (forgot what). Last month, my seat keeps sliding. I have to take it back.

    This bring me to the LEMON LAW. It is so vague it sucks... it states you get a new car or whatever if a reasonable number of attempts is made on the car. Who decides what is reasonable? This will the third item I fix and i have only had the car since Feb. I am so upset.

    I just got my 2nd oil change today at Jiffy Lube. Crooks! (i had 8,000+ miles) I didn't know about the 10,000 thing, the dealership never mentioned it. Jiffy charged me $35 and put in 5w20. Is this the best oil for the 2002? Anyone? And does anyone know if my experiences qualify me for the lemon law?
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358

    Sorry to hear that you had trouble with your 2002 EX. I am just curious do you know what's the first letter of your VIN? Does it start with J or 2 or 4 or...?

    How far away is your dealer ship? Do you have a closer Honda dealership to take your car to? You could take your car to any Honda dealer to get warranty repair done. Instead of driving 18 hours and 500 miles, that's lot of time wasted it. Sometime you may want to change to another dealer is the first one is incompetent.

    For 2002 Honda recommends to use 5W-20 oil. Jiffy Lube is putting the right oil for your Civic. But for $35 price is a little higher. Our local Honda dealer charges $22-24 for an express oil and filter change. Some dealer ever has very low price to free oil change for first time customer. Check your dealer's website they may have some service coupon on their website.

    2002 Civic Owner's Manual says to change oil @ 10,000 miles for normal driving and 5,000 miles for sever driving condition. You need to read the owner's manual maintenance portion. You could change your oil more often to give better protection to your car's engine.

    I think Lemon law depends on the state you live in. Typical they are talking about 3 attempts to fix the same "major" problem. You may want to check with your lawyer to see if Lemon law will apply to your case.

    Good luck,

  • aat44aat44 Member Posts: 1
    i have just purchased a 1993 civic ex coupe. i have read the manual and have found the oil pan and drain plug. however, i cannot physically locate the oil filter. can anyone help.
    thank you
  • bostontbostont Member Posts: 37
    bjk, why did you want to know mixture's VIN numbers and letters? Mine starts with 1H.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358

    I am curious where was his Civic assembled? 1st letter or digit will tell which Honda plant assembled the car. Wondering if my Civic came from the same plant or not?

    Mine starts with "J", assembled in Japan. I saw some Civic Si assembled in England.


  • nihao4587nihao4587 Member Posts: 43
    Hi guys,

    I have had my Civic for about one month now. It did not really meet my expectations. Although the car itself runs ok, the rest is far from satisfactory. The rattles are of the most annoying part. Whenever the road is not perfectly smooth, there are quite some rattles from the doors, backseats and especially from the area that is in front of the driver. I heard there are some bad stories about the illegal imports from Canada. Though I bought mine brand new, it was made in Canada. So if anyone knows that these kinda problems are manufacture-specific. If you happen to have a US made Civic, do you encount such problems, or else? Thanks
  • alyssazmomalyssazmom Member Posts: 142
    Mine was made in Ohio and I haven't had any rattles as to date. I would call your dealer and see if they can locate and fix the rattles.

    Good luck,

  • nihao4587nihao4587 Member Posts: 43
    Hi all civic owners,

    My new civic was made in Canada, but I have seen the exact models around here that were made in US or Japan. Does anyone acknowledge the difference, in terms of the build quality, among them?

    Once a salesman told me that the reason I got a good deal was because the car I bought was made in Canada. But I did not expect there should be any manufacture-specific problems. As time goes by, I am starting to understand why he said those things. In the future, I will only buy a "made-in-Japan" Civic or I am going for the Elantra GT. To my own experience, the Northern American made Civics are no better than the Korean ones. I am planning to trade-in my civic for a Elantra GT after its warranty ends.

    Any opinions are welcome.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Member Posts: 358
    I heard a friend told me the same story when they tried to get a made in Japan Toyota Camry and sales wouldn't sell them @ newspaper ad price, sales said for made is Japan car they have to pay more. So when I went to purchase my Civic, I paid extra attention to try to get a Japan made EX. When I checked all the Civic Ex at the dealer stock that day they were all made in Japan. I thought all the Civic Ex were made in Japan. So, a few weeks later I went back to dealer's web site to check their inventory they show some EX made in US and Canada.

    I think your sales is lying. My Civic EX auto 4 dr was made in Japan, and I paid $14,988 ($1,700 below invoice)+ lic + doc+ total $16,400 out the door.
  • nihao4587nihao4587 Member Posts: 43
    I paid $1,200 less than yours, but what I got is a made-in-Canada Civic LX sedan Auto. I was quite happy at first, but not now. All these rattles make me think if American Honda is really "HONDA". I should have asked for Japan made civics, :(
  • barleyboybarleyboy Member Posts: 2
    In my '91 Civic Hatchback, I have carried 1000 lbs. of passengers and cargo without problems. However, be cautious of stopping distances, since it takes a long time to slow all that weight down.
  • davidw6davidw6 Member Posts: 1

    I just found there is a very small dent ( diameter around 1.5mm ) in my shield window. Do you guys know how to handle this?

  • mogasmogas Member Posts: 8
    My '97 EX is pretty much just run around town car.

    I wash it weekly, wax monthly and use Meguires car care products (best on the market but a tad bit spendy). I only use regular Chevron gas. Oil (Penzoil Synthetic) change between 3000 to 4000 miles along with oil filter (K&N). Air filter (K&N) every six months along with wiper blades. I get a full tune-up every February (plugs, tranny fluid, timing, coolant flush, new brake fluid, etc.) since it only runs me about $150 buck from my mechanic. I use the fuel injector cleaner crap every oil change but I'm not sure if I'm wasting my money using it. I rotate the tires every six months to a year depending on the miles I have driven and the brakes are inspected during the annual tune-up.

    I have only 53,000 miles on it and the only problem I have ever had is with the power windows- the window shelf bracket broke and cost about $100.00 to repair.

    I also inspect my car weekly- fluids, belts, hoses, tires and all lights. No, I'm not obsessive compulsive, I just like to take care of my investments.
  • 06mike06mike Member Posts: 13
    Looking at purchasing a 98 HX Coupe. Car is well appointed, clean and drives well. One concern is I believe it has a CVT transmission. Does anyone have any history with this tranny? Does Honda still make it?
  • mgrmgr Member Posts: 40
    Saw further up someone asked about cleaning products. I use Zaino products. I am very pleased. I have the black with blue metal flake factory paint and it looks wonderful when its cleaned and waxed. Havent had to clay it yet, but probably will soon.
  • mjawtmjawt Member Posts: 1
    When I bought my '02 Civic LX, the dealer gave me a complimentary book of scheduled repairs. In it is a schedule of what needs to be done at certain times (be it mileage or years/months). Some of them are also discounts and coupons for free maintenance (minor stuff like oil changes and checkups are free). Also included are coupons for free car washes and when it's time to trade/sell the car, a discount for more savings on getting another Honda. It's been very useful for me because I don't have to keep track of maintenance. It just tells me when the next time to do something to my car is and I do it.

    Did anyone else get this maintenance booklet?

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