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Honda Civic Hybrid Transmission Problems



  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    Honda has been manufacturing defective transmissions since 1996. The problem is big. I know a transmission shop that makes a nice living from the defective transmissions. and, the dealership (Honda) fix is just as bad as the original. Consumer reports does not want to lose a customer is the only reason I can think of for the wink and nod....or there must be $omething else involved.
    I have written to the President of Honda and have been ignored or given the corporate shuffle.
    Honda does not treasure their customers. :lemon:
  • nypeachnypeach Posts: 11
    Best day of my life! I just traded in my 2004 civic hybrid for a new car and I could not be happier. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER own another Honda. Not ever. They know there is something wrong with the transmission in the hybrid, they know it is defective. THey must have the best lobbyists in the world to stave off a recall of the transmissions. But I don't give a hooey anymore because I am out of the Honda-owning business and I will never darken their doorway again. And I made sure to tell all of my friends about my experience with Honda. A word of advice: Get rid of your civic hybrid.
  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    good for you. Honda is a horrible company that does not treasure their customers. Their dealerships turn the factory defects into big bucks while abusing and deceiving their clients. :lemon:
  • kapopokikapopoki Posts: 1
    Well, after years of transmission problems and doing what the dealer recommended (which never fixed the problem), my CVT finally died :( Of course, all the band-aid solutions never fixed the problem and now I am out of warranty! American Honda won't help me fix the problem, and they know there is an inheriant problems with the transmission. I will not buy a Honda again after this bad experience.. I'm just not sure what to do.. The cost of a transmission is almost the value of the car.
  • Hi can you describe the problem you are having with your transmission? I've worked on several HCH's... I won't say that the CVT is a good tranny, but they aren't very complicated and fixing one is almost always cheaper than buying a rebuilt one.
  • goinnutsgoinnuts Posts: 3
    After reading about tran problems I am reconsidering the purchase of a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid from a friend who said it 'growls'. I was going to test it this weekend and thought I would look up problems with trans. It has 120,000 mi. and she said she just put 3500 in car but was told tran could go out today, next week or next year. I haven't had a good feeling about purchasing this car since it has been for sale. Her 23 yr. old daughter has been driving this car for a couple of years and just got a new car 3 mo. ago. Do I need to drive it after reading posts here? Maybe I should listen to what I am feeling, (maybe bad karma car)! I have a 2000 Nissan Sentra now and know that car inside and out. I have had Toyota's and love them too, just never had a Honda. Any feedback would help me make my decision.
  • nypeachnypeach Posts: 11
    run, don't walk, away from this car. If you want to preserve your friendship, do not buy this car. It is a LEMON. the transmission will go, that is for sure. Buy anything BUT a honda civic hybrid.
  • tedd50tedd50 Posts: 7
    A message to goingnuts, Believe the other posts, I spent close to two thousand on my Honda, the dealer said he would split the $4000.oo in costs. twenty thousand miles later it cost me $4000, and the dealer just took all my money. If you want to spent another $4000, go ahead and buy the car.
  • goinnutsgoinnuts Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice. I am running away as fast as I can. Sounds like a money pit to me. Thanks, everyone!
  • wds13196wds13196 Posts: 8
    edited March 2011
    I’ll try and make a long story short. Run away from the 2003-05 Civic Hybrid, 01-05 HX, 01-05 GX and early Insights. If you already have one the below may help.

    When starting from a stop the car feels like it is going over a cobble stone street for first few MPH. Also when coasting thru a turn never coming to a stop and without applying the brakes the car stated surging, like it was going into to a lower gear then coming back to a high gear, repeatedly about 3-4 times before hitting the gas and everything back to normal Just like when you put a manual in to lower a gear for too high a speed. Hitting the gas would also cause a jolt when coasting.

    Please refer to the following Honda TSB’s
    TSB 07-049 calls for the start clutch replaced and
    TSB 07-050 calls to have the lower valve body replaced and the software updated in the Civic Hybrid. But in the Insights, Civic HX and GX they call for the CVT to be replaced all-together. Both TSB’s point to class action lawsuits and the warranty has been pushed to 7 years or 105,000 miles

    Branshing does nothing… the problem will come back in a thousand miles. For those that have had the start clutch replaced multipul times, my thought is that the lower valve body needed to be replaced as well.

    Change the CVT fluid often, manual says every 20,000. I would change every time you change the oil. Both the CVT and Engine only require 3.5qt of fluid and make sure to use CVT fuild. Honestly changing the CVT fluid is easier than change the oil.
  • wds13196wds13196 Posts: 8
    Please refer to the following Honda TSB’s
    TSB 07-049 calls for the start clutch replaced and
    TSB 07-050 calls to have the lower valve body replaced and the software updated in the Civic Hybrid. But in the Insights, Civic HX and GX they call for the CVT to be replaced all-together. Both TSB’s point to class action lawsuits and the warranty has been pushed to 7 years or 105,000 miles

    Forgot branshing the clutch or replacing the EGR, neither works...
  • How much is the seller asking for the car? Also what city and state is it located in?
  • hondaouthondaout Posts: 5
    Stay Away! You will be angry later!! My 2003 Odyssey tranny just went out and my mechanic fixed it and then said sell it, because it will go out again. Honda knows the problems and they don't care!!! RUN...Honda wanted $4,500 to fix after we serviced the original transmission a week before with them.
  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    Honda does not treasure their customers. I speak with authority on this issue. They manufacture defective vehicles and then look the other way when they fail. The dealerships use these defects to pad their own pockets. I hope someone finds a way to prove this relationship because it would lead to one heck of a lawsuit! I will never buy anything made by Honda again. :lemon:
  • My 2004 Civic hybrid CVT just failed at 165,000 miles. It really gave no indication of anything wrong beforehand, except maybe a slight hesitation when going down hill with no foot on the pedal. Dealer said that the initial indication was an electronic part burn out, $400. They wouldn't guarantee that would fix the problem though. After that new part did not fix the problem, the next diagnostic step was for them to call Honda. Honda said the flywheel replacement was next for another $2400, and if that did not fix it, then another $2,400 for a new transmission. So I used the modest remaining trade value to buy another car and moved on.

    Otherwise I really liked the HCH. Was getting 44 mpg at the end and otherwise everything about the car worked fine.

    I'd be cautious about buying another Honda with CVT, though.
  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    The Dealership achieved their aim. they separated you from your money. I have no evidence, but I'm quite sure the dealership knew your transmission was shot. Although they deny it, Honda Corporate encourages this sort of thing. That is why I will never buy anything made by Honda again.
  • suckered3suckered3 Posts: 1
    My 2004 honda civic hybrid transmission has just bit the dust and matt cattrucci said that honda won't even consider helping me with it. Don't waste your money with either of these companies!
  • dugaduga Posts: 1
    You mention Class Action Lawsuits. Do you have any more information on that?

    After 127,000 miles, my CVT transmission failed. While under extended warranty, my clutch/flywheel were replaced after I was forced to do a $257 fluid change. I strongly believe this was a delaying measure. I've had to do tranny fluid changes every other oil change to stop the shuddering problem.

    I now face a $4900 charge to replace my CVT transmission. I am forced to do it. I feel either a class action needs to be brought against Honda and/or Honda Care.
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  • wds13196wds13196 Posts: 8
    Your tranny may be covered by a 7 year/105,000 mile extended warranty. Refer to TSB 07-049 and 07-050. Good luck
  • haroldwharoldw Posts: 8
    On December 17, 2010, my IMA battery failed. I purchased my 2003 HCH new November 15, 2002, which comes to my ownership period of 8 years, one month and 17 days, and out of warranty. I had 45,180 miles on it.
    Other than tires and oil changes, I always took it to Passaic Honda for repairs, new battery, etc.
    I drove it to Passaic Honda. It was drivable, although all the trouble lights were lit. The dealership said that the battery pack needed replacement,, and gave me a price of $2642.00 plus tax. I asked them to call American Honda in California for help. They called, but said I had to call them for possibly a "Goodwill Repair". American Honda said that since I had all my repairs done at the dealership, they would replace my battery pack for a token charge to me. MY SHIP HAD COME IN!!!!! They paid 90% and I paid 10%, which came to $275.00!!
  • Sorry to be a bother, but I took my car to Honda and they said that the issue is I need a new start clutch kit. The car has 119K on it and I was told that the TSB 07-049 does not apply in this case due to the miles on the car. Are they right as this is all new to me (again, my aplogies)? Also, should I have not received some type of notification for this?

    Thanks in advance for any help or insight.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    Coffebean 10 (I'll just call you "CB"),

    My clutch failed at 25K miles and many others failed at 40K, 50K, 75K etc. In an 8-year old civic hybrid, your most likely failure is the battery pack. In a manual transmission, over 100K miles is usually time for the clutch pad replacement. I'm not sure how the Prius is doing, but I don't hear much about CVT failures there. On the other hand Consumer Reports doesn't seem to list significant transmission problems in the Civic Hybrid--in spite of the listing on this forum and TSB 07-049.

    I expect you will have to pay for it, but it doesn't hurt to ask (insist, complain, threaten?) Good luck, CB
  • Hi folks,

    Let me chime in with my experience with this issue. Background:

    2005 HCH, 127K miles, No other major issues besides the recall for the IMA reprogramming back in '06/07ish (if one calls that major).

    Judder has been in existence for quite some time, but post 100k. It seemed like a nuisance but has not progressed into becoming a problem. I never new about this issue because I could not quite describe it. I called it hesitation from 0, but didn't think to type in CVT problems 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid into a Google Search. Whoops! Not like it matters, though.

    I brought the civic in and the tech called it a "jutter." Go search that in google and wind up here and many other forums with very irritated people / enemies of Honda. Well the dealer told me that they were going to perform the warranty service bulletin work on the HCH and called late in the day to tell me that they need to keep it over the weekend because this servicing did not fix the issue. Go figure that when I find this forum, my only option is to get another tranny that may go bad in 10k or 127k. All I know is that my HCH is okay for now..., but I will: 1) keep losing equity, 2) face IMA failures soon at a price tag of ~$2,500, and 3) need to dish out $2 - 6,000 for a transmission (why the variance in price, I will never know).

    So, it looks like I will be car shopping over the weekend. Time to cut my losses and move on. But a note to the Honda haters in this forum... my previous '97 Civic LX lasted 8 years, resisted my bat out of hell high school years (yeah, I was hard on that car), took 312k miles, and still sold for $1,500. I took care of that car and it served me well. On average, I suppose I am still in the green with Honda, but I will never get a CVT with them again that's for sure.

    More news from the dealer to let you know what they did / propose they will do / and how much. Either way, I will most likely refuse serving and seek trade in promptly!
  • update on this case: dealer took a few days to work on this. They tried service bulletin fixes, no dice. They asked me to change my CVT fluid for a bit less than 100 bucks, and that seemed to do the trick.

    I can still feel a bit of a hesitation, but it is mounds better than before. It seems like what someone posted here a few months back makes sense. Change your CVT fluid and change it often (as often as you change your oil). I am going to work by that mantra and save up for a new vehicle. It seems like the going rate for a '05 HCH is about $4,500. As long as I can get one more year out of this car before the IMA goes or before the transmission goes, I suppose I am a leg up.

    Time to start saving!
  • marcello1marcello1 Posts: 1
    This all sounds exactly like what I have been finding when I shopped for a HCH this past month. I already own a HCH (03) with a 5 speed manual tran. I fixed the IMA pack based on an article I read in Home Power magazine last summer.

    I wanted a second HCH, with a CVT, for the wife. But every place I looked either wanted waaayyy too much for a working HCH or, for a reasonably priced HCH, the tranny and IMA pack were trashed. Honda indeed made a series of lemons with the CVT trannys! And probably the battery packs too! Keep away from Honda hybrids! Especially the early ones! (2000-2010). Maybe the new models are ok, but only time will tell. I would rather not be the test mouse though. Not at those prices anyway! LoL!

    If you really want a HCH with a CVT though, get used to the idea of a $100 flush and fill tranny servicing every year! (This a DIY. A service place would want about 2 to 3 times that much.)
  • Do you have a link to that IMA replacement article? How difficult was this?

    The DIY transmission flush is ONLY IF you have the right tools or you will get insanely frustrated. Honda puts those fittings on tight tight tight; so do your research first and make sure you have everything you need. Once you do it, you will find it to be pretty easy...but the first time will be a hoot.
  • Marcello,

    I just ran across this thread. I will likely be rebuilding my IMA pack very soon as well. How did that work out for you? Did it make a big difference? Is it still functioning well? Thoughts or suggestions on a used pack?

    Thank you,

  • Can someone explain to me what a slipping transmission sounds/feels like on a hybrid? I just bought a used 2007 honda civic hybrid and it drives very peculiarly.
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