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Honda Civic Hybrid Transmission Problems



  • geebotgeebot Posts: 7
    Just an update for everyone.

    Brought my car in for service because it was starting to "judder" again. Mainly when I have passengers in the car. Nothing constant but I remember that this is how the initial problem started when I first noticed the judder.

    I wasn't planning on bringing in the car until the judder got worse since they just worked on my car a few months back and the dealership had refinished my burnishings to eliminate the judder. It worked but it's starting to haunt me once again.

    The main reason I brought the car in was that my check engine light turned on with the IMA light as well. This happened before but I had a friend in a dealership reset the code so by the time I brought it into the dealership that was going to diagnose, the error code was no longer in the computer history. I was in a panick since the battery pack could cost as much as $8k if it was out of warranty. Luckily, it was still within the 150k mile limit.

    Judder is still there but I was told that the new judder was caused by the faulty battery that they replaced.... that it was going away with the new battery. STILL there but I would just have to wait until it gets a bit more pronounced so they can feel the difference too.
  • fatboymfatboym Posts: 3
    We bought our 03 Hybrid Civic new in 03; we currently have put 105, XXX miles on it. The transmission "judder" started at 22,XXX miles, had that trans replaced (w/a rebuilt one) at 25,XXX miles, then that was replaced at 35,XXX (w/a new one) & received a extended warranty for 75,XXX miles for that one. Now we have just got the car back with a remanufactured Trans at 105, XXX miles.
    Needles to say we are on our 4th trans: the 1st & 2nd were under mfg warranty, when the 2nd replaced (because my wife contacted Honda of America the "Case Carrier" at American Honda was very nice & understood this is not "normal" so he extended the warranty to 6yrs or 75,000 miles. Now at 105, XXX miles we are done with Honda!!! The current "Case Carrier" is a snide, rude, arrogant SOB. We have begun a personal campaign to get this resolved or tell as many people as we can that this product (Civic Hybrid) is a piece of junk.
    I know it is not all of them but, come on 4 TRANSMISSIONS! Someone there should step up & either replace the car or warranty this 4th one for another 75,000.
    My wife & I are pretty easy going but this is so irritating, we are not able to get any help from American Honda. The dealer is going to do his best but if anyone has a similar story or good contacts to help please let us know & to ALL who read this BEWARE the Honda "reputation for reliability" is GONE!!
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :mad:
  • alycat11alycat11 Posts: 1
    I had to take my 2004 Civic Hybrid in for Services work yesterday and I was told that the Battery was dead and needed to be replaced. I’m not talking about the little battery that every car has, I’m talking about the BIG battery in the back of the car. My car has a little over 92,000 mile on it and they are telling me I need to replace the battery at a cost of $3600. I could not believe that!!! I have had transmission problems in the past with this car (taken it in 3 times) the problem has never been fixed; now they tell me that I have to pay $3600 to have the battery replaced & if I don’t want to then the car is no good. Oh by the way my car is still under warranty but they are saying the Battery is not.

    Never again will I buy a Hybrid or a Honda for that matter!
  • Just bought a used 2006 honda civic hybrid (32000 miles). Noticed a clicking sound and quess what, the transmission is being replaced. Thank god is was still under warranty.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,835
    I sent you an email, but I'll post here too. One of our senior editors would like to speak with you about your battery replacement problem for a story. If you'd be willing to talk with him either let me know here or drop me an email at and I'll put you in touch with him. Thanks!

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  • geebotgeebot Posts: 7

    I had the exact same problem with my IMA battery. Did your check enginge and IMA light go on when this happened? There was an error code and it's usually 1433 and it has to do with a "faulty battery." You might want to check another dealer since mine was replaced by the dealer with NO CHARGE. Apparently, Honda extended the warranties on these batteries for 10 years and up to 150k miles. I was actually lucky because I have a 2004 HCH with almost 150k when the problem occured. I hope this helps.

    Good Luck!!!
  • We had a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that we bought new. At about 77,000 miles the transmission died. I'm so glad I found this link, otherwise we would have kept it...the dealership replaced the transmission, no charge. (We're still covered under an extended warranty that we purchased with the car.) SO, we wanted to trade it in, for either an 08 HCH or a Prius. We were leaning towards the Prius, but thought maybe Honda might try to compensate for our trouble with a deal. Wrong!

    When I offered the '03 for the trade in, they told me that it was basically worthless. He showed me a list of things that are wrong with that model year. Not only transmission, but something about deceleration and steering! He said it could never be properly fixed, they won't sell used 03's on their lots, and it would just be sent to auction if I traded it in. They offered me a price of $5500, you know, just to be nice. (the car would be worth $9,000 if it weren't for the design flaws.) They wouldn't give me any real deal on a new one, either.

    The Toyota place gave us a much better trade-in price, and I THINK they know these are problem cars. But they gave us a much more fair shake than Honda in spite of it. And we have a new Prius! So far, so good.

    I would advise anyone not to buy a used '03 HCH.

    Oh, and my friend's husband has an '04 HCH. I asked him how it was doing. Guess what? He just had to have his transmission replaced! This is UNbelievable! :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • bbb99bbb99 Posts: 58
    Well, I have an 03 with 80,000 miles on it. I've only had to replace the egr valve to the tune of $200. But the other miles have been fine with a lifetime mpg around 45 mpg. It's strange to me how different peoples experiences have been with the 03 hch. BTW, my wife has a prius with 80,000 miles that hasn't had any problems. Would you mind sharing your vin on your hch? I ask because I want to see how close it was to the production line as mine. You just have to give me the last 6 numbers. I hope my car keeps being good for me. I just wanted to give others a positive outlook on the 03hch.
  • The last 6 numbers of our vin are 004263. We had no complaints about our HCH either until a couple of weeks ago. The transmission went without any warning. Hope you have better luck!
  • Last February I bought a used 03 HCH mainly to continue higher education 60 miles from hometown. I received 2 letters from Honda auto division..1 for a check engine update to keep the check engine light off something about a malfunction in cpu or whatevr...also a warranty extension for transmission judder or slippage.. it states the CVT has been extended for 7yrs or 100,000 miles. If vehicle is experiencing hesitation or slipping during acceleration to bring it in..They suppose to have both of these things done for free. I called and set up an appointment..I was told it was a recall or something similar. I hope that is the last of my problems. I just need this car to finish college than upgrade to something better.

    I mean there are no perfect vehicles they all have Im being patient especially since this is the 1st incident.
  • 01civichx01civichx Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 Honda Civic HX. At about 50,000 miles I had the shutter too and I had the start clutch replaced. You don't have to rebuild the entire transmission. I have actually had my start clutch replaced twice. First time was in warranty, second time it wasn't in warranty and ran $700.
  • perrorojoperrorojo Posts: 1
    I have been doing some research regarding Honda's lately. Why? Because I brought my 2005 Civic Hybrid to the dealership for a service, I noticed the transmission was making a noise, but the engine ran great. I was told that the transmission needed to be removed, and replaced....I had no idea there was anything wrong and all the service guy said was he could not tell me why it happened. Well that got me reading and it seems like the 2003-2005 Hondas have problems with their transmissions. Is Honda doing anything about this? Oh yeah and the kicker, they want $3100.00 to fix it and it is not covered under the warranty. Avoid Honda until they address this problem :mad:
  • ron1njddsron1njdds Posts: 6
    There is an extended transmission warranty, you should have gotten a notice directly from Honda. I am on my 3rd transmission and I currently have only 77K mi on it. Don't pay until you look into this further including going to another dealership and if necessary calling Honda directly. :lemon:
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    actually honda issued a TSB last week concerning 2003-2005 civic hybrids with cvt transaxles tsb #07-049 you might wanna research this its a warranty extension on the start clutch in the transmission
  • ron1njddsron1njdds Posts: 6
    What model is an HX? I don't think it is a hybrid since the first year the hybrid was made was in 2003. The posts on this board all relate to the honda civic hybrid. The hybrid has a different transmission than other models so these problems don't apply to your vehicle. :confuse:
  • fatboymfatboym Posts: 3
    fordfan 17 what is "TSB" & the "TSB#07-049", I have an 03 hybrid (posted a couple months ago here) 4th transmission 100000 miles. They have all been r/r at Honda's expense, but I have no faith in this car! (4 trans. in 4 yrs 100,000 miles) THAT IS ABSURD! I am curious about the "TSB" developement?
  • fatboymfatboym Posts: 3
    We have since had to take it back in for the engine light ,IMA light on & occasional "JUDDER". The dealer ship (DCH in Temecula) said "it was a faulty sensor we will order it & you can drive until it comes in, it's covered under warranty"? (remeber I have 108,xxx miles on it now) Warranty, ok whatever? That was "fixed" last week & they did not feel a "judder" but it was probably related to the "failed sensor". Now the lights are on again & we are taking it back tonight! We also have called Honda of Amer. to open a new "trouble ticket". I am way beyond very concerned. Does anyone have litigation or direction for us to go & get this resolved? We are at a total loss. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :mad:
  • kchybridkchybrid Posts: 18
    You may want to check out the following link to another forum to read about similiar problems and remedies related to Honda Transmission problems: ey-transmission-problems/index.html
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,835
    You cannot post personal info for others in the forums and you cannot use the CarSpace forum to organize or solicit for class action lawsuits.

    Please refrain from making those kind of posts. Thanks!

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  • kchybridkchybrid Posts: 18
    fatboym, yes they deleted the original, just like I see they have deleted yours.
    I reposted within the guidelines (no names / numbers). Maybe you could re-post here or on the other forum so we all can get the info you were trying to share. The other forum will permit all the info to be posted.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    itconcerns the warranty period on the start clutch in the transmission being extended you should be able to contact your honda dealer and get the tsb by number from them so you can read it ..its 6 pages long
  • sno4allsno4all Posts: 1
    My 03 Hybrid is now at the dealer having transmission slippage and delayed engagement concerns. They did a computer update and say all is ok...they also say the delayed engagement when cold is normal, sometimes it takes 8-10 seconds before going into forward or reverse, especially in cold weather, but seems to be fine when warmed up. Anyone else experiencing this, I don't believe it is normal.
  • My 2003 Civic Hybrid is getting a rebuild transmission from Honda right now. It has only 80,000 miles on it! I bought the car in 2006 and since then have had trouble with the transmission.

    Over the last 2 years I have been to the dealer many times. I was mostly told that the noise is "normal for hybrids" or that they all "have less pick up" or that the tech "couldn't reproduce the problem/sound." I am no mechanic, but I am also no fool. That's why I haven't stopped bothering them about it. I KNOW that a transmission (especially HONDA!?) should NOT be slipping at 80,000 miles (or at 60,000, which is what is about what it had when I bought it and started noticing the tranny was crappy).

    I have the Honda Care Gold warranty 3/36k and so far I'm pleased to say that I've paid nothing for the problems, except for my time and stress. They've flushed the trans a bunch and "Barnished" the clutch or valves, barnished something. Sometimes after "Fixing" my car I would drive off the lot and hear the same "JUDDER" and feel slippage ON MY WAY HOME... even AFTER the tech who JUST DROVE IT "couldn't hear any sound"

    I did finally tell the tech to get in my car and drive with me and then tell me that he couldn't hear a noise. I knew they were lying to my face and I started to get really angry and suspicious that there was a way bigger problem they were trying not to deal with. After a 5 minute drive around the block he admitted to me that there was a Judder that was probably a transmission problem. That's when I finally got them to do the "barnishing" thing, which I don't know what it is, but it doesn't work!

    This time they tried telling me that they had "Barnished" it and flushed it out and that I could come pick it up. I told them NO WAY was I picking it up again if that's all they did. That they are the ONLY ones who I've had service the vehicle and that they should look up what they've done and stop doing the same things that don't work and give me a new transmission or transmission pack or SOMETHING to FIX it, not just PATCH IT UP until my warranty expires (next summer). I also told them that I had a year left of the warranty and that I was going to take it in every week and call them every day if I had to until they corrected THEIR BAD TRANSMISSION. I know that it's not necessarily the dealer's fault that the car's transmission sucks, but HONDA KNOWS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM AND HAS POSTED A BULLETIN ABOUT IT, so there's NO REASON that ANY dealership shouldn't know about it and try to fix it. I believe that they do try to AVOID FIXING it at all costs. Including lying to people they think wont know.

    Honda should be ashamed of the 2003 Civic Hybrid (and from what I've read, the other years too), BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THE WAY THEY ARE HANDLING IT'S PROBLEMS!!!!!

    I am at a loss.

    I really do love my car. But I feel that it's not worth this stress and hassle. I wish I had done more research and made a more informed decision. I wish that the dealer had told me about the bulletin and that the car may have problems. I guess their job is to sell it, who cares about what happens after that, right? I really understand why it was on the used lot already after only being 3 years old... that's when the warranty ran up for the original owner, and they got out when they could. I feel like I have to keep the car, since I can't sell it for what I still owe. But I am also in FEAR of what may be to come. a $5,000 battery in a couple years? a brand NEW TRANSMISSION AGAIN in another 10,000 or 20,000 miles when I have no warranty?? It's really terrible to have purchased a nice car, my first "real" car, hoping that it would last me through grad school and that I could be green and save some money at the same time... only to realize that I am dealing with a :lemon:

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO CONTACT HONDA IF THEY HAVE THIS PROBLEM we need to unite with our bad transmissions and tell Honda to shove them up their butts!
  • lrt217lrt217 Posts: 2
    We are having exactly the same problem with the gearshift locking up and then letting go after it cools down a bit. Usually preceded by engine revving up very high for no apparent reason when decelerating.
    Dealer replaced Brake pedal switch as per Recall, said it would fix the lock-up problem, but it didn't. Engine is continuing to rev high; smelling something hot; battery is not being charged when brakes are applied (even when battery is at 2 or 3 bars); gas mileage is lower than ever before; and often getting stuck in park. Despite all this, not a single warning light has come on, and the dealer says everything is working to factory specs, according to the diagnostic computers.

    What was the outcome of your experience in Sept 2007 -- was the dealer able to resolve the problem?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    but I don't think I saw anyone answer it. Are all the transmission problems for the most part confined to the '03 - '04 HCH? I don't see any reported problems with the '06+ HCH. Is it simply too early for problems to show up on the '06+, or did they redesign the transmission?
  • Everyone, thanks for all of the great posts on this topic. I have an 03 HCH that belongs to my wife. I feel like perhaps based on all of these posts that I got the lone HCH that hasn't bucked at all and minimal shuddering. Our first experience was four months ago with our first juddering from a dead stop and only up to once you get rolling. I have never experienced any of the high revs issues either and we travel a lot. Our car has 78,722 miles on it. Had the burnishing done four months ago when we went in for an oil change and I mentioned it to our advisor. He knew exactly what was wrong and "fixed" the problem. I too have the same issue that 3,000 miles or so later it came back in the same fashion.

    I took it in last week and they knew why I was back. They ended up replacing the CVT transmission lower valve body and recalibrated the start clutch and reprogrammed the ECM per a bulletin from Honda. He said this should have been done months ago when I had it in last time but Honda was trying different things. Tranny seems to be running fine and they also ensured they put in the new CVT fluid as well. Hope this helps someone that there is an HCH with minimal issues. Hopefully Honda will clear it up eventually.
  • bbb99bbb99 Posts: 58
    Well, I'm at 82k on my 03 HCH and have only had to replace the EGR valve. Battery is still working fine too. I hope this keeps up.
  • lrt217lrt217 Posts: 2
    Following up with the remedy to our problems with shift lever lock-up, high revving, and loss of battery charging during regenerative braking:

    Since no warning lights appeared, and diagnostic computers detected no problems, our dealer was not able to pinpoint the cause directly. As each of those systems ran through the main computer, they tried replacing the computer to see what would happen. Problems solved.
  • sjeffesjeffe Posts: 2
    I have a 2008 Honda Civic Hybird with 17,000 miles on it. When I had just 3000 I noticed upon acceleration a jerking sensation on acceleration as if the car could not decide if it wanted to use the electric or gas engine. I reported to the dealership who of course could not duplicate. I have since reported the same issue to the dealership two times since as I notice the same problem at highway speeds now while the cruise control is on (65MPH +/-). Yesterday my Son and I got in the car and started to accelerate and it actually started bucking / surging as if the tranny was slipping. I was only going 5/10 MPH. Is anyone else having a simulare issue? This could become a serious issue when accelerating in traffic, or attempting to pass in rush hour type traffic.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    Welcome to the club. As you will note if you read back through 185 messages, the "jerking sensation" is from the clutch plates in the CVT (transmission). If it started at 3000 miles, Honda must be having a real engineering problem, since most of us with 2003-2006 cars didn't notice it until 25,000 to 50,000 miles or higher. The only correction is to have new clutch plates installed--which should be covered under warranty--as ours was, but you better read your warranty carefully, and return to the dealer--monthly--or even weekly. Some owners have had the clutch replaced four or five times! This is a $600-800 job. I hope they have a more reliable CVT in production soon. I've already disposed of my vehicle.
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