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Honda Civic Hybrid Transmission Problems



  • jveejvee Posts: 4
    It looks as though my mom just slipped in before the transmission warrantee expired on her 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT. The recall service(s) would not have been affected by an expired warrantee.
    They did the recall item, burnishing (whatever the hell that is), and had no luck fixing the delay or the grinding. They have ordered the new "star" clutch and will install it soon, a two-day job.
    I really hope this works.
    I'll keep you all posted.
  • my son's car is not a hybrid,its a 2001 coupe,sporty thing,so far no jumping because the weather's been warm.we also put in the CVT transmission oil because no one told us at the dealership to only use that until it had problems back in march.
  • nypeachnypeach Posts: 11
    I bought my 2004 HCH a year ago and have had nothing but problems. First, the clutch starter kit was recalled and had to be replaced. That was after another recalled piece had been replaced (something to do with the electrical system). Last week, the car just stopped...on the highway! I had it towed and was told the air compressor had to be replaced. also, the compressor jamming caused the serpentine belt to break. I ended up paying $1,372.26 for a HONDA Civic Hybrid with less than 100,000 miles on it. I could have bought a Ford for all the trouble I'm having with the car. Is anyone else having so many problems?
  • pjbutterfly- this whole forum is for CIVIC HYBRID owners w/problems...
    if you don't have one, you should be posting in a different forum, your problems are not related to these vehicles, you have a totally different car....
  • Does anyone know how to upgrade the TCM software and to do a system reset after the TCM upgrade? I am going to do the burnishment of the clutch because of
    the slippage and I guess I need to do this.
    I will never buy a Honda again with all the trouble I have had with this car.
  • Just a general comment, a disagreement if you will, the CVT transmission is NOT a transmission for a scooter stuck into a car. It is also considerably different (totally in fact, with as much similarity as a bananna to a submarine) from a 10 speed bicycle gear system with the "key word" being GEAR in as much as the CVT system has NO gears but instead an infinitely variable range of "speeds". CVT transmissions are in use today in most Nissan, some Chrysler and Toyota (Prius) cars in addition to Honda hybrids. As used on these various other brands I have never heard of any large scale problems inherent to the design. As I understand the system it is considerably simpler with many fewer parts and pieces than a traditional automatic transmission. I have driven rental vehicles with this transmission and aside from some initial getting used to the way it causes REV's to be high and constant during acceleration it a pleasant and gas saving alternative to the relatively "ancient" traditional automatic transmission.
  • the tech at honda will do all of that at once... there's not really any benefit to doing it by yourself, since there's an extended warranty for that Honda HAS to do it for free.
  • thanks but my husband ended up doing the burnish because he had bought the cvt fluid already.
    So does anyone know how to upgrade the TCM software after burnishment?
  • Hi, my Daughter has a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid and when you put it in Gear, drive or Reverse, step on the gas, it makes a big bang and the car jerks, then takes off. I took it to my local Honda Dealer & he said it had a transmission(Automatic) problem & a clutch problem. it has just barely over 105,000 miles on it and they told me their was a curtesy call not a recall, on these very problems. Anyways, he just called me back earlier today and said the curtesy call warranty or whatever Honda calls it run out at 105,000 miles and , like I said, it had like 105,576 . he said Honda says Sorry, but they wont fix it..... any ideas on who or anyone else to contact or what to do? thanks for any info :)
  • Hi, my Daughter has a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid and when you put it in Gear, drive or Reverse, step on the gas, it makes a big bang and the car jerks, then takes off. I took it to my local Honda Dealer & he said it had a transmission(Automatic) problem & a clutch problem. it has just barely over 105,000 miles on it and they told me their was a curtesy call not a recall, on these very problems. Anyways, he just called me back earlier today and said the curtesy call warranty or whatever Honda calls it run out at 105,000 miles and , like I said, it had like 105,576 . he said Honda says Sorry, but they wont fix it..... any ideas on who or anyone else to contact or what to do? thanks for any info
  • jveejvee Posts: 4
    With the replacement of the "star" clutch, my mom's 2003 no longer has the juddering or hesitation going into gear. She just squeaked in under the warrantee limit, so there was no charge.
    The "burnishing" did not help.
    Sacucci Honda of Rhode Island came through for her.
  • I just had my 2003 HCH diagnosed with the same judder that many of you all have experienced. It goes into the shop in a couple weeks for "replacement" of a part, with possible replacement of the transmission (the tech said that sometimes when replacing whatever part they have to replace, a lubrication tube breaks and requires a replacement transmission).

    But thanks to reading about your experiences, I won't be fooled if they try the burnish and get me to go away trick. The car is at 95000 miles, so I can see them burnishing it 3 times and hoping I go over 105k miles before they have to replace the transmission. I will be much better informed when I have to deal with them in 2 weeks.

    I had hoped to keep the car until I was able to buy a Toyota plug-in hybrid (not yet available but supposedly being worked on), but I have to wonder about that plan.
  • I am trying to reach the Honda DPSM (District Parts and Service Manager).

    I have a 2003 Civic Hybrid whose transmission has failed. We have brought this car into Honda service at least 3 times with the same problem with assurances each time that there was no problem. Now that the warranty has expired we're told that the transmission has failed and we're responsible for the repairs. They further tell me that this was the decision of the DPSM but refuse to give me any contact information.

    Honda America also refuses me DPSM contact info but assures me that the dealer is to contact him and have him contact me. The dealer is amused by this suggestion.

    Does anyone have any idea how to contact the DPSM or to whom I might appeal?
  • I wrote a letter to American Honda detailing the problems I've had with the hybrid. I received a call from a customer service rep, Betty Mcdonald (800-999-1009), and she informed me that Honda would offer "assistance" by refunding me part of what I paid to have the air compressor and serpentine belt replaced. she said while Honda would consider doing this, HONDA'S GOOD WILL IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT, and that if I continued complaining she would withdraw the offer since nothing seemed to make me happy. Ms. McDonald says she will get back to me on Wednesday (sept. 23). I wrote a second letter detailing my conversation with Ms. McDonald and assured the president of Honda America that I now understand what I can expect from his company--nothing. Mind you, I told the customer service rep that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have detailed transmission and other complaints with the hybrid on the internet. She said, "hey, things happen." My next step is to ask colleagues at the nation's media outlets to write about the disaster that is the Honda Civic Hybrid. sorry I couldn't offer more help, but if we unite to hold Honda accountable, we might get real solutions.
  • I had your very same experience. Dealer replaced transmission twice under warranty. Before warranty expired transmission started acting up again but dealer could not replicate the problem. I contacted Honda Corporate customer service in California 1-800-999-1009. They advised that the dealer would have to attempt to repair the transmission FIRST by opening it up and inspecting it BEFORE they (Corporate) would determine whether they would participate in covering any of the cost of repairs. The best you could hope for is THEY supply the parts and YOU pay the labor. Not free but better than paying the whole $2800-3000. The car is basically a great car except they had not corrected the transmission problem until the 2006 model according to Consumer Reports. Let us know what happens. Stan
  • Honda (corporate) is a horrible company that knowingly manufactured defective products for a certain period of time and refuses to either compensate for repair or actually repair their defective units. Honda corporate uses their OLD reputation of Manufacturing great products to deceive consumers to purchase more Honda products. Even when you purchase a "Honda Certified" ( what a joke) vehicle you are deceived. I relied on the the above to purchase two very defective vehicles from Honda ( '02 Oddy-defective tranny..'03 HCH.. a dealership "queen"). As a result the advantages of the "savings" of low maintenance and gas savings were off-set by the expense of correcting the problems surrounding these vehicles. Honda insists that you go the dealerships. I do not trust their dealerships.They use some nifty tricks to separate you from your $$. I do not have enough room to go into that here. Spread the word .. do not buy Honda products..they really don't care..!
  • Can anyone tell me if the air compressor has anything to do with the transmission? After Honda replaced my starter clutch kit (or whatever that thing is), the air compressor died.
  • I found this link and found that Honda added another component to the compressor to cut off one of the engines or something. Anyway, here's the link:
  • debowedebowe Posts: 1
    My first venture into the Hybrid world was a 2005 Honda Civic. The mileage was much less than on the invoice but probably due to living in the mountains. The transmission jerked from time to time but not on a regular basis. I got a recall notice on this and took the car to the dealer. They checked it out and said everything was fine with the transmission. The transmission has continued to slip, flutter ever since. I have told the service department every time I take the car in and they say they will check it out, but nothing happens. Just shy of 100,000 miles the transmission has gone out. The service rep said they don't do good in the mountains. They never told me this when I bought the car. The dealer cost to replace is $4,000. Is it worth contacting Honda of America. This is my second Honda but I will never buy another one.
  • nypeachnypeach Posts: 11
    Absolutely contact your state Honda rep and complain. If the transmission died when you were under 100,000 then the dealer should replace it. This is a recall problem and Honda is well aware of the problem.
  • Yes, you'r warranty is good up to 105,000 miles so, you need to get on this......
  • All of you out there with the CVT Transmissions I have found a way to help, some of you may know this trick but, it works really Good. Here's what I did
    1) Buy enough Transmission Fluid for 2 Changes, (it's high $)
    2) Change Fluid
    3) Start Car & Let it warm up
    4) Put car in drive and apply Gas & Brake, like brake torquing
    5) Put car in reverse and apply Gas & Brake (holding Gas to the floor and Brake)
    6) I did this like 5 times in each Drive & Reverse Holding for about 5 seconds a time
    7) Change Fluid again
    8) All the shimmying and Jerking stopped for me, time to trade it in!
  • Stan,

    My sister has an '07 Civic Hybrid, about 60k miles, and is having the juddering problem. I sent her the service bulletins, and told her to get on it asap.

    I just got the transmission on my '03 Civic Hybrid replaced under warranty; hopefully this will be the last time. We may not keep the car as long as we had planned...
  • hawks3hawks3 Posts: 9
    I am not one to run to an attorney, but I am at my wits end. Has anyone thought of a class action suit in regards to the transmission issues on the civic hybrids?

    My story: In the past I have owned to fantastic Honda CRXs. From that experience I thought Hondas were great so I purchased a 2005 Honda Civic hybrid new and I have had nothing but problems. With the recall and JUDDER issue my car has been in four times. They have burnished and put in start clutches, etc. Although they have covered it so far, my patience is gone now when they are saying I need a new transmission which they WILL NOT fully cover. I would end up paying 1700 to fix something that is related to the judder issue.
    They have offered me a mere 4800 trade in value for the vehicle if I want to get out. It is a ridiculously low amount of money.

    Please let me know if there has been interest in a class action.
  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    Honda does not make quality vehicles anymore. They are living on past reputation.Their dealerships use these defects as leverage to put more cash in the register. They do not care. I will never buy another Honda.
  • I purchased a 2003 HCH on 12/29/02. I had all the judder issues over the years that have been recounted by so many of us at this site. Did the "burnish" thing (at my expense - it seems that tranny oil isn't covered by the Honda extended warrantee) and still had the judder...Like you, I was less than pleased to Honda's response to the problem...and also that of my dealer/repairer. At 128,000 miles I traded the HCH in on a new Prius (in 2/09). Got a great deal, (finally) a reliable car, responsive dealer, and (hopefully) a more responsive manufacturer (we'll see with the floor mat issue). Letters, e-mails, phone calls, and visits to the Service Mgr had no effect with Honda. This time around I simply "voted with my feet" and dealt with Honda in the same manner as they did me...I WALKED AWAY FROM THEM...and bought my hybrid from another manufacturer and dealer. I don't see us buying another this lifetime anyway!
  • hawks3hawks3 Posts: 9
    Is there a 100,000 mile warranty on the transmission? I cannot find this information. The dealer is telling me it is out of warranty (a little bit over 90,000 miles) on a 2005 HCH???
  • hawks3hawks3 Posts: 9
    Does anyone know of a class action suit against Honda for the civic hybrid judder/transmission issue? Someone posted back in October of 2008 about this.
  • hawks3hawks3 Posts: 9
    Does anyone know what the exact issue is with the transmission failure on the HCHs?
  • rikfrerikfre Posts: 57
    From what I gathered. The CVT transmission is similar to the ten speed bicycle derailleur gears. It sort of works in the same way. The CVT tranny is very common in Motorcycles and scooters (Honda still makes those). Someone got the bright idea of sticking one in a car. The problem is that a motorcycle transmission can't handle being in a car. As a result, the components of the transmission start to malfunction or breakdown. The CVT is not ready for prime time (yet). Honda and few other auto manufacturers have put this transmission in their vehicles with very bad results (ask people who own the Nissan Murano with a CVT!). I feel that they all knew about this and did it anyways because it would improve the weight ratio and therefore the mileage(a CVT tranny weighs a lot less than a regular tranny.). They have handled this very poorly and created a Customer Service problem that they refuse to deal with. Too bad. Even if they make a vehicle that gets 100mpg..I'm never buying another Honda.
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