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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair



  • hey i just got a 1997 honda civic 164,000mi manuel 5 spd , the guy i got it from put a custom air intake in it and an exhaust. it sounds ok, but when after i got it when i first drive it on a normal warm day depending on how far i press the gas pedal its when it squeels. i can control it by either pushing the gas pedal farther or more less, just kind of ackward. thought it may be the air intake for abit, but it appears in good shape.

    also when before i come to a start it makes a buzzing sound and sounds like the transmission is reving down. the best way to describe it is something winding down even though the car is stopped . could of be the drive tran? ior maby the air intake acting weird. No problems with the gear except when i drive in 1st and press the gas to go the stick moves back, kinda wierd. no problems with hesitation or anything like that. :confuse:
  • vadidvadid Posts: 1
    04 Honda Civic SE. 23000 miles, manual shift from 1st to neutral goes with a clunk!

    Most of the time shifting from 1st to neutral is nice and smooth, sometimes there is slight resistance in moving out of 1st, but occasionally the lever seems almost eager to get out of 1st as if its sprung loaded and it comes out with a thump. Was told by Honda that it was due to engine torque, but it happens at any rpm. low or high when I would have thought torque could have an effect, and why only me? May not happen for a few days, but then have a bad shift three or four times in a row, almost as if tension is being built up, and is then released suddenly.Can't produce this effect to order, and am careful in changing gear. The gear change linkage has been replaced and adjusted to no avail. Now out of guarantee and I fear a hefty bill in the future! Only happens coming out of 1st. gear. No noise from the box, just that of the leaver thumping to a halt in neutral.
  • trevorjctrevorjc Posts: 1
    Recently I was installing an after market cd player in my 2001 Honda Civic and some wires touched. Now the radio does not work, and the power door locks and dome light only work when the car is on. But it only unlock, not lock. Also when I start the car the gauges jump up and down a little for about 3 sec. And when I turn the car off the gauges stay where they were when I started the car. And the remote to the alarm does not work anymore and I have checked all the fuses in the fuse box under the dash and under the hood and they turned out fine. Can someone please help me with this issue?
  • im getting a wierd noise when my 5spd 1997 honda civic is in neutral. when i shift into 1st or any gear it goes away. also when i press the gas about half way i get a squeeling. but when pressed alittle or alot its not present. please gime ahand , im stumped .

    THX bunches :cry:
  • amonslowamonslow Posts: 1
    i have a 91 Honda civic i just bought. it seems to run nice and cool driving around town. i can drive 70 no problem. When i drive at a constant incline uphill it seems to overheat. i just replaced the thermostat and temp sending unit. there isn't any oil or anything in the coolant and there is no milky substances in the oil. there is no white smoke coming from tail pipe. i did notice the coolant in the reservoir to be missing a little bit though. i was just wondering if you think its the water pump or could it be a head gasket?

    I just took it to the Honda dealer and paid them $95 to check out the problem but im a little leery of honesty with what they will tell me. just thought i would see if anyone has or has had or knows about this issue, thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Could be a number of things, but I would suspect that one of the accessories or pulleys on your engine has a bearing going bad.

    The best way to trouble shoot this, is to take off the accessory belt, and then start the engine for a short period of time and verify that the noise is no longer present. If by some chance the noise continues, then your problem is in your engine or transmission, and you need to get it looked at quickly.

    Assuming the noise stops, then turn off the engine, and carefully turn each of the accessories by hand, feeling for binding or wobbly pulleys. It's usually pretty easy to feel which device is the problem, then you can replace that specific accessory or pulley.
  • jjart23jjart23 Posts: 1
    I am having some problems. I have been unable to locate a fuel filter for my Civic EX. I know that i am still green when it comes to owning a Honda but i know what a fuel filter looks like. Can someone out there help me by letting me know where this is located at. The only other thing that i can guess is that it is in the Fuel Tank
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It's on the left rear quarterpanel just above the left rear wheel.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Fuel F-I-L-T-E-R or F-I-L-L-E-R?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oh geez, my bad. I guess that cataract in my right eye is giving me more problems than I thought. :blush:

    To the OP, ummm, don't mind me. :P

    Best Regards,
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Haha, its no problem. I thought I had gone stupid about where the fuel filter was. I don't know exactly, but I didn't think it was near the filler door! :)

    Carry on, shipo... we love ya anyway. ;)

  • winsanwinsan Posts: 36
    One day I started my 03 civic, drove it for a while (5-10 mins), before I realized that the console didn't work: the speedometer, tachometer, temp, and fuel gauge needles didn't move. However, the car ran well. I freaked out. I stopped in a parking lot, shutdown the car, wait for a minute, and turn it on again. The problem went away, and I've never had that problem again. Anybody has had this? :confuse:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Can't say that I can help you with your issue, but should it happen again, make sure you tell them that your "gauge cluster" or "instrument panel" isn't working, not your console. When referring to the console, most think of the storage unit/armrest area between the front seats. Just thought I'd share that tip so that they don't look at you funny! ;)

    Best regards,

  • i have a 95' civic DX 133,000 miles automatic.
    just wondering do all civics shift as hard as mine??
    when i'm driving it lunges forward violently...and also when stopping it kinda jumps too, just wondering if it had anything to do with the transmission??
    much help needed.
  • wise1wise1 Posts: 91
    Those batteries can be a bummer. This Question isn't pertinent to your problem but couldn't get the question out any other way. Did Honda make the Civic HX after the year model 2000?? I haven't seen any references to a 2001 or later HX so you guru's on Honda products please let all know if they did?? I notice there are several references to 5-speed tranny problems with these older Civics. Were the automatics any better?? :confuse: :confuse:
  • herman2k7herman2k7 Posts: 4
    my 95 honda civic automatic.
    the fuel gauge goes down everytime i accelerate, and when in constant speed it goes back up.
    **it only goes down when tank has less than 1/2**
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    How far down does it drop? In both of my Accords the gauge adjusts slightly depending on if I'm braking on a downhill portion, moving the gas to the front of the tank. It may move as much as 1/15th of the full gauge range (enough to be noticeable, but not drastically).
  • hammy917hammy917 Posts: 1
    I just recently bought a 2003 civic 2d coupe and after driving it for a few days i realized that the button on my automatic shifter is a non factor. Meaning i can change gears at anytime without using the button. This is scary because i could possibly put the vechile in reverse or pack while driving down the road and that would not be pretty. I'm a college student on a limited income, so i was wondering if anyone knows what to do/check before i take it to the dealer and pay 90 bucks just for them to look at it.
  • nflroyaltynflroyalty Posts: 10
    i have a 05 hx, the last year of production
  • How much should I gap the spark plugs on a honda civic EX 2004 (4 cylinder) ?? Thanks
  • hc99hc99 Posts: 1
    i am having the exact same problem with my 99 civic. it seems that the car is in neu">tral when i am driving. it has been wasting alot of gas lately. they have told me that the rpm needs to be fixed, but i haven't taken it to the shop yet. i actually had all the ac system replaced because the ac was not cooling and it still doesn't seem too cool, but after they replaced all the ac now it is having this problem. If i turn of the ac the car seems to work fine. hoping someone can tell me more about this problem.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Hiya, I have a 2000 Civic LX Sedan with about 87k miles on it. I put off the timing belt replacement because the dealer recommends it at 60k, and in my opinion that's too early to dish out money for a 700 dollar service (to replace the 3 belts, timing belt, water pump).

    Recently, I've noticed that when my A/C is turned on, when the car downshifts from 3rd to 2nd gear at slower speeds (RPM tachs around 2-3.5k) there's a screeching sound for 2-3 seconds. This only happens when the A/C is on, otherwise I don't notice an issue. I've checked the Auto Trans fluid and coolant levels, brake levels, power steering levels, oil level, tire pressure, all seems well.

    I mentioned this at work and someone said this could possibly be the timing belt/water pump rather than the transmission, which was my main concern.

    Your thoughts? I love my car, and I'd hate to get rid of it, but for 700 I can buy a new car and have 2 months worth of payment. Civic's been good to me thus far aside from an Oxygen Sensor when it was 4 years old, but I'm worried other stuff is going to start going and repairs will just get more costly.

    While you're reading, does anyone else notice that the 30 psi for front & 29 psi for rear tires seems "under inflated"? Tires seem flat and lumpy, especially the front, checked with both a digital and analog tire gauge while the tires are cold (driven than less than 1/10 mile) but they say it's spot-on 30 psi.

    Will the dealers "deduct" trade-in value if the Timing Belt/Water Pump service hasn't been performed?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'd guess the screeching is just from the regular accessory belt, not the timing belt. Would be very old if you've never replaced that belt, or a weak tensioner which isn't keeping the belt tight enough.

    I'd be doing the major maintenance, even if it costs you 700-1000 bucks. That's a lot cheaper than committing yourself to 36 - 60 month payment stream.

    You can do a LOT of maintenance and still be way below a new car payment, also have cheaper insurance costs.

    They'll probably give you nothing extra for trade in whether you do the maintenance or not.....unless you sell outright and the buyer values that in some manner.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Well, I had the three belts replaced about a year ago when I also replaced the distributor. I don't know if that service would also replace the tensioner or not. I guess I can upload the invoice from the shop.

    In order to avoid seemingly high labor cost, I took it to a local shop that I've had nothing but good things to say about other cars, perhaps the reason they were significantly cheaper was because they skimped on things like tensioners, etc.

    This squeal seems to also happen often after it's rained, or if there's visible moisture (heavy fog, etc.), like there's condensation on whatever moving part it is that's squeaking.

    Funny thing is, one squeak and it's gone for the rest of my ride.

    I love my Civic, especially in times of higher fuel costs, but I think a Subaru Legacy might be a better fit for me - the 2000 Civic is quite behind the times in terms of technology - no ABS, rear drum brakes, no VDC/ASR, no side airbags, no moonroof (in my LX), no power seats, no CD changer, etc.

    That being said though, the sticker for a new Legacy is about 3000 to 4000 more than a new Civic, but the big selling point on the Subarus is the standard Symmetrical All Wheel Drive - and since my job requires me to be there when the state closes the roads (essential personnel!), I need a car that can get me there.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    There are NO symptoms prior to a timing belt failure. One second you will be driving down the road and the next you will find yourself sitting in the berm...stopped. If the Honda is an "interference" engine (as I think it is) a timing belt failure at speed will probably destroy your engine. So, whatever you do ignore Honda's replacement requirement mileage, keep driving it as-is because "in your opinion that's too early to dish out money" and pat yourself on the back for out-thinking the engineers who determined that requirement and ignore it further...the $700.00 for that service will look cheap compared to an engine rebuild or replacement. "Pay me now or pay me later " is all too true.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    The problem with the mileage is that it's inconsistent. The Honda Owner's Link says one thing, the manual says something else, the dealer service says something else, and everything on the web says something else. So, I have no idea which to go on.

    I understand your point of it being an interference engine - and I've done my research, it is.

    Ok, I think I'll trade it in now and pick up the 2009 Subaru Legacy. Thanks for the replies.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd go with the owner's manual first and foremost.
  • vikanvikan Posts: 15
    Your best bet would be to call the dealership. They've given me answers to such questions in the past.
  • remjremj Posts: 1
    Passenger door lock was working, then worked poorly, then stopped. Was suggested that is it the solenoid. Does that sound coorect? If so, can anyone tell me approx. where it is located.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The actuator failed on my rear door lock in my '96 Accord; it makes a whining noise, and no longer goes up and down. Could be the actuator?
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