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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • I have an 89 Civic LX automatic. When it shifts from 1st to 2nd I hear something that sounds like a thump. It only seems to do this when I accelerate quickly. If I'm light on the pedal it is smooth. Any ideas? Maybe an engine mount? I don't think its the transmission.

    Thanks in advance.
  • I'm considering the purchase of a 2000 Honda Civic DX, but, A/C is a necessity. Can anyone tell me if there are any potential problems with having the dealer install the A/C. If I have it done at the time I purchase the car, the A/C will be covered under the Honda 3yr, 36,000 mile warranty.
  • I've had my 2001 Civic EX for about four weeks now, and have put close to a 1K on it already. BUT, mpg is nowhere where it's supposed to be (have an auto). It's supposed to be 31/38, but I'm getting only 21!

    I know it's supposed to take a while to break the engine in (which I've been doing gently, and no A/C), but this is ridiculous. Any thoughts?
  • Do any civics have memory chips in their transmissions that record mileage in addition to the odometer? The instrument cluster was just stolen out of my 99 Si, presumably for the odometer. I'd like to have the local Honda dealers be on the look out for any returning leases or trade ins for suspect odometers, but is there any way to tell if the odometer in a car is the original?
  • My daughter has a 91 civic 4 dr, DX, with 92000 miles. on her way home from work and her timing belt went out. A local mechanic charged her $375 to replace it. Is this a fair price, or did she get took? ? ? Thanks for any answers,
  • Did the mechanic say that there was any engine damage? Most cars are interference engines, but I know that there are certain years and models of hondas that have a non-int. type. If everything is ok, then that is not TOO bad of a price. Was the water pump changed too? MOst timing belt/water pump prices are around 325 -400 for most cars, depending on parts prices.
  • My new EX has 1100 miles on it. Must say I'm not real happy with the car. The radio problem, as mentioned above, is very annoying. Have had to reset 5 times. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR UNTIL THIS PROBLEM IS SOLVED. Also, since the anti-theft system runs through the radio, you will NEVER be able to upgrade or buy an after market system without losing the keyless alarm system. Great thinking Honda! Honda says it will have a fix in the new year. I'll believe it when I see it. Other problems: Driver side seat belt retractor is weak and slow. Definite lag or delay in auto transmission taking hold when you punch the engine in the low range. My first Honda after years of Toyotas. Very disappointed.
  • $375 sounds about right. Had it replaced in my '85 Accord several years back (traded for a '99 Civic EX, BTW) and that about what it ran me. I understand it takes a bit of effort to get to, and labor's what makes it so $$. My mechanic (who's also my second cousin) recommended replacing all the belts while he was at it, which probably was a good idea and saved me a few $ and a lot of headaches later on.
  • Bought a Civic EX sedan last weekend. Should have asked them about the radio problem. Seems like this problem is more common than I thought. I've had to re-enter the code too, but so far only once. Will keep an eye on this. Any updates from Honda as to the fix or when the new radios are coming in? I guess in the meantime this serves as an added security feature since no one would want a radio were you have to constantly enter the code.
  • I just purchased a 2001 EX and I've noticed an odd rattling
    noise around the dash area... or it could be from the sunroof,
    hard to tell. Also, seems that the EX engine makes alot of
    noise; the dealer says it's the injectors and the noise is a normal
    "Honda engine noise". They can't seem to locate the source of
    the rattle. Has anyone noticed anything like this on their 2001
    PS - My radio is dying as well...3 times I've had to reenter the
    security code!
  • My dealer told me that about 1 in 10 cars has the glitch in the CD player, and that they are going to replace the defective ones. Has anyone had (or heard of) any other problems with the new Civics? I am thinking about replacing my 1990 hatchback. I would appreciate any input.
  • Talked with my dealer again today... seems the radio goes south when the car is left dormant i.e. unused for more than two days. They say Honda isn't sure what's causing the problem.
  • Was notified by the dealer today that Honda is fixing the EX radio problems. Will replace all the radios with new units. I have kept track and while the radio always "goes to code" overnight, there is no rhyme or reason to the timing. My suggestion is to replace the radio whether or not yours has done it. There is definitely a glitch in it and you will never know when it will materialize. To play it safe, get a new one now!
  • OK, Honda has finally found a solution for the radio code problem, now how about a fix for the sunroof? Mine rattles anytime the vehicle is in motion, makes even more noise when the roof is open. The service techs must be deaf because they claim they "hear nothing". But the wife and I can hear it plainly. Anyone out there with a 2001 EX have the same problem or know of a solution?
  • Good to hear that the radio problem might be resolved. Anyone know what was wrong? Someone must know in order to fix it... Just bought my EX last weekend, and it just reset today. This might be a dumb question, but I can go to any Honda Service location and get this (and any other warranty service) done, right? I don't have to go to the place where I bought my car.
  • Honda has not been able to determine the cause of the "going to code" reset problem. There is no real "fix". They are installing totally new radios that, supposedly, do not have the same "bug". Any Honda dealer should be aware of the problem and since it is under warranty, should be able to order a new radio and install it.
  • Just called the dealer and the service person says that Honda still doesn't have a fix for the problem. They (the dealer) was replacing the radio units, but Honda has told them to stop. Replacing bad radios with potentially bad "new" radios doesn't solve the problem, I'm told (which is true.) So I wait with my code readily nearby... I'm told to check back periodically for a final solution.
  • Taking the EX in tomorrow. Will see what Honda installs. Will let you know if this solves the problem.
  • I'm having problems with suspensions or shock absorbers on the Civic 2001. There is an irritating thumbing noise as it rolls over potholes or uneven roads and I can feel every shocks. I brought it to the customers service twice but they are unable to fix it. They claim that's the way it is. Anyone experiencing similar problem and any advice? My e-mail address is [email protected]
  • dseodseo Posts: 4
    Ok, I own a 99 Civic EX 5-speed which takes 3 1/2 quarts of oil. I use Mobil 1 synth and change my oil every 3k miles but when I drain the oil and fill up the empty containers I'm only getting a little under 3 quarts back. Is this good/bad/normal??? I have about 50 thousand miles on the car and noticed this since my 2nd or 3rd oil change.
    If you bear with me this problem is quite difficult to describe and it seems that no one who I've talked to can give me any feedback. As many of you 5 speed owners may have noticed, the civic has this funny feedback in the shifter when you let go or press the accelerator. It jerks to and fro accordingly as you release and press the accelerator. Well, during the winter when there is a lot of snow on the ground or really cold, I get this funny sound under the shifter in 1st and 2nd gear. It's definitely not a click/squeak........the stick jerks more drastically in these circumstances as well. After driving for about 10 minutes or so the shifter seems to feel more "normal" and the associated sounds disappear. I have no idea what this is but I'm guess it's somewhere in the linkage. Thanks for any help in advance.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Could be a number of things. I don't know whether your filter is horizontal or vertical. If the oil is in the filter when you drain thats the answer. Even a smaller filter will hold 8 to 12 ounzes. If you are really concerned you can carefully record how much oil you add during change. After runing it to fill the filter recheck it after 5 or 10 minutes, bring the level up to the dipstick full line (recording the amount) and when you change the oil note the level and when you drain(hot) note the volume of drained plus filter volume. There always will be some left in the filter though. Frankly I wouldn't worry about it if you see no leakage and the dipstick level doesn't change over time. With syn oil in a good engine you should lose only a couple ounces per 1000 miles. You should be going longer than 3000 on oil changes with syn oil (good filter- Mobil 1, Amsoil, Pure 1, Delco Ultraguard). As for the shifting problem, I'll bet if you change to syn oil in the trans. your problem goes away. It sounds like the colder oil being very viscous at low temperatures is at least part of the symptom. Does your transmission use ATF oil? If it does then probably syn won't help.

  • rf100rf100 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Civic LX that has just developed an oil leak. It appears that the leak is from around the oilpan gasket near the interface between the engine and the automatic transmission. A few months back a friend of mine told me about a recall for civics with a potential for developing an oil leak. I have searched the web and have been unable to find anything about it on Civics. I just noticed my leak today with drippings on the garage floor and oil present on the bottom of the engine and transmission. The car is already 3/4 quart low. I changed the oil 3300 miles ago and saw no signs of leakage then. I will change it again today.

    Does anyone know about a recall for this this problem?

  • Attn: pklas-- from byyhills. 1/1/01

    Happy New Year .

    Thanks for your answer. How did you make out with your Honda dealer regarding the noise on acceleration? Did he say whether it was a normal noise or not?

    Thanks again for your reply.
  • dseodseo Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply......and good point with the filter(which by the way is horizontal). After draining the oil and taking off the filter I usually hold the filter over the pan for a couple of seconds and let it drip. So considering that there is still a decent amount of oil in the filter I would say that overall I'm retaining a little over 3 quarts. Someone told me that synthetics are more susceptible to burning than regular oil but I'm not sure. At around 2k miles after an oil change, I generally notice that the dipstick indication is right in the middle between the two hash marks. I always thought that as long as it was somewhere in between the two marks I was fine. Right??
    And yes my transmission uses ATF. I'm thinking its somewhere in the linkage because the sound is coming from directly under the stick.
    Btw, sorry for all the questions but have one more. Only when it's cold outside do I get this flushing sound coming from under the dash when I rev the engine or accelerate in 1st gear. I'm thinking it has something to do with the heater but I notice that it still makes the sound when the heater is off. From my understanding there is some heating component(regulator?) located right under the dash that might be causing this. Thanks again.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    There is the heater core under the dash that transfers heat from the engine's cooling system into the cabin. Your description of a "flushing sound" isn't clear nor enough info. You"ll know if there is leak in the heater core - you'll have coolant in the windshield and smell it too.
    Be careful in switching to syn ATF in a stick tranny. I use Mobil 1 Syn ATF straight on a 99LX auto. Redline has syn tranny fluid you can use, which has the friction modifiers required on late model Honda synchros.
  • dseodseo Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info.......I'll have to try that Redline syn tranny fluid and see if that helps.
    To describe my "flushing sound" in better detail it sounds like fluids are circulating around right under the in a tube or something. And I never noticed coolant in the windshield. Thanks again.
  • dseodseo Posts: 4
    My 99 Civic Ex 5-speed takes Genuine Honda MTF fluid, not ATF. Just noticed that going through the manual and don't know if there is any difference. I know the tranny fluid needs to be drained at around 90k but the manual doesn't give any indication on how it's done. It says there's a filler bolt under the car but I don't know how it's going to be drained if the tranny fluid level is at the edge of the bolt, where according to the manual is where it's supposed to be.....????
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    Page 198. The illustration is for the manual tranny. There is a round bolt at the bottom with a square notch (I think that's a 1/2" drive). Verify yours, my auto looks similar but without the filler bolt. Tip - "break" the filler bolt first, before you drain the tranny and find out you can't take out the filler (it's always tough the first time you take a fastener that's factory installed).
    I think the Redline fluid is called MTF (and is stated compatible with the Honda spec, check out their website).
    My auto took only 3qts. - a cheap mod since it's good for 30k.
    Good luck.
  • john294john294 Posts: 56
    I have purchased a 1984 civi hatchback with only 80k (his wifes car) the previous owner said he used 10w-30 pennzoil since new .On start up (only) it will smoke blue for under a minute than clear up. Ive been told this could be due to vavle seals and that its no big deal.Should I start useing a 20-50w oil?? also itll use a qt in appox 1000 miles.I live in Va where it isnt extremly cold in winter, car is used for travel to-fo work 50 miles a day, any ideas out there, Thanks......
This discussion has been closed.