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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Hi everyone, and happy new year!

    I have a 1995 very basic Civic Hatchback DX, no power steering, manual drive. Overall it is in very good shape and I do take good care of it (this a 'previously owned' car). But I found out the radiator has a "slight leak" and it will cost more than $500 to replace it. I looked into buying a Honda radiator for my model and found one online for a pretty good price, but the garage I use refuses to install it. I know that having a perfect radiator is of critical importance, but I also don't have more than $500 to replace it right now. It's winter, does that help keep the engine cool? Are there any effective, short-term solutions? Thank all of you for your help.


     

    If I am not mistaken the 1995 has the "half sized" radiator, where the A/c core and radiator are side by side, instead of one behind the other. Replacing a radiator is even easier with this configuration. The online dealer's price for OEM radiator (Denso) is $201.

    You would have to look at it to see if you have to remove the bulkhead or just undo the bushings and slide it out, after disonnecting the hoses and removing the fan. I replaced a few radiators on varyous Honda's and it may take you, the first time, a good portion of a saturday morning. After a while you can do it with the eyes closed.

     

    try these for cheaper OEM parts

    East coast: http://www.fairhondapartsforyou.com/(Connecticut), http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/catdisplay.jsp (Rhode Island)

    Mid West http://www.hparts.com (Oklahoma)

    West coast http://www.handa-accessories.com/

     

    The reason I offer the dealer by locality is because they may give you free shipping if you are in their region. I can vouch for Fairhondapartsforyou, I was so impressed with their service, that I ended up buying my Si from them. If you call them and buy from them mention to John that Dave (black Si) sent you, and he will cut you a better deal. I have sent a lot of people there. I think a few from Edmunds actually ended up buying cars from them too.

     

    HandA are good too, but they are on the west coast and shiping take a week and costs a bit.

     

    Most of them would not list the parts on the website, except for Majestic Honda, so you would have to call them.

    I have bought from Hparts back in the late 90's, they were the pioneers of the OEM internet parts dealers.

     

    The "stop leak" is a very temporary solution and may clog up the cooling passages in the engine. All it is a bunch of copper flakes with some binder that "supposedly/allegedly" seals up the leaks from the inside. Would you in the right mind put metal flakes in your cooling system? I wouldn't. This is for a crooked used car salesman to seel a junker that does not leak on the parking lot. If you really want a temporary solution, that would not harm the engine, seal it form the outside with JB weld, but once summer comes, you would still need a new radiator.

     

    Don't forget that you can not use generic antifreeze, when buying radiator (if you do go ahead with replacement) ask them for the HOnda OEM 50/50 antifreeze. Honda water pumps are very sensitive to silicates present in regular "off the shelf" antifreeze. Silicates act as abrasive in the water pump.

     

    If you are new to Honda, there a re few fluids that should only be OEM: Antifreeze, power steering fluid (does not apply to you), ATF fluid (does not apply to you), and rear differential fluid (does not apply to you)

     

    Good luck.

     

    P.S. You can get a Chilton, Hayes or Helms repair manual for your car. Helms is the best, but also the priciest ($70), Hayes is OK and decent price, Chilton is the least attractive but cheap ($10 at auto zone).
  • Are they necessary? I suppose that you could consider them a luxury item, these type filters first appeared in the higher end cars. Historically, air entered from the outside of the car and was blown or circulated to the inside without filtration. There are many cars that still do this today. If you decide to leave the old ones in place, gradually the air flow from the outside will decrease as the filter clogs. If you remove them and don't replace, ducts, vents, etc. will start accumulating dust, pollen, etc. Probably have the odd insect carcasse make it through from time to time. For a lot of people this is not a problem. If you are lucky enough to live in the Southeast in the spring time, you might be greated with a blast of pollen first thing in the morning.

    Up to you, I guess I like the luxury and keep replacing mine. I have noticed recently in my local autoparts store that one of the aftermarket vendors has a part number for the cabin filter. My store didn't stock, so not sure of the price.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    Judging by my VW Jetta TDI charcoal cabin filter at 47,000 miles, I would say no, they are not necessary. It is not like your engine is ingesting and combusting "silicon" particles that might affect the wear of your engine. If the price of the 2 filters is a shocker, I would just double/triple the change out time and/or vacuum them clean and put them back in.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    For people with allergies, a HEPA filter is a must. I think the Si cabin filters are HEPA, but I am not 100% sure. I just know that in the spring I don't feel like I am ready to sneeze my brains out after driving for an hour in the mountains. To me, the cost is minimal on the grand scheme of things. You just spent $15,000-$20,000 on a car, what is another $20-40 once a year? The cost of your gas, oil tires, brakes, and other maintenance items are much greater than the cabin filter. If you are not ready for those expenses, maybe you should have stayed with the old clunker you had before.

     

    On-linde parts dealers may sell the filters cheaper, I don't remember how much it was exactly from Fair Honda, but it was cheaper than retail.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Three weeks ago I purchased a 2001 Civic LX for my wife. This vehicle had everything that she wanted with the exception of a center armrest. Have any of you retrofitted a center armrest for your 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? I haven't priced one yet--and really don't even know if any of the 2001 Civic models had a center armrest. So, that's the main question. Could you get a center armrest in a 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? If so, do you feel as though it would be fairly easy to install one in a Civic that was built without one?

     

    Ron M.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    why don't you click on the H and A banner at the top and follow the links to Honda, Civic and Armrest, then View Installation Instructions? ;)
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Three weeks ago I purchased a 2001 Civic LX for my wife. This vehicle had everything that she wanted with the exception of a center armrest. Have any of you retrofitted a center armrest for your 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? I haven't priced one yet--and really don't even know if any of the 2001 Civic models had a center armrest. So, that's the main question. Could you get a center armrest in a 2001 Civic LX 4-door sedan? If so, do you feel as though it would be fairly easy to install one in a Civic that was built without one?

      

    Ron M.


     

    You can probably install Center console from the EX. I don't see why it would not fit. It has armrest and storage compartments.

     

    P.S. Like the previous poster said, go to the top banner and get the arm rest from the site sponsor. Not a bad deal for $42.

     

    http://www.handa-accessories.com/civint01.html
  • sp0tsp0t Posts: 4
    I own a 1998 Honda Civic EX automatic. I got it from an auction so therefore I didn't get a chance to test drive it. It's a great car and I haven't had any problems with it. I was wondering, though, if any drivers of this model have had any problems with brake sensitivity? Does anyone know if the ABS has anything to do with brake sensitivity? The car that I drove before I purchased my Honda had brakes that were much more sensitive. When I'm driving my Honda and I come to a complete stop I'm constantly putting pressure on the brake pedal to keep the vehicle from rolling. The slightest release of pressure from the brake pedal lets the car roll. The car that I drove before my Honda, however, when I would come to a complete stop I could release some pressure from the brake pedal so my foot wasn't constantly pushing down on the brake pedal so hard. The previous car would stay put when I released a little pressure from the brake pedal. Any ideas of why the brakes in the Honda aren't very sensitive or are they supposed to be like that?
  • dave28dave28 Posts: 1
    So, the remote access FOB on our 1997 EX has gotten a lot weaker. The distance to the car for it to work has become about two feet away. Replaced the battery. Didn't change anything. Took it to dealer, replaced the whole key FOB, did NOTHING! Dealer is stumped. I think it must be the RECEIVER, by process of elimination. But where is the receiver in the car, and what can we do to replace/fix it? Other ideas? By the way we tried it in various locations thinking it might be electronic interference. No difference...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    This doesn't sound normal. Have a competent shop check your brakes. Nothing to fool with.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I own a 1998 Honda Civic EX automatic. I got it from an auction so therefore I didn't get a chance to test drive it. It's a great car and I haven't had any problems with it. I was wondering, though, if any drivers of this model have had any problems with brake sensitivity? Does anyone know if the ABS has anything to do with brake sensitivity? The car that I drove before I purchased my Honda had brakes that were much more sensitive. When I'm driving my Honda and I come to a complete stop I'm constantly putting pressure on the brake pedal to keep the vehicle from rolling. The slightest release of pressure from the brake pedal lets the car roll. The car that I drove before my Honda, however, when I would come to a complete stop I could release some pressure from the brake pedal so my foot wasn't constantly pushing down on the brake pedal so hard. The previous car would stay put when I released a little pressure from the brake pedal. Any ideas of why the brakes in the Honda aren't very sensitive or are they supposed to be like that?

     

    Check the brake pads for wear, change the brake fluid, check the rotors for wear. The actual numbers are in the Helms shop manual. Since you bought the car at auction, you probably don't know the history, might as well do a complete tune up, not the cheapo $40 at the gas station, but the one by the book for the closest 15,000 mile interval (15,000-30,000-45,000-60,000-75,000.. and so on)
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    So, the remote access FOB on our 1997 EX has gotten a lot weaker. The distance to the car for it to work has become about two feet away. Replaced the battery. Didn't change anything. Took it to dealer, replaced the whole key FOB, did NOTHING! Dealer is stumped. I think it must be the RECEIVER, by process of elimination. But where is the receiver in the car, and what can we do to replace/fix it? Other ideas? By the way we tried it in various locations thinking it might be electronic interference. No difference...

     

    If memory serves me right, the keyless entry receiver is in the stock radio on the 97 EX. Many people found out that they lost keyless entry when they upgraded to aftermarket radios. Some shops, would leave the radio behind the dash, and wire the sound to the new radio while leaving the leyless wired to the old radio.

     

    Considering the cost of the stock radio at the dealer, it may be much cheaper to install an aftermarket alarm with keyless entry option. The rage on those is quite long, and you get an alarm as well. BJ's/Costco have a remote car starter with alarm and keyless entry for DIY for $80 some.
  • I have had my Civic '03 for about a year. I have had two alignments, various tires rotations but I never was able to "solve" my Civic "pulling" problem. Sometimes, left often right. If I'm on a road that absolutely flat in general it is OK. However in CA almost all roads are in fairly poor shape. The Goodyears I got with the car were pretty new so I didn't have to heart to replace them only to find out that WASN'T the problem, however NOW it is time to replace them and was wondering if there is a BRAND that may be "best".

     

    Sometimes, especially to the right, the car pulls BADLY. Sometimes I even have to drive with the sterring wheel "cocked" to a degree. The alignments always showed it was in "specs" so I just assumed there was something wrong with the tires and now finely (hopefully) the problem will be resolved. (NOTE, yes the pressure was checked in tires, could " balancing" have been the problem? I was told NO by a "tire guy" so I never thought more about it, but the more I think about it now, the more it seems at least like a possibly.)

     

    Can you give me some insight??
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    Well, unfortunately CA is known for having some of the worst roads in the country. :(

     

    I have a 2004 Civic VP with 5000 miles and it tracks straight as an arrow except for highly crowned roads- where it does tend to track more to the right. You don't mention your rotation cycles, but in the Honda it is like 10,000 miles. So either you are traveling a lot of miles or rotating your tires too much. Rotations can be a catch 22 in that when you rotate them to the new position, it will track differently. The good news is that it evens out the wear, the bad news is that particular position will continue to wear the tire down.
  • I kept rotating them to try and figure out what the heck is going on. I eventually gave up. Well, I need new tires anyway, so I just hope that straightens out the problem. The wear on the tires is totally fine, except for the tread depth obviously, leading me think the alignment isn't the problem. Something about these tires seems to make the car wander dramically, though as stated above, sometimes it doesn't if the road is TOTALLY flat. But how often can you count on that??
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    a tire that pulls. Even name brands make tires that are off spec.
  • What I mean is the car "drifts ALOT" is what I mean by "pull."
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    http://www.babcox.com/editorial/tr/tr50244.htm

     

    When you have a bad tires causing pulling issues.
  • Way back in the day, my dad had a 92 Plymouth Voyager, RIP 2002. Anyhow I remember we had some new tires put on it, and when we left the tire place, the wheel pulled sharply to the left. We had a bad tire put on the car, and the tire was brand new. Sometimes defective equipment can come right out of the factory, and that sounds like what may have happened to you. We went back to the tire shop, they replaced one of the tires, and the problem was corrected.
  • Getting Closer:) Thanks guys. Where do you guys (and gals) get your tires? I want to do this right.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    Unfortunately I think sometimes when somehow you get all defects together, it can be frustrating and puzzling. So I mean stuff like defective or out of round tire, tp pressure differences, low pressure, high pressure, alignment problems, balance problems, springs, shocks and struts brake pads and rotors, etc etc. One is not enough to cause much of a stir but when you put them all together.... or a lot of the items are just a little off spec...

     

    The good news is your tires, if they are evenly worn between outer, middle, inner, indicates balance and alignment are ok.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I would suggest Discount Tire or Kauffman Tire.
  • Thanks! One last question.... when you get a flat, and it is repaired should you have your tire "rebalanced"?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    I have seen it done both ways. They marked the tire and did the repair. The remounted using the marks. Then they did the machine run (Hunter 9700) balance to see if it did need rebalancing, in the 3/3 cases that I have seen they did not. This was verified by the balance machine. But if it is part of your road hazard warranty at no charge- why not!? Even if they have to charge-why not? If you use it and it is unbalanced you will certainly experience a less than good ride and will probably experience a portion of unneccessary wear befor you correct it.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Getting Closer:) Thanks guys. Where do you guys (and gals) get your tires? I want to do this right.

     

    Since you are in Cali, and I assume in southern Cali, you almost never see snow, Yokohama may be the best bang for the buck. I had the Avid T4' son my CR-V and they were the best dry/wet tire, but the worst snow tire. They were quieter than OEM, but because of the softer compound I had to jack up the tire pressure to 36 to stop the tire from squirming in corners.

     

    Right now I have Bridgestone Potenza RE 950 on the Civic and they are good wet/dry tire, and a little bit better in the snow than Yokos were. But not as good in the snow as the OEM Michellins.

     

    As far as where to buy, Costco is good Brick and mortar place, in fact there is coupon in "the passport" for $60 off Michellins or Bridgestones. I got mine last summer when Costco had $80 off, but I bought the tires at ETD as they were able to beat the Costco price. Tirerack is an excellent place to get tires, and probably one of the few retailers that carry Yokohama tire.

     

    In general, most tire shops will match Tirerack's price+shipping+installation. Costco used to install tires not bought there for $10/tire, but since they went to Nitrogen fill I don't think they install tires not bought there any longer.

     

    BTW the OEM tire should have lasted you at least 45K miles.
  • OEM? Not sure what that is but the original tires (so far:) have lasted me 48K:) Thanks about the tire info, I'm interalizing and processing. I went to Walmart yesterday for some pricing, but decided against it... they do NOT do alignments! How can you trust a ''tire place'' that doesn't do alignments? To me they are hand in hand.

     

    Lastly, if you need to balance a tire the first time it's put on, why would it not be done all the other times?? (Note: I have had a TON of flats) (3 in just 3 weeks for starters!!) and they never re balanced the tires, ever.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    I did the Costco offer, but it was on an suv and so a bit off topic. They also do not offer alignments. While alignment can go hand and hand with tire mount/demount, balancing and flat repair, the fact of the matter is they usually are an ala carte item.
  • I have a 2000 Honda Civic LX sedan with a Honda security system. When the weather is cold and the car is locked and alarm activated if I unlock the door and get into the car and close it again, the doors will lock and alarm will activate in a minute or so if I do not put the key into the ignition. Is this normal? My dealer says so , but I never noticed it before.
  • My guess is your dealer is right. Most active alarm systems have that kind of security feature in case you accidently hit the unlock button to the car while walking away from it or something after you think you locked it. It's just a little extra thing in there to help make sure your car is waiting for you when you come back :). My regular passive anti theft system on my 03 Coupe will automatically relock the doors if the door unlock button has been hit and there is no activity on the doors for more than 30 seconds..
  • Ncampbell2002..thanks for your reply. But my doors will relock and alarm will be activated even after I open the door and shut it again. Does this happen to your car?
This discussion has been closed.