Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Hello Caprooster,

    Actually our balancer is a Bear and is about 14 years old. It still does a fine job so we keep it. It does two sided high speed balancing and has been good to us.

    Sounds to me like someone needs to make a definate diag of this problem. One tells you one thing and the other tells you another. Well I say someone needs to put there money where their mouth is. By that I mean they need to prove it to you. If you were coming to our shop by now we would have taken you car and some other car on the lot (used or new) that had the same tire size and swapped rims and all to make vibration go away and if it didnt then now find out why.If it did go away now we would need to either trade out rims/tires or gaurantee you that if we replaced the item we think is the problem that it will be fixed. If they cant guarantee it then they are not to sure and should spend a little extra time to be sure..
    So I would see if they would be willing to help get to the bottom of this. I will tell you my opinion, I think that if the tires are balancing out on the machines then the problem must be in the tires when they have the weight of the car on them.If rim is bent so bad that it is causing a bad vibration then it wouldnt change with the weight of the car and would take alot of weights on the machine to get balanced..So I think it is the tires..Good luck
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Perhaps you've already posted there, but our Smart Shopper Conference is the best place for you to share that information. Sorry you had such a hard time.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • capriroostercaprirooster Member Posts: 21
    I hate to sound like a broken record and have almost come to the point of purchasing new OEM rims again but that will have to wait until I get employed.

    Thanks for the suggestion but I am going to have a hard time convincing NTB (or even the dealer) since they took the tires off the wheel and ran it through the balancer and my rear rims wobble side-to-side. My front rim is not perfectly round and it shows but I do not think that it is a manufacturing defect.

    One of the Honda dealers recommended that I take it to another tire shop for a high speed balance. I didn't mention that I have the car put on a lift and had someone actually drive the car and checked out the front tires. Shows that it is out of round. This guy then call the NTB store half a mile away and said that my front tires were out of round. Went to NTB, they decided to check the tires themselves and determined that it was the rims.

    I had taken the car in a few weeks back for a creak coming from the right front wheel and had them also diagnose the road vibration. At this dealer, they couldn't recreate the problem so they had me test drive the car with the shop foreman. He then felt some of the vibration when I speed up to 80mph. Heard the creaking when we drove into the service bay.

    So he took the car and tested it on a suspension machine both front and rear. That's when it show that the front right suspension was weak. Then the car was up the lift, looked at the repairs, checked the front struts, tightened the suspension system bolts and then took the tires off for balancing. I know that the machine that they use is new and is computer guided. Therefore, he did not visually check the tires on the balancer as it spun. The computer results were within specifications and all of the tires plus rim passed. His only comment is that I use Michelin's Energy MXV4 Plus and alloy wheels since there is a chance that the vibration will still occur.

    That's the story and I believe what you are saying. The only thing to do is too just ignore it or buy the rims and see if the vibrations happens with the same tires new rims. If it does then it will be a tire issue which I can then purchase the Michelin's less the price of the old minus tread wear.

    Sorry for the long story folks and thanks again Auburn. I wish you were the one I am dealing with here in Atlanta.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Not a problem at all, I just wish I could atleast drive your car. I have saw some strange problems over the years but have yet to have such a hard time with a wheel shimmy. Well if you come back to Jersey soon who knows.....Good luck..
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    Rather than a conventional speedometer drive cable, you have a Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) which is a small pulse generator on the transmission that sends an electrical pulse signal to the speedometer/odometer. A failure of the VSS will cause erratic operation of the cruise control but a speedometer head failure probably would not affect the cruise control. So, I'd have the VSS checked first. This is "good news" because the VSS is easy to access and it's a bit of work to service the speedometer head. Be careful when you remove the VSS; there's a very small drive link beneath the VSS assembly that can easily be overlooked and lost.
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    It seems that you may have the classic scenario of the tire guy blaming the wheels and the wheel guy blaming the tires. The Honda manufacturer's wheel spec for maximum allowable out-of-round on steel wheels is 1.0 mm axial runout and 1.0 mm radial runout. For aluminum wheels, the radial and axial maximums are both 0.7 mm. Suggest you have a shop use a dial indicator to make these two checks on each wheel. Any wheel outside these tolerances should be replaced. If your wheels are within these specs, the problem is likely to be either tire balance or tire roundness. I'm not certain of Honda's spec for tire roundness but an old rule of thumb is 2.0 mm maximum radial runout, measured near the center of the tire tread. Good luck.
  • capriroostercaprirooster Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for your input. I believe the Honda dealer had the tires indexed and such but can't seem to recall the machine they used but it does measure all that you have said.

    I think I am to the point of waiting until I can afford to purchase the Michelin's then prove to NTB that the Yokohama's are out of round since I am in a lose-lose situation until I can find a better tire shop.
  • capriroostercaprirooster Member Posts: 21
    Are you anywhere near Pleasentville, NJ??
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    I think that is near Atlantic City right? So the answer then would be kind of I live in Ocean County on the shore..Which is about an hour and 15 min or so away north..
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Wow that was a bit of an oops thanks Spokane for the correction. I always think Civics are behind the Accords on some of the changes and didn't think they went electrical but they did. Do you work on Hondas?? See ya..
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    Keep up the good work Auburn; I felt sure that you were thinking of an older model on the speedometer question. And no, I don't have the depth of experience that you obviously have.
  • capriroostercaprirooster Member Posts: 21
    Thanks... unfortunately I will not be heading up your way otherwise I will be happy to drop by and say hi!
  • legaleselegalese Member Posts: 3
    Thanks auburn 63 and spokane for the advice. This was my first post and I was pleasantly surprised to get such detailed suggestions so quickly. Now I'll feel a little more prepared when I bring my car in. It seems to be doing it more frequently now, so I'll have to bite the bullet soon. BTW, my odometer appears to be accurate.

    A couple of follow-up questions:

    Do you think this is something that only the dealer can/should fix (and charge me 3X the cost) or can I go to my local mechanic who specializes in Hondas and seems pretty fair when it comes to pricing?

    Also, aside from the irritation of watching my speedometer dancing around and not knowing exactly how fast I'm going, is there an urgent reason to get this problem fixed?
  • manimaranmanimaran Member Posts: 2
    Hi everyone,
    In my 95 civic, the power lock is not working once the car is started or the driver side door is closed. If the driver side door is open (without the car started), then it works fine. If the car is started, then it never works.
    This has been happening recently.
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    check the door jam area where the wire harness comes into the door. The wires work loose and make and break contact as the doors are opened and closed.Try working the door lock switch while wiggling the wires. Try that first then we can try something else if this doesnt do it.
  • manimaranmanimaran Member Posts: 2
    The suggestion given by you worked. I pushed the wire harness inside and tied them closely. Then it started working. Thanks again.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Glad to hear we got lucky and found it without to much hard work. Glad to be of help.See ya
  • johno8johno8 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 90 Civic Sedan LX with 191,000 miles. Last week, it began to develop a vibration in the steering wheel and brake pedal when applying brakes. I figured with high mileage, replace the front rotors. The Civic still has the same warped-rotor feel when applying brakes! A friend said my mistake was using non-Factory Honda brake parts. Is there a big difference in quality between Brembo and Factory Honda brake parts?
    The rear drum brakes make a squawk sound moments before coming to a complete stop. I've cleaned out the brake dust, replaced the shoes (with non-Factory Honda brake shoes), then replaced the drums. Still have the sound. I'll bite the bullet if I should go with Factory Honda parts. I welcome your comments and wisdom.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Well in my opinion, you can have any good tech work on your car but the only good part to use are the factory parts. They make a big differance. As for will it cure your shimmy? Well it is possible that it may I know the factory rotors come through resurfaced and usally do not need cutting after installation. You will also want to check the slide pins for the caliper to make sure they are not sticking and heating up the rotors. The rears making the squawk noise maybe the rears out of adjustment. Too tight more than to loose but the aftermarket parts dont help matters either..Well that is my .2 cents worth anyhow, good luck
  • hollywood11hollywood11 Member Posts: 4
    Hey guys, looking for an unbiased opinion: just bought a brand new 2000
    Honda Civic which of course has a clear coat finish. Apparently, the garage
    was parked in at the dealer was painted and there were many light, very
    tiny white dots of paint that had misted on to the car from the paint
    spray. I was reluctnat to accept the car, but the dealer said they
    be detailed off -- however, now I find out that they had to send it to
    body shop to be wet sanded. They say it looks perfect; but I'm upset
    about the situation (the salesman was supposed to call me before doing
    anything like this). I can not imagine how the clear coat would
    withstand "wetsanding" of any form. Should I ask them to put another
    layer of clear coat on that half of the car? (Is that even possible?) I
    am at the point where I do not want to accept the car because of this.
    The dealer says they will put a "free" sealant on it and that doing so
    will return the car to normal. I've always heard that these sealants
    are a waste of money; moreover, can a sealant truly replace a sanded
    clear coat? Am I overreacting? Do you have an expert there on this
    stuff or similar experiences. Need help ASAP. Thanks!
  • gaelic123gaelic123 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying at 97 civic h/b, with 44K
    miles. At 38K, the current owner noticed the
    headlights were dimming and had the alternator
    replaced. Apparently the replacement was defective
    and was replaced a second time. Is this car OK to
    buy? The timing of this sale sounds fishy.

    There are other civic with low miles that are
    several years old. Does age matter? Thanks for
    any help!
  • rbalkrbalk Member Posts: 15
    Just bought Civic EX Auto a week ago and pleased with this. I am not sure if it is normal feeling for D4 because this shift made me feel like D2. When the gas was let go, the car slowed down a little bit hard just like shifting from D4 to D2. Is that normal? Thank you
  • rbalkrbalk Member Posts: 15
    Sorry not to mention the year on the Civic I mentioned above. It is 2000.
  • fkdcrxfkdcrx Member Posts: 6
    Refuse delivery. Go to another dealer.
    The sealent is just a peace offering. The sealent will never replace the clear coat that was removed.Tecnicly you should never wet sand a water based airborn paint. Depending on the colour you'll have permanent swirl marks in the finish (the sealent will HIDE this not protect the finish) Sealents are a good idea if youre lasy and hate to wax your car every 2 months.
    With the removal of the clear coat your paint will fade at diffrent rates (the clear coat acts like a uv filter)I repainted my CRX's hood now I have a yelloish hood and white car (was clearcoated a few years back)
    I would not deal with this dealer EVER it doesnt sound like they care about thier customers cars or rights. They'll end up screwing you more down the road.
    I found a smaller dealer in richer neighborhoods gives you better deals (on new not used)and better service. The big guys never care (if a sales man/woman only cares about selling. I.E. asking if they can prep a car for you or gives you ANY pressure leave! youll get bad service.
    I passed up the Capitol honda dealer who has hundereds of cars for Los Gatos who only had one of what I was lookiing for Because the sales man only wanted to show off the hondas! He didnt care for a sale.
    Ops kinda off topic huh?
    Hope this helps some.......
  • fkdcrxfkdcrx Member Posts: 6
    OOPS! the above was to be directed to:
    #73 of 77: Help! (hollywood11) Fri 19 May '00 (11:12 AM) SORRY!!!!
  • fkdcrxfkdcrx Member Posts: 6
    this post is mainly to auburn63 but if anyone else has any info please post!
    I would like to know if there has been any problems with the CVT transmission on the HX model of civic? anything hesatation, belt slippage (streching),sticking,ect.
    Oh yea does anyone fint L useless at anything above 20mph? It revs to about 4,000 and hovers around 20~25mph an equivalent to a short first gear.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    No, as of yet there has not been anyone complain of any problems with the CVT. The only common complaint is the noise it makes in reverse but that is normal and no big deal. So far they have been a great trans.Just remember to use the Honda fluid on it at service time.
  • cookstercookster Member Posts: 10
    I have a 97 Civic Sedan LX with 35k on it. I have had the recommended valve adjustment performed by a local Honda dealer. After the valve adjustment was done the engine seemed to be noisier under acceleration and at highway speed ,as well as idling more roughly when warming up. I took the car back to the dealer and they said the valves were adjusted to Honda factory specs and everything seemed OK.
    I took it to another dealer and they could find nothing wrong.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give.

  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Well if it was running fine before then it would seem as if maybe one or more valves may be a little tight. If they rechecked and say no and they are telling the truth(which is very possible) then maybe there is carbon build up on the valves and it just needs to be driven a little hard to clean out a bit.PCV even maybe went bad, lots of possibilities actually.Try and give us a little more info if possible and we will see if we can help.
  • cookstercookster Member Posts: 10
    Thanks to auburn63 for your quick response to my query. I tend to drive my Civic fairly aggressively - routinely rev over 4000 rpm. The car has an automatic trans. I normally use mid-grade or premium octane gasoline in the car. One mechanic at the Honda dealership suggested that using a gasoline higher than the 87 octane recommended for the car might be the source of the problem - but is didn't seem to matter before the valve adjustment. I noticed a difference in the way the car ran immediately after that was done. Is it possible the dealership could have screwed up something else that would make it run this way? I have had no problems with the car since new. The only parts replaced in the car so far have been the plugs, air filter and fuel filter. I hope this is enough additional information for you to help.

    Thanks again
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    I think you may have to either attempt a valve adjustment yourself and or have another dealer check it for you. Being that you didnt have a problem before and now notice one, then it would seem as if they may have made a valve too tight.Mind you a tight valve would not make it noisier,however would make it idle roughly.As for the noise does it sound like a ping or like a deep roar kind of sound?
    One other question have you had a check engine light on? Your year Civic has been known to cause a misfire code and if it has one you may be able to get a new computer.But if no light then you would not be able to.
  • cookstercookster Member Posts: 10
    I would characterize the noise as a pinging type of noise that is particularly noticeable around 2000 rpm when accelerating. At speeds over that the engine has a gruffer sound than it did before - just not a smooth sounding. I found prior to the valve adjustment I could not hear any engine noise at highway speeds up to about 70 mph. Now when I am cruising at 60 mph I hear what sounds like valvetrain clatter.
    The check engine light has never come on.

    I have owned 7 Honda's since 1979 and have never had a valve adjustment done where it made any difference to the way the car ran.

    Thanks again for your advice.
  • racer_x_9racer_x_9 Member Posts: 91
    How much work is involved in replacing an antenna for a 94 civic ex? I have the OEM part.

  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    The antennas are not hard for us but they are not fun. You have to get to the antenna end at the back of the radio, then un route it from under the dash. Then tie a peice of wire at the end of it so when you pull it out of the pillar area you can just pull the new one through with it.then reverse the order. Now after all that rambling that is if the antena is on the roof, drivers side.I have a hard time keeping track of model years.If I wasnt clear enough let me know and I will try to be more clear.
  • racerx_9racerx_9 Member Posts: 7
    Drivers roof indeed. Thanks again.

    I've lurked on many topics on this board and can say NOBODY offers more valuable advice than yourself.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    Well thank you very much, although there are alot of people that know alot of info on these boards. I get amazed sometimes.....But thanks, have a good one.........
  • igloomasterigloomaster Member Posts: 249

    IT NOW.


  • mohmmohm Member Posts: 1
    Yes. Honda has a history of poor auto transmission design and reliability. For those who remember the first few years Honda cars were introduced in the US, Honda had serious problems with auto transmission. Even though with significant improvements in the last decades, Honda still lags behind other manufacturers in this aspect. If one wants to enjoy the most out of a Honda, standard transmission is the way to go!

    While we are on the topic, I never cease to amaze the strange driving culture in the US. While automatic transmissions are rare in Europe (and elsewhere in the world), Americans still insist on auto transmission. Why? Does it have anything to do with the laziness in "spoiled-brats" attitudes among American drivers?
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    The high level of preference for automatic transmissions in North America is surely related to the long travel distances and fuel price structure. These factors facilitated the development of large, comfortable, cars with engines sufficiently large to operate the rather inefficient fluid couplings and torque converters of the early automatic transmissions. Most other economies continued with smaller vehicles which were not compatible with the early inefficient & heavy automatics. 87% of American cars had automatics by 1957 so this is the conventional and usual transmission choice for a great many of today's American drivers.
  • igloomasterigloomaster Member Posts: 249
    that are a simple enough reason for preferring an automatic over a manual:


    try communting in the morning for a few hours through Boston or New York with a'll hate all the clutch work - the incessant 1 to 2 stop, 1 to 2 stop.

    in all other circumstance, a manual is great.
    in heavy traffic, it sucks.
  • cdtcdt Member Posts: 6

    My 93 civic is very difficult to get started at hot days, especially in the afternoon or just stop after a long run. But after it cools down, all trouble gone.
    Some one told me that all honda car (90-93) have this kind of problem and maybe there is something wrong with the main relay, is that correct?
    How much it will cost if I have my car repaired by mechincal. A mechinal here ask for $300 for it, but i think it is kind of unreseanable
    Please help me out


  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    The main relay could cause this and is a good guess at what is wrong. As far as how much it cost I dont remember but maybe you should call Honda parts and see how much the part is.
  • ron825ron825 Member Posts: 4

    I have a 2000 Civic VP that my parents bought on May 6. The car had a tedency to pull to the right when I got it, so like a month later, after finals ended, I took it the dealer(Mount Vernon Honda in VA). I called the previous day to schedule an appointment and made sure to ask if it would be repaired under warranty, and was assured by the service advisor that I would not be charged. After they were done with the car, the same service advisor came to me showing me a reciept that said I owed them $59.99 for a 4 wheel alignment. I reminded him that he said that I would not be charged since it would be under warranty. Then he told me to wait while he talked to his supervisor. After about 15 minutes of waiting, he came back to apologize for his error since he was "new", and that I would recieve the reciept over the mail along with a customer service survey or something. When I drove the car out of the dealership, I noticed that it still had the pulling to the right.

    It's almost a month now, and I still haven't gotten the reciept. I think that they didn't mail me the reciept because they didn't repair it. What do you guys think?
  • igloomasterigloomaster Member Posts: 249
    i hope you didn't pay for it.....did you? never ever pay for that kind of stuff on a new car.
    never ever believe anything they say when they talk "rebate".

    go back there and raise holy hell.
  • nikecarnikecar Member Posts: 460
    most cars have a 12month/12,000 mile warranty on alignment and brakes. If your car is under 12months or 12K miles they should fix it under warranty. Its in your warranty manual...look it up.
  • ron825ron825 Member Posts: 4
    Oh no, I didn't pay for it. I went over there without any money on me along with the assumption that it'd be no charge because of the warranty and because the service advisor told me over the phone that I wouldn't be charged.
  • rettsretts Member Posts: 3
    My 88 Honda Civic DX has started to chirp whenever
    I pull into the gravelly and slightly bumpy driveway, going in and out of paved drives, driving over uneven road surfaces, slight bumps in
    the road, or even taking turns. It is fine and quiet on smooth road. I had the mechanic take a look and he said the bushings are worn and the job really isn't worth doing. The car has 123,000. miles and is is good shape. My question are: what are bushings, where are they, what do they do, and can they cause all this chirping I'm hearing, and is something really wrong just waiting to happen?
    Also I would like to know how hard it is to change
    the oil filter on this car without a lift. Can I
    jack it up and get to the filter safely? The
    clearance on these cars doesn't leave much room
    for sliding under.
    One more: The mechanic also told me that I'm about
    a pound short on freon in the AC system, and it is
    possible that my compressor is going because I can
    hear a clicking sound that gets louder the longer
    the AC runs. It doesn't happen right away, the car
    has to be running for about 15-20 minutes before
    the chatter starts.
    And. . .where can I find a book/service manual that would help me out with minor repair and diagnostic stuff. This is the first Honda I have owned and I would love to be able to help this car last another 100K.
    I also have a bit of rust happening on the outside of the rear wheel fender/panel. It has not gone through to the other side. I want to either fix this myself or find someone who won't charge an arm and a leg.
    Any suggestions or advice on these issues would be
    much appreciated. I like to do the simple stuff
    myself, and also know what I am talking about when
    I speak with the mechanic.
  • auburn63auburn63 Member Posts: 1,162
    I dont know exactly what bushing the mechanic is talking about but maybe he is talking about the lower ball joints.They would make a squeak like noise over bumps.There are a few other possibilities also. He could even be talking about the sway bar bushings if your car has one.As far as the AC goes a one time click isnt bad but if it is a constant one then maybe the compresor is going.You would need to charge it up fully in order to diagnose it.As far as a service manual, go to a Honda dealer and ask if you can order them still.The oil filter should be accesable to you when on jack stands depending on how high you can get it.There not that hard to get to.
  • ricklesrickles Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 Honda Civix VX with 98,000 miles and a standard transmission and no AC which has a long standing (18 months or more)problem. When driving, either local or highway, the car very briefly hesitates or skips in power. I have taken it to three different mechanics including the local Honda dealer. I have had them suggest and replace the fuel filter and fuel pump, distributor cap and rotor, and wiring on top of the engine. No luck - it still does the same thing.

    It seems slightly worse when the fuel level is low, or the weather wet (this is rare in Colorado so my data is sparse). In reading other postings I saw several which discussed overheating causing warping of the head and subsequent mechanical difficulties - when the car was newer and driven by the late owner it would run hot in stop-and-go traffic. As far as I know the car never had an overheated radiator incident as he would stop until it cooled down. I later discovered that the fan fuse had blown when the car did overheat in the mountains, replaced the fuse and the car has never run hot again.

    Two questions: Could the skipping be due to engine damage due to running hot and if so what type of damage should I suspect? If not related to engine damage (please, please be the case!) what other likely possibilities are there for the source of the problem?

    Thank you for any help.
  • mreillymreilly Member Posts: 7
    Earlier this week I posted the following message
    in the TSB board and someone there referred me to
    this page and told me to ask AUBURN63 my question.
    If he's here, or if anyone else can help me, I'd be
    eternally grateful!!!! ( Iknow it's not a Civic question, but it relates to all Hondas, from what I've been reading)

    Here's my question:

    Last summer I paid around $500 to have the
    condenser replaced on my 95 Prelude VTEC. I
    recently discovered that there are 2 TSB's
    pertaining to the condenser failing on 95
    Preludes(both dated 1997). (I'm original owner,

    Do I have any recourse? My mechanic (a Honda
    trained technician with many years of experience
    Hondas) mentioned that he has had to replace many
    condensers on 95 Hondas (all models) because
    the year the freon changed. But mine was the first
    Prelude he'd had to replace, so perhaps he didn't
    know about the TSB?

    Anyway, I was just wondering what my next step
    should be, or if I even have any grounds to try to
    get reimbursement.

    Also, does anyone know about the TSB's on the
    stereo system in the Preludes? I'm having problems
    with mine and there were several references on about TSB's for the stereo.

    Despite these two problems, the car has been great
    overall and I will remain loyal to my Honda's
    (after 12 years of driving them).

    Any advice appreciated! Thanks

    (Follow up--I've been running my a/c regularly
    because of the heat and humidity, but it's been
    actually leaking large amounts of water
    (condensation, not antifreeze, fortunately!). I've
    recently read MANY psts from people with similar
    problems, and this seems to be a problem with
    Hondas, especially. But now I've got MOLD growing
    on and under my floor mats, and I fear it may be
    growing inside the cooling system, too! Any insight
    about this?)
This discussion has been closed.