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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    I havent seen any in our area however if it didnt get fully into park the first time then that could explain why it happened. The circuit must see the park signal in order to release the key. If it continues to happen take it back to the dealer maybe in your area it is common and will be a no brainer for one of the techs..Good luck
  • Thanks Auburn63!

    I have a 94 Civic EX and the price is about right. By the way, is there any differences between the struts used in the 94 Civics against those is the later years especially in the EX trim??

    I had talked to a third party shop that had mentioned something that the engine mounts from the 94 model is different than that after 96, in terms of better mounts. I am hoping you can shed some light on this.
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    I dont really know but I will try and find out. Being that I work at the dealer I dont have much experiance with swapping parts we always use what the application calls for.They are different in construction but will they fit ......I will try and check. I can usally tell by supersetions of part numbers. If they dont then I dont try but if the old does change to the new then they are the same..
    As far as the struts go I doubt it because they did make a bracket change on the struts and I think that I have been down that wrong road before thinking that I could and couldnt...I will try and check..see ya
  • PyroCPUPyroCPU Posts: 5
    If you let the ignition key sit in the "ON" position for several seconds before turning the key to "START," you may get better results. This way, the fuel injection system will have had a chance to pressurize and send fuel up to the engine. It also lets the car's computer adjust for other variables (temp, etc). Also have the dealer check for the idle air control (IAC). If you take a look at your throttle body, you'll see a flathead-screw recessed into a hole. That screw adjusts the idle, allowing air into the engine at idle. If that's too tight, the car may be a little hard to start.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    I have also encountered the problem of removing the ignition key. The problem is likely associated with the "A/T Gear Position Switch" located alongside the shift lever beneath the console. It's possible the switch has a faulty terminal but far more likely that the switch position simply needs to be adjusted. This is a straightforward procedure covered in the Honda shop manual, Electrical chapter, under "A/T Gear Position Indicator." Good luck.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    In order to keep similar discussions in one place, I am copying and reposting the following from another topic:

    #0 of 0: Honda Civic Power Door Lock Problem (denisme) Wed 12 Apr '00 (12:43 PM)

    Asking for help on a 93'Civic Lx sedan which the
    power door locks stopped operating a few months
    ago. Started out with intermittant failures on the
    PDL,sometimes they worked,sometimes they did
    not.Now nothing works.None of the doors lock or
    unlock,either with the drivers door switch or the
    respective door switch.Looking at the Haynes
    manual,I tried to measure voltage at the back of
    the drivers door switch,0v on either wire.Ground
    wire is good(tested with multimeter).The fuse is
    good also. Anybody have any suggestions?

    Anyone have any thoughts on denisme's problem?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    If you have inspected all fuses under the hood and inside the car and all are good then you probably have a bad control unit for the PDL.One other area you would want to check is to wiggle the wires inbetween the door jam on the front doors coming out of the door side. These wires sometime loosen up the connectors and or break due to all the openings and closings off the doors.I will look at a manual and try and get back to you if you need more help..
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    If fuse #6 (20A, located in the under-dash fusebox)is OK, you will need to remove the driver's door panel and check circuits at the PDL control unit. This unit is located just above the radio speaker and attached to the door by two screws. Disconnect the seven-wire connector from the control unit and verify that the black wire has continuity to ground. If a poor ground exists, check/tighten the grounding terminal located in the driver's door sill; just beneath the plastic sill cover. Next connect the voltmeter between ground and the White/Green-Stripe wire to verify that you have battery voltage.

    Assuming the above are OK, but your symptoms are unchanged, the most likely problem is a faulty switch in the driver's door. To check this, reconnect the control unit wiring and disconnect the door-lock switch. On the 3-pin switch harness connector, (A) jumper the black terminal to the Green/White terminal momentarily; the doors should lock. Now (B) jumper the black terminal to the Green/Red terminal momentarily; the doors should unlock.

    If both (A) and (B) produced the desired result, replace the switch. If either (or both) of these checks failed, it's a near certainty that the control unit needs to be replaced. Good luck.
  • denismedenisme Posts: 1
    Thanks to spokane and auburn63 for helping me locate a corroded connector in the wire harness as it enters the drivers door from the body. I cleaned out the connector,retaped the harness and all works now!
  • seafseaf Posts: 339
    Yes the manual does say about 10-15 seconds is enough, but I'd like to be safe and wait about 30 secs - 1 min. The difference in pollution between waiting 15 secs and 60 seconds is probably negligeable. I would advise against idling for 10 minutes before driving away though.

    As for VTEC, I haven't driven a VTEC civic, but from what I hear the VTECs actually give you a burst of power at higher RPMs, and the non-VTECs just revs loudly but not much power develops.
  • bishopk99bishopk99 Posts: 11
    My car is poltergeist...can sit at a light at
    perfect idle speed - - - then "bam" jump'in
    off the line. On the freeway, very intermittent
    but can feel it. No help from mechanics both from
    honda and outside. One suggestion is a fuel line
    "bubble"??? C'mon...been going on for 18 months

    background: 1988 civic DX 1.5 ltr. 4 spd A/T.
    109,000 miles.

    any help or suggestion...tranny is
    (when it wants to) like a champ. Just don't
    want to get raped on the cost to fix.

    reply: [email protected]

    P.S. owner of a new 00 Accord V6 EX (Vtec)
    and my poltergeist car, really loved this
    site!! great info.

  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Denisme glad we could help yo out and that you were able to pin point it and fix...

    Bishopk99, Is there anything more you can tell us about the is it possible the ac could be on and set too high.Is the car in gear, not in gear,and how high do you think it is going(rpm wise)? There is the possibility of a bad ground by the thermostat housing and also I remebber something about the wire going to the air control valve? I will have to check on that one and what the causes were it has been a while since I have seen those. I will check on tuesday when I return to work..Sorry it cant be sooner but hey I have off a few days and I try to not think to hard about cars:)....see ya
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    For some more info and what was posted in reference to my '88 civic DX A/T the following is
    a brief history.

    Never had a problem....10 yrs worth, simple stuff
    like alternator and tires, brakes..what you would
    expect from a 10 yr old car.

    However, while deployed to the persian gulf, my wife (by my recommendation) took the car accross the street for a blown radiator hose. OK, fine..
    (now the car has no A/C (light on, but does not engage)) idle speed at start and "poltergiest" times, flies off the line, intermittently...this
    was in '98. RPMs up to around 5 grand guestamate as there is no TAC.

    I came back and found she took it to honda and
    they could not diagnose the problem..sure..
    it is intermiittent...I received 280.00 worth of
    motor mounts due to excessive motor vibrations..
    (not too bad, probably needed them sooner or later), but problem not fixed. Came back...
    I did a 90,000 mile service, and they told me
    I needed a new muffler...replaced everything
    from the manifolds to the rear. Worked good
    for a time with the new muffler and pipes,
    but the polergeist is back.

    Honestly, I have been driving it only. I put the
    car in neutral at lights and baby it. I will get into a little bit of extra cash in June and want to get her fixxed up right but don't want to get
    raped on cost (yes sir, you need a 3,000 tranny).

    To me, it sounds simple...fuel line?? computer idle chip?? the O2 senor and exhaust has already
    been checked out fine.

    Hope this helps....

    Reply to here or to [email protected]

    Any help appreciated.


    P.S. My 10 day old EX VTEC Accord V6 is a
    dream, take it on a mountain road to feel the
    wishbone! (like I did on Saturday).

  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    As far as the Ac goes you may want to check the power wire that goes to the compressor. The wire mounts down to the compressor and tends to break at the first hold down area. Disconnect the connector near bottom of fan(I think it is a red wire single pin)then pull up on the wire on the compressor side and see if it comes out of its shield covering.
    As far as the idle if the ac switch is coming on but no load from the compressor then this could be a problem for the idle. However if no ac on at time of problem it sounds as if the idle control valve and or its wiring is defective. It is about the only thing that can cause an idle surge like that. Unless a coolant temp sensor is sensing cold motor while warm. I forgot to check on the year of the wiring problem to the Idle control valve so I will try and remeber tomorrow.Just as a verification this is a duel port injection model correct. Thats the one that looks like a GM throttle body style with two injectors in the front of it. I will check back tomorrow...
  • bishopk99bishopk99 Posts: 11
    Lost a post during the save to favorites page...

    anyways...auburn63, thank you so much for your
    quick reply.

    Yes, my CIVIC is a dual port fuel injection system. And as well since the maintenance from
    a non-cert'd honda tech...from my wife's first
    occourance is the genisis of my problem this
    wiring problem is probably on the money. As
    all of this happened at the same time. Living so
    close to a "cheaper labor evironment has its

    Please let me know the last info and I can
    assist the tech's at my honda dealership with
    the diagnosis.

    BTW, for all the honda voyers...I have driven in
    young guys cars doing "wheeleeeeees" off the line
    in the fastest cars in Southern California...

    Absolutely amazing web site with such technical
    support that I am lost for words.....

    92 octane keeps it least for know...
    (always put 92 in the 88 civic.....) and

    Can wait till the extra money comes
    make my CIVIC right.

    Thanks and waiting for your reply..........

    Great site...Recommended it to 3 honda owners
    today at work.

    [email protected]
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Ok there is a Honda bulletin #91-031 which covers rough idle and or erratic idle problems. This could be a cause of your problem.All 88-91 civics with 1.5 liter dual point injection THRU vin:
    and some others but yours should be within that vin range being that it is an 88.
    It refers to a bad ground for the throttle angle sensor.To repair it you remove the existing wire and install a new one that goes to ground at the hold down bracket for the wire harness.Part number for the wire is 32105-PM5-315 ask for the bulletin for installation instructions. This should be cheap enpugh to try so start there. If it doesnt fix well we will have to try something else..Also you want to make sure your coolant is full and bled of air.Should see a bleeder valve up fromt by hose..Good luck
  • legaleselegalese Posts: 3
    I have a '93 Civic LX with 110,000 miles. Want to
    keep it until student loans paid off, and Acura CL
    goes below MSRP. I noticed that in the past
    month, my speedometer has been acting erratically. It occasionally jumps all over the map. This happens at various times, speeds, and length of driving. I notice nothing different with the way the car responds, except that it seems to be jumpy when in cruise control when this happens--which makes me immediately turn off the cruise control. The only major problem in this car's history is that I had to replace the distributor a year and a half ago. Otherwise, I've been pleased with the performance and reliability. Any thoughts on what the problem could be would be greatly appreciated.
    Nothing worse than walking into a mechanic's shop
    and saying "my car's broken" -- cha-ching!
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    It sounds like the speedometer is going bad. The other thing to check would be the condition of your speedo cable but if it is not noisy then it is probably still good.If it acts up regurarly then you could also check the odometer and see if it is acurate while the speedometer is erratic.If it is they use the same sensor and cable so then it would definitly be the speedometer head.Good luck
  • Hey Auburn,

    What is the machine that all Honda dealers use to check balancing of the tires? I know it is a Hunter but not the ones you typically find at NTB but more like a high speed balancer??

    BTW, my vibration still exists. I have tried to get NTB to allow me to swap the tire but to no avail. According to the Honda dealer, my balance is fine and according to the folks at NTB, the rims are out of round (purchased January 00). I am at a lost since I hate the vibration but I am also broke that I can't afford to pay for all 4 Michelin's Energy MXV4 Plus tires while tossing out the old Yokohama's (only 10,000 miles plus since I bought it).

    So what do you think my options are at this point?? The car drives straight and vibrate like crazy. Dealer/s (two of them) say it is the tire and not the rim and I have seen NTB put the rim without the tire on the balancer and it does wobble and is out of round. (Sigh)

    Anyhow, thanks for all your input and patience with me.
  • ultraultra Posts: 9
    If anyone lives in the Denver area and are looking to buy any sort of Honda, stay away from Planet Honda. My story: My wife and I test drove a CRV from Planet Honda. This was the first time we drove one. We made it very clear to the salesperson that we were not interested in buying that day, but were looking to do something in about 3 weeks. Everything went fine until we were almost back to the dealership. The salesperson asked us why we wouldn't buy that day. We said we were waiting for our tax refund so that we could put down a larger downpayment. He said we should lease instead of purchase. I informed him that we keep our vehicles more than a few years. This pressure from him kept up even after we returned to the dealership. He even asked us after we told him "no" several times if he should get the CRV all cleaned up for us to take delivery that day! We just walked away. That night we emailed the dealership our experience with this salesperson b/c we had talked to someone different several months before and had a totally opposite experience. The dealer's response was to have the internet salespeople contact us, who never addressed the problem we encountered, but were very eager to sell us a vehicle. We were contacted 3 different times by the internet salespeople.

    There are several other dealers in the Denver area who do not use high pressure sales tactics. We purchased our CRV from Fisher Honda in Boulder. Ask for Suzi Smith or Craig Sweeney.
  • auburn63auburn63 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 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
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Are you anywhere near Pleasentville, NJ??
  • auburn63auburn63 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 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..
This discussion has been closed.