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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • cdtcdt 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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?)
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    I will have to check and see if Preludes were included in that service bulletin. I dont think they were because I dont ever remember changing any.I know Civics and Accords were with VIN breaks and with condenser manufactures.I will try to call in tomorrow as I am not working but if not then I will check on Monday.As far as your water problem, all ac systems build up and release condensation(water)then drain out a hose to the outside of the car. If yours is getting on the inside floor then your drain hose is clogged and or the evaporator drain tube.If you can get under your car easy then on the right side, near the cross member there is a hose, blow air or stick a peice of stiff wire up into the hose and see if a big gush of water comes out. If you can't get under your car then on the right side under dash area, in back of the glove box sits the evaporator box(between the blower and the center heater box)on the bottom there should be a drain hose near the firewall.Have something to catch water with and remove the hose. Blow through the hose and stick a piece of wire up into the box to clear it. If it is clogged you will know it because it will flow out like a river..
    As for the radio if there was any kind of bulletin for it the warranty period for such a bulletin would have been 3year/36,000. They only offer the extended warranty bulletins for emission, safety, and enviromental reasons for the most part..
    Well I will get back to you soon, hopefully tomorrow.
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    The things to check would probably be the coil and the distributor.In the past I have saw several coils act that way.They usally are either damaged in the center by aftermarket distributor caps and or stressed to the caps. If it is not a Honda coil then it is probably bad for sure the aftermarket ones dont last as long or perform as good.Other than that the distributor itself could be starting to fail.The igniter is a possibility also we have saw them go bad but usally they fail all together causing the car to stall and not restart.If you arent using Honda tune up parts then I would start there and have the coil checked to see if it is an original.I know some don't believe me but Honda OEM parts are superior in their cars fo some reason. Including the spark plug wires, I know they are pricy but they work best..Good luck
  • seahwksseahwks Posts: 1
    Does anyone else out there have a problem with rattling either in the rear window paneling or moonroof paneling (only when panel is opened)???
    Please help! I have already taken mine in re: the rear rattling and they replaced the shelf, but never made a difference, they basically said "Well, you didn't buy a Ferrari." Now, I have this new prob. with my moonroof. The rattling gets on my nerves, but I'm afraid of having Honda mess w/ anything else. Any suggestions? Please Help!!!
  • mreillymreilly Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info.

    Those TSB #'s pertaining to the 95 Prelude A/C condenser are TSB#97-035 and #97-036, and #97-0014, and the brief description on the NHTSA website says "potential exists for problem with A/C condenser in specific geographic areas."

    I know it was probably a rare problem, because my Honda mechanic says I'm one of the only Preludes he has worked on.

    If there is a TSB about the problem I've had, what do I do about it? Since the repair was done last year (I keep ALL receipts, and the repairs were done by Honda trained technicians with Honda parts), am I out of luck?

  • I have a 1987 Honda Civic DX (1.5 L 4 cyl FI) with 76K original miles; have had car since 46K mile mark (approx 5 yrs ago). Knew previous owner--unknown maintenance record, although all mileage was probably in town. Previous owner bought car new.

    Car has worked well without any problems; maintenance limited to oil/filter changes, brakes, CV joints, tires, battery, etc. In taking car to shop 1 to repair antifreeze leak and perform a radiator flush, I am told car has a blown head gasket. I take car to shop 2 (recommended by shop 1) for further advice/repair. I tell shop 2 to check carefully; I see what looks like an oily, dark-colored film on bottom (inside) of radiator cap. This has been there a long time and is not new. Car also leaks/burns oil--unknown source.

    Shop 2 calls 1-2 days later--says head gasket is blown, oil is getting in water, burning oil. Recommends at a minimum to replace rods, bearings, and rings for an approx cost of $1650. Advises "could get by with less, but may have more problems in the long run". How he made his analysis is unknown to me --i.e. I doubt he disassembled engine. I then take car to Honda dealership (shop 3) where with a $29.95 "diagnostic test" (coolant pressure test and block test) they tell me car engine is fine ("results are negative--no leaks found") other than needing a valve cover gasket. I inquired about a timing belt replacement as I had heard and seen posts about this being a problem if they break. Shop 3 (dealership) was not pushy and appeared honest, so I had valve cover gasket and timing belt replaced for $300 (later I read about it being a good idea to replace water pump at the same time)!

    My questions pertain to the disparity in advice between shop 2 and shop 3 (dealership). Why would one say so much work is needed and the other say all is ok? I realize a "diagnostic test" will not allow for a visual inspection of engine components--but should I take shop 3 at their word? I plan on taking car elsewhere and having a compression test done on the cylinders--will this provide me with good, usable info? Reluctantly, I drove the car today after shop did work yesterday. Engine sounds and runs ok--no misses, noises, etc (which it never had, anyway). Where do I go from here?

    I realize car is old and may be time to put it out to pasture, although in my mind this is still a "low mileage" car, used mostly for work commute (~24 miles round trip). Besides, a new or used car now is out of the question--this one needs to run another 2-3 years or so (the longer the better). I apologize for the long ramble. Any advice?
  • igloomasterigloomaster Posts: 249
    IT IS NOT TIME TO PUT THAT CAR OUT TO PASTURE! My brother has 245,000 miles on his 89 Civic and has done the head gasket only once.

    I'd go to dealer #4, tell them about 1, 2, & 3 and see what happens, if you are motivated. I'm sure others out there have something more to tell you, but I'd just get in that car and drive!
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Was the antifreeze leak repaired or do you still have a leak or loss of coolant? If the leaks have been fixed and the radiator is holding its fluid level then I would say that you have some more time before you have to worry about a head gasket.
    As for any of the other work, I wouldnt do any motor work until the car was overheating or blowing smoke like a bug sprayer. Small loses of oil over a period of time or a little smoke cold can be lived with by simply checking and adding oil.I would do as igloomaster sayed and get in the car and drive.Once the time comes for when you do need an engine I would suggest going with a take out or a complete rebuilt from a company. It is quicker and usally better warranty and not that much more money. I forget the company we deal with but I could find out if you got to that point.Anyhow sounds to me like the car is running fine so I would drive it for a while and see what happens.Good luck..
  • Thanks for the responses, igloomaster and auburn63. I repaired antifreeze leak (upper radiator hose); had coolant system flushed and refilled at dealership. No overheating, leaks, burning oil, or blowing smoke--in essence, engine purrs like a kitten. Priced complete rebuilts at $1500-2000 installed--one offers a 5 yr/50K warranty. If at some point it needs a rebuild, so be it. Based on what I've said above, your collective advice, and the fact that I'm only putting 6K-7K miles/yr on car, I'm gonna keep driving! Thanks again.
  • racer_x_9racer_x_9 Posts: 91
    I have a 94 Civic EX (manual). In the morning, especially when it is a little cooler out, it will not be especially smooth in 1st and 2nd gears (jerks like when your in a lower gear then you are supposed to be in).

    Once it warms up, it's ok. I know the slave clutch resevoir is leaking. I will have the master and slave replaced latter this week. Fluid in the cylinder was just filled for my 90,000 tune up, yet it still exhibits the same problem.

    Is this the sign of a new clutch needed? What is a ballpark figure for a new clutch (parts and labor).

    As always, thanks for taking time to expertly answer questions.
  • mreillymreilly Posts: 7
    Just wanted to let you know that the story of my 95 Prelude VTEC's AC Condenser has a happy ending!!

    I just received a copy of the TSB about my problem (from the NHTSA, for FREE!!!) and, of course, it described my problem EXACTLY, and my VIN # matched up. So I called that 1-800 # for Honda Consumer Affairs, gave them my VIN # & it turns out that Honda was replacing the condenser for FREE (!!!!) in some of the 94-95 Preludes.

    Since my repair was already done (within the 5-yr period), all I have to do is fax them a copy of the receipt & they'll reimburse me for the parts & a portion of the labor (as they see fit, since I didn't have the repair done at a dealer).

    The man on the phone was extremely nice and helpful. (While I was on the phone with him, he went over the list to see if any other TSB's pertained to my VIN #, and he updated my records, so that I can receive any future mailings from Honda. It's service like this that makes me keep going back to Hondas!)

    So, if you come across any other Preludes with bad AC Condensers, as long as the repair was within 5 years, Honda should help them!

    Another happy ending!! Thanks for your help!
  • igloomasterigloomaster Posts: 249
    what do you think of Honda automatic transmissions? i bought a 99 Civic automatic, my first Honda automatic. i think it operates smoothly and efficiently. i rather enjoy it in Boston traffic! however, a friend of mine had her entire automatic transmission replaced at 33,000 due to it being a lemon. any thoughts?
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Basicly Honda automatics require getting used to at first then once you know what is normal they are great. As with any thing you have break downs but for the most part they are long lasting transmisions that require very little maintanace.Just drain and fill once evry 30,000 and thats it.I have been with Honda for a long time and they have improved over the years and are more tailored to the driver than ever by use of computer controls and grade logic.Hope I answered your question and good luck....
  • igloomasterigloomaster Posts: 249

    i appreciate it.

    this is my second civic hatchback. first one was a 1990 4 speed manual 1.5l. loved it.

    you were right - i needed to get used to the auto tranny but now it is great. sometimes i disagree with how long it will stay in first or second gear when i heavily accelerate; seems like it takes too long to upshift. so i quickly ease back on the gas which forces it to upshift and then depress the accelerator more. want to keep the the rpm's low while still pushing the vehicle within it's limits.
  • khanjikhanji Posts: 7
    I'm looking forward to buy a Used 96 Honda Civic
    EX, with only 24000 miles on it. That means 6,000
    miles a year. My concern is that since it's a low
    annual mileage car, so the service records shown by
    owner indicate that oil has been changed at the
    intervals varying from 5-8 months. I need to know
    from anyone out there that if the oil change
    interval is so long, how would that effect the
    engine life. Is there any special kind of check
    that a mechanic can perform to let me know what the
    exact situation of engine is. I'm planning to buy
    this car in a next couple of days so any early
    response would be appreciated as I know nothing
    about cars.
  • khanjikhanji Posts: 7
    I'm referred to this page by someone and he suggested me to ask AUBURN63 my question.
    In fact I've posted my question in #120.
    Is there anyway I can check how bad the engine of the 96 EX Civic is now because of delayed oil changes.
    Thanks to all in advance for any kind of help.....
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    The best way to check on the engine condition as far as how well it has been serviced is to have someone pull the valve cover. If the top half of the motor looks clean then chances are that it was taken care of.If it has a lot of sludge(dried up cakie oil clumps)then it has not.5-8 months between services on a car with low mileage is not bad that bad. I would suspect that it is clean.You could also try sneaking a peak through the oil add cap but that is not as good as taken the cover off.Other than that listen for noises on accel and while driving on turns.Make sure coolant is clean and trans fluid is clean. Good luck, if you want to know more then just write back
  • mother2mother2 Posts: 12
    My civic has a "rattling" noise every time I crank it up in the morning. The rattling goes away and then sometimes I hear it around 1st and 2nd gear. I need to hold on to this car until November but don't know if it will hold out til then. My civic has 207K miles now.

    Can anyone give me some info?
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Sounds as if you have a bent or loose heat shield for youe exaust or an internal resenator rattle. Most likely just a bent or loose sheild.Have it checked out to verify.If you wanted to try something with a cold exaust system take and shake the tail pipe back and forth and see if you hear the noise. If so trace it down to where it is hitting. If not then you may have a loose shield on one of the pipes which you may need to get under the car for..Good luck
  • chulwoochulwoo Posts: 11
    I bought a 2000 VP last year and about to have a 7500 miles check. ( I live very close to where I work, hence low mileage)
    I noticed that it seems having a hard time when fuel level is low. As soon as I fill up the gas, it starts fine.

    Is there anyone with similar problem/observation? I guess I'll ask the mechanic at the dealer, but any response would be appreciated.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i used to see that when i was driving short dinstances, because the fuel ups were up to a month apart. i think it has to do with the fuel decomposing, while in the tank. not many peole know but gasoline has expiration dates. it is a very high energy compound that decomposes fairly rapidly, at least the high energy components do.
This discussion has been closed.