Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • pintochintopintochinto Member Posts: 3
    There are wierd sounds coming from my 2 week old Honda Civic LX, 4Dr, AT.

    Basically I have identified three wierd sounds that I am hearing:

    1. A high-pitched whinning/whistling sound that comes once the engine is over 2000 RPM. After that the sound gets louder as RPM goes higher. After 30 minutes or so the sounds tends to get very irritating and annoying.

    2. When I drive on highways at around 80 miles per hour or slightly above 3000 RPM, I start hearing a sort of a loud howling sound something like WOOO....WOOO......WOOOO...WOO. The sound is coming from the front of the car and I get the impression that this sound is becuase of wind. Maybe this sound is related to the whinning sound that I hear when the car is above 2000RPM.

    3. The third sound sounds like there is water bubbling or trickling. This is a very soft sound that can be heard when the car is not moving but engine is running.

    The car seems to be driving fine. The only problem is that these wierd souds seem to be coming all the time.

    Anyone else hearing similar sounds or know anything about these sounds?
  • max9max9 Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a CIVIC LX (2004).

    The driver side of this vehicle is 1cm lower than passager side, is that normal?

    Is anyone have the same issue?

  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    bouncing sounds like shocks or struts to me, but you say "it's back to ... bouncing if i stop quickly". are you saying it was doing that before and the brake and alignement work took care of it for a little while??

    maybe it's shuddering/shaking (not bouncing) when you stop quickly? If the car shakes vibrates during stop that sounds like rotors again. Maybe they've been machined too many times (usually twice is all they can handle before they are too thin and out of spec) and need replacement? Maybe you didn't brake them in well and/or you brake too hard in general causing excess heat/friction in the rotors which causes warping.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Member Posts: 2,798
    I just recently got my front brake pad replaced and the rotors machined and a front end alignment on my 00 civic lx, it was fine for a couple of months, now it's back to pulling sharply to the right and bouncing if I stop quickly, is there something I over looked?

    Do you have aftermarket wheels and tires?
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    Recently i started hearing this noise (like a chatter) when i accelerated. At first i thought it was in the exhaust but later realized that when i let the car roll in 1st gear, with the clutch pedal down, and slowly released the clutch , as the clutch engaged the chatter would start ( a chatter almost similar to a worn CV joint). It's not just a sound but you can feel it in the clutch pedal and reverberating. The first mechanic told me it was the throwout bearing, he wanted $600 to do it, i took it somewhere else and the guy did it for $400. anyway new clutch pressure plate etc.... same problem. so i bring it back he says it's the catalytic converter rattling, so we replace that. it was completely clogged and fumes were killing me, anyway SAME PROBLEM , so i take it back again, he tries it out says it could be the gears or synchros and gives me this snowjob story about how 1st is just for starting out if you engine brake it'll make the tranny rattle and all cars make noises and you just need to accept it, yeah right!!! I have been driving stick for well over 15 years. anyway now I'm out 550.00 bucks (although the cat was bad and he replaced a half shaft with bad boot) and i still have this problem which i think is in the gearbox. can anyway give me an idea what it might be and if i can wait on this, the car runs great otherwise. now I'm broke and can't take it to a shop. thanks
  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    1) it does sound like some kind of transmission bearing. does it make the noise when you're at a standstill, in nuetral with your foot off the clutch? then does it go away with your foot on the clutch? i've hear that to be a main shaft bearing. i don't know how urgent it is to fix but if you're going to spend $600 for someone to open up your tranny, you had better go to someone who knows how to rebuild a manual and have them check the whole thing out. too bad you already had it all opened for the clutch work - you could have saved $$ in labor!

    2) does the car have less than 80K miles on it? probably not, but if it did you should bust up that mechanic who replaced your cat. the EPA mandates all manufacturers to warranty cats to 80K so you could have gotten it for free from your dealer.

    3) if your problem was gears/synchros you would hear and feel a definite GRINDING noise going into that particular gear. not rattling! get yourself a new mechanic who knows something about transmissions!

    4) he is right about one thing - don't down shift into first. that can wear out the 1st gear synchro. but it could take you years. i downshifted to first in my '93 civic for 110K miles over 10 years and never had a tranny problem - but then again, I had synthetic in the transmission too.

  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    Recently i started hearing this noise (like a chatter) when i accelerated. At first i thought it was in the exhaust but later realized that when i let the car roll in 1st gear, with the clutch pedal down, and slowly released the clutch , as the clutch engaged the chatter would start ( a chatter almost similar to a worn CV joint). It's not just a sound but you can feel it in the clutch pedal and reverberating. The first mechanic told me it was the throwout bearing, he wanted $600 to do it, i took it somewhere else and the guy did it for $400. anyway new clutch pressure plate etc.... same problem. so i bring it back he says it's the catalytic converter rattling, so we replace that. it was completely clogged and fumes were killing me, anyway SAME PROBLEM , so i take it back again, he tries it out says it could be the gears or synchros and gives me this snowjob story about how 1st is just for starting out if you engine brake it'll make the tranny rattle and all cars make noises and you just need to accept it, yeah right!!! I have been driving stick for well over 15 years. anyway now I'm out 550.00 bucks (although the cat was bad and he replaced a half shaft with bad boot) and i still have this problem which i think is in the gearbox. can anyway give me an idea what it might be and if i can wait on this, the car runs great otherwise. now I'm broke and can't take it to a shop. thanks
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    thanks for the reply only does it with clutch engaged.......the first mechanic was a casual friend who said it was the throwout bearing and wanted to change the clutch kit, he just wanted too much. i wish i knew it were more i would've gone to someone else.

    2. The car has 135,000 miles on it and i saw the cat it was completely clogged up except where the baffle broke, also i would get a massive amount of exhaust fume in the passenger compartment, that's all fine now, car has more power and better on gas.

    3. i don't get a grinding going into gear it shifts positively and smoothly, but when i put the car in first with the clutch down and let the car roll (down a hill for example) as i let the clutch out, just as it's grabbing it starts........takatakataka.

    4.i never downshift into 1st unless the car is basically stopped or on a decent hill. I'll only downshift to 2nd, i realized the problem while trying different things to isolate the noise.
  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    I have an '86 Civic manual tranny with 130K miles on it and transmission problems too. One of its problems is what people have been telling me is the main shaft bearing. It makes the noise you describe when parked in neutral. I THINK I can also hear it with the clutch engaged in 1st gear but it's not very noisy so it's very hard to hear. But there's no real behavioral issues with that problem ... yet. Although I do have a related tranny fluid leak around the main seal and some clutch chatter in 1st and 2nd. So I have to keep up on the fluid level. Have you checked your fluid level just to be sure? I also know that the former owner filled the tranny with gear lube instead of motor oil (doh!) and that could have caused some problems. Anyway, my plan is to wait it out and save some $$. It still shifts into all gears smoothly if I shift slowly (also have bad 3rd gear synchro). If the 1st gear synchro goes that will drive me into a shop sooner. I think one of the outcomes of bad bearings in your tranny is that other things get out of alignment and can be damaged, also you can do some damage to the clutch and/or flywheel I think. For me, I have a quote on a rebuilt tranny fully installed with new clutch and resurfaced flywheel... so I'm just waiting until I HAVE to have that all done. When the car becomes unreliable it's going in for that work.
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    mine's going in tommorow for a free diagnostic at aamco, i'm also thinking the main shaft bearing........hopefully they'll be gentle. i'll post results, thanks
  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    I went to Aamco also for a diagnostic and they wanted to charge me $60 to get in the car and tell me what I already know! I just wanted a price. Let me know if they actually DO do a free diagnostic for you! Also, the Aamco I went to didn't know how to rebuild a manual tranny, only an automatic - weird I thought. I got roughly the same quote from Honda dealer, Aamco and my own privately run Honda shop:

    I needed a rebuilt tranny to fix 3rd gear synchro problem, main shaft bearing rattling, leaking tranny housing, clutch chatter.

    Aamco $2000 they would swap in a rebuilt tranny, replace clutch, resurface flywheel, warranty for one year.

    Honda Dealership $1800 they would rebuild my own tranny and replace 3rd gear synchro, main shaft bearing, related parts, new clutch, resurface flywheel, warranty for one year. My worry is that in cracking open the tranny, they'd find a lot more work that was needed if my tranny was in bad shape.

    Honda Hospital $1900 they would swap in a rebuilt transmission, replace clutch, resurface flywheel, warranty for two years (option to buy 3rd year warranty).

    I decided on going to the Honda shop (Honda Hospital) barring one more quote from an independent transmission shop. I like the Honda shop that I use and their price and solution were consistent with others, plus the warranty was great.

    But I'm hoping I can put off this expense for another year :-\ We'll see. Let me know what you are quoted please, and what work is included.

  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    they actually gave me the free diag. and quoted me about 1k for a low milage used tranny. looked decent , so let's see.
  • deldendelden Member Posts: 1
    Hi there,

    Is your transmission still having the problem? I guess your problem is similar to mine, so I thought to share. I've been having a similar problem on my ' 98 Civic (83K) automatic transmission for over 2 years. When shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd, it delays about half a second and vrooom, the throttle goes up to about 3000 rpm until the 3rd shift engages. It always happens when shifting under a light throttle. (Does not happen above 3000rpm, but I'll have to drive crazy in order the problem not to happen.) I have my way to go around the problem: when I think or feel the transmission is going to shift from 2nd to 3rd, I take my foot off the gas pedal about a half second or so (exactly like you are doing stick shift, except for your left foot and right arm won't make any move). After that it is already in the 3rd gear. Well, this won't fix the problem, but at least it worked for me over 2 years. I changed the transmission fliud a couple of times but never helped.
    Let me know if things have changed with you.
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    i went ahead with the repair, i should be picking car up monday, so the problem should already be solved.

    p.s. my tranny is a manual not auto, and i tried many different ways to ride around it, but the problem appears to be the main shaft bearing, when you turn the main shaft by hand you can feel the grinding and roughness as it turns, the new tranny (swapped one) turns very quietly and smoothly. thanks for post
  • mautomauto Member Posts: 75
    Go to a Honda dealer with a yardstick, find a Civic(s) on level ground and see if they are lower on the driver's side. My car looks OK.

    Oh, you may want to go when they are closed. :)
  • alanhjalanhj Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever find a fix for your wiper fault? I'm having a similar problem w/ my 97' Civic EX. I already bought/replaced the electronic control unit ($60). It didn't fix the problem. I also ohmed-out the switch and it checks good.
  • alanhjalanhj Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Civic EX. Sometimes the headlights go dim (approx. 70% of normal). Anyone have this same problem and have fixed it? What did you do?
  • ncampbell2002ncampbell2002 Member Posts: 163
    When do they go idle or while cruising? If they go dim at idle it is most likely that a cooling fan came on or some other system in your car that draws current that is causing a drop in your headlight output. This is especially true when you are sitting at idle, as the belt that drives the alternator isn't turning nearly as fast causing a higher drain from the battery. At least I think my logic is right here. But we need more specifics from you on exactly when this happens so someone can better answer your question!
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    how old is your battery, your alternator may be being forced to carry all the load with the battery kicking in very little.
  • ski46ski46 Member Posts: 24
    It's also a possibility that your thermostat might be bad and as a result of the car getting very hot, it blew a head gasket.
  • mautomauto Member Posts: 75
    This question may already have been asked before, but does anyone know what the cause (and fix) is for the creaky clutch on 02 Civic 5spds? I know I've read earlier posts on this subject, but I don't think anyone explained what exactly is squeaking. It seems to be coming from inside the clutch housing. The squeak doesn't really bother me, but I'm just wondering if it needs to be addressed.
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
    i know the clutch is hydraulic, so i don't think it's a cable (although my book talks about a cable, which may be a another model) i'd check the actual hinge point of the pedal itself, if it's inside the housing in could be a throwout bearing, i don't know of any adjustments though
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,475
    They installed a new slave cylinder. Fine now.
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  • larry7larry7 Member Posts: 1
    When stopped notice jumpy skipping idle at times not present all the time but noticeable on daily basis? Any help?
  • crankyciviccrankycivic Member Posts: 9
  • kauai215kauai215 Member Posts: 190
    Our '02 Si had a creaky/squeaky clutch. The solution was simple:

    Solution: Clutch piston shaft lubricated. Problem not only solved, but the clutch pedal action much smoother than ever. Quick and simple. (Why on earth are dealers, as some report, replacing the hydraulic components?)
  • kirk2kirk2 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Honda Civic DX that I recently purchased with 65,000 miles on it. The car has been running great, but yesterday while it was idling in the driveway it stalled out. I tried to re-start it numerous times throughout the day, and even though it was turning over strong, it still would not start. I have determined that it is getting fuel to the cylinders, but need help in the rest of the process of elimination. I know there was a recall for the ignition switch on this vehicle, and after checking the VIN with the local dealer, I found that it has not been replaced yet. Could this be the problem? Also, how would I check the timing belt? Thanks so much for any help.
  • mautomauto Member Posts: 75
    Is this the shaft at the slave or master cyclinder and how difficult a job is it?
  • kauai215kauai215 Member Posts: 190
    You asked:
    "Is this the shaft at the slave or master cylinder and how difficult a job is it?"

    This was done under warranty. I did not perform the work.

    My mechanic briefly explained what he'd done, but I didn't think to ask him for further details. My guess would be that it's the shaft connected to the clutch pedal, since that's the region where the sound seemed to originate.

    I assume that gaining access might be the only difficulty, but again, I'm uncertain. It may be readily accessible.
  • mautomauto Member Posts: 75
    Unfortunately my warranty has expired, but had the Civic come with a Hyundai-length (or Lexus-length) warranty I'd be getting it fixed as it would be considered part of the powertrain. In fact, if I had the 10y/100,000m Hyundai warranty, I'd have another 6 years and 40,000 miles before deciding to get it fixed.

    Yeah, I know, an extended warranty. But most of those are useless insurance policies that actually cover very little and cost a bundle. Again, Honda is uncompetitive in warranty coverage and finds itself in the company of the big 3 domestics as the only major Asian brand to still offer just 3/36 on everything.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,475
    Because it competes so well in so many other areas. There may be a time in future when they have to increase warranty coverage, but IMHO it'll come after they start advertising large rebates. Something else they aren't "competitive" in.
  • trashingtontrashington Member Posts: 21

    The recall summary states:
    There's a possiblity it could be the worn contacts, but I doubt it because that would more likely be a problem that would deteriorate over time meaning that you would have noticed it before.
    I've seen this problem on other cars though, mainly other friend's Fords, but have never had it happen in my civic. If you can start the car and keep the engine running by stepping on the gas pedal, it probably means that your "engine idle control" is dead. So go out and test this by stepping on the gas when you start the engine. If it doesn't run by doing that, take it to a mechanic! If it does run by doing that, you'll still need to take it to a mechanic.
  • mregor1mregor1 Member Posts: 5
    If it is the timing belt, you'll notice a different sound when cranking the engine. Reason is that the valves are not operating and you won't be getting compression with open valves.
  • robinjrobinj Member Posts: 2
    hi,my name is Robin.we recently bought a 2004 honda civic lx on june 24 of this year.2 days later we found out the right front strut was all bad.while we were waiting for that part to come in we started having a problem with the relay switch.found out the relay switch when you would put it in to drive was out.then when they did a 20,000 mile check up on it we started smelling a gas/exhaust smell inside car.they had left off a cap.oil was going on the we have a popping noise under the hood and they can not seem to figure out the problem.
  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    Robinj - sounds like you bought a car that may have been in a major accident. Did you run a carfax report on it before you bought it? Did you get it from a dealer with extended warranty? Did you have it inspected by an independent shop before you signed for it? Sorry for your car problems which sound like they will continue... You should try to find a good shop in your area that will give you a thourough diagnosis and check over - I have found these inspections (like a pre-purchase inspection) can cost $100-200 depending on where you go. Then after you get a better idea of what's parked in your driveway you can assess if you want to keep it.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Member Posts: 2,798
    I think she bought a new car. I would suggest is to go to a different dealer. Sounds like the selling dealer's service department is incompetent. Also, that is alot of miles, 20,000 in less than 5 months. Unless Robinj did indeed buy a used car. Then it does seem like it was a wreck, and that would explain why someone would buy a 2004 and sell it right away.
  • robinjrobinj Member Posts: 2
    I did buy a new car.had only 4 miles on it when we drove it off the lot.and yes 20,000 miles is a lot. but we do alot of driving for our job. the first 2 problems came within a week of purchase.they fix one problem then another comes up.
  • edunnettedunnett Member Posts: 553
    All those problems on a new car?! Wow! Sounds like you got one made in England on a Friday. I'm not kidding. My last car was an '01 Subaru Forester that I bought new and babied for three years. Between its 30K mile mark and 50K mile mark the car was in the dealer almost on a monthly basis for major warranty work. I eventually got rid of it just before the warranty expired because I figured $6K worth of work under warranty didn't bode well for what my wallet would like after the warranty expired. I replaced it with another Subaru Forester because I do love the brand and figured I just had a dink the first time around. Maybe you have a dink too. At least it's under warranty still... for another few months anyway.
  • justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    are you guys finding that the 01-05 Civics with automatics are okay? i know the Accords have automatic transmission issues, but how are the Civics holding up, with regard to transmissions?
  • ruking1ruking1 Member Posts: 19,826
    I have a 2004 Civic automatic 4 door bought new with 4 miles in Sept 04. So far at 3k the automatic is smooth as silk. Gas mileage is between 35-38. Will update data points in the future if interested.
  • apastor2bapastor2b Member Posts: 3
    I have a 03 Civic EX with an automatic. With 26,000+ miles it is running perfectly.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Member Posts: 2,798
    they fix one problem then another comes up.
    Typical sign of an incompetent shop. Either they are causing the new damage due to inability to fix a problem without creating another one. Or, they are so incompetent that they can not see that there is another problem brewing. I would suggest that you save all the receipts from the warranty work, and give Honda corporate a call. Explain the situation and mention that you bought the car based on the reputation it made of being a reliable vehicle. Ask niceley for them to extend warranty on either the whole car or the components that failed. I don't know if you had repeated problems with the same component. If you did have 3 repairs on the same component, check out your state's lemon laws. You may be able to get Honda to buy this one back.

    Most importantly, go to a different dealer. You don't have to service the car or perform warranty work on the car at the dealer you bought it from. You can go to any dealer in the US and I think even in Canada and Mexico.
  • angeleyedangeleyed Member Posts: 2
    hi all....well were should I start this story. Back when I bought the car, 2 years ago, I was getting a grinding noise when i would depress the clutch pedal. When I talked to the service department (Scott Honda of West Chester, PA) they said it was a normal noise. I didn't buy it but never really had any other problems. In January of 04, I noticed that the gears were engaging at different points a lot. I asked them about it and had them test it. They then said, "the clutch is fine, but I do find it weird that the clutch is engaging at different points". I took it for a second opinion and was told that the clutch was going. I decided that I would put an ACT clutch kit into this car (was cheaper than the Honda stock clutch). Well the dimwit that put in the clutch neglected to tell me that the disc going in was a 4 pucked disc. (I have some engine knowledge, but not much about clutches.) So about 2,000 miles later, I had someone else (Meyers Motorsports in Pottstown) put the correct springed disc in. The mechanic called me as soon as he took the front end apart, because the problem was never the clutch. Over the past year and a half, the slave cylinder rod had bent. He ordered the part from Honda and replaced it on June 22nd, 2004. Everything was good for awhile. Then I started to notice that the engagement was different at time AGAIN. I asked my personal mechanic to test drive it and see what he thought. He said that everything seemed fine. So 2 weeks later (this past Wednesday) I got into the car and depressed the clutch, as it went down there was a loud "thwack" and the pedal stuck to the floor. I tried to lift it back up and couldn't. The car was running and I didn't even need to touch the clutch to get it going. But it wouldn't come out of first gear. I had the car towed Thursday and it was looked at Today (Friday) by Scott Honda. They said that the slave cylinder rod BROKE and that the transmission was making such a horrible noise, that the mechanic turned it off and pushed it into the shop. Now they are trying to put the blame on the heavy duty pressure plate, but when I talked to ACT techs (and about 6 other mechanics), they said there was NO WAY possible that the pressure plate broke or even bent the slave cylinder rod. I have heard that there are some 01&02 civics that have been recalled for transmission problems. Can anyone give me any info on this??? I will be able to get more information on what exactly is wrong on Monday when they take the whole front end off and the tranny apart. Thanks for ANY help you can give

    P.S. ACT also told me that if Honda wants to know any info to have them call the company directly and they will show them the results to the testing. Also, Honda dealerships on the west coast have told me that they install ACT clutch kits REGULARLY in civics and accords.
  • angeleyedangeleyed Member Posts: 2
    Just an Update.........Honda called me this morning and told me that the tranny is fine. The "horrible" noise the mechanic heard was the slave cylinder hitting the fan. They are replacing the slave cylinder AGAIN. When asked what we would do when this happens again in 5 months, he told me they were going to be putting the stock clutch in. They are blaming all of this on the stock clutch even though the problem has been there BEFORE I replaced the clutch. Any advice from anyone on how to handle this situation????
  • questdriverquestdriver Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2002 Civic EX Auto with almost 36k miles. No problem here. Still on original transmission fluid. Shifts just find. Wish Civic had a low-end tourque like the VWs.
  • jws1jws1 Member Posts: 1
    My financee has been involved in two rear-end collisions in a Honda Civic - in both instances, the driver's seat back broke, thus catapulting her further back than expected. She sustained severe back injuries in both crashes.

    Would be interested to hear from anyone with knowlegde of similar incidents involving Honda Civics.
  • bd21bd21 Member Posts: 437
    A few years ago I saw a 60 Minutes story on seat backs collapsing during rear end collisions. At that time they found out the only car seats made to stay intact in a 35 MPH rear crash were Volvo and Mercedes.
  • arymarym Member Posts: 4
    Toyo GO2+ or Kumho Kw19 for my 2003 Civic Coupe (automatic)? I live in Toronto.

    Also... I was thinking of placing them on my stock steelies and then getting summer rims and tires in spring? Any thoughts? Will the winter wear be too much on the stocks?
  • kauai215kauai215 Member Posts: 190
    I remember that "60 Minutes" story.

    I've often wondered whether after-market performance seats like Corbeau, Recaro, etc. are safer than the OEM seats in most cars?
This discussion has been closed.