Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • pklaspklas Member Posts: 20
    The noise is definitely normal. I was just given a Civic loaner and the same sound is present in the lower rpm ranges. I wouldn't worry about it. It seems that the mechanic wasn't BS'ing you after all. I believe it is just a characteristic of Honda auto tranmissions.

    Hope this helps..
  • trdrjefftrdrjeff Member Posts: 2
    Called service mgr today (1/3/01), says there's still no fix from Honda and they are not replacing radios still becuase they still have not identified the prob. Said to wait for recall notice. Have had mine reset about 5-6 times now in 2 months, one time I was unable to reset with the code and had to take to dealer...
  • cwopetecwopete Member Posts: 22
    Well I've about had it with my service department. First they said they'd fix my radio, no problem. I dropped the car off in the morning and by 6 p.m. they had done nothing. "We can't find the technical service bulletin (TSB) for the radio" was their excuse. Never mind they didn't bother to call me and left me without a car for the day. I went and asked the general manager for the TSB (he had showed it to me when I was at the dealership a few days before) and then returned to show it to the service manager. He tells me "That's not a TSB from Honda" (It said "Honda Motor Company" across the top), "That's not our dealership" (It had the dealers name on the e-mail line) and "This isn't a real TSB" (It clearly stated TSB). He left me with no choice but to get ugly about it. After much debate, he went to the parts department and returned and said "Oh, yes, this is a TSB, we'll need to put in a repair order to get you a new radio". He said I'd have a new radio yesterday, but when I called they were confused about what kind of radion I had in the EX (how many are there, only one as far as I know). So today I didn't even bother to call, tired of hassling with them and wasting time getting transfered to every phone extension at the dealership (they even managed to connect me to another customer once!). So my question is if Honda's are so great (which I'm starting to doubt), why do their service departments and customer service skills stink? I'd hate to see what it would be like if I had a real problem i.e. engine/transmission not working?
  • billyspeedbillyspeed Member Posts: 9
    For cwopete: Sorry to hear your frustration with the radio. It IS a very frustrating problem. For the record: My dealer called me, asked me to read the code off the front of the radio face-plate, from that they ordered the new radio and two days later it was installed. So far (about 1 week)no problems. This problem is all over the 'net and Honda is well aware of it. There is no excuse for not fixing it immediately with a new and hopefully bug-free radio. I must say, since this frustration has passed, I like the car lots more. Good luck and be firm. Every early 2001 EX owner should demand a new radio whether this bug has shown up yet or not.
  • cwopetecwopete Member Posts: 22
    Keeping true to form, the less than stellar service department never called me back as promised, hence I do not have a functioning radio in my brand new car. What a ripoff! I bought a Honda because I thought it would be reliable like my two previous Honda products (1989 Civic, 1992 Acura). Boy was I wrong! With only 1,000 miles on it, I fear the future and what other possible problems await me. I'm sure that "normal Honda engine noise" (per the service department) is bound to develop into something more significant as time wears on. I guess for now I'll play it safe and leave it parked. I feel safer driving my 96 Neon!
  • russjwrussjw Member Posts: 7
    I will be towing my 98'civic ex on all fours behind a motor home about 7000 miles a year for the next 4-5 years. I would like to disconnect the speed cable (just while I tow it) so It doesn't show many more miles than it will really have on it. Does anyone know where it is located under the hood? Thanks a lot...Russ
  • byyhillsbyyhills Member Posts: 7
    Attn: Pklas

    Thanks for your feed back. I have spoken to seven other Honda DX owners who don't hear this noise.

    I have written to the President of Honda to ask for his help. If I get an answer I'll let you know what it was.

    Thanks again for your help.

  • winnie_poohwinnie_pooh Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Civic DX Hatchback, 5 spd. I bought it new in May 99.
    The car has a strange and potentially very dangerous problem: engine stalls.
    It happens after a 30 minute (and longer) freeway drive with constant speed
    over 70 mph. When exiting a freeway I shift from the 5th to the neutral to let the car
    run freely on the decelerating lane. At this moment the engine stalls. The
    car keeps running, of course, because it is in the neutral. At the end of the
    decelerating line I realize that I have to apply much more effort to turn the car
    because the power steering is off. It is quite a surprise. With the speed of
    50-60 mph I have several seconds to turn on the engine and complete the turn. I am
    absolutely sure that engine is off because the dashboard looks like a
    Christmas tree at the moment: oil-pressure and other lamps are on. The engine
    starts easily and continues working well without tripping. Though, it seems to
    shake a bit more than after city driving.

    It happened twice before yesterday (for 18 month). Yesterday, it happened three times
    in a row. Every time the situation was the same: exiting a freeway with shifting from
    the 5th to the neutral after a steady high speed ride. It never happened under any other condition.
    First two times a fuel level was low. I thought it was the problem. Yesterday,
    I had more than a half of the fuel tank.

    The only additional equipment installed on my car was the A/C installed by the dealer
    on the moment of the puchase. Neither alarm systems nor stereos. Nothing else.

    I am going to make an apointment with the dealer. However, I would like to have
    another opinnion on the problem (cannot say 'second opinion' because it is
    frequently much more valuable than dealer's one)

    Does anybody understand what is going on? If yes, please, answer my message and
    help me.

    Sincerely, Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338

    Your Civic has an electronic odometer. It will not register miles while being towed.

    winnie pooh,

    I have to ask,,,WHY in the world would you shift your car into neutral while taking a freeway off ramp? For crying out loud...leave the car in gear! Have you never heard about engine braking?

    However, I guess it still shouldn't stall while doing this. I'm sure your dealer will share my reaction on this.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    On towing:
    I think with today's cars, damage can still occur on FRON DRIVE TRANSAXLES when towing without lifting the front wheels (compared to rear wheel drive with a differential).
    Freeway to neutral:
    Coming off the freeway to neutral can be dangerous - as your freewheeling. That creates more strees on the brakes. But, anyways, that stalling may have something to do with your idle-up system (maybe a malfunctioning solenoid).
    Good luck.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    50 miles at 30 MPH or 30 miles at 50 MPH should be considered absolute towing limits with automatic transmission/transaxle drive wheels on the ground. The trans. pump is not operating and there is no pressure feed to the trans gear set lube system.
  • hjbchjbc Member Posts: 4
    When I turn the key in the ignition of my 2001 Civic Ex slowly, it makes a sort of electronic ripping noise like a lot of switches are being set off rapidly. But things seem to work fine. Has anyone else experienced this / is there a problem?
  • justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    Just wanted to ask a question. I just got this car a few weeks ago. A little over 1100 miles, and no radio problems. The passenger side window switch stuck, the dealer fixed it.

    My question is this - in the WASH DC area, what dealer has the most competent and professional service department? I work literally across the street from Rosenthal, but I REFUSE to take my car there.

    Anyone have any good service experience's in the DC (NOVA) area?

  • coffield1coffield1 Member Posts: 1
    When I accelerate normally, sometimes the automatic transmission does not engage immediately; the engine over-revs by 300-400 rpm before the transmission engages. This behavior is very intermittent. Dealer drove the car 5 miles and said they couldn't find a problem-politely unhelpful. Is this normal?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    What do you mean when you accelerate "normally", "over-revs 3-400" (from what gear/speed)? Honda engines love to rev, then shift smoothly. When you're driving slowly the fuzzy logic makes a determination to or not to shift, if you are then not at an "optimal" speed/load then you might get a "jerk/slam" as it shifts up to a low speed (I suspect this algorithm is used to promote mpg).
  • darpin1darpin1 Member Posts: 49
    It could be that the valves need adjusting...I had a similar problem with a '92 Colt when I would engage the clutch coming to a red light the car would stall...I had the dealer run a diagnostic etc...couldn't find anything...changed the fuel filter...added a water remover to the on a hunch I did it myself adjusting the valve clearances(it had never been done)...I wouldn't recommend this as "a do it yourself"...the car didn't stall anymore after that. Check the interval in your owners manual they may need adjusting.
  • josh26josh26 Member Posts: 1
    How did you go about getting your radio replaced. My dealer keeps stating we have to wait for Honda. Is there a Honda website that states this problem . I can't seem to find anything from Honda.
  • vcuanvcuan Member Posts: 17
    Last week, I made the mistake of forgetting to put the gas cap back on my daughter's 1999 Civic EX Coupe after refueling. She went back to school (about 75 miles) and came back this week. On refuelling again, I discovered my mistake from the previous week. She said that it had been running very rough. Fortunately the Check Engine did not come on during this period. I bought a new cap for her car.

    She went back to school, and reported that the car ran fine on the drive back.

    Question: Should I do any follow up on it? I heard that running without the cap may cause "air pockets" to form. The car has about 13,000 miles.
  • darpin1darpin1 Member Posts: 49
    The only thing I'd suggest is to find out why the "Check Engine" light didn't come on. Most cars the light would come on as a warning usually for that reason (gas cap) check with your dealer...I would add a fuel system cleaner that would help if moisture got in or dust as a preventative measure...nothing serious to worry about just check with someone about why the "check engine" light didn't come on.
  • vcuanvcuan Member Posts: 17
    Thanks for the suggestion. I will call my service advisor tommorrow and ask her. I did notice when I opened the gas door, that it was sprayed all over with gas. Maybe with the door closed, not too much air got in??
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    goog point from darpin1... fill with an additive to assess possible contamination.
    while asking the dealer on the check engine light, i think the keyword is the check light "MAY" come on.
    let us know. good luck.
  • vcuanvcuan Member Posts: 17
    I asked my service advisor about effects of running car without the gas cap. She indicated as
    gasguzz had predicted that if I would have continued to have driven the car without the gas cap, that the Check Engine Light might have turned on. But since it didn't and the car appears to run fine, then no need to worry. On the contrary, she said it was better that it didn't come on. Otherwise they would have had to reset.
  • cwopetecwopete Member Posts: 22
    I'm almost beyond words, this is the second time my car has been overnight at the dealer to get a new radio, and the second time it's come back without a new radio!!! I thought I'd be smart this time, asking my service (lack-of-service) manager, "go and check with parts, make sure they have a radio for me". He comes back and says "sure, your radio is here". So I figure, they can't screw me twice. Guess again. The car is overnight at the dealer, this afternoon they call me a say "duh, sorry, duh, we don't have a radio afterall, we're soooo sorry, it won't happen again". Damn straight, I'll never go to those losers again. They produced another notice which references the TSB to replace the radio, it says "there are no more replacement radios in stock". So if you're in the market for a 2001 Civic EX, FORGET IT, NOT WORTH THE PAIN TRYING TO GET THE RADIO FIXED, WAIT TILL 2002 BEFORE YOU BUY A CIVIC EX!!! As I've said on previous posts, this is only a radio, simple to fix, just replace it, no big deal, and look at the run around these jerks are giving us. Can't even imagine what would happen if my car had a serious problem. My next letter, after this message, is to American Honda to tell them how crappy their dealership's service departments are.
  • nelsonjesudasnelsonjesudas Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking at buying a car soon and the Civic stands out to me for its historic reliability and good resale value.

    I'm thinking of an automatic, either an LX sedan or an HX, but I'm not sure if I should get the 2000 or 2001.
    I know about the change in the front suspension (but don't really know if this matters to me) and have heard about these radio problems (though it only seems like the EX has this) for the 2001 edition.
    I've also heard of someone needing to replace an electronic control module, but this may be a unique situation.

    Does anyone know of any problems I should be aware of?
    Please send responses to [email protected]

    Thanks in advance,
  • gt200002879gt200002879 Member Posts: 9
    I placed this message in the civi 3 list but maybe this is better suited. I would appreciate any comments.

    I picked up yesterday a civic lx 2001 5 speed. The price was $14012. This seems a
    good price but unfortunately I got into buying a lo-jack for 595. The extended warranty
    was $800 but did not purchase. The car seems OK but have two questions. a) The shift
    lever is supposed to spring back in the middle when in neutral. It does fast from the 5th
    gear. But from second to go to third is seems very slow. I actually have to mannually
    move it right before pushing it up to the 3rd gear. Since I have not driven a honda before I
    am not sure if this is how it is supposed to be but it seems funny. Do I have a sticky shift
    lever? b) Every report mentions improvement in road noise. When I drove the car
    yesterday it was raining and there was a lot of water on the road. I kept on looking back
    to check if I had a window open. The splashing of the water in the quarter panels was
    loud. Any experience with this? Thanks for any responses. For the rest the car seems
    fine, no radio problems, no fuel gage problems so far. I have not read all the messages
    on this list to see if there are any other issues as yet. Thanks.
  • jmichelwjmichelw Member Posts: 3
    I bought a Honda Civic 2001 and I feel very sorry today. I will never buy a Honda again. It does not live to its name. I thought it was the best car but it turns out it is among the worst I have ever driven in my life.
  • gt200002879gt200002879 Member Posts: 9
    #326 you did not mention what problems you found with the car. Is your problem with the car itself or with the service you get when you mention the problem to the dealer?
  • teddwoodteddwood Member Posts: 16
    I recently purchased this 01 Civic. Now the car has about 1400 miles. There have been some problems. When I start the car in the cold morning, I can smell gas. This doesn't happen when the engine is warm. Also, when I get off freeway and approach to stop, I can feel a rough Transmission Shift. Does anyone experience similar problems? I have been trying to call the 1800 number on the back of the warranty book. Boy, they really put you on hold for quite a while. Anyone has luck to get through?
  • lars6lars6 Member Posts: 1
    Own a 1998 Civic EX sedan. Recently, took it in for 30,000 mile service early (28,00 miles) since the car was going away to college with my daughter. To my surprise, I was told that the car needed new front brake pads and the rotors had to be resurfaced to the tune of $200. This along with $300 for the 30,000 mile maintenance service. This sounds ridiculous to have such brake problems at this mileage.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

    p.s. Bought a Toyota the same year and have liked it a lot better. Maintenance has been cheaper and everything that has gone wrong has been under warranty.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    329. There is nothing unusual about a 28k mile front brake job (did you get a 2nd opinion?, did you inspect the "used-up" pads).
    328. What is a "rough Transmission Shift" - do you mean it downshifts?
  • teddwoodteddwood Member Posts: 16
    330. Yes, I can feel a rough downshift when I stop from Highspeed. Any suggestions?
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    i just got a recall notice on our 2k1 civic sedan LX. it appears something electric could fry the computer module and kill the car. GREAT!
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    Teddwood. Are you aware that Honda has Down-Grade Logic? It is an algorithm that downshifts based on the car's attitude (going downhill and stepping on the brake, or getting off the freeway).
    In a sense, it engine brakes - automatically (like shifting to 3rd/4th on a 5-spd stick).
  • teddwoodteddwood Member Posts: 16
    gasguzz, thanks for your input. However, I don't think the downshift should be very rough and noticeable?
  • phantomcaphantomca Member Posts: 20
    I like to know what problem JMICHELW is having with his car. I have 2000 miles on it now and once in a while when I start the car the engine will not turn over. I can hear the alternator crank but the engine will not turn over till the 3rd try. I also notice I have to pour some coolant in the reservoir once in a while to bring it to the MAX level. Since I got the car out the dealer I have to pour about 1 quart of coolant to the reservoir. Anyone has similar problem?
  • ellell Member Posts: 1
    ok. This is bizarre. I have a Lx with 115,000 miles on it. The AC cyles really short, cutiing in and out rapidly... but only when I idle... or at low speeds. I have had the system checked, and new freon etc. Still, at highway speeds it functions completely normally. The last mechanic said that it was the compressor. Duh! Well, anyway, I lay this in all of your capable hands. Should i continue to pour money in this thing, or get it fixed... and if getting fixed is the best option, what the heck do you suspect is wrong with it...

    Any help would be appreciated - thanks in advance.
  • fiomfiom Member Posts: 1
    Just looking for some info regarding Civic 2000 Rattles with the 4 door sedan. My car is now over a year old with 18000 am (12000m)and has been plagued with rattles that occur inconsistently since new. The dealer has been good about servicing the vehicle but has not been able to eliminate them all and I'm reaching my frustration point. Purchased this vehicle based on other peoples past experiences and believe that other Japanese products that I've owned to be of better quality based on my limited experience with this Honda. My rattles(almost like a popping sound is coming from the passenger side of the vehicle and no one has been able to determine if it is the front or back door or the -pillar. If anyone else has has any similar problems that have been fixed please let me know because my dealer wasn't had any luck.

  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    Check the TSBs...

    Good luck.
  • jmichelwjmichelw Member Posts: 3
    The problem I have with the Honda Civic 2001 is that it is pretty rough when it goes through potholes and the thumping noise is uncomfortable. I was told by Honda that was normal. I have never driven a car with such poor shock absorbtion except for used ones. The advertisement says you should have "fun" driving a Honda. All I am experiencing driving my Honda is anger. How could I have been so stupid to trust in Honda "Quality". That's why I will never ever buy a Honda again.
  • phantomcaphantomca Member Posts: 20
    I have gone thru potholes and railroad tracks and the car handle fine. I do admit the car have a stiff suspension. We all bounce up and down when it goes thru a particular freeway that i drive every morning to work. The freeway is nice and level then there is a spot where the edge is eroding away. Kind of fun to drive over it specially with 4 people in it. I think the suspension on the car is suppost to be that way ...since I test drove the civic 2001 before I bought mine. I like the handling. It doesn't compare to a Cadillac where the suspension is quiet and smooth.
  • mlodemlode Member Posts: 1
    I have been driving a Honda for the last 8 years. I have been happy with the dealership until recently. Please help!!

    My 1998 Civic developed an engine knock that comes and goes. There are 42,000 miles on the car, and I have had regular oil changes. It seems to have developed since the cold weather. My first thoughts were that something was loose and hitting something it was not suppose to. The noise seems to be worse and more frequent since the time the noise first appeared. I took the car to the dealership where I purchased the car and where I go for service. Every time I take the car in it will not make the noise. I finally left the car for a couple of days for the technician to drive daily. They told me the noise is a cold start knock and that it is very common, and nothing can be done to fix it. I thought I might be getting the run around so I called another nearby dealer and asked for there opinion over the phone. They agreed with what my dealer ship told me. Some days the car will knock the whole trip. It almost sound like I have a diesel engine. Other days the car will knock just now and then. Sometimes the knock is more of a tapping noise that will last for 5 or 6 taps in a row, slowing as it taps. Then other days I start to believe the dealer that nothing is wrong at all. The noise seems to be a little more frequent when the car is cold. My dealer keeps telling me the car is fine. I am very frustrated and am loosing my loyalty for Honda. I have never experienced any other Honda that knocks. If someone is in the parking lot as I leave work, they will ask about the noise. The car did not make this noise last winter. I tried a tank of premium gas as the dealer requested. The noise still appeared. Any advice???
  • ejonavinejonavin Member Posts: 36
    I actually don't mind the stiffer ride. On the other hand... sometimes it just bounces too much and I don't feel like the wheels are planted for that split second. I'm running my tires at higher than normal (32psi) so that could explain some of the bounce. It was a little softer when set to the suggested 30psi.

    I'd suggest checking your tire pressure. It's best to make sure that it's the same as the pressure listed in your owner's manual. I don't recommend going over or under, unless you understand what the full implications of doing that is.
  • justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    Again, when exactly do you check your tire pressure? When cold or hot? My 2001 Civic EX Coupe has Firestones.....yikes!
  • svenjsvenj Member Posts: 19
    I also got the module control recall. That little part costs $250!

    It didn't cost anything to fix, just let the dealer know about it so thay can order one before you bring your car in. It was a painless for me since the repair shop is so convenient.

    I have had the car for 3 months now and 6,000 miles. Aside from the recall Ihave had 0 problems. I average about 36 MPG, no rattles, no squeaks. Yes, it is a bit stiffer ride than my old Altima, but it is also a smaller car.

    It would seem that if a person test drove a variety of cars before buying one, one wouldn't be able to complain about what one bought. I actually like the ride of the Hyundai Elantra better, but the gas mileage of the Honda was what decided me.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Check tire pressures cold (less than 3 miles of driving). Pressures will increase 2-5 psi after driving any appreciable distance, especially if at higher speed.
  • tazerelitazereli Member Posts: 241
    Even tho the tires on your civic are firestones there is no need to fear them. They are fine to drive on although they stink in the snow. i was also rather disapointed that they only lasted about 29,000 miles on our 98 civic EX. They were rotated every 6k miles and they still wore too soon. I replaced them with a set (4) of dunlop D60 A2's and couldnt be happier with them. I recomend this tire as replacement for any owner of a recent civic (newer than 93). Good in snow and they hydroplane hardly at all. sorry for having rambled on like this
  • ejonavinejonavin Member Posts: 36
    The tires on the new Civic.. (well, at least mine anyway) are newer Firehawk FR-690s. I find them OK in a couple inches of snow. Better than some all seasons, but definately not snow tires. Of course they're still "brand new", so I could be telling a different story next winter.

    And let's now get silly about this Firestone thing. All companies make good and bad tires. Bridgestone/Firestone happens to make some of the better tires on the market such as the Blizzaks, and Potenza.
  • suzukinutsuzukinut Member Posts: 5
    We love our new Civic, handles great, and super gas mileage. It does however have some rattles mainly on the passenger side, when cold, the passenger dash where it meets the piller and door makes a popping sound, there also seems to be some wind noise from the rear right door area and when driving 20 - 40 mph we hear a tinny sound on every crack in the road which seems like the trunk lid is not closed and the latch rattles? Last complaints are the floor heater does not warm the drivers feet and we also notice when slowing down on a freeway offramp that it suddenly feels like the brakes grab harder for a moment which I think is the auto transimission downshifting. "having to hold the inside door latch open while pressing the auto door locks so it will lock the drivers door too is quirky". In spite of all this though we still like our new Honda LX.
  • bklynboybklynboy Member Posts: 16
    I need to replace the passenger side mirror; a friend tapped a lane divider driving thru a maintenance area on the highway. Oh, well. Anybody know what costs are involved doing it with the dealer? Can I do it myself? Who sells these OEM?

    And for gas mileage -- just had the pcm replaced, and that really seemed to even out the ride -- no more surge-y feeling when I accelerated. Yesterday I was driving around and in the morning the needle on the gas gauge was down about 1 tick; in the evening when I started it up it was down 4 ticks. Now, the day before I had driven about 40 miles in heavy traffic, but still, why didn't it show up in the morning? I was on level ground and the car was warm both times.
  • bbpalumbobbpalumbo Member Posts: 9
    Hello, this board is very helpful. Can anyone answer the following:

    1. Since I purchased my 99 Civic LX, it seems the front tires lose pressure often. Has this happened to anyone else?

    2. I have about 28,000 miles on the car, when should I expect to need new tires? I drive primarily local roads.

    3. The top third of my rear defroster doesn't seem to work properly. It invariably remains iced up when the rest of it works fine, then slowly dissipates.

    4. I'm noticing squeaky breaks, especially in reverse. Can I add brake fluid myself or do I need to go to a mechanic for that?

    (You can tell I know nothing about cars)

    Other than that, I am very satisfied with my Civic and hope to drive it for many years to come.
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