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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    I sometimes throw my AT Civic into neutral going down hills or when I'm on a long straightaway and see a red light in the distance. Is it bad for the car to shift into neutral from drive while moving (sometimes at 45 mph or so), or vice versa?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,288
    I would not get into the habit!

    But at the same time, when you operate a stick shift; neutral is really "part" of the normal operation of a manual tramsmission.
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    If you are sure that your foot is completely depressed on the clutch when shifting and you still get the grinding, there is little doubt you have a bad synchro. If the grind is when you shift into 2nd gear (up or down shifting) then the problem is your 2nd gear synchro. That will be covered under your warranty but your dealer will need to reproduce the problem to diagnose it. If you shift really slow ("granny shifting"), you can avoid the grinding because you give the gears more time to synch up speeds with the engine without relying as much on the crappy synchro. If you shift really fast, you will increase the speed by which the synchro fails - which is good and bad depending on how quickly you want to it to be easily reproducable for your dealer vs how reliably you'd like to have the car behave. :-)

    As for reverse - NEVER shift into reverse when the wheels are still moving, even if you're only rolling at 1mph. Stop completely before shifting to reverse. Japanese trannies often are a bit sticky getting into reverse and as another poster mentioned, shifting to first or second gear before going into reverse often helps it shift more smoothly. Also, never shift into a forward gear when your wheels are moving in reverse at all. Do not tell your dealer that you shift that way or they may deem the tranny abused by you and void your warranty.

    Elissa
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    First of all, this is a great question. It's good that you think about your driving habits and how that can effect the operation and longevity of your car.

    Putting your transmission (auto or manual) in neutral to coast is generally a bad idea since you have less control over the car and thus it's less safe. It uses an insignificant amount of gas when going downhill and not under load. So I don't see the point in having the car coast in neutral. I'm not sure how the automatic transmission handles shifting from neutral to a drive gear while moving (like when you're done coasting) but this is bad bad bad for a manual transmission unless you 'rev match' or 'double clutch' to match the engine rpm with the transmission rpm. If you don't know what any of that means, you're best bet is to keep your car in the most appropriate drive gear for acceleration or engine braking. Example, I drive down a 4 mile 5% grade hill every day. In my manual transmission car I take it at 40mph in 3rd or 4th gear and in my automatic I leave it in drive going down that hill. Sometimes I'll turn the overdrive off to avoid excessive automatic transmission shifting on the hilly roads but that's not terribly necessary. Bottom line: leave it in drive/gear is my advice.
    Elissa
  • Putting the automatic transmission into "neutral" going down hills might be causing damage to the transmission depending on the make up of the Valve Body and the Lubricating Circuits of the trans. Vital parts might not be getting lubrication unless the trans is in a forward drive position. I WOULD NOT DO THIS!
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    This brings up another question I've sometimes wondered about (and this may show how little I know about the inner workings of cars, I don't know). When you're driving, say, 55 mph, and you take your foot off the gas, the RPM remains approximately the same, even when going downhill. Why is that? Is the engine still working just as hard? If so, then wouldn't it use almost as much gas even when going downhill as it does going on flat ground?
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:
    “When you're driving, say, 55 mph, and you take your foot off the gas, the RPM remains approximately the same, even when going downhill. Why is that?”

    Let me see if I can help you to understand this phenomenon.

    Imagine a child’s bike or even a tricycle where the pedals are inextricably connected to the drive wheel without any freewheel mechanism. When the pedals turn, the wheel turns. Conversely, when the wheel is turning, the pedals are turning, too; they’re locked together. You don’t even need to ride the bike to turn the pedals, just roll the bike along, which will cause the drive wheel to rotate, and the pedals will rotate, too, despite the fact no one is pushing the pedals. Right?

    It’s a locked system.

    Your car is essentially the same, if somewhat more complicated.

    Push starting a car, for example, depends upon this. The car is placed in neutral and pushed a ways to build up some speed. Then the driver puts it in gear, which is then connected to the drive wheels, and the engine turns over, hopefully starting up.

    When the car is in gear, the engine is connected to the drive wheels. It’s essentially a locked system, just like the child’s tricycle, but, unlike the tricycle, an automobile has a transmission system that permits the driver to disconnect the engine from the transmission, and thus disconnect it from the drive wheels.

    In a manual transmission car, if you leave the car in gear, and bring the car to a complete stop . . . you’ll stall the engine. Right? When you stop the wheels on a manual transmission car that is in gear, you’ve also forcibly stopped the engine. You’ll lurch to a stop, and need to restart the engine. And then you’ll look around furtively to see if anyone saw you do this! Hopefully, no one you know. ;-)

    Now, an automatic transmission is designed to permit the car to come to a stop at engine idle speed and still remain in gear. That’s one of the benefits of an automatic, especially if one frequently drives in stop-and-go traffic. It can get tiresome to keep declutching and shifting a manual into neutral in such traffic.

    While driving along at 55 mph, if you put your car in neutral, or just declutch on a manual, you’ll see the rpms drop to idle speed. Try it, you’ll see. (But maybe not in heavy traffic. . .)

    Has this helped you see how it works?

    You wrote:
    “Is the engine still working just as hard? [coasting downhill]”

    No, because the throttle is closed, and the engine is now just “along for the ride,” being driven by the wheels. Kind of like the kid on the tricycle rolling downhill along the driveway; he’s not driving the pedals, and his feet are just “along for the ride.”

    You wrote:
    “If so, then wouldn't it use almost as much gas even when going downhill as it does going on flat ground?”

    No. Again, because the throttle is closed and very little fuel is being delivered to the engine. You’d get great fuel economy if you could just figure out how to commute to work and back. . . and arrange for it to be downhill in both directions! ;-)

    Fuel consumption is directly related to throttle position; when the throttle is closed, the engine is using minimal fuel, and conversely, when the throttle is wide open, the engine is using the most fuel.

    I hope this helps you and others to see how these things work.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,288
    To throw a non Honda example in the mix, it even can be better! I have a VW Jetta TDI with the "drivebywire" technology. So there have been some discussions of whether it is more fuel friendly to idle in neural going down a long long mountain stretch or let it "coast in 5th gear. In the Jetta idling in neutral actually consumes more fuel down a long downhill stretch than if you let it coast in 5th gear!!!Upshot better mpg down the long downhill stretch IN GEAR with no throttle inputs!
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:
    “In the Jetta idling in neutral actually consumes more fuel down a long downhill stretch than if you let it coast in 5th gear!!!Upshot better mpg down the long downhill stretch IN GEAR with no throttle inputs!”

    I don’t mean to get too far afield here, but I seem to recall that the cpu in the TDI will actually shut off fuel delivery under these conditions. Is that right, or am I confused?

    I recollect my first test drive in a new ’02 Jetta TDI; it was a strange experience. That drive-by-wire system was unusual. I’d put it in first gear, depress the “disconnected” throttle pedal, and . . . wait. But, then I could hear the little German gnomes and elves beneath the hood mumbling and grumbling, and finally saying, “Well, if you INSIST.” And then they finally bestirred themselves and began providing some locomotion. Very strange. ;-)

    And then, too, whenever the clutch was depressed, the cpu disconnected the throttle. I don’t know why they chose to do that, since it made it impossible to match revs on downshifts. By the time I got back to the dealership following a short drive, I was complaining more than the elves under the hood. ;-)

    However, that’s not to say it isn’t a fine car. Most owners seem to love their TDIs. I think it’s an acquired taste.

    I can imagine diesel owners being aggrieved these days; the other day I saw that diesel fuel was at $2.13/gallon, while regular grade gasoline was at $1.96. Diesel was always supposed to be cheaper. :-(
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,288
    "I don’t mean to get too far afield here, but I seem to recall that the cpu in the TDI will actually shut off fuel delivery under these conditions. Is that right, or am I confused?"

    Nope you are spot on on almost all of your perceptions. I'd go on about the Jetta a bit more, but am mindful this is a Honda Civic Owners: Problem and Solutions thread.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:
    "Nope you are spot on on almost all of your perceptions."

    Not all? Hmm...

    Well, can you confirm the most important part for me, please? That would be the German gnomes and elves beneath the hood, of course.

    You hear them, too, don't you?

    <laughing!>
  • dalawdalaw Posts: 37
    I wouldnt do that either. Here are the reasons why:
    1.Damages can be done to the car, but it is not proven to be true yet.
    2.I think this is less fuel efficient because when the engine is at neutral, it requires fuel to keep it running, whereas leaving it in gear it uses very minimal fuel because the force of gravity is keeping the engine moving.
    3.The car is less stable if diconnected from the drivetrain.
    4.In case of emergency that you have to use power, you step on the gas and the car does not speed up, then that is not very safe.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    2.I think this is less fuel efficient because when the engine is at neutral, it requires fuel to keep it running, whereas leaving it in gear it uses very minimal fuel because the force of gravity is keeping the engine moving

    Isn't that what I just said
    blueiedgod Dec 6, 2004 7:26am
  • tomtom Posts: 8
    Hi,

     

    I bought a new 2004 Honda Civic, and found there is a problem after 1000 mile. And hope someone can help.

    When driving at about 20-30mile/hr, I feel the wheel slip, like pulse (imagine like the clock needle jump), not smooth, no noise during continuous turing. It seems not happen at higher speed, cannot feel after parking the car and turn the wheel. My neighbour also feel this, but not the dealer (piss me off). Is it the steering pump problem? Thanks for your help and sharing.

     

    Have a nice day .
  • My Civic EX 01 headlights have some weird thing going on. When the lights are turned on, everything BUT the headlights function. But when I flip on the high beams, the high beams are fully functional. Basically this car is disabled for night driving, unless I want to blind everyone in front of me. I changed the fuses (both the 7.5 and 10) to no changes. Are there actually 2 bulbs on this car? Any other ideas on where to look for solutions?
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I think there was a recall for that. You need to take your car to the dealer.

    http://www.womanmotorist.com/index.php/news/main/2797/event=view
  • That's right. I remember taking that car for that repair. HMMM... unfortunately, I didn't like the treatment of that particular Honda Dealership. Thanks for the quick response.
  • lfmlfm Posts: 35
    I have a 1994 Honda Civic. My problem is that when the engine is cold, the car will crank, but will not start. I have had it towed to a Honda dealer, but since it started both days it was there, they did not find anything wrong. The next morning at home it would not start. I would appreciate any help.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Hi,

      

    I bought a new 2004 Honda Civic, and found there is a problem after 1000 mile. And hope someone can help.

    When driving at about 20-30mile/hr, I feel the wheel slip, like pulse (imagine like the clock needle jump), not smooth, no noise during continuous turing. It seems not happen at higher speed, cannot feel after parking the car and turn the wheel. My neighbour also feel this, but not the dealer (piss me off). Is it the steering pump problem? Thanks for your help and sharing.

      

    Have a nice day .


     

    Your Civic has speed sensitive power steering. Which means as you increase speed the power assist decreases. This is done to allow for easier parking and better highway steering responses. Maybe you have found the spot where the power steering is switching from high assist to low assist.
  • the malfunctioning indicator lamp has come on in my car and i looked in my manual and read what it said. I then looked it up on the internet and after doing some searching i found that it said the the ems is malfunctioning and i don't know what that is. if you could please let me know so that i can better understand what is happening with my car that would be greatly appreciated.
  • Probably a bad rotor and/or distributor. It will probably work sometimes but other times it won't work. It's a very easy do-it-yourselfer and I would highly recommend going that route as it will save you $$$ on labor.
  • lfmlfm Posts: 35
    Thanks for your help. It turned out to be a gasoline problem.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The engine control computer has detected an out of range signal from one of the sensors it monitors, stored a diagnostic trouble code, and turned on the MIL. Could be as simple as a gas cap not tightened properly but the only way to tell for sure is to have the codes retrieved and post them. AutoZone will do it no charge in the hope of selling parts.
  • My '04 Civic, which only has 1800 miles, seems to be having a problem with the speedometer. It does not go below 30 mls. when I'm going about 40 it reads 60 or so. Any thoughts ... similar prob out there?

    Thanks.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Why on earth would anyone driving a car that is getting over 30 MPG worry about saving gas by coasting down hill? Even if the hill is 5 miles long and it would cut your gas usage by 25% it would only save you about $.07 ( if gas is $1.70 per gallon).

     

    Look in your owners manual - (not sure about Honda) it will tell you NOT to put the car in neutral while going down hill.
  • jonahjonah Posts: 1
    I have the same gurgling noise in my 03 Civic. I took it to the dealership and they have told me that it is the parking brake that is causing the problem. I have had it in before for the same thing. Appearantly when the brake is not completely disengaged it will cause a noise, not to mention the wear and tear, that sounds like water gurgling in the gas tank. They adjusted my parking brake and the noise has gone away. Unfortunately, the damage is done on the brake drums. The high temp paint they coat the drums with is gone and the heat evidence is qutie obvious. Who else has this problem?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Unfortunately, the damage is done on the brake drums. The high temp paint they coat the drums with is gone and the heat evidence is qutie obvious.

     

    I would not worry about drum paint after 2 years. It will chip away after a month of normal use. Drums heat up with normal use, plus the tension on a stuck brake cable is minimal. It is not like you had a fully engaged parking brake on. If you are inclined so, you can sand the old paint away and re-paint the drums with aftermarket caliper paint. Although it looks very cheesy to have bright colored drums.

       

    Did you open up the drums to obeserve the "heat evidence?" Whatever is on the outside of the drum is not indicative of what is inside. Inside is what you should check out, if you are inclined to do so. If your brake shoes are worn off and the drum has purplish discoloration (on the braking sirfaces, inside) then you probably have a good indication that you need to replace the drum and shoes.
  • http://www.cardomain.com/id/highrollin04

     

    I have a pic in there that shows everyone what I did with the drums. I used standard caliper paint and they still look great after 2 years with no touchups. I did not sand down the original paint that was on there. I just simply painted over it. I think it looks a lot better than the rust color they turn after a few months of use!
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Nice Rims!
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I agree nice rims, but the rims would have looked better with a 14 inch disk brake set up behind them, rather than "starchy grain adjective"(due to polictical corectness I can not say the word) Ferrari red drum brakes.

     

    I won't comment on the short ram air intake, and how it puts hot air into the engine, thus killing a possibility for any perfomance increases from higher flow (still questionable) filter.
This discussion has been closed.