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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • wspencerwspencer Posts: 8
    I just noticed that both the parking lights on my car are not working. Is there a fuse for these lights. Really never even noticed them until I had to replace a turn signal light and seen where ther was another small light within the casing. Do these only come on when you have your parking lights on or are they on when your normal lights are on. Had the car for a couple of years and never remember seeing them on.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I have a problem with my 87 CRX coolant system. The radiator hose connected to the bottom of the radiator never gets hot while the engine gets close to overheating and when I say the hose doesn't get hot, its not even luke warm. I know the thermostat is not the culprit because I have removed the thermostat to rule it out. I have also ruled out the water pump as I have removed it and it spins freely. I also know the system is not plugged for when water pump was removed I flushed water through the entire system, including the radiator, heater core, and engine. I ruled out a defective radiator cap also. There seems to be no circulation of the fluid through the system as if the water pump is not pumping. But I know the water pump is working as I have left the top shield off the drive belt and verified it while the engine is running. My question is what else could this problem be. Is there some sort of vaccum required for the fluid to circulate. I am at a complete lose. Please help.

    Isn't the water pump driven by the timing belt? If you were able to remove it, it won't hurt to get a new one to see if it solves the problem. Even though the pump is spinning, the vanes may have worn out and not creating enough flow. Cooling passages in the engine could be blocked as well. What about flow through the heater core?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I had my honda civic in my garage and didn't run it for about 2 weeks. Tried starting it and it wouldn't turn over.It just kept winding out but wouldn't start. Lights on the car worked so it wasn't my battery. Well since we already had another car I just left it sit in my garage. Now about 3 years later i decided to give it to my nephew and he replaced the starter, selinoid, battery and also the spark plugs. He also drained out the gas and added new gas and changed the oil. It still will not start! Does someone have any idea what it may be?

    I assume 1988 has a carbeurated engine, carb may be junk. Or fuel is not getting to the carb. Air is not getting to the carb.

    Even though he replaced the spark plugs, is there spark?

    Timing belt may be stretched?

    Compression lost?
  • jlim1jlim1 Posts: 50
    For my case, the leaky struts were discovered during the 45K checkup. I was told by dealer, this is my issue and my own cost to replace (materials and labor - $380) because the leak was beyond the standard warranty coverage (earlier of 3 years or 30,000 miles).

    I was not aware that Honda nor the dealership (where I sought the service) was eager to replace at their expense. Has anyone out there experienced similar situation (no free replacement) ?

    I agree, the ride is somewhat improved especially no more knocking noise (as if from CV joints) - although Civic still rides harsh (even with my Michelin Destiny tires) and noisy.
  • To read some of the latest messages, you would think the 7th Gen Civic was made by Yugo. Well, I think they were actually made by Honda and 176,000 miles later, mine does seem to have a lineage that is closer to Japanese in heritage than the Yugo's Italian-Slavic origins.
    Struts, yes the early ones did seem to die prematurely. I don't know why my suspicions lean more toward the geometry of the "new" Macpherson strut suspension having some issues that might place side loading on the struts causing the seals at the top of the tube to wear early. Any case mine started going around 45K and if I'm not mistaken, I replaced them with Koni inserts (Lifetime warranty) at 60K and have not had any problems since. Symptoms were some slight but aggravating steering wheel shimmy that seemed to indicate a tire slightly out of balance. Later got the clear clunking going over parking lot speed bumps. If you are curious about yours, remove the front wheel, feel for fluid on the outer strut housing and at the top where the shiny rod enters the housing. If leaking, you will have a light oil on your hand.
    My seat doesn't rock, my headlight switch hasn't caught fire and the squeaks and rattles are only there on rough surface roads.
    I am still on the original brake pads and shoes, original spark plugs, timing belt and water pump. Yes, I know that the timing belt is scheduled for replacement at 105K, but I do my own maintenance and feel comfortable running it as long as I have. The engine looks new, runs like new and has only had minor maintenance. Some time back I thought I detected rattling from the valves. I checked the clearance, exhaust valves were at the outer limit, I adjusted them back to the tight limit, the intake valves were center of their range and I left them alone.
    It is a great car, a Honda, but don't forget that it is also an economy car. Some of the complaints here might be valid for a Acura, but are just nit-picking for a Civic.
    If you have a problem, can't fix it yourself, find a reputable Honda dealer and have it fixed. These are cars and they do require maintenance from time to time. Complaining about it here won't get it fixed.
  • tjjonestjjones Posts: 7
    The water pump is driven by the timing belt and when I removed it the vanes looked the same as the one I was going to replace it with. I know nothing is blocked as I stated before I flushed the entire system. I did this by disconnecting hoses from the inflow and outflow of a particular item and poured water in one end to see it come out the other.
  • lionman1lionman1 Posts: 2
    You might try buying a new thermostat and putting it in. The thermostat is there for a reason: to hold hot coolant in the radiator for it to cool off and cold coolant in the engine to absorb heat, then open at the right temp and swap the two. without a thermostat the coolant doesn't spend enough time in the radiator to cool off before going back into the engine. Also if the coolant isn;t spending enought time in the engine to absorb heat, the motor will overheat.
  • tjjonestjjones Posts: 7
    I tried this also but with a 180 degree temp thermostat instead of the stock 160 degree temp. I'll put the original back in and give it another try. I know it works as I've checked it in a pot of hot water to make sure it opens at the correct temp. Maybe there was a combination of problems that have now been corrected since I first started working on it. Will let you know what happens.
  • fe203fe203 Posts: 21
    By the way your timing belt will fail on you when you least expect it. If your so smart you would have replaced it a long "time" ago.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Built in the same plant and everything. So you actually have two of the same car. One just has more options than the other. Other than that, post 3722 was just rude.

    On the overheating Civic, did you change the hoses. Maybe one of them is collapsing and not allowing flow.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Built in the same plant and everything. So you actually have two of the same car. One just has more options than the other. Other than that, post 3722 was just rude.

    On the overheating Civic, did you change the hoses. Maybe one of them is collapsing and not allowing flow.

    I agree, 3722 is very rude. Time to go see the shrink, sounds like there are some pent up frustrations.
  • tjjonestjjones Posts: 7
    Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't been able to put the original theromstat back in yet but this gives me something else to look at. I have already replaced the upper radiator hose but not the lower one. Thanks again.

    PS I thought this forum was for for dummies like me to post problemshoping someone smarter could help us with possible solutions. If people want to vent, please do it somewhere else.
  • Mercy me, I wasn't attempting to bring out the fury, just get this discussion back to the center. Any case, it keeps the messages and opinions going and that is what this is all about.

    Quite a few of the messages that had been posted recently were about known old problems with known solutions. No car is perfect, but to take into account the few repetitive problems that have been on this generation vehicle and jump to a conclusion about the company seems like a stretch. I do agree, something is wrong in the process of getting feedback from the dealer to the manufacturing process and fixing the issue. On the other hand, it can all come down to the dollars involved. If the loss of goodwill and warranty repair cost are calculated to be less than the cost of implementing the solution in the manufacturing process, the company may decide to leave things as they are.

    Overall, I would still have to say that I'm driving one of the best economy cars that is made. This is the first new car that I've owned since 1983 and it impresses me everyday. 176,000 on one set of spark plugs, that is truly amazing to me and is obviously an indicator of the efficiency of the engine. My commute is 80 miles one way and it is indeed a pleasure to drive those miles every day, in comfort, feeling safe and secure and have no second thoughts about the reliability of the vehicle.

    I'm no more of an authority or expert than anyone else that posts to the internet, we all have our opinions this is a forum to air them in.

    I hope that you enjoy your vehicle of choice as much as I am enjoying mine.
  • geof1972geof1972 Posts: 1

    I have a 2001 Civic EX Couple with 49,xxx miles on it. My front end has been clunking for a while now when I apply the brakes. I was told my brakes and other underside items were just fine.

    I also have noticed that my car is now bouncing more excessively in front which would seem to be a strut issue. However, I went to NTB tire to have this checked and they told me that my struts/shocks were fine. I don't think this is correct.

    I am about to take my car to Honda itself to have them give this a thorough check.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
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  • gx222gx222 Posts: 32
    geof1972 - Welcome to the Civic Clunking Club! Let us know what your dealer says. I hope to be able to take mine in soon for the same clunking problem and I'll post the results. Good luck.
  • wrmbrnrwrmbrnr Posts: 1

    I have a 1997 Civic with manual transmission. My wife and I bought a new car about 2 months ago. I parked the civic on the street and have not driven it for a month. I went to start it yesterday and move it for street cleaning, and it would not start. The battery seems to be fine, the engine is turning over, and the ignition seems to catch and the engine turns over, but then the car just sputters out. I try to start it 5 or 6 times with the same result. I did not try anymore because I did not want to drain the battery. Any suggestions on getting started before I call to have it towed to our mechanic? Thanks.
  • bobkatbobkat Posts: 2
    I'm a Civic newbie. After looking here I haven't seen any current DRL posts. Wife insists on them on her new (to her) 2002 EX. I purchased an after-market module (BTW the manufacturer is -HAMSAR-) and installed it with all but one connection made (the ignition sensing lead). Instructions call for either wrapping it around a spark plug lead or splicing it into a circuit that is 'live' ONLY when the engine is running. Apparently the power thru the igniter leads is insufficient for induction into the sensor, and the underhood fusebox is 'live' any time the key is ON, engine running or not. I need to find a circuit in the engine compartment that is 'live' only when the engine is actually running (anything will do - oil pressure or temp. guage leads, etc) Where, oh where, would they be found and, can I get to them without cutting into a wire bundle? The least desirable alternative is the almost impossible task of fishing it thru the firewall into the under-dash fuse box. Plz help if you can. Thanx. :confuse:
  • I too have had this problem twice. The first time it was covered by warranty, the second I had to cover the cost with was happen again with less then 45,000 miles the car was just over 3 years old. The alternator also went. Upon fixing the strut problem it still rode harsh and made loud clanking noises on bumpy streets. My brother in law is a mechanic with Honda he said it was the stabilize arms (May have the wrong language and linkage) He is going to replace next week. It cost me $800.00 to replace the Alternator and struts. After talking to many people about this. They say this is highly unusual for this too happen. I wrote to the customer care dept of Honda. As of yesterday they are going to reimburse me for the cost of the struts and alternator $565.00. I made sure that the dealership wasn't going to cover the cost, had genuine Honda replacement parts install from a reperatable repair shop inclosed all along with a statement from the mechanic describing the problem and what they had done.

    Good Luck.
    PS.. I bought this civic new it hasn't lived up to his rep. my wife had an old geo 10 yr. old. that gave me a better ride. Now she has a suv that rides better this this.
  • The car runs just fine the same as it did before the check engine light came on. If i unhook the battery and let the computer reset, the light will stay off when i drive for awhile before it turns back on.
    Also a weird thing happened when I unhooked my battery now my remote doesn't work to lock an unlock the doors also I doubt this has anything to do with it but it might.
  • grizz357grizz357 Posts: 5
    On the light issue; The two main causes of the light coming on are: (1) depressurized fuel system from a gas cap not getting ratcheted on properly. If this has happened it can take up to 3 weeks of driving after the gas cap is on securely for the computer to register that the system is properly pressurized again for the light to go out. (2) One of your two O2 sensors is bad. There is one on either end of the catalytic convertor and they are "wearable parts" meaning they only last so long. They have a "pre-heater" inside them that is coated with a substance that wears away and then they will send inaccurated info to the computer. On the remote issue; The Honda remote has a computer microchip in it and it is "synced" to the main alarm and door lock. To reset after battery disconnect there is a procedure: Turn car ignition to run position, Hold in on the slim button on the right front side of the stock radion, Hold down on "lock" button on remote until you hear the lock solenoid in the door activate, Then Hold down on the "unlock" button until it activates. Your remote is now "re-synced" with the car.
  • grizz357grizz357 Posts: 5
    I also have a 98 civic LX and it gets 32mpg freeway driving so it probably is about the same as yours in city driving. The 98 year is a little bigger and heavier car than some of the other year civics and it suffers a little in mileage but is quieter on the roadnoise issues and is roomier inside and probably a little safer as well in an accident. The taking longer to start when the tank is low is normal as well on mine too and nothing to concern yourself with.
  • grizz357grizz357 Posts: 5
    Yes: $510 through a Honda Dealer for a cambelt kit includes seals and new belts and new water pump.
  • grizz357grizz357 Posts: 5
    I dont know what shops you guys are going to but the Honda dealers in Oregon will give you the radio code for free as long as you provide proof that the car belongs to you. You will just need to provide that and the number on the sticker on the top of the radio.
  • grizz357grizz357 Posts: 5
    Believe it or not car manufacturers have found that a firm seat which may seem uncomfortable to you at first is actually much more comfortable especially for your back on long trips. This is why the seats are made they way they are.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Have the stored diagnostic trouble codes retrieved (AutoZone will do it gratis) and post them. Any other approach is guesswork, and guesswork gets expensive in a hurry.
  • rizzrizz Posts: 2

    A friend of mine has a 1994 Honda Civic GLi. Anyway, on the weekend, we tried to instal a new audio system in his car. Anyway, when we were trying to instal the front right speaker, we tried to take apart the door panel but we couldn't, even after taking off the wiring. So after we found that we couldn't take it apart, we connected everything back together, and attached the door panel back and everything seems fine. However now the lock doesn't seem to be working properly. Although the door still opens and closes and locks when the door is closed, the lock would not budge when the door is open. Although this is not a very big problem since you do not lock when the door is open anyway, I was wondering what we may have done to have caused this and if anyone knows how to fix it.

    Thanks a lot in advance,
  • Thanks for you advice about syncing the remote I pressed the slim buttion on the right of the radio is the clock button i tried holding down the lock buttion but it didn't work i was unable to re-sync it.
  • kai1kai1 Posts: 1
    Ok. My honda runs fine most of the time, then every once in a while it overheats- both at freeway speeds and/or around town. It is strange, getting really hot, then cools off and is fine for no appear reason. It normally runs at perfect temp, but then spikes up occasionally nearing the red zone. I noticed when driving on curvy roads that when I turn right it cools down to normal temp sometimes, but when I go left it does not cool down. It sometimes heats right up again. First I thought it was the gauge, but one day it was running hot for a few miles, going down at times, but mostly running too hot, and it did actually overheat and push steam out. So, I changed the thermostat, and no luck. I have been watching it very closely, and it is mostly fine, but I know this can lead to very serious problems if I can't figure out the problem to fix it. I wonder about the water pump, but the "on then off" nature of the problem combined with the possible correlation of turning, makes me wonder if it could be an electrical connection issue. It goes from normal to hot and back to normal very quickly, indicating to me that it is not a normal overheating situation.
    Hoping some genius can help-
    thanks -kai
  • jmauldinjmauldin Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Civic lx 4 door
    Iam having a noise from my suspension . It sounds like the top strut ? i dont no what or how to fix it . please help
This discussion has been closed.