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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Ill lay it all out for you. !992 honda civic hatchback VX. Manual trans, 182716 miles. Car idles fine ,doesnt miss at all. Car drives fine when it is cold ,doesnt miss at all.Smooth as glass. When said car gets to "Normal Operating Temperature" is where my problems start. When you are accelerating car drives smooth as glass. When you are going up a hill again smooth as glass. But when you have to maintain a Constant speed , no matter what that speed is she begins to stutter, sputter, and jerk.It does not do it when I set in the yard and have the car in Neutral and I hold the rpms at 3000, 2000, 4000 doesnt matter smooth as glass.Only in gear and moving on a levelsurface and constant speed . This is what I have done to it Yesterday. New all of this. fuel filter, oil filter, plugs ,wires, synthetic oil, air filter, new o2 sensor. Will someone please help me before i go out of my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am going to go out on a limb and present the worst case scenario. The VX has what was called VTEC-E, which was later used in hybrid car engines. It runs very lean when power is not needed, such as coasting. I would start looking into VTEC operation. But this would be my last resort, because it may get pricey.

    Did you get an OEM O2 sensor or aftermarket? This may be one of the causes, VTEC-E relyes heavily on the computer readouts to determine what air/fuel ratio to use, as well as how many valves to open. I belive it switches from 12 to 16 valve operation under load. Check the valve clearance and tension, they probably need adjusting. Are you using correct grade of engine oil? VTEC uses oil pressure to operate, too heavy or too light oil may have an effect on VTEC operation. Check Mass air flow sensor for proper operation.

    If you are going to do all the work your self, see if there is a Helms manual for the VX specifically. It should list the ohmmeter readouts for all the sensors for varyous conditions.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I need to reset the engine light on my 96 Honda Civic Si. I replaced a faulty oxygen sensor and now I need to reset the light to turn it off. Does anyone know what the easiest way to do this is? I could take it back to my garage for a fee. They would clear the message light via computer. Is there a way to do this myself either by disconnecting the battery or by some other means? Any suggestions would be most appreciated...thanks...

    Sometimes disconnecting the battery for half hour resets the computer. Make sure you have the code for your OEM radio, if you have OEM radio.

    After reset your car will have to re-learn all your driving habits, give it a couple of hours of driving to reprogram the fuel and power maps.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    All of this is probably moot since I doubt you would be able to even find one of these oddball Civics.

    In the ten years I've been in the business, I MAY have seen five of these. They weren't good sellers when new so they are pretty scarce now as used cars.

    Not bad cars. They ride and accelerate like the economy cars they are.
  • , pretty sure it is after market. I am using 5-30 synthetic Mobil. Someone told me that the fuel injection may be clogged up seeing as it set for a while before being driven. That option is Free to check so i am going to go that route also I also ordered a MAP sensor.We will see. Thank you
  • My 2003 Civic EX has had a squeaky clutch now for about 5000 miles. It happens mainly in the morning or when the car has been sitting awhile...(like 6 or more hours). It sounds like it is coming from the engine bay. The noise happens every time there is operation of the clutch. The noise tends to go away after an extended period of time. It doesn't seem to be affecting the performance of the car, but it is running my last nerve. The car has 45,000 miles on it. Anyone else have this same problem, and is there a fix for it? Thanks.
  • shawnhshawnh Posts: 3
    i have a 98civic 4dr lx... i just replaced the radiator b/c of a crack/leak in the other one(not sure if it was the original). After replacing the radiator, the fan wouldn't come on and it started to overheat. Thinking it might be a blown fuse or something my friend switched one of the relays and the fan started working.... well we thought it was all good until we put the other one back on the a/c condensing fan and it started working ... well anyhow the fan would work but not until it got over 3/4 on the gauge which wasnt even close to normal even on the cracked radiator. The guy at o'reillys said something about maybe an air pocket... but that still wouldnt explain why the fan didnt start till the temp.gauge is 3/4 of the way. my friend thinks it my be the temp.gauge sensor ... but i wasnt having this problem before... thank you and i appreciate anyone who can help me
  • shawnhshawnh Posts: 3
    hey man not sure what year you have but my 98civiclx auto. does that too... its always been kinda a hard shifter but ive had it 30000 miles(now 78,000) or so and it seems to get worse.. interestingly enough though is that in hotter weather it shifts smoother. im pretty sure eventually the transmission will go out... i havent replaced/flushed the transmission oil ever since ive had the car and some advice from others tell me i probably shouldn't change it now. i wouldnt mind knowing if its just certain civics/hondas.
  • shawnhshawnh Posts: 3
    hey i had the same problem w/ my 98 civic @ 67000mi ... my light came on and it was the o2 sensor... when i was replacing @ 78000 it i found i too have a decent sized crack in the exhaust manifold. i had some1 reset the check engine light and it hasnt come since replacing it though. it now runs noticably smoother.
  • mgeismgeis Posts: 1
    Recently I had a near-dead, but not totally dead battery in my 95 EX. I got a jump, got rolling, my radio was working (we've had to enter the code in the past when we disconnect the battery, so we're familiar w/that issue). However, this time, I noticed that the red "anti-theft" light near the rear defrost button was on while I was driving. Normally it flashes when the car is parked, etc. I think it has something to do w/the alarm, as now my alarm button on my keychain will remotely lock the doors, but it will not set or unset the alarm.

    In short, the problem seems to be that the alarm is not working, ever since my near-dead battery. Keyless entry and radio still work just fine.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

    ps. First time post, sorry if this is a repeat. Couldn't find this topic in the forum.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    i have a 98civic 4dr lx... i just replaced the radiator b/c of a crack/leak in the other one(not sure if it was the original). After replacing the radiator, the fan wouldn't come on and it started to overheat. Thinking it might be a blown fuse or something my friend switched one of the relays and the fan started working.... well we thought it was all good until we put the other one back on the a/c condensing fan and it started working ... well anyhow the fan would work but not until it got over 3/4 on the gauge which wasnt even close to normal even on the cracked radiator. The guy at o'reillys said something about maybe an air pocket... but that still wouldnt explain why the fan didnt start till the temp.gauge is 3/4 of the way. my friend thinks it my be the temp.gauge sensor ... but i wasnt having this problem before... thank you and i appreciate anyone who can help me

    I don't have an exact answer, but just going on a tangent here. What kind of coolant did you refill it with after changing the radiator. Different coolants may have different heat capacities, although they shouldn't. This may explain why you get a delay in fan coming on. The gauge in the dash is wired to the engine block, while the fan switch is wired to the actual coolant temp sensor. The difference in heat capacities is what giving you the delay. If you used aftermarket coolant, try switching to Honda OEM coolant and see if the problem persists (it is not really a problem, though)
  • i have the exact same problem. it's been like this for almost a year, sometimes, it'll work, but usually it doesn't. It just pops around from 15 to 20 and the pops get faster the faster my car goes. I've taken out my gauge cluster and checked everything with a multimeter, but nothing seemed wrong. i think there's a cable or something that connects somewhere from the transmission that may be kinked or something. If you figure out how to fix the problem, PLEASE tell me.

  • dead9uydead9uy Posts: 6
    I had that problem once and the dealer found a loose ground that was shorting out that fuse. He soldered it down and it's been fine since.
  • When I removed the air filter from my 01 Civic I found pieces of dried bread under it.
    I know it sounds crazy but any ideas?
  • I have a '99 Civic with 103K miles and just started having some issues with the motor mount. In my case, the top of the motor mount cap is wet with hydraulic oil. It appears that the seal in the casing has probably deteriorated or simply loosened over time. My dealer quoted $94 for the part and about two hours labor. Do you have any evidence of leaking hydraulic oil on your mount cap? Curious.
  • Check out - I found my Yokohama Grand Touring tires there. Check this out - 80K mile warranty and $46 a tire. I negotiated with a local tire place that claimed to have the "lowest pricing guaranteed" and got the 4 tires with full 4 wheel alignment and replacement guarantee for $250.00. They ride great - very quiet and responsive. I live in Boston and am a spirited driver, so you can take my word for it - these are a great deal for tires.
  • Maybe the last person who changed it was eating a sandwich over the engine? Sorry. I couldn't resist.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    You may have a rat living in your engine compartment.

    A friend had his air intake crammed full of dried dog food once!
  • biochem4biochem4 Posts: 1
    I'm sorry, but it's physically impossible for a car to lurch while having your foot FIRMLY pressed on the brake pedal. The drivetrain/braking system work together when people drive but are mostly separate physical entities. A problem in your engine management system will not directly affect your braking situation in the manner you are describing. While it is possible for some problems to affect one another, it is highly doubtful in this case as the reversal problems are at low speeds. I own a 99 civic VP and have noticed that the car will continue movement if your foot is slightly on the brake. There have been many occasions where I thought that I had adequatley had my foot on the brake, but noticed that the car continues to roll ever so slowly forward. I don't mean to insult anyones intelligence however there are possibilities as to why this is happening:

    1) If you exit a freeway and do not disengage cruise control, this can cause something weired to happen with your engine operations, however this is quite rare.
    2) As stated in previous posts, it is highly likely that an engine idiling at high RPM's (900-1500 rpm is normal with Honda's) causes the car to cause a lurching sensation when shifting into a gear. Thus, if your foot is not exerting adequate force on the brake pedal, the car will continue on it's momentum causing you to temporarily loose control.
    3) As you decel. from freeway speeds, the fuzzy logic computer management in the automatic transmission has been programmed by Honda (other manufacturers do this too) to drop the transmission from 4-th gear to the lower 3-rd gear to utilize the engine for braking. This causes the rpm's to rev will into the 3000 range and thus slow the car down. If the car is in fact accelerating. you have a special condition on your hands, possibly induced by the cruise control system within the car.

    Honda would have a major problem on their hands if these cases were true, however driver error is probably to blame. Furthermore, irregardless of how long you've been a "CDL" or licensed driver, if you're not stepping on the brake hard enough, you're err-ing and causing a problem with the operation of the vehicle. Don't blame Honda for this, most people are not experiencing the same problem. You've got a great vehicle on your hands, learn to enjoy it.
  • cac915cac915 Posts: 2
    My 98 HX is having a hard time keeping power to all the electrical things in my car. If I am sitting at a stop light and I have the air, radio, and lights on the RPMs dip super low, the car shutters, the radio turns off and then on, and the lights dim. This doesn't happen all the time, but more than less. This problem also occurs when I am driving at high speed (70mph) and then hit my brakes suddenly.

    I took it to the car to the dealer and they found the idle to be normal, the alternator charging at the correct voltage, and the battery passed the load test. Nevertheless, they sent me on my way and basically said I was crazy.

    I took the car back two days later because it kept happening and a few times the RPMs dipped to 0 and I smashed the gas to keep the car running. This time, the dealer said that the alternator was not charging and they replaced it.

    $450 later, my car is still doing the same thing. I am going back to the dealer on Monday for the manager to take a drive with me. Anyone have any ideas about what the problem may be? Any suggestions would be helpful!
  • irnchefirnchef Posts: 1
    You may have to check the Alarm to see if there is a fuse blown at activates the alarm, or possibly a relay. The keyless entry and locks will work there on separate relays and fuses. BAD part the alarm brain is in the middle of the dash. :confuse:
  • Unfortunately my '97 Civic has a valve that occassionally misfires (about once every 12 - 18 months) and the dealership just "resets" the computer stating nothing needs to be replaced. The valve just misfired again yesterday, but I would like to avoid having to take it to the dealership, I'm tired of getting charged for something that should have been fixed under warranty (3 times in 36K miles) at the beginning. This is my first car, I now know to be more aggressive with these kinds of things. My question is... if I were to disconnect the battery, would this light go away when I reconnect? Is this recommended?

    Thanks in advance!
  • bg7163bg7163 Posts: 3
    With my 98 Civic LX Sedan, the engine light came on around 50,870 miles and the primary o2 sensor was replaced. All was fairly well until this past winter when the gas mileage got down to as low as 20 mpg. The exhaust manifold was found to be cracked and leaking. The dealer replaced the manifold/cat converter, both gaskets, and nuts per emissions warranty, at 78,843 miles, 3/23/05. Then, yesterday, the engine light came on again. Checked gas cap, etc., per owner's manual instructions, no problem found. Continued driving. Discovered the speedometer, odometer, trip meter and the cruise control was no longer working and the automatic transmission started jerking around at lower speeds, when slowing for a stop sign or accelerating. What's going on??? Can I continue driving this car until it can be fixed? ??? Can I even drive it to the dealer 45 miles away???? Any guidance would be appreciated.
  • i dont know i think getting the vx was the worst thing i could have done. the o2 sensor is 5 times more expensive that a dx,lx or any other x model. The map sensor is also the same price about $300 . That is rediculous . and the mileage isnt all that great but maybe it is because of the bad $300 dollar o2 sensor also. :sick:
  • sek4mlksek4mlk Posts: 24
    My attempt to replace my air cleaner element was stopped short when one of the screws around the perimeter of the air cleaner cover refused to back out. It turns, but won't disengage from the nut embedded in the lower housing case. Appears it was cross threaded when local Honda dealer performed 30K service, which included air cleaner element replacement, over a year ago. Any ideas appreciated.
  • I see on the web that they show u can use a Bosch LSU4 o2 sensor. this is a wide band sensor. Does anyone know if you have to rewire your plug or if there is a way to make it work on a VX. The price difference is about 250 dollars.
  • cac915cac915 Posts: 2
    So, took the car to the dealer today. The manager said that he never saw a Honda do what my car did. I was wondering why no one answered my previous post! While we stopped and the RPMs were dipping lower than normal we turned everything on in the car (radio, lights, air, defrost) and the RPMs dipped to 0, but the engine still ran. The SRS light came on and off and then the car shut off completely. We got this to happen twice. Now the dealer has my car and is going to try to "catch" the car doing the same thing, since it doesn't happen all the time, while it is hooked up to the machines.

    I thought if anyone else was having this sort of problem, it would be helpful to update. This is also a double check to make sure I am not getting ripped off. Any comments, suggestions, or sympathies would be appreciated.
  • charles14charles14 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 civic, manual transmission, 75k miles. The car shifts fine, but I've noticed an occasional grinding/rattling noise. The noise happens only when it is in gear, mostly when the car is slowing down in each gear. The noise goes away completely when I depress the clutch and also when I first shift into a gear and the car is accelerating. Other than the noise, I haven't noticed any performance issues. Does anyone have any experience with this problem? How expensive might this be to fix?
  • randylrandyl Posts: 1
    Hi, I started to have this problem a few weeks ago. The car was starting all right all winter ( Canadian winter, that is ), but when the temperature gets to about 30 degree C (90+ F?), the car sometimes refuses to start. Eventually it will after enough tries or let it sit there for 5 minutes and try again until it starts.

    Still, never had this problem in the morning or at night when it's cool, always in the hot afternoon after work. Once the car starts, there is no problem at all. I also found that if I let the car idle for 10 extra sec before shutting it off in the morning when I get to the office, then I won't have problem starting in the afternoon, not sure if that's just accidental or that says something.

    The car runs fine and is pretty good on gas, with no other problem. I am guessing something wrong with some kind of sensor or something along that line. Any one had this problem before? If I bring it in to the dealer or garage, they will probably not reproduce the problem and just blindly suggest what to replace. I'd like to get some more ideas before I bring it in.

    BTW, still love this car even though it sometimes acts up....
  • mattya802mattya802 Posts: 3
    I was just wondering if anyone with a owners manual could let me know the mph suggest shift points, maximum speeds and red line rpm for the car. Thanx alot and any information would be helpful.
  • My 2001 Honda Civic is having a problem with the A/C. It seems to run fine at times (compressor cycling and cold air blowing), but at other times the A/C compressor clutch does not engage at all. I originally thought it was low on R134A and that the low pressure switch was preventing compressor engagement. However, I bought a recharge kit with a pressure gauge and the gauge states that the charge is fine.

    Has anyone else had this sporadic problem?
This discussion has been closed.