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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    pbagrat, I'm think there might be something to this theory of "piston slap" as my car has this in 20F or colder weather. What I can't understand is how the car could develop such a pronounced wear pattern ... yet burns ZERO engine oil.

    Perhaps it's because I used to lug the engine a little more than I should have? Perhaps it's because of the Prolong engine additive I used at around 40,000 miles which can promote wear under certain circumstances?


    --- Bror Jace
  • pbagratpbagrat Posts: 25
    My car has 143k on it now and has never burned any oil. The knock only occurs below 50F and dissapears after 10-15 minutes of driving. The higher the RPM the louder the knock. Well I'm giving the car to my brother in law next month and buying an Accord LX V-6
  • skihoserskihoser Posts: 12
    cartagram and devore -- I also had the clutch click or spring noise in my 01 EX coupe. But, at about 1500 miles the trans was replaced and after that, the noise went away. I am not saying they are related but in the transmission replacement and disconnection of the clutch, the noise dissapeared. I hope you don't have to replace the tranny to get rid of the clutch noise. Mine felt and sounded like the spring or fork was hitting something, just a click that could be felt in the pedal. Anyway, mine went away. Hope you both have the same luck.
  • goodstergoodster Posts: 4
    I don't know about this cold weather theory and piston slap because my 94 Civic LX (93K) makes the same noises in warmer weather. As a matter of fact it happened yesterday and the tempature outside was 50 degrees.

    The real problem is how do we get Honda to fix it without us having to pay for it. I bought this car under the assumption that I would be able to get 200K out of it. That doesn't look like its gonna happen. I was also wondering if it is worth it for me to change the timing belt. My mechanic said do it at 90K but I don't want to do it if the engine is gonna stop in another 10K miles because of this piston slap. Any ideas?
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Unless you blow your motor AND have the receipts to prove that you maintained it, you'll probably never get a cent out of Honda ... and on a car with 100,000 or more of otherwise trouble-free miles on it, I really don't think they owes us much more.

    I've heard of several people complaining of this exact same condition but once warmed up, the car runs flawlessly.

    If the motor blows, THEN worry about how to get some money/service out of Honda.

    --- Bror Jace
  • devoredevore Posts: 39
    I took my EX in for the first oil change and told them about the single, soft "click" I hear when I depress the clutch. A technician got into my car with me and listened to it and immediately told me it was the cruise control switch, to disengage the cruise if it's on when the clutch is pressed.

    Later that day I took the car out and sure enough the crusie light goes off JUST as the click happens.

    I think my "clicking" noise is different than the racheting noise others have complained about, but wanted to share the info.
  • anewtonanewton Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Honda Civic EX. It is coming up on 60K. The manual suggests to change the timing belt at this point. This is somewhat of a pricey upkeep. I was wondering if anyone with a civic has any advice on this topic.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    60K seems low for a change. Thought it normally is suggested at around 90-100K. Double check, maybe it just recommends inspection. If it truly says to change it I would do it within a few thousand miles of the recommended interval.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    97 Civic should have belt replaced at 105k according to manual. You may want to check the manual again.
  • alexjsalexjs Posts: 4
    Certainly keep an eye on it. Back when they used timing belts instead of chains (like in my old '85 Accord) 50-60k sounded about right. But I think chains have made a comeback, and I think they're good to maybe 100k miles under normal conditions. I'll leave the definition of 'normal' up to you... ;^)

    I would at least have it looked at around the 50k mark. When it breaks on the road, you're truly stuck. But if it needs to be replaced, get all your belts done at the same time. My mechanic said that it's a lot of trouble to get to it, so you might as well make the most of the labor $$$ and change them all.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    A timing chain lasts the life of the engine, whether that's 100k or 200k.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    there is no timing chain in the honda engine. they have always used timing belts. usually timing belts need to be replaced at 60 k mi. honda dealer will try to sell you a water pump replacement, it is totally up to you. if you do take the water pump replacement you will only pay for the pump, plus the timing belt installation fee. the worst part is that the belt costs about $10, but to have dealer replace about $300. i have bought an exteneded warranty directly from honda that covers the car up to 7 year so ro 100 000 miles. in my case i will refuse the water pump replacement. because if the pump failed on me while under warranty the warranty would pay for it.
    if you don`t have an extended warranty, you might want to look some other places to have timing belt replaced or do it your self. it will take about a day to do that. i did it on my 91 jetta, but jetta had a bigger engine bay, and in honda you have to remove one of the engine mounts to get the belts off, the engine would need to be supported from underneath with a jack.
    if you are going to do it yourself, i would suggest getting honda`s service manual as well as chilron or the other name, i forgot manual provides detailed pictures but no word on how to do things, and chilton (and the other brown book i think) provides detailed descriptions and the order. if everything works out well, it will give you a great sence of accomplishment, if it doesn`t work out you will end up spending double to have someone fix it.
    be forewarned though, hondas are very difficult to work on due to the confined space in the engine bay, be prepared for some scraped knuckles and some blood.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    If I were you I would'nt bet on that warranty will pay for your water pump. Plus your water pump will most likely fail after 100K.
  • accordicaccordic Posts: 8
    We have a 01 Civic for server months. My wife and I have both noticed that the key is very warm just pull out from the car after driving. Much warmer/hotter than that of other cars we own. Has anyone noticed this? It that normal? It must be something heats the key up.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    It will take out your timing belt. The resulting bent valves may not be covered under your warranty.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Extended warranties usually have many restrictions that don't cover items that are common to fail. This favours the insurance company that is providing the warranty. This is why extended warranties are in many cases a waste of money, except if you are the dealer selling the policy.
  • jhofferjhoffer Posts: 2
    Hi. This is my first time on the board so bear with me. I have been enjoying the info from everyone. Took my 1996 Civic EX with 60K to Honda dealer for official oil change yesterday. Mentioned a occasional chattering noise after turning a corner or accelerating from a stop. I thought it was from the engine. Service tech said it was probably the CV boot, not engine, and would do road test. Couldn't find the noise, of course. Didn't mention any leaking either. Tech said not to worry about it until it got worse. I've now done some reading on some web sites and it sounds like something that should be fixed right away. Any thoughts on the problem?
  • racer_x_9racer_x_9 Posts: 91
    Check the heat deflector that surrounds the Catalytic Converter when the car is COLD (this can be very hot at times after running). If you have a mirror you could probably check without jacking the car up or touching anything. Often the metal around the bolts will rust on one side and cause a chatter when accelerating. Two good size radiator clamps (5 inch - one in front and one in back) should to the trick.
  • scottintxscottintx Posts: 10
    My new 2001 Civic just went through a hail storm. While the neighbors' cars went unscathed, my Civic looks like it has moguls on a Double Diamond at Aspen. Is the metal they use for the Civics just softer or am I imagining things. Surely the size of the hail was the same at my neighbors as it was at my house. And yes, my neighbor, like me, was caught with his pants down and had his car outside as well. Any thoughts besides the fact that I should use the garage?
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i belive when i signed the contract it said that the warranty i am getting is the same warranty the manufacturer provides for the car but just extended. in the contract it only mentioned that brakes, clutch, battery, and some other wearables not covered. and it also stated that if an item covered by the contract failed and and caused another item to fail both will be covered. if the water pump failed and caused the timing belt to break which in turn caused the valves to be bent i guess i can legally fight the warranty company (hondacare) since it was clearly written in the contract that the chain reactions will be covered. i hope i never have to use the warranty, the only reason i bought it is to increase the resale value, and a great deal i got on it ($600)
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    The Civic has very thin sheet metal to keep weight down. I've noticed that the front fenders are particularly weak in the area next to the doors at about knee level. A small amount of pressure applied there could easily bend that panel.
  • strong68strong68 Posts: 22
    I've noticed that my backup lights are sort of a reddish/pink color instead of the normal clear plastic that covers the backup lights. Has anyone else noticed this?
  • strong68strong68 Posts: 22
    I've had my 2001 Civic Sedan for a little over a week now and I've noticed that when the automatic upshifts the tachometer while keep rising like it will never shift into 3rd and then it finally does. 1st and 2nd are close together and shift smoothly, but it seems it takes a long time to shift into 3rd and 4th. The RPMS's are high when it finally shifts. Anyone else noticed this on the 2001 LX? Is this normal to upshift like this and part of the ULEV designation?
  • I have a '91 CR SI. The air works fine sometimes for several minutes upon initial startup and then cuts out and generally will not work again for several hours. Also, if I drive the car a short distance the air will work, if I turn off the car and re start pretty quickly, no a/c. I have been told the compressor clutch is failing. I have been told it needs freeon, ie: after it has been running the pressure on the low side gets too low because there is not enough freeon and it shuts itself off. This seems a little inconsistent so I am not sure. The reason I say it is inconsistent is this, if I drive the car for a while without the a/c on (getting it nice and warm) then turn on the air it usually will not come on. I have also been told the compressor needs to be replaced. I find this hard to believe since the a/c works very well when it does in fact work. Any experience or suggestions?

  • scooter62scooter62 Posts: 18
    Yep, mine are the same. Dont know why...the lights are plenty bright. Dont think it matters.
  • smavsmav Posts: 2
    My 1999 LX gives a clicking sound when using the Cruise Control at low speeds--less than 35 miles per hour. I like to use it to make sure I don't speed through neighborhoods. Anyone else have this same noise? Minor anoyance--but it's still under warranty and if it's a real problem, I want to get it fixed, at Honda's expense.
  • Is your car an automatic or 5spd? Just curious really. Does the clicking sound mechanical or electric? In any case, it seems terribly unsafe to use cruise control in a neighborhood.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    look in the check window wheteher you have foam or a stream. on honda compressors there is a safety switch which will shut off the compressor when there is not enough freon/oil. i think it just needs to be pressure tested, if there are no leaks, either recharge or convert to R134, it is cheaper and safer for ozone, but the cooling efficiency will decrease since the system was designed for R12, you might have to add another fan infront of the a/c radiator and connect it so it is always on when the a/c is on.

    cruise, if you have 5spd, put it in 2nd gear and try cruising at 35 mph, it will be noisy, but you won`t hear clicking. most liekely the clicking is form the engine not spinning fast enough and stalling on you.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    On the Accord board one of the helpful guys there told me the clicking I was hearing on my Accord when using the cruise under 35 mph was a known issue. He didn't have any repair advice but maybe the Civic has the same issue.
  • df5ctrddf5ctrd Posts: 3
    I have a 1994 Civix EX and was wondering what is a reasonable price for changing the timing belt and water pump. I called several places (dealers, gas stations, etc.) and they all said that the price is approximately $400 ($100 for timing belt, $100 for water pump, and about $200 for labor). Is this about right?
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