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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • I'm I correct when I say that the JD Power survey's BELOW AVERAGE designation means that the Civic has a below average number of problems than other cars?
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    The Civic has more than average number of problems according to the survey not less.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    My point was that with the number of Civics out there only 550 posts is doing rather well. Especially when you consider how many of them consist of bickering back and forth about the best way to judge actual reliability or what type of oil to use. I don't doubt there are totally screwed Civics out there but there are totally bulletproof ones also. Since the Civic scored so terribly in J.D. Power what are you going to go buy now???? A Corrolla???
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Corolla has great reliability, but is possibly the most unexciting car to drive according to the reviews I have read. Unfortunately, the totally bulletproof Civics are probably older ones, not the 01s.
  • I have a brand new '01 Civic and the only gripe I have with it is when hitting certain roads, there's a pretty noticable rattle in the dashboard and doors. I can't figure out what it is so I've decided to take it in to the dealership. Maybe they can figure something out. Has anybody else had this problem?
  • daveyddaveyd Posts: 14
    I just got my 2001 Honda Civic EX last week. For the week I have had this i havent heard any of the noises some people are describing. One noise i noticed was coins rattling around in the little coin box underneath the cruise-sunroof switches. I have the automatic transmission, and i have noticed that there is a clicking noise when i shift it into reverse and than into drive. One other thing I am very disappointed with is quality control at Honda Motors. My car is the silver metallic color. On the passenger side the door and front fender are a different tint of the silver. My dealer is actually taking the car and going to have it repainted. I am not happy with that. I know the body guy who is going to repaint it, so i know he is going to do a good job. But it could happen that the paint might not match up with the rest of the car, than what should i do? Send the car back and say i want another one? But other than that problem, i love the car. I try to drive it all over if possible. For me being 20, this car is afforidable, with gas going up, and my old car kept breaking on me.
    This whole JD Power survey is just that: A SURVEY!!! What one person likes, maybe someone elses dislike. Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, and reports are just that too, opinions of some person. I like my 2001 Honda Civic. I compared this car to a Mazda Protege, Ford Focus, and ZX2, Dodge Neon. And the Honda was the best decision for me.
    This is just my 2 cents
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    Hondas are GOOD cars - Toyotas are GOOD cars - I have driven nothing else for the past 21 years - however, no two cars are exactly the same - and there is no such things as "the perfect car" -
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    What about the driver's side, does the paint on the door and fender match? Although possible, it is highly unlikely that there will be a mismatch at the factory (it's not like they paint the parts and assemble them). The culprit... has your car been damaged/repaired? Check the fender splashguard push-clips, do they have tool marks (indicating they have been removed)? And the same with the fender bolts under the hood.
  • carguy000carguy000 Posts: 55
    I bought a 2001 Civic EX Auto w/side air bags on March 27, 2001. I've had none of the problems, such as the radio "CODE" problems, gas gauge, and PCM module problems. My car was built in 2/01. I now have 3500 miles on it and consistently get 34 miles per gallon in city, and get 38 on the highway. The only problem that I've had is a small creak that comes from the driver door area when I go into my driveway. This didn't happen when it was new and I'm going to have it checked; maybe they can do something about it. I'll be going to college next year (UNC-Chapel Hill) and am looking forward to many trouble-free years with my Civic. I understand that the Civic didn't do too well in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. I believe this can be attributed to the widespread radio "CODE" problems and the gas gauge problems that plagued early production Civics. I believe Honda has these problems fixed since I haven't had trouble with these problems. Hondas and Civics are known for their reliability records. The '01 Civics may have had some INITIAL problems that the Initial Survey would have picked up on, but I believe that they will be just as reliable as they have always been in the long run.

    My .02
  • daveyddaveyd Posts: 14
    I had three different auto body guys look at my car. They all determined that this car has NOT been repainted. This car was NOT taken apart and fixed again. The drivers side matches just fine. What I believe, the auto body people, and the dealership and dealership sales manager, is that the computer that controls the paint spray probably ran out of paint and the car kept right on going down the line, without it be checked over. I had the car for three days without actually noticing the problem because of the cloudy weather we had, but in the sun the door is Very noticeable. I also have to say that this car looks much much better than the black one I was looking at. I already have a black car. Black is nice, but so hard to maintain clean, and with the recent rains we have been having, this car looks clean from a distance.
    But what should I get the car back and it still doesnt match correctly? There is only one Honda dealership up here. Should I request a different vehicle because I am paying for this car, and I want to keep this car for a while. I love driving this car.
    My car also doesn't have the radio, or gas gauge problem, but I have only had the car for a week, but we will wait and see what happens
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Give the dealer a chance to repaint your fender before getting into a fighting match. If it matches after the repair, you will soon forget about the whole experience.

    JD Power survey is not just a bunch of opinions. If the same questions are asked to all of the car makes surveyed (which they were), then you still have a level playing field. The "opinions" of a Lexus owner are no more or less accurate than those of a Kia owner. So why wasn't Kia at No.1? No it is not scientific, but I believe it provides a reasonable idea of how each model is performing. The Civic scored low and I can understand some people may be in a state of denial. But denial is just a river in Egypt. Sorry, I had to end all of this negativism with a joke.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Is that when it comes time to sell it it implies that the car has been in an accident of some type. If a professional appraiser looks at your car he is going to ding it for paintwork. Keep the paint to an absolute minimum.
    All this is moot if you drive you car until the tires fall off.
    To all... Long live your Civic.
  • massagemassage Posts: 7
    hi I am a new honda owner even thou it is a 92 civic with 60,000 miles. The speedometer shoots up to 60 mph then sits at 0 for a couple miles every so often I brought in to honda dealer and they told me to check connections with the two sensors they said they could not check the sensors unless it was happening at the time they checked it. does any one have a suggestion. The connections were as clean as a whistle
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    hvtec2000, don't let the correspondence on this site get you down about your car. EVERY car has problems and discussions like these tend to make one think they are an epidemic. It's kinda like medical students who are convinced they have several serious illnesses when they start their course of study. You are likely to get great service from your Civic. >:^)

    As for 5W20 motor oil, there is a great deal of discussion about this in the "Engine Oil - a slippery subject" and "Synthetic Motor Oil" threads in this maintenance section. Basically, 5W30 (especially synthetic) is an acceptable substitute if you (like me) feel the new stuff protects engines only marginally.

    Sherman_WM, the A/C on Civic DX cars is DEALER INSTALLED and is not as good as the factory installed units most Hondas have ... on average. The dealer-installed air on my '95 Civic Coupe DX with over 100,000 miles on it is fine, however.

    --- Bror Jace
  • john326john326 Posts: 2
    Hi, curious if anyone else besides me and the other gentleman has had slow power windows. The problem is readily apparent when it's wet out. They go down OK, but coming back up is really slow. I guess I will just have to take it in.
  • john326john326 Posts: 2
    To Rogger1, check the fuses of course, doubt that it's a relay. Do they ever work? If so, may be the wires between the door and car body. Move the wries around and see if it starts working. But, if you've checked the fuse, and think you can find the relay (good luck), and both are OK, it's likely the wires have broken inside the wiring harness. Had the same problem with my '89 Camry.
  • hvtec2000hvtec2000 Posts: 12
    too many problems to list out about Honda. Noises, painting, seat, radio, mechanical, etc. I took my car on a trip for two hours and noticed that my car is really weak. It took awhile to get it up to high speed. Put it on cruise and it kicked the rpm up to 4x1000 when it needed to climb.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i have a 99 civic ex (factory a/c) no problems, every morning when i turn it on, i get fog coming out of the a/c vent (that is how cold it is) i actually have to cycle it on and off to not to freeze in my car when it is 90 outside. at one point last summer when driving long distance i had frost forming on the outside of the window (i had the vents blowing air to the sides so that i don`t freeze to death in my car) on a hot and humid day. and it is a black car, which is more difficult to cool. the reason i opted for ex over other trims was the fact that it came with everything standard, no dealer options except for a cassette deck on top of the am/fm/cd 6 speaker stereo.

    as far as pick up, i would assume the 1.7 liter would have more pick up than my 1.6 liter. you just have to learn how to drive it. the reason people reccomend 5 spd with a honda engine is that you need to shift very late to get the full potential out of the little engine. when i am in the mood for fast driving i usually shift very close to the red line. if you want pick up at low rpm`s you have to buy a car with at least 2.0 liter engine. but your fuel economy will suffer greately. great fuel economy that civics offer comes at a price. the price is pick up, that is why honda developed the vtec, so people who want more pep can get it on demand. but don`t complain when your MPG`s go into the 20`s from the mid 30`s you have been enjoying. shifting late will lower your mpg significantly.
  • I really don't care what JD Power says. If you read Consumer Guide or Consumer Reports, they both rate the 2001 Civic higher than any other car in its class, i.e. Corolla, Elantra, etc. It's way above the class average and thus influenced my decision to pick this vehicle up.

    My thought is JD Power must be in bed with the American auto industry because I have a really hard time believing that any American car could have better quality than a Japanese make.

    Don't flame me; just stating my 2 cents.

  • pj23pj23 Posts: 158

    My '01 Civic coupe is silver, and also has the mismatched paint on the passenger side door, while the driver side door is fine. I really notice it on the trailing edge of the door, and only in certain light.

    As for having the dealer repaint it, I won't let them touch it. This is actually the second car they've given me. The first one had a deep paint chip in the passenger door, and when they repainted it, it was a very different shade of silver than the rest of the car. My confidence in their ability is not high. However, when I think back, I believe that the original paint on that car's passenger door was also slightly off.

    Sounds like maybe this is a common problem?

    Other than that, no problems with the car (radio, gas gauge, etc.)
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I don't agree with "I have a really hard time believing that any American car could have better quality than a Japanese make."
    To me, quality does not have nationality in global economic world. I think majority of people have some type of myth that Honda and Toyota are the only superior cars in the US market. Absolutely not. Lets look at some examples like Hyundai Elantra either 4cyc. or V6. They are in the same range with Civic LX they have better warranty, they have everything that Civics have, their engines are more powerful. New generation Neon, my wife has 2K Neon. It is excellent car interms of performance (132HP), it has 4 wheel ABS Disc Brakes, in dash CD, AT and we only paid $11.5K after rebate.We put 6K miles, it works like Swiss clock. I drove 2K rental Intrepid for two weeks during my vacation. Excellent performance, nice passing power, smooth ride, good look, very comfortable seats. Unlike edmunds states interior was not cheap at all. Also the other LH cars from DC and Impala from Chevy. The Impala is far superior than any Toyo or Accord in terms of technology, power, comfort. I drove 3 different generations Honda (91, 99 Accords, 93 Civic) 94 Corolla, Subaru.
    I don't really care what JD Power says either nor Consumer report. Especially CS hence so many people don't have ability to differentiate what the real problem is on their car. Their statistical sample pools are limited to people who have subscription to CS magazine. Like one user is complaining about seat, passing power(What you expect from 114HP car???)
    and other things. Most likely he will give below perfect marks to Civic if he receives the questionnaire from CS. But in fact Civic is a good car even tough it is overpriced.
    This is my $0.02. There are others too.
  • Hi!

    Your personal experience with American vehicles is, for the most part, positive to say the least. My family, myself included, have had terrible luck with American vehicles; vehicles that are supposed to be on the more reliable side of American automotive manufacturing. Ford, Dodge and Chevy trucks to mention a few. We were plagued by electrical and transmission problems mostly. My father bought an accord in 1991 and never looked back. It has close to 160K miles on it while never requiring irregular maintenance. He recommended the Civic to me and I took into account his success with his Accord. I traded in my 1998 Dodge Dakota 4X4 truck with only 40K miles. BTW, at 40K, I had more problems with that damn truck than you could shake the proverbial stick at.

    I enjoy my new Honda and hopefully it will give me a long, reliable life. Most individuals I talk with will tell me that Honda=reliablity. Seems true to me in retrospect.

    Thanks for listening!
  • hvtec2000hvtec2000 Posts: 12
    Did any one receive the Product Update from Automobile Division to replace Civic Powertrain Control Module? Do they have head quarter phone numbers where we (Civic owners) can call and report or complaint about the problems? Dealing with dealers is not a really easy thing to do. If they don't know how to fix or what to do they just try to egnore it by claiming at something else. I brought my car back to many dealers (I think more than 4 times) and they still can't find the noise that's coming from the right front of my car. It also makes noise when shifting from first to second gear. Service at Honda is really suck not as good as Toyota, Dodge, etc. The sad thing is I keep seeing people buying this Civic 01 and have no idea what's really going on with this car. I wish there is a way to spread all the messages in here through everybody to notice them. That way Honda might think of changing their attitude with customers and sell better products. Lots of sad story that I'd seen by myself about Honda Dealers.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    are not necessarily synonymous. A warranty is essentially an economic tool for the consumer, and a marketing component for the manufacturer. Hyundai's 10-yr warr does not make it a better car to TOY/HON, at least not in a mechanical sense. All being equal, a good car is primarily based on its longevity (afterall, it is still a mechanical device). How can you effectively tell what is a good car when it is only 0-2 yrs old. Besides, at least a major portion of a car's warr is built into the price (makes you wonder what the Hyundai is worth).
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    With an OHV engine? Just for starters. And no side air bags?
    Elantra has no V6. And even though the engine is rated more powerful than the EX it's slower.
    Neon has the value retention of a falling brick. And the long term reliability of whatever the brick hits.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    impala is in accord/camry category and should not be compared here. if we would compare civic to a chevy product, it will be cavalier/sunfire, anyone here wants to say anything nice about the car. i don`t own one, but a friend does. even though cavalier has a 2.2 liter and my civic has 1.6 liter, my pick up is better. the cavalier engine, undoubtely, has more torque and hp than civic, but for some reason, after the initial violent jerk from standstill it is all gone and becomes a very annoying noise, where honda keeps on getting stronger and stronger as rpms climb, and the noise is not annoying, at least to me it is music. i may not get the neck breaking intial jerk tha cavalier gets, but i get to the next light way before he does.

    to compare interpid to civic is like saying my elephant can squish your taxon. take accord ex v6 and compare it to interpid. i drove a friends intrepid once, let me tell you, if you enjoy holding the steering wheel with both hands, this is the car for you. the car is contantly searching for the road, it is not staying straight, i had to keep correcting it at all times. the car was only few months old when i drove it, compare that to accords crisp handling and accord comes out on top. and for $22G (V6 ex)you get leather seats, sunroof, pwr everything, sunroof, climate control, and a whole bunch of stuff.
    dodge neon, neon has been on the market for 5 years i think. look at a 5 year old civic`s repair history and a neon history. neon has a a mile long list of minor and major failures. the "self-adjusting" ABS brakes that need to be adjusted at the shop are one for example.
    i can go on and on, but i won`t
  • cwosignscwosigns Posts: 13
    I have to agree with dudka on this one. Whether you are a fan of domestics or imports, you CANNOT argue with the fact that when it comes to long-term reliability you cannot beat a Honda or a Toyota. If you want proof, look at how many Accords and Civics that are on the road. Not the NEW ones, but the old ones. I'm talking 3rd and 4th gen Civics and the Accords from the mid 80's. I see a lot of them on the road, and for the most part in great condition. How many American cars do you see on the road that were manufactured in the mid 80's that are in good repair? Most of the ones I see are churning out blue smoke into the atmosphere.

    I had a '98 Neon. In the first 6 mos I owned it, my water pump went bad. Left me stranded, and I had to get a tow. And as far as warranties are concerned, yes the Neon was under warranty. But who wants to spend their time in a waiting room at the dealer waiting for their car to get repaired. I think American cars are getting better in INITIAL quality, but long term reliability is still the measure of a vehicle. My accord (still runs) has 188,000 miles and my '97 Civic has 163,500 w/nothing but regularly scheduled maintenance.

    Imports rule! Catch up, Detroit.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    fxashun: My intention was to write Sonata rather than Elentra. People who have negative impression on Neons are the ones who never drive the new generation Neons. This car has only 7 or 8 years old. The point it has reached is very impressive compared to very first generation Hondas in late 70s early 80s. Honda reached this point within more than 10 years. People should give the same time frame to any manufacturer.
    IMO EX is a joke. Overpriced car to squize more money from consumer. Any base model Neon can kicks out Civic EX. I am not even talking about R/T. But all these performance comparisons. Civics are good cars, to me they are overpriced. Any consumer can get the same usage from different manufacturer with less money. Civic is not a unique car interms of long term reliability. Everything depends on the owner and the maintenance.
    If you wanna explore something new and exciting, take a test drive on Impala LS. You will see what I mean.

    Dudka: I went back and reread my post, did not see any indication that I was comparing Intrepid/Impala with Civic. I gave these names to show US manufacturers might have good cars as good as Japaneese ones based on some other person's posting. For the Noen comments you can refer to my response to fxashun.
    Up until two months back I had 99 Accord LX. Last winter, during my Florida vacation I rented 2K intrepid and drove 1.8K miles. I was holding the steering with my tumbs. It was as smooth as Accord. Your friend Intrepid might have some alignment issues or low grade tires.
    Cavaliers are real junk. No smart consumer should consider that car. Our 2K Neon is ticking like a Swiss Clock. I am looking for a replacement of my wrecked Accord. Buick Century, Chevy Impala LS, or Intrepid will be in my list.
  • hmpowerhmpower Posts: 20
    This forum is for people who own Civics and to discuss their problems, not to discuss whether an Intrepid has a cheap looking interior or not, and to wax about the virtues of driving an impala. I have a question about my Civic, but I'm afraid it'll get lost in a sea of USA vs Japan arguments...
  • nohondanohonda Posts: 1
    I just bought the Civic one month ago. Yesterday when I drove on the highway. The rear door window had a big blow out, the whole glass shattered. When I returned head, I found the window glass was all gone.

    I went to the dealer, they said it was hit by a rock or something like that. I don't think so, since it sounded like an explosion. A rock should have at least left a hole there. By the way there is no damage on the body at all.

    Does anybody know about this kind of problem? Is it a defect in the glass? I just can't believe a rock has such energy to blow out the whole window instantly.
This discussion has been closed.