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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • I know when the gas light came on in my 01 Accord I still had over 3 gallons left.
  • Hi all,
    Thanks so much for reassuring me that my fuel gauge isn't on the wack, that ALL Honda's are!! Thanks again.
    Also, I've heard a lot of gripes about the CD players on the 2001 Civics and mine is
    acting up a bit too. It seems to ruin any CD-R's that I play in it. It plays them well for
    the first time or so but then it starts to put LOTS of scratches all over it and starts to
    skip and produce so much static you can't hear the song. I took that CD out and put
    it in my 9 YEAR OLD cd player at home and it worked fine. It read right over those
    scratches. I thought the newer lasers in CD-Players could all play CD-R's fine,
    especially if my old one can.
    Anyone else have problems with the CD player ruining CD's? Also, I've heard
    some people say there's a recall on these CD players but the NHTSA doesn't post
    one like that. Any ideas?

    Thanks everyone.
  • daveyddaveyd Posts: 14
    I have had my 2k1 civic since June. I havent had any problems with the radio, wether it being the code problem, or playing cd-r's. Mine plays cd-rs fine. But I havent checked them for scratches, but i do know that the cd player itself is sensitive to playing scratched discs.
  • Just recently purchased a 2002 Civic Sedan EX. Just curious, how low was your gas mileage on the first tank (if you measured it) and how quickly and by how much did it improve after the first tank? I haven't officially measured the first tank gas mileage, but I'm a little nervous as I've just got 130 miles on it and the tank is already less than 3/4 full (almost half full). I drive 80% highway/ 20% city and haven't exceeded 60 miles/hour. I also haven't accelerated abrutly.
  • Just curious, how low was your gas mileage on the first tank (if you measured it) and how quickly and by how much did it improve after the first tank? I haven't officially measured the first tank gas mileage, but I'm a little nervous as I've just got 130 miles on it and the tank is already less than 3/4 full (almost half full). I drive 80% highway/ 20% city and haven't exceeded 60 miles/hour. I also haven't accelerated abrutly.
  • Have a Civic 02EX auto-4door with 3500 miles. My gas mileage has been in the 34/6 mpg range with a high of 39.5 and a low of 30.

    My driving is about 80/20 rural/city. Hope this helps. Am completely satisfied with the car, have not been back to the dealer. First oil change at 3k miles.

    Any questions please advise and I will attempt to answer. Jim Carr
  • Two problems I have seen in a week since I bought my y2k2 civic ex:

    1. When disengaging the parking brake, sometimes the AT shifter will not move out of park. Engaging and disengaging the emergency break will fix the problem. I guess it likes being left alone.

    2. After turning the motor off, I frequently get a sharp static shock if I touch the body when getting out of the car.

    Anyone else?
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Depending on the time of year it is pretty common (not just to Civics). I have gotten in the habit of touching something to dissipate it as I exit. I've heard of people putting dryer sheets under the seats and other "remedies". I'm sure you can search around and find more info.
  • Checked mileage after my first tank full...Got 33.8 mpg. Drove no more than 60 mph and no hard accelerations. One interesting observation: apparently Honda has change the gas gauge so that it reflects it more conservatively. When the gas gauge was on empty and the refuel light came on, I thought I was getting lousy gas mileage, however when I filled up, there was over 3.5 gallons remaining in the tank. Although 33.8 mpg isn't bad, I hope it does improve over the next couple of thousand miles - I am jealous of those who get the 38+ mpg....
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    For some reason, Hondas get better mileage after a few thousand miles. Why, I don't know. Guess they are breaking in or something.

    Yet, some folks will check their mileage on the FIRST tank of gas!
  • about buying a 2002 Civic EX? Everyone seems to be complaining a lot about problems and I'm wondering if I should look elsewhere? I'd hate to buy a lemon.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Also, sometimes the lot attendants get in a hurry and might not get the tank completely filled.

    Relax...wait a few thousand miles. You'll be fine!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Complaining about a "lot" of problems?

    There are lots of choices out there but none of those cars will ever please everyone either.

    I think you'll love your Civic.
  • about buying a 2002 Civic EX? Everyone seems to be complaining a lot about problems and I'm wondering if I should look elsewhere? I'd hate to buy a lemon.
  • I have no idea why my thoughts came on twice, but "isellhondas" you're right. Every vehicle seems to have people who expect perfection. A lot of people had problems with Rodeos and mine has been perfect (knock on wood until January). The best thing to do is find a dealer who backs his product and keep the maintenance up to date. Thanks.
  • Loving my '02 Civic EX. 500 miles and no problems. isellhondas is so right...for every car, some number of owners will have some number of problems. And I think that in a place like this you will find a disproportionate number of people complaining.

    How many people who love their cars and have no problems with them seek out places to go and exclaim this fact to the rest of the world? Can you see a new thread in the Maintenance hall titled 'I have no questions--my new Civic has no problems." ?

    You can't go wrong with a Civic.. Some don't like its styling, and others like other cars, but a lot of people like Civics, Consumer Reports likes Civics, US crash tests like civics... About the only people who don't like Civics as a rule are the oil barons.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    They have sold over 300,000 Civics for the past few years and only 900 complaints here. I know that's not scientific or anything but it's something to consider.
  • I have been hearing that getting a nice shock from the car body is common in hondas, and that I shouldn't worry about it. One dealer actually told me to put fabric softener on the seats! As with everyone else, the gas milleage started lower than spec'd. Otherwise the only problem is the broken AT shift, which I'm getting looked at Monday. Otherwise, a fun car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    And these aren't limited by make or model!

    I hate them!

    The weather and kind of clothes we wear can make this happen too.
  • Whenever I start my Civic and start to drive there is a bucking for the first few seconds. If I give it more gas it usually runs all right. I have taken it to the dealer and he adjusted the clutch and said it was okay. It was for a few weeks, then cold weather came and it is doing it again. Anyone else have that problem?
  • 395,308 civics produced as of 12/15/2001
    231,442 in USA
    163,866 in Canada

    310,120 sold as of November 2001
  • Whenever I first start my car in the morning, it bucks for about five seconds then runs okay. If I give it more gas when first starting it seems to take care of the problem. I took it to the Honda Dealer and they said it might be the clutch and they adjusted it. That still hasn't solved the problem. If it is parked all day and then I go and start it there is no bucking. Only in the morning this seems to happen. Anyone out there with any ideas of what it could be? Thanks.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    how many miles on the car and when was the last tune up? sounds like you may need to do a tune up, or at least replace the filters, plugs, wires, and other expendables. and also do a fuel injector flush, either with store bought fuel injector cleAner in the gas tank, or at a shop with a machine
  • Had a complete tune-up $400.00 worth. I will try the cleaner you suggest. If I have it done at a dealer do you know how much they would charge? I bought the car used and the girl hadn't done a tune up in a very long time.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    1. When disengaging the parking brake, sometimes the AT shifter will not move out of park. Engaging and disengaging the emergency break will fix the problem. I guess it likes being left alone

    do you press on the brake pedal while moving the shifter out of park? shifter lock is diengaged when the brqakes are depressed.
  • To dudka, I had been applying the breaks before shifting out of park. My guess is that the problem may be that in my paticular 02 Civic EX you have to floor the break to make it shift, as in my father's 01 civic ex, this is not necessary.

    As far as the shocks are concerned, this is a non-issue to my honda dealer and they will not even investigate the problem. However, I tend to believe that there is an electrical component to the shocking problem, and that the dealer explanations of the types of fabric and tires are not enough to explain why one Civic EX gets daily shocks and another has only one after a year of driving.

    Other than these issues, I have had no problems with my civic and really enjoy it. I can't wait until I have a 1000 miles or so on it so I can let loose a little more :)
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    The electric shocking is associated primarily with your clothing fabrics, the seat upholstery material, the way your garments slide across the upholstery, and absolute humidity of the air. A few types of tires can also contribute to the problem. It is very unlikely that this problem is associated with the car's electrical system.
  • The drier air in the winter time will cause more static charge build-up. As a habit, I always put one hand on the metal door frame when sliding out of the seat. This grouding effect has drastically reduced the amount of shock.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i used to get zapped in my civic all the time when i wore reeboks. ever since i switched to cr-v with leather, i have not been zapped once, even while wearing the particular reebok sneakers.
    how about getting leather interior for the civic?
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    store bought: $1 to $4 max
    shop: $135 and up
    doing it yourself: priceless
    For everything else: there is honda
  • k91k91 Posts: 1
    How old is the battery? Just something else to check if injector cleaner doesn't help you at all =)
  • Honda Civics are "GREAT CARS". My wife and I lease two Hondas,(a 2000 Accord and a 2000 Civic). We have not had any problems with either vehicle. Both vehicles are serviced by the selling dealer, and the engine oil is changed every 3,000 miles or sooner depending on our schedule. In addition, we use 4oz of Marvel Oil to each 10 gallons of fuel as an upper cylinder / fuel system lubricant, at each "fuel stop". Our choice of fuel is 93 octane because we do a lot of "high speed driving" on parkways and turnpikes, and we feel that the performance is better with this fuel. We plan on purchasing these vehicles at the end of the lease. Our dealer is outstanding and the quality of the vehicles is #1. Just my opinion. -----Greg
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I think you're going to ruin your engine by putting in 93 octane fuel. Check with your owner's manual or the dealer to be sure. In fact, my CRV manual even specifically warns against using anything by 87 octane.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 737
    I have a 2001 EX Sedan 5 spd with about 6500 miles now. The wheel covers are loose...the lug nuts that secure them and the wheels to the car, are tight. The dealer says "normal" (why am I surprised?) I have "tested" other Civic EX's on the dealer lot, and they are much tighter. Of course these were brand new...Mine are so loose, that you can easily rotate them back and forth. Does anyone else experience this and do you have a "do it yourself fix," or should I contact the dealer again? Thanks for any help or suggestions.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Well, your manual must be different from the ones I've looked at. There is no such warning.

    It simply says to use 87 or higher octane. Using 93 octane is simply a waste of money. The car won't run better or last longer. No harm whatever will come from using the higher octane.

    " High speed driving"? It doesn't matter.

    And...Greg, glad you love your Hondas but the Marvel Mystery oil isn't doing you the slightest bit of good.

    A few bucks you can save, that's all...
  • I have to concur with isellhonds, not only adding Marvel Mystery oil doing you the slightest bit of good...
    Adding oil to gas will prematurely kill your emission equipment IMHO. You didn't buy a two stroke... from owner of a 1992 civic with 113k miles, still passing emission in metro Portland.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    My bad, you're right, I went out and double checked the owner's manual, no warnings like I thought. I must have read it on another message board of Know-it-all mechanics.
  • pj23pj23 Posts: 158
    I've also got to ask why you would change the oil every 3000 miles or sooner, especially with a lot of highway driving. I believe the Honda maintenance schedule for both of those cars calls for 7500 mile maintenance intervals. So you're changing the oil over twice as often as you have to. If the manufacturer says you don't have to, why do it? If Honda was overstating the maintenance intervals on their cars, I don't think their reputation would've gotten to the point it's at now.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Personally I think 7500 miles is a long time, especially with a lot of stop and go driving, short trips etc.

    But 3000 miles or sooner might be a bit of overkill too.

    I get mine done around the 3500-4500 mile mark.

    Still...if it makes a person feel better I guess an oil change isn't that expensive.
  • I would like to share this information with all those who are interested in why I use MM oil in the fuel of my Honda Civic? I an very concerned about the lack of lubrication in the fuel. Not only can this contribute to "Valve Problems", but it can also do a "Major Job" on fuel injectors. Marvel Oil is a very light product, and with a ratio of 4oz for each ten gallons of fuel, it can hardly be noticed. This product is manufactured by Turtlewax. ( If you go to this site click on the "Performance Products". IMPORTANT NOTE: ----It is safe for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors. With this product in the fuel the engine runs "Very Smooth". Give it a "try" and judge for yourself. Add four oz. for each ten gallons of fuel at your next fill - up. I also use this product in a 7.4 MerCruiser I/O engine. I have done this for three (3) years. No fuel related / mechanical problems yet! -----Just my opinion. Have a "GREAT HOLIDAY"! ----Greg
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    I think I'll try that MM oil thing. But I use regular gas though. Premium is supposed to mess up engines because it resists burning and can create deposits from incomplete ignition in engines not designed for it.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I f you believe everything you read then you should get a bottle of Slick 50 and put it in your oil. While you are at it get the Duralube system. and don't forget to go get your engine flush for the carbon build up at 50,000 miles.

    Greg, these are all marketing schemes by these companies. What eveyone is trying to tell you is follow the manual for maintenance and save yourself some money. For the type of driving you do, you only need to cahnge your oil every 7500 miles (yes it seems long but I did it with my 94 Accord and it still ran beautifully after 62,000 miles before I sold it for $11,500). And as long as you use "name" brand gasolines, stick to 87 octane. SAve yourself $0.10-$0.20 a gallon.

    I guarantee your vehicle will still run great even without the marvel oil magic, the higher octane gas and the frequent oil changes. Honda knows how to maintain their vehicles. Just follow the manual.

    BTW----have a safe and Happy Holidays.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I wonder if snake (er Marvel) oil is so good why don't the manufactures buy it in bulk and use it or at least suggest we use it ? My 2000 Civic owners manual says use 87 octane fuel anything else is a waste. 3000 mile oil changes is overkill, I vote for RTFM (read the fine manual) rfruth in Houston
  • All this talk of Marvel oil, 3k mile oil changes, dealer maintenance, and 93 octane gas is making me ill. I thought this was a Honda board? The whole point of driving a Honda is the low cost of ownership and lack of need for special treatment. I'm on my second Honda- I do my own maintenance according to the Honda manual (threw out the dealer's), change oil every 5-6k (I do city and highway driving), and use the cheapest 87 octane fuel I can find (that's what the motor's electronics are for). By the sound of Greg and his snake oil, you'd think this was a Ford Focus board. C'mon people!!!
  • I have a '96 with condensation in one headlight. Are the headlights sealed and has one been cracked, or are there some kind of breathable vents that are blocked?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I hope you and the others here have a Happy holiday also!

    BUT....Using MM oil is nothing but a waste of money. Your Honda will run "Very Smooth" without the stuff. It's a placebo effect you are feeling.

    Your valve train will last nearly forever anyway.

    Same with the premium waste of money?

    Have I convinced you?....didn't think so!

    Years ago, when I worked in a gas station, some of our older customers would instruct me to "Put in a Top Oil" when I filled their tanks.

    Bardahl sold a small 4 oz can of light oil that I would add.

    But...hey! If this makes you feel good...go for it!
  • For our Honda Civic EX automatic coupe is 6 months old, we change the oil no matter what every 3 thousand miles, and we push 89 Octane fuel only.We never bring the RPM past 4 thousand usually unless merging onto the freeways, and the car looks and runs perfect. But, will it harm the transmission or the motor if we start revving it up to 5 or 6 thousand RPM's all the time? Thanks for the info
  • If your Honda is only 6 months old it should run great on any gas. Also, anyone who reads Click and Clack or listens to them on NPR knows they recommend changing the oil at 5,000 miles. They say, and this makes sense, if you do it sooner you're wasting money and not letting the oil do it's job.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Heck V-tech doesn't kick in til around 3-4000 rpm.
This discussion has been closed.