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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    most likely replacing the fluid will not solve the problem, i would have honda check (while it is still under warranty) the syncro's.
  • kperkper Posts: 3
    Help! Honda dealer in New Hampshire has had car for 3 days. They still can't find reason why this car won't start when cold, except by holding gas pedal to floor forever until it finally starts. It runs fine when warmed up.
    Next morning will not start again. Car has only 36,000 miles. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • I am taking my civic into the shop on Tuesday to get it check. I am wondering if my factory warranty cover this parts? I thought that the clutch is not cover under the warranty. Is this part of the clutch? If so how much would this cost me to fix this problem?
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    In in a very cold area, the first few shifts on many cars must be made slowly to avoid gear gnashing.

    The warranty does not cover clutch disk wear, but disk wear is not your problem. The noise you hear is the transmission gears which are unable to synchronize properly. The cause could be worn synchronizer rings. If they are worn due to poor driving habits such as failure to fully disengage the clutch when shifting and/or very rapid's your responsibility and will cost several hundred dollars. Low clutch fluid level could be the problem; have you checked it? A defect in the hydraulic clutch system could also be the culprit; I believe the warranty will cover any problems of that type.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    If modern syncromesh transmissions (not just Honda's) have a weak spot, it's the synchros. Once these things start to go, they just get worse. This is especially apparent on cold mornings. The only solution is to pull the tranny and have it rebuilt ... or at least have the offending synchro(s) replaced.

    The factory gear oil is pretty decent stuff ... but you can do better by switching to Redline MTL. This stuff makes for smoother shifting ... but especially in really cold (winter) weather.

    --- Bror Jace
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    on my 99 civic, from day one, on a very cold morning the gear shifter would be much more difficult to shift, it had a very spongy feel, but once i drove for a few blocks it would go back to being silky smooth. i think the gear oil thickens and you have to be careful shifting when cold. but what you have is most likely the synchros, and they are covered by warranty. i think the only thing that is not covered by warranty is the pressure plate itself, everything else is covered.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Dudka, the problem is that many synchro problems only become apparent once the car is well out of warranty. Then it's too late.

    Yes, the cold weather causing the oil to thicken is what causes the problems. There is a detailed description of what's going on inside manula trannies (from the Redline site):

    "All oils are slippery, and with most lubricated components, the slipperier the better, but this is not so with manual transmissions. The synchronization of shifting gears requires friction to transfer energy from the synchronizer, which is locked to the input shaft, to its mating surface attached to the gear to be locked in as the drive gear. Few modern transmissions use sliding gears to change gearing other than for reverse gearing. Synchromesh transmissions have the gear pairs constantly in mesh. The drive gear is selected by using the shift forks to slide a synchronizer ring, which rotates at the same speed as the input shaft, in contact with the selected drive gear. Once the drive gear is brought to the same speed as the input shaft, the locking ring on the synchro assembly is allowed to slide over and lock into the drive gear.

    The time this process takes depends on how easily the synchro ring moves and the rate of frictional energy transfer between the two synchronizer surfaces. Higher viscosity lubricants slow the sliding of the synchro ring on the input shaft and require a longer time for the oil to be squeezed out from between the mating synchronizer surfaces. After the lubricant is squeezed out, the coefficient of friction of the lubricant determines the rate of frictional energy transfer between the two surfaces. Slippery lubricants such as hypoid gear oils and ATFs can take too long to synchronize the gears, which promotes synchronizer wear.

    Clashing of the gears (actually clashing of the synchromesh gears, since the drive gears are always in contact) can occur if excessive shift effort is used in order to shift the locking ring into place before the surfaces have achieved equal speed. It may also occur at the end of a reasonably smooth shift if an instability exists in the coefficient of friction, causing stick-slip to occur. In this form of clashing, the ring slides on the mating synchro gear, but a sudden slippage causes a grinding of the gears. In order to prevent stick-slip from occuring and the gear clashing which results, the coefficient of friction should inflect downward as the relative speed drops to zero."

    Honda makes a very good manual transmission ... but their synchros are a weak point.

    --- Bror Jace
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Traditional synchronizer rings are made of brass with sharp spiral ridges on the inner tapered surface to channel lube from the matching taper on the end of the gear, thus allowing friction between the two to bring the gear (and all it's constant mesh components including input shaft and clutch disc) to output shaft speed. Over time the ridges on the rings can wear, preventing them from evacuating lube from the gear cones and allowing them to hydroplane on the cones. The gear and dog clutch speeds are not matched (synchronized) when the sleeve contacts the gear's clutching teeth, resulting in clash. This condition can be worsened by high viscosity lubricant or friction modifiers. However, several newer transmission/transaxle designs use synchronizer rings made of steel with compressed paper or powdered iron friction liners (eg Ford and GM). Due to the different friction characteristics of these materials, the correct coefficient of friction lubricant (synchromesh gear lube, Dexron ATF) MUST be used to achieve satisfactory synchronizer operation.
  • I have a 2001 Honda Civic 4-Dr Sedan EX.

    I noticed sometimes when I come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights that the car wants to hesitate and stall. The RPM level drops past 500 and then it comes back up to its idle.

    The car shudder and shakes and feels like it wants to cut off.

    In addition, I was driving to work last Friday and I had to make an abrupt stop at the traffic light. When I came to a stop the RPM level went to zero and the car cut off.

    Has anyone experienced this type of problem with hesitation and stalling? Could this be an idle speed problem?
  • kperkper Posts: 3
    An update to my message #910: New Hampshire dealer replaced distributor (what ?) and ignition coil (possible) for $472. He says car now runs fine. I won't know until my daughter tries to start it ( I live in NJ). Very strange that these parts last only 3 years or 36,200 miles.
  • daveyddaveyd Posts: 14
    I have a 2k1 Civic EX coupe. I think i have that same problem. I dont want to bring my car to the dealer cuz I hate my local Honda Dealer, and there is only one dealer around. I could drive 150 miles to another but who wants too. I go up there when I have some other stuff to gripe about. Try looking on for a soulution. That site has a lot of info, and only info on the 2k1.

  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    If you have an auto trans and you can feel the engine pulling against your braking action as you come to stop, the problem is likely related to the control circuitry for the torque converter clutch. The dealer should be able to zero in on this and make repairs; usually not major.

    If the stalling is not accompanied by pulling against the braking action, which is the case with a standard transmission and may be the case with an automatic, I would first suspect the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve. Checking and adjustments of this involve several steps but are detailed clearly in Section #11 of the shop manual. A Honda dealer mechanic with any experience has surely addressed this type of problem. Good luck.
  • To all 2001 Honda Civic EX owners. If you are having problems with Hesitation/Stalling or any problems at all, make your problems known on You would be surprised to find out how many people have complained about the stalling/hesitation problem.

    This was a similar recall for the LX and DX models. The fix it, was to replace the PCM. Why Honda would do this for the LX and DX models and not the EX is a question in my mind.

    I took the car into the dealer on Friday, they checked for codes in the PCM and they found nothing.

    I plan on taking it to another dealer. My problem is an intermittent one. It happens at random.

    I feel strongly that it is the IAC. If the IAC is causing this idle problem, can it affect the PCM? Can a code show up in the PCM?
  • My state decided to redesign thier license plates this year. So instead of the usually sticker, you get new plates. Ever try to take off 7 (94 civic) year old bolts? For some reason Honda decided to make these metal as we as the threads. Rusted together. Spent over 2 hours with the drill removing them. The anchors are also part of the trunk lid so it's not like you can replace them.
    Drilled all the way through the trunk and secured with long bolt and nut.

    Hope Honda uses platic or aluminum screws and threads for anchors now. Anyone know if they do?
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i had similar problem, i just cut the plates around the bolts in a flower pattern, and just removed the plates, then similarly cut the new plates to put them on.
    new cars have plastic nuts
  • The front passenger window creates alot of wind noise, but I can not pinpoint where the noise is coming from. When the window is rolled up I don't get any water leaks, etc and the seals seem fine. Could it be the power window isn't shutting correctly?? Anyone have the same problem??
  • My Civic just rolled over 180k miles. No problems until last week. Then I noticed that the electric radiator fan runs contiuously while the engine is running and the fan no longer runs for a short while after the engine is turned off. What's wrong? I would like to repair it myself. Thanks in advance!
  • The "check engine" light comes on in my dash mysteriously and consistently. It happens only when climbing hills, shortly after starting, only in cold wheather. It has been happening since I bought the car used 2 years ago. My dealer told me to replace the O2 sensor; I did, and to no effect. Does anyone know what the light means and what should be done about it?

    liberty: just replace the fan on my engine. It wasn't running at all, causing overheating when sitting in traffic.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    May be a stuck/shorted switch on the radiator or shorted/stuck relay.

    Try the coolant sensor for the check engine light. What code is it blinking?
  • I own a '95 Civic with 130K miles on it that some mornings will not start. The car sits outside overnight in Wisconsin and for 5 or 6 recent mornings will not start. I'll wait for a couple of hours and it will start fine and run perfectly the rest of the day with several starts. One cold morning it was raining...didn't start. It rained all day...didn't start all day. Next morning, dry and a little warmer it started fine. Battery seems fine and starter cranking but will not fire. And this is only SOME mornings, not all. Do I follow syldacat's approach and replace the fuel pump & filter, distributor cap/rotors, and coil? A mechanic checked the igniter when it wasn't starting and said it was fine. Please Help!!!
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Jolson, Maybe water in the gas that is freezing?

    Try running a bottle or two of isopropyl alcohol dry gas (brands vary ... and I don't think it matters) through your gas tank. You might be lucky and fix your car for $2-3.

    I saw the same thing happen to an older Toyota and that was the solution.

    --- Bror Jace
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Since it seems like it is on damp or wet days you may want to start with a distributor cap and rotor. We see very few bad fuel filters, although a possibility and even less bad fuel pumps as I have not replaced one in about 5 years or so.Good luck
  • vshahvshah Posts: 6
    I have been experiencing water problems in the 1997 Honda Civic I have on the right side floor of the front and back passenger side. Any time it rains, which is quite often here in Seattle, the whole floor on the right side is totally wet. I have taken it to the dealer who finds nothing broken or wrong, including any holes in the under carriage. Does anyone have any suggestions or have experienced such problems and have been able to solve them? There does not appear to be any leak on any of the rubber seals as I have sat int he car and have had someone pour water on the car and I have not seen any water come in. This problem baffles me and I would appreciate any answers
  • I got my car used in July and overall am very satisfied with it. I'm planning on taking it in for service but wanted other opinions as my local Honda shop's sevice dept has a reputation and it's not a good one. I just want to be as eduacated as I can going in there and know what to tell them.
    Car Specs - 38K miles, automatic, 98 EX Sedan.
    1. Rattle near Sunroof - shouldn't think that would be very hard to fix - I can push near the light and it will stop.
    2. Rear Suspension Creaks - noticeable when going over bumps and backing out of my garage (there's about a 1" drop in the concrete from my garage to driveway - when it goes over it bounces and creaks) - I think it's coming from the rear.
    3. Loose Brake Petal - brakes work fine, however, if I place my foot on the petal (without depressing the brake) I can actually move the petal to the left and right maybe a 1/2" either way. Is this normal?
    4. Engine (?) Area Rattle - I seem to be able to get it as I'm slowing down to make 90 degree turns in either direction. Doesn't always happen, but seems to happen most when I'm also on a slight decline. Any ideas here?
    I appreciate any help. Thanks!
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Is normal. My Civics and Integras have all had noisy rear suspensions. Didn't really bother me though.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i had similar on my 85 civic. replacing the distributor rotor and cap, wires and spark plugs solved it. but make sure you use dielectric grease when assembling those. most shops will skimp and not apply dielectric grease. if you are going to do it yourself then, it will only cost you an extra $2 for a tube of it. one tube will last you for more than 5 tune ups.
  • hy168hy168 Posts: 2
    This car is similar to the US Civic EX. I also experience wind noise from the from front windows, more severe on the passenger side. I think the noise is caused by the window rubber seal being too far into the trough (the vertical side on the door latch side) on the window metal frame. I managed to minimize the noise by taking the seal out of its trough and re-seat it but couldn't stop it completely. I am about to bring the car in for other problems. I am not sure if the dealer or Honda will or can fix this problem.
  • I purchased a new Honda Civic EX in July 2001. One of the main reasons I bought this car was for the gas mileage of 31-39 mpg City/Highway (as shown on the sticker). Being that 90% of my driving is highway, I was looking forward to an average of 37mpg minimum. For the first 2500 miles I was getting an average of 27 mpg. I called Honda, and they said that at aprox. 3000 miles, something in the fuel lines disintegrates, and I would get improved gas mileage. At the 3000 mark it did improve, however, I'm holding now at 5000 miles and the best it's ever done is 31-32 mpg. I went to the dealership and they said they have no way of testing this, and it will get better. I've been reading some of the postings about how some owners get 44mpg! I think I've waited long enough!Should I be concerned, and what can I do?
    I would appreciate any advice or comments.
  • I bought mine in July too and the worst and best I've got was 32 and 37, respectively. I do notice a small difference if I go a little faster on high. but nothing like below 30mpg... I guess you have the AC on most of the time and you like to floor the gas pedal on most occasions.
  • Have you had your first oil change yet?

    I noticed a significant increase after my first oil change at 8000km.
This discussion has been closed.