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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • I have a 2001 EX with 10,000 miles. When accelerating and then sudden stopping sometimes the engine stumbles and even dies. I took it to the dealer and could not get it to do it so they could not fix it. does anyone else have this problem or even a clue what it could be. I have had many cosmetic problems with the car also. I am not very happy with it at all.
  • cdtcdt Posts: 6
    just came back from my vacation and found that my civic (93, 87k) bacame really noisy when i want to accelerate it. the engine sounds like that of a super-charged car and there is a delay in acceleration. anybody has the same problem? please help me out
  • pj23pj23 Posts: 158
    I read the statistic quoted (was it Car & Driver?) a couple of years ago, that there has NEVER been an engine failure of a Honda VTEC engine. I think that qualifies as bulletproof. That should extend to the engine in the new Civics as well.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    The Honda VTEC started life in the exotic NSX. The same technology is now passed on even on the entry line Civic. Wanna talk powertrain engineering (and reliability), Honda has it.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Honda is an engine company that happens to build cars. The same can't be said for most other makes.
  • beth27beth27 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Honda Civic EX Sedan-recently replaced the LF Strut because it was leaking. I know that Honda switched from a double wishbone suspension to the McPherson Strut. Does anyone have problems with leaking struts?
  • jm370jm370 Posts: 1
    i had a coil to go bad at 95000 mi and also check engine light. replaced coil and found plug gap about twice what it should be. would excessive gap burn coil up? also plug torque not what it should be. would this trigger check engine light?engine (1999 civic ex coupe) runs good now after resetting ecu.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Jm370, loose spark plugs are common with aluminum cylinder heads. The plugs must be installed with a cold engine or they will be too loose when the temperature stabilizes. In some cases, cold plugs installed in a hot head are later found to be only finger-tight. When installed with the engine cold, there are no torque problems.
  • 2000 Civic EX 2DR 12,300 mi.

    Sometimes on a mildly cold day, when I turn
    the ignition the car won't start on the first
    try, but does eventually. No big deal.
    Then one day I was sitting in the car with the
    radio on and the car was off and suddenly the
    battery died and I had to jump it. I thought that
    was strange for a relatively new car with low mileage.
    A friend said the battery contacts might be a little
    dry and I should spray grease on them (didn't try).
    And still to this day I intermittently have problems
    turning the key and getting the engine to start.

    Are these situations related in some way? Might it be
    a bad spark plug or is it the battery and its contacts?
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    With my 2000 Civic hatchback (all 00 Civics ?) I need to turn the key to run (not start) briefly till the check engine light goes out (also hear a relay click at the same time) then it will start right up. If I jump in and immedetly try to start the engine it won't right away, the manual is not at all clear about this although it mentions several times to use the headlights when dark out ... doesn't sound like a spark plug, the battery cables should be clean & tight. Good luck
  • I don't blame you for not being happy with your Honda Civic. Honda has really lost its edge for reliability and a trouble free car. I owned a 2k1 Honda Civic EX 4-DR sedan and I had a lot of problems with it. Idling problem, seat rocking, erratic gas guage, also my front right struts would creak sometimes.

    The idling problem you are experincing is one that can be attributed to the Idle Air Control Valve, the fuel pump recall they did, or the torque converter, the ECM.

    This new model Honda has introduced into the consumer's world has too many bugs.

    My car use to die on me when I would step on the brakes. The idle would drop so low that the car would stall.

    Took it back to the dealer so many time for the same problem and finally got frustrated and traded the car in.

    If you are experiencing this stalling problem, get the dealer to check it out. Insist that they look at the problem.

    One time my car stalled out on me, while I was in the middle of traffic at a stop light. Luckily there was no one behind me or I would of been rear-ended.

    Stalling problem is no joke. New vehicles are not suppose to do this. Honda has made a serious design flaw with their ULEV car.

    Food for thought.
  • i recently had my radio stolen from my 95 civic coupe. what is weird is how they got into my car. the alarm did not go off because it beeped twice as usual when i hit the remote. the passenger side window was cranked down. did they get in by cranking the window down from the outside? or did they use a code grabber or some sort of device to disable my alarm?

    i would like to thank the theives for not damaging my locks or breaking windows.

    i hope someone has info on this mystery and info on how we, civic owners, can protect ourselves from break-ins and theft. i'm sure some of you guys have large investments to protect, especially when your civic is modified.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    I believe what you are doing is priming the fuel pump. I have gotten into the practice of turning the key to the first position (accessories on) and waiting just a few seconds to crank it.
  • I have a 00 EX Coupe. I don't know how much faith everyone here puts in Consumer Reports - I happen to think their info is useful. In the latest handbook the 00 civics showed a perfect score in their system of evaluating reliability. It will be interesting to see the 01 evaluation later this year. I've only experienced a few minor rattles in my civic.
    Somebody please provide advice about synthetic oil. Worth it? No value? Your experience? Thanks.
  • devoredevore Posts: 39
    Pallove, it sucks that you had so many problems with your Civic. But I don't think you can call your stalling problem a "design flaw" - that would imply that EVERYONE who owns the same vehicle would experience that problem.

    I've owned my Civic for over a year and have put over 15K miles on it, both in very hot weather and very cold weather. (I live in Wisconsin.) It's never stalled on me (though it does idle very low). And even today, when it was about 10* when I went outside to start my car, it started on the first crank.

    I think the seat rocking issue _IS_ a design flaw. My seat rocked as well - I took it in, the dealer found a TSB on the item, and ordred replacement bushings provided by Honda.
  • Devore, you commented that the stalling is not a design flaw because everyone that owned a Honda Civic would of experienced this problem.

    You also commented that the seat rocking issue is a design flaw. Well I have known people who own the new 2k1 civic and have not experienced this seat rocking problem.

    From what you wrote in the above post is it still a design flaw, or are you contradicting yourself?

    The words design flaw, though vauge, describes that Honda should of thought a little more about their product rather than pushing it out into the open market where a number consumers are unhappy.

    Sure there will be some bugs for the new generation Civic, and sure there will be a lot of unhappy customers, "You can't please everyone".

    But when you see the number of complaints of unhappy customers you start to wonder what is going on. To view this go to

    Also, when you look at the recalls that were called by the factory you also should be skeptical about the reliability of the car.

    From my experience as an engineer, I can honestly say that Honda made a boo-boo.

    Great body style shell, but does not have the guts to be reliable.
  • I have an 88 Honda Civic CRX. When I turn on my low beams and I drive for a short while they begin to go on and off. There was a burning smell the other day when they were on also. The RPM's drop from 1000 to 700 when I turn my low headlights on. Have any idea what might be the problem?
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    The connectors themselves(at the bulbs) build resistance then melt. This could be causing your problems, if not then I would suspect possibly the charging system or battery. Good luck
  • Help!

    Recently, our '97 Civic LX's SRS indicator light came on and stayed on ... the manual said have it checked out ... the dealership said the entire air bag system had gone out and must be replaced -- to the tune of $361 + $98 labor.

    Is this a problem others have had? It seems odd that it would just quit working after only 79,000 miles of virtually maintenance-free driving.

    This particular service manager said there was no manufacturer's warranty to cover it, but I really can't afford that kind of hickey to my pocketbook.

    Any advice on whom I could contact for help?


    (I noticed a similar problem in post #182, but can't get in contact with the guy.)
  • mudd4mudd4 Posts: 10
    Hi, I'm getting ready to change the oil in a 98 civic lx for the first time (it was being changed at the dealer before) What is the easiest way to do it. Do I need the car on jackstands? Should I use a Honda OEM filter? Do I need to replace the drain plug gasket each time? How many quarts? What type of filter wrench should I use? Will the ones that attach to a ratchet and hook on the bottom of the filter be the easiest?

    What oil do you all recommend?


  • I really don't know what people here expect from a vehicle that goes for a price in the mid-teens. If you want flawless engineering, spend somewhere in the vicinity of $50,000 for an Acura, BMW, or Mercedes. Every new vehicle is going to have bugs. There are some nagging issues with my '01 LX Sedan, but then I ask myself what excactly I am complaining about. I have over 14,000 miles on my Civic and it runs cherry. Not one single SIGNIFICANT problem. Why don't you all go out and buy a Focus? Then you can see what customer dissatisfaction is all about.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
  • Even the so-called "perfect" German automobiles have problems. You all should be so lucky to have a Civic.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,150
    Even the bashers realize that no car is perfect.

    Misery does like company however, and these boards are a good place for unhappy people to meet and share tales of woe...
  • I know what you mean. The Honda service manager here is known as the "Maytag Man" to the Honda owners. The Volkswagen, Subaru and BMW managers' lines for service seem to be a lot longer... :)
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Mudd, I only reach underneath my car to get at the drain plug so I use a large floor jack and don't bother with stands. Obviously, no one is going to officially recommend you do this but even if the car drops, no part of me is going to get crushed. I get at the oil filter from above.

    There are oil discussions on this forum but don't feel bad using any SL oil in 5W30 ... or if you live where it's unbearably hot, 10W30. Brand shouldn't matter that much but I'm partial to Valvoline.

    Honda OEM filters used to be really good ... but the good ones (made-in-USA) are slowly disappearing and being replaced with made-in-Canada filters wich are actually Frams in disguise. Purolator Pure-One filters are really good and easy to find.

    Us the end-cap type wrench (made by K-D Tools) that fits the filter and uses a 3/8" ratchet as a handle. You might need more than one size of these. I have 3 for all my vehicles.

    You should replace that drain plug washer every time. For times when I don't have a new one, I flip the old one around the other way and re-install it.

    --- Bror Jace
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Most of the codes we see on the older SRS units are control unit power failures. With most being caused by a slow cranking and or dead battery giving off a low voltage signal to the control unit. To find out have the code cleared by a scan tool and see if the light comes back on. Good luck
  • Hello, I am in the market to purchase a used Honda Civic. I will be buying either a 94 or 95 EX 2-door, most likely a 5-spd (having a hard time finding autos). I was hoping some of you could provide some tips on what to look for or what are some of the common problems with these vehicles. My wife had a 90 Accord LX so I have some familiarity with Hondas and working on them. The Civics that I am looking at have between 70 and 100K miles on them. This will be a commuter/around town vehicle. Thanks in advance!
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I have a 00 Civic (it's been great) but need a tube of metallic silver paint, anyone have some they want to get rid of ?
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Go to one of the on-line parts suppliers. Only a few bucks. I've had good experiences with
This discussion has been closed.