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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • And there's still that pesky thing that all of your dash lights have to come on instead of just the one's that you want to look at. Although Saab's do have a cool thing where you can cut off all of the lights on the dash except the speedometer.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Wow rough crowd, I'm the one that mentioned defeating the A/C coming on every time defrost is selected, I don't care for that 'feature' but am glad the wipers are linked together & all 4 wheels brake when one pedal is stepped on etc !
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    buses do have the feature where you can turn on only the driver's side wiper and not the passenger. and if you want you headlights to come on but not the tail lights get a volkswagen, i think that feature becomes standard after 60k miles. if you want the left wheel to rutn left and right wheel to turn right get a caddilac or any of the land boats (lincoln) from the mid 80;s and you will feel like the wheels are turning in different directions, actually the new dodge intrepid felt the same way on the test drive. if you want the wheels to brake independantly get a chevy cavalier and you will be assured that one of the brakes will stay on all the time.

    other than jokes, the fact that you can not turn the a/c off while in defrost would be a little too annoying to me as well.
  • The speedometer on my 94 Civic EX jumps around at times but not all the time. Today I started the car cold and the speedo needle started jumping around with the car just sitting there idling. Other times it's done the same thing while stopped at a light. Since the car is not moving when this happens, I'm thinking it must be a faulty vehicle speed sensor rather than a problem with the speedometer head. Are there any Honda techs or anyone else who's had a similar problem.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    usally this is a problem with either the speedometer or the disrtibutor. The speedometer would be my first thought but the distributor including the igniter is where it gets its signal from. Scan tool could be of great help in diagnoses of this. Good luck
  • I thought the signal for the speedometer was generated from the vehicle speed sensor located on the transmission. It suprised me to read your reply about the problem possibly being related to the distributor. But that may be it because I had an intermitent starting problem that ended up being a faulty main fuel relay. However, the dealer replaced the rotor and cleaned the distributor assembly 1st thinking that was the problem. The speedo problem started sometime after that. Any more thoughts. Thanks
  • osum02osum02 Posts: 29
    Is your 2001 Civic EX a sedan or coupe? Not that it really matters, but I'm going to ask anyway; what does the vin # start with: 1, 2, or J?
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    You are on the right track, Phelpsg. The VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) is almost surely the problem. My guess is that Auburn - who is far more knowledgeable than me - was thinking "tachometer" rather than "speedometer" when he replied. A bad VSS is likely to cause some runability and economy problems as well as the erratic speed indication.
  • My Civic is a Coupe. VIN 1HGEM219X1L078337.
    Still going strong, will go over 28,000 miles this week.
  • I have already disabled that feature on my '01 Civic several months ago (I'm also a member of I agree, the AC makes the defroster work better, and I do leave it on at the beginning. But when the windows are cleared, and I still want the defroster vents to keep blowing to keep them clear (which it can easily do without AC), I do not want to needlessly put extra strain on my engine, regardless of how small that strain is. And when I start my car at -20 degrees celsius in the mornings here, I really do not want the AC going on and putting extra strain a very cold engine the first few minutes after startup.

    And also, the AC is good for removing moisture and FOG INSIDE the car and on windows. It does nothing if you are trying to melt ice on the outside of your windshield during a winter storm (don't forget, I live in Canada). Why waste your AC on that?

    As for somebody mentioning that the AC uses up little to no extra fuel, that's just not true. It is common knowledge that AC's do decrease your mileage noticeably after prolonged use, as well as lower your engine's power when it's on.
  • Hey, your post (no. 1090) was excellent. You brought up some very good points about car ownership in general.

    I've had my '01 EX for slightly over 9 months now and it's been fantastic for me... not a single problem, even in our brutal winters up here. I absolutely love this car, the way it looks, and the mileage it gets. The handling, clutch and shifter are a dream on this car, in the class that it's in.

    Something I wanted to add to your points:

    One thing most people should realize when they think that there seems to be a lot of complaints about the build quality of the 01-02 Civics: it was the 3rd best-selling passenger car in the US for 2001 (323,000 units sold), behind only the Accord (1st) and the Camry. Now, when you have that many units sold, there are bound to be relatively more complaints that come up. If you sell very few units, of course you are going to hear less about problems from that car... that's just common sense.
  • The car runs great and the cruise control works fine so that's why I'm so unsure about the VSS being the problem. Sometimes when the car is moving the needle drops to zero them comes back. Other times while sitting still idling the needle jumps all around. Thanks for the reply and let me know if you can think of anything else. This may be a problem for the dealer to diagnose
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    I agree that good cruise control and engine performance would seem to vindicate the VSS. However, movement of the speedometer needle when the car is stopped indicates it is getting a signal from something. This is a stretch, but doesn't it seem that an intermittent short to a hot wire somewhere in the wiring harness could be causing this? Maybe a little manipulation of the wiring harness would have some effect. The dealer's scan tool has a fair chance of locating this problem but that isn't a certainty since you apparently had no alert from the engine malfunction lamp.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    I agree that's it is desirable to be able to select operation of the compressor but the lack of this flexibility is not as much of a problem as we might first believe. The thermostat in the A/C evaporator is calibrated so that the compressor disengages any time the incoming air temperature is less than +37F (+3C). The indicator lamp will be lit in the defrost mode but the compressor is not functioning below this setpoint. (This can be verified by turning on the A/C in cold weather and watching the compressor clutch to see that it does not engage.) In the defrost mode at temperatures above +37F, the compressor will cycle on and off to provide dehumidification and improve defrosting as you have indicated. At lower temperatures, the air's absolute humidity is always sufficiently low that this pre-cooling would not enhance the defrost performance. Further, it is not possible for the A/C system to provide any dehumidification below 32F since any humidity would freeze on the evaporator coils.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    That the A/C uses less energy that the drag of the windows open at highway speeds. In fact most manufacturers recommend A/C over windows at speed.

    Most cars with Auto Climate Control have the A/C on as their default setting so it's not "wasting" A/C to just leave it on all the time.
  • fashun: 7th gen Civics have Auto Climate Control? This is news to me. Must be an important feature they forgot to mention in the Owner's Manual. As for leaving my windows open at highway speeds, thanks for your recommendation to not have them open and use the AC. But I never had any intention of opening my windows at 70mph when the outside ambient temperature is -5 fahrenheit.

    My main beef with this auto AC/defrost is during the winter. I just don't find this to be such a great "feature" when all I want is heat from the windshield vents... that's all there is to it.

    spokane: Thanks for your explanation, but the fact is, when my AC goes on, I can hear and feel something kicking in, and slightly more vibration from the engine bay, as well as less power from the gas pedal, even in cold weather.

    Straight from our manuals: "AC puts extra load on your engine which makes it use more fuel. Turn off the AC to cut down on air conditioning use." Yes, this info is more for summer driving, but again, I just like the option of controlling the AC when I just want warm air from the windshield vents.
  • I'm pretty sure he was pointing out the fact that auto climate control systems utilize A/C to regulate temp. When I had an Accord with this feature I quickly learned about turning off the A/C. I'm sure everyone knows it is a good idea to run the compressor occasionally during colder weather.

    I'll have to keep those directions handy (for Civic and CR-V) as I too like the independent control of the A/C. This change is just another way (IMO) foreign cars are becoming more "americanized"
  • Ok, I may have misunderstood him and what he was trying to point out with Auto Climate Control. My apologies...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,173 each his own I guess. You solved your "problem" and now you are happy and that's what matters!
  • Back to my clutch issue, It seems to shudder only starting off in first gear and this is worst when the car is cold or it is very cold outside. Im thinking motor/tranny mount, but what would temp have to do with it? When it is warm it is barely noticeable if at all.

  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Thanks for the kind correction. I have been at L1 emission training all week and I am burnt...Still my number one guess would be the speedometer itself as we see more of them than sensors but never can rule out the sensor without checking it first..thanks again

    So very sorry for the confussion. Its been a long week and still isnt over yet..Good luck
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    It could just be moisture on the clutch parts causing your problem if it is mostly cold when it happens. However if the flywheel has hot spots and or runout it will cause this also. Just as when you hit the brakes and get a shimmy as the rotors touch the pads the same goes for the clutch disc as it touches the fly wheel surface. As it touches it will shutter and shake until it is engaged and turns as one. Good luck
  • Bought a bargain new 2001 Civic DX. Now I want to put a CD player in. Our other car has the Monsoon Stereo, and we would like to have a similar level of sound experience in the Civic. Any recommendations?

    The stock CD play from Honda is $350 including installation, so that is my budget.
    Will just putting in a good CD player help, or sould I change the entire system?

    Again, looking for some recommendations.
  • Well, if you didn't open a can of worms, some of the replies probably will! This is very subjective stuff also influenced by whether you are trying to please yourself or peers.
    Assuming that you are trying to please yourself and are realistic about your stated budget, try Crutchfield's
    Of course this would be do it yourself but they provide excellent support in this area as well. I've used them going all the way back to a 1979 Fiat X\19 and haven't been disappointed yet.
    Browsed the Y2K1 Civic site and found a pictorial posting on removing the center console all the way up to the dash where the Radio is located. Probably a little daunting without some help like this. Crutchfield's usually supplies vehicle specific installation instructions as well, probably not pictorial though.
    If I were doing it from scratch with my experience I would go this route other than Honda. On the other hand my EX coupe came with the CD player, meets my needs and I have no plans to change it out. If you're willing to do the work yourself, you can either save money over the quoted Honda price with an equivalent unit or upgrade to something with more features for the same money.
  • Thanks for the info. What is "runout" on my clutch? I am thinking the moisture thing is correct, any idea on how to stop it? Could it be oil from the rear seal too?? I guess the thing is it only does it when cold out or really humid so the oil thing is probably wrong AND it doesn't seem to be losing any more oil than normal.
  • The CD player and 6-speaker system that came with my EX is a pretty decent stock audio system I find. But I believe the DX only comes with 4 speakers. If you are thinking about just replacing the head unit, it will be an improvement, but I don't think it will come close to that Monsoon system in your other car... at least not for $350 with installation. To come close, you may have to spend a bit more for better speakers too. has a bunch of great DIY's if your interested in installing the headunit yourself:

  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Is a great site for install guides and pictures but the prices can be beat on many other online sites. Or look in the back classifieds of Auto mags like Motor Trend or Car and Driver.
  • Thanks Guys. Unfortunately I am not the DIY types, and hence was considering a trip to the local Circuit City store. So I am wondering if to replace both the stereo and the speakers. Might stretch the budget a bit, but then might be worth it.

    I realize that the DX has only 4 speakers. Any recommendations on any such system? How about the Sony Xplod thing. Has anyone done anything like this?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    Oh, another factor is the quality of the install. The independent stereo shops are more adept to this. In other words, go to Jiffy Lube and you MIGHT get a good mechanic.
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    The flywheel surface is like that of a brake rotor (except the flywheel has only one matting surface). Once the surface gets heated too much it can distort or warp the surface. This uneven surface causes a clutch shutter when engaging.

    The only thing you can do if it is moisture, is try and let the car heat up a bit before moving.I have seen a few with cars that sit for a while have this problem but not an every day car...The other possibility is clutch springs starting to go bad and if this is the case it will lead to the replacement of the clutch..Good luck
This discussion has been closed.