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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358

    Glad to hear you had your radio problem fixed.
    Our Civic just went over 2000 miles and last tank of gas I am getting 40 MPG with AT. Most are freeway driving with A/C on. My daughter only got 20+ MPG 100% local short distance. I'm keeping an eye on the next tank to see what kind of gas mileage we will get. Maybe our car finally broke in after my heavy foot hard drving for the last couple hundreds miles.


    We typical torque # 8 hardware (metal screws to metal nuts or helicoil) 16 in-lbs. 1/4"-28 Screws to 84 in-lbs ( 7 ft-lbs). I don't know what size is Civic filter box screw go to be large than 1/4"-28 to torque to 16 ft-lbs.

  • New (and happy) owner of a used 1997 honda ex 49,990 miles. Looks black from far off but is really a dark green and in the sun looks like a blue green. unknown color name. My old car was a 1986 4dr silver chevy nova with 216k, purchased in 1995 for 300.00 in a yard sale...whenever I replaced anything it was 0-200 dollars max to I have been reading, I see hondas are expensive to fix...
    hopefully the honda will give me 200k also with a minimum of repairs. with a combination of hwy and street, stop and go, I am getting 34 mpg.
    I miss my stick in the nova, dont know what to do with my other
  • I recently had the front windshield wiper assembly repaired on the '85 wagon (internal linkage and bearings, excluding the motor). The linkage is now sound tight, but the blades give off a ruff-rubbing noise when I turn the wipers on. This happens when the windshield is dry or wet. The blades and inserts are aftermarket, so I'll replace them with a Honda order. If this doesn't work, what would you recommend? The wiper arms from the lower half of the assembly (Honda), seem to be properly alligned. Could it be a gritty windshield?!? I have an '89 wagon (185,000 miles), and the wiper assembly is quiet, regardless of whether the windshild is dry or wet.

    Thanks as always. BTW: I'm looking for a '74 Civic, 2-door with a back hatch (rust-free)!
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Will it make the noise if you fold them up off the glass and run the motor? If so then it maybe to the new bushings being a bit dry or something. If not then see if it happens after the Honda blades are on. Gritty glass usally just streaks as it tries to clear, I havent seen it make wipers noisy but I guess it could..Also is it possible that there is too much downward presure. First try the Honda parts..Good luck.
  • No. There's no noise when the blades are folded upward at 90 degrees. The wiper motor runs smooth too. The downward pressure being too high (firm or tight) is a possibility. How can this be reduced? I'll try to pick up a pair of Honda blade arms and inserts tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens. I forgot to mention that the noise was evident before I had the linkage fixed. The shop ignored the noise (I guess). I can always take it back, but I'd prefer to try the Honda parts myself first for the fix.

  • seafseaf Posts: 339
    I just received a recall notice from Honda about my '99 Honda Civic VP. I've heard other civic owners having ignition problems in forums before, but I've never had the ignition die out after I started the car (it said this was one of the symptoms). Sometimes it is hard to start the engine when the fuel is less than 1/4 full, but I can alleviate that by turning on the fuel pump with the key at ON position for a few seconds before cranking the engine.

    So my question is this, should I go in to the dealer and have them change it anyway? On the one hand I want to be safe than sorry, but on the other I don't want to risk them breaking something that isn't broke to start with. During my first tire rotation at the dealer, they managed to mess up the alignment, but I went back and had the alignment done for free. (now I do the oil changes & tire rotations myself)

    Also I should note that according to my VIN, my car was built in the Canadian plant rather than in the U.S.
  • You need to have the problem fixed, even if you aren't currently having any problems. If you don't trust the dealer you bought the vehicle from take it to a different dealer. Just because you bought it there doesn't mean you must have it serviced there.

    The ignition switch recall also included my '99 CR-V. I drove 30 miles, passing by two closer Honda dealers, to take it to the dealer I trust. It was worth the drive.

    Good luck.
  • Hello -seaf-- I have a 2002 civic lx that has a hard start problem also. I will also give a suggestion to go to another dealer. When I got the car my dealer was great, when I had problems, they just played the blame game. American Honda hasn't been much help either. I have had the car since April it has 4,000 miles on it, it has been in the shop twice. The beater I traded in was more reliable than my civic. I hope to hear soon that they are recalling 2002's also. Can you keep me posted if you find out what this problem is.Thanx in advance
  • I get an intermittant clanging noise that appears to be coming from the trunk. It is most prevalent on hard right turns, but also sometime on left turns. I can go weeks without hearing it, but sometimes 2-3 days in a row. Would appreciate help. Thanks.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    Your tire changing tools!

    I'm serious.
  • I just bought a 2002 Honda Civic. I had completed all the paperwork, the dealer
    detailed the car, and then asked me to take a look to make sure there were no problems.
    I noticed a small but significant ding on the front quarter panel. My initial instinct was to ask for a new car.
    He, however, assured me that the ding would be repaired without difficulty and gave me a reciept to return for the work to be done.
    Did I do the right thing? Should the dealer offer me some compensation for my time and the
    inconvenience? If the ding can't be repaired completely what are my options?
  • Hey everyone,

    I am new to 'townhall' and thought I would post my car problem to see if anybody else is experiencing anything similar:

    I own a 1997 Civic (non-vtec) that has 105000 kms (60000 miles). At about 60000 kms, the car started to knock (fairly loudly) when the car was started for the first time on a very cold day. The knocking sound would dissapear after the engine warmed up. My concern is that this knocking sound has gotten worse up until now. At the present time, the engine almost always knocks at startup, unless the engine has recently been running. Even on a 70 degree day, the engine will knock. Recently I left the car for a week, and it took about 10 minutes of running time for the sound to dissapear. I am convinced that in the not too distant future, the car will knock even when it is warm. I have checked Honda service bulletins and all I have found is a reference to a cold start knock (piston slap) that should stop after 2-3 minutes and that THIS IS NORMAL. How can Honda say that this is normal, when there are millions of cars on the road that do not do this?

    Has anyone experienced this problem, and if so, has there been any resolution or fix?

    Thanks for your time.
  • seafseaf Posts: 339
    I have a similar sound with the startup. I have a 1999 Civic VP. Except instead of a "knocking" sound, it sounds like a higher pitched, like a belt slipping. Or I guess it could sound like a metal slapping sound. It's about the same frequency as the engine's rpm, but when the engine is loaded as when I am accelerating, the noise is gone, it's only there when I'm idling. It goes away after a while. I had it in CarX to check the belts, they said they were tight and looked ok, they said it was normal for belts to do that, there are products you can spray on the belts to make them less noisy.

    So are you sure it's a knocking sound from your engine? How regular is the knocking? Is it high pitched or low pitched, is it 2 times a second, or 60+ times a second?
  • Perhaps "knock" isn't the best word to describe the sound, but it is a banging sound whose frequency directly increases/decreases with the rpm's of the motor. It is a low pitched sound. When describing this to my mechanic, he thought it was piston slap (although he never actually heard the car himself). He said the sound comes from the piston slapping against the cylinder wall when the engine is cold and thus the clearance between piston and cylinder wall is greatest. As the engine warms, the metal expands, the clearance decreases and the piston can no longer slap against the wall and thus the sound goes away.

    But why would would this be getting worse so fast? Can the clearance between piston and cylinder wall change that much in 40000 km's worth of driving?

    Has anybody else had this, and has there been a resolution?
  • Sounds like you need to have it looked it...okay, listened too. Might be piston slap or it might be valve noises or it might be something else entirely. Have you had the values adjusted? The Honda Ownerlink website ( says that for a '97 Civic you're supposed to check the valve clearances at 30,000 miles.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.

  • Have you guys try to have the cars oil pressure check? if is knocking it could be lack of oil pressure,lose valve,maybe if you have lots of miles dirty oil gallery.
    Greetings from sunny Miami
  • I too have been visited by the rattle gremlins. The main one is the one on the passenger's side front fender area that has already been addressed in this thread (Thanks guys!). Last week I had a more pronounced rattle coming from the passenger side rear door area but it went away after about 5 days (weird). Also my speedometer makes a buzzing noise at times. I am disappointed that a new Honda has these type of problems, even if it is only an entry level class of vehicle.
  • Hi,
    I'm interested in purchasing the Honda del Sol. But I know nothing about it. Does anyone know if there's a chance Honda might re-introduce that style of automobile again?
    Also, was there a "best" year and a "worst" year for the del Sol? How was the reliability? Would anyone recommend it or not recommend it?
  • I wonder what's going on with the Honda Motor Co.? I've been reading and hearing about so many problems recently Honda vehicles in general, i.e. ignition switch recall affecting various Accords & Civics, major automatic transmission problems on 1998-2002 Accords, 2002 Odysseys, and some Acura models, and from what I seem to keep hearing is that the 7th generation Civic has been the worst generation yet in regards to quality even though Honda claims that quality was improved "10 Times" when the 7th generation was released in fall 2000. Another thing I keep hearing is that Honda does not really stand behind its vehicles when problems arise, ie when calling customer service call center in Torrance, CA they give you very vague answers and are basically very unhelpful, dealerships that always seem to say, "it's a characteristic" of the car. Why don't they tell you this at the time of sale?? Has Honda heard of something called false advertising? WhenHonda says quality, reliability, dependability buyers expect exactly that, not going to the dealership numerous times for the same problem because it wasn't addressed the first time or going to the dealership numerous times for many problems/issues especially when the vehicle is new or newer. I've always heard Honda is very, very particular who they choose as a supplier. Well, whoever was supplying them their automatic transmissions and faulty ignitions and failed front struts on 2001 Civics apparently weren't held to the same supposedly high standards as maybe other suppliers were. All I know is Honda better get with the program or they are going to find themselves with the same bad reputation that American automakers have had over the many years, (poor quality, poor customer service/satisfaction, unreliability). It seems the more Honda builds their cars in the US, the poorer they have gotten and also this seems to go hand in hand with the more cars they are mass producing the more they seem to be cutting corners. I seem to see more and more Honda cars with misaligned doors, trunk lids, and hoods. You always hear how well crafted Honda cars are but why do I see so many Honda Civics and Accords with misaligned doors, hoods, truck lids, etc. Where's the craftsmanship that is advertised? What I'm sick of is the sales job everyone seems to give the public and then when it gets right down to it, what was advertised is not reality. I think one of the problems here is that Americans are basically now running Honda instead of the Japanese? Don't you think they'd be outraged see Mr. Honda's name being tarnished by poor quality workmanship, poor service, poor quality suppliers??? It's definitely not the same company it was many years ago? In Consumer Reports 2001 car reports issue the 2001 Civic only scored a "average rating". When can you remember the last time this happened? Mr. Honda is probably turning in his grave wondering what are these people doing to his company. I sure the ship can be righted before it's too late! Sorry for being so wordy.
  • With as many Hondas as we've owned we have yet to have a bad experience. You can have lemons with any make and I still think that Honda is above average and their interior and exterior build quality is still among the best in each vehicle's respective class. The 01 Civic did have a few first year gremlins but it should improve this year. When you consider how many Civics are sold the fact that the Civic problems forum is only on post #1400 over a 2 year period isn't that bad. The Mazda MPV problems topic has over 2000 posts as does the Toyota Sienna .. does that mean that they are crap?
  • mrfmrf Posts: 20
    Well, just to throw in my two cents worth: I have one of the much-belly-ached-about 2001 Civics, and I must say that out of the three Hondas I have owned and purchased new ( others were: 1991 Civic DX hatchback, 1995 Accord EX sedan) this latest one has been the best assembled and least 'troublesome' out the door of the three. None has had any mechanical problems, but all except the 2001 have had minor assembly issues (mis-aligned hood, loose trim pieces, etc). The only issue to date the the 2001 has been the lock on the interior trunk release didn't work, which was cheerfully replaced with much apology for my inconvenience by the dealer. The service I have received from the dealer I have dealt with for these past 12 years has been second-to-none. Anyway, if reliability and poor workmanship is a topic for discussion, then I will present the 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis I bought new between the 95 Accord and the current Civic. This was supposedly one of Ford's best models...HA!...failed tranny, 2 sets of rotors...the list is too long for this forum. Honda is still on the right track. No car is perfect, but for the money, Honda, and most of the other Japanese makes can't be beat. FWIW, also have a very early production 2000 Mazda MPV. Completely trouble-free.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    Take a deep breath....relax....mellow....

    The sky is not falling!
  • I can't speak to the newer Hondas, but my '86 Civic DX was a great little car - it was made in East Liberty, OH - I had it almost 15 yrs - nothing major went wrong - did have a freon leak once and the radiator needed flushing after 13 yrs, and finally in it's 15th yr it developed a very slow oil leak - I followed the recommended scheduled maintainence - I still love Hondas but rate Toyotas just as highly -
  • The Honorable Soichiro Honda hears you.
  • I replaced the upper arm/blade assemblies with Honda parts. The arms aligned nicely, and the rubber blades slide across the windshield with a smooth swoosh! Warn the Jersey Troopers, because I'm going to open up the carburetor, wind out the third automatic gear, and bust 76mph on the Jersey Turnpike. Maybe I can get in the tailwind of a S-2000!

    Thanks auburn63... you da' Man!
  • Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the East Liberty Honda plant didn't come into existence until 1988. I believe that's when they starting building Civics. Marysville came on line in 1982, which was the first Honda automobile plant in North America.
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    you are too funny...glad all worked out have a good one and keep it down before the fenders burn off
  • well, you may be right - I just went and looked at the VIN number for my old Honda and it does start with a "J" - so that means the car was built in Japan, correct? The night I bought the car, back in August of 1986, the salesman told me that it was built in East Liberty, OH, and I just took his word and never checked it out - anyway, that was a dependable little car - sold it last year for $1400 - went out and bought a '01 Corolla LE which I really like -
  • The rubbers seal surrounding the door is hanging down. Does anyone know what glue works best to keep it back up there? With it out of place, the window is open at the top allowing rain to get in. Not good. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • pro_honda,
    Check out message number 1387 on this board. I have had problems very similar to yours and would also like to know the cause and how I might deal with it. In my case I can rule out valves, which are properly adjusted, and oil, which is changed regularly. A Subaru owner described a somewhat similar problem that turned out to be caused by a timing belt tensioner. I have no idea whether this might be relevant in Civics. Glad to hear I am not alone, but frustrating not to know the cause or cure. I have been wondering whether I should let the engine idle long enough (2-3 min) for the noise to go away, i.e. whether it hurts the engine to accelerate when you can hear the knock. Please let me know if get any information on this problem.

This discussion has been closed.