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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • cam03cam03 Posts: 8
    Just made an appointment with my honda dealer because of the clicking brake noise that I hear when I step on the brakes. However, I now have a burning smell coming from the front of the car. I can really smell it when I shut the ignition and walk in front of the car. The smell only lasts a very short time.Can this smell be related to the clicking brake noise? Any suggestions and help would be appreciated.The car has only 1600 miles and is an 03 civic ex.
  • I had the same thing with my 2003 civic ex. It was when I turned off the car and could smell it when I got out, but it went away as the car was driven more and more. I don't think its anything to worry about, as it is probably just with the engine metal being new and all and sometimes when metal is new it will give off like a burning smell for awhile. I don't really know how to explain it anymore than that, but I know I have noticed a similar smell coming out of a lawnmower we recently purchased, and that went away with time also. But since you're taking it in to the dealer you may as well mention it and see if they think there is a problem.

    As with the blown engine, I'm sorry to hear about that happening. I believe the dealer will not cover it though because they will consider it avoidable. I'm surprised your son didn't notice the temp gauge rise all the way to the top. There weren't any indicator lights coming on because there isn't a light saying the engine coolant is too hot(thats what the gauge is for) and there isn't any kind of low coolant light on Hondas, and the check engine light is for emissions problems or when you forget to tighten the fuel cap. Anyhow good luck to you both.

  • cam03cam03 Posts: 8
    Thanks for your information on the burning smell.However, I have the car 5 months and I never smelled it until yesterday.The car was purchased in the summer(no smell) and now that it is cooler and the heater is on could that be responsible for it? Please let me know if this also happened to you, since I am worried and the car is not being seen by the dealer (due to my work schedule) for another week.Thanks again.
  • If you're using the heater, it is possible that there is some dust that somehow got in there burning off through the ducts or heat exchanger however I did not notice any smell when I turned on my heater for the first time a couple of weeks ago(bought the car in April and haven't needed the heat until now). I would imagine if it was the heater you would smell it inside the car too, unless somehow that microfilter they have is scrubbing it out...I don't know for sure.

  • cam03cam03 Posts: 8
    I called the honda dealer this morning and explained the problem to him. As soon as I mentioned the burning smell he said you must have picked up a plastic bag underneath your car.Well I brought the car in and there it was-a plastic bag caught on the exhaust system( towards the front of the car)-He said there is nothing I can do since the bag will eventually disintegrate.I thought you would like to know this in case it ever happens to you. By the way, the dealer told me that since the car is low this happens to many people. Thanks for all your concern on my problem.
  • I have read a large number of posts [not all] and have not come across a similar noise problem.
    Just two days ago I bought a 2003 Civic Hybrid CVT. I test drove it several miles and heard nothing unusual. But when I drove the car home, I encountered a very loud droning noise from the left front of the car. It happened while going approx 55-60 mph on the freeway. It lasted several seconds at a time for about 3 minutes.

    When I got home I took a closer look at the wheel well and noticed that the mud guard was quite flexible and of piss-poor design. It was molded out of a plastic material and had pockets facing forward at the lower end.

    My theory is that the noise was caused by the high winds blowing at the car from the 10 o'clock direction. The speed of the car plus the 30 mph wind adds up to what would be a 90 mph hurricane wind taking the roof off a house. In my case, the winds caused the mud guard to vibrate violently causing the intermittent drone noise.

    Does anyone agree with my theory or has anyone experienced the same noise? I should add, I have not heard that noise since but we also have not had any strong winds since.
  • debs4debs4 Posts: 7
    Last January or February I posted about my 2002 Civic Si having problems with not starting. I was lucky in March to have my dealership replace my lemon with a new 2003 Civic Si.

    Here we are again with the cold weather and my 2003 will not start. It's at the dealership for the second time this week. The first time, they couldn't find anything wrong with it. This time I got it towed to a different dealership to see if they can figure it out.

    Has anyone ever had this problem before?
  • Help!! I have a 1997 Civic EX Automatic with 58000kms and yesterday when I was accelerating it was like it skipped a few shifts and went right to the highest. The gas pedal was right to the floor and not budging. I through the car in neutral and pulled over right away and just sat there because it wouldn't stop. After about 2 minutes it stopped and the gas pedal came back up but ever since then when I get to about 35 - 40km's and it's about to shift it starts to rev high like it's going to shift into the highest again and I back off. Any ideas on what the problem could be??
  • ... slowly noticed a loss of power(speed) while going up inclines on the highway. Even when I would press the accelerator, there would be no 'real' increase of velocity. Also, when takes a second longer than if it's struggling to get fuel. (btw, I always turn the ignition to hear the fuel pump and then pull back the key and then crank it)..& lastly, it drives unusually rough.
      Now, my '93 civic has 240k, sounds normal while idleing & has been burning a bit of oil (black around the exhaust pipe)....
      Since the problem started, I've changed my spark plugs...added fuel injection cleaner..and noticed a small hole in the exhaust pipe right before the muffler.
    Question(s) is: Does it sound like an exhaust related problem....fuel filter/pump/injector...or manuel transmission?...just looking for the next step. thanks.
  • Anyone heard of an ODRV valve and able to explain it?

    Dealer says it needs replacing on a '99 civic.

    Symptoms are gas smell, engine light on.

  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR)..
    During refueling, the ORVR vent shut valve opens with the pressure in the fuel tank, and feeds the fuel vapor to the EVAP control canister. When they go bad they will usally cause a check engine light and set a code P1456. I have not seen many go bad over the years but always possible. Most of the time we find that they go bad from trying to fill the tank too much. Should stop filling tank after gas nozzle shut off automaticly or at the next time only allowing 1 round off attempt.

     Since they are doing the diag cant say much in the direction of right and wrong so hope all goes well and if not let us know and we can try and point you in a direction..good luck
  • Very helpful, you sound very knowledgeable...

    Charged $150 for diagnosing the problem, and $300 for repair.

    Sound pretty accurate?
  • I just bought and didn't test drive my 2003 Honda Civic LX for very long and to be honest with you at times it seems to pull to the left, I'm not sure if it's the roads or what... also, compared to my truck this car is so stiff to drive. It had 20,000 miles on it, is it possible it could need an alignment already?
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Well prices arent my thing, I dont really know parts prices at all. The original diag is a bit high, we get 84.00 here in Jersey plus about another 126.00 for labor to replace the ORVR. But as long as the car is fixed and multiple trips arent necessary then the price isnt all that bad..Good luck
  • thanks for the help
  • chris777chris777 Posts: 126
    Well I think I totaled my 2000 sedan yesterday
    I was going around a corner, and skidded a bit I tried to correct things and the car just went berserk like a skipping stone back and fourth across the road until I went off the road up an embankment, rolling the car and flipping it (I think I'll have to wait on the police report to be sure), but I've never had a car loose control like that before, Is this something inherent to wishbone suspensions? (if so I'll go back to beam axles & Mcphereson struts all the way)
    But the car was just extremely wobbly for lack of a better description I've heard people mentioning stiffer suspensions for performance reasons, but could it have possibly have helped me prevent my wreck?

    and yes other than some pulled muscles{hopefully} and bruised pride I'm ok, and the air bag did not deploy, though it tore up the bottom of the car pretty bad and broke the top radiator hose completely free plus shattering the rear windshield and bashing the trunk, and rear support panel badly.
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Everyone to blame but yourself for driving too fast obviously for conditions or not being able to handle the car. The wishbone suspension design is fine on the Civic and was sold to many 100's of thousands of Civic's without an issue. Civic's are not sports cars, they handle pretty well but despite what tuners think they are not and never will be a sports car.

    Slow down, drive reasonably, think and make sure you have decent tires on whatever car you drive.

    Sorry about your accident you just have the wrong attitude blaming the car. If your car was wobbly you had a problem most likely and should have taken it in, that is abnormal for any car.
  • And it isn't even CLOSE.

    I bought a 2003 Civic LX, it has 21,000 miles on it and a tank of gas will only get me maybe 280 miles(city), NOT the well over 300 we SHOULD be getting, any ideas why? The car seems to run fine, and in my area there are inclines of sorts (the area is on a sort of 'slope'), nothing drastic but they are there. With such low mileage on the car I cannot think of anything that would cause it to run SO drastically below the average....... PLEASE help...... maybe there was a recall that the previous owner didn't follow up on that needs repairs. I mean I am like 80 MILES below where a tank should be getting me..... I do not GUN the engine, etc. and the car at an idle you can barely tell it's even running, thats how smooth the car runs. Can it be the inclines?

    :::::::::PLEASE HELP WITH ADVICE:::::::
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    Although 280 miles per tank does not tell me exact miles per gallon, it does not seem too unrealistic for city driving in a hilly terrain. To get the closest mpg calculation next time you got for fill up, reset your trip odometer, fill up intil the first automatic shut off, do not top off. Drive as normally would. When the car is almost empty, go the same gas station, same pump, same time of day, same weather conditions, fill up until the pump clicks off. Record the mileage on the trip odometer, and gallons needed to fill up. Repeat 3-5 times and calculate the average. Only then you can scientifically say that the car does not comply with EPA estimates. Also, see if your air filter is dirty. A dirty air filter will decrease you fuel economy by as much as 30%.
    The gas mileage will depend on the driver too. An agressive driver will always get lower miles per gallon than a more sedated driver. Also, shifting at lower RPM will yield higher mpg. Try shifting at or bellow 3000 RPM, and take your time getting the car to speed. In other words, granny drive it.
    Good luck
  • (How do I simply reply without starting a new topic? I don't know!)

    Thanks for the help...... looking at the 'stats' here at Edmunds saying in short, ONE tank should get you 380 miles in the city, I am whoafully below that. I didn't realize a dirty AIR filter would reduce it THAT much, but at only 20K should that really be necessary? Something to think about, thanks. ALSO I have an automatic, anyone please, what is the 'D3' on the shifter, '2' etc.? When should I use them, would it help my situation?

    ::::PLEASE any advice is appreciated:::::
  • The range posted on edmunds is simply the Miles per gallon * the fuel tank capacity. More than likely you are not filling it up all the way when you gas up, as the auto shut off kicks in on the pump. Also their capacity on the fuel tank specs is only an approximation and varies from vehicle to vehicle on the actual size of the tank. That is my opinion on you not getting the range edmunds posts.
    The D3 on the shifter cuts out overdrive. This may help you in some instances on fuel economy. If you feel the car cycling between overdrive (4) and 3rd gear frequently during your normal driving, then use D3, especially if you are climbing hills a lot and it "kicks down" into 3 to maintain speed. That uses more fuel. 2 is strictly only second gear. It will not shift into any other gear. 2 is good when you are starting from a slippery spot (snow, ice ) when wheel spin is encouraged further due to less traction. 2 will help you to avoid that because it will start the transmission in 2 instead of 1.
    Check your filter like dudka said. If its dirty it will hurt fuel economy because the proper air/fuel mixture will not be there and the engine will compensate by using more fuel due to less air.
    Hope this helps...nick
  • Howdy folks,

    Note: I posted a similar the Civic Hybrid forum, but since the CVT transmission is available on some of the other Civic models I thought it would be useful to post this here as well....

    I bought a 2004 honda civic hybrid, with the automatic CVT transmission,
    about 4 weeks ago. I've put about 650 miles on the car, and so far I've been
    pretty pleased.

    However, yesterday (Fri, Dec 12) I came home to a message on my answering
    machine from the service manager at the dealership where I purchased the

    He stated that he had been informed by Honda America that my car was one of
    105 cars in the US that "have an issue with the steel drive belt in the
    transmission" and that my transmission in my brand new car would have to be
    REPLACED! Yes - completely replaced...

    I've seen a message on another car forum about somebody in the same bind (problem with a CVT on a honda civic)...

    More to come as I learn more from the Honda service manager...

  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Has anyone here experienced any major electrical issues? My friend's Civic is having problems stalling while driving, problems with the dash and a grinding noise coming from the brake system. Just a few days ago, smoke was eminating from under the hood. He had the vehicle towed to the dealership and the service guys looked at it for about 15 minutes. They said nothing is wrong.... This is a catastrophic failure. Anyone have any advice? Thanks!
  • I have 1999 Honda Civic LX. Have had the car two years and never any problems, until the other day. On my way to work, stopped to get gas, left station, ran an errand, then on the way out of town, the check engine light came on and when I came to a stop light and let off the accelerator, the car died. It started back up, but at the next light, died again. It won't hold an idle but seems to drive fine. I decided to skp work and see if I could get it home. Everything seems fine, except for the check engine light and won't hold an idle. Any ideas???
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    We would need more info, like year, trim, auto/manual, ABS/no ABS, A/C no A/C, stuff like that
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    Did you leave the car running while filling up? That would trigger the check engine light.
    Do you have auto or manual?
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Get the code scanned and it will tell you what is wrong. Autozone does this sometimes for free, but this is your step to figuring out the problem, everything else is a blind guess. The gas cap has nothing to do with this as the car won't idle.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,554
    Why do you feel you are in a "bind"?

    they are going to replace your transmission and your problem will be solved.
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Dudka: 2003 Honda Civic EX 5-speed w/security system.... I am not sure what is up with this car.... Any ideas?

    Original post:
    Has anyone here experienced any major electrical issues? My friend's Civic is having problems stalling while driving, problems with the dash and a grinding noise coming from the brake system. Just a few days ago, smoke was eminating from under the hood. He had the vehicle towed to the dealership and the service guys looked at it for about 15 minutes. They said nothing is wrong.... This is a catastrophic failure. Anyone have any advice? Thanks!
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    Ok, the grinding noise from the brakes is either ABS working, or rust on the rotors. In this winter weather and salt on the roads, it takes a couple of hours of sitting and the rust forms on the rotors. If your friend feel vibration when the brakes a grinding then it is ABS kicking in.

    Stalling while driving: you have to be more specific about it, like speed and RPM, direction (either turning or not), whether this is this person's first manual car.

    I don't know what problems you are having with the dash. There is not enough information.

    As far as smoke goes, what did it smell like? Was it sweet, blue, dark, white? Sometimes when you go through a car wash in winter and drive out all the water that was sprayed on the hot parts will steam up.
This discussion has been closed.