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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • My current tank of gas lasted 260 miles... in the city. The air filter is perfect, new, the spark plugs look to be burning clean and do not look particularly foul, but 'used'. I bought this car with 20K miles on it and am wondering why it's not getting the gas mileage, not even close to what it should get. Could a defect in the engine, or part be causing this? Though the car RUNS so smooth, it's hard to believe anything is wrong at at all. My gas light is on right now so tomorrow I will see how many gallons it needs exactly, but my guess is at least 12, right? I mean the car comes with the 13.2 gallon tank, right? Or do the Civic LX tanks vary in size? If I need 12 gallons of fuel, that means I'm getting 21 miles per gallon.... what happened to 29? THAT IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE! WHAT should I do, where should I start to get the true mailage advertised?

    I do drive in a city with inclines, I try not to gun the engine, and the car runs like a top, why the foul milage?
  • My '99 CR-V has a 15 gallon tank, but the light comes on with about 3 gallons left in the tank. I suspect when you fill up tomorrow it'll be closer to 9 gallons than to 12. Let us know how many gallons and miles. And have you checked the air pressure in your tires recently?

    Good luck!
  • Oh yeah, pressure is checked, in fact the tires are brand new GoodYear tires also... AND I had an alignment done this week.

    Although, right now I am delivering Pizza in it and it does require a lot of '1-2 mile' trips where I shut the car off, then turn it back on... that could be where I'm losing gas mileage... but (if it were) 8 miles per gallon or so?

    Oh well, I will find out tomorrow, thanks for the help. Does anyone know if a 'warranty covered' part could account for this? I may just replace the plugs. The ones in it now are not factory, so I know the plugs have been changed at least ONCE. They are KMG plugs. How often should the plugs be changed?
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    I doubt anything is wrong with your car. If you are taking lots of 1 and 2 mile trips delivering pizzas in hilly terrain, you are going to get lousy gas mileage. That is not considered anything close to normal city driving, so you can't expect to get the EPA rating for city MPG. The factory spark plugs are rated for 100,000 plus miles. If you car is less than 3 years old from original purchase and has less than 36,000 miles you can take it to a Honda dealer to see if something is really wrong with your car. The fuel light usually comes on with about 3 gallons left in the tank like previously stated. The only way to check your true mileage was what was suggested on a previous post.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    "Although, right now I am delivering Pizza in it and it does require a lot of '1-2 mile' trips where I shut the car off, then turn it back on... that could be where I'm losing gas mileage... but (if it were) 8 miles per gallon or so?"

    Delivering Pizzas will do that, you are not doing just "city" stop and go, but start/shut down. Start up is when you use most of the fuel.
  • For all those following my lil panic attack here are the numbers:

    Well, you guys were right... I only needed 10.5 gallons of gas, odd the light would come on that soon, who woulda thunk?

    10.5 gallons

    267 miles driven =

    25.4 miles per gallon, that I can live with. I realized there would be a drop off because of the stop and go driving I'm currently doing, but NOTHING at 20 mpg or UNDER would have been acceptable, and at the time I posted this, that's what I envisioned I was getting. Thanks for all the help... however the LX still has the worst stock cd player I've ever seen and the car seems generally under powered, but those things I can live with.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    " A tempest in a teapot"...Problem solved!
  • Hi-

    At last fillup, with 10.825 gallons and 300-something miles I only got 30.4 mpg. I was expecting the mininum of 33/37 with my car. Of course, I only have 1505 miles on it as of today (just got it a couple of weeks ago).

    Will my mileage improve with time? I don't gun my engine, I'm a pretty adept with a 5-spd (know when to shift for maximum efficiency) and I don't speed on the highways (been told efficiency drops off after 60+ mph).



  • Never allow your fuel level to go that low in your tank. Assuming that the fuel pump is located in the tank, fuel is used to keep it cool while operating. Low fuel can damage a pump! ----Greg
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Low fuel can damage a pump, but the light indicator in a Honda Civic allows for a 2+ gallon reserve of fuel, more than enough to lubricate the pump and get you to the nearest fueling station.
  • rutger3rutger3 Posts: 361
    Just a guess, but it might be the idle speed control valve has gone bad. Had a similair problem with my 99 camry. I just give it gas until the idle speed comes up and stays there. Usually happens when it has been in the cold for a long time.
  • mararmarar Posts: 1
    The problem is with the main injector.
    It fluctuaties with signal at stumble on acceleration only at initial take off. No missfire.
    Manifold air pressure sensor was replaced.
  • I have a 2002 Civic EX coupe, automatic. I had the oil changed a place other than a Honda dealer, so the maintenance required light was not reset. The owner's manual says to press and hold the reset button (trip mileage button) while the car is off, insert the keys in the ignition, start the car, and continue holding the button for 10 seconds. I have tried this numerous times and have not been successful. The dealer told me to do the same thing, but to hold the button for about 20 seconds. I have also tried this. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this?
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    You are are track, but you are turning the key a little to far. You are not supposed to actually start the car. This will reset your maintenance light.
  • I ahave this maddening chirping noise in my 99 Honda Civic-Ex...The noise only occurs when the car is traveling in excess of 65 mph. This maddening chirping sound seems to come from the passenger front somewhere under the dashboard. I have been unable to locate the source of this noise. Has anyone experienced a similar sound??? Help!!! I can't stand it much more.....
  • I recently got a new '04 Civic EX Coupe with AT. I noticed from the second day foward that the car made strange noises most notacibly when it accelerates from full stop. There's a high pitch whine, a low pitch buzz/hum, and a faint mid pitch rattle. However, my ears are very sensitive, but even then, I don't think this is normal. No doubt I'll send it in to a service center for a diagnosis, but I wonder if anyone would have a knowledgeable guess as to where these sounds are coming from and why.
  • crv16crv16 Posts: 205
    I have a 2003 Civic that I bought a few months ago. Now, I have over 7,000 miles on it. I found that my mileage increased about .5 to 1 mpg every tank. Started out around 33mpg, and peaked around 40, before it declined a couple MPG with the introduction of winter gas. I get 37mpg pretty regularly now, with winter gas, and mostly highway driving.
  • That did the trick. I must have misread the manual and thought I was supposed to start the car.

    Thank you very much for the information!
  • auburn63auburn63 Posts: 1,162
    Possibly all due to a exhaust shield rattle. They get rusted and loose and make all kinds of noises. Other than that maybe the high pitch noise could be brakes...Good luck
  • compcomp Posts: 43
    Anyone experiencing the trunk lid closing too easily while on slight incline or in a light wind. Have had the trunk slap me in the head and shoulders a few too many times. Hinges seem to need more heft. Had the same problem on 91 Accord which was recalled for weak trunk hinge.
  • My WRX's trunck is weaker than the Civic. It even makes some noise when running over a bump. I was guessing that it was made by the rear suspension at the beginning. Later on my mechanic took the rear seat apart, and found out it was from the trunck. He adjusted the right angle to the trunck then the noise went away. 3 months after, now the noise is coming back. I give up for that. In fact, the Civic gives me more solid feel than my WRX but not the 1990 Celica.
  • your lucky to get that much, i drive the hybrid to work each day (105 miles each way) and is just getting a little over 40 mpg. but i drive averaging 75-80 mph. so i know my driving didn't help the sticker est mpg chart.

    but i did notice a difference when i use different brand gas. i changed from sunoco to mobil and seem to be using less gas. i gas up every two days and is saving a gallon each time compare to when i was using the sunoco gas. (both regular unleaded).
  • Hi-

    I am using Chevron mid-grade (89oct). Do you have any recommendations for a better fuel?

    AIM: MattPDX
  • My recommendation is to use 87 octane and save your money. You are wasting it by using a higher octane in a vehicle that doesn't require it. There are many tests out there that prove that statement and even in some cases, the vehicle actually loses a little bit of performance. The only recommendation I would make to you would to possibly try to find a gas station that has 100% fuel. My local Marathon station carries it with no ethanol additives.
  • I am contemplating buying a new 04’ HX 5 spped, after going to the Honda website and building my new car I have a few questions. Are the fog lights worth the money, or would aftermarket lights be better? How about the keyless enter and the alarm? Would an after market one be better? I am looking at the HX for the fuel economy. I currently have two gas hogs a Chevy Tahoe (wife’s car) and a Nissan Xterra (giving to my daughter). With all the driving a do and plan on doing getting 44 mpg would be a nice change. Any problems with either one of these two items?
  • I have an 03 Civic Ex, I installed an aftermarket fog light set for $60 compared to the dealer's $300+ and they look just as good under there. It was a pain to wire it, but luckly I have a friend with a hydrolic hoist so that helped. You have to remove the splash shield and part of the bumper also. If you go aftermarket with those plan on spending the day installing them. I would be careful with the aftermarket alarms, disabling devices etc. I heard if something gets messed up with the car Honda and other car manufactures can find a reason to void the warranty on certain parts due to the aftermarket installation of equipment without Honda's consent.
  • Question, ----Why would anyone purchase a "high quality vehicle" and then install after market parts, (of questionable quality), on this vehicle? ---- Keep the vehicle all Honda. Then there are no problems with warranties. If I saw a used Honda on the dealer's lot with after market parts installed on the vehicle, I would not consider this car for purchase. As far as I am concerned, it has lost the "Honda Quality"!
  • I had my 2003 civic LX for two months. Most of the time, I was really satisfied with it. However, I had the same starting problem other guys discussed before. It happened 4 or 5 times in such a short time. I could not even start the car yesterday.
    Does anyone know how to fix this problem or maybe we can organize to settle it down?

    BTW: if I install an alarm keyless system by myself, will I breake the warrenty for those wires and parts I will work on?

  • You say that you should not use aftermarket parts on a vehicle. Well you said you use that Marvel Oil in your fuel which is an aftermarket lubricant. It is certainly not endorsed or recommended by Honda so in a way according to your statement, your vehicles have lost that "Honda quality". I mean do you have any proof in independent testing other than the company that makes this stuff or anything that this oil actually helps the vehicle? How do you know that its really shortening the life of the vehicle's engine? To me, that oil sounds like something you would buy on TV that has the slogan, "guaranteed to work or your money back." If I am wrong tell me, but you said in your previous posts that you generally don't keep your cars much over 100,000 miles. What happens to that engine when the odometer rolls 150,000, 200,000? You said you don't use a lot of that oil in your fuel, but how do you know that stuff isn't building up deposits over time? Bottom line, you probably disagree with everything I said, but I disagree with you when you say anything aftermarket will destroy the Honda quality. I have a few things done to my Honda but nothing that would destroy the vital components of the car.
  • samjsamj Posts: 22
    When I bought my 03 EX Coupe, I bought the Honda Fog Kit, among other OEM accessories. I initially considered buying the Honda Fog Kit through dealers that sell OEM accessories at fraction of the in-store walk in price, and installing it myself. But the brochure stated that the 3year/36K mile factory warranty would apply only if installed by the dealer at the time of purchase. I figured the warranty and having somebody else install the fog kit would be worth the extra expense.

    As for the fog lamp itself, it looks great on the car. But in terms of added visibility, I don't know if it's because the dealer didn't aim it properly or poor design, visibility isn't increased dramatically.

    As for the alarm, I initially requested OEM alarm. But I went with the "KARR" alarm learning that the OEM doesn't have a shock sensor, and that the aftermarket alarm would be warrantied by the dealer while in it's factory warranty period. I also had concerns about the aftermarket alarm voiding the factory warranty. Fortunately, I haven't mechanical problems with the alarm. The only problem with the aftermarket alarm was figuring about the various features and programming it. OEM is simpler.

    BTW: Be careful about the dealer charging you unreasonable extra labor for installing the fog light switch. The fog kit doesn't include the switch. My dealer initially wanted couple hundred to install the light itself, and another couple to install the $20 switch that fits by the lighter. After consulting with their service dept, the sales people came to their senses and did not charge me the extra labor.
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