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Honda Civic: Problems & Solutions



  • Hi-

    Taking my car in this week for oil change (4200 miles on it...gone over a thousand since 28 Jan!!!).

    Am I putting too much mileage on my car? lol

    Oh, and my gas mileage HAS IMPROVED with the use of 87 oct. I got 34mpg on a trip up and back to Washington DC from Richmond, VA. I can only hope it gets better as the weather gets warmer.

  • I have a 95 Civic, 90000 miles every month or so I need to put about a litre of oil in it as the oil level light comes on. There is no visible sign of an oil leak, and the exhaust fumes look clean. Anyone know whats going on here, and if it is burning oil whats the fix?
  • Cars are made to be driven. Highway miles are great for any vehicle. Change your engine oil and filter often,(cheap maintenance). Use a "high quality oil & filter", and enjoy your vehicle. Be sure to keep your maintenance records.----If you want to experiment with the "miles per gallon issue", try using different brands of fuel. Try a different octane rating. ---Greg
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Check your oil at every fillup. If your light illuminates it is not due to low oil directly but low oil pressure which is horrible for the motor. First look into your coolant and make sure its not muddy colored. Otherwise take it in for a compression test, its either a seal (not visible) or rings etc.

    Never let the oil light come on your destroying the engine.
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    34 MPG is great for a Civic. Why worry so much about mileage, people have such a fixation on it. I would only worry if you were in the mid-20's or less. Use regular octane as car requires and brand is indifferent in a Honda. Note the cheaper no name brand is typically a mix of all the top brands. These stations buy the ends of fuel trucks for brand name stations at a cut rate so a truck does not return partially full. There is little to no difference to fuels sold mostly advertisting.
  • I agree with snarks about the octane but I do care somewhat about the brand of fuel. I try to stop at my local stations that only use 100% fuel in the summer and not that 90% fuel 10% ethanol mix. I don't know though. It might be hard to come by in other places. I live near the water where 100% fuel is required for marine purposes.
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    I have a 2004 civic ex 5 spd. It seems like sitting far enough away from the clutch puts me too far from the steering wheel. I could sit more upright but the seats are not the most comfortable. Otherwise a great car. Any ideas??? Too bad they don't have telescopic steering.
  • I am a fairly tall person, and have been through the same thing you are experiencing. Try putting the "seat back" back some then sliding the seat forward. It works for me.
  • your blower may just have a leaf or similar debris in it- the blower is cylindrical, and any debris will stay in it until it breaks down. See if you can clean it- you may be able to get at it by removing the cowl at the base of the windshield. Let me know if this helps.
  • your engine noise could be a bad timing belt tensioner. They sound like main bearing knock, and are a fairly common problem on these engines. Good luck.
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try. I think I have the seat reclined fairly far already. One problem is the proximity of the wheel well to the clutch. YOu must put your foot exactly on the clutch and not have your foot to the left at all or it will hit the bulge from the wheel well. This is why I have to sit back so far and therefore, am too far away from the steering wheel. Anyone else notice this????
  • I have a 1994 civic DX and my wipers will only work on the fast speed(high). It will not work on the slow speed or intermittent speed. I have tried replacing the wiper motor but it still has the same problem. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Have you tried testing the electrical output when on intermediate and slow after the switch and on the motor. My guess at this point is the switch or wiring, you need to troubleshoot.
  • Thanks for the idea. I try it some time soon.
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    The clutch on this car is one of the smoothest I have ever used. However it seems like the indentation for the wheel well is very close to the clutch. This makes for a somewhat awkward leg angle during clutching. If your foot is sightly on the left side of the pedal, it hits the indentation and keeps you from fully depressing the pedal. Anyone else find this annoying......maybe it's just me.
  • Hi all,
          I just purchased a 5 speed civic and have found the same "gurgling" noise as some of you have written about. Has any one figured out what it is exactly? I'm not too concerned about it, it's more of an annoyance, but I am curious what it is. I took it into the service center and they said there was air in the coolant system and they "bled" it out. I drove off the lot and heard it immediately. I am planning to take it back when I get some more time, but if any of you have successfully beaten the gurgles, I am all ears!
  • port_48port_48 Posts: 27
    Any help on OBD2 devices for use with my 2002 Civic would be appreciated. I've found units ranging from displaying the DTCs to ones with software that can be used with Palms/Pocket PCs/laptops to display real time engine performance. While the latter would be nice to have I'm not sure it's worth the $$ at this point.

    Do the ones with software provide anymore diagnostic information than the ones that just display the DTC? Or do they just use the existing monitoring information, combine it with the software to produce Tach displays, etc?


    02 Civic DX
    20350 miles
  • port_48port_48 Posts: 27
    I've searched the archives and found the following messages describe what's going on with my 2002 Civic DX 5spd (20.4K miles): 486, 488, 489, 503, 506, 1275, 2191, 2628, 2629.

    The problem is the noise that occurs when depressing the clutch, about 3/4" of pedal travel to nearly the floor. It sounds like plasticy metal on metal, like the hinge point is tearing itself apart. It doesn't happen all the time and seems to occur more consistently/frequently with warm weather (heat causing expansion?). I'm aware of a recall on the hydraulic line connection that creaks/pops when using the clutch - the fix there is to remove the hydraulic line, grease the fitting, and reassemble.

    Has anyone had the problem accurately diagnosed and/or corrected? I haven't brought it to the dealer's attention just yet. I like to be smarter than them when taking a car in for warranty repair (out of warranty I'll fix it myself). Either way, I'll have it looked at by the dealer before my 3yr, 36K mile warranty expires.

    Thank you,

  • psu525psu525 Posts: 8
    I'm thinking of buying the 2004 honda civc EX but I'm not sure if it is too underpowered. Can anyone tell me how they feel about the civic's power compared to other cars?
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    I just bought a civic EX. The power depends on what you are looking for. I didn't test drive a whole lot of other cars. But, compared to cars I have driven, it has plenty of power and a lot of pickup. At higher speeds on the highway, it may not be as smooth as cars with more power though.
    If you are really into performance, check the Mazda3 which comes in 2.0 and 2.3 versions. I have heard some good things about it and it is priced competively.

    Just keep in mind that I live in NYC and that reliability, gas mileage and a small size were considerations. I also have a 5 spd which probably adds a little to the equation.

  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    One of our vehicles is a 2004 Honda Civic, the other is a 2003 Honda Accord. The Civic is not a 1964 Pontiac LeMans.(When I was much younger, I had the opportunity to drive my friend's 1964 Pontiac convertable, with a three speed stick on the foor & a big V8 engine, and let me tell you it was one "hell of an experience"). Now having said that, the Honda is a great little car. It has plenty of power for its size. It has "quality" and it has "resale value" on the "back end", when it comes time to trade. I burn premium fuel in all my vehicles, because the Honda manual states "86 octane or higher", and when I come out of a toll booth on the highway I like the performance. (To say the least, I blow a little carbon out of the engine) I also use a "fuel lubricant" in the fuel for the upper cylinder and the fuel system components, but that is my choice. If you would like to discuss this you can use my e-mail address: ---- I think if you purchase the Honda Civic you will be very happy with the product. Take one out for a test drive. We purchase all of our vehicles "out of the dealer's stock". We walk the lot with the salesperson, and when we see a vehicle that we like, he gets the keys, and we road test the vehicle. This way, we do not get any surprises at the time of delivery.----------Greg
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    The Honda Civic EX is not underpowered, it is adequate given the mileage/performance it delivers. If you want more performance/fun/handling etc take a look at the Mazda3. This delivers more lively accelaration and is just plain fun to drive. The Civic is transportation and reliable at that. You don't need premium, I just turned over 200k miles on a 95 Civic EX and only have found that mileage for whatever reason was a bit worse with premium and no difference in performance.

    Try a Mazda3 as its close in price and in my opinion a more fun to drive car and see what you think.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    Is usually 87 octane. It's a total waste of money spending extra money for premium gas. The car won't run any differently or last any longer.

    For the majority of people, the Civic has more than adequate power. Give one a try!
  • I have the 03 Ex coupe 5spd. It is more than adequate for what a normal driver would need. If you want a really fast car, then the Civic is not for you. I have plenty of power to quickly get up to speeds especially in the conditions I drive, it demands it with literally almost NO acceleration lanes on some of the freeways in downtown Detroit. BTW this is with using 87 octane fuel.
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    Since you have been out looking at various vehicles, you probably already know that there are four other cars in the class of a Honda Civic. They are the Mazda3, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Mitsubishi Lancer, and the Nissan Sentra. Purchasing your first vehicle is an emotional experience. Most people purchase what they like, and there is nothing wrong with that action. Out of the four vehicles listed above together with the Honda Civic, if I was to select a vehicle based on "pure emotion", I would pick the PT Cruiser. Over the years, I have owned or leased many vehicles, (Buick, Ford, Mercury, Honda Accord, Olds, AMC, Jeep and Honda Civic). While I enjoyed the experience with most of the vehicles, I made what I consider to be a "major error", in the selection / purchase process of the particular make of vehicle, purely from a financial point of view. Yes, you should purchase the vehicle of your choice, but part of that decision is the "trade in value of that vehicle", when it comes time to repeat the process. Without including emotion into the purchasing process, a vehicle is just transportation from point "A" to point "B". If you are looking at five, (5), vehicles as stated above, and the trade in value 3 to 6 years down the road is better with the Honda, then on a financial basis, the decision is simple. Had I look at vehicle ownership from this point of view when I was younger, I would have been ahead a lot of "vehicle dollars" due to depreciation, but I would have missed some "Great Experiences"! The PT Cruiser is a great looking car, but I do not think it will hold its value like the Honda. On the other side of the issue, you only live once, and if a PT Cruiser is going to make you happy, well get one and enjoy life, because that is what life is all about! -----Greg
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    What is the best way to clean bird droppings off of the car. Here in NYC the pigeons seem to aim for the new ones only!!!!!
  • gregoryc1gregoryc1 Posts: 766
    I would flood the area with clean water in order to soften the mess. Then I would wash the vehicle with a very soft spong and a lot of soap. The trick is to get it off ASAP! -----Greg
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I would say for the first car ever go with used.
    If you are interested in power, then you would have to get manual, Honda is pretty good at putting stronger engines with manual trannys. The Civic Si and Acura RSX type S are very powerfull for the size. If you don't want to shift, then stay away from Honda. The automatics kill any fun factor from the engine. Honda engines need to be revved to get perfomance, except for the i-VTEC equipped ones in Civic Si, RSX, TSX, CRV, and Accords, which pull very strongly from 2000 rpm.
  • ne0ne0 Posts: 10
    Please Help, I got the check engine light on last nite from my way home from work, everything runs smooth not weird shifting or surges. Brought the car into Honda dealership, and received a called that I need a new transmission. A new honda oem for $5575 or refurbished for $3800. How do a transmission die under 50,000 miles? I had a 1999 Honda civc ex with 25,000 before the transmission went, and i traded in the 1999 for the 2001 and now the same problem again. I called American Honda and they just gave me case number and someone would get back to me? But what about my car? Why do I have to spend so much money trying to buy a relialbe car. My 1989 chevy beretta lasted me over 99,800 miles of city driving and engulfing the biggest potholes in the NY & NJ area.. Where is the quaility in Honda cars these days..2 cars with bad transmission, I guess Honda does not care for it's customers, I'll keep you guys posted on my outcome of American Honda's case...

    Please share your experiences with your transmission horrors.
  • snarkssnarks Posts: 207
    Sounds like bad luck, sorry. Things fail even on car generally regarded as reliable and of course there are cases of no problems on unreliable cars.
This discussion has been closed.