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1990 Honda Civic Si Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1990 Honda Civic Si based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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8
Known Problems

The camshaft seal, located at the end of the cylinder head, has a reputation for failure on the 1990-1995 Honda Civic Si.

This seal wraps around the camshaft to prevent engine oil from leaking where the camshaft exits the cylinder head.

Replacing the leaky seal requires timing belt removal, so timing belt and water pump may be recommended if your vehicle is near the service interval.

The Honda Civic Si from 1990-1995 commonly has radiator leaks after many years of normal operation. The leak starts small, but may cause:

  • Coolant puddling under vehicle
  • Engine overheating
  • Unexplained coolant loss (only at first)
  • Vehicle in “limp mode”; loss of power
  • Cylinder head or head gasket failure
  • The coolant leaking can have a severe effect on your vehicle if left in disrepair. If the radiator is diagnosed as the leaky part, it will need to be replaced, or resealed if that is an option.

    Note: coolant is toxic to animals, but tastes sweet. Any coolant spills should be cleaned to protect animals and children.

    Certain models can leak oil externally or allow coolant into the combustion chamber due to a faulty head gasket. The head gasket needs to be replaced to correct this problem.

    The front brake rotors can warp and cause a vibration when braking. The rotors will need to be machined or in cases where they are worn to thin, replaced to correct this issue.

    Plugged moon roof drains can cause a water leak inside the car, usually over the head of the driver or passengers head when turning a corner. Cleaning the drains will fix this problem.

    Leaking tail light gaskets can allow water into the tail light assembly and inside the vehicle. Replacing the tail light gaskets will commonly correct this issue.

    An oil leak at the spark plug area (spark plug tubes) can be caused by a failing valve cover sealing rubber and/or camshaft holder o-ring. The sealing rubber and o-ring will need to be replaced to address this issue.

    Rear trailing arm bushings crack and break. The trailing arm bushings will need to be replaced when they break.