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Honda Civic Si Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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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Known Problems
On the Si, a faulty 3rd gear can cause problems shifting into third gear. Removing the transmission and replacing the third gear assembly is required to repair this issue.

A faulty power window switch can cause the power windows to stop working, or to work intermittently.

The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si engine oil pressure sensor is known to leak from normal operation.

More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.

Select year models of the Honda Civic Si may have problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble code P1457 is stored
  • Engine takes longer than usual to start
  • Fuel mileage decreases noticeably
  • The valve is located on the charcoal canister, and is meant to open and close upon command. It fails due to corrosion breaking one of two internal seals, which allows air to escape the system, signaling the OBD trouble code P1457.

    Correcting the problem can be done by replacing the vent valve, or, in some cases, cleaning and resealing the vent valve has been successful. You can get an estimate for this repair here.

    A worn, missing, or loose gas cap can cause the same issues.

    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 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si commonly has mechanical issues with the manual transaxle.

    Drivers will notice that upon decelerating, the transmission will shift to neutral on its own, and some gears, normally second, will be difficult or impossible to select with the gear selector. Lastly, a grinding noise accompanies these issues. It changes with engine speed, and comes from the transmission.

    The engine connects to the transmission with a clutch and shaft. The clutch engages or disengages the transmission input shaft, and the transmission input shaft drives the transmission. The input shaft is held in place by bearings which allow it to spin. When those bearings fail, the input shaft can move, and the problems noted above become very evident due to the loss of synchronization of the transmission.

    To correct the situation, the transmission must be removed from the vehicle, disassembled, rebuilt, and reinstalled in the vehicle.

    The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is proper maintenance of the transmission.

    The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si is known for premature alternator bearing failure. The alternator shaft bearing alerts of mechanical failure by making a howling or grinding noise, but other symptoms may appear, including:

  • Battery warning light illumination
  • Engine will not start
  • Engine stalling or hesitation
  • Power steering and A/C failure

    Continued use after the alternator makes these noises generally result in loss of the serpentine belt, power steering, air conditioning and battery power.

    The correction is to replace the alternator immediately.

  • 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.

    The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si has a known issue with alternator failure at high mileage, which causes:

  • Battery warning light while driving 
  • Loss of electrical/battery power 
  • Engine stalling or hesitation 
  • The remedy is simply to replace the alternator, and test the battery. Note: the battery must be disconnected prior to servicing the alternator to prevent electric shock and damage to electrical components.

    The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si has a known issue with ignition distributor shaft bearing failure, which causes:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • Check Engine Light Illumination
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Oil leak from distributor cap 
  • The ignition system uses the distributor to send high voltage electricity to the spark plugs at the right time. It accomplishes this timing mechanically by a shaft, which connects the crankshaft and ignition distributor, so they spin at the same rate. That shaft, part of the distributor, rests in a bearing inside the distributor.This bearing, the distributor shaft bearing, is known for failing, and allowing the shaft to move slightly.

    As the bearing fails, it allows the shaft to move away from the shaft seal, and oil pours into the distributor cap, causing misfires.

    The play in the shaft can also cause contact with the crankshaft position sensor, causing a no start problem.

    Total bearing failure will be most evident from the grinding noise that changes with engine speed, and oil in the ignition distributor cap.

    If the bearing is making noise, driving or running the vehicle can result in catastrophic engine failure.

    To correct this issue, the ignition distributor and shaft must be replaced. Any damage to the crankshaft position sensor will necessitate replacement as well.

     

    The 1999-2016 Honda Civic Si engine oil pressure sensor is known to leak from normal operation.

    More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

    To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.

    The 99-00 Honda Civic Si has a known issue with engine oil leaking from the ignition distributor shaft seal.

    Leakage from the shaft seal coats the electrical components of the distributor with engine oil causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Cleaning the distributor cap and rotor can help or resolve driveability issues temporarily, but the mentioned issues will return shortly.

    Once this issue is diagnosed, the ignition distributor shaft seal must be replaced, and the distributor shaft bearing must be inspected.

    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 sunvisor may come apart or split causing it not to remain in the stowed position. On some models, Honda has extended the warranty on these sunvisors to 7years or 100,000 miles. Please contact your local Honda dealer for more information. To find a Honda dealer near you please click here»

    A worn (front) bushing on the rear lower control arm can cause a noise when going over bumps. Replacing the worn bushing should stop the noise.