1996 Honda Civic Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Honda Civic based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
On Certain models a faulty power window switch can cause the power windows to work or not work intermittently.
The 1990-2001 Honda Civic has a known issue with ignition distributor shaft bearing failure, which causes:
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.
Damaged engine mounts can lead to vibration and roughness felt in the steering wheel. A rattle in the dash and engine area may also be heard. Replacement of damaged mounts will commonly correct these issues.
The shift control solenoid externally mounted on the automatic transmission (non CVT) can fail and causes a harsh 1-2 shift. Replacing the shift solenoid and flushing the transmission with genuine Honda automatic transmission fluid may eliminate harsh shifting characteristics. A broken internal spring can cause the same issue. If the shift control solenoid does not repair the problem, the transmission will have to be replaced.
On certain models the windshield wipers will not park in the proper place or won't shut off. The wiper motor must be replaced to repair this issue.
Cracked exhaust is common on both exhaust manifolds and manifold/catalytic converter combination. Replacing the cracked component will repair the problem.
On some models the hood release cable breaks at the hood release handle.
The 1990-2005 Honda Civic commonly have issues with radiator leaks due to normal operation. The leak usually starts small with the engine running slightly warmer than normal, but may/will eventually cause:
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 1993-2005 Honda Civic commonly has problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:
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.
This seal wraps around the camshaft to prevent engine oil from leaking where the camshaft exits the cylinder head.
The 1990-2005 Honda Civic 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:
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.
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.