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Honda Civic Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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.

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75
Known Problems

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. 

The airbag warning light (SRS) may illuminate due to a defective occupant position sensor. Honda has a recall campaign to replace defective sensors on affected cars.

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 hood release handle will commonly break while trying to open the hood. If the cable is OK and the hood latches are not binding, you can replace just the handle. You will find that many people use a pair of pliers to open the hood and that's always an option if you chose to not fix it. We recommend replacing the handle at the very least as it's an inexpensive fix that simplifies the opening of the hood. 

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:

  • 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 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»

    Honda Civic power windows may stop opening or closing due to defective window switches. The issue may be intermittent with no obvious reason as to why the issue started or resolved itself. Sometimes if you press or pull the switch with a little more force than normal it may operate. All these are signs the electric window switch may be failing. While it's most commonly the switch make sure you or the mechanic at the shop verify the switch is bad and not the window motor before replacing any parts. 

    The rear main oil seal can leak. The transmission has to be removed to replace the rear main seal on the engine.

    Cracked exhaust is common on both exhaust manifolds and manifold/catalytic converter combination. Replacing the cracked component will repair the problem.

    When your windshield wipers will not stop in the proper place, or they will not turn off, it's very common that windshield wiper motor is the issue. To address this the wiper motor must be replaced. 

    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 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.

    On certain models the engine RPM does not drop immediately and can cause a surge when driving in first gear. A software update is required for this repair.

    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.

    On certain models the ignition switch binds. The ignition switch needs to be replaced to repair this issue.