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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

On certain models the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) can misinterpret the secondary oxygen sensor data and set a false Check Engine Light. A software update from Honda is needed for this issue.

Impact damage to the front of the vehicle can cause the primary O2 sensor to blow fuse 15 and cause the Check Engine light (MIL) to come on. In most cases the primary O2 sensor needs replacing and a new fuse installed to repair the issue.

A failure of the Primary O2 sensor heater can cause illumination for the Check Engine Light. Replacing the O2 is required to repair this issue.

On certain models the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) misinterprets coolant temperature data and can turn on the Check Engine light (MIL). A software update from Honda is needed to address this issue.

On some engines a sticking variable valve timing valve can cause  the Check Engine light (MIL) to illuminate. Replacing the valve and a software update will address this issue.

On certain models a slow responding two way bypass valve can cause the Check Engine light (MIL) to illuminate. This ususally occurs in cold weather. Replacing the bypass valve is needed to repair this issue.

Excessive second clutch wear (automatic transmission) can cause the car not to move and set a Check Engine light (MIL). Replacing the transmission is necessary when this happens.

Impact damage to the front of the vehicle can cause the primary oxygen sensor to blow fuse 15 and cause the Check Engine light (MIL) to come on. In most cases the primary oxygen sensor needs replacing and a new fuse installed to repair the issue.

On certain models in colder climates the Check Engine light can set due to moisture in the Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor freezing. The MAP sensor needs to be replaced and on some models the intake manifold needs replacing also.

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. 

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. 

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 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.

    Front compliance bushings may crack and break. Damaged bushing should be replaced before damaged is done to suspension components.