Honda Civic: The Worst Problems You Could Have Around 100,000 Miles

The Honda Civic is one of the most popular vehicles in the Honda Motor Company line. More than 300,000 of these automobiles are sold in the United States each year. There are four body styles offered and two high-performance forms. The Honda Civic is best known for its fuel efficiency, making it a solid choice for eco-conscious buyers. Unfortunately, several model years of the Honda Civic are known for their having critical problems when the vehicle reaches 100,000 miles.

Typical life span of an automobile

The Honda Civic on display at Automobility LA
The Honda Civic | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, the average life expectancy for a well-maintained vehicle is 11 to 15 years. Technological advances have enabled cars to stay on the road for 200,000 miles or more. A typical automobile loan is five years. This means a car owner expects to have a reliable means of transportation for 5 to 10 years longer than the term of the loan. There is no better feeling than being debt-free, having a car paid off in full.

But, when that car seizes at 100,000 miles, happiness quickly turns to road rage. When a consumer has to start paying for costly repairs, owning an older vehicle becomes exhausting. This is what is happening to Honda Civic owners of the following models.

Transmission problems on Honda Civic early models

The 2001 and 2002 Honda Civic models experience transmission failure on a fairly regular basis. The problems are so widespread that Car Complaints labels the 2001 Honda Civic with the “Avoid Like the Plague” badge and the 2002 Honda Civic with the “Beware of the Clunker” award. It seems when these model years hit the 100,000-mile range, they start to experience substantial transmission problems.

Drivers report the average repair cost exceeds $2,000. Owners have had to rebuild or replace the transmission to rectify the problems with this model. Some owners refer to their 2001 or 2002 Honda Civic as a money pit, and some have suggested getting rid of the car for scrap metal. This is not a vehicle worth investing in, especially if the odometer reads more than 100,000 miles.

Problems with the 2006 Honda Civic

The 2006 Honda Civic is no stranger to problems either. As this vehicle nears the magical 100,000-mile mark, it appears to fall apart as well. Numerous consumers have reported cracked engine blocks, which is a pretty big deal and costly to repair. Drivers claim the problem starts with signs of leaking coolant, despite regular maintenance and routine checks of fluids.

Most people say the problem appears out of nowhere and renders the vehicle useless. Once the engine block cracks, the only possible remedy is to replace the engine or find a new car. For those who have chosen the repair route, costs have exceeded $3,000.

The good news is that in 2014, Honda Motor Company acknowledged the problem. For owners experiencing problems with leaking coolant, a new engine block replacement was offered. If needed, an entirely new engine was authorized as well. This extended the original warranty to 10 years. Unfortunately, most owners were unaware of this offer and didn’t get the problem fixed.

Gears slipping, poor acceleration, and leaking fluids are all signs of transmission failure. Routine maintenance of a vehicle at suggested service intervals from the manufacturer should keep an automobile transmission running efficiently up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles. That means that Honda Civic transmissions are lasting only half as long as anticipated. Car Complaints had it right when they assigned these model years the “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.