The Most Common Honda Civic Problems You Should Know About

The Honda Civic is a popular car on both the new and used market. It’s available in five different trims and three body styles to suit each driver’s needs. The Civic is a favorite among both consumers and critics. In fact, it even won Motor Trend’s pick as the Best Compact Sedan of 2019.

The Honda Civic’s positive reviews may be appealing, but it’s still not the perfect car. Older versions of this car can experience many problems, some of which can be very expensive to fix. If you’re in the market for a used Honda Civic, watch out for these issues.

The worst Honda Civic

The Honda Civic on display at Brussels Expo
The Honda Civic | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

A failing transmission was quite common in both 2001 and 2002 Honda Civic models. The issue was so severe that 2001 was named the worst model year by Car Complaints. The transmission either had to be replaced or completely rebuilt, costing an average of $2,300.

Honda covered the repair costs according to some reports, but most drivers had to pay out of pocket. 2001 and 2002 Civics also frequently needed exhaust manifold replacements. While not as severe as a faulty transmission, it still costs about $1,000 to fix. Thankfully, no major transmission issues were reported past these model years.

Engine problems

2006 was also a bad year for the Honda Civic. Models from this year had frequent reports of cracked engine blocks. If a cracked engine leaks enough coolant, it can overheat and fail completely. This issue was so common that Honda extended the engine block’s warranty for up to ten years.

However, if the crack appeared outside of the warranty, drivers had to pay nearly $3,000 for a new engine block. Bad engine mounts are also common in several model years, which causes intense vibration in the steering wheel. This is a relatively inexpensive fix at around $100.

The Civic’s interior issues

Newer Honda Civic models have a large number of complaints about the interior. While these problems generally aren’t very expensive to fix, it gives the cabin an overall flimsy feeling. In 2006 models, the most common issue was a deteriorated sun visor. 

Earlier models also had a few interior problems. The 2001 Civic’s interior trim was prone to peeling, particularly around the door areas. Interior door panels, as well as the fuel release door, are prone to falling off entirely. Many also reported that their car’s headliner fell down over time. This is by far the most expensive interior fix at around $400.

Another common issue was broken power window switches. For no reason at all, the window switches would stop working entirely or require more force to operate. The cost to repair a bad switch is usually around $90.

Bad HVAC systems

Used Honda Civic models are also well-known for heating problems. This issue is most commonly found in Civic vehicles from 2001-2004. A bad thermal fuse would either cause the blower to stop working or overwork itself. In most cases, the HVAC system had to be replaced entirely, costing anywhere from $90-$200.

Airbag problems

A faulty airbag warning light is common even with Civic models made in later years. The light intermittently flashes on and off for no reason. A faulty occupant position sensor is usually the cause of the problem.

Honda was also one of the many automakers affected by the infamous Takata airbag recall. When deployed, the airbags would release pieces of sharp metal towards the driver. 16 people were killed as a result of this problem, including the driver of a 2005 Honda Civic. If you purchase a Honda Civic from the affected model years, verify with the seller that this problem has been corrected.