really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,600 miles
Total Complaints:
273 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (138 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (61 reports)
  3. not sure (52 reports)
  4. replaced transmission, Honda covered cost of parts (9 reports)
  5. open a case with honda corporate (7 reports)
  6. scrapped car (3 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

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problem #253

Jan 102013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

This was a couple years ago so I'll try to remember what happened: transmission started acting up a mile or so from my house on Christmas Day of 2012, with no warning. It suddenly just acted like it was in neutral and I was stuck at the intersection, engine revving, for 20 seconds or so. Turned the car off and on again, and was able to drive it no more than 5 mph the rest of the way home. Luckily, being Christmas, there weren't many cars on the road!

A friend of mine has an auto shop, and quoted me the best price, $2,800, to rebuild the transmission with a 3-year, 75,000 mile warranty. (The dealer quoted over $5,000!) He fixed it and it was running fine since then.

Fast forward to today: transmission is slipping again, and although it's still under that warranty, I now live 3,000 miles away from that shop. I spoke with my mechanic friend, who says that the company that makes the transmission is national, so he is currently working on finding a shop near me that's in the network. Hopefully I won't end up paying again to get it fixed. What a pain in the behind.

- Ellie C., Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #252

Feb 032015

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 211,000 miles

I bought this Honda brand new in 2002, I'm the original/only owner and no real problems at all. Maintained this always reliable car and wanted to give it to my granddaughter - can't help with tuition, but could have helped with transportation. I have 211,000 miles on the car. Driving on a busy hwy to Veterans Hospital and suddenly car revved up because the transmission suddenly disengaged. I had to get over & coasted onto a side street with the momentum the car had left over. Had it towed 30+ miles home. Seeing the costs others have incurred, not sure how we can afford that. Will share wife's 2005 vehicle until we figure it out!

Very disappointed to see the exact problem so many others are having - obviously a known issue to Honda & Honda never took care of it or their now formerly very loyal customers.

- Ray J., Mt Dor, FL, USA

problem #251

Oct 172014

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,158 miles

I've always trusted Honda's as they were said to be dependable . This has been an extremely dangerous experience. The transmission failed while negotiating a left hand turn on a highway major intersection. I caused a rear end collision and endangered my own and other people's lives.

This issue is very clearly a manufacturer fault and in view that so many other people have experienced a similar failure, I've lost faith in Honda. I have maintained my vehicle 100% and checked my fluids on a weekly basis. This failure gave no warning and as undeserved.

Honda...... I will never take a chance with another Honda as long as I live ....... I've owned three others and this has never happened. I also have no choice but to ensure that everyone I know is aware of Honda's refusal to correct their mistake ... absolutely unacceptable in today's competitive "service first" environment.

You really let me down Honda.

- John D., Burlington, Ontario, Canada

problem #250

Oct 052014

Civic LX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,105 miles

No real warning and the transmission will not go into gear while driving. Next the engine light illuminated. Luckily no car was behind and managed to move over to the slow lane and with help from some nice folks, we push the car into a nearby parking space.

- Kiong L., Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #249

Aug 022014

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Transmission was working fine until it suddenly wasn't. No warnings, no indication that there was any problems. Of course, it didn't fail while pulling out of the driveway, but rather 100 miles from home.

Transmission goes into no gears. No noise, no grinding, nothing - just no engagement. Am going to investigate and see if I can isolate the issue - including reading other comments here.

- edselehr, Sandy, OR, USA

problem #248

Feb 122014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

Not sure if it's because I have 220,000 miles on the car, but after reading the complaints I decided to add my experience. I bought the car in 2008 at 147k, and noticed immediately that the car would go into reverse if I simply budged the gear shift. It slipped, A LOT. Not thinking it was something worth going to the dealer over, I made a mental note to be very careful not to hit it. Finally, after a few more years of this, my transmission failed in February of 2014.

This is a great car otherwise, lasting me in the brutal weather of both Ohio and Alaska. I plan to fix it because it should last me at least another 100k miles, regardless.

- Enshane H., Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #247

May 212014

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I took excellent care of my car, and had it regularly maintained. I drove it very lightly, and it only had 88,000 miles on it. I was driving last week, and heard an unusual sound one time that day but it was driving as it usually did (other than that that, there was no warning whatsoever that the transmission was about to fail). Thank God when the failure happened, I had just turned onto a side road in the country, and was going slowly, with no cars around me. However, it still didn't coast even enough to pull it off of the road. I am thankful that it didn't happen 5-10 minutes sooner, when I was on a very busy 55mph road, and had just made a left hand turn with a large Mack truck semi approaching me. I can't even think about what could have happened - the good thing to having to deal with this, is that nothing worse happened.

My car needed new struts soon as well as had recently had an airbag failure, in addition to the cost of replacing the transmission, it is not worth it. Have an offer for $500 to sell it to mechanic, and of $1,000 to sell to someone who will use/resell the parts. I loved my car, but due to the problems it was starting to have with such little/light driving, this being an issue for many, and no concern or retribution from Honda (I called but wasn't helped at all), and more than anything, the potential danger this posed and what could have happened (this bothers me the most, as it clearly is an issue Honda should have addressed with a recall), I have a very bad taste in my mouth re. Hondas and don't think I'll ever purchase one again.

- Megan M., Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #246

May 112014

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,634 miles

I had this honda since 2001 no problems at all.Maintained this car impeccably.I only have 88,000 miles on the car.Driving home on The long Island Expressway,In the far left lane with many cars around me suddenly car revved up because the transmission suddenly disengaged.I had to quickly get over to the service lane under the power the car had left over,Thanks to God I didn't get rear ended or bashed in the side before that happened.People were telling that this car had transmission problems and I didn't listen.I wish I did.1900 dollars I'm out to rebuild the transmission.As soon as I get it fixed I'm trading it in for something

- Steven W., Long Island City, NY, USA

problem #245

Mar 182014

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 199,799 miles

I am not quite sure where to start, but let me tell you that I am frustrated at the number of repairs I have had to put into this car. I bought it nine years ago as a certified pre-owned. I have taken good care of it and followed the maintenance schedule. I have even done a few additional upgrades that were not required.

I first noticed the transmission slipping last year. I took it into a Honda dealership and a few local garages several times to have the problem diagnosed and fixed, but they all turned me away and said they couldn't find the problem.

Well, the transmission completely died on me at a most inconvenient time. I had to have the vehicle towed to a garage. They wanted to charge me $1600+ to put in a refurbished transmission from a junkyard with no warranty. The dealership said I could get a Honda remanufactured transmission for $3500 with a 3 year warranty. $1600 does not sound so bad except that there is no guarantee that it won't die within a month and need to be replaced again! The trade-in value on it is only about $2000 in my area. Basically, I'd make more if I sold it for scrap metal ($500). This wouldn't be so frustrating if it had not needed repairs last year that cost me $1200.

I have been a faithful Honda owner for many years. I have talked to other Honda owners who say that if you take care of your Honda it will last forever. I have taken good care of this car, but it continues to have major problems! Honda, I am disappointed in you!

- B E., Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #244

Apr 112014

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,030 miles

Transmission failed and confirmed by Berlin City Honda of South Portland Maine (invoice #765319). Estimate to replace transmission was $4,725. Car will be sent to the scrapyard.

- Erin M., China, ME, USA

problem #243

Apr 302013

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 196,000 miles

My daughter was driving home from school and the car quit. Wouldn't go forward but it would go in reverse. So I drove it home in reverse. Luckily, we weren't far from home. The car has sat for almost a year now because we did not have the money to have the car repaired. My Honda mechanic tells me it will run about $1500 for a used transmission out of Japan installed with 30,000-40,000 on transmission.

We own 3 Honda's now and my other daughter owns a Honda as well. I am very disappointed with this transmission failure and do believe that Honda should be doing something to recall this problem. Yes, it does give me a bad taste in my mouth when looking to purchase another Honda.

- Bruce N., Pittsboro, NC, USA

problem #242

Jun 012005

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

We bought the Civic in 2004 as a Re-certified Honda. Less than a year later the transmission went completely out. Thankfully it WAS less than a year so it didn't cost us anything but time. Ever since then though the transmission clunks randomly when it shifts.

- Christopher T., Douglas, GA, USA

problem #241

Jan 172014

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Brought a 2002 Honda Civic at excellent KBB value, because of the Honda name.

In 3 months, I have replaced the transmission and cooling system, all cost me around $2000.

Never recommend used Honda Civic to anyone. I had 2003 Kia and 2006 Hyundai earlier, both were very good compared to this Civic

- Prasath M., Doral, FL, USA

problem #240

Nov 222013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

It cost me $2000 to replace the timing belt and other things. This year, this is the another $2300. What about next year? I don't know if it is worth repairing, but I have no backup solution for now.

People say Civic is one of the most reliable car. So other cars are worse??

- yquebec, Montreal, Quebec, canada

problem #239

Aug 102011

Civic LX 1.7L I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,746 miles

Transmission failed in August 2011 while sitting at a red light. Luckily traffic was not bad and we were able to push the car out of the road and have it towed to a repair shop safely. The transmission had to be completely rebuilt for a cost of $1446.63. This vehicle was purchased new and maintained per manufacturer specifications.

- axistang, Inman, SC, USA

problem #238

Oct 042013

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,300 miles

When my transmission died out of the blue last week, I called the 800 Honda number and they claimed to have no idea that transmission failure in 2002 Civics was a problem. So I'm adding my name to the list. It's a problem, Honda!

- anne m, Amherst, MA, USA

problem #237

Sep 062013

Civic ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

don't know that griping will do any good. feel ripped off by a mfg that was supposed to be reputable for its cars! first and last time i ever buy foreign!

- cofeeadikt, Vancleave, MS, USA

problem #236

Jul 012008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Was so proud of my Honda....took care of her, regular check-ups, etc. Was out house shopping with my boyfriend one day and started having problems....couldn't accelerate, then finally just stopped, across town.... ugh. Got the car towed and almost immediately found out that the transmission was shot, $2200 and 2 weeks later I had her back. Now, with 80k miles on the new one, I'm starting to have problems again.

I'm sad to say that this faithful Honda owner will never purchase another Honda again. I'm not having the transmission replaced if it goes out, I will be buying a different brand, and I will encourage everyone I know to stay away from Honda as well.

- Jenna M., Houstom, TX, USA

problem #235

Apr 092012

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

I wanted a Honda because they are known for their reliability. So I thought it would be a good idea to buy the newest Honda I could afford, the newer it is the longer it'll last right? wrong! This damn car has been nothing but trouble.

At first I noticed minor, insignificant problems like some of my interior accessory lights not working. Now after fixing a blown crank sensor (which no one but Honda could diagnose) that made my car sit for 9 months, my transmission has gone out. I'm in the same boat as you guys, we didn't do enough research to find out that this year and model was the biggest turd that Honda has ever put out. After doing a little more research and talking to a few mechanic buddies I've discovered that it could possibly be just a torque converter. I'm gonna try it because $160 is a hell of a lot better than $2500. Wish me luck and I'll keep you guys updated.

- Jim W., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #234

Aug 302013

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 183,200 miles

Gee, imagine that: Another Civic with a sudden, complete transmission failure. Looks like I was extraordinarily lucky to have gotten a whole 183,250 miles out of my car before it died...

My story is the same as all the others posted here: Car with good, regular maintenance experiencing a sudden and complete automatic transmission failure, no warning, no idiot light until after the car had come to a complete and final stop. Within a < five minute period involving two stops, I had three hesitations on acceleration, one slip, then could go no more than maybe 5 MPH tops. Car was acting like it was in Neutral: Engine would rev quite high, but drive/reverse would not engage for movement.

I finally managed to coast onto a side street and off of a busy main road with what little forward momentum that I had, before ceasing all motion. After I put the vehicle in park and looked at my dash in disbelief, THEN the damned transmission idiot light came on. It was at that point that I "lost it", and began screaming at the dashboard: "Really, car...? Thank you ever so much for that hint because I NEVER would have figured out that my transmission was in need of service without your help."

As I was almost 200 miles from where I live, while visiting my parents, I had the vehicle towed to a local repair shop where I was told that the torque converter had gone on it, and I needed another transmission. Cost: $2,350, plus an additional $250 for unrelated, but needed brake repairs. That's more than the car is worth.

As it was Friday evening on a holiday weekend, I told them that I needed to think about it. But after running across this site, and other ones similar to it, and noting all the hundreds of identical complaints with failures reoccurring upon replacement or repair of the transmission I figure: the Hell with it. I'm not throwing good money away on a repair that may not even last. And since Honda will not stand behind their products and issue a recall on what seems to be an obviously flawed design, you can bet that I will never purchase another vehicle from them again.

The car will be sold for scrap, and I'll have to get something else. I've told my sister who also has a 2002 Civic, and who saw the entire above escapade occur, to get rid of the car while it's still running. If/when her transmission goes, it will happen without warning, and render the car as worthless.

- K R., North Royalton, OH, USA

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