really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,524 miles
Total Complaints:
255 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (129 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (55 reports)
  3. not sure (50 reports)
  4. replaced transmission, Honda covered cost of parts (9 reports)
  5. open a case with honda corporate (7 reports)
  6. scrapped car (2 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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.

- , North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #233

Dec 192012

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,865 miles

I am sooooo frustrated that Honda did not tell me this was a problem because when someone hit and rammed me at a red light, I had to pay $5000+ out of pocket to fix the body damage but I felt it was worth it because I bought this car NEW and have gotten EVERY Honda manufacturer recommended maintenance at HOLMAN HONDA and now I have a lemon!!, When I moved here from up N, my dentist told me to buy a Honda Civic and follow EVERY Honda manufacturer recommended maintenance and you can teach your 1 year old to drive on it in 15 years!! I expected my transmission to be up to Honda's reputation and was so happy until this happened. There were a few kinks previously-a/c not too terrific, a strange switch issue when the car runs a lot in the heat and is turned on and off often in one day (it stopped happening and it was a problem hard to replicate at Honda, but they were familiar with it.).

I hope to get a voucher to fix the transmission ASAP.

- , Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #232

Dec 012012

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Without any warning, at all, my car just stopped moving forward after coming off New Jersey's Pkwy. I had just completed a 100 mile round trip and came off the exit onto busy Rt. 9, at nite. Luckily I was not rear ended as I managed to glide to the side of the road and waited to be towed.I was without my car for 17 days at the busiest time of year.....just before Christmas. Since, I have found out about all the transmission problems and recalls with Honda, I think all Honda owners, who bought cars between 1999 and 2004, should have been notified and offers made to cover the repair. My car is a 2002 Civic with 82,000 miles and I've been the only gentle owner. Having to swallow a repair cost of over $1500.00, is huge to this retiree' at any time of year, but really hard at this time of year. I have owned 2 Honda's before this, without any problems but do not plan on making it a 4th.......my confidence is shattered.

- , Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #231

Mar 102011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same as everyone else... 2002 Honda Civic Ex Auto transmission, complete transmission failure at 100,000 miles, replacement cost for rebuild = $1800, failed again a year later and am looking at another $2000 to get it repaired again. Like many others who have posted here, the transmission did not fail gracefully, but failed suddenly while my daughter was driving home on the freeway in the middle of the night. The failure mode is very dangerous, almost appearing as though the car were put into neutral. If you are driving up a hill, it will stop moving in short order with little time to get the car safely off the road. These cars should definitely be recalled for safety reason.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #230

Jan 252013

Civic LX 1.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

Bought this car practically brand new 5 yrs ago with 35,000 miles on it. Everything seemed great with the car, just your normal wear and tear (brakes, suspension, oil changes). But last friday, the worst thing that could ever happen to a car other then the engine blowing up, the transmission totally gave out. This was a really cold day so I think that egged it on to fail on me. It was a all of a sudden thing, it at first had a hard time engaging into drive, then when it did the car would shift to second and it felt like I was in neutral, I had to rev it all the way up to 5000 rpm just for it to get into 2nd and 3rd. After it started doing that it was a quick downward slope, the cars check engine turned on and the car stopped shifting/engaging gears at all. At this point I was on the side of the road thinking what my next option is. I turned off my car and turned it back, it started shifting again but really roughly. But the damn thing would keep messing up after I stop at a light and go again. I did the stop/start thing until I got to my mechanics shop. I really thought at the time I was buying one of the most reliable cars outside of toyota. But this thing ended up being a nightmare, as I speak it's in the shop getting fixed. No more honda's/acura's or anything that's made in the honda plants for me. I'm done with anything this brand has to offer. PLUS I'm going to spread the word via social networks that no one should ever buy a honda/acura, if they already have one, trade it in and get something else!!!!

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #229

Jun 302013

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

We bought the Honda due to the good name of Honda for a family car. We have taken care of this car and all of a sudden today the car would not move. After reading about the number of complaints... it seems like Honda did not due their due diligence in correcting the problem. I have read several posts and believe that Honda knew of the problem but never thought about their customers who bought for the Honda name. I will be contacting them tomorrow and will likely hear the same thing everyone else has heard. But at least they will have to hear it from me and I will never purchase another HONDA vehicle and will elay the information to everyone

- , Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #228

Jun 052013

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,600 miles

Have been a loyal Honda/Acura owner - Over the years, have purchased a new 1987 Honda Accord, a new 1992 Honda Accord & a new 2004 Acura TL. Needed a vehicle for my son, so purchased a used 2002 Honda Civic LX from the original owner who had all service records for the vehicle. 10 days later my wife and son were driving the vehicle and while in drive, the vehicle decided to make all gears neutral. Vehicle needs a new transmission. It is an 11 year old car, but there is no reason a car that has been maintained should experience a transmission failure with only 97,600 miles on it.

Guess the days of Honda reliability are gone.

Based on this experience and that of many others with the same problem which fall on deaf ears at Honda, will not purchase another Honda ever, ever again.

Sayonara Honda.

- , Auburn, WA, USA

problem #227

May 292013

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else. Transmission was maintained and went out at 138,000 miles. Didn't know about this being a problem until I talked to my transmission guy. He said he sees it all the time.

Update from Jun 18, 2013: Took the car to transmission experts in el cajon,ca. He put in a rebuilt with remanufactured torque converter, an external filter and a tranny cooler. Total cost, $1950. First day, solonoid went out and he replaced it for free. Also, I had a broken tranny mount and he replaced that too. Freddy (the owner) ,is a great guy and.very fair.

- , Alpine, CA, USA

problem #226

Mar 172013

Civic LX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

short and sweet is the way to go. 2002 honda civic lx. auto transmission crapped out at a little under 100k miles at major intersection, bought new transmission and i kid you not the second one went out within 7k miles with not even the courtesy of an maintenance light. at $2200 a pop for tranny i would not recommend this vehicle to anybody. simply, crap. what the hell happened honda. You were better than this. now, i would feel guilty giving it away. oh but the engine hasn't stopped running( always a silver lining right?) knowing all this i'd rather buy an early kia and worry about the interior falling apart before i got it home, at the very least the vehicle runs right?

- , Ruralville, CT, USA

problem #225

Mar 272013

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

My 2002 Honda Civic EX was purchased brand new and has been lovingly cared for. Transmission failed at 124,000 miles. I've been quoted $2200 for a used transmission and $3200 for a new one. Debating whether to shell out this kind of money for an 11-year-old car or just get a new one.

So very disappointed, because I expected Hondas to last much longer. :(

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #224

May 012010

Civic LX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Had transmission re-built by certified mechanic failed again. Driving normal begun to slip. Engine revs up but car does not move.

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #223

Jun 152011

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,500 miles

We purchased our 2002 Civic it had 36,000 miles. Sadly at 76,000 miles the transmission went out. We were surprised that Kelly blue book, Edmunds and others never mention the problem. It was when I was looking for a transmission I discovered many problems with the 2002 Civic transmissions. I was not the only one. This was my fourth Honda. We complained to the dealer and Honda in Torrance with no luck. Spending over $80,00.00 on Hondas they could have taken care of my 1300.00 tranny

- , San Fernando, CA, USA

problem #222

May 252013

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


- , Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #221

Feb 012013

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,228 miles

Manual transmission makes a very loud noise when clutch is released. When the clutch is depressed the sound goes away. This was diagnosed as a faulty internal shaft bearing, which Honda calls a clutch release bearing. An independent shop quoted me $1,500 to fix this, it requires a full rebuild of the transmission. A local Honda dealer quoted me $2,000.

This bearing also causes a strange grinding/knocking noise when accelerating in 1st and reverse.This bearing is causing undue wear to the transmission, and will eventually cause a full transmission failure. It could cause me injury if it fails at high speed on a roadway. I will be contacting Honda Corporate to ask for a goodwill repair. A transmission should not be experiencing problems at only 42 thousand miles.

My family has bought more than ten Honda vehicles in the last 20 years, but if this problem is not fixed I will be seriously considering purchasing from a different brand. We had many problems with our latest Element and Accord, and it seems that Honda quality is not what it used to be.

- , Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #220

Mar 022013

Civic EX 4 Ltr

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I have a 2002 Honda Civic EX that I bought new and has had excellent care. I am the original owner and this car only has 55,000 miles on it. I got stranded just before (fortunately) I was about to get on an on ramp on one of the busiest freeways in the country. The car began to stall with no warning, no indication lights of any kind and would not go forward into gear. I had to get the car towed 16 miles to my house. After exhaustive testing, my mechanic told me the transmission was bad and I have opted to have it rebuilt. The transmission specialist said that it was a known Honda defect, but Honda never did a recall on my model and loads of customers have had the same problem.

I can't believe that a car with this little mileage is dead in the water like this. I have properly cared for this car over the years and followed the recommended maintenance schedule. It is used primarily as a city car and goes on short commutes within a radius of about 50 miles. Seriously, I thought Hondas were supposed to be reliable and last forever. That's why I bought this car in the first place. But, it hasn't turned out to be anywhere near as reliable as my previous car, which was a 1986 Oldsmobile Calais. It lasted 16 years and had 114,000 miles on it before the repair bills got to be such that I sold it for junk. I don't think I will buy another Honda after this experience. I fully expected much better reliability and a superior product which obviously is not the case. Honda should have recalled this model year and replaced the transmission at their own cost since they know thier transmissions were defective.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #219

Feb 012013

Civic EX 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 206,000 miles

The transmission has slipped out of gear, day one of purchase. I had it to the dealer and the responds, they do that, do not know why. Dealer has record. I like the car, I take care of it, one day it just stopped moving. Retired and can not afford it. Its like a my buddy just died.

- , Byron, MI, USA

problem #218

Feb 072013

Civic EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Seriously this is getting ridiculous...here is a car with only 85K miles, never in a collision, completely tuned up every 30K miles, and then out of no where the car wont shift out of first gear while on a major highway...I pulled over to the shoulder with my hazard lights and then the car basically sits as if in neutral. No gears become engaged and I'm stuck. There was no engine light or anything, I had enough transmission fluid in it. The mechanic says your transmission is blown and needs to be replaced....thank God I wasnt rear-ended...thats the only positive here...I'm going to call Honda but previous posts suggest they wont do anything...Think I'll be leaving Honda now (after owning 3 previous ones)..

- , Edison, NJ, USA

problem #217

Dec 222012

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Really ridiculous that this problem occurred in a car with 80k miles especially as I had always had required maintenance done and never abused my car - it abuses me!

- , Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #216

Mar 062012

Civic LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

Transmission failure happened suddenly. I was just leaving the freeway and managed to get it back home when the transmission failed. I had to push it up into my driveway. I called AAA and had them tow me to my local Honda mechanic. I usually drive from Boulder Colorado to San Diego, so I was lucky that this happened before my trip.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened to my other 2002 Civic a few months earlier. At least I knew the symptoms and was able to get off the road quickly before it died. As for Honda, I don't know what has happened to them. I had a 1998 model, my brother had a 1995 model and both of them are still running at 250,000 miles. I don't think I'll ever buy another one at least until I know they are more reliable. I do warn people I know to be wary of the 2002 and other year Civics. These 2 cars have been the worst cars I have ever owned, and I've owned a lot in the last 50 years.

- , Boulder, CO, USA

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