Notes: The 2001 Civic has transmission problems, transmission problems & more transmission problems. Did we mention transmission problems? And a dangerous defect with the front airbag that didn't get recalled for 10 years.

Although eventually the defective 2001 Civic airbag inflators were fixed under recalls in 2011 & 2013, that meant for 10 to 12 years airbags were activating with excessive force where metal fragments went shooting into passengers when the airbag deployed.

As for the 2001 Civic's transmission woes? Honda conducted a major transmission recall in 2004 & settled a class action lawsuit for defective transmissions in 2006. But, neither the recall or the lawsuit included the 2001 Civic.

Last thing to consider - the 2001 Civic is the most-recalled car ever, closely followed by the 2002 Civic & the 2001 Accord. The 2001 Civic is the 4th most-recalled vehicle overall, only a Ford truck & two Ford vans have more.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
104,119 miles
Total Complaints:
673 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (256 reports)
  2. rebuilt whole transmission (152 reports)
  3. not sure (141 reports)
  4. get Honda to cover the cost (54 reports)
  5. buy a different car...can't afford the repair (23 reports)
  6. break down the transmission and fix (15 reports)
2001 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 4 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #613

Jan 022013

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I bought a Honda for the reliability and cannot believe that with only 90,000 miles I have to replace the transmission, very sad and frustrated. Looking at complaints for this on the web there are 100's with the same issue for this model/year, you would think Honda would fess up about an issue and at worst pay half the cost to get repaired.

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #612

Dec 052012

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

2001 Civic EX auto trans just failed at 87K miles in spite of meticulous maintenance. I found out that Honda has extended the warranty on the transmission for this model and year BUT only for certain VIN numbers. Honda says that my particular VIN is not in the affected group. Well I obviously have evidence that says it ought to be in the affected group but Honda is refusing to help with the cost of repairs. I've filed a complaint with NHTSA in Washington DC (888-327-4236). Apparently so have 289 other people with the same car.. If enough folks take the extra step and file complaints with NHTSA, we'll get a recall issued and get reimbursement retroactively for any repairs we've had done. In my case, I haven't decided yet whether to fix it..Really shocked this happened to a Honda. More shocked Honda is only helping with repairs on certain VINs. Seems to me all these cars ought to be recalled...

- , Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #611

Jun 102006

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,175 miles

This car has been nothing but a hot mess, hassle and pain. I thought a Civic would bring peace of mind, good mileage and few repairs. I was so excited to get my first Civic I cannot even tell you. I had been wanting one for as long as I could remember. I really loved everything about this car besides the huge money pit it came with. When my parents bought me this car I was a recent college grad. It was purchased from a neighbor down the street. It was just a few years old, very low miles with one reliable owner. I loved driving it and everything about it ....until it started on a path of rapid decline.

About a year into owning the car the transmission blows (the 1st of two transmissions bought for this car) I could go on and on and onnnnnn, but will spare you the run on rant that includes multiple radiators, head gaskets, axles, cv boots, timing belts and so much more fun stuff I never even knew existed prior to owning this car. This car was well cared for with regular oil changes, tire and brake maintenance. It even got full in depth checkups at key mileage points. I just recently found out after spending yet even more money that it needs a new engine. I am now officially fed up with this car and looking for a new car. The only reason I kept it this long is because I had dumped so much money in it. Being a young adult who graduated into a screwy economy, has been weathering it since, I am just now getting myself onto my feet and it is beyond disappointing that this supposedly stead fast and reliable car could not carry me a few more years. That was my parents intent when they bought me a civic and my hopes with each repair. I truly hope my next car will bring the peace of mind I always hoped this car would. I feel a bit traumatized by this whole experience as it was my first real car. I can tell you one thing that is for sure, my next car will NOT be a Honda.

- , Montrose, CA, USA

problem #610

Apr 302008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,745 miles


So this is my post for my second transmission for my 2001 Honda Civic EX. All I can say is any legitimate car does not need 2 transmissions before reaching 100,000 miles under normal use. Honda = #fail

- , Montrose, CA, USA

problem #609

Oct 152012

Civic 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

This will be my 2nd time replacing the transmission of this car I should of gotten rid of it the first time I had to replace. Honda left me stranded about 20 miles from the house. Luckily I did not have my 3 kids with me when I was stranded. Luckly I also was not on the road I was actually just backing out of a parking space and getting ready to head out and that's when it would just not move. I have pretty much replaced so many other parts on it even when doing maintenance to prevent any problems. Very upset about this Christmas is around the corner and me being the provider I don't know what I'm gonna do, no money for replacement, no money for another vehicle. I have been asking for rides to work and never had to do that in my life.

Overall this car has been nothing but headaches for me =(

- , Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #608

Aug 092012

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

No warning, stranded my wife 60 miles from home. Honda offered nothing, since the car is out of warranty, so sorry for the problem. Never buy their product again nor recommend.

- , South Bend, IN, USA

problem #607

Aug 052012

Civic LX 1.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,900 miles


Had oil changed, air filter replaced and check engine light (new gas cap) looked on Friday. Drove away Friday evening and noticed that the transmission seemed to slip between 1st and 2nd as the engine revved high. Then on Sunday, after getting some gas, the car's gears wouldn't engage as a stop sign. Neither drive nor reverse. Had to push it to a curb in a neighborhood and ended up with 2 parking tickets. Towed on Monday morning. Honda says $2200 to replace it. Haven't made decision yet. It has been a good car with no major problems until yesterday. I could take it elsewhere and get a rebuilt transmission. Not sure.

- , Los Angele, CA, USA

problem #606

Jun 232012

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

The standard Honda Civic Tranny issue I see online! I'm shocked at Honda!!!!

- , Weirton, WV, USA

problem #605

Dec 272007

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,650 miles

MY ORIGINAL 2001 HONDA CIVIC AUTO TRANSMISSION WAS NOT BUILT BY HONDA! I think our repair shop said it was built by Mitsubishi We replaced it with a HONDA FACTORY REBUILT. Our 2001 Civic now shows 258,000 miles, has been a wonderful, cheap to drive car and we are considering another clean, low mile, 2000/2005 Civic but don't know what years Honda SCREWED UP AND USED A NON-HONDA TRANSMISSION, which led me to this site. I was shocked to see so many complaints about th 2001 Civic trans problems since other mfg can make good transmissions. I can't believe HONDA screwed up this bad and WON'T MAKE IT RIGHT and replace these POS transmissions. Am I stupid for sticking w/ HONDA the way they screwed all of US? It has been a while since I have visited this issue but now that I think about it again, maybe I should just DUMP HONDA and look for a SUBARU since we live in the mountains. Now that I have revisited, I am really PISSED OFF. I am so sorry for the rest of you that were caught in this mess and hope it was not a financial hardship. Now that I have vented my anger, I am going to write HONDA and tell them what I think about their shoddy decisions. I hope other owners will follow my lead and tell HONDA THE NEEDLESS STRESS HONDA HAS CAUSED THEM.

Dale Switzer

- , Conifer, CO, USA

problem #604

Jun 012005

Civic EX

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I bought Honda for reliability. You can imagine my surprise that at 47,000 miles I had to have the transmission replaced. I had called Honda & they wouldn't do anything for me at first. Went to Honda dealership & was told that a new one would cost $4000. What??? I didn't feel I should foot that bill. I complained during a few phone calls to Honda. Eventually, I just needed my car already. Took it into a shop & paid $1800 for a rebuilt with a 2 or 3 yr warranty. I sent a letter to Honda, phoned some more. Finally, I got a favorable response (sort of). They were willing to pay for half of my rebuilt one. While I am thankful, where were they when their dealership was selling me a $4000 one? Which I would gather if there were continued issues with, since it was a Honda brand transmission, perhaps I'd have some recourse. Certainly no recourse if I got a rebuilt & if it were to go again. I constantly worry about it, especially with having 2 small kids and we cannot afford to get new car. Now at about 130,000 miles (if I recall correctly), everything so far it is working. Very disappointed on how they handled this issue. I just cross my fingers it sticks until we can afford a new, bigger car - perhaps not a Honda next time around...we'll see.

- , Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #603

Jun 082012

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


I have the same complaint as so many others. My transmission was fine one moment, the next moment the car revved up very high, started shuttering when I slowed down and tried to get going again, and then simply stopped moving. I tried every gear, I tried waiting a few minutes, nothing. Sat by the side of a country road waiting for a tow to the garage. The thing is, I was planning to leave for Baltimore an hour later, and had this waited just 50 more miles to give out I would have been on 695 S going at high speed with millions of other Friday night commuters. Considering how it stopped running so abruptly I could have easily caused a major accident where people, including myself, could have been killed. There were no lights on my dash indicating anything was a problem, there was no way I could have known this was coming. I am so disappointed in Honda right now. I bought this car because Honda has a reputation for dependibility, for top notch performance over the long haul. I just got done getting new tires, and having the timing belt replaced, along with a bunch of other maintenance precautions so that I could keep this car for several more years. I am spending almost as much as this car is worth to get it fixed and will get rid of it asap because I don't trust that this won't happen again. Having trust in a vehicle is a big deal, Honda, and you need to step up on this issue which you have been made very well aware of over the years. Preferable before someone is killed because of it.

- , Conestoga, PA, USA

problem #602

Jun 022012

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,400 miles

2001 Civic EX, with all major maintenance in Honda Service and changed oil regularly, broke suddenly on highway. Last 15 miles run with 20miles per hour with great difficulty and stalled. Came out with P0700 and P0730, told repair would cost $5000 -$3500. Looking around to sell the car to junk yard.

Cannot spend $3500 ,with online search and no guarantee on the Transmission replacement.

Called Honda Customer Service and politely recorded my complaint saying nothing can be done. Surprised that this is known issue to them and nothing can be done. This is outrageous!!!!

- , Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #601

Jun 012012

Civic EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

Transmission went out unexpectedly. I have learned since this is a huge problem with the 2001 civic. I called the 1800 number for Honda and asked for a replacement based on the fact this transmission is not reliable. Of course they turned me down but did ask the dealer to give me a discount($500.00), but at a cost of $3800.00 it was not much help. Since the car is not worth much more than that I chose to use a rebuilt one through a transmission shop at a cost of $2000.00. It is very upsetting to me that Honda knows there is a problem with these transmissions but chooses not to fix the problem ( My brother is on his 3rd transmisssion with his 2001 ). I have drove Hondas for 25 years and was getting ready to get a new one and now they have lost a returning customer.

- , Mount Holly, NC, USA

problem #600

Jun 072012

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I knew when I bought the car that the automatic transmission was notorious for issues, but purchased at a relatively low price, given the mileage. Few problems with the car up to this point, but this is a bummer. Now to decide on next steps.

- , Arlington, MA, USA

problem #599

May 232012

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else. My car would only accelerate to 20 mph in 5pm work traffic. I barely made it home with my blinkers on and now the check engine light is on. I'm broke as a joke so getting it fixed is hardly an option right now. Honda needs to do a recall.

- , Granite Falls, NC, USA

problem #598

May 092012

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Same story as all the other complaints I have read. I was driving in the left lane when all the sudden my car stopped accelerating, I had my toddler in the back seat and cars were quickly approaching behind me. I put my flashers on and was trying to push my car up over a curb and off the road with no success; luckily a nice man in a truck stopped behind me and pushed my car up over the curb and onto the median away from traffic. My husband came and towed my car to the Honda dealership to find out it was the transmission that went out and the cost to rebuild would be $2800.00 before tax making it a total of about $3000.00 after tax. I just hope it doesn't take a death to happen before Honda realizes they need to do a recall on the issue.

- , Largo, FL, USA

problem #597

Apr 012012

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

you know what is the problem is the all transmition

- , Thomasville, NC, US

problem #596

Feb 022012

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,740 miles

I was leaving school and getting on the Freeway at 9:30 (a time when there is a lot of traffic going to work) when my car wouldn't accelerate past 20mps! I attempted putting it in different gears to get it to do something, anything but nothing happened. Because there were so many cars behind me I pulled onto the shoulder of a very tight and busy freeway entrance. At that point I had my car towed to a Triple AAA Certified repair shop. They took a look at the car and found it strange that the check engine light wasn't on and once they looked into it they realized that the entire transmission failed and needed a total rebuild, estimated at 3200 dollars, half the value of my car.

- , orangevale, CA, USA

problem #595

Feb 112012

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,500 miles

I have a 90 mi. daily commute. I bought this car specifically to do just that, It's not my only vehicle but it is supposed to be my "go to, reliable" work vehicle. Last Saturday, I drove in without a problem, just as I have been for the last 108k miles. BUT,right after I started home the tranny slipped/shifted into 2nd and the engine revved, hmmmm odd.

It didn't happen again until I had gotten pretty close to home. I was ascending a series of sharp, uphill curves ( North Ga. Mtns,) when a noticeable slipping occurred and by the time I'd gone maybe a mile the transmission was completely gone. No forward gears or reverse either. It happened quick! Fortunately, I got as far as the street that I live on, because had it happened in the curves, I would have had nowhere to pull off or out of the way, I would have been a sitting duck. I had it towed to my local garage and today they verified that like so many other 2001 Civic owners, I need a new transmission. Gonna find out tomorrow what the tab will be but I suspect it'll be in the 2k to 2.5k range for remanufactured, installed. Turns out a tranny failure is expected at roughly 100 to120k miles if not sooner with all 2001 Civics. I'm amazed that Honda hasn't done ANYTHING to correct the situation. This well known defect on this generation Civic is an obvious design flaw and Honda knows it just like I do. I've got 132k on my 2003 deisel CHEVY Silverado with no promlems!!!! My wife drives a 2005 Escape with a similar trouble free experience. We've owned G.M, Nissans, Fords, Isuzu's, V.W.'s.' one Mercedes and an Alfa Romeo.........coupes, sedans, trucks, station wagons, sports cars, suv's, etc. and they all gave me better service. I have never had a vehicle crap out like this with absolutely no warning whatsoever. I've had many cars and will own more. I always heard great things about Honda ( a solid 200-300k performer, lmao, righhhht). I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep this thing, but it's my first and last Honda.

- , Dawsonville, GA, USA

problem #594

Dec 092010

Civic LX Coupe 1.7L I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Bought the car with a freshly rebuilt transmission a month later it pissed out all of its transmission fluid the shop admitted it could have been their fault and fixed it for free. A month or two later the torque converter went on it too. About three months later it started slipping and shifting real rough. I put some Lucas transmission fix which made it better for a few months with only intermittent rough shifts. Then the other night it was about 3 degrees and there was about a 10-15 second delay from moving the gear lever and the actual transmission shifting. These automatic transmissions are complete junk wheres this Honda reliability I heard so much about. I was real excited to have my first Honda but now every time the transmission makes any noise I'm in fear of a $2500 repair.

- , East Syracuse, NY, USA

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