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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,820 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Honda Civic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Mar 172014


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly became resistant to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #46

Dec 292013


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the engine RPM's began to increase but the vehicle would not accelerate. In addition, the check engine warning light was also illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Snellville , MD, USA

problem #45

Oct 142013

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,808 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while parking, he attempted to shift into reverse but it failed to engage. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would only move forward. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be rebuilt. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 83,808. Updated 11/21/13

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #44

Oct 082013


  • 115,300 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, she noticed a grinding noise and the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 115,300.

- Northampton, MA, USA

problem #43

Feb 152013


  • 106,000 miles
Approx. @60,000 miles I took my Honda vehicle to replace automatic transmission fluid with the recommended fluid particular to Honda, per recommendations 60,000. Miles and 40,000/ miles thereafter. After approx. 100,000. Miles I again changed my transmission fluid. Everything was fine until approx. 104,000. Miles, I started noticing changes and hesitations with the transmission, contacted my mechanic who informed me that 2002 Honda transmissions had problems around 100K miles. Around 106,000. Miles my transmission completely gave out and had to be replaced. Honda informed me that they would not accept any responsibility, I had not purchased additional warranties, and other warranties died out after 100K. So I was left without any resolution from Honda Motors, expect perhaps $1000. Discount. I replaced the transmission because everything else I liked about my Honda. I searched the internet to find that several others had a similar problem with Honda's defective transmission, something about a thin wall or something that wears out too quickly on 2000-2004 Honda Civics, that they perhaps have remedied the transmission problem now, but will not assist others with this possibly defective transmission. I have never had a transmission stop working on a car where I have taken good care to change transmission fluid are required intervals, and I am 67 yo with ownership of several cars in past, never had such a transmission problem before so early as 106,000. Miles. Therefore, since others are having similar problem with their transmission, I am making this complaint. I have complained on other sites, but nothing has happened with them and I am hoping that you find that 2002 Honda Civics do have a transmission problem and you find basis to recall them for defective automatic transmissions. Please let me know what you find out. [xxxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 192011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 134,865 miles
This car was purchased by me brand new in September 2002 and has been maintained following manufacturers recommended schedule at Honda and at 134,000+ miles, the transmission is shot due to a bad torque converter. I want this corrected by Honda especially because I was victim to a hit and run at a red light and fixed the car out of pocket for over 5,000 and would have like to know by Honda that there was an issue with this car so I could have bought a new car rather than fix it. It is so dangerous for me as an only parent to have my transmission fail while making a left turn with oncoming traffic or while driving over train tracks!!!! this is scary to me and I want resolution for their failure to admit the torque converter lemon in my car caused the failure!!!!

- Oakland Park, FL, USA

problem #41

Sep 122012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles


When in haste I parked and got out of my car with the keys in my hand, it began to roll. I quickly entered the vehicle, stopped it, found the gear selector lever still in drive. Previously they key could.... updated 08/19/13

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #40

May 082013


  • 133,208 miles
The vehicle suddenly stalled in the middle of the road without any warnings. Later, it was diagnosed with a transmission (automatic) failure.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #39

Jun 172010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Cruise control suddenly speed up and down by itself and transmission not engaged on highway. I changed cruise control all parts with dealer non of them work and I got same happening every month 4 or 10 times on highway and suddenly my transmission makes whining sound I changed transmission fluid every 30000mi but it give me trouble. As I check on my issues in internet a lot of people got same trouble just like me even well maintained car owner got this same issues! something really wrong on Honda Civic 2002 transmission. I can not give it to my daughter for her first car cruise control speed up and down by itself and dealer can not fix and transmission suddenly makes funny action(sometimes disengage on middle of anywhere ). since June 2010, I don't use cruise control and somehow managed my Civic run on highway and I add up 40000mi more and I really feel guilty for other driver when I drive on highway!

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #38

Apr 252013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 94,150 miles
Transmission suddenly, without any prior warning disengaged and car has stalled. Since there was road incline car started to go backward. Fortunately, nobody was behind my car ( it was early in the morning) and I was able to pull to the road shoulder. Two days before this car underwent major, producer -recommended 90 000 miles maintenance (including change of timing belts) and was according to the dealership's representative in "perfect condition". I ended up towing this car to the same dealership which performed service and paying extra $2800 for the new transmission.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #37

May 092012


  • 138,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 6 mph and attempting a turn, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle however, the vehicle continued to stall. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for diagnostic testing and the mechanic stated that the torque converter was defective and needed to be replaced. The torque converter was not replaced. The failure mileage was 138,000.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #36

Apr 122013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I am a very angry owner of a 02 Civic ex, only with 80K on this car it needs a new transmission. I researched online that this is very common for this year make and model. I called american Honda today, they are aware of this issue but will not help since this is an 11 year old car which is [xxx]. you will have to be the original owner for them to take it in consideration. They should stand behind something that they made that is putting us at risk of accidents or even death. Every one is having the same problem, obviously its a defect. Gears are slipping from 2nd to 3rd gear with an automatic transmission, car was will maintained and was serviced by Honda dealership. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #35

Nov 172010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Manual transmission started revving loudly November 2010 and gear shift was easily knocked out of place. Independent mechanic diagnosed the problem as bad bearing in transmission after draining the fluid and finding metal shavings; replacement was recommended. Over time, shifting into first gear and reverse has become increasingly difficult (or sometimes impossible) and the noises have become louder. Costs have delayed replacement until now, but it will be done in late April (2013). I feel lucky to have avoided complete failure while driving.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #34

Feb 082013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
The car began making squealing noises each time I accelerated starting about one week ago. As of yesterday, my car's transmission has begun slipping. Each time it does so, the engine revs into higher rpms. I took my car in for inspection and was told I will need a transmission rebuild. The transmission only has 143,000 miles on it. I get all of my regular maintenance. There are thousands of online complaints for 2002 Honda Civic transmission failures. Luckily, my transmission hasn't failed while driving on the freeway yet like everyone else's seems to be doing.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #33

Feb 012013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
The manual transmission contains internal bearings that wear out very quickly. They cause a large amount of noise, and wear the transmission very quickly. The clutch release bearing grinds in the transmission during acceleration, and could cause the transmission to fail at any time. This could cause my injury. A dealer quoted me $2,000 to fix this problem. Honda should fix this problem for me; a transmission should not have failing parts at only 42 thousand miles.

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #32

Nov 162012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 170,356 miles
I was driving early this morning around 6:45am. Was driving around to get coffee and such, then going 45mph to get to onramp of I-75. After accelerating normally to 68mph, the acceleration stopped and pressing on the gas did nothing. I slowed to around 20mph and that is the max speed I could go on the interstate until I pulled over. There were no weird sounds or smells or leaks, transmission fluid was full. I can start the car fine and drive it around going 20mph, but wont shift after that. Took to belle tire mechanics and they claim its a bad transmission. Everything I've researched online shows this to be a defective clutch pack carrier and is a known issue to Honda and most mechanics, but they claim to not know anything for obvious reasons to avoid having to pay for their mistakes. This needs to be fixed by Honda as this is not the fault of normal wear/tear. This is a blatant mistake by Honda!! someone needs to file a class action suit against Honda for this. I've seen hundreds of other people with the exact same issue.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #31

Oct 132012

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
My 2002 Honda Civic became inoperable without any warning as I attempted to merge on a major highway in Washington DC. I could not shift into gear when I pressed the accelerator; fortunately, I was able to drift to the shoulder on the highway without incident. I had the vehicle towed to a Honda dealership where it was diagnosed as an internal transmission issue and I was advised that it would have to be replaced for $4700. The cost for the transmission replacement was outrageous and after researching possible reasons for the failure, I had my vehicle towed from the Honda dealership to an independent repair shop. My vehicle was diagnosed with torque converter failure which caused metal shavings to damage clutches in the transmission. During my research, I read numerous complaints by hundreds of others who own a 2001 to 2003 Honda Civic and stated that their transmission failed when their mileage ranged from 135K to as low as 65K. Although Honda issued a 2004 recall on transmissions, it excluded the Honda Civic; I am outraged that Honda knew about the hundreds of transmission complaints from Honda Civic owners but deliberately did not issue a recall for the vehicles to ensure the safety and welfare of drivers and passengers. The large number of complaints from Honda Civic owners about the lack of reliability of their Civics automatic transmission is demonstrative of a defect. I hope the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigates the transmission failure complaints and forces Honda to recall and repair vehicles/compensate owners for repairs. Updated 01/23/13 updated 02/19/13 updated 08/21/13

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #30

Sep 162012


  • 100,015 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph she heard a high pitch winding noise. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnose that the transmission needed to be rebuilt based on a design flaw in which steel bearings were inside an aluminum casing. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable.the failure and current mileage was 100,015.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 092012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Without warning, transmission just failed totally. No power to drive wheels. Driving on main 4 lane street with only curb. Luckily not rear ended and just barely coasted to next street turnoff (right lane). Got off major highway. Maybe torque converter. Waiting for response from Honda America. Local dealer no help. Saw there have been recalls in past for similar issues. Always did suggested maintenance with Honda dealers.

- Blue Bell, PA, USA

problem #28

Aug 182012


  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate and would not shift into any gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnose that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included on any recalls. The failure and current mileage was 167,000.

- Auburn, WA, USA

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