Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Yes, the Honda Civic receives a lot of complaints because so many were sold. And sure, car parts only last so long and things eventually break. But it's never good to see this many transmission complaints, especially when the average mileage at failure is just north of 100,000 miles.

Especially when you consider that it's predecessor also has a nasty history with transmission complaints.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
170,921 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace head gasket (2 reports)
  3. replace engine (1 reports)
2002 Honda Civic engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 192016

Civic LX 1.5L 4cy

  • Manual transmission
  • 202,000 miles


I took good care of this car and had every rattle and squeak tended to! I drove it conservatively. I had no warning. Had I had ANY idea that this was the problem, I would have fixed it BEFORE I irreparably damaged the engine. DAMMIT!

- , carmel, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 012013

Civic LX 1.7L I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles

My 2002 Civic started to use coolant and was not leaking or putting out any smoke. Eventually the temperature gauge rose above normal and it was obvious there was a major problem. Luckily I was able to have the car repaired for around $400 in parts (also had timing components replaced) and $200 labor.

- , Inman, SC, USA

problem #3

Mar 282013

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,607 miles

They tell me the car had no coolant - even though that had been checked within the past 45 days - and that the head gasket blew. They hadn't done any diagnostics. I finally gave up the ghost of this car and got some cash for it from the Honda dealer. They paid a good price considering the condition of the car (all the other breakdowns, holes, peeling paint, broken this and that in the car and the electrical problems in the dash) and a lot higher than the other dealer that I went to buy a Not-Honda was offering for a trade in. I'm relieved to be done with this car.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012012

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I had strange intermittent overheating problems for months. Coolant magically disappearing, sometimes I'd see it on the ground - couldn't find a leak, replaced all the hoses, radiator cap, radiator, thermostat for kicks thinking might be a small leak. Reservoir tank was not draining. Got worse and worse over time. Finally when I couldn't see any magically disappearing coolant and was loosing about a quart every 50 miles I pulled the head. Took it to the machine shop - machine shop told me all 4 cylinders without a doubt were blown and probably had slow leaks that got worse with time. Said its fairly common in aluminum blocks - shop manager said he sees about 2-3 Civics a week.

Cost me $130 in parts - $100 to have head machined - and 2 days of my time. Honda dealership quoted me $2100 to do the work. I bought this car thinking I'd get alot of mileage without needing to pull the head. 160K is alot - but not enough for a major engine issue IMHO. Luckily I'm a backyard mechanic who was able to do it myself -if I wasn't it'd be time to trade POS in - wish I never bought it though - won't buy a Honda again.

- , Gates Mills, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 072011

Civic 4 Door EX 1.7L 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Has anyone else experienced Head Gasket failure on the Civic, 2002, EX, AT, 150,000 miles? I was told today the cost to replace the gasket at an independent garage is about $1100.00 could be more if there is damage to the head and it was suggested while the engine is apart to do some valve work at $500.00 I am furious the head gasket went on the Honda. I bought the Civic because of its reliability. Here is the kicker; the AC compressor is also shot at a cost of $1000.00 and I recently had to replace the Catalytic Converter. About 10 years ago I replaced the Head Gasket on a 1987 Plymouth Voyager with 2.6 at a cost of $800.00. I also own a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with 162,000 miles on it. The Crown Victoria; so far No Head Gasket Replacement, No Timing Belt Replacement, No Water Pump Replacement and No Catalytic Converter replacement. I did have to replace the AC in this car but at at a cost of only $650.00 at a Ford Dealer. For those who say foreign cars are better: WRONG!

- , West Hartford, CT, USA

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