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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,811 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Feb 062009


  • miles


Driving in traffic, engine started to rev up but the vehicle would not shift into gear. Parked on curb, shifted to drive and seemed to shift properly, so drove back home to avoid any further problems. Noticed a burning smell from under the hood. Torque converter seems to be failing, need to bring it in to garage.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #41

Jan 312009


  • 85,542 miles
I own a 2002 Honda Civic ex with 085542 miles on it. I was driving fine on the expressway when all of sudden I had to slow due to traffic and traffic resumed normal as I drove the vehicle, the vehicle did not accelerate and was not working on the very busy expressway. The driver behind noticed that my car was not going any faster and assisted blocking car as she placed herself in two lanes. I pulled into a small space on the side of the expressway. I had the vehicle towed and found out that my transmission failed. The vehicle was inspected and the code was P0730 "incorrect gear ratio" called Honda repairs will cost 2,500.. I'm very unhappy I took great care of my car. The worst part is it stopped all of sudden with no warning on the expressway. The light did not come on until it broke down. I'm eight months pregnant and had my other child in the car seat. I could have been killed due to the amount of traffic. Then I called a tow truck that could not Transport due to the car seat would not fit for my child. So I had to call for someone else. I spoke to Honda about the transmission, I advised of all the complaints and they advised that was not alot I understand their view on the numbers of car they have made but someone could die due to the transmission and they advised to speak to my dealership so I will but thank god no one has been hurt but does someone have to die or be injured for Honda to send out letters or a recall. I just don't want some to be exposed to all the dangers I was exposed to that day.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #40

Dec 062008


  • 74,622 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. While driving approximately 20 mph on normal road conditions, the transmission slipped erratically when shifting between gears. The failures occurred more frequently in cold weather conditions. There were no warnings prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and diagnostic tests were performed. The technician stated that the failure was related to the transmission and advised that the vehicle be taken to a specialized transmission auto shop. The vehicle was taken to a specialized transmission shop and the transmission was rebuilt. The failure mileage was 74,622 and the current mileage was unavailable.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #39

Oct 312008


  • 158,000 miles


Automatic transmission slipping in dangerous traffic situations. This occurs when car shifts. Honda will not recall this obvious model defect in thousands of their 02 Civic.

- Freeport, PA, USA

problem #38

Jan 152009


  • 160,155 miles
I own 20002 Honda Civic auto transmission. I started driving home from work when I noticed that transmission was having problems shifting. It start revving harder and harder. I'm lucky I made it home. I checked the transmission fluid and it was full, clean and correct color. I deceived to take it to a shop. I was horrified to found out it had failed. I bought this car new and took very good care of it. I have to buy a new transmission after having it paid off less then a year. I will never buy Honda again.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #37

Jan 152009


  • 124,000 miles
Started out as a whining coming from transmission then month later transmission when out.

- Salsibury, NC, USA

problem #36

Dec 162008


  • 114,000 miles


I had the check engine light came on and excessive engine oil being used. Was taken to a mechanic and nothing was found wrong. 1 week later on 12/16/2008 car's transmission completely stopped working on New Jersey turnpike which could have caused an accident. There was no indication the transmission was failing. It failed at 114000 miles. I have found online that a lot of other 2002 Honda Civic owners are experiencing the same issue around the 100K mile mark. Hondas are suppose to be well known as dependable cars and market their cars that way. It is very deceitful. I've had older Civic's that lasted up to 200000 miles and I traded it in and had no issues.

- Old Bridge, NJ, USA

problem #35

Jan 052009


  • 87,000 miles
My car's automatic transmission blew Monday night without warning. It had been revving up on its own without me accelerating. It is only a 2002 Honda Civic LX with 87,000 miles on it. I keep it in good shape. I was driving East bound on madison ave. Just passing manzinita in sacramento California when out of no where my car would not change gears and would not go over 20 miles an hour. No check engine lights came on or anything. I had no warning. I finally got it to my daycare 20 minutes after it blew and then the check engine light came on. My mom searched 2002 Honda Civic transmission problems online and found that many people are having the same thing happen to them. Honda now wants me to pay $3111.22 to fix it and did not mention that they have fixed it for free for other people who are having the same thing happen. I found all the other complaints on

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 152008


  • 98,000 miles
I own a 2002 Honda Civic ex. The transmission was slipping a little so I took it to my Honda dealer for service. They called and said the transmission fluid was black and smelled burnt. They changed it as well as giving me a timing belt service package ($635) and sparkplug change ($200). Upon taking it for a test drive, it stopped working. After a restart they managed to get it back to the dealership where it gave the error code corresponding to "improper gear ratio" which in turn translated to complete and total transmission failure. I did some digging and found very similar problems with other Civics and Accord with models in the early 2000S. I filed a complaint with Honda of America and after a week of review they called to tell me that they would discount $700 off of a new I'm still out $2,500.

- Graniteville, SC, USA

problem #33

Dec 272008


  • 95,500 miles
I bought my 2002 Honda Civic in 2004 from the original owner and it had about 55,000 miles. It now has 95,000 and the transmission has completely gone out. It will not go into any gear and left me stranded on the street needing a tow to get home. The first estimate for a replacement transmission was $2700. I may end up selling the car at a reduced price just to try and get rid of it. The car was regularly serviced and driven relatively low miles, as I live only 5 miles from my place of work. Until this problem, I had no issues with the car.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #32

Dec 272008


  • 94,000 miles


My 2002 Honda Civic has a transmission slipping problem, I've done some research and others have had the same problem.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #31

Nov 122008


  • 14,400 miles
My wife was driving in 50 mph traffic transmission completely failed. It is in the shop going to have to replace transmission.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #30

Nov 112007


  • 130,301 miles
I bought a 2002 Honda Civic ex in 2002. The car always sort of jumped when the automatic transmission changed gears. I did tell the service people about this at the first few required services. They made off like it was just normal so I dropped complaining. The car now has 130K miles and 4 days ago the transmission broke down. I found that this could have been from a number of issues from your site. I spoke with the service mgr at leith Honda in raleigh where my car was towed. He emphatically states that there is no service issue with the 2002 Honda Civic transmissions. My car was serviced as required in fact since I use synthetic oil more than required. I has been taken to Honda dealerships for big mile check ups or other reputable service places for normal oil changes. I have had 3 other Honda cars over the past 30 years and they all got way over 130K miles before I traded or sold them and none had transmission problems. There is also a problem with the compliance bushings in the front. This is very early for something of this nature.

- Raleigh , NC, USA

problem #29

Oct 152008


  • 72,000 miles
2002 Honda Civic LX coupe - transmission noise between 10-40 mph. As transmission would change gears, noise would reduce. Noise would get worse as car accelerated. Common problem with this year/model/make - Honda will not recall or repair.

- Metuchen, NJ, USA

problem #28

Oct 282008


  • 119,000 miles
Transmission. It makes no sense how a transmission on a 2002 Honda Civic goes up. I take good care of my car and it's in great shape. I have read so much on the transmission issues that the Honda' have and yet nothing is being done. It's an expense and they won't recall because they claim it's not a safety issue. Well it is because my transmission died. The car left me stranded. I never got a warning stating that something was wrong with my car. I don't have the kind of money to be replacing transmissions. Now I am without a car.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #27

Oct 212008


  • miles
2002 Honda Civic transmission slips car not movable. Similar to complaint under 2002 Honda Civic at I was driving and suddenly the transmission went from bad to worse.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #26

Nov 152007


  • 65,000 miles
Complete transmission failure while driving on major highway at approximately 50 mph. 2002 Honda Civic LX automatic transmission.

- Granbury, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 042008


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving on a 4 hour road trip from Wisconsin to Minnesota. 1 hour from the destination my car started to rev into very high rpms while I had it on cruise control. After quickly taking off the cruise control I tried to accelerate with the gas pedal but it did nothing. I pulled over on the side of a very busy freeway and found that none of the gears (2nd, 3rd, drive, or reverse) would work. I was towed and found out that my transmission failed. The car is a 2002 Honda Civic ex coupe and only has 60,000 miles on it! after reading many internet sites/complaints, it seems that Honda Civics from 2001 and 2002 have tons of transmission complaints. I do not see why Honda will not recognize this and help everyone out who's transmission goes out within 100,000 miles. It is ridiculous to only get 60,000 miles out of a transmission.

- Delafield, WI, USA

problem #24

Jun 132008


  • 89,500 miles
Car was driving fine, then started shifting hard from 2nd to 3rd. Lost all power and would not shift into any gear. Check engine light came on code P0730 "incorrect gear ratio" called Honda repairs will cost $1,700. I searched the net and found that this problem is very common with Civics 01-03. I feel Honda should goodwill atleast the tranny.....

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #23

May 152008


  • 100,415 miles
2002 Honda Civic. Within a month or so of the failure, I started to experience the trans slipping when starting. The car clicked 100,000 miles on Tuesday and on Thursday the transmission fails! I was driving and I wanted to pass a vehicle, I made a lane change and stepped on the gas. The car suddenly felt funny and wouldn't go any faster. I came to the next stop light. When starting again the engine revved up and the car would barely make it across the intersection. I pulled into a side street and called for a tow truck. Aamco transmission told me the torque converter was part of the trans failure. $3200 later I drive my car home and now the engine is idling rough. I thought Honda's were supposed to last forever?!!

- Oakley, CA, USA

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