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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,342.00
Average Mileage:
107,558 miles
Total Complaints:
267 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (136 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (58 reports)
  3. not sure (51 reports)
  4. replaced transmission, Honda covered cost of parts (9 reports)
  5. open a case with honda corporate (7 reports)
  6. scrapped car (3 reports)
2002 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 10 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #87

Feb 132010

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,338 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

C'mon Honda.....the transmission should last more than 99,000 miles. I miss my Toyota truck!

Update from Feb 14, 2010: I purchased this car new in November 2001. I have taken extremely good care of it and serviced it according to Honda specs. It has been a great car until this transmission failure. I planned on driving this car for at least another 5 years.

No warning at all. I just tried to pull away from a signal light and the engine just revved up like the car was in neutral. No reverse, no nothing. Called AAA and had it taken to the dealer where I purchased it. Their quote was $4000 for a Honda re-manufactured transmission. 3 yr 36000mi warranty.

Then they only offered me $1000 for the car as a trade in if I wanted to purchase a new Civic.

I am really disappointed with Honda. I may never buy another one.

- , Colton, CA, USA

problem #86

Dec 182009

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,500 miles

Started out with a noise that sounded like a squeaking belt. It was the torque converter. It had already failed and ruined the transmission. Gears began to slip or not engage at all. Had to have a full rebuild. No warning signs of any kind.

- , Macon, GA, USA

problem #85

Nov 192009

Civic EX V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

My Honda starting making a weird noise and just stopped. I had it towed and was told it was transmission failure. I have spoken to Honda and am waiting to see if the will do anything about this. This is a 2002 with only 102,000.

- , Roswell, GA, USA

problem #84

Nov 192009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I wish I would have read this forum before proceeding.

Just traded in my 99 Chevy Cavalier (laugh, but she was a good car) because her time was coming near, and I was done stressing about a reliable car and putting more money in to it. Purchased this used beauty with fairly low miles (a little over 43K, one owner), with the thought in mind that "Hondas are good cars!" Ha. Haha. Hahahahaha.

First I noticed this "buzz" many of you mention, that occurred when gears were shifting. I figured something was loose and called the dealership to set up an appointment to look at it. But the week before my appointment, my "reliable" Honda lost all gears driving up a steep dirt road to my place of work. I had to back it back down the hill in neutral (hoping no car would come around the blind corner at the bottom of the hill), call my boss to rescue me, and ... Only five weeks after purchasing it, it was towed to the dealership. They (Toyota dealership) were smart enough to pawn it off on Honda, where now it sits, awaiting its new transmission. I should've purchased a Toyota while I was there.

I have mentioned this forum to the master Honda mechanic working on my car. He told me transmission issues are rare on Civics (he admits to the Accords and Odysseys having transmission issues), but I've printed every listing in this forum and highlighted it -- so if he really isn't aware of the problem, he will be now. I also filed a complaint at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov as a few of you advised.

I am glad I purchased an extended warranty but now worry that this will be an ongoing issue. I may see what my options are for trading its balance toward a Toyota, but that's probably wishful thinking. Sigh Cars shouldn't drop their transmissions at 45K miles. I was mocked at the dealership for buying a cheapie American car, but that Cavalier was a gem compared to this piece of work.

- , Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #83

Jan 132010

Civic LX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,960 miles

I was shocked to hear this.Lost power while driving unexpectedly.No company warranty on this.Honda showroom is charging $3500 transmission replacement with Gasper Transmission(100000 miles or 3yrs warranty).Is there anyway to get some help in repair from HONDA?I had no issues on that car so for...

Please advice

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #82

Dec 152009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

I purchased my Honda civic august 2002 brand new. Previously had owned a 1990 civic 4 speed 1.5 liter , great car. drove it 125000 miles with minor repairs. sold it for 1600 bucks half of what i paid for it.

My 2002 Honda civic has a 1.7 auto trans, had maintenance done regularly, oil . every 3000- 3500 , trans fluid every 30,000 an one day it started to slip so had the fluid changed, three days later broke down in rush hour traffic, had to get towed. My mechanic had a hard time finding a used transmission , so I located one paid fot it an had it shipped to him. He installed it ,ran great had tranmission fluid changed three times using Honda fluid . total cost 1,958 bucks. now its october 15 transmission is slipping out of gear .or wont go in either drive, I need my car every day for my work so I'm having it rebuild by a transmissions specialist, cost 2,850 with a 3year 50,000 warranty . Wish me luck. Thank Honda !!

- , South Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #81

Oct 122009

Civic EX 1.7L V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Our family has owned seven Hondas -- 1988 Prelude, 1989 Accord, 1990 Accord,

1991 Accord, 2002 Civc, 2003 Civic, 2004 Civic. All Civics are used and purchased within the last two years. The '02 just suffered complete transmission failure. We had no clue when we switched to the Civics that this was a problem. The dealership first said that there were no problems with Civic transmissions. Then they said that Honda used two different transmissions over the years, and they had problems with one, but not the one that's in our car. Then they said that since the car was used, there was no way of knowing how the previous owners took care of the car. Mind you, we purchased this car from this very dealership. They had the car fax with the service record, and they were supposed to have maintenanced the car before selling it, and told us it was clean. As a goodwill, they'll knock off a whopping 20% to replace the transmission. We have 3 more years to pay on this car, and now will have to finance another $1800 to fix it. We haven't yet called corporate, but judging from the other complaints, it will be to no avail. The reason we have purchased Hondas is because they have been a great value. If corporate does not do better than this on the transmission, this is the last Honda we will ever purchase!

- , Warren, OH, USA

problem #80

Sep 182009

Civic LX-G 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,167 miles

My '02 Honda civic transmission failed 3 days ago (Sept 25, 2009). I am the only owner of this car bought from Honda Way in Abbotsford Auto Mall (BC) in 2001 Sept. Always dealer maintained. I had placed couple of complains in the past about the fuel consumption and was not taken cared by the dealer satisfactory. The latest car serviced at the dealer was on 4/25/09 in Abbotsford (Type E paid $717.37). Broght the car to Winnipeg in July 2009. On Waverly Road - strange noise while still in speed, slowly released the accelerator and parked to John Angus. Then the gear did not engage at any gear while the engine could start without any problem. Toed to the FOrt Richmond Transmissions. - have not heard back so far from them. Will update when I hear. I wanted to check if there is any recall for this vehicle.

- , WInnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #79

Aug 242009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,778 miles

Well, I just took my car in for an oil change in august, then again just a couple of weeks ago. They were real quick to tell me everything I needed to have repaired when I went in for my oil change, left a rag in my engine and everything. This was at the dealership. When I went in for the 1000 dollars worth of other repairs, I told them it had started to make a noise. They even drove the car... and not one person stated anything was wrong. Repaired my lower front bushings, my cam end oil plug, and something else, i can't even remember any more, but not one person stated anything else was wrong. Mind you, I just had my belts repaired so I thought that could be the problem. Come to find out, my transmission is failing and it is going to cost me $1800 to get fixed.

I called honda for the "goodwill repair".. and that was a joke. Honda won't help me at all because it is out of warranty and there was no recall for my particular vehicle. Followed the scheduled maintenence and this is what happens.

- , Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #78

Sep 082009

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I got in my car last night to come home from work and as soon as I put the car in Reverse I felt a hard jolt, and the transmission was gone. It no longer goes into 1st or 2nd gear. My car only has 82,000 miles on it and I've never had, heard, or felt any problems with the transmission before. The D for Drive on the instrument panel now constantly flashes with a green box around it, and my mechanic tells me that this is very common with Hondas. My estimate to rebuild the transmission is $2,400. How's that for a nice punch to the gut.

I was raised around Hondas and this was the first one I bought for myself (new) in 2001. I bought the name, and along with it, the expectation that it would last a long time without all the problems that American cars seemed to have. The reality is that my gas mileage isn't as spectacular as is perceived, I have an SRS error problem that I'm ignoring (and probably risking my life), and now my transmission just spontaneously collapsed. I regret buying this car and this brand that apparently no longer owns up to its historical levels of quality. I can see no reason to buy another Honda at inflated sticker prices when the warranties are bad, the quality is bad, the features are plain vanilla, and it will randomly break down when you least expect it.

How in the world can Honda not recall major problems that will alienate its most loyal customers? If they owned up to it, then myself and others would likely buy and recommend many more Honda cars for ourselves, kids, and friends over the coming years. Instead, we're all disillusioned that we believed the marketing hype and will not look to Honda again for our transportation needs.

Update from Sep 29, 2009: I'm writing to recant my complaint about the transmission. After the transmission had appeared to fail, I called Honda corporate and asked them for goodwill help. They said they couldn't forward the case to a regional manager until I took it into a Honda dealership and had them diagnose the problem. I got quotes from two different Honda dealers, and took it to the nearest one that had quoted me $3,080 to rebuild the transmission. I called Honda corporate back and explained my situation and again asked for goodwill assistance, to which they replied that they would forward the case on to a regional contact. The car sat at the dealer for a few days, and finally someone from the service department called me back and said that the Honda regional guy had called him and offered $1,000 goodwill assistance toward a rebuilt transmission. However, if they helped, the warranty from the dealer would be reduced from 3 years / 36,000 miles to 1 year / 10,000 miles. I told him to go ahead with it.

A couple days later he called back and said that he did additional testing on the car and found that the readings indicated something could be wrong with the wire harness, either in addition to the transmission or instead of it. He said Honda would pay to replace that (I'm not sure why) and see if that fixed the problem. He called back two days later and said that the problem was fixed, and they only thing they did was replace the wire harness. I've had my car back for a week and everything seems to be normal. The happy ending to the story is that I didn't pay a penny at the dealer, the service team spent extra time to solve the problem, and for the time being my car is fixed. Honda corporate called up today to see if I was happy with my service (of course I was!). I still don't understand exactly how I didn't end up paying anything... I have suspicions that Honda knows they have problems with the wire harness or something like that and decided to take care of it, even though it wasn't an official recall... maybe? Either way, I'm glad I still have $2,000 in my pocket and a car that works.

- , Spring Grove, IL, USA

problem #77

Aug 182009

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving down the road transmission was not quite shifting right, but then it straighten out, Got down the interstate just fine, got off the exit, engine light came on, transmission failed. Had to coast around a corner. Would not move. Cost over $1700.00 to have the Torque Converter fixed, Master overhaul kit, new filter, and forward Drum. There was no warning of any transmission problem before this. It happens in just an hour's time. I own a Honda Accord before never had any problems, and it was a 1993, I put had over a 100,000 plus and it was still running great, but traded it in for a Honda Civic. Bad mistake.

- , Deltona, FL, USA

problem #76

Feb 102009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

It's all been said here, so...

Called Honda Motors America to see if they would help. They told me that they'd pay $500 to help pay for the repair, which left me with a $2310 repair. Only problem I've ever had with the car, and the first thing that goes is the transmission??? They said since I'm the "third owner" (first owner transferred ownership to his son, who lived in the same house), and since the transmission fluid hadn't been changed at the December 2008 mark (apparently either 8 years OR 120k miles--mine had 80k)--it failed totally in February--they "can't help me any more than that." Right. Driving it like a granny for the last 40k miles apparently was just too much for this "reliable" car. Oh--apparently they "know of no issues with this model and year transmission."

- , Euless, TX, USA

problem #75

Feb 042005

Civic EX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,100 miles

HAHA, looks like i beat everyone in this forum! My transmission blew at 39,100miles! I bought my 2002 civic in Novemeber of 2001 brand new and got my regular routine checkups and oil changes, plus i drove my car very well and carefull. While driving to school one day, i noticed i was pressing the gas but it was just redlining. At first i thought i had gotten a flat tire, but soon realized my tran was blown. Called the tow truck and towed it to Gardena Honda Dealership.. they told me it would cost $3,400 to replace and my warranty would not cover the cost becuz it was a 3 year or 36,000 mile coverage whichever one came first..So i towed it to a local mechanic and i was planning on getting the tran rebuilt, but 2 days later Gardena Honda called me and said they called Honda headquarters and they agreed to cover my transmission 100% free. So i towed my car back to Gardena Honda and after 2days i had a new tranny. So at the end, i ended up paying nothing for my tranny since i got reimbersed for my towing by my insurance company, but time and stress can not make up for it. Now my car has almost 100,000 miles and i change my trans fluid every 20,000 miles, I plan on keeping this car for 1 more year, and i know i will never get a Honda again!

- , Torrance, CA, USA

problem #74

Jul 102009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

My Honda CIVIC 2002 LX with 63,000 miles on it was being driven by my wife with my kids and it just suddenly stalled right in the middle of a major intersection. Thanks to a couple of good samaritans who helped pushed the car to a safe spot otherwise things could have turned seriously disastrous. Engine runs ok but transmission just died like it suffered a stroke. Had it towed to a Honda dealer and got the transmission replaced for almost $1,500*!!

What is even more frustrating is that I had the same problem with my other HONDA ODYSSEY just a year ago! Am I just so unlucky or HONDA vehicles are just plain piece of junk? Both of my HONDAS had to have their stupid transmissions replace below 70,000 miles!!!

( *CLUNKER HONDA USA shouldered half when I told them about my other HONDA CLUNKER ODYSSEY)

It is hard to admit but all those good things we've heard about HONDA QUALITY are all myths! Owning Two Honda cars with the same problem is just too much.

I am getting rid of these HONDA CLUNKERS and will probably go with real "Quality" made cars and not just hype. KIA and HYUNDAI are probable better with 100k warranty.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #73

Jul 262009

Civic EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I thought Hondas were trustworthy upto 150000 miles. I spent $1400 on a new AC unit just last month and now my car has a total transmission failure. My wife has a Toyota going on 129000 without giving any trouble. So I would say this is the last Honda I would ever buy.

- , Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #72

Jun 212009

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I purchased a Honda Civic because I did not want to deal with the constant repair of major components that I had endured with my previous Ford & Mercury - each of which had to have the transmissions rebuilt twice.

Imagine my surprise and disgust when driving on the 5 North near San Juan Capistrano in CA, 60 miles from home and 100 miles from my destination, that my car suddenly would not shift gears, was redlining even with a light touch on the gas and was losing power. I was fortunate that I got off the freeway before the car died - right in the middle of Ortega Highway. I had faithfully had all maintenance and oil changes performed throughout the life of the car - and as recent as 6K miles ago for the 100K service and 2 weeks prior for an oil change. All in the last few years at the Honda Dealership. I loved my car as I never had to replace anything other than the drive boots (which was disappointing, but not outrageously expensive; same for the SRS computer issue for which Honda reimbursed me).

Now, after my hours at work were cut in half it is costing me more than a month's salary to have the transmission replaced + the cost of 2 others diagnosis + towing + rental car. And I'm throwing in the timing belt replacement that's coming up shortly to save on labor hours for that job.

The dealer and I both spoke to American Honda customer service and was told "too bad so sad." I'm not done fighting.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #71

Jun 152009

Civic LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

So much for reliability. Tough economic conditions, barely scraping by, and the car I count on failed me. Worse, I now have to rely on my 1996 Cadillac Deville (currently in shop for a new water pump) as my family vehicle. I should feel lucky as Ive read so many complaints on this site about the same problem at far less mileage.

On a routine trip to visit the relatives today, the car began having problems shifting gears. I would press the pedal but the car would not accelerate, nearly stalling us the highway. We were lucky to get home. Thats when I became aware i had a big problem, Ive been in shock all night to this point. Never saw this coming. Always 3-5k oil changes, all scheduled maintanence, timing belt at 106k, and a recent tuneup at 140k. Never had any major problems, a few dents maybe, the trunk lock and hood lock both broke, my door wound not lock, and the hood popped up on me obstructing my view while going 60mph on the highway. Other then that, I was living the dream, maybe become the Al Bundy of Civic owners and hit 1 million, but it doesnt look it. Three quotes and a mountain load of online info, it does not seem logical to invest (roughly $2500) any further in this vehicle. Whats next to go wrong? That all powerful 4 cylinder engine? I dont want to hate on Honda because 7 years was a nice run, but I am concerned with this defect and believe a class-action suit may be worth a try. SO what are my options?

Given that I live a mile away from the dealership I bought the car from, and after reading some of the success stories of individuals who contacted Honda America Corp. and asked for the "goodwill repair," I will be contacting them tomorow. Otherwise I will be selling off my parts for scraps or hopefully get work done at a VoTech (vocational auto-mechanic school).

I would also consider trading this junker in towards a lease at Honda. If they so accept this car as the deposit/fee. I would pay you 150 per month for an 08' and give it back to you in 36 months. Deal. Where do I sign. (Thats free market research for you there Honda)

But if none of the above prevails, I will be purchasing a Toyota or perhaps Hyundai with its warranty offer in the future. I will also no longer discount American cars, there are incentives to buy. The problem is that IM BROKE. How am I suppose to take out a loan in this economic climate?

- , Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #70

Feb 122003

Civic LX 1.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Transmission failed 4 times and was covered 2 times under warranty. Now have fail again and guess what I'm SOL cause I have to pay for it. Its horrible and I feel we should get a class action going because there are so many people who are having the same problem. This should not be hard to do. Something really needs to be done. People getting stranded at night and with kids. Honda seem to have no consideration at all because if they did, they would hear the people cry for these sorry transmissions.

- , College Park, GA, USA

problem #69

May 012009

Civic SI 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

When I purchased my Honda Civic with 35,000 miles I went to the dealership to have all my fluids changed. The dealership mechanic said I would be wasting my money changing the transmission fluid and informed me the recommended interval service is 55,000miles! I didnít believe it until I saw the Honda vehicle maintenance manual that stated a transmission service is recommend at 55,000miles then every 2 years after. I called another dealership and they also relayed the same information. I still couldnít believe that Honda would recommend a transmission service at such a high mileage. I wasnít comfortable with the recommendation so I changed the fluid anyways. Since then I have experienced the odd slip and a delay going into gear during extreme cold temperatures that require the car to be warmed up for a few minutes. I am currently approaching 80,000 miles, mostly city, and havenít had a major issue as of yet.

For those individuals whose transmissions havenít failed I would recommend to change the fluid every 15-20,000miles or 2 years, which every comes first. The recommendation of a first transmission fluid change at 55,000miles is ridiculous. What I find most disturbing is reading the comments of the transmission not containing a filter. Honda expects their transmission to last with a recommendation of 55,000miles before a fluid change with no filter! Somebody at Honda did not do their homework when it came to determining the fluid service intervals along with the poor engineering choice of creating a transmission with no filter.

Another recommendation I would like to make is driving the car in 3rd gear in heavy traffic or areas that you donít maintain a constant speed under 30mph. The reason for this is because every time an automatic has to switch gears it produces additional heat and unneeded gear change. In bumper to bumper traffic you donít need your transmission cycling through 4 gears when you only need 2. An example is if Iím driving in residential areas I keep my car in 3rd if I know I wont be exceeding 30mph, if Iím driving at constant speed than I will pop into to drive. I havenít looked into it but Iím sure somebody on a Honda Tech Forum has created a modification to add a filter onto the transmission using the existing lines so you may want to check on that. I hope these ďreliabilityĒ recommendations help and I guess only time will tell.

- , BD, MB, Canada

problem #68

May 022009

Civic LX 1.7L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,962 miles

My story is like all of the rest on here. I had taken my wife to work which is about 15 minutes from our house (so we could leave straight from there and take a trip out of town). By the time I returned home, the transmission all but refused to go into gear while accelerating. I took it to the shop and by the time they had test driven it, it wouldn't even go into gear. The silver lining is that the transmission didn't fail when we were 300 miles away from home, but it still failed below 100K miles. If you are looking to buy an '02 Civic take special care in looking into the transmission before you buy it. If it makes any sort of whining noise or doesn't shift completely smoothly, you should probably stay away.

- , Milton, FL, USA

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