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
Typical Repair Cost:
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 5 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #187

Nov 202011

Civic LX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles


Transmission went completely out as I got to work. It started to rev high than engaged in gear. Come to find out there were massive tranny problems in the 01 and 02 year civics. I was able to locate a tranny out of a 04 civic and after doing research the 04 had hardly any complaints. I had my choice of a 02 or the aforementioned 04. They gave me a 10% discount on the 04 because it had been there the longest (80 days). This tranny only had 79,400 miles on it. My tranny gave out at 77,500 miles. Tranny cost (after 10% dis)=$945 and to have it installed=$515. In total the used tranny and installation cost me a total of $1,460. I've put 1,000 miles on it so far and it runs and shifts like I just bought it from the showroom. This is the 1st problem of any kind on this vehicle since we bought it new back in Feb. 02. Most Honda dealerships want anywhere from 2k to 3k to replace with a new tranny with a 3 yr warranty. My used tranny came with a 1 yr warranty. My suggestion to anyone who has or is about to go thru this is to call around to some auto salvage yards and see if they have any trannys from either 04 or 05 civics. These 2 years on this generation have had the fewest problems and with the 01 and 02 years being junk they've had problems on the 03 but not as bad as the previous 2 years. They will ask you if your car was made in Japan or in the US/Canada. Mine was made in Canada and lucky for me the trannys they had were of the US/Canada models..This won't deter me from buying a Honda in the future. My other vehicle is a 07 CRV and it has been a dream...By going this route you'll save a chunk of change and have a car that will last you for a while longer....

- , Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #186

Dec 272011

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

This is my 16 year old daughter's car, given to her by her mother, as a "reliable, foreign-built car that will last her through college". The car was purchased new, with all service done on a regular basis.

She called to say that the car was "running like a race car" but would not go more than 20 miles per hour, so I left work to rescue her and her buddy, who were both intent on holiday shopping.

I did a brief visual inspection and hopped in to get the vehicle home, while she followed me in my reliable, F150. I noticed that the car drove fine, except when changing from gear 2 to 3, when the RPM gauge rose an extra 1000 RPM before shifting gears, so I started to reduce the accelerator pressure from that point on as the car shifted.The problem got progressively worse over the next 15 minutes as I stopped at various stop lights until it barely drove when I parked it in her driveway.

My dilema is this, after calling America Honda Motor Co 800-999-1009, they informed me that I would have to take it to a dealer for inspection and based on the many complaints I have read on this website, consumers have had various responses for out-of-warranty complaints. I am taking the car to a transmission shop which I have confidence in, as he is quoting me $1000 for repairs instead of $3000 from the dealer. I have also made a complaint to, which I advise everyone to do.

Refer to TSB #10162004, NHTSA #10014470 dated 10/16/2004 and TSB 010402, NHTSA #636755 dated 04/01/2002 for similar issues.

- , Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #185

Dec 022011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,243 miles

This is my second Honda, and both have had transmission failure. First was a '94 accord, transmission died around 120k miles. Both cars were purchased from the original owner who I knew well, and had all records. Oil changes regularly.

Obviously I have lost all faith that a Honda stands for quality. I specifically bought a Civic because I thought they would last for years. I have owned Infiniti and Volvo, and may go back to Volvo, or, dare I say, buy an American car: a FORD

Update from Dec 15, 2011: I was quoted a repair of $3,615 from the dealership. I faxed American Honda records of the transmission fluid replacement at 58,000 miles. Honda offered to discount the cost of the repair to $2,500 plus tax. I decided to go this route since it is a re-manufactured transmission with all new parts (only the shell is old) and comes with a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty, vs 1 year 10,000 mile warranty at Aamco. Aamco would have cost roughly $2,500 anyways.

I have mixed feelings about the result of my claim. I feel like Honda should have paid for half the repair, but at least I got something.

Will I purchase a Honda again? Maybe....but only with a warranty.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #184

Aug 142011

Civic 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


My story is the same as the other complaints listed. I am the second owner of this car, well maintained only 122,000 miles. Started as the transmission slipping when driving between gears. I pushed the gas but the car didn't go, very dangerous. No way of detecting when your transmission is going to give on you. This is wrong of Honda to not fix a problem with all the vehicle. This is my third Honda I have owned and if Honda would like to keep my business, they need to right their wrong. Please inform me of any class action lawsuit.

* if so many people are having this same issue, which there is. Honda should be responsible business people stand by there so called reliability and have a recall on the failure of the tranny.*

- , Auckland, Northland, New Zealand

problem #183

Jul 152010

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I never thought my HONDA CIVIC 2002 LX transmission would die at only 68,000 miles. My wife was driving it with our 2 kids and it just stopped in the middle of a very busy intersection. It was a very horrifying and life or death situation. Fortunately another motorist was helpful enough to help push the car to the side.

Honda said it was out of warranty and after giving them the "Loyal Honda Customer" routine (having another Honda with a similar problem- another story), they agreed to shoulder the labor and I ended paying $$$ 2,500 for a rebuilt transmission! What a car company!!!! I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA EVER AGAIN!!! I'd rather buy a Kia or a Hyundai with 100,000 mile trans warranty!

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #182

Jul 182011

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,500 miles

Everyone said "get a Honda Civic"! I bought my 2002 Honda Civic LX "new"! The first thing that went was the ceiling liner! Then the SRS light came on (my VIN# not part of the recall)! Then a new catalytic converter followed by having to replace the transmission 6 months later with less than 100,000 miles! Let me share here also that you can expect frequent brake work! Word is out that Honda has known about the transmission failure problem for many years! Why hasn't the "transmission failure problem" been subject to recall???


- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #181

Jan 012011

Civic DX Sedan 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,584 miles


Okay, 2 weeks after Christmas, the transmission fails , this one only had 120,000km on it. It was replaced free of charge to me with one out of a 2001 Honda Civic with 79,600km on it!

- , Chilliwack, BC, canada

problem #180

Dec 012010

Civic DX Sedan 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,584 miles

I bought the car with 215,000 km on it in July 2009, hadn't even paid it off and I had to put a new tranny in it! But wait till my next gets worse. Transmission that replaced mine had 120,000km on it.

- , Chilliwack, BC, canada

problem #179

May 292011

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

This is ridiculous and I will get rid of this car once fixed and NEVER buy another Honda!! This is how they treat their customers?!

- , Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #178

Oct 072011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,596 miles

Transmission went out going up a hill 130 miles from home, didn't have cell service to call for help was stranded for 2 hours before we were able to get help. There was no warning that there was a problem with the transmission. Not so sure I will ever buy another Honda.

- , Moorefield, WV, USA

problem #177

May 302011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


A Honda Civic should run more than 106,000 miles before costing more than it's worth to fix. I've been a loyal Honda customer for about 10 years through 2 Civics, but now I' looking to replace it with an American car

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #176

May 202011

Civic LX Sohc 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,648 miles

My car is well maintained and serviced regularly. Oil change every 3,000 miles, every scheduled maintenance done on time. The transmission started to slip out of nowhere. I made the appointment the same week it started. Before I could even get to the appointment the transmission crapped out at a stoplight. Refused to go into gear. I ended up having to reverse off the road since that was the only way to make the car move. My car had LESS THAN 60,000 MILES ON IT. HONDA DID NOTHING because it's 10 years old. Obviously with such low mileage I do not drive long distances. I have all the maintenance records of the vehicle to prove that it was meticulously maintained.And yet the dealer told me "Sorry, not covered under warranty" ARE YOU SERIOUS? My two previous cars were American ( BUICK Century and Ford Mustang) and lasted well over 150,000 miles without needing a new transmission. Fixing at Honda at 59,000 miles is disgraceful.

- , Montgomery, NY, USA

problem #175

Jul 152011

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,165 miles

My 2002 Honda Civic LX has never had any leaks or problems. However, it's been acting weird last few months and all of a sudden it revved as if accelerating and then would not move. I left it sitting on my driveway for couple of months and was able to get it moving, but only enough to move it around the driveway. Now, I'm stuck with card that has only 83,165 miles on it and failed tranny.

I'm really disappointed, because I always considered and was telling my relatives that Honda as the MOST reliable car, but now I cannot trust Honda.

I hope Honda will take care of it.

- , Adelanto, CA, USA

problem #174

Oct 012011

Civic ES 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,963 miles

We were back from a holiday weekend from a 450 km trip. Just after about 100 km on the way back transmission failed without any warning. We were driving on the only road to and from this vacation spot. There were no rest areas only desert. We let the car cool for awhile hoping it would start properly. when gear was in reverse it even went forwarder - really strange. had to tow the car 350 km to our Honda car dealer and maintenance. The next morning went to them and they informed us it would cost 2000$ to repair. We towed the car to another specialist in Honda transmission repairs who charged us 1400$ and is more professional than our regular maintenance. The car has been maintained as needed and had no other problems.

We were told there were problems with the transmission of Honda's same as our models and years. What actions were taken? Did Honda take part in some of the repair cost? thanks for any reply.

- , Rehovot, Israel, Israel

problem #173

Sep 062011

Civic EX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Drove 40 miles to corporate office today entered parking lot and car revved as if accelerating and then would not move, had to have it towed to an unfamiliar garage to have, you guessed it, the transmission. Please add my name to class action lawsuit if it is starting email me at gail.hart This is a huge problem as I am supporting both parents and have only 1 car so depending on friends to get me to and from work.

- , Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #172

Sep 022011

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The transmission failed with almost no warning. One day, the engine started revving a little higher in between shifts and took a little longer to shift on my way home from work. The very next morning, it failed completely while I was on a hill and I started ROLLING BACKWARD! There was a car immediately behind me and luckily I hit the brakes in time to avoid hitting it. 110,000 miles is a pretty sorry lifespan for a transmission, especially considering I just had a 100,000 mi scheduled maintenance performed by the Honda Dealership in which they flushed the transmission fluid and inspected the whole car. Toyota's looking pretty damn good right now.

- , Eureka, CA, USA

problem #171

Sep 012011

Civic EX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I cant believe honda is doing nothing to address their transmission problem. I have a 2002 honda civic with 83000 miles and my transmission is no good. to everyone out there that's looking in to buying a honda, don't do it. you will regret it. look up the problems they come with. very unsatisfied customer here. hopefully there's some sort of legal action against honda and if so count me in.

- , Glendale, CA, USA

problem #170

May 112011

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,048 miles

if so many people are having this same issue, which there is. Honda should be responsible buisness people stand by there so called reliability and have a recall on the failure of the tranny

- , New Bern, NC, USA

problem #169

Aug 052011

Civic LX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,400 miles

Like most everybody else is reporting... My 2002 Honda Civic's Automatic Transmission just gave out and without any WARNING whatsoever... No leaks, no noises, no smells, ... it slipped about two times when I began to drive my 10 year old daughter to the airport to send her home to her mother in Texas at 5:00 in the morning. Ran fine on the freeway all the way to the airport but decided to just stop working (engine racing but not moving); which caused me to breakdown in the damn "Shuttle" Lane in front of the airport's Terminal 4. I needed to be at Terminal 1 which was a half mile further up. The Airport Police immediately began harassing me; telling me to move my car. After explaining that it was broke down with apparent Transmission problems and that I desperately needed to get my 10 year old daughter on the plane before she missed her flight; the police told me that I could NOT leave my vehicle unattended and that I needed to get a two truck there within a half hour or they would tow it away! Needless to say, My daughter missed her flight. It took AAA two and one-half hours to get there and the police had already called for an impound. My ex-wife was pissed off and had to pay for another flight out of an airport (LAX) 70 miles away so my daughter could get home which required my ex-wife's father to take a day off work and travel from Long Beach to Ontario (approx. 60 miles) to pick up my daughter so he could take her to LAX while I waited for and accompanied my vehicle out of there in the tow truck. If I didn't have a badge in my wallet, the police would definitely not have been so patient with me and the situation. I know the shuttle buses weren't !!! I got honked at for a solid two and one-half hours!! My car will not roll even a little bit. No engagement of the transmission at all!! This is completely ridiculous. There is no way a transmission should go out or break down that soon. I hadn't even broken 100,000 miles on this car. HONDA NEEDS TO INITIATE A RECALL on this issue and they should be fixing the problem in all the cars that seem to be having this very same issue. Obviously, there are lots of people with the same issues and if Honda will NOT initiate a recall and take care of their customers... then IT'S TIME TO INITIATE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against Honda. I am told that my transmission either needs to be replaced which, would cost upwards of $4000.00 ... OR... It needs to be rebuilt at around the cost of about $2000.00. Total BS... HONDA....Dependable???? .... ONLY IF HONDA STANDS BY THEIR PRODUCTS AND TAKES CARE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS !!! Otherwise... No more dependable than any other car on the market and therefore, Honda's slogan would be considered FALSE ADVERTISING. A word to HONDA MOTOR COMPANY.... "STAND BY YOUR PRODUCTS" "TAKE CARE OF YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS" "HONDA UP AND DO THE RIGHT THING"

Update from Apr 28, 2012: UPDATE:

Just remembered I posted a complaint on this site. After contacting Honda and threatening them with a class-action civil lawsuit... I was finally able to bring the otherwise bitchy and uncooperative Honda case manager to a more cooperative state. After her telling me that they would fix my transmission for $2800.00 and when I told her I'd see her in court with at least 400 other angry Honda owners and after giving her a civil Attorney's name and phone number I just found in the Yellow Pages... She finally decided that I would get my transmission replaced for $800.00 which included the manufacturers warranty of 3 years/36000 miles. Given the fact that my warranty had long expired... this was an excellent resolution to an otherwise nightmarish situation. For all of you reading this... threaten Honda with a civil Class-Action suit and mention an Attorney's name when you do. Remember the resolution I was able to swing with Honda. Follow my blueprint and see if it works for you!! Good Luck!!

- , Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #168

Jul 272011

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,556 miles

This is the second Honda we have owned (2202 & 2000) with a total transmission failure at 100k. Unlike timing belts, most transmission should give more than 100K in service. Honda knows this is a problem but has been able to skate on a recall. They want to direct you back to the dealer for repairs. the dealer wanted $5,000 and Honda was going to kick in $300. My independent Honda repair shop is doing the rebuild for $2500.

Currently we own 3 Hondas. We will replace these with more reliable vehicles that the manufacturers want to stand behind. Any suggestions??

- , Lakewood, CO, USA

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