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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,253 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. transmission overhaul (2 reports)
  3. replaced throttle bore (1 reports)
2003 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 012005

Civic EX 1.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Bought this car new in 2003 and transmission has always had issues starting around 45,000 miles with reving RPMS and issues shifting from 2nd to 3rd. Dealership has always said "it's fine" or "it's not a problem". Now my transmission has problems shifting from 3rd to 4th and it loses acceleration when driving which really is NOT safe. The check engine light is always coming one when you're driving the car for 30 min or more at a time at speeds over 55 mph. My mechanic says the engine light is coming on as a default because the transmission is failing. I'm really pissed because this transmission has been an issue since I bought the car and I've gotten the run around from Honda for years. Now the car is becoming too unsafe to drive. Unfortunately the value of the car is less than the cost to replace the transmission.

- , Minnapolis, MN, USA

problem #9

Jul 012012

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,250 miles

When driving, the gear slips; must lift off accelerator just before second gear or transmission will slip. Transmission sometimes pops when going into gear.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 012013

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,500 miles

2 years ago I sold an 02 Civic that I had a transmission issue repaired in 2007 as it just made it to 120,000 miles and was out of warranty so I had to pay to have them replace it .. And it began the slipping so I went online to see if there were any Civics still worth buying. Back then it appeared that 03 04 and 05 had less issues and since I like the Civic and can't afford a NEW one I sold mine and bought a used one that had less issues> haha

Well got the car at 132,000 miles and now at 156,000 the thing is showing me signs that this may have a tranny issue as well. I got a recall notice about the headlight so I guess while I am in there I will have them check the tranny for any issues. I know I should have the flush done on it but not sure I want to throw in good money if it will not help from costing me the transportation totally. The thing is my credit was near 700 back then and they wouldn't even consider an 800 + co-signer on an application for a loan.. I could have purchased a new one then but now I wouldn't qualify and well, I won't buy a new Honda if you paid me to at this point.

I bought it figuring on being disabled it would be the last car I had to buy before I check out of this life.. lol But now on the second Civic and still going to need another car to get me to the end game.. wow, reputation will only get you so far.. Oh, I will throw in the hood that the release handle snapped off of this 03 so I need pliers to pop it open, I will get a replacement if I find I can use the car until 200,000 miles but being it is at 156,000 right now it is unlikely that this car will make it that far.

Not wasting another dime if I don't need to. Best to everyone who is looking to buy Honda.. I would rethink my stance at this point.. Looking at the 2000 models they all seem to have issues with the transmissions..

- , Berwick, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012012

Civic DX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,557 miles


I understand that I have very high km on my car and things go wrong. But after looking online at all the transmission issue Honda is having Im not so confident in buying Honda again, this might be my first and last Honda. I was Informed that this would cost me $3,600 overhaul the transmission! I would hate to get a price as to how much it would cost at the dealership! I do love my Honda civic and I am not ready to let it go nor sell it. So I am going to keep looking for solutions or try prolonging the problem I experiencing and start to save my pennies if my transmission decides to go! Was bad news and a sad day to realize this occurring problem Honda is having with there transmissions. Worst off is that they refuse to fix there problems and recall these transmissions!

- , Sarnia, Ontario, canada

problem #6

Oct 122012

Civic Ex Coupe 1.7L Vtec

  • Manual transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I did all the maintenance to my 2003 honda civic with 62k miles and its transmission needs to be replaced. I guess honda civics aren't what I thought they were!! Honda civics suck, will never buy a honda again.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 032011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,365 miles

I am a die hard Honda fan and have owned many civics 1983 bought new, 1992 used, 1995 used,2003 used , and 2006 new and also have Honda lawnmower , 4 wheelers, and motorcycles and am very upset that Honda is not recalling these civics with transmission problems my 2003 has serious problems developing with the transmission and I feel helpless . I can not afford $2500 for a repair. I bought the car used with 70000 miles on it and am sure since Iam not the original owner that I have no recourse with Honda.

- , Hoover, AL, USA

problem #4

Nov 102010

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,700 miles


Bought this car recently from a private party with a mileage of under 41000. The previous owner had taken exceptional care of the car with all service at Honda dealers. Noticed the problem several days after purchasing it. Took it to the same dealer who performed the last years service and was informed that a new transmission was needed for a cost of just under $3200.

Complained to Honda North America but was blown off because out of warranty. Honda's power train warranty is only 36000 miles for this year which I think is the lowest of all manufacturers. Apparently they had no faith in the quality of their product when they built it.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #3

Jan 012011

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I bought this car used two months ago at 46,000 miles. It had a clean carfax report, it was checked out as OK by my mechanic, and the dealer I bought it from also reported no problems with the car. About a week ago, I started noting that, particularly when it's cold, the car seems to skip a little (the engine revs) when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear and 2nd to 3rd. I brought it into Aamco, and they reported that this is the first stage in my transmission going out, that I needed to do essentially a rebuild (soft parts overhaul) and that it would cost $2000. Needless to say, I am angry.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 092009

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,159 miles

Purchased this car for my wife from a Honda dealer Certified Used with 22,000 miles and at 36,000 miles having problems with the transmission. Had to replace the Throttle Bore, cost $657.00 labor and materials. The reason I purchased a Honda was thier reputation as a dependable low maintenace vehicle. Now, after reveiwing this web site I understand that in the future I'll be replacing the transmission ...... Wondeful! This has left a bad taste in my mouth.

- , Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #1

Nov 282006

(reported on)

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

So far, the Civic has been a good car. Before I take it for repair/analysis, I would like to know if others have had similar problems.

- , Ottawa, ON, Canada

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