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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,088 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.

2008 Honda Civic engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

May 112013


  • 85,000 miles


"burning oil" we purchased the car at thurston auto in ukiah ca. It has burned excessive oil from day one. It burns 1 quart every thousand miles. Honda told me that is common for high performance engines. Thurston conducted their own test and did find the engine was burning 1 quart every thousand miles. They said the would put a new engine in but I would have to pay half. This was my daughters first car purchase and feels she was taken advantage of. She went on her own to purchase the car. Please let me know if there is anything that can be done. She has been trying for years to save the money for a new engine.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #39

Jan 022016


  • 86,000 miles
Head of the tension bolt for the idler pulley broke while driving the car. Took it into the dealer and was told that this was a common issue, and that they could either drill it out, or it was stuck and a new engine block was needed. In this case a new block was needed. Doing some research on this issue revealed that there was a recall for this bolt breaking on the 2006 Civic, which is of the same generation and has the same engine as my 2008 Civic. My car only has approximately 86,000 miles on it. Had the idler pulley come off after the bold head had broke, this could have caused a serious accident. The fact that this issue has been recalled in a previous model year, and persists through a future model year makes me worry about others. The bolt is also not something that is called for to be regularly replaced. Calling Honda yielded no assistance or concern in this matter.

- Latrobe, PA, USA

problem #38

Jan 072016


  • 129,000 miles
Engine failure knocking a lot of oil comsumption.

- Falling Waters, WV, USA

problem #37

Sep 282015


  • 138,000 miles


Shortly after receiving a voluntary warranty extension/ recall my wife's 2008 Honda Civic LX 4 dr. Experience an engine block crack after driving on the freeway. I drove it to the dealer in waukesha, wi where is was confirmed as a crack. Since the replacement I have experienced issued with the new block including a knocking sound in the engine at low RPM's I was advised by Honda in ca that the block is new however the older internal engine block parts were being reused to include the crank, pistons, etc. Which is causing the new engine to fail also.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #36

Sep 262015


  • 119,000 miles
I just bought this car with 119,000 miles on it from a dealership. It was ok for the first five days until I noticed that something was wrong. On my way back home, I noticed the reading on the temperature gauge rising. It kept rising almost to the red marker. I was very stressed. I finally figured out that my coolant reservoir was completely empty. My temporary solution was to add some coolant to the radiator and to the reservoir. So far the temperature gauge has remained at a good and steady temperature. There is a coolant leak in my car but I can't find it. Hopefully, Honda will take a look at it and determine the problem.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #35

Jul 212015


  • 44,500 miles
I was making a left turn leaving my place of work. The car made a loud grinding noise and the steering wheel locked (power steering went) and A/C stopped working. I immediately parked the car and the next day had it towed to a Honda dealership. Upon inspection, the water pump seized up. The pulley and lock bolt holding the serpentine belt had practically fallen off. This was confirmed by a Honda dealership technician. The car has low mileage, I am the first owner, and the car has only been serviced at a Honda dealership. I will also reference a service bulletin issued on 2006 Honda Civics. There is no recall on 2008's even though it contains the same R18 engine (engine block cracking problems) as the 2006 and 2007. Service bulletin number: 08-038 NHTSA id #: 10026085 bulletin date: Fri, 08/01/2008 failing component(s): 062000 engine and engine cooling:cooling system summary: Honda: Product update: Water pump pulley flange cracks. A crack pulley flange may create a pulley noise, cause the water pump to fail, and cause the drive belt to break. Updated 12/19/08. Csc letter was received.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #34

Apr 112014


  • 83,452 miles


The engine suddenly overheated. I had the car towed to a dealership. (community Honda of orland park). There is a recall for this overheating engine problem but Honda and the dealership say it's not the overheating recall problem. The repairs are in excess of $2,500.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #33

Jun 052015


  • 125,011 miles
Engine block is leaking - coolant leak.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #32

May 262015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the engine cracked open directly underneath the engine block where the heads were connected. The failure caused the vehicle to leak antifreeze. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was determined that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #31

Dec 122014


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the engine block was cracked causing antifreeze coolant to leak. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the block had a hairline crack and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Kapaau, HI, USA

problem #30

Mar 012014


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the engine mount developed a crack causing the vehicle to vibrate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the passenger side engine mount needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was at 55,000.

- Englewood, NJ, USA

problem #29

Jul 282014


  • 101,000 miles
Houston, tx. 2008 Honda Civic ex sedan. At red light, noticed engine smoke coming up from under hood. Engine temp indicator was maxed. Drove slowly to service station 1 mile away coolant reservoir was empty. Added coolant, and drove to mechanic. Replaced water pump and T-stat and flushed and filled coolant then diagnosed cracked engine block (total of $690 for service). Drove to dealer who replaced engine block on extended warranty. Engine head was not warped and was not replaced. Car is driving very well since engine replacement.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #28

Jul 212014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 156,653 miles
Upon leaving my place of employment, I had driven approx 1 mile to a traffic signal and noticed a slight vapor plume at the front of the car. Noted a slightly elevated coolant temp (3 leds above normal) and pulled over. Opening the hood revealed a cracked engine block on the exhaust side of the engine block behind and to the right of the exhaust collector. No kind of abuse or overheating has ever occurred with this engine since purchased new. No indication of a coolant leak was apparent upon parking at work before this discovery (no odor, or vapor present). A high mileage engine yes. Expected issues would be worn belts, piston rings, seals etc...a cracked engine block is not normal wear and tear.

- Kingsland , GA, USA

problem #27

Jun 242014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 100,490 miles
On 4 separate occasions (the most recent being 6/24/14), twice at highway speeds and twice while slowing down, the vehicle's engine has surged, causing the vehicle to unexpectedly move forward. On the two occasions it has occurred when slowing down, I was operating the vehicle. What happened was as I was coming to a stop (once at a red light, once in a parking lot), the RPM indicator unexpectedly shot up to approximately 2500rpm, the vehicle moved forward, and even though I had my foot on the brake, the unexpected increase in power made it difficult to stop. Had there been any vehicles in front of me in either occurrence, there may have been an accident. On the two occurrences at highway speed, my wife was driving, and she reports that the RPM indicator again went high and the engine was making a lot of noise.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #26

Jun 022014

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 68 mph on cruise control, the vehicle accelerated independently up to 80 mph. The failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 63,000. Updated 8/11/14

- Springfield , OH, USA

problem #25

Mar 232014


  • 110,000 miles
The steering wheel began to pull my car to the left side. The steering wheel did not respond to the direction right and felt as if it had gone "limp". the front of the car hit the left center median guardrail. I suffered herniated discs and lumbar back injury. The drivers airbag never deployed resulting in my head hitting the steering wheel. I suffered a concussion and cervical neck injury. There were no other cars involved and no weather conditions. Also I was going below the speed limit. I called Honda and they said they could not explain nor help me with the airbag not deploying and the concussion I suffered. They also could not help me regarding the steering wheel pulling left then "going limp". I am still seeing a neurologist and physical therapist for my lumbar and cervical injuries, and neurological signs and symptoms.

- Goshen, NY, USA

problem #24

May 012014


  • 58,332 miles
There was a crack in the engine and coolant seepage. Had to tow the car to a local service center and on running a diagnosis showed there was a crack the engine and the engine was choked due to overheating.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #23

Apr 102014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 40,773 miles
I was stopped at a red light with my foot firmly on the brake with the car in drive. Without warning the engine revved up and the car lurched forward a foot or two.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #22

Apr 012014

Civic 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
2008 Honda Civic. Consumer writes in regards to engine block failure. The consumer stated the engine block problem should be treated as a recall due to the severity of the problem. When the engine overheated and stalled, he lost power steering and brakes. At that point, the steering and brakes became very difficult. The consumer stopped to the dealer, where they showed him the 4 problem areas of the engine where the leakage occurred. Also, the bearing on the air conditioning compressor pulley started making a noise. The entire compressor had to be replaced. The consumer also had difficulty starting the vehicle and after 10 seconds, the vehicle would start. On occasion, he had trouble shifting from first to second gear. It would not shift, and he had to come to a complete stop and start in first gear. Updated 04/10/14

- Wooster, OH, USA

problem #21

Feb 032014


  • 55,000 miles
At less than 55,000 miles, I noticed my 2008 Honda Civic coupe would vibrate excessively while in reverse, especially during start up. Checked on the internet and found many other people with the same problem. Went to a mechanic to take a look, and they found 3 motor mounts cracked. After replacing the mounts (not cheap), my Civic no longer vibrates on reverse. It was definitely cracked mounts that caused this issue. I bought this car brand new in 2008 at the Honda dealership, and always take great care of my car and make sure all service is done on time. It's unfortunate that the mounts were made so cheap for such a 'reliable' company... now the burden is on the consumer to spend hundreds to fix this issue.

- Orange, CA, USA

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