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.

6.3

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
78,221 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. they burnished the cvt start clutch (2 reports)
  3. transmission fluid flush (1 reports)
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Civic Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 052016

Civic Hybrid Hybrid 1.7L

  • CVT transmission
  • 117,000 miles

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

Three years ago took Honda Civic hybrid in for a transmission problem rough shaking start. Still under warranty the dealer fixed it. A thousand miles later problem comes back. I just live with it until I can get back to dealer again which a month goes by and I'm out of warranty by 2000 miles. Dealer says your transmission is going up and it will cost me $4000.00 . The dealer is Belair Honda in Maryland. Knowing the car is only worth $4000. I refused to get it fixed and decided to just run it till it dies.

Well its been three years gas mileage has drop from avg. Of 42mpg to 32mpg. Trans is still shaking at start offs and has a high pitch sound like it has some turbo charger in it but is driveable. The car was taken in to a different dealer in Parkville MD for a air bag recall and to address the SRS light on the dash and the shuttering problem on take off got the same run around that i got three years ago.

The problem is not fixed and the dealerships and Honda have convinced me never to buy from them again. As a matter of fact, I purchased a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander because of the warranty just last week and didn't even consider a Honda at all . Live and learn.

- , Fallston, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 182015

Civic Hybrid LX 3.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I bought this new Honda Civic Hybrid in 2003. When I noticed the shuddering of transmission at stopped position. I frequently brought it to Honda Dealer when it was under 7 year Warranty. It never stopped and Donovan's auto repair suggests I get a recall as Honda should have a recall. I see no notification but am hoping people here know of information.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 032008

Civic Hybrid Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 18,641 miles

After the recall notice was posted by Honda, I took my car into the dealership to get the transmission fixed. It actually took them 3 separate times (each time telling me it was fixed) before finally taking the entire CVT apart and replacing the proper parts.

The transmission is now super smooth with no shudder.

Update from Jan 20, 2016: Similar to other complaints on the site, the shudder came back after about 2-3 years post-fix.

Luckily I found a good mechanic in Vancouver who has dealt with lots of CVT vehicles and all was needed was a $150 flush of the transmission fluid (it's expensive stuff!). The shuddering occurs because of a build up of debris coming off the CVT belt over time. This debris causes the belt to slip at the beginning until it grabs, hence the shudder.

I've needed only one flush so far and it's been good for about two years, but another flush will be required in another 6-12 months because a small shudder is starting again.

Hope this helps everyone.

P.S. My mechanic has highly recommended getting away from CVT's in the future and getting a car with a new automatic chain transmission. They have lots of gears now so they're practically continuous.

- , Vancouver, BC, Canada

problem #3

Feb 012010

Civic Hybrid 4door 1.3liter

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,687 miles

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

The car was doing the same exact thing about 3 years ago. Honda recalled the car for transmission hesitation and they fixed it. The fix was good for about 2 1/2 years and the problem started again. At first it wasn't too bad. I told the dealer about it and they said they could find nothing. It has gotten consistantly worse over the last 6 months. I have to take the car in for a different recall this month. I'm going to tell them again and see if they will fix it this time. After some research I see this model and year has definite transmission problems. I have had 4 Honda cars so far. However I will switch if they do not fix their problems. This is really getting annoying. I love the car but if the transmission is not good there is no sense in keeping the car.

Update from Oct 26, 2010: I called Honda service and they told me the problem was no longer covered by an extended warranty. The extention was only good until 11 months ago. That made me upset because I had complained about it prior to that. They told me to take it to my Honda dealer where I get it serviced and see if they will work with me on the problem. I called them and they said they would check it out when I brought my car in. I was all ready to blow my top when they called me to tell me what they would do. They said that the warranty was extended again and Honda said they would cover any repair needed up to and including replacing the transmittion. They fixed it for free. The car runs great now. No complaints now.

- , Garner, NC, USA

problem #2

Aug 162010

Civic Hybrid S 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

When I purchased my 2003 Civic Hybrid, knowing that most of this was new technology, I purchased Honda's 100k bumper to bumper warranty. I have an 03' civic and upon accelerating from a stop, there is a fairly good vibration. It doesn't last long at all, just about a sec or two.

I TOOK IT IN FOR DEALER MAINTENANCE AND THEY SAID NOTHING WRONG. AFTER REPEATING THIS EVERY TIME I DID MAINTENANCE. NOW AT 60,000 I NEED A NEW TRANSMISSION.

Honda civic hybrids with the cvt transmission develop what Honda refers to as a judder. What is actually happening is the "start clutch" in the transmission slips during takeoff from a stop and causes the car to judder or shake. When this happens in any condition other than perfectly dry roads you can temporarily lose control of the vehicle because the vehicle is front wheel drive and the front wheels can lose traction and spin. I have even had this happen when the front tires are sitting on the painted white line found at most intersections

DEALER HAD CAR FOR A WEEK BEFORE THEY SAID ANYTHING THEN TELL ME IT WILL NEED A TRANSMISSION FOR $3.000 + BY THIS TIME MY WARRANTY IS DONE. I CALLED HONDA (800-999-1009 Honda Automobile Customer Service) AND THEY WILL LOOK INTO IT AND THEN ANOTHER 2 DAYS. THE DEALER CALL BACK AFTER I CALL (HACS) AND SAID WHAT IS GOING ON!!! THEY WOULD DO IT FOR $1100. 14 DAYS AT DEALER AND I HAD TO CALL THEM TO SEE IF IT WAS DONE.

I have a new transmission My "new" transmission is a factory rebuilt one.. 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty on the transmission only. I WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR LABOR AGAIN. WHY ARE WE PAYING FOR THIS WORK..

ARE THEY LOOKING FOR SOME TO DIE FROM THIS!!!! BEFORE THEY WILL FIX IT..

- , Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #1

May 012005

Civic Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

In 2005 the vibration prompted me to take the car to the dealership I was told by the dealership that my transmission was "drawing too much load" - don't ask me to explain this- and needed a new transmission. Since it was still under warranty, it was free. 2007 vibration reappeared. This time they told me that i need to flush my transmission. I did. 6 months later happened again. again I needed to have my transmission oil flushed. I did 2 to 3 more times since then. The last time at 150,000 check up they told me that the belt is worn out and needs replacing. Its a $1,200 job. I told them to take a hike. Now the transmission won't shift in gear and they told me it is the torque converter. No sure if I believe them bit my poor hybrid has had enough BS from Honda.

- , Friendswood, TX, USA

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