Notes: The 2001 Civic has transmission problems, transmission problems & more transmission problems. Did we mention transmission problems? And a dangerous defect with the front airbag that didn't get recalled for 10 years.

Although eventually the defective 2001 Civic airbag inflators were fixed under recalls in 2011 & 2013, that meant for 10 to 12 years airbags were activating with excessive force where metal fragments went shooting into passengers when the airbag deployed.

As for the 2001 Civic's transmission woes? Honda conducted a major transmission recall in 2004 & settled a class action lawsuit for defective transmissions in 2006. But, neither the recall or the lawsuit included the 2001 Civic.

Last thing to consider - the 2001 Civic is the most-recalled car ever, closely followed by the 2002 Civic & the 2001 Accord. The 2001 Civic is the 4th most-recalled vehicle overall, only a Ford truck & two Ford vans have more.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
113,251 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace with a used engine (5 reports)
  3. replaced camshaft sensor (1 reports)
2001 Honda Civic engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 022009

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


First motor went out at 110000 and second motor lasted 125000 before it went out. I have 195000 miles on car. Motor I put in had 40000 miles on it when I put it in and now it has a cracked block. Transmission went out completely at 117000. The car is in very good cosmetic shape now that I got a new paint job to cover the horrible factory job and I have nice leather seats and like new interior. I will spin the wheel and see if I can find a motor from a different year and hope for the best. Honda lost my business and any who will listen to me forever.

- , Corbin, US

problem #11

Sep 302014

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,904 miles

I'm told the car will need a new Cam Sensor, expensive and hard to replace.

It will also probably need a new transmission.

NOW I read on this site that the 2001 Honda Civic is one of the most recalled cars ever, well known for having transmission problems.


- , Peterborough, NH, USA

problem #10

Oct 082012

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Just now of curiosity I added up all the bills for this car. This total does NOT include oil changes, tires or other typical maintenance repairs you would expect. This total you are about to witness is purely for major unexpected repairs over 8 years of ownership........ $12.931.67 Oh, and this total does not include the last 2 years of repairs filed away with my taxes. So that total is for 6 years. So as you can see I have chosen not to buy this unreliable car a new engine which is needs from it's never ending overheating issues. You would think 2 transmissions before even hitting 100,000 miles would be enough, but not now it wants a new engine. RIP 2001 Honda Civic you WILL NOT BE MISSED. I almost want to take it to a junk yard and watch it get crushed just so I can live with myself knowing that no one else got the horrible disease that is this car.

- , Montrose, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 212011

Civic LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 164,500 miles


2001 Civic threw a rod this week, while coasting to a stop sign at 25 mph. To install a USED engine I was quoted $2100. I sold this junker as is and walked away. I had been meticulous about service and had babied this car, hoping to get 250K miles or more and then pass it on to my teenager. We also have a 2003 Odyssey and now I don't trust it to last either.

- , Blountville, TN, USA

problem #8

Feb 232011

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Coral Springs Honda is still holding my car because I'm refusing to pay for repairs I never authorized. They replaced my timing belt less than 2 years ago and another dealership said the damage to the engine was caused by the timing belt and it should be under warranty. Coral Springs said the timing belt was fine and then called me to come pick it up for $1300. I was never given an estimate verbally or in writing - not even a courtesy call! They said if I want my car back they'd return it to the non-working condition it was in and I could push it off their lot. They refuse to take accountability for the broken timing belt that was so new after they recommended we change it last time. Pompano Honda said the engine stopped working b/c of the timing belt and Coral Springs Honda is calling them liars. I'm stuck in the middle WITH NO CAR. I'm refusing to pay another grand for this old car - I've paid several thousand dollars over the past few years to keep this junker running and I've had it. But now I have nothing and they are holding my car. I am PISSED OFF. I'm waiting for Honda Corporate to call me back now after Coral Springs Honda said "corporate can't do anything for you..." I hope they are wrong. I've been driving Hondas for the past 20+ years and I won't drive another one after THIS. Not to mention I bought THREE Hondas from this dealership and got this particular lemon in the bunch. They don't even honor their own warranties let alone follow the LAW and provide estimates. Stay away from this dealer. They are CROOKED.

- , Plantation, FL, USA

problem #7

May 012010

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My 1999 Honda Accord LX blew out an engine valve at 110K miles. Honda service would not accept any responsibility for this poorly designed engine valve. I had to eventually get the engine replaced with a used engine fro the used car parts dealer.

- , Canonsburg, PA, US

problem #6

Dec 082008

Civic LX 1.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 176,000 miles


CEL came on one day. Thought it was timing belt which I knew had slipped because it had been squealing loudly and was due for its scheduled change. Stopped into Autozone and got an OBD sensor reading. Multiple cylinder misfires. Took it to a shop for an engine diagnostic. Shop replaced new OEM plugs and reset the ECU. Next day the CEL came back on. Took it back to the shop. They swapped cables around and tested the coil and found no problems and did a test and told me my number 4 cylinder was firing at about 90 instead of around 135. Suggested that the head gasket was warped or the cylinder head was warped. Skeptical I took it to a different shop a few weeks later since the CEL remained on. Shop suggested I first have the timing belt and all belts replaced and found that my timing had slipped because the pulley assembly bolt had sheared off because it was threaded incorrectly at last belt change so they had to drill out the bolt and put in a helio-coil. We're up to $1200 and they still haven't determined the cause of the misfire. When I went to pick the car up, the mechanic had gone home for the day and the shop manager had to call him at home to find out what was happening with my car because it was just sitting in the bay with the hood up and they never bothered to call me back. When they got ahold of him he said they were having some compression issues but they put a $10 can of RESTORE in my engine and said it should help restore compression. BS. Next morning on my way to work (surprise) the CEL came back on. Called the shop back and they said to bring it back when their master tech was in the following week. Took it back and they did another cylinder reading and now the number 4 cylinder was firing at 70. Said they couldn't fix it without completely rebuilding the engine for $2000. Been driving it for a month now and CEL flashes at idle and idle timing is low at 500 rpm. Afraid it will stall out at a traffic light so I give it some gas to keep the idle up. Hoping my car will hold together until I can get a new one.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #5

Jul 212008

Civic EX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Today I was driving on GA 400, all of a sudden car speed dropped to 40, and I was not able to accelerate..Fortunately less traffic on 400, and I was able to pull the vehicle to shoulder. When I started the car at that time, I got 3 lights on (check engine, low pressure and battery) I towed it to curry Honda dealer at 3 pm, and they just didn't have interest to look at the problem. They asked me to leave the vehicle until tomorrow to look at it. It was very humid, and I was pissed, so decided to read the manual and then change the gas cap, and poured 1/2 quart of engine oil...It started without any problem (just check engine light on), and drove to my home...I started couple of times after that, and in the evening drove to Advanced Auto parts to check about check engine light. On the way, the check engine light went off, but I asked them to check, and got P1361 code.

I would like to know your suggestion on the next steps...thanks

- , Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #4

Jun 242008

Civic LX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,011 miles

I would like to thank Honda for convincing my parents to never buy a Honda again. My parentís í01 Civic LX recently died while on the highway in Houston. The dealership scanned OBDII codes P1361 and P0740. The service adviser told my parents the P1361 CMP SENSOR MALFUNCTION.

Dealer replaced the sensor, but also found that the ENGINE MOUNT was broken. They replaced that as well. Total labor and parts: $525.

The tranny failure was document is another problem. But I think the cause of engine failure was due to the camshaft sensor.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 142008

Civic DX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

While driving my kids to school, the engine started knocking in a high pitched sound. and then the "check engine light" flashed on. I took the car to the dealership the next day. The dealership stated the spark plug housing in the cylinder became too hot and broke. Then the spark plug itself vibrated so much it broke. The remaining piece of spark plug rattled around the engine and damaged the piston underneath the cylinder. My car only has 74,000 miles on it. I am the original owner. I bought a Honda for its reliability and now the car needs to have a new engine ! My car has been serviced regularly.

- , Davis, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 102007

(reported on)

Civic EX 1.7L VTEC

  • Manual transmission
  • 117,598 miles

How did it happen... I was driving up north (Michigan) was going good for 3.5 hours. Got 15 miles from my destination and the steepest hill I have ever driven up was upon me and my civic. Half way up my car starts to slow down and also starts knocking. (side note*** my exaust shield has been rattling quite a bit, but it has been pretty cold out. So I have been putting the repair off until warmer weather.) I thought the knocking was my exaust shield and was thinking... man that thing is going to fall off. I downshift to 4th and my car just keeps getting slower. I downshift to 3rd and it gets slower and the knock gets louder. I mute my stereo because at this point I know something must be wrong. Next thing I hear is a small poof and my tach goes to zero, dummy lights are looking like a christmas tree and I have a really bad feeling about all of this. I keep chanting please make it to the top of the hill, please make it to the top of the hill... It worked, I had enough momentum to make it to the top of the hill. At the very top I stopped without the use of brakes and pulled the emergency brake, got out and gazed upon my previously clean engine compartment. Oh, the oil... It was everywhere. The front of the engine was gleaming clean. The rear however looked like an Iraqi oil well. Not good.

Later on after getting the motor out, I noticed another hole in the front of the block behind one of the brackets to hold the alternator and ac onto the motor. It measured five inches long and three inches wide. The metal that the rod is made out of actually stretched and then broke. The piston is stuck at the top of the stroke and everything else was sitting in the bottom of the oil pan. I have been babying this car as I only live two miles from work. It gets driven four miles a day. I guess the trip was just to much for her.

But... This is a Honda and this should not have happened, at least not this early.

- , Flint, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 172006

(reported on)

Civic DX

  • 112,000 miles

A piston exited the engine just below the exhaust manifold, engine destroyed. Found a used engine from a 2002 civic and replaced it at my expense. Honda would not cover anything, car has been dealer maintained from day 1!

- , Brooklyn, NS, Canada

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