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:
104,350 miles
Total Complaints:
679 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (259 reports)
  2. rebuilt whole transmission (153 reports)
  3. not sure (142 reports)
  4. get Honda to cover the cost (54 reports)
  5. buy a different car...can't afford the repair (24 reports)
  6. break down the transmission and fix (15 reports)
2001 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 2 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #659

Dec 242014

Civic DX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,254 miles


Honda 2001..171,000 kms or 103,000 miles and transmission gone. This happened when 600 km away from home. On time oil changes, transmission flush , and regular maintenance didn't save the transmission because it was freaking meant to fail at that mileage. Honda lost my trust completely. This is a Japanese manufacturer and people think American manufacturers are bad! They should have done a recall on it but never did. The car just came to a full stop and it was freaking in December. The solution was to change the whole transmission which would have costed $3000. Also, the heating vent on the passenger side was gone as well at a much lower mileage. I am not buying Honda again!

- Peter G., EDMONTON, AB, Canada

problem #658

Jun 012015

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

2001 Honda Civics are notorious for having bad transmissions and this one is no exception. I have been running a p0740 code for since 120,000 miles. So it was a matter of when it was going to go instead a matter of if. Luckily I was on a back road and was able to get to the side of the road after which I was in Tysons Corner with a lot of traffic. Honda should be embarrassed from this production and this many complaints. Estimated cost for the repair ranged from $1500-5000. The car is already beat up from 15 years of being on the road. Although it had a good run, transmission failure after 163,000 miles with regular changes is absolutely pathetic. Luckily I had a guy to give me $1000 for the car and I took it and ran. Too bad, it was a fun car to drive.

- Steven B., Reston, VA, US

problem #657

Apr 282015

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,300 miles

Adding another transmission failure to the list. Knew about this problem and this site several years ago and tried to be proactive in fluid changes (NOT flushes) to prevent trans failure. What good that did... I did 3 drain and fills over 50k miles and slipping started about 2 weeks before last drain and fill, which ultimately ended up killing the transmission. It seems 130K is longer than most get out of this trans, but still stressful and annoying. Good thing it didn't die on the beltway here in DC or I probably would have had bigger problems. Going to try and get Honda to subsidize the replacement but don't expect anything miraculous.

- Alex R., Wasington, DC, US

problem #656

Jan 052015

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


Although I've had my car since March of 2001, (I'm the original owner), I neither drive it very much nor very far and I'm probably the most conservative driver on the road (second only to my 85 year old mother)! Thus, and at less than 90,000 miles on a 15 year old car (which equates to approximately 737 miles a month/6,000 miles a year..... but more like less than 5,000 A YEAR for the last few years!), I simply couldn't fathom it's transmission going out already, and when I say going out, I MEAN IT WENT OUT IN A FLASH WITH NO WARNING WHATSOEVER! I was lucky enough to have been within a block of home so I was able to basically coast the rest of the way. Oh, and BTW, I've always kept the car well maintained!

So why is it that Honda is only extending the transmission warranty for some of their models and not this one? Is it perhaps because they're not so many of the other ones they'd have to extend the warranties for but there's a TON of 2001 Civics out there and it would simply cost them too much?

I'd like to know if there's anyone out there who could give me some advice as to how I could get Honda to repair, or better yet REPLACE MY TRANSMISSION? I'm on social security and most of that fixed income goes to over-priced medication that I can't live without (but that's a whole other complaint for a different website... LOL!)


Thank you and God bless you! Michele

- lotsocatslady, Orange, CA, US

problem #655

Feb 262015

Civic LX 1.7L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,039 miles

I am the original owner and did all the usual maintenance. Transmission failed. I'm completely disappointed by Honda. We also own a 2010 CRV and I'm thinking of getting rid of both cars and never buying a Honda again.

- Patrick L., Lawrenceville, NJ, US

problem #654

Feb 222015

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 206,000 miles

Loved this little car but didn't know the transmission was going to go out no warning nothing. Just a clunk and gone. Fluids and all where great, just decided to stop working one afternoon, grrrrr. Now that I have read all the complaints I wish I hadn't bought the car.

- Debbie M., Sugar Grove, VA, US

problem #653

Feb 212015

Civic EX 1.7L Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,174 miles


While driving at 35 mph on a local road, the car lost power (the engine was fine, but was no longer getting power to the wheels). I had to have the car towed to a nearby shop. They determined that the transmission needed to be completely replaced. Because the car was otherwise in great mechanical and cosmetic condition and had such low mileage on it, I decided to have a rebuilt transmission installed (sourced from Jasper Engines and Transmissions). The cost was quite high, but I was told it was only about $500 more than using a junk yard transmission that would only have a 90 day warranty.

As if my luck wasn't bad enough by having the transmission fail, 4 days and 72 miles after having the rebuilt transmission installed, the car was rear-ended at 30 MPH while stopped at a red traffic signal. The at-fault driver's insurance company declared the car a total loss and paid me less than the transmission cost.

- Mark F., Columbus, OH, US

problem #652

Jan 112015

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,333 miles

Not worth of fixing this old junk!

No Honda anymore.

- Wei Z., Randolph, NJ, US

problem #651

Nov 012014

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I am so upset to see so many people experiencing the same problem I have with my car. I love my Honda--I live in the country and it can stand up to the weather and the terrain. It has always been good to me without hardly any problems--until now.

Out of the blue, the transmission went. It just stopped working--no warning, no light, nothing. My husband looked into purchasing a new or refurbished one and we can't afford it. We looked into replacing it with another 2001 Honda Civic EX transmission but my transmission is Canadian-made. The other Honda's has an American transmission.

We don't want to fork out $600 for a car that needs more work than my car, but we're also wondering what the difference is between the two transmissions? If anyone knows, that would be great---problem solved. I haven't called the dealer I bought my Honda from because I doubt they will do anything about it. I bought it in 2005, and the warranty is up. It's just a shame we'll have to scrap a car that is great condition save the transmission.

- gm0987, Brogue, PA, US

problem #650

Dec 062014

Civic DX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,605 miles

While driving on the highway my vehicle abruptly stopped responding to the gas pedal. I was able to exit the highway, call a tow truck and be towed to an auto body local to where the incident occurred but 45 miles from my home. Upon review,they determined the car would need a new transmission, much to their surprise as, overall, the car was in "great condition". I've now found out this repair will total over $1800 for a car that I have maintained and as the auto body verified, kept in great shape.

- Kevin W., Cambridge, MA, US

problem #649

Nov 182014

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


I was driving on a bitter cold day, and soon after I left it did not seem to be shifting correctly and the RPMs were not responding appropriately. However, it soon "normalized", and I figured it was due to the cold, which had happened before. Not but a few miles into my drive, while driving up a hill in a school zone, my car suddenly stopped accelerating/moving. The engine revved as if it was in neutral, and I could not engage into any gear - not even reverse - so I was stuck on the middle of this hill. I turned on my 4-way flashers and had to coast backwards down a hill, with oncoming traffic, and maneuvered my car into exit of elementary school, while buses were trying to leave. Thank goodness there were no kids using the crosswalk.

There was no warning, no indication lights, no way to prepare for this scary event. On the coldest day ever recorded in history, I had to wait over an hour for it to be towed to my mechanic. He said the transmission had completely failed on me and it would cost $2500 for the transmission to be rebuilt. He also said that the timing belt, oil valve cover and water pump should be replaced too. Now looking at $3000+. He has access to the "best of the best" in transmission rebuild companies in the city, but in his opinion, was not worth the money to pour into this car and was time to "throw in the towel".

My parents were the ones who googled "Honda Civic 2001 transmission problems" and came across this site. The first line said it all about the problematic 2001 Honda Civic, notorious for defective transmissions, and apparently the most recalled car. I am the sole owner of this car, and purchased it after college with the hopes of having the reliable Honda stay with me for the long haul. I am in no position to get this thing fixed, and also in no financial position to get purchase a different car.

- Kristin B., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #648

Nov 152014

Civic EX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 245,000 miles

Transmission stopped engaging after we got off the highway. Like it was stuck in neutral or something. Had to let the car sit for 5 minutes on a busy street during rush hour. I guess letting the torque converter cool off helps it re-engage. We were able to use D2 but had to stay in 2nd gear at 30mph revving at about 5500 RPM, going uphill. After the hill, the transmission failed again, fortunately this was now off the main road. The transmission would not engage when we checked every 5 minutes, had to let the car sit for 15 minutes. We were only 3 blocks away from home but did not want to tow it home. Transmission re-engaged, took it home and just parked it.

Lucky for us, this was before we got snow. In fact, just the next day we got snow. The car still engages in gear but it has a hard time getting out of snow, like it's slipping pretty bad. Sometimes it takes a while to engage in gear even when in D4, had to give it some gas then it would engage. Will most likely have the transmission replaced. eBay sells JDM transmissions for under $700 shipped. Recommend getting a 2004-2005 transmission as those have less reports according to this website. Cost of labor, I will be paying a friend to install the transmission for $500.

We're pretty lucky that our 2001 transmission lasted until 245,000 miles as I'm seeing a lot of reports where they had much less miles on their transmissions. Most of our miles are highway miles, so that could be why. I will admit that we did not change the transmission fluid as often as we should had. We owned it from 166,000 miles up until now, and only changed it once at 200,000 miles. Lots of gunk came out.

- ancient, Saint Paul, MN, US

problem #647

Jul 072014

Civic ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I bought a Honda so it would last 150,000 miles plus, not for its extra ordinary good looks.:) It was fine for the first 8 years and then really has not been great and the transmission crapping out at 102k is really annoying - especially since there is really no good solution. I have replaced it with a used one as I don't want to spend a lot on this old car that only needs to last a year or two, but I will be so mad if it breaks again before that. People at Honda HO were useless and unpleasant and, unlike other companies, that all seem to now, they don't ask for customer service feedback. I have a Lexus that I drive most of the time, and an Audi, and have had a Ford for a long time - will never go back to Honda.

- Julia L., Montclair, NJ, US

problem #646

Jul 202014

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

My 2001 Honda Civic has only 66xxx miles on it. The transmission just quit on a major highway as I was driving to LAX to pick up my young granddaughters arriving from Tel Aviv. They were traveling as unaccompanied minors. I had to get a tow truck, rent a car and leave my Honda for a week at a shop more than two hours from my home. Really annoying.

I bought a Honda because I thought it was reliable. I won't make that mistake again.

- diana.margaret, San Luis Obispo, CA, US

problem #645

Nov 132013

Civic EX 1.17

  • Automatic transmission
  • 310,000 miles

Honda, I will not buy this make ever in life.-- If you do not stand behind your product then why would I ever trust you in the future. My transmission failed and you did not stand behind your product what a shame to your company. You should pay for damages that you know what problems the vehicles had at the very beginning and if not, then you know now

- Lee B., Bonxn, NY, US

problem #644

May 272014

Civic EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I used to be a fan of Honda. after seeing this problem, huge number of complain about exact same issue and poor response from Honda I lost faith in Honda.

Recently my car stopped moving after crossing green light, I towed it to Honda dealer where they mentioned that it's the transmission issue. This need to be replaced and will cost $4200. I am the original owner of this vehicle and maintain this vehicle very well. All servicing done on time. Every small dent on the car I used to get fix right away, besides all regular maintenance. I also spoke to goodwill Honda folks but they said that they cannot do anything since it's passed the 10 year time frame. I feel that they do not care about their customer. Their answer was straight that Honda recalls if there is any failure in part from Honda. If there is any problem with Civic than they would have recalled. At this point they cannot do anything.

With this problem and huge repair cost I am now thinking of buying new car, NOT the HONDA. After Goggling I found that there are a lot of folks mentioning about same transmission problem. With that, my confidence is going down further in Honda. Now I am not going to recommend Honda to any of my friends.

- msunil, Portland, OR, US

problem #643

May 242014

Civic LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

2001 Civic Coup, transmission - GONE, 138,000-ish miles. I am the car's second owner, I purchased it in 2007. I know for a fact it was well cared for by first owner. As the 2nd owner, I'm a very light driver -- meaning I put well under 10,000 miles a year on a car. I never take long trips, change the fluids and/or have them all checked at regular intervals appropriate for the car. On Saturday, the transmission started to slip and within hours, it went completely. This is a HONDA, and it's not supposed to happen. These are cars that should go for 200,000 miles, that's why I bought it!!! I changed timing chain at appropriate mileage -- I'd hoped to have this car for a long, long time -- and NOT have car payments. Really pissed that this has happened, and for no reason from what mechanic says. He's worked on this car since I had it day one, and again, I know where the previous owner bought and serviced it. Per mechanic, nothing was done wrong in the way the car was driven or maintained, by either me or previous owner. SO WHAT GIVES???? Not fixing a 2001 car for a cost of over $2,000 dollars.

- eksred, Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #642

Dec 282013

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 2001 Honda Civic's transmission died on December 28, 2013, at 120,000 miles. There was no warning. It died while driving; only the safe drivers around me avoided a car crash; I coasted to the side of the road and had it towed.

Honda has known of their dangerous 1999 through 2004 defective transmission problems, but was irresponsible by never notifying me. Honda's known defect with the front air bag (same years) didn't get recalled for ten years (this information is from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety who said "Air bags were activating with excessive force where metal fragments went shooting into passengers when the air bag deployed". Their Honda Customer Service 800.999.1009 is unavailable until after New Year's. Their recorded message says to ask for their "goodwill repair". It remains to be seen.

- Phyllis A., Loganville, GA, US

problem #641

Jan 222014

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

well i loved my civic but it died. not reliable at all

- Josh B., Elk Grove Ca, CA, US

problem #640

Jan 042014

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,500 miles

The main problem I have here is that my model of Civic is apparently ALREADY KNOWN to have this issue, yet no recall was ever issued, no help has been granted, and no one informed me it could happen. My car is 13 years old, but I got it new, and it has been lightly used: only a bit over 80,000 miles. I didn't expect to have transmission issues for years to come.

- jrlevy, Cambridge, MA, US

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