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:
104,172 miles
Total Complaints:
675 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (257 reports)
  2. rebuilt whole transmission (153 reports)
  3. not sure (141 reports)
  4. get Honda to cover the cost (54 reports)
  5. buy a different car...can't afford the repair (23 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 20 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #295

Apr 212009

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


My 2001 Honda Civic LX never had a problem, never saw the shop. I changed the oil, and fluids, etc. Then, about 2 weeks ago, I started to hear a whistling noise from the front of the car. Nothing too crazy, just something "new". So I drove to pick up my girlfriend last night, and the car was driving fine. I got on the highway, and then noticed that 1st gear would slip. I knew something was wrong, so I pulled over. I tried moving it into a parking lot, and the car would shoot up to 6,000 RPM and without even going past 20 mph. Also, the car would not go in reverse unless you floored the pedal.

I know that there are full fluids in the car. I called a friend who does transmissions - and they quoted me a rebuilt for $1,685.

The car was good to me, but I'm going to get something new. NOT a Honda.

- , Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #294

Apr 172009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I have a 2001 Honda Civic EX Coupe with 80,000 miles, and the transmission quit engaging. I called the Honda 800 number, and was told that nothing could be done. I explained the only reason I bought the car was because it was a Honda. I also told them I will never buy another Honda. I can not believe there has not been a class action suit brought against Honda for the 2001 Honda Civic. Based upon the research I have gathered on the internet, I am not the only 2001 Honda Civic owner that has had a problem with the transmission.

- , Anderson, SC, USA

problem #293

Apr 172009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

Just wanted to add my voice to the noise. Just had complete dealer service including total transmission oil replacement including the torque converter oil. Then, the car dumped my daughter 400 miles from home in L.A. yesterday, with a dead transmission. I had no clue that there was such a massive problem! What’s really sick is that if it is mostly a torque converter failures, there is really nothing too mechanical about them. The only thing that can go wrong with them is if the materials used to make the propellers and transfer spline are substandard.

- , Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #292

Apr 142009

Civic LX Inline 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Only 73K miles on this one; bought it new. Did maintenance as scheduled (and only through Honda Dealers); it just had its regular maintenance done in February, and also had a timing belt replaced as per regular maintenance. And then this happens out of the blue (yesterday the car would respond very erratically, not speed up and and sometimes would speed up to 40 mph). Had it towed in to Honda Dealer (thanks AAAPlus) who informed me today that the transmission needs to be replaced (have been quoted the magic $3,000 to fix it). Have called in to American Honda to see if they will help out in any way. Aaargh!! did not need this in these economic times!

Ok, finally after getting in touch with American Honda a couple of times, got some positive response. AHC called up the dealer and said that they would be willing to pick up any charge over $1800 but below that would be our responsibility. Since the cost of the rebuild was quoted at 3000, this is decent (I know, a complete pick-up would have been fantastic, but still 1200 is better than nothing). So touchwood, things work out fine. The dealer has ordered the transmission and it is going in tomorrow.

- , Potomac, MD, USA

problem #291

Apr 112009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

I have 55000 miles on my 2001. I hardly drive it take immaculate care of it and always get it serviced when it states too, oil change, 10k 20k 30k 45k 50k mile service etc. The dealer stated it was "defective parts." This should be a class action law suit. I called the 1800 number to Honda and demanded they fix my transmission and cylinder head of my crankshaft. This shouldn't be happening to a car that is barely driven. I am livid.

Honda stated they would only charge me 289$ to repair transmission as they value me as a customer and since I was so diligent with its upkeep. I still have to pay for all the sensors-crank shaft, maintenance, timing belt, 60,000 service, so the total bill is 1,960 but overall I think that's better than 3k for new transmission or 1900 to rebuild plus all of that. So I believe they saved me 2k. So go Honda.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #290

Apr 102009

Civic EX 1.7L V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,400 miles

I bought my 2001 Honda Civic Ex brand new off the Honda lot. I did this because I am a single mother of 4 and needed to have a reliable car that would last a long time. Recently I began to have problems with overheating and took to a mechanic to have repaired. He said that I had a blown headgasket and also needed a new radiator. Repairs cost me $1600.00. Also replaced the catalytic converter after the first mechanic said if overheating problem continued I may need to replace it also. More $$$ 427.00. Drove the car away and after about 40 miles the same thing was happening so I took it back to the first mechanic and he said there was nothing more

he could do for my car. He would not refund my money and would not fix my car either. I then took it to the Honda dealership and the mechanic there said everything looked fine except that he thought the transmission might need to be replaced soon. Being a single mom of 4 and not made of $$$$$$!!!!!, having just been stiffed for work that probably didn't need to be done in the first place this was definitely not good news. Drove the car a few more miles before the transmission was GONE TOTALLY!!! I too bought my Honda for the reliability that I assumed was great. Boy am I disappointed in Honda and also feel that Honda should stand behind their product and replace transmissions for all. I am definitely for a RECALL and wish I had the money to start a class action lawsuit. Looking for a dependable car now, probably a TOYOTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Chester, CA, USA

problem #289

Mar 282009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles


Just like everyone else, I didn't see this coming at all. Honda's are usually great cars but I will rethink my next purchase. My car just sits now. Hopefully Honda will issue a recall or at least own up to the issue with the transmission. I've done my part in keeping up on the car.

- , Taylorsville, UT, USA

problem #288

Apr 072009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Just adding to the list of others complaining about a busted torque converter. Noticed a whining noise for a month or two, but no mechanic could figure it out. Then one day it starts revving high (4500+) and having trouble shifting between 2nd and 3rd. That afternoon on the way to the shop it dies on the street 200 ft. from the shop. Got the call next day that the torque converter and clutch have failed sending metal fragments into the transmission. Total cost 2330 +tax. Was going to buy a new/newer Honda in the fall, but now will look elsewhere.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #287

Apr 042009

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

I am a poor college student driving delivering pizzas at night in a $600 car. My wife drives the Civic, and as of recent it was a reliable vehicle. Without notice, shimmy, noise, slipping, jerking or any other traditional transmission problems, the transmission stopped working. It will go in and out of park, but it is as if the car is in neutral in all drive gears and in reverse.

I can't afford to have it rebuilt, let alone have Honda's $3K transmission installed. Based on my research it is a well known problem; between 4 websites there are over 1,200 EXACT same issue reported. I wish Honda would recall the darn transmission, or else I need to learn how to rebuild it myself.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #286

Apr 052009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I was googling Honda transmission problems and came across this site. I am the UN-proud owner of a 2001 Honda Civic with only 55,000 miles. I am disgusted with the poor service and run-around I have been getting from Honda. 55,000 miles!!! Is there no hope? It is going to cost me about $2,800 to fix.

- , Staunton, VA, USA

problem #285

Mar 072009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


My Honda started making a high pitch sound that was not very loud a few months ago. I took it to the dealer and they told me they hurd nothing. This is not the first time I took it to the dealer and they didn't know what they were talking about. So I just let it go. Then last week I was driving to work and the car starts to shutter and not accelerate. I pulled over, the car would only go 20m/hr. I then had my car towed to a different Honda dealer and there only option was for me to get a new transmission for $3,000. I then towed it to Aamco and they stated they high pitch noise I had been hearing was from the transmission and that they would have to rebuild it for $2100. This is bull that the 2001 Civic models have known transmission problems and Honda is not giving discounts for the repairs. People buy Honda because they though they were build to last. I had a 1989 Civic for 15yrs that had less problems then my 2001.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #284

Oct 022008

Civic EX 1.7L V Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,500 miles

Hey everyone, I have the rebuild procedure for any do it yourself-ers. It's not going into space...anyone can do this. It is only put together with nuts and bolts. (just a lot of them) Anyone with some mechanical knowledge, a garage and a tool collection should take a look at what I have before spending a lot of money. I rebuilt mine for about $450. I am willing to help you through this process. It will not take forever. It can be done in a weekend once you have your parts, and specialty tools which I can show you how to make ( simple ).

My email is Hope that I can help you out. By the way, my car has run great for about 6 moths now after total transmission failure.

- , Reno, NV, US

problem #283

Mar 232009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I called Honda Customer Service at 1-800-999-1009 to tell them that our transmission went out (we have about 70,000 miles on the car) without much warning. The customer service agent seemed trained to give the standard "We have not received a recall notice on this", "I have no information on any other complaints", "As you know, anyone can write anything on the internet".

UGGGGGGGGGG!!! I was very disappointed. He told me my option was to take it to a dealer and have them relay the info to Honda, but that there would be no guarantees. So we'll have to find money to get this problem fixed. I'd like to encourage EVERYONE who has had a transmission problem with their 2001 Honda Civics to call and register a formal complaint.

- , Walnut, CA, USA

problem #282

Jan 192009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I am the original owner of an '01 Honda Civic EX. It's got 87k and has had all of the recommended regular maintenance. One morning I was driving to the office and felt some slipping between gears. I waited until that evening, told my husband, and we took the car to run an errand so that I could how my husband what the car was doing. It died on that drive. ONE day the car acted up before dying. No engine lights, nothing. I have called Honda and filed complaints, they have nothing to say or do on this matter. I was considering a new Element this fall, but it looks like I WON'T be purchasing another Honda.

- , Greenville, NC, USA

problem #281

Jun 122008

Civic HX 1.7L

  • CVT transmission
  • 96,500 miles

In June of 2008, both of my headlights would not come on. I figured they were both burned out, so I went to Kragen Auto to get replacement bulbs. After changing them and thinking the problem was fixed, I tried turning them on. They would not come on. I took my 2001 Honda to my certified auto mechanic (C&J Foreign Auto Repair) who only works on Acura's and Honda's. He pulled up some recall info regarding the headlights and recommended that I go to the Honda dealership which is in town and only 5 minutes away. After arriving at the dealership, I explained the problem and they were able to find the recall on the Honda recall website. As I was looking on the recall info for 2001 Honda Civic's, I saw one that discussed the transmission and the jerking of the car. I explained to the service advisor that my car was experiencing that some jerky movement when accelerating. Their mechanic test drove the car and was able to duplicate the problem. They said my car was covered under the 7year/100k mile warranty and they would fix the problems.

I picked up my car the next day and the service advisor said the recall problems were fixed. The next morning I drove to work and at 65 miles per hour noticed the jerky movement of the car still existed. When I made it to work, I called the dealership and spoke to the service advisor that assisted me previously. He said to bring the car in the next day and they would take a look at it. On my way home I was headed east bound on the San Mateo Bridge and noticed the "check engine" light came on and the green led started flashing around the "D" (drive) on the dashboard. Shortly after that, I noticed that when I was accelerating, the RPM's were going extremely high and my car was not moving. Luckily, I was able to get off at the next exit. I was not able to drive home and called AAA to tow my car to the dealership for servicing the next day.

The mechanic was able to duplicate my problem. I am going to list everything they did according to the invoice.

CAUSE: Found fault codes P1873 CVT pulley pressure control valve, P1882 reverse inhibitor system, P1890 Sheft control malfunctions present.

99 Add start clutch burnishing procedures & starts clutch replacement OP CODE#218511C 1 27000-PLY-020 VALVE BODY ASSY 3 22771-PW4-000 PIPE (50) 1 25420-PLY-003 STRAINER ASSY (ATF) 1 21814-P4V-000 GASKET, OIL PAN 4 08200-9006 FLUID (CVT-1) 1 90471-PX4-000 WASHER, DRAIN (18mm)

- , Tracy, CA, USA

problem #280

Feb 102009

Civic LX !.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,816 miles

My wife and I helped our daughter purchase a Honda for many of the same reasons as other who post here. Thinking this was a wise choice. On the 10th of February the transmission failed completely, by shear luck she was returning from downtown with mere yards to her destination. I towed the car home and made a couple of calls to the local repair shop. They offered "free towing" with repair. I let them tow the car into the shop for diagnosis. I received a phone call from the repair shop stating that the torque converter had failed and the debris from the converter went into the filter and and valve body. For a the handsome sum of $2,700 dollars plus tax the repairs could be carried out. I called my wife at work to deliver the news. She like I could not even digest this information much less approve it. I drove to the shop where the car was and asked to see the estimate for repairs. The converter alone was $380. dollars for a rebuilt not new of course. Other internal parts totaled more than $500 dollars. Fluid was $ 160 dollars it was not even Honda brand fluid. They even had a charge for flushing the oil cooler. I felt like I was being charged "La carte" for everything. I made some calls to other shops and found out much needed info on Honda transmissions and what some shops will try. I have been a mechanic since 1977 and the only reason we chose to let a shop do the work instead of me doing the work was the time frame. After a near physical fight with the repair shop I convinced them to reassemble and install the transmission back into the automobile as I had other plans which did not include allowing them to rebuild the transmission.

Honda has designed this transmission so that the only way to change the filter as by removing the transmission from the car and opening the case. They claim that you only need to change the fluid per the owners manual of course by the Honda dealer and that the filter only needs to be replaced only during an overhaul and based on what I'm reading in the complaints appears to be regular. Throughout my career I have received training and word of mouth by the old timers that a transmission, engine or anything that uses a filter to remove dirt and unwanted particles from oil or fluid that can not be changed when the oil is changed is just wrong. Pumping new oil through a dirty filter just does nothing good. As for the converter I have no information as to why they fail. My guess is that Friday was the deadline for the converter design which the last day of work before a holiday weekend.. It is truly sad to see Honda not own up to the issue and make it right with the consumer. I wonder what else they are getting away with?

At this point we decided to purchase a used transmission and converter with a warranty for $1000.00 dollars and the fliud from a Honda dealer was only $72.00 plus tax and I would remove and replace the transmission my self. the whole job took about 8 hours to carryout the work which included flushing the oil cooler. Be in mind that I did not have a nice garage or lift to do this work. I did this work outside and used a sheet of plywood to work on. . By the way, when I removed the transmission I realized that the transmission has been out before, I wonder what number that one was. Honda does offer a factory reman transmission for about $2000.00 dollars and if you purchase Honda fluid they will offer a 3 year warranty add about 6 hours labor @ $100.00 dollars per hour plus shop fees and tax and pesto $2700.00 the magic number appears.

Well to sum up everything it appears that the 2001 civic was a bad purchase and the in the future Honda will not be on the list of autos to look at. Additionally I will being doing more research before we choose a repair shop for something like a transmission repair.

This has been a painful lesson about autos and repair shops we will not forget. I truly hope other people find this information and it helps them make a better choice in brand of auto to purchase and to ask questions when dealing with repair shop.

- , St Cloud, FL, USA

problem #279

Feb 132009

Civic LX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Transmission starting slipping really bad from 2nd to 3rd gear about a week ago. Had planned to take it to transmission shop to get everything checked out. Before I could, transmission wouldn't engage and light came on. Would not even go into reverse to back into driveway; had to be pushed. I'm very disappointed in Honda. Thank goodness I have a Honda Tech friend to get me a good deal. This car is definitely being put up for sale as soon as it is fixed. Toyota seems to be the way to go.

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #278

Feb 082009

Civic LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

My Honda Civic only had 72,000 miles & the transmission went. I spoke with Honda headquarters & they said there was nothing they could do. Also when I spoke with Honda they were not aware of any issues with the transmission. I did mention all the complaints reported on this website. The Honda dealer wanted $2500 to fix it. I always maintained the car & I had just spent $1100 on new timing belt, battery, transmission fluid change, etc. I have always had good luck with Honda, but I feel they are not recognizing this problem so I decided to buy a new Toyota.

- , Ocala, FL, US

problem #277

Feb 182009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,800 miles

So today I was heading out to pick my sister up from school since she got sick, and the transmission in my 01 Civic just died on me. I have been noticing that it was having trouble shifting the past couple days and if it still did it today then I would look into repairs. Well when I went to back it out of the garage it took about 10 seconds of revving to get any reverse motion. I was able to get some pretty good speed after a lot of revving to drive through my neighborhood. Once I got to where my neighborhood exits out onto a 50 MPH road, I sat at the stop sign and my car never moved from there, even after several minutes of revving both in drive and in reverse to try to back up to my house and use another car. So I ended up having to run back to my house in the snow and use our good ol' '96 Windstar. Luckily my aunt has AAA so she was able to get my car towed to the local dealership for free and I'm in the process of seeing if I can get a goodwill transmission put in. This would really help because my family just payed $3,500 to replace the transmission in my mom's 2000 Acura TL (another Honda transmission.)

- , Middletown, MD, USA

problem #276

Feb 142009

Civic EX 1.7L Vtech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,900 miles

Last Saturday my engine light came so I took the car to the dealer that I bought the car from the diagnostic code came transmission failure after 84900 miles the dealer told me to call Honda customer service I did and they told they can't help because my warranty had just expired the cost of repair would be $3968. I bought a Honda for reliability and this happens I just paid this car off. I will never buy a Honda again.

- , West Warwick, RI, USA

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