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 22 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #255

Jan 222009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


I had originally read about this problem nearly a year ago on CarComplaints. I guess I thought I would be lucky and avoid the problem, but no such luck. Early last week the car began to make an odd whining sound. A day later, the transmission started slipping. The next morning, the car would no longer shift out of first. I used to think Honda was a reliable company, but after this experience, I will never buy from them again, and will be sure that no member of my family does either!

Following the advice of other users, I called the Honda Customer Service center at 1-800-999-1009. I was assigned a case officer and told to get an estimate from a local dealer for the repair costs. Besides my personal complaint about the case officer himself who took several days before even getting a hold of me, I was told in the end that Honda would only cover a small portion of the repair ($700 putting the total repair cost at $2250). This seems ridiculous to me as well as a total PR disaster on Honda's part. With nearly 300 complaints, something is clearly wrong with the transmission and is not simply attributable to wear and tear. I really feel Honda should have stepped up to the plate and covered the entire cost of the repair considering this simple fact.

With that said, I am considering filing a class action lawsuit against Honda as was done in the state of California 2 years ago due to the same problem on other Honda models around 2000 and 2001. I am trying to get a feel if others will be supportive in this effort. Please e-mail me at if you feel you are in the same situation.

- , Albuqerque, NM, USA

problem #254

Jan 232009

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

I am a mechanic. After working on Honda's for several years, I decided to invest our money in our Honda Civic EX. This was our first real new car that my wife and I purchased together. I have maintained this car religiously. Every oil change has been done on time. All other maintenance including the automatic transmission service has been done on time. I had just done an oil change and inspection of the car the day before on Thursday. The very next day (yesterday/Friday the 23rd), my wife calls me frantically saying that our Civic just stopped accelerating while taking our 2 children to school. They were less than a mile from school so they had to run with backpacks and all the rest of the way to get there on time. I looked over the car and noticed that the transmission dipstick had popped out of the transmission and some of the fluid had leaked out. The fluid was not reddish orange like it should be. The fluid was a burnt black color. Suspicious, I got online and found this site along with others acknowledging the widespread problems with these transmissions. I called American Honda Cust Service and advised them that as a mechanic who has maintained the mechanicals of this vehicle to the very best standards, that I did not want to have to pay for a new transmission. I advised them that I could replace the transmission myself to avoid the expensive charges of the dealership, but that I wanted them to cover the cost of the transmission. I was advised that they will not deal with an outside mechanic and that they will only deal with a Honda Dealership service dept to fix the issue. The rep would not tell me what kind of compensation they could offer and that if I wanted anything at all, I would have to deal with the Dealer and a case manager would further contact me. At the mercy of Honda, I had to have the vehicle towed to the nearest Honda Dealer. I got a call today that confirmed what I already knew. TRANSMISSION FAILURE has occurred and it will cost me $2,895 to replace a transmission that has been properly maintained and only has 117k miles on it. Meanwhile, my wife is having to drive a rental car costing an additional $40/day, we were charged almost $100 for the tow truck, and the transmission won't be in for at least 3 days starting next week. HONDA NEEDS TO TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THIS WIDESPREAD PROBLEM! The exterior will be getting another complaint from us due to it's fragile nature.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #253

Jan 232009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I am 7 months pregnant and on my way home from work. I was at a stop light and when it turned green i pushed the gas and it just sat there! I was on a hill so my car started to coast down the hill as i tried to get over the assholes socal would not let me. The hill started to slope back up and i was stuck across two lanes! Not one person stopped to help me! I am 5'3" and 182lbs trust me you can tell i am pregnant. As i sit there and cried calling my husband uncle and brother people laughed and and honked at me to move! The only people that helped me were two junior boys waiting for the bus. My father in law is a retired mechanic so he knew right away that it was the transmission. My husband is unemployed and i am the only one working and paying the bills right now and we have an 18 month old son. This is our only car that we thought would last us a while. My husband bought it 5 years ago and not one problem! I am irate! I am going to get my car fixed free of charge because of the obvious history that these cars have!!

- , Palmdale, CA, US

problem #252

Nov 272008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,488 miles


During rush hour traffic in the evening, the car never run after I stopped in stop light on the left side hand lane of four with heavy traffic horn me behind. Car was towed after couple of calls. The Dealer gave me a diagnosis with 22 transmission gear box parts to be replaced and almost half of car value in service cost. After investigate in the Web I found several comments in AutoBeef, but decided to ask for a transmission specialist. The final diagnosis was that automatic clutch requires replacement of clutch fluid at every 30,000 Km - I don't know when it was replaced last time. The Civic models 2001 tru 2006 has small fluid filter cavities - so more failure. A Filter set was replaced and now is running fine. It cost me 1/5 of Dealer quote. I suggest to always try third party opinion. My car had no transmission gear problem even it appear to be, but it was on clutch which is attached to gear housing.

- , Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

problem #251

Jan 122009

Civic EX V2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,400 miles

The problem started when I had routine service and was told that the Timing belt should be replaced. I, being proactive, had it replaced, and it's been going down ever since. I got the timing belt replaced, and since then, the Check Engine light started staying on (new complaint)

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #250

Dec 212007

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I drive this car as a daily commuter and I never ride it rough. My dad blamed me for the transmission failing for using the cruise control so much. One day while driving home from school I just started jerking forward and I had to pull over. A cop saw me because I was blocking traffic. I was embarrassed and annoyed. I love everything else about the car, but not the $4k hole that it burnt in my wallet. I'm still a college kid and money is even tougher to get now.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #249

Jan 162009

Civic LX 1.7L 4 cyl Fi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


I echo the chorus calling for Honda to take responsibility for the transmission problem in this otherwise great vehicle

- , Elkin, NC, USA

problem #248

Dec 292008

Civic LX 4c

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

The reason why you buy a Honda is because of dependability, that's the reason why I bought mine anyway. When I purchased the used vehicle in July of 2007 the last thing I thought would be a problem would be the transmission. A little over a year later I was terribly wrong. I hope that Honda does the correct thing and make a call back on all transmissions for this vehicle. If they do not this will be the last Honda I ever own.

- , Spokane Valley, WA, USA

problem #247

Nov 132008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 127,800 miles

Like every one else, I expect reliability from HONDA. I got my car from a used dealer with 108,000 miles on the day of January April 1, 2008. I bought the car with a few minor suspension problems but the engine and transmission felt good as i test drove the car. My transmission failure came early one morning while driving to work. Prior to my transmission failing, my gears would sometimes slip outta 5th while riding on the highway. The slipping gear started for me approximately a month before the tranny failed. After exiting the highway, i shift down like all good drivers. As i pulled through the light, and eventually back into 5th gear, the gear slipped from 5th and the gear no longer worked. I could ride the first 4 gears yet 5th gear was gone. I had to ride home in 4th gear. (I had to take the streets home with a speed limit of 45-50mph. being that i put almost 20,000 miles in 7months, I thought the problem came from excessive driving but after finding this site I realized that I was not the only person with this issue. Other than the tranny pissing me off, i have been somewhat satisfied with my car only because I bought it with the intentions of breaking it car down and rebuilding it as a tuner. Its just a shame that I had to spend money to fix issues that should have never happened. $1200 could have done a lot for my car other than REBUILDING a freakin tranny.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #246

Jan 082009

Civic EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

We bought this car for our 17 year old daughter because "Hondas are the most dependable car that will run for hundreds of thousands of miles". Yeah, right! Anyway, sounds like we got the lemon year for Honda. This is an ongoing problem with this vehicle, 2001 year being the worst. Torque converter blows up and trashes the transmission! Of course we took it to the Honda dealer for a diagnosis, when it was still drivable and got the "Oh, sounds like the transmission needs replaced, that'll be about $4,000!!!!" Do you think they could have told us about the problem with the torque converter before it trashed the whole tranny? Oh NO! Anyway, luckily we have mechanics in the family and they are fixing it for about half the price. Isn't that lucky, only $2000. So if you own a 2001 Civic, dump it before it hits 120K miles.

- , Lebanon, IL, USA

problem #245

Jan 012009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


The transmission on this car gave up on me today, I had to tow it to the nearest auto shop and they diagnosed that I have a bad transmission, and will cost me $3000 to fix it. It only has 80K miles on it and is only 7 yrs old. I have filed a complaint with BetterBusinessBureau, and request everybody to do so that at least we can make a case....

here is the link--

Company Name: American Honda Motor Company Incorporated 1919 Torrance Blvd. 500-2N-7A Torrance, CA 90501

- , St Louis, MO, USA

problem #244

Jun 122008

Civic HX 1.7L

  • CVT transmission
  • 95,600 miles

I have experienced the same problem as many have you. I have a 2001 Honda Civic HX with 96500 miles at the time of the 1st incident (June 2008). My car was experiencing a jerky movement and I took it to the Honda dealership that was able to duplicate the problem. There was a bulletin on the Honda Recall website. They said the recall warranty was for 7 years/100k miles and since my car was outside of the warranty period, they performed all repairs �as a 100% goodwill per DPSM #25126.�

After the car broke down the 1st time, this is what they did ( condensed version): Clutch and burnishing procedures & start replacement OP CODE# 218511C

95217 Found fault codes P1873 CVT Pulley pressure valve, P1882 reverse inhibitor system, P1890 Shift control malfunctions present. Replaced transvalve body, filter, & programmed PCM/CVT with new updated software. Performed road test & operation of system is now normal.

On October 19,2008, my car broke down and I was unable to drive it home. I had AAA tow it to the dealership thinking it was related to the transmission problem. Here is there finding and repair work:

99082 Found #1 15amp fuse under dash blown. Fuse supplies power to the ignition coils. Found wiring for engine harness shorted. Performed engine harness wiring repair short to ground. Operation of system is now normal. No codes stored & no transmission issues are present.

On December 20th, 2009, my car broke down coming home from work. The �check engine� light came on and the illuminated green around the �D� started flashing. I immediately exited the freeway to a safe area and called AAA. AAA said this is the last tow for the year because I have exhausted the 4 free tows per year ( I used AAA for another car). I had the car towed to the dealership that night and left it in the early morning drop-off. The next morning, the service advisor called me and said the mechanic was able to duplicate the problem. This is his finding:

102099 Transmission INOP technician verified transmission concern on road test. Technician performed trouble shooting, found transmission required for replacement. At this point, the service manager had to contact Honda which took a which had to review my case and determine if they were going to �authorize� a remanufactured transmission. I week later and the service manager said HONDA OK�d the replacement.

Technician installed Honda reman transmission, performed four wheel alignment. All ok at this time. OK American Honda.

After the road test, the technician found a leak in the left axle seal. Technician installed L/F inner axle seal. Submit under defective parts warr.

That is my story and I felt compelled to inform other Honda owners. This car has been very good to me when it�s working. I keep all of the maintenance up to date and even change the oil every 5k miles. I get close to 41 miles per gallon on the highway and this is why it�s my commuter car because I drive close to 400 miles per week to work. When it�s not working, it�s a pain. I suggest everyone that has a problem with their Honda to contact the service department and request a �Goodwill� repair.

- , Tracy, CA, USA

problem #243

Jan 092009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,400 miles

I will never buy a HONDA again !!!

Just cant believe that so many 01 Civics has had this transmission failure.

- , Ballwin, MO, US

problem #242

Jan 062009

Civic LX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

Drove my son to school but couldn't get the car over 25 mph. On the way home it quit totally and I was stuck by the side of the road. The main reason I bought a brand new Honda was that they are supposedly very reliable...that was a joke. Now I am shopping for a new car since the cost of the transmission work is more than the car is worth.

- , Whitman, MA, USA

problem #241

Jan 062009

Civic LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Like other comments on this website, this failure came without warning. Honda America is not interested in assisting me specifically. Honda claims that the number of complaints has not reached a level that warrants a recall. I guess my question is, when does Honda decide it is a problem? I am sure the 200 + comments on this website are not representative of all the transmission failures for this model/year. As with other comments left, Honda has the ability to come out smelling like roses or smelling of something else. It appears they have chose the latter. This is the second honda I have purchased, the third I have owned, seven total in my immediate family. It is a shame that Honda would consider testing my/our loyalty.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #240

Jan 012009

Civic LX 1.7L L4 Pfi Sohc 16v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

Honda is supposed to be a reliable car maker.. They don't take responsibility for their transmission issues. I have had so many issues with this car ranging from Power door locks not working, to my power windows not working, all brake lights going out at once, brake issues, My gas mileage took a drastic fall without any reason about 2 weeks ago and I was baffled. I returned from a 12 day trip to Central America and my car was not driven until I returned.. my transmission has major issues with the cold, HATES 3rd gear and first, It seems to work better when warm. I LOVE my car but its problems at this point are really affecting my schedule, pocket book and job. I am thinking about just getting an American made car (that's how fed up I am)

While this car is fun to drive and comfortable I am ready to move on from Honda. and I am shocked that they wont take any part in the transmission issues.. My mother owns a 2000 Honda Odyssey and has gone through THREE yes 3 transmissions. They told us we are driving the cars wrong.. if only they saw this site and how many complaints they have.

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #239

Jan 012009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

While driving my 2001 Honda civic I stopped behind a can and when we started moving again I didn't. Just like that. Working one minute broken the next. Had it towed to a transmission shop and they said the torque converter failed which cause a blocked transmission filter and all sorts of damage to the inside of the transmission. So they are replacing the torque converter and putting all new parts in the transmission. I had no idea that this was an issue with the 2001 civic. I thought Hondas were good cars.

- , Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #238

Jan 032009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,450 miles

I had brought this car used in 2006, only 2 years of ownership, not to mention this was my first car. Until this point, I have always heard of Honda's being pretty good cars. Well I am now officially sure that this is not the case, I've had several cosmetic problems with this car, but this is the first mechanical. My freakin car just stopped moving in the middle of traffic. At first I thought it was my fault (no transmission fluid or something like that) but after having my boyfriend, and his friend (a mechanic) check it out, I know Honda is to blame!!! If anyone knows of any remedies to this problem (i.e. making honda pay for this defect) please let me know...thanks!

- , Denmark, SC, USA

problem #237

Dec 302008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Problem with the torque converter led to problem with the transmission--started out as a whine between 2500 and 3000 RPM when accelerating from idle. Probably shouldn't had it looked at then---waited a few weeks and completely destroyed the torque converter, which may or may not have damaged the transmission.

- , Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #236

Jan 032009

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

In 1996 I purchased my first Honda. Honda's have always been reliable for me up until now. I currently own a 2001 Honda Civic and it is MY FOURTH Honda. So far it has been the worst. Two days before Christmas I took it to have a realignment done for $49.99 but I had to have the entire steering system rebuilt. IT COST ME OVER $1100! Last Saturday I was on my way to my second job and my car would not go over 25 mph on the highway then it wouldn't move at all! I had enough momentum to pull off on the shoulder and have the vehicle towed home. I called the nearest transmission shop and they told me I needed a new transmission and should expect to pay over $2000!

Since 1996 I have been a loyal Honda owner but not anymore. Me and my fiance' are expecting in March and this car is making me poor. I guess Honda just doesn't build them like they used to.


- , Akron, OH, USA

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