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 25 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #195

Aug 272008

Civic 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,313 miles


I am also one of the victim of Honda transmission failure. I was in middle of the intersection and car just died. It can not move. Everybody was screaming at me. I tried a lot but couldn't move my car. With the help of 2 person i just pulled my car aside. I towed the vehicle to a ready Honda and decided to research Honda transmission problems and came across this website to which I was very shocked that there were so many people having the same problems which ended in rebuilding or replacing the transmission.Service center is asking for $3600 without tax to rebuild thee transmission. It was a big surprise for me. i am in a bad situation "can't repair or sell". i can not afford a big expense. I did regular servicing for Honda Service center.still i find this problem. I really don't know what to do?

- , Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #194

Aug 222008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My experience is similar to everyone's on this website. We were driving on the freeway with the family in the car and suddenly the car dropped gears, would not accelerate and lost power. We were lucky to get off the freeway safely. We were told by the Honda Dealer that we had a transmission failure and the internal clutch failed. They said they had never heard of this type of problem and that it was probably only our car that has experienced it. Then they told us it would cost $3,300 to repair. They also suggested that Honda of America might help but they could not offer us any price break at this time.

- , Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #193

Aug 102008

Civic LX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I was driving one night and my car seemed to start shifting abruptly. The problem quickly got worse and worse. Then my check engine light came on. Shortly after it did, I had a hard time even getting the car to move when I put it into gear, either forward or reverse. Then it totally quit on me. You could put the shifter into gear, but the car wouldn't move. I walked several miles to a gas station to get some automatic transmission fluid to put in the car because I figured with only 53000 miles on the car and no prior warning of any problems it had to be something simple. I got a ride back to my car, put in the fluid, and still could get the car to do nothing. When I went home after I gave up and resolved that I would have to take it to a repair shop the next day, I Googled the problem that I had had to see if I might get a better idea of what I was facing. That's when I found out about the problems that the Civic was having with automatic transmissions.

The next day, I called my normal repair shop to ask if they did automatic transmission work. The service manager told me that they didn't do that kind of work, but asked about the problem. When I told him what happened and what make and model I owned, he told me to call Honda, because he had heard that they had extended the warranties on some cars and that they had had nothing but problems with those transmissions. I called my dealer and they told me they would check on it and call me back in a couple of hours(they didn't). When I called back they said that Honda had extended the warranty on some Accords but not on Civics. He did say that there was some chance that Honda might help but that I would have to have ALL the service records from the very beginning for them to even consider it. I told him that I wasn't the first owner but considering that the transmission wasn't scheduled to be serviced until 120000 miles and the other service records were irrelevant, I didn't see what difference it made whether I had the oil change records or not. He said that they would want them so I decided that Honda was a waste of time so I blew them off.

I took my car to a recommended shop and was once again told that Hondas tended to have transmission problems. The next day I got the news: $2400 to totally rebuild the transmission. The time wasted talking to Honda just meant another day of renting a car.

This was the first and last Honda I will own. My girlfriend owns a 2001 which up until now has been flawless, but under the circumstances she is looking at unloading it at the first hint of any trouble. When I get all my information together, I will try sending a letter to Honda's national office to see if maybe by some chance I could get some assistance paying for this, but particularly since I chose to go around their worthless dealership I don't anticipate any luck on this. When I am rejected, I have already looked online for lawyers that handle class action suits and I plan on contacting one. Once again even if a suit is possibly filed, I don't expect any great help with the heavy financial cost of this, but I would like to see Honda pay a price because there is no doubt in my mind they know and have known about this problem for some time. But they're too cheap and protective of their "quality" image to admit that they have made cars with a catastrophic defect.

- , Buda, TX, USA

problem #192

Aug 182008

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles


My car was running absolutely fine.. no problems what so ever! Then out of nowhere, i'm pulling onto the hwy and just like that, the transmission failed! No warning, No jerking, no sluggishness... NOTHING! Just died right then and there!! It's 11 o'clock at night and i'm about 20 miles from home and i THANK GOD my husband was with me or i would have been scared to death! We had to call a tow truck and he dropped our car off at a shop for us. I've had a mustang before and it's transmission went out but it at least gave me signs that it was dying. I actually was able to take it easy and drive on it for 3 weeks!! But i definitely did NOT expect this out of a Honda!!!!!! None of the gears work. The tranny is completely dead!! Reliable? I think not! Please, think twice before you buy a Honda! Really do your homework!! I will never buy one again!! Definitely not after reading all the same complaints on this site!!!

- , Flowery Branch, GA, USA

problem #191

Aug 112008

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Yesterday Morning the wife and I got into the Civic for probably the last time. On our way to work I noticed the tranny started kicking out of gear when shifting from 2nd to 3rd and I said it looks like I need to take it in for repairs soon. I got to work 15 miles later and forgot all about it. That car never made it home.

Over the last 3 months I've had to baby the car because every time I went to accelerate from a stop or low speed it would bang pretty hard if you didn't ease on the gas. I now believe since reading some complaints that the most likely cause has been the torque converter has failed. I'm going to have to spend the money I don't have to get this civic back on track!

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #190

Aug 092008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Unfortunately for me, I am another Honda Civic transmission victim. I was driving on a very busy double-landed road when my transmission failed. The car just slipped into a lower gear and the engine would rev when I pressed the gas. It just slowly came to a stop (despite the glaring horns and cars almost slamming into me). It would go forward or in reverse and I've been told that I need an entirely new transmission.

AND to add insult to injury, after learning that I was going to be out thousands of dollars to fix this, I learn that this is a very common Civic problem!!!?!?!?!?!?!? Their awful customer service department even confirmed that they are aware of the problem???!?!?!!!! I'm beyond furious!!! I can not believe Honda has not issued a recall??? I'm so lucky that it was daytime in a safe area and that no one rear-ended me when I was stopped in the lane of traffic I was in. I've read all the blogs on this topic and others have not been as "lucky" as me!

To think that I bought a Honda because of its safe reliable reputation... what a joke! This company has thousands and thousands of cars out there that they know are time bombs, waiting to die at any second, and they are not doing ANYTHING about it?!?!! What kind of "safe reliable" company would allow that? I'm disgusted with Honda and will never buy one again! I've had nothing but problems with my piece of junk!

- , Providence, RI, USA

problem #189

Jul 162008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Just like everyone else in this category, my transmission suddenly failed at about 120k miles. However, my experience with Honda was different, and so I'd like to offer some encouragement to others to try to work with their Honda service center as well as American Honda. My dealer, Hennessy Honda in Woodstock GA, quoted me $2,500 to replace my broken transmission with a rebuilt one. After I authorized the service (I also looked into just getting a new car, but it proved to be more financially sound to do the repairs instead), I asked my Service Manager, Kevin Etters, if they would work with me on the price, as both my husband and I have been loyal Honda customers (both for purchases and service) for years. In the end Kevin was able to knock about $400 off the price. I also called American Honda and asked if they could do anything to help with the costs, as this is a known problem for 2001 Civics and I should not have to replace the transmission at 120k. My case was assigned to Scott, who called me within about 4 business days and asked me to fax him my invoice from Hennessey Honda. Once he received it, he called me again and asked what they could do for me (I also explained to him that we are loyal to Honda and would like to keep it that way). I asked him if they could cover either the parts or labor, and without even giving him a specific price point, he authorized reimbursement for the labor, which was a little more than $600. So in total, we were able to save/recoup a little over $1,000 from the original quote, and the repairs ending up costing about $1,500. Well worth it, when now, with the transmission working again, my car's resale value is somewhere in the ballpark of $5k-$7k. I just wanted to share this information, since my experience has been different from most people posting to this website. It's definitely worth the call to American Honda, and try to work with your service center as well. Honda has kept me as a customer, and I'm glad, because the new CRV is totally cute.

- , Woodstock, GA, US

problem #188

Mar 022008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I bought this car thinking like everyone else it was the best deal, I was very wrong. The transmission started slipping in the morning around 8am and by 6 that evening, it went out. I was stranded with my 4 month old daughter, just started my new job that day, and was now in a financial rut without a car. Good luck to anyone who can get Honda to help them, it just doesn't happen. They acted like i was the first one to have this problem !! So as I'm typing this complaint, I can see my Honda out the window just sitting there in the driveway like it has been for about 4 months now, still making the car payment and fighting with Honda to get this resolved. I wouldn't wish this problem on anyone, it a financial burden and it's a big problem. HONDA -- YOU'VE FOR SURE LOST ANOTHER BUYER!!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!

- , Clinton, TN, USA

problem #187

Jul 262008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

i was driving this car on highway and it stop working at the speed of 45 mph,and it stop working and transmission fail .Honda have to recall this ,they know this is a manufacture defect i have to buy a new car i will never buy a Honda again they have lot of transmission problem ,they have to pay for this damage i don't know why nobody sue them . Honda sucks

- , Fallschurch, VA, USA

problem #186

Aug 032008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I am another victim of the 2001 Honda Civic faulty transmission. I own two of them. Same year. Same make. Driving along one day and the transmission just died on me. On the highway with my family in the car. Luckily we were able to get off to the side before anything bad happened. Honda is quoting me $2800 to fix. After reading everyones complaints, I can see that inaction on their part is pretty typical. I am going to see what kind of "consideration" they will give me and then probably have the car towed to another shop. I hear they can be fixed for about $1,000 less.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #185

Jul 312008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


I can't believe this. I bought this Honda in 2003, and have noticed the transmission slipping lately. All of a sudden today, it just failed. It goes very slow in reverse, but that is it. I would like to join in a class action lawsuit against Honda. I would never have thought this would happen on a Honda, such a good reputation vehicle, at 108,000 miles.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #184

Jul 142008

Civic EX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

So many of these cars have this problem yet there was no recall for the transmission nor did anyone inform us of this problem at the dealership which is Mat Burne Honda of Scranton PA.

- , Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #183

Jul 112008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Same problem everyone else has with their 2001 Civic transmission, no gears work. It went from working fine to not working at all in the span of 2 minutes with no prior indication of a problem.

I'll spare you from another sob story about how dangerous it was when it happened. I did manage to get in the right lane and roll off the crowded bridge over the Delaware River at rush hour in a not so nice part of town (Camden).

Honda will admit nothing and do nothing for me. If I had taken it to a Honda dealer then there's a very remote chance they may. I wasn't willing to take that chance since Honda doesn't fix transmissions they just replace them and it would have cost considerably more then going elsewhere.

I was told by the mechanic doing the repair that the torque converter disintegrated and trashed the rest of the transmission requiring a full rebuild.

Remind me to get a standard transmission in my next car (Hyundai)!!!!!!!!

- , Norristown, PA, USA

problem #182

Jul 112008

Civic LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Just like all the other cases reported here, the transmission on my 2001 Honda Civic just went out without warning. I do not want to waste time describing the details. Rather, I want to make suggestions on what to do about it. In my case, I have always written to newspapers' editors on current news items so I firmly believe that the pen is a mighty sword. The biggest regional newspaper in my area is called the San Jose Mercury News and they have a columnist named Mr. Roadshow. I am going to write to him about this and hopefully my letter will be printed and if enough people respond, maybe the Mercury will do some kind of investigative report on it. When I called Honda Corporate this morning to open up a case for claiming the repair costs ($2800), the tow charges ($76) and the rental car ($50/day), I made sure that they know I am working with the newspaper. I made a big deal about them taking down my contact information and I repeated every bit of information they gave me. I am going to do a journal on the whole ordeal and make my story into a case study for Mr. Roadshow. Other things I can think of doing is calling a radio station or a TV station. My local Channel 7 (ABC) has some consumer advocacy program called "7 On Your Side". Contacting the Consumers' Union may also help. But, one thing for sure, I will never buy another Honda. It will be Toyota and nothing else for me from now on.

Update from Jun 6, 2009: This is a (very belated) addendum to my posting on July 11, 2008 (#182)

San Jose Mercury News' columnist Mr. Road Show said he has not heard anything about the 2001 Honda Civic being especially prone to the problem (my thinking is that the average mileage for this problem to appear is 96K so it will become more obvious right about now, when more and more cars hit that mileage). He did forward my message to two other columnists (one on consumer complaint, another on technical auto issues) but neither of them chose to pursue the subject. I also called up some transmission shops locally to see if they noticed an abnormally large number of 2001 Honda Civic being brought in for transmission repair. Unfortunately, none of them noticed such.

In any case, I did file a claim with American Honda in Torrance and started a "file" with them. After some back-and-forth communications by phone and fax, mostly in proving to them my Honda was well maintained all along, they agreed to "share" the costs. They told me that: #1, the repair would be coded as "warranty", which will greatly reduce the total costs, and #2, Corporate Honda will share 50% of the reduced costs. I thought it was pretty fair so I said "thank you". However, when it came time to settle the bill, I was asked to pay $1376, a little more than half of the original quoted "non-warranty" repair!!! Since my son has been paying $55 for a rental car EVERY DAY since this whole incident started and it was already day 10, we decided to just paid the amount and picked up the car.

Afterward, I did call up American Honda again to ask why the "warranty repair" cost exactly the same as "non-warranty repair" but they said the pricing is up to the individual dealership and I should take it up with them. They promised to pay 50% and they did and that's that. I called the dealership about 6 times before I finally got to talk to someone live. They said the original quote they gave was actually for "warranty repair" and that "non-warranty repair" would be twice as much. That is not the way I remember it but since I could not prove my case, I had to let it go at that.

Also, my son said that for the first few weeks after it was fixed, it still felt very sluggish and made funny noises when the car was started and taken into first gear. Now that it has been 5 months, it is running OK.

All in all, it was just a very unpleasant situation. We paid for the tow truck, 10 days of rental car and 50% of the so-called warranty repair -- almost $2,000!

I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy another Honda.

- , Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #181

Jul 042008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,720 miles

I bought a 2001 Civic new and have paid the dealership for all recommended maintenance to ensure warranty coverage. The extended warranty ran out last year and of course the transmission failed on our first long trip with it. The "Check Engine" light flashed while climbing a hill and there was a loss of power. Pulled over at top of hill and all seemed ok. Engine temp was normal, no leaks, pings or knocks. Continued to cabin and took to the closest dealership the next day. They replaced spark plugs for $200 and said all ok. 10 minutes down the road the tranny failed while passing a motorhome in heavy traffic. Barely made it to the side of the road without a crash. No deal from Kamloops Honda but Honda Canada covered $1300 of the replacement cost. Still cost $3000 plus a week of car rental. But working now. Won't buy that CRV now. Also had an engine mount go a couple of months ago as well. What a lemon this is turning out to be.

- , Surrey, BC, Canada

problem #180

Aug 072003

Civic LX 1.7L L4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,894 miles

I heard a loud "ping" that signaled the beginning of the end of my tranny.

Took it to the Honda dealer in Woodstock, ON, who by the way are excellent. They replaced the transmission under warranty. I squeaked in as the Canadian warranty was 100,000km and I was 2,000 shy of it. It leaves me to ponder whether I would have said they were awesome if it happen 2,000km later.

It does make me fearful that it will happen again, and next time it will be my expense.

- , Woodstock, ON, Canada

problem #179

Jul 072008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I have a 2001 Civic EX with automatic transmission. The tranny suddenly failed on me the other day. I had it towed to the dealership. They had it for a whole day before they could tell me that the tranny had died. They explained that their policy doesn't allow for specific diagnosis or repair of the problem, just replacement of the entire transmission which would cost over $2500 plus I'd probably have to take it to get the alignment done afterwards. The maintenance schedule doesn't even show that the tranny needs to be serviced until 120k miles so it stands to reason it is expected to last past that mark at least. Not until I requested to report this to Honda did the dealer give me their information. I filed the case today and am awaiting their response.

- , Grover Beach, CA, USA

problem #178

Jun 262008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have a few things to complain about. . . . I bought a 2001 Honda Civic in 2006, so it was about 5 years old. I never had a problem with it until about 2 weeks ago. I noticed my transmission was slipping and then about 2-3 days later (on my birthday)the car just broke down. It would run, but it wouldn't go anywhere. I had it towed to a local transmission shop and ended up needing the torque converter replaced. I got it back about 3 days later on a Wednesday. The Friday after that (4th of July) I couldn't get the damn car out of park. I had it towed for the 2nd time back to the transmission shop. They fixed it and gave it back the next day and also told me that 2 of my motor mounts needed replacing. UUUuuggghhh!! About 20 minutes after leaving the shop I heard a loud noise under my hood. It sounded like I had busted my tire, then I heard a loud grinding noise. I thought 'GREAT. What else could go wrong?!' I called the transmission guy AGAIN and had it towed AGAIN (for the THIRD time in two weeks) and found out that my ball joint in the front passenger side had busted. UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!. I don't think I will ever own another CIVIC again. An Accord maybe. This whole experience has cost me well over $2,400.00. I thought these little cars were suppose to save you money. Not put you so far in the whole you can't see the light anymore.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #177

Jul 022008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

The transmission just stalled without warning. Luckily there was no accident happened.

I bought this car brand new in 2001 and changed transmission oil every 15,000 mile with Honda transmission oil. No leakage around transmission block. Honda never failed me before, and I think Honda should consider a recall to solve this misery problem. I will stay away from Honda until I heard something from the company how they deal with this problem.

- , Walnut, CA, USA

problem #176

Jun 242008

Civic ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Add me to the ranks of victims of Honda -- thought I was buying a reliable car and at 80,000 miles my transmission quit. Torque conversion failure. This is clearly a manufacturers defect and I'm left holding the bag. I followed advice I found here and called American Honda for a goodwill repair. When it quit moving in the middle of the road I lucked out to get it off to the side before I lost all momentum. I had AAA tow it to the dealer - didn't know what else to do-- and I haven't had the work done yet because I still don't know if Honda will give me any "goodwill." Of course my extended warranty has expired so I'm completely at their mercy. I did perform required maintenance but at an independent Honda repair shop so I don't know what kind of goodwill they'll extend. I've been calling around and the dealer is at least $1200 higher than an independent Honda shop for the repair.

I want to join a class action suit -- doesn't anyone out there know a lawyer who would file for us? This is clearly a safety issue; suddenly the engine started revving with no forward momentum -- and with absolutely NO WARNING!! What if I had been on a freeway at the time - or on a steep hill?? Are they waiting for people to get killed before they take this seriously?? SILLY ME, OF COURSE THEY ARE!! Stay away from the 2001 Honda Civic if you're shopping around for a reliable used car.

- , Topanga, CA, USA

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