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 30 of 34)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #95

Dec 192007

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Purchased 2001 Honda Civic from my brother, having heard such great things about these cars lasting forever. I was in complete shock last week when the transmission blew and was told that I'd need to have the whole thing replaced. I'll now be sinking a couple of thousand dollars into a car with a value of only a few times this amount. I plan on calling Honda and pointing out the significant number of complaints on this site. I noticed that this problem sticks out for the 2001 model and not other years. I want a recall and for Honda to pay for the new transmission!!!! Please continue to post similar experiences you might have had.

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #94

Dec 242007

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I don't normally post things like this in forums, but after reading about all of the 2001 Civic problems with transmission failure, I felt I had no choice. The automatic transmission failed completely at 95,000 miles and I had to be towed on Christmas eve. Not a pleasant experience! I was left stranded on an up hill, windy road and could not go forward in any gear. I was originally thinking that I may have caused the problem by not having a regular maintenance done on the transmission but after reading MANY complaints like mine, I realized that I could have done nothing to prevent this transmission failure. I plan on having a new transmission put in to the tune of $3100! and the sell the car. Honda should be ashamed for making a product like this. I really hope that a class action suit develops from all of this information.

- , Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #93

Dec 272007

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,400 miles

I've glanced over the other 102 "transmission failure" reports from the last 3 months on this site and found that my transmission failure complaint really is no different.

I bought my 01 Civic LX in '04 with about 34K miles, and now I'm up to 87K. I usually bike to work so the car itself does not get heavy use, and I service the vehicle regularly (the EZ Lube guy even commented how good everything looked under the hood the last time I had the oil changed).

However, just a couple of days ago, I began to feel the gear shift jerk going about 20 mph. When I started climbing a hill, the transmission made a loud, high-pitched whirring sound. Suddenly the car started rolling backwards while I was giving it gas. Fortunately, I was able to turn off the car and back it onto the side of the road without causing any accidents.

The local Honda dealer informed me later that day that the transmission had failed and needed to be replaced. He also informed me that my warranty, which would have covered it completely, had reached its 7-year limit 5 weeks ago. Therefore, it was gonna cost me about $3000.

I considered myself a very happy Honda customer and I looked forward to buying Hondas the rest of my life. But like many people who posted here, I am totally bummed that this particular model, noted for its reliability, has a transmission that dies before it even reaches 100K miles. It also broke my heart to learn from this very site that the '01 Civic has received the 3rd most complaints (just a little better than the Ford Explorer? Really? It's THAT BAD??).

Well, my worldview on car reliability is starting to shift. I am still waiting to hear on whether the dealer's district manager will allow some sort of "customer assistance" (whatever that means) with having my transmission repaired. I am hopeful that my '01 Civic story, along with the other hundred '01 Civic stories on alone, is enough to convince them that the fault is Honda's. But if Honda does not take responsibility for their oversight and stoops so low to actually make me pay if I want it fixed, they won't get another penny from me.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #92

Dec 042007

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I am a physician at a busy metropolitan hospital. I was on my way to the Hospital at 5:45am on a three lane interstate going about 65 miles/hr in the left lane. Without any forewarning my transmission failed. I was fortunate enough to be able to get close to the shoulder. However, this created a major safety hazard, with cars zipping by me at 60-80 mi/hr. Needless to say, I was unable to be at my work on time, I was stranded in 30 degree weather on an interstate with half of my car sticking out of the shoulder, and it took about 3 hours for me to be able to get the car towed and to get to my work. Thank god for the State Police and AAA. It's taken about one week to get the car fixed, which is a major source of trouble for me given my unusual work hours. The entire transmission had to be repaired for a total cost of $2400. My car drives about 15 mi/day in highway conditions, sits in the garage about 50% of the time, has only about 65000 miles on it and is very well maintained. I think this a horrible manufacturing problem that Honda needs to address and compensate people who've suffered from it. I've missed a substantial amount of work hours, I was exposed to very unsafe driving conditions and I've had to pay a relatively large sum of money to fix a car that I purchased because of its established reputation of reliability up to, at least, 150000 miles.

- , Narberth, PA, USA

problem #91

Dec 042007

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The automatic transmission on my 2001 Honda Civic LX unexpectedly failed on me, leaving me stranded in the middle of an intersection. Fortunately, my car insurance was willing to pay to have my car towed to the local Honda dealer for service. The service dept said that my transmission had "burned out" and needed to be replaced, totaling about $2700. I asked what would have caused the transmission to fail like this, and she said "normal wear." Given that I have always been good about keeping up with my service check-ups and performing the necessary maintenance, I was appalled that this happened to my 6-year-old (82,000 mile) car, especially since the name Honda is usually synonymous with reliability. (I would have expected this from, say, Kia)

After doing some internet research, I saw the complaints listed in this forum, and I also found the Honda Service Bulletin that referred to my problem (Service Bulletin 04-036). I called Honda headquarters (800-999-1009) to complain about my problem and pointed out, among other things, the service bulletin pointing out Honda's recognition of my problem, my maintenance record, and the fact that my family has usually been very satisfied w/ Honda until now. The case manager and Honda service manager eventually called back and said that they were able to bring the price of the repair/replacement down to $1000 (the amount that I had to authorize so that Honda would begin repair on my car anyway). Still a bit more than I would have liked to pay, but a decent discount anyway.

To people who want to lodge a complaint with Honda to get them to bring down the repair price, keep the following in mind:

- Honda is more willing to give you a discount if they can verify that you have kept up with the recommended maintenance check-ups. At the very least, be able to supply them with the names and addresses (at least zip code) of the dealerships you have had your car serviced at.

- A service person let it slip that you have more leverage over Honda if you have either not yet gotten the repair done, or you have not yet paid for the repair. Repair on my car was actually completed the day before I spoke with the Honda headquarters case manager, but I had the dealership keep the car for one additional day (no charge), so that I did not have to pay for the full repair, and I could keep this leverage when I was finally able to speak with the case manager.

- It probably didn't hurt that I told the manager that my family has been loyal Honda owners (which it has), but this recent event had shaken our faith in the Honda name.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #90

Nov 282007

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,641 miles

I am the second owner of a 2001 Honda Civic EX, having purchased it from the original owner 2 years ago. Upon purchase of the vehicle, I immediately had it serviced, including changing the fluids, including the transmission fluid. Subsequent to this, I had my transmission fluid changed again when having my timing belt replaced, two changes in transmission fluid in less than 20,000 miles driven, but it's cheap and easy enough to do. So, it was a complete shock to have entered my vehicle one morning a couple weeks ago to discover that there was virtually no power when I shifted into gear, any of them. I limped it into a nearby Honda specialty repair shop who examined it and explained I'd need a new transmission at $3,200!!! I shopped around and found a nearby private transmission repair shop that was able to do it for $1,996 in full. The owner of this popular transmission shop here in San Francisco explained that this is a problem he is seeing a lot of lately with this year and make of Honda, something he attributes to an adhesive failure involving the torque converter which then causes it to grind down and fail. Well, I looked online to see if I was alone with this experience and found this Website, and the reality that I'm not alone here! So, I decided to contact Honda, received a claim number and faxed them my receipt of the repair and my canceled check for the repair, and just got off the phone with one of the most condescending SOBs I've ever spoken with who's representing a company that is clearly in the wrong here. He told me that he reviewed my claim and stated that Honda was not in a position to reimburse me, even partially for the cost of this repair!! I explained to him ad nauseum the hardship this is causing me, that I am a loyal Honda owner with this being my 4th Honda owned, that a failure of this type should not be happening to a vehicle with less than 100,000 miles, and that others on this Website are also complaining of the same problem, meaning that this in no way represents a unique problem. All I could get is his continual platitudes of, "I'm sorry you feel that way." Well, I'm sorry for ever having purchased a Honda and will now be sure to tell everyone I know to not bother as well which will cost Honda far more than the comparatively small amount I was requesting as just compensation. This company no longer represents the quality of workmanship it once did, and perhaps instead of gripping here, we need to consider possibly looking into filing a class action lawsuit!

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #89

Dec 072007

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


My daughter was driving on a 4 lane interstate hwy during Friday night rush hour. Without any warning whatsoever, the car stopped accelerating and the tachometer went wild. Fortunately she managed to get to the shoulder safely. But if anyone knows Atlanta traffic, (average speed on this road during this time is 70MPH), she is fortunate to be safe and not part of a multi-car accident. She is 18YO.

I purposely bought her a Honda for reliability and safety. She drives 100 miles 1 way to school several times a semester. The car has 70K mi and we bought it with 63K. We have service records showing we have properly maintained the car.

In looking at the complaints already registered, our experience is in no way unique. I contacted a Honda dealer and he told me the silent recall involved only the Odyssey and Accord. Well it is about time to add the Civic to the list.

I am writing a letter to head of Customer Service at Honda to explain my situation, and I expect them to make good on some or all of the $2,900 it will cost for a re manufactured transmission.

I am a single mom and will not/cannot afford to spend 1/3 of the purchase price to repair this vehicle. It just is not right. I will not let this drop until I receive appropriate compensation from this company.

I think it is ironic that because Honda has such high marks for reliability, all the reports of transmission failure stand out like a sore thumb. Who would expect a Honda to have such a serious defect and safety issue?


- , Marietta, GA, USA

problem #88

Nov 282007

Civic EX Vtec 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

transmission started slipping and finally would not go at in touch with honda and at first said we had a 50/50 shot at getting it fixed. when car got to honda they said it was not an accord and me and my wife both told the dealership that it was an ex before the car got towed over there. so wife got in touch with them again and said they would give us a rebuilt trans and all we would pay would be $895.00. but not happy - think we should have a new one and not a rebuilt. we are calling back today to see what they say.

- , Bessemer, AL, USA

problem #87

May 292007

(reported on)

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

My car is only six years old and now I need to pay for a overhaul on a transmission and some sort of converter-and other electrical parts. I think Honda should be responsible for this cost-they knew that once the vehicle went over 70k miles this would be an issue.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #86

Jun 042007

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

hi everyone, posted a transmission problem back a couple of months ago. (post #67).Had transmission problem with my 2001 civic ex. Finally fix it. The failure was a 2cent rubber o ring on the main shaft. this o ring holds the hydraulic pressure throughout the whole trany along with 25 other o rings. The part failed because a little chunk got cut off of it. Looks like something sharp cut it. Im guessing that a small piece of aluminum slag cut it. Its when they cast the aluminum casing,and they dont clean off all the slags off the inside of the casing. I also installed an inline filter on the transmission line so it filters the ones that i miss. All the components inside the trans were all ok including the fluid but i replaced all the rubber seals and o rings along with the clutches.(yes,they have little clutches inside them). Total cost-$125.00 And yes , it was a pain in the ASS!!! I recommend putting in the inline filter on ALL automatic trans. and not just this one. Hope this helps!

HONDA--(made in japan only)(sorry!!)

- , Howell, NJ, USA

problem #85

Nov 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles


I will never buy Honda again.

Replaced the alternator twice and now my transmission!?!?! COME ONE!

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #84

Nov 192007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,876 miles

My son called me early Monday morning to report that his 2001 Honda Civic was stuck in traffic and wouldn't move. Problem: transmission. In order to get it home he had to turn it off, start it again and creep home at under 20 mph.

After a diagnostic we were told the transmission had to be REBUILT at a cost of $2500! Or we could get a used transmission (from a yard) with a one year warranty for $1900.00 (plus the cost of Honda automatic transmission fluid which we are told ISN'T cheap). On a car with only 67,876 miles??

We though we had a "lemon" until I looked online to find all of these complaints. I'm planning on going to Honda to try to get some coverage on the cost of this repair or replacement (we haven't quite decided which). If they don't I'm spreading the word.

Either way, we're getting rid of this car and will NEVER buy another Honda.

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #83

Nov 152007

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles

Along with a few other minor issues with this cars interior and fuel latch door the electronic lock buttons, the trim on one side of the car just peeled off all under 5 years and now this issue with the transmission. the car runs great, but now the transmission is shot it is only 6 years old!!! I never had a car where it died due to a transmission failure at age 6! what are they doing these days with the manufacturing of vehicles?

they aren't built to last anymore, they are costly to keep on the road along with not to forget the cost of gas to run them. they cost a fortune to purchase and they fall apart before age 10.

Used to buy a car for a 1/3 of the cost of a home and it would last 10 to 30 years with out too much trouble at least eth transmissions lasted 10 years or better. I am disabled and I was not counting on having a major repair as this until at least ten years I have no income to get a new car or fix this mess.. I was hoping I would be able to drive this for another 4 years. OUCH! anyone have any suggestions please email me or reply to this post!

- , Berwick, PA, USA

problem #82

Nov 042007

(reported on)

Civic LX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Stop & go traffic on the I80 in NJ, when its time to go again my 79k mile 2001 Civic revved up but would not pick up speed. I used the last bit of momentum it had to pull over to the shoulder. I got the car towed to an Aamco station for $100. A read of the computer and an external diagnostic of the transmission yielded no signs of a problem except for burned transmission fluid. They took the transmission apart and discovered that the torque converter was burning the transmission fluid which in turn ruined the transmission. I ended up having to pay $2828 to have the torque converter replaced and the transmission rebuilt which is not money that I have lying around. I am going to call the Honda customer service number tomorrow morning and complain about them not replacing these faulty torque converters; I hope they at least offer to pay for part of this bill. I have a lease on a Ford Explorer that is running out in July '08, I was thinking about getting a Honda SUV to replace it but this experience will definitely play a factor in my decision.

- , East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #81

Nov 032007

(reported on)

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,544 miles

I take excellent care of my 2001 Honda civic Sedan; I meet or surpass all maintenance requirements. I am the original owner. I use synthetic Mobil 1 motor oil, I use Honda Genuine ATF for transmission oil changes [have done 3 of these following Severe Service Maintenance Schedule even though I don't really consider my driving 'Severe'], I use Honda Genuine brake pads when replacing brake pads, I take the Honda to the dealer for all safety recalls/TSB's. I bought KYB gas charged shocks for superb ride comfort, and in summary I keep my ride all OEM because thats the way I like it.

So I am on my way home from work on Thursday, November 1, 2007, and when about 2 miles away from home the car starts jerking and losing power. The transmission was slipping as the rpm's went up around 5000. After taking the vehicle to Advance Auto for a code reading I find out there is code P0730 causing an issue. After limping home at about 20 mph, I find out there are dozens of folks with the same issue!! What a coincidence.

Here is what I find interesting. The website states, as do all the civic owners manuals, that the Honda Civic enjoys a 105,000 Mile Tune-Up Interval. NOWHERE IN THE OWNERS MANUAL DOES IT STATE THAT THE TRANSMISSION MUST BE CHANGED BEFORE THE FIRST SCHEDULED TUNE-UP!!!!

That is my beef. I have NEVER owned a car whose transmission gave up the ghost before 100,000 miles, and certainly NONE of the vehicles I have purchased brand new have ever had a major component failure similar to this 2001 Honda Civic. I have an appointment at Roush Honda in Westerville Ohio on Tuesday November 6, 2007 for an official diagnosis of the transmission. I will be asking Honda to supply a new, complementary transmission.

- , Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #80

Nov 022007

(reported on)

Civic LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

My 2001 Honda Civic had a complete transmission failure with only 56,000 miles. When I contacted Honda they advise "Sorry" and said it needed replacement. In searching the web I see there have been many transmission problems with other of their models and they extended those warranties but not the Civic. Feel they need to cover some of the cost with the low mileage. I also am dumbfounded to find out they never take the transmission apart to see what the cause of the failure was. They just send it back to a shop to rebuild. For a Japanese company that prides itself on customer satisfaction and quality not knowing what is causing the failure makes no sense.

- , Orlando, FL, US

problem #79

Oct 292007

(reported on)

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else. Stuck in gridlock traffic in SF on the freeway, four lanes and no shoulder. Car would rev but wouldn't shift into gear or move (its an automatic).

After traffic started to move I was stuck in the fast lane unable to move. I had to turn off the car, wait 30-60 seconds, turn it back on and pray that the car would move. When it did, the torque converter would fail again after about 5 seconds of gentle acceleration. I did this about 6-7 times before I was able to roll off the freeway and make an illegal turn into a gas station, and of course during this whole ordeal the good citizens of San Francisco were giving me a piece of their mind. Only one driver was nice enough to give me some space (even though I had my blinkers on).

I had to have my car towed home (two hours away!) My Honda dealership told me that it wasn't covered by warranty but that they would offer me the equivalent of an extended warranty where I could pay 10% and the dealership pay 90% for the rebuilding of my transmission.

- , Gold River, CA, USA

problem #78

Oct 252007

(reported on)

Civic DX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,050 miles

The check engine light came on and I took it to the Honda dealer from where it was purchased. They called me today and said that the transmission needed to be replaced at a cost of $ 3700. After reading of all the repairs to these transmissions on the NHTSA website, I told the service represenative that I wanted them to adjust this price. After talking to the Zone Manager, they reduced the price by 25 %. During this time, I was doing more research and discovered the Honda Service Bulletin # 04-036 which deals with transmission failures. It stated that once the 36,000 mile warranty had expired, the District Parts and Service Manager or their Zone Manager could reduce this cost for "goodwill consideration". I am still talking to them about the final cost of the repairs. After reading the complaints on this site, it appears that this is a big problem. On the NHTSA website, it appears that Honda has picked up the cost of the transmission but not the labor. See ODI # 10138365

- , Burke, VA, US

problem #77

Oct 232007

(reported on)

Civic DX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,079 miles

after reading this i was shocked that so many other people had suffered this problem. i thought it was due to my first accident and then i used to drive this car like a manual transmission and i thought it died due to that but now seeing this i am really mad. i thought Hondas where good cars but next car is going to be a ford lol.

- , Brampton, ON, Canada

problem #76

Oct 232007

(reported on)

Civic DX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,322 miles

So there I was driving my 2001 Honda Civic(my very first ever new car)on my way to the doctor for a blood glucose test, when what to my wondering mind should appear but the sight of the transmission being in drive but no engagement whatever with the wheels!!!!! Like the stoplight turns green but my car goes nowhere. To make a long story short...two tows to two places because I could not believe that a Honda with 118,000 kilometers (90% of them highway driven)would require a transmission job. Yet that is exactly what it did the tune of $2200.00 Canadian. Funny how this happened right close after the warranty wore out. I know that my driving is not a factor because my second hand 1985 Chevy Impala handled the same work route with no problems for over 11years. Time for me to talk to Honda as I will not be buying another one and I want them to know why.

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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