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:
104,800 miles
Total Complaints:
682 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (261 reports)
  2. rebuilt whole transmission (154 reports)
  3. not sure (142 reports)
  4. get Honda to cover the cost (54 reports)
  5. buy a different car...can't afford the repair (24 reports)
  6. break down the transmission and fix (15 reports)
2001 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 35)

problem #682

Jul 132023

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles


My 2001 Honda Civic LX with 165k miles just had a total transmission failure. My grandma was the original owner of this car and was passed down to my mom and then I have been dallying it for almost 5 years. When I first started driving this car it had just about 100k miles. Since then, I have done a number of repairs. Brand new AC compressor, rear struts, ball joints and control arms, valve cover gasket, stabilizer links, and new hardware for rear drum brakes. Luckily everything listed we installed at home so I only paid parts prices but the time we spent working on it is gone.

On to how it failed.. my experience seems almost identical to others I have read on here. My car was doing great until the day before it failed, I noticed while I was driving it would rev on its own. It started out very subtle and when it first happened it was late at night so I decided to park it for the night. The next day, I am driving home from work when the auto revving got much more apparent and happened much more frequently. It would only rev on its own when taking off from a stop. I luckily made it home, checked my transmission fluid which was full and clean. I turned my car off went inside, not even 15 minutes later I go to my car to leave, turned it on and that's when I realized it would not move at all. I am very thankful this happened in my driveway but still cannot believe this happened at only 165K for a civic. No lights on the dash and really no true warning this was going to happen. I ended up getting it towed to my mechanic to verify it was the transmission. He then told me the transmission was shot and that it sounded like it blew the pump.

I was able to find transmissions at junk yards near me for around 1000$ and have been debating replacing it at home. We most likely will replace it but I am second guessing putting another transmission in after reading that 01 Civic transmissions are notorious for failures like this. This page just proves how often this happens for this year civic.

- Emily G., Amherst, OH, US

problem #681

May 252020

(reported on)

Civic 1.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 238,000 miles

The transmission stopped working, I applied the change and did not assume it

- Joan C., Santiago, Santiago, Dominican Republic

problem #680

May 032019

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 201,204 miles

I have had many automatic transmission issues with this 2001 Honda Civic to the point of expensive repairs and transmission failure where I had to replace the whole entire transmission with a used one since I was driving one day and the 3rd and 4th gear quit shifting and cause the car to shift to 6000 RPMs almost redlining the engine and throws a transmission light and overheating the car, got stranded and had to tow the car. I had this Civic since 150,000 when I bought it and always did ATF fluid changes with Honda ATF dw1 and still, this transmission failed not to mention the filter is internal inside the automatic transmission, so these transmissions are a ticking time bomb and I would avoid this generation of civic as much as possible since this car will cost more in parts and labor than in gas savings. "Replaced with a 50,000-mile transmission and still has poor shift quality and shift flairs so a waste of time to even replace this transmission. Get a different Civic that's reliable because this is certainly isn't reliable.

- David K., North Charleston, SC, US

problem #679

Dec 022018

Civic EX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


Replace the transmission and trash the other. It washed in a rain storm, and we're in the road.

- Erick G., Santo Domingo, NJ, Dominican Republic

problem #678

Dec 182018

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I have replaced almost every part in this car and just when I thought I had it back in working condition and spending thousands on it, the Transmission goes out. Not sure if I should fix it because I have paid for the cars value likely over 20 times. Replaced 2 head gaskets, 3 radiators, tons of ac issues including compressor, etc. That is not regular maintenance that is a faulty vehicle. The transmission was the last straw.

I took the car to the Honda dealership who has been very helpful in the past and they all say "Oh that's so weird 2001 Civics are very reliable and a transmission going out is rare!" yeah, sure it is guys. Makes me wonder just how much they really know about their product. They quoted me two used transmissions for $2400 and $1750, junkyard parts. New would cost $3500.

This car has honestly been a nightmare and money pit from the day I bought it, the least reliable car I have ever owned and why I am so torn about whether or not to fix it since most of the car is new after everything being replaced, or to just scrap it for 300 bucks cuz that's all it's worth at this point.

- FB J., Winston Salem, NC, US

problem #677

Jul 312018

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,555 miles

Bought my Civic new and took good care of it. Same story as most, driving along and the transmission just went. I had the mileage that the average breakdown occurs, 104,000 miles. Even though it was a 17 year old car, I was hoping to keep it for at least a few more years. It even looked good with the paint and no rust. I had a 88 Accord before this car and I had to get rid of it at 103,000 miles. I always thought Honda's would last 200K or better if you took care of them. No more Honda's. Got a Subaru.

- Bill D., West Park, US

problem #676

Mar 292018

Civic LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,297 miles


I am so annoyed and disappointed that the transmission failed without any warning!! I maintained the car with regular oil changes, tune ups and the air bag recall replacement. The car just stopped running on my way home. Thank God it was not during traffic time because it would have been an serious situation. NEED HELP WITH THIS TRANSMISSION PROBLEM!!.

- hernandezolga, Tampa, US

problem #675

Mar 032015

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,160 miles

Was driving on freeway, then there was a slowdown and the car wouldn't go faster than that speed afterwards. Was able to make it off the freeway. Once the car had gone to a stop, it wouldn't move again and had to be pushed out of traffic. It was scary. I then had it towed to my shop. Thank God I had towing.

- margotrose, 95628, US

problem #674

Jan 052016

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

My transmission failed when I was on the road at rush hour --the car slowed down and came to a dead stop. Very dangerous.

I suspected it was the transmission but my local Honda dealer would not give me information over the phone.They told me nothing about the widespread transmission problems OR the goodwill 50 percent fix. They said they needed to see the car before saying anything. But that would have meant a tow. I researched the price to have the transmission replaced and found that a dealer would charge around $5000, while a local mechanic would charge less than $3000. I chose the latter option and paid out of pocket.

Only then did I learn that this has been a systemic problem for Honda Civics for years, but only certain model years were recalled and mine was not.

With a problem affecting so many cars, the "selective recall" that Honda issued is simply not fair. I'd like to be reimbursed, but Honda's corporate office told me no, and that I have no recourse because I chose to use an independent mechanic to fix it. But who wouldn't try to get a better deal when no recall had been announced for my car? Catch 22!

- Karen B., Fairfield, CT, US

problem #673

Dec 022016

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Common problem with 2001 civic. it costs upto 2000-2500 to fix it. I would suggest go for toyota instead o honda's made after 2004

- Rony D., Kingsville, TX, US

problem #672

May 132016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,414 miles


I purchased a 2001 Honda Civic in May 2015 for 2800 from a local guy and thought I was getting a good deal with only 85K miles on the car. The car was for my son who needed transportation to keep his job. My second car was a civic and I loved the reliability that Honda is known for. But not this car. After only two days, the transmission blew. I had a feeling the guy knew about the problem, but I already purchased the car. Talk about buyers remorse. I did not know about the recall either. So after the initial payment for the car, plus another 1200 to rebuild the transmission, the "good" deal was a bust. My fault for not investigating further. Since then, I have heard that you can contact Honda for reimbursement for this problem. If this is true, I am interested. I have the receipt of the bill for the rebuild. By the way, my son is still driving the car, no problems.

If anyone has any idea how to get reimbursed for this, I would appreciate your help.

- Michelle O., Salem, NJ, US

problem #671

May 202016

Civic EX D17a2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

I always thought of Honda as one word "dependable" I have owned 3 Hondas before this one. My old '90 Prelude SI ran over 350000 mile mark with a defective slave cylinder. No brakes or clutch. I started it in first and floated/no clutched every gear for the last 2000 miles, using my e-brake to stop. I bet it could have made 400,000 in that condition. My other 2 Hondas saw 250000 still running great when I sold them.

When the day came that I was able to get a work and school permit after a couple screw ups, I didn't think twice when I saw my 01 Civic with 120000 miles on it for $3000 in 2014. I drove the car about 8 months with no problems. One day on my way to work, I was turning on to a highway. I hit about 10mph then my TC went out outta nowhere. I had to push my car off of a 4-lane hwy on to the shoulder. After a tow and missing a week of work, I found a tranny off an 02 for $650.

After another week, I got it into a shop and got it fixed for another $1000. Not bad for the fix, however, I was paying almost $400 per month just to drive the car. I was without a car for 22 days. So $300 more. Plus 400 in lost wages and almost losing my job. Ill say 2200 total cost. However, I couldn't believe Honda let me down. My dad and I even both have Honda 4 wheelers that we never put a dime into after 12 years. Today, my 2nd tranny is starting to fail at 171000. I guess its time for a new car. It will probably be a 5-speed Honda made before 2000. Ive owned more Hondas than anything. That's why I'm sooo.. disappointed. What the hell happened in 2000 and after?

- aldawg_8, Maquoketa, IA, US

problem #670

Nov 222016

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,369 miles

Honda had a reputation for reliability this has now been tarnished. I bought this car used but knowing from previous Honda's that I have owned I thought I was buying a reliable transportation for myself and my son who is going to college. Now I have to replace a transmission that should have gone way over 200000k miles with properly scheduled maintenance. I had all of the maintenance records for the vehicle and my dealership did a multi-point inspection for the vehicle before purchase. I feel that Honda should compensate me a portion of this issue. The replacement cost with labor hits a $3015.00. Looking at the history of civics for the past 20 years it looks like they have had plenty of transmission issues. This was not a total recalled issue. It should have been and Honda should Replace and acknowledge there short comings with their vehicles.

There was no warning of any issue with the transmission, the only issue was just before it failed the RPM's went 1K higher when shifting and once parked at work it would not go into gear either forward or reverse. Had to have it towed to a Honda certified Mechanic and it was diagnosed a total transmission failure. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to a $3000.00 bill.

- chefgeoff73, Port Washington, WI, US

problem #669

Aug 302014

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

This model year is notoriously bad for failing transmissions and my luck ran out at 113000 miles :-(

- bluesky810, Bellevue, WA, US

problem #668

Aug 152016

Civic 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Dear Honda - Why in the world didn't you own up to the transmission problems with this car? You ought to be ASHAMED of the quality you produced and the pain you caused all the people who thought - "Hey, I'll buy a honda! All you have to do is change the oil regularly and it will run like a top!". You have COMPLETELY lost my business because of how you handled this vehicle. I will never, ever buy a Honda again. And, oh, by the way in case you are wondering, here's how you spell quality....T-O-Y-O-T-A. Pissed beyond belief, Former Honda Lover

- John S., Birmingham, AL, US

problem #667

Sep 012016

Civic EX Six

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,721 miles

I had stopped at a red light of a major street. Thank goodness that there was a car stopped behind me. When the light turned green for me to pull off, the car did not move when I tried to accelerate. Some people jumped out and helped me to get the vehicle out of the major intersection onto a Jack in the Box parking lot.

Then the Check Engine Light came on. I then had to call a wrecker to haul the vehicle to my house. A mechanic came and checked the vehicle and said the transmission had failed. I contacted Honda and they said that my transmission was not a recall item based on my vin number. And that they would not do a "goodwill repair." But when I asked them, What model transmission was in my vehicle? Their answer was 4 speed automatic. I also asked them "What Stamp Number was on the Transmission? The dealer said the only thing they had was 4 speed automatic.

The Dealer wants $4,704.18 for the transmission. And $1,000.00 plus was what they said for labor.

When I question about Warranty Policies, they would not look it up. And said that policies do not transfer to new owners. So if the owner bought a 3 year policy and sold the car after 6 months, than they should refund 2 years and 6 months of premiums to the original owner. "Smells like theft to me."

- Larry J. G., Beaumont, TX, US

problem #666

Jul 062015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

i have read that all 2001 Honda Civic transmission were one of the biggest problems. Beware i cant afford to fix mine.

- alex0910, Phoenix, AR, US

problem #665

Apr 172016

Civic LX 1.7L, In-Line4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,580 miles

I was driving on the highway when I noticed the car hesitating when I hit the gas. It worsened as I pulled off the highway and the check engine light came on. The car felt like it was barely going to make it to the next stop light. The car had to be towed to the Auto Center where I always take the car. I talked with the mechanic, and he told me the cost for a new transmission would be $3500.

I am the original owner of this car so I know the maintenance has been handled well. Regular oil changes, maintenance, transmission flush, etc. After this happened, that's when I researched and saw that this is a problem that has affected many Honda owners. That's pretty disturbing that no recalls were issued for this. When I think of what could have happened when I was on a highway, it makes my blood run cold. I only have approximately 63,570 miles on the car and the transmission should not have gone at this time.

I called the Honda Customer Service number and they were no help at all.

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

- tangianna, Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #664

Apr 042016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,343 miles

My boyfriend and I just got our first car together a few weeks ago, because we are moving and will need the car to go to and from work. We bought it second-hand , and the car was working perfect. i was on my way home from a dr appointment and when i turned onto the back-road(thankfully i was off the highway) the car revved like i was in neutral and wouldnt go into gear. I pulled over, put er in park and then tried going again. she was working again fine for about a km, then started doing the revving thing. We were able to get it to my fathers, and he said ill need to replace the whole transmission !!!! IM MOVING IN 3 WEEKS!!! thankfully i have a friend who is a mechanic so he's doing it for me for a pretty cheap price since he knows my situtation.

But seriously, i had the car a friggin week! since ive read all the complaints on here i really wish we wouldnt have gotten the darn thing.

- Terri M., Moncton, NB, Canada

problem #663

May 012013

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

Just got the car as a gift from my grandparents. They bought me the car and did a timing belt and water pump for good measure. The damn transmission completely failed the second time I drove it

- Travis G., New Philadelphia, OH, US

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