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:
117,634 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (30 reports)
  2. not sure (30 reports)
  3. sold car as is (3 reports)
2001 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

May 052010

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,983 miles


Today my 2001 honda civic's transmission gave in. I have around 177,000 kilometers to it. Well maintained car , But did not expect this to happen at only this much mileage. I had a subaru outback 98 with 260,000 KMS and it was still going. Honda's reputation of reliability is FAKE. I'll never buy a honda again, even though all my other cars were all honda before.

- , Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #22

Feb 012010

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

i know alot of people have this problem with this civic and i recently bought a civic with a bad transmission,however; i did much research and i found a honda service bulletin that states an ISSUE WITH THE TORQUE CONVERTER. it also states that once the torque converter fails the driver eventually burns the transmission up. my civic still drives under its own power on initial start up but stops after about 5 minutes. i plan to replace the torque converter and give an update within a few days.

- , Gulfport, MS, US

problem #21

Mar 152010

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

at 36,000 miles my transmission had to be replaced (after honda changed 3 sensors 400 miles earlier), it was annoying, but i was hopeful that I would keep my car 3 years longer than i would have expected. Today, 5 years (and 52,000 miles) later, i was driving to work and suddenly could not accelerate at all. my car was acting weird yesterday, but no lights came on. it took me 45 minutes to get it to a mechanic, to have him tell me that it may not even be worth fixing (as the overhead fabric is hanging, it leaks inside of my car when it rains and was just told that the struts are leaking).

why would honda not recall this car? obviously something was defective in the 2001 line, why coudln't they just acknowledge the issue? there is no way i should need 2 transmissions on a 9 year old car!!!!!

- , College Point, NY, USA

problem #20

Feb 082010

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


I bought a Honda thinking it was a very dependable car, but I guess I was wrong. I'm the only owner of my car and only have 87,000 miles on it. It started not to engage as the other complaints stated. I spoke to Honda customer service and told them about this website and all the other people with the same problems, they told me the same thing, there is no recall since it's not a safety issue??? I beg to differ, what about when I pull out and try to accelerate and I don't and then get rear ended with my baby in the back seat? I said this to them but they said they'd still have to see what exactly the problem is before they say whether or not they'll help pay for the repair. If they dont I'll never buy another Honda.

You would think they'd want to keep a customer happy, especially with all the problems Toyota is having, now Honda! The transmission shouldn't be a problem at this point, but we'll see. I'm still waiting to hear from the Honda Dealership in Marquette, which is an hour away and I had to pay $175.00 to have it towed up there, nice.... Anyway, I'll update once I find out what the problem is for sure.

Update from Mar 30, 2010: Well I have a 2001 Honda Civic EX and it has only 78,000 miles on it and the transmission went on it, Had to have it towed an hour away to Riverside Auto in Marquette on 3/10/2010 to have it diagnosed, per Honda Customer Service. They had it for 2 weeks before I got an answer from them what was even wrong with it and no loaner vehicle until 3/23/2010. I had to keep calling them in this two week period to find out what was going on. I finally called to see if I could get a loaner and they said yes, but if I wouldn't have called who know's when they would have contacted me. So at this point we knew the transmisson was gone and was just waiting to see if Honda headquarters was going to help out with this. I was contacted on Friday 3/26/10 at the end of the day by Riverside askig if I ever had the timing belt and water pump change at the 7 yr mark. I had work done on it in 2007 before I moved up to MI by Tuffy Auto Center to make sure it would be in top condition to drive up here by myself, but I couldn't remember what was done, so I contacted them to find out. When I told them what was wrong and what Honda needed to know, they proceeded to tell me that those 2 items have nothing to do with the transmissioin and that Honda is just saying that so they can get out of helping with the repair fee(real nice), So I looked for me receipt all weekend to see what was done, since Tuffy no longer had that info on record, but I couldn't locate the receipt. First thing Tuesday morning I hear from Riverside saying they're not going to help and that I need to get this going because they've had my car forever, like it's my fault??? I let her know that I had contacted my contact at Honda headquarters and he was going to contact her, so she said she'd wait to hear back from him. Tuesday afternoon I receive a call from them saying my contact left a vm and said they're not going to help either, so my choices are $3800 for a remanufactured and 3 yr warr., 3000.00 for rebuild and 2200.00 for a used and no warr. I guess they don't want to keep customers they have, as I will never buy another Honda. You would think with all the problems Toyota is having Honda would want to avoid bad publicity but I guess they don't care.

- , Gadstone, MI, USA

problem #19

Feb 082010

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,348 miles

No thanks to Honda! I was hoping to get some assistance to fix this problem, but of course, Honda customer service said it's too old and has too many miles! Too bad I didn't find this out before buying and too bad Honda hasn't a shred of accountability! I'll never buy one again!

- , Burnside, KY, USA

problem #18

Feb 232010

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

It sucks we all have the same story and Honda chooses to do nothing.

- , Highland, CA, USA

problem #17

Feb 132010

Civic ES 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


I maintain my vehicles better then they would at the dealership and have performed all required maintance but the transmission stated slipping and all of the sudden stopped working. I had it towed and went on line to see if I could trouble shoot it but it's beond my schooling. I noticed on your page that you can call Honda and ask for special pervisions to help with the expense of the repair and they laughed at me. The car itself is fantastic and never gave me a lick of trouble and I would highly recommend it to anyone but this had me flustered. I had all of my standard services completed on time and there was no sign of anythng wrong... until all of the trans! I see that Honda will not stand behind their product as stated.

Update from Feb 20, 2010: Well it looks like Honda won another battle. I had my civic fixed and all I recieved was a $2,600.00 bill. I am making a copy of the findings and the bill and sending it to their headquarters. I might not get any help but I will feel a little better expressing myself. I also appreciate for this site.... extreamy educational!!!

- , Melborne, FL, USA

problem #16

Nov 122009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

The only warning that something was wrong was the car seemed to skip gears, my mechanic said it's not so bad. Then 1 1/2 yr later the engine light went on then couldn't drive at all.

- , Port Saint Lucie, FL, US

problem #15

Oct 142009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

Only had the car for about 2 months and the tranny goes out. I have a car payment and now I have to pay for a new transmission and we're barely making it as it is.......and then i find this website and saw everyone else that had this problem, something has to be done

- , Del City, OK, USA

problem #14

Mar 052009

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

There were no previous problems. The engine light didn't come on until the car was turned on 3 times after stopping. It only goes about 20 miles per hour. Honda dealership won't return a call. After 2 1/2 weeks called Honda USA customer service and they said that they were a 3rd party and couldn't do anything about it. They suggested that you get the car in for them to look it over, BUT if you can't drive the car and they won't return your call, what are you to do!!!!!!!! We own 3 Honda Civics and Lease is up on a Honda Ridgeline. I think we will be looking somewhere else for our cars in the future.

- , Lantana, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 282008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles


i just bought this solid 2001 Honda Civic. I tintd it, put chrome rims, and made it look like showroom quality. I took it out one day and after coming back to my car in the parking lot I started the car and drove off to find that my transmission was gone. all my gears would only go forward and at a max of only 25 km/h. MY neutral and reverse gears weren't working at all. I safely got it home and when I checked up my problem on the net I was shocked to find that 2001 Civic's have a bad history of transmission failure. I'm a 17 year old and I put all my hardearned money into this baby =(

- , Markham, Ontario, Canada

problem #12

Dec 232008

Civic LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Like most drivers of Hondas, I bought this car for its supposed reliability. Unfortunately, my transmission failed at 95,000 miles. I had trouble putting the car into gear the night before, and the transmission completely failed at a stop light the next morning (on my way to the dealer). Other then slipping the previous night, there were no warning lights or other indications of an impending transmission failure. The weather had been very cold (in the 30s that night) and I surmized that the low temperature explained the trouble. I might have continued to drive this car after installing a rebuilt transmission, but after reading this sight, I fear replacing the transmission a second time. Probably, I will pay a mechanic 1,000 to 1,500 to install a salvaged, used transmission and sell the car. At least I will avoid buying three Honda transmissions. Regretfully, I just spent $2,600 (maintenance, suspension, belts, and new tires) two months ago. In my case, the 2001 Honda Civic LX proved to be both uneconomical and unreliable.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #11

Dec 132008

Civic EX 1.7L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

i was driving on a cold day and all of a sudden my car started to lose speed as i accelerated so i pulled to the side of the road and put it in park then back in drive and it would not move just reved up the engine so i had it towed home which cost me 80.00 as soon as we got it off the tow truck i started it up and it drove just fine into my driveway, but now when i start it up it makes a whistling noise near the transmission and when i put it in drive the noise gets quieter and takes a few seconds to engage into drive and don't want to drive it until we figure out what is wrong with it dont want to pay for another tow!!!!

- , Oroville, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 112008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased a new 2001 Honda Civc LX because I wanted a reliable car that I wouldn't have to worry about over the first 150k miles. After 85k miles, the transmission began slipping between 1&2 and 2&3 gears. This problem was more pronounced in the mornings and, after about five minutes, seemed to go away. A week after first experiencing the slippage problems, the issue got worse. I took a long time for the transmission to engage, and over the next 20 minutes, the transmission wouldn't engage at all in D, D2, and D3. Fortunately, I was in a friend's apartment parking lot when the transmission finally decided to give out. I could barely guide my car into a parking spot by driving in reverse.

I contacted the dealership where I had purchased the vehicle, and they told me an extended 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty had been issued for 2001 Honda Accords, but no such warranty is available for Honda Civics. Interesting. If this site is any indication, transmission problems associated with Honda Civics are just as prevalent as those with Honda Accords. I don't understand why Honda did not provide the extended warranty for Civics as well.

- , Redmond, WA, USA

problem #9

Oct 032008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

It is actually my moms' car. It had been doing great and one day while she was driving home(her home is on the side of a mountain, with a paved road, of course) the tranny just went out. She didn't know what to do so she tried to back into a driveway and and hit a tree instead(no major damage, due to the tree at least), then had it towed where they said it would be around $3000 to fix(assholes). The bad part is her husband passed away the prior month leaving her with a debt of around $360,000 that he never let her know about, with no life ins., a beautiful unfinished house they were supposed to move into, and alot of land( he was a land developer but couldn't sell anything due to the market). My brother and I are all she has, so I gave her my accord to drive since she had nothing and no money. By the way, she lost her job and I have a 4y/o and am 23. Thats not even half of the story and this isn't a book so screw it. This car was supposed to be reliale and now we are all suffering. It hasn't been fixed and shes going to lose everything... this sucks, Thanks Honda for all the help, LOL!

- , McMinnville, TN, USA

problem #8

Aug 042008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

In November of 2004, I had just enough money to buy two Honda Civics IN CASH. The Honda 2004 was new and the Honda 2001 had about 11,000 miles on it. Because of Honda's "good reputation," I had bought the 2001 for my college-bound daughter to use at school. I wanted a reliable and safe auto for my daughter. I checked Carfax on both vehicles, and found no "reported" problems on either. Last month, the 2001 car's transmission suddenly "went out." My daughter (21 yrs. old!) was stuck in NY with a transmission that would not engage. When she finally was able to get the car to a Honda dealer near her, the person in the service area asked her if she had ever "driven through water." She said that she had driven through "a puddle." Honda told her that she needed a new transmission!! Needless to say, my daughter was very upset. Her friend, who worked for a rep. of an American car's dealership, had her car checked out, and those folks said she needed a "transmission flush." My daughter got her car back to Honda, shared the info. given to her by this other car rep., and Honda basically said that they would not do a transmission flush." Sooo...Here is my responsible and, mostly, independent daughter, upset and angry, and feeling helpless. She needs a car for school, and for work, which, by the way, involves transporting a young child back and forth in a carseat in her car. My daughter has had to borrow a friend's car to go to school and to babysit. My daughter (and I) are both grateful that the little girl who she normally transports each day, was not with my daughter at the time of the transmission failure. I do not know what to do at this point. I tried Experian and Carfax to check out her car, using the VIN number, and both state that there have been no "reported" complaints on this car. However, I did notice that the car had been used for leasing in Florida several times. I am wondering if there was flooding or another incident that affected this car, and was not reported. I have heard of such things happening in Florida, especially. Does anyone out there have any idea what I can do about this problem? I paid $11,000 + for the car, and now I wouldn't give five cents for another Honda. I don't know why Consumer Reports seems to always rate Honda's so highly. I will never follow their ratings for cars EVER AGAIN. In closing, I am so sorry for the experiences that I have read from other Honda 2001 owners who were obviously traumatized by events far worse than my daughter's incident (for example: alone with an infant, etc.) I agree with the folks who suggest a class accident suit against Honda. Before I forget, while my daughter and I were still relatively satisfied with our Hondas, I son, who needed a car for graduate school in northern NY, bought a Honda Accord, only to find out that his car had problems that went unreported by the previous owner(s). However, after having the car checked by AAA, my son convinced the seller to pay for needed repairs. I guess that he "got lucky," although we won't know if that is so until he has had the car for awhile. Thanks for letting me vent. I was unaware, but unsurprised, that there were so many other transmission complaints. I would be immensely grateful for any advice. Thank you.

- , Charleston, SC, USA

problem #7

Sep 082008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I had the same problems as all the others, without any warning my transmission would not engage. I was stuck on the interstate for an hour and a half waiting on a tow truck to tow me 65 miles to my home. If any one hears of a recall I would like to know. I have never had any problems with my Honda up until now. It is very disappointing because we were considering purchasing another Honda. We are going to contact Honda and see if they will offer us anything towards repair.

- , Centerville, IN, USA

problem #6

Aug 072008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

My X-girlfriend's teenage son who is starting school (2nd year college) just called me at work. He told me when he was at a stop light the car would not gear up!!!!....I said "No Way!!'s a Honda!!". He had it towed back to the apartment...... WOW!!... after reading many complaints about the 2001 civic on this site all related to transmission failure, I'm hoping it is only damage to the torque converter. He was only at a stop light. I am going to suggest replacing the TQ and related sensors and ......." SALE THE PIECE OF SHHHHIT!!". Honda has made so much $$$ off the american working class!! ..after all, it is the reputation of foreign reliable vehicles that helped bring down the american auto industry. I for one feel they need to own up, just as they forced the american auto industry to do so!!!!

- , Cc, TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 302008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,400 miles

Transmission slipping for a few days and then WHUMP it will not engage into any gear. Thankfully, unlike others here, the transmission failed to engage from standstill and not while driving. Obviously for a trans to fail at less than 70,000 miles is bullshit and Honda should be addressing this situation more actively with a recall or at least an extended warranty - but instead of ranting and raving let me lay out how I was able to get my replacement cost down to $1300. And this car was purchased used and not from a dealer.

First thing to do is call Honda Customer Service (800-999-1009) and tell them you want consideration for a "good will repair" and get a case started for your review.

Take your care to a Honda dealer and have them formally diagnose the problem. Tell them you are pursuing a good will repair through Honda Customer Service. DO NOT let them do any work on it until you have again contacted Honda Customer Service.

Honda was not overly impressed with my Internet research I presented (175 complaints on this site, the Civic listing on Wikipedia, etc) and they told me that Technical Service Bulletin (TBS) 04-036 (you can find it online) which I possessed was meaningless. However, bring as much to the table as you can and get them to write it into your file. The first person I spoke with just recorded my info and then passed my info to someone who reviewed my case. I believe it was important that I started with Honda Customer Service, both because I don't think Honda likes to reimburse work done elsewhere, and the dealer sees that you are serious about getting results.

The bottom line is I had to pay 50% off a rebuild (at cost) and the same for the labor. Yes this all sucks but much better than $3000 I was quoted at my local shop.

Good luck

- , Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #4

Apr 182008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

(We inherited this car after an uncle passed away and it only had around 25,000 miles on it.) The transmission suddenly went out of gear on the way to work one morning on a very busy road. The car was towed to a transmission shop where they said it would cost around $2,000 to repair. (We don't know the bottom line bill's still in the shop.) Purely on a whim, after googling "2001 Civic transmission problems", we were SHOCKED by all the complaints. We called the Honda dealership and all they could say was because the car wasn't "dealership maintained", there was nothing they could do. They said 100,000 miles is about the life-expectancy for the transmission. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! WITH SO MANY COMPLAINTS AND THEY WON'T DO ANYTHING???? We have 2 Mazdas with 139,000 and 142,000 miles and no problems with them! I was considering buying a Honda CR-V, well, forget it after this!

- , Lancaster, PA, USA

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