Notes: Yes, the Honda Civic receives a lot of complaints because so many were sold. And sure, car parts only last so long and things eventually break. But it's never good to see this many transmission complaints, especially when the average mileage at failure is just north of 100,000 miles.

Especially when you consider that it's predecessor also has a nasty history with transmission complaints.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,965 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Honda Civic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #56

Jun 102014


  • 130,000 miles


Transmission went out at 130,000 miles. Seems like a lot of other people have same issue so I tried calling Honda but since the car is pretty old they refused to help.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #55

May 082016


  • 194,400 miles
I was driving my vehicle at approximately 45 mph and was entering a major intersection when the rpms reved up to approximately 4000 and I lost all control of the speed of the vehicle and this all happened with a sudden jerk. I then pushed my gear shiftier (car is automatic) into neutral then back into drive while trying to avoid cars in the intersection. The car finally engaged again and I was able to pull into a nearby gas station. I had to sit in the gas station with the car off for about 30 minutes before I could drive home. About 10 minutes later the vehicle did the same thing and almost rear ended another vehicle. I was pretty sure it was a transmission issue and couldn't call the mechanic till the next morning because this happened on a Sunday evening and shops were not open. I was able to take it in the next morning to a mechanic who of which experienced the same issue while test driving my vehicle unfortunately with my vehicle the transmission is encased and he gave me the number for a Honda transmission shop. Upon speaking to the Honda specialist he informed me that this was a common problem with Honda's and that the transmission would have to be rebuilt for the car to be salvageable. When asked how much it would cost I was told 2550 plus state taxes. Upon calling Honda I was told that they would not assist in covering the cost even though its a common problem for their vehicles and I could have been killed or my kids. This problem needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #54

Apr 252016


  • 122,676 miles
Takata recall replaced transmission $3,000 2014. Radiator 2015.. temp rising shut off 2 times on freeway same day $283. Towing fee on aaa plus ins.. blown gasket. April 2016. Done. Sitting in garage. Looking for Toyota prius, I see they also have lots of problems. What shall I do? can't find your Honda hybrid, I know they have them. Yes was in motion on the hwy.

- Dana Point, CA, USA

problem #53

Oct 092015


  • 137,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle failed to shift gears and stalled without warning. The vehicle was restarted, but only shifted into the neutral position. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 137,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #52

Aug 032015


  • 121,426 miles
Without any warning or symptoms the engine light came on and stayed on. Dealer determined transmission has failed, based on dtc codes: P0700 A/T system P0730 incorrect gear ratio dealer says transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of (with a used transmission with 89,000 miles on it a a six month/6000 mile warranty) $2,700 installed. I declined. Car seems to be running fine but engine warning light remains on, causing MA vehicle safety inspection failure and I now have 60 days to repair it or take it off the road. The problem with Honda transmissions seems to be endemic, but a secret. Others have fared much worse with transmission failures on the road.

- Northfield, MA, USA

problem #51

Jun 032015


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. While driving at 25 mph, an abnormal noise was heard from the front end of the vehicle when shifting gears. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #50

Jun 172014


  • 130,000 miles


I was driving on the freeway going about 30 mph in moderate traffic when the car stopped responding to my gas pedal and the rpms just started to spike up. This put me in a dangerous situation and the car behind me almost rear ended me but swerved away. Luckily my car managed to glide to the right shoulder and out of harm's way. Afterward I had to get my car towed. I was quoted at various dealerships that the repair would be excess of 3000, so now I'm stuck with repairs that exceed the value of my car. Apparently, Honda didn't do a good job of creating a reliable transmission.

- Temple City, CA, USA

problem #49

Feb 252015


  • 128,000 miles
Transmission failed without any warning signs on 2001 Honda Civic. Many other users have had same issue.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #48

Nov 072012


  • 220,000 miles
The first thing was I noticed the temp starting to rise, immediately was shut off and radiator replaced. Few months later November of 2013, temp started to rise, didn't even get hot. Blown head gasket. It sat till July 2014, when a new motor was installed. Drove good until October 2014 when out of no where my transmission quit working!

- Seymour, WI, USA

problem #47

Mar 172014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly became resistant to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #46

Dec 292013


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the engine RPM's began to increase but the vehicle would not accelerate. In addition, the check engine warning light was also illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Snellville , MD, USA

problem #45

Oct 142013

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,808 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while parking, he attempted to shift into reverse but it failed to engage. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would only move forward. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be rebuilt. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 83,808. Updated 11/21/13

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #44

Oct 082013


  • 115,300 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, she noticed a grinding noise and the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 115,300.

- Northampton, MA, USA

problem #43

Feb 152013


  • 106,000 miles
Approx. @60,000 miles I took my Honda vehicle to replace automatic transmission fluid with the recommended fluid particular to Honda, per recommendations 60,000. Miles and 40,000/ miles thereafter. After approx. 100,000. Miles I again changed my transmission fluid. Everything was fine until approx. 104,000. Miles, I started noticing changes and hesitations with the transmission, contacted my mechanic who informed me that 2002 Honda transmissions had problems around 100K miles. Around 106,000. Miles my transmission completely gave out and had to be replaced. Honda informed me that they would not accept any responsibility, I had not purchased additional warranties, and other warranties died out after 100K. So I was left without any resolution from Honda Motors, expect perhaps $1000. Discount. I replaced the transmission because everything else I liked about my Honda. I searched the internet to find that several others had a similar problem with Honda's defective transmission, something about a thin wall or something that wears out too quickly on 2000-2004 Honda Civics, that they perhaps have remedied the transmission problem now, but will not assist others with this possibly defective transmission. I have never had a transmission stop working on a car where I have taken good care to change transmission fluid are required intervals, and I am 67 yo with ownership of several cars in past, never had such a transmission problem before so early as 106,000. Miles. Therefore, since others are having similar problem with their transmission, I am making this complaint. I have complained on other sites, but nothing has happened with them and I am hoping that you find that 2002 Honda Civics do have a transmission problem and you find basis to recall them for defective automatic transmissions. Please let me know what you find out. [xxxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 192011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 134,865 miles
This car was purchased by me brand new in September 2002 and has been maintained following manufacturers recommended schedule at Honda and at 134,000+ miles, the transmission is shot due to a bad torque converter. I want this corrected by Honda especially because I was victim to a hit and run at a red light and fixed the car out of pocket for over 5,000 and would have like to know by Honda that there was an issue with this car so I could have bought a new car rather than fix it. It is so dangerous for me as an only parent to have my transmission fail while making a left turn with oncoming traffic or while driving over train tracks!!!! this is scary to me and I want resolution for their failure to admit the torque converter lemon in my car caused the failure!!!!

- Oakland Park, FL, USA

problem #41

Sep 122012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
When in haste I parked and got out of my car with the keys in my hand, it began to roll. I quickly entered the vehicle, stopped it, found the gear selector lever still in drive. Previously they key could.... updated 08/19/13

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #40

May 082013


  • 133,208 miles
The vehicle suddenly stalled in the middle of the road without any warnings. Later, it was diagnosed with a transmission (automatic) failure.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #39

Jun 172010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Cruise control suddenly speed up and down by itself and transmission not engaged on highway. I changed cruise control all parts with dealer non of them work and I got same happening every month 4 or 10 times on highway and suddenly my transmission makes whining sound I changed transmission fluid every 30000mi but it give me trouble. As I check on my issues in internet a lot of people got same trouble just like me even well maintained car owner got this same issues! something really wrong on Honda Civic 2002 transmission. I can not give it to my daughter for her first car cruise control speed up and down by itself and dealer can not fix and transmission suddenly makes funny action(sometimes disengage on middle of anywhere ). since June 2010, I don't use cruise control and somehow managed my Civic run on highway and I add up 40000mi more and I really feel guilty for other driver when I drive on highway!

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #38

Apr 252013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 94,150 miles
Transmission suddenly, without any prior warning disengaged and car has stalled. Since there was road incline car started to go backward. Fortunately, nobody was behind my car ( it was early in the morning) and I was able to pull to the road shoulder. Two days before this car underwent major, producer -recommended 90 000 miles maintenance (including change of timing belts) and was according to the dealership's representative in "perfect condition". I ended up towing this car to the same dealership which performed service and paying extra $2800 for the new transmission.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #37

May 092012


  • 138,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 6 mph and attempting a turn, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle however, the vehicle continued to stall. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for diagnostic testing and the mechanic stated that the torque converter was defective and needed to be replaced. The torque converter was not replaced. The failure mileage was 138,000.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

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