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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,070 miles
Total Complaints:
270 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (137 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (60 reports)
  3. not sure (51 reports)
  4. replaced transmission, Honda covered cost of parts (9 reports)
  5. open a case with honda corporate (7 reports)
  6. scrapped car (3 reports)
2002 Honda Civic transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 11 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #70

Feb 122003

Civic LX 1.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Transmission failed 4 times and was covered 2 times under warranty. Now have fail again and guess what I'm SOL cause I have to pay for it. Its horrible and I feel we should get a class action going because there are so many people who are having the same problem. This should not be hard to do. Something really needs to be done. People getting stranded at night and with kids. Honda seem to have no consideration at all because if they did, they would hear the people cry for these sorry transmissions.

- , College Park, GA, USA

problem #69

May 012009

Civic SI 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

When I purchased my Honda Civic with 35,000 miles I went to the dealership to have all my fluids changed. The dealership mechanic said I would be wasting my money changing the transmission fluid and informed me the recommended interval service is 55,000miles! I didnít believe it until I saw the Honda vehicle maintenance manual that stated a transmission service is recommend at 55,000miles then every 2 years after. I called another dealership and they also relayed the same information. I still couldnít believe that Honda would recommend a transmission service at such a high mileage. I wasnít comfortable with the recommendation so I changed the fluid anyways. Since then I have experienced the odd slip and a delay going into gear during extreme cold temperatures that require the car to be warmed up for a few minutes. I am currently approaching 80,000 miles, mostly city, and havenít had a major issue as of yet.

For those individuals whose transmissions havenít failed I would recommend to change the fluid every 15-20,000miles or 2 years, which every comes first. The recommendation of a first transmission fluid change at 55,000miles is ridiculous. What I find most disturbing is reading the comments of the transmission not containing a filter. Honda expects their transmission to last with a recommendation of 55,000miles before a fluid change with no filter! Somebody at Honda did not do their homework when it came to determining the fluid service intervals along with the poor engineering choice of creating a transmission with no filter.

Another recommendation I would like to make is driving the car in 3rd gear in heavy traffic or areas that you donít maintain a constant speed under 30mph. The reason for this is because every time an automatic has to switch gears it produces additional heat and unneeded gear change. In bumper to bumper traffic you donít need your transmission cycling through 4 gears when you only need 2. An example is if Iím driving in residential areas I keep my car in 3rd if I know I wont be exceeding 30mph, if Iím driving at constant speed than I will pop into to drive. I havenít looked into it but Iím sure somebody on a Honda Tech Forum has created a modification to add a filter onto the transmission using the existing lines so you may want to check on that. I hope these ďreliabilityĒ recommendations help and I guess only time will tell.

- , BD, MB, Canada

problem #68

May 022009

Civic LX 1.7L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,962 miles

My story is like all of the rest on here. I had taken my wife to work which is about 15 minutes from our house (so we could leave straight from there and take a trip out of town). By the time I returned home, the transmission all but refused to go into gear while accelerating. I took it to the shop and by the time they had test driven it, it wouldn't even go into gear. The silver lining is that the transmission didn't fail when we were 300 miles away from home, but it still failed below 100K miles. If you are looking to buy an '02 Civic take special care in looking into the transmission before you buy it. If it makes any sort of whining noise or doesn't shift completely smoothly, you should probably stay away.

- , Milton, FL, USA

problem #67

Apr 042009

Civic LX 4 Clyn

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,800 miles


Last year the Transmission started shifting hard in the cold weather but I just thought it was because the cold weather.(The car had about 90K on it) Then this winter when the car was cold the transmission would slip between 20-40mph so I started warming it up in the morning longer then normal as the months went on it kept slipping more. Then the car started to make a whining noise when you started it until it warmed up. Finally I came to the conclusion that before next winter I needed to replace the car which was a big let down, I bought the car brand new and maintained it because I planned on keeping it after I had my last Honda for 180,000 miles. Then in April one night while I was driving home it kept slipping gears until I would hit 50mph. The next day I reversed out of my driveway to find out it would not go in Drive. I let it run a while longer and kept shifting thru the gears and I got it down to my mechanic. The car had 114,000 on it at this point my mechanic tried everything possible to see if he could salvage it but it just wasn't worth it. My best option was a remanufactured Honda Transmission with a 3 year 36K warranty. The car was too bad to trade it or sell myself and I didn't want to take out a new auto loan yet because I am buying a house so I went with fixing the car. The Transmission was $2500 and then I had some additional work done since I am going to keep the car longer now that its fixed. It killed me to put this money into the car but on the bright side the car drives like new and hasn't driven this good since about 2 or 3 years ago. The Transmission was deteriorating for a while but because I drove the car all the time I just got use to it.

Its a real disappointment that my 2002 Honda needed this repair my family and I have had a great Honda Track record with a 1988 Accord (155K), 1991 Accord (180K), 1998 Accord (135K and still going), and a 2000 Accord (220K) all these cars were sold and had no major problems when we got rid of them. I am thinking I am keeping this car for a while but when I replace it I am not sure if I want another Honda, I am thinking about trying out Toyota to see if I have better luck. I see I am not the only person who has had this problem and the people who bought the 2001 Honda Civics seem to have even more problems.

- , Lincoln Park, NJ, USA

problem #66

Apr 142009

Civic LX V4 V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,480 miles

Bought 2002 Civic LX(automatic) in December 2002 paid it off December 2007 currently has 125480 all highway miles owned the car 6 years and 5 months(not very long). My transmission just like the others on April 14TH 2009 started to miss 2ND and 3RD gear then eventually no forward speed at all. What I found out the transmission has a screen inside it (like a screen on your front door/window) and it was clogged and not letting the fluid/pressure get to the torque converter which is what you transmission needs to shift gears. Now most Honda dealers will tell you your transmission is shot and you need a new or rebuilt transmission for the cost of $2000-3000. I agree with this but it is not the transmission it is the screen blocking the fluid. Unfortunately the screen is located inside the transmission which you would have to take apart the whole transmission just to get to the screen to clean so you are screwed either way. I have a very smart friend who knew what exactly what was wrong and this is what we did. Drained all transmission fluid (by the way if you do not replace and drain the transmission fluid every 10000-15000 miles you need to drain it immediately before it is to late I do not care anymore what the dealers recommend 90000 is bullxxxx). I am not talking about a transmission flush for $200 I am talking about draining your current transmission fluid and replacing it with new just like your oil. This was our temporary fix for this. Drain all transmission fluid and look at the transmission bolt it is magnetized and probably has all kind of metal shavings on it clean it. There is a small bolt(mine was marked with a blue color) on top of the engine just to the left of the spark plugs and we removed this which was the transmission line that provides the pressure and fluid to the to torque converter. What my smart friend did next is he made a special tool where he put a small hose in the hole(where the blue bolt was) on top of the engine and used compressed air to blow out the clogged screen. After we did this we put new fluid in ran it and WALAAAA we had movement again. We took it one step further we ran it for about 15 minutes re-did the above process again and I took it for a drive and it is running like new.NOTE this may work for a week or last a year I do not know IT HAS BEEN A DAY but I do know I will be replacing my fluid every 10000-15000 miles to prevent anymore clogging. I am not a mechanic by any means my friend is and what gets me why did Honda make the transmissions without any filters instead of the screens it beyond me. I hope you find this all useful info. This is my 3RD owned Honda but I am losing faith in their product. The car is 6 years old and to have this major of a repair is ridiculous. I got off cheap this time but eventually hopefully at 200,000 miles I will be getting a rebuilt transmission and not have any more issue like this one.

Transmission failure with the Honda Civic is a widespread problem in models made from the early 2000s. The 2001 Honda Civic appears to be the worst year for transmission failure

Many of the transmission failure complaints are caused by the torque converter failing - the engine will rev up but the car won't shift into gear or move. In some reports, the torque converter burned up the transmission fluid which ruined the transmission. Which exactly what happened to me.

Currently there is no recall for the transmission defect, because it is not a safety issue (according to the NHTSA). So far, a class action lawsuit has not been filed.

However Honda has offered some Civic owners out-of-warranty compensation for the transmission repairs. Rather than going through your local dealership, it's best to contact Honda Customer Service at (800) 999-1009 and ask for a "goodwill repair".

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #65

Mar 202009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,500 miles

I have a 2002 Civic LX that I just payed off in June 2008. I was so happy; I just bought new rims and tires, new suspension strut bars for the front and rear, a new DVD player, a new paint job just like the original with blue flakes. My car looks sweet - two days before my transmission crapped out. I spent all day cleaning the under body and repainting it so it looks brand new. Then dooms day...

I spent $2,000 to replace the timing belt, getting the A/C fixed, repairing an oil leak, changed sensors and some other sh*t. I called Honda $5,000: $3,500 for the new transmission, $700 for replacing the radiator fans, another oil leak on the head and that's NOT including labor. I live in Guam, so to get a new on would require me to pay cash up front and then it would take two months to get it here. It comes by the slowest ship in the world and that sucks ass! Honda said they would call me back, and it's been a week and I haven't heard sh*t. I have to stay up until two in the morning to even call them due to the time difference.

I'm thinking that if Honda doesn't pay for the replacement, I'm getting my camera and I'm going to blow up my car and post it on YouTube. I will keep everyone updated if it happens. Thanks for reading.

- , Tamuning, Guam, Guam

problem #64

Apr 022009

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


Can you imagine??? Another 2002 Civic with only 82,000 miles and a dead auto. transmission??? Who woulda' thunk it???

Repair estimate (dealer) $2370 (remanufactured tranny)

Can anyone guess why Hundai is seeing a sales increase during these bad economic times? BECAUSE THEY STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS! 100,000 mile drive train warranty and and "job loss" program.

I wish my daughter had not bought this car, and had stuck with Toyota like she grew up with. But, she wanted a Civic. Well, she got one just last summer. Her first ever car. Now, she'll need to spend another $2400 to keep it running.

For the same $2400 on top of what she paid for the Civic she could have bought a 2 year newer Toyota Corolla to begin with.

Honda had one try at her as a lifetime customer, and they blew it miserably...Forever.

- , South Weber, UT, USA

problem #63

Dec 022008

Civic EX 2.1L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Same as everyone else, I tapped my bank account, got a loan, and put it all in for a newer Honda Civic, a good reliable car, or so I thought.

When coming home from the airport, 100 miles from home, the car died at a stop light. We had to have AAA tow the car to a scummy place in Queens and rented a car to get home. After doing research online and fearing everyone in NYC would try to rip me off, I decided to have it done at a transmission chain store, Lee Myles. $3500 was the final cost including a 3yr/36k mile warranty. I called American Honda to complain and file a claim for a goodwill repair. When the finally got back to me almost a month later, their final deal was to give me $1000. Better than nothing, but barely a dent in what I paid out of pocket. Worst of all, I felt like I was being pressured into accepting the $1000 instead of holding out for the full price of the transmission. They demanded to know if I was satisfied with their payout. I felt like if I said no, I would have got nothing, so I sold out and told them that they had done a good job and that I would buy another Honda. NO FREAKING WAY!!!! is what I really thought. They also acted like this was an isolated incident because they have no evidence in their systems that conclude there is a recurring problem with these Hondas, despite this website.

- , Red Hook, NY, USA

problem #62

Mar 202009

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I bought this car new and have diligently kept up on the maintenance and services. Same exact story as everyone else... Transmission slipping in the mornings for about 6 months. Southern CA dealer told me that I needed to let the car "warm up". This led to total transmission failure on the 405 freeway in rush hour traffic! I had the car towed to a transmission specialist, since the dealer was no help and couldn't even diagnose the problem. Close to $3K later, I have my used car back with a new transmission. Thanks Honda!

- , Encino, CA, US

problem #61

Mar 122009

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

My 2002 Honda Civic stranded me 60 miles away from my home. I was driving and suddenly it felt like I was driving in neutral. I was pressing my foot down on the gas and the car was making revving noises. I pulled over and called AAA; they towed me to the Honda Dealership.

The Honda Dealership in Salem, Oregon sucked. They told me that my transmission had a defect and it was going to cost me $2,750. They explained that my car will not work because of the the transmission, but they did not stop there. They also told me that I needed a $150 LED switch and a $150 alignment procedure. That's $3,000 dollars.

I couldn't stop crying. The stupid Honda people told me to have a great day 5 times while tears were pouring out of my eyes.

I was waiting for my boyfriend so that I could get a ride home. I saw him drive by, so I ran out of the Honda dealership to flag him down. The stupid Honda employees followed me out of the dealership. The guy said to me, "So are you going to fix your car?" and I was like "No, I don't have $3,000!"

Then the Honda employee said,"It's going to cost you way more than $3,000".

So I had my car towed back to Portland (60 miles). I called Honda America and asked if they would consider helping me out with a goodwill repair. The guys spend about 20 minutes reviewing my case. He finally said no. This is why... 1. I never got my car serviced at the Honda Dealership in Portland 2. I towed my car away from the Honda Dealership in Salem 3. My car is out of warranty

I will never buy another Honda. I will devote my life to spreading the truth about my 2002 Japanese piece of crap. I was always told that Honda's were dependable, I feel so betrayed.

For the record, this was not the first time that my Honda Civic stranded me in an undesirable location.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #60

Sep 152008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Tranny failed on this cheap-ass disposable, over-rated Honda Civic. Had the trans rebuilt twice and finally sold the car for next to nothing. Yeah... "great resale, high quality, reliable Honda?" American cars are not as bad as they say after all. That's what I get for listening to others about what car to buy. Never had this type of problem with any of the American cars I have owned. Guess where all the Civics end up after they have trans fixed or replaced? They get sold or traded in before the second or third trans fails, so then some other poor sap buys them from the used car dealers just to have the same problems all over again. Mechanics say the remanufactured transmissions last only 20-30 thousand miles and they fail too. Rebuilding them is even worse. If you have a Civic, dump it now before it "grenades" too.

- , Wichita Falls, TX, US

problem #59

Nov 152008

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I was driving on the highway and suddenly my transmission started to slip. I exited the highway about a 1/4 mile from where it first slipped. At the end of the exit ramp, I had to stop at a traffic light. When it turned green I barely was able to get the car going again... it would only do about 5 MPH. I pulled into a gas station within about 500 ft and checked the level of the transmission oil and it looked okay, but I tried adding a little bit anyway, that's when I noticed that the fluid that was in there was brown. I let it sit a bit in case it needed to cool off or something. I started it up about 15-20 minutes later and it wouldn't even move. I called AAA and had it towed and was told that I needed to get the transmission rebuilt.

- , Fairhaven, MA, USA

problem #58

Mar 092009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Add another one to list all of a sudden having problems accelerating on way to work.

- , Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #57

Mar 042009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,269 miles

the day after i booked my non-refundable trip to Las Vegas, my transmission went on my car! i bought the car in 2005 with 40k miles on it, it now has 80,260. i was driving when i stepped on the gas to speed up, and my car stayed at 20mph, but the rpm's shot up. when stopped at a red light, i went to go, and the car stayed at 0, as the rpms shot up. my car would not go into any gear! i was stuck in the middle of a main road! i had to get towed and found out the next morning that i needed a new transmission! i just payed for a non-refundable trip to Vegas! i don't have the money to fix it, nor can i borrow it. my extended warranty ended 6 months ago, and i still have a year and a half left to pay on it. i read this website and contacted American Honda and asked for a goodwill repair. i had my car towed to a Honda dealership and i am awaiting to see if they will help me...if they don't, i will lose all faith in what i thought was supposed to be a reliable car, Honda, and i will never purchase a Honda again! i will keep you posted on if my repairs will be covered...if they are not, i am definitely interested in a civil action suit!

Update from Jun 6, 2009: to continue my last complaint, America Honda got back to me and told me that i need my transmission completely replaced, it couldn't even be rebuilt! the cost is $2600...America Honda is holding me responsible for $1880 plus tax. that does not satisfy me by any means! i will NEVER purchase a Honda EVER EVER EVER again! Toyota here i come! if there is ever a civil action suite on Honda's crappy transmissions, im in! this is sooooo not fair! reliable my eye! i'm done with Honda!

- , Worcester, MA, USA

problem #56

Feb 092009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

Ok, It all starts in late April of 2006. My current car had been making one too many strange noises, so I decided to buy my first real car. By real car I mean $13,000 worth, where I had to get a loan to pay for it. I did my research, and it seemed like Honda's lasted forever and a day,and they got really good gas mileage ( I live in the sticks... no really...13 miles from the closet gas station) so I found my car and bought it. The first day I get my 2002 Honda Civic EX home, I notice a flat tire. Ok, so I take it back and they tell me they "forgot" to put a valve stem on it. Isn't that like the first day in "Automotive Technician School"? How to inflate a tire? Whatever, they fix it, it's under warranty. A few months later, the trunk latch breaks. Ok, take it back and have it fixed. Still under warranty. Few months later (do you see a pattern here?) the alternator belt starts making that wonderful sound they are know to make (like you closed a cat in a trash compactor... and it's screaming). Take it to Honda. No longer under warranty. Ok, I can live with the noise. Try Ivory soap, tightening it, loosing it. Nothing. Fine. Replace the belt myself. Car is good for about a week, then, back comes the screeching cat under my hood. It's definitely something more. Then the breaks went. Luckily I noticed it before it was the rotors too. Get the breaks fixed. Then the 2 front struts went. Replaced them myself (since it's no longer under warranty). Then the caster bushings went. No one I have talked to even know what these are! They rot through so very rarely, that no body know how to fix them. Fine, pull it apart, and do it myself. Notice while I'm under there, that the tie rods are bad. Fix those too. By now I have no idea how much I have spent on fixing my "certified" Honda. Everything is great. Then I notice the gears are slipping in between 1st and second, and the engine is revving until it catches. Take it to Honda. They find nothing wrong with it, but suggest flushing the fluid. Fine. $400, please. Also,they tell me I need another new tie rod. Great. I'll do that next week. Take it home. Still slipping. Maybe it always did this and I just never noticed. Boyfriend is driving it to work, when the alternator belt goes. Tow it to my uncle's garage, and replace the belt again. While we're under there, we notice that the tie rod isn't bad, it just need a bolt tightened. IDIOTS! Now I know they are just trying to get money from me. Still can't find exactly why the belt is doing what it's doing. I'll just have to be diligent and replace it often. Brakes go again. Take it in and have them done professionally (way too cold outside to be messing around with the car at home). 3 days later notice a grinding noise and burning smell. Take it back to Honda, the caliper is frozen and they can't get the part for at least 24 hours. (yes, this is a dealership...with no parts!) Get a rental car for the night to get to work and back. Pick up the car the next day. Now the check engine light is on. Turns out it's just the gas cap, but is still pretty frustrating! Trunk latch breaks again. Perfect. Now I get to drive around with bungie cords holding my car together, since I will never go back to the dealership. Classy. Car is good for most of the winter. Monday Feb 9. All that changes. Boyfriend is driving to a doctor's appointment, when the car stops shifting all together. Pulls over and hitches home (on the way some 70 year old lady in an Oldsmobile flips him the bird...perfect). Get it towed to my uncle's garage. Need a new transmission. JOY! Apparently, this is a common problem, so they used transmissions are few, far between and at least $1200. Any other car it would only be $600. Thank you Honda. I can replace the transmission myself (with a bit of help), but I will have no guarantee that it won't blow up within a week. Rebuilding it will cost $1200 to $2200. Honda says they can put a new tranny in for $3500. I tell them to go to hell. Still owe about $8000 on the damn thing! Can't even get a crappy car and transfer the payments because I still owe so much on it. My only option is to have it rebuilt, and take the 12,000 mile warranty. I have lost all hope for Honda, they didn't even pretend to be sympathetic to my problems. They just want the money. Hope this helps somebody. It the transmission is slipping, take it to a transmission place and have them pull it apart to look at it, don't just take their word that it's fine. Good luck!

- , Leverett, MA, USA

problem #55

May 012007

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Since about 20k miles, when slowing down almost to a stop then pressing the gas, the engine would violently jerk as the transmission tried to downshift. I learned to apply the gas very very gently in this situation to give it time to pick the right gear. I lived with this for the next 40k miles.

Transmission finally died at 60k miles. Had delayed shifts from 1st to 2nd gear and sometimes from 2nd to 3rd. This went on for about a year and was worse during winter. Eventually developed a whining noise for a few months. Wife was going up a hill one day and it completely gave out.

I changed the tranny fluid with Honda genuine ATF every 25k miles (instead of the 100k miles they suggest thinking it would last longer). Turns out this was a waste of $7/quart for fluid that made no difference. I ended up paying for labor while Honda picked up the parts. I wonder how long my rebuilt replacement will last. My friends and family have purchased Honda's based on my previous good experience with a 1990 Accord. I am no longer recommending Honda and feel bad for those that bought them.

- , Munhall, PA, USA

problem #54

Dec 082005

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


- , White Plains, NY, USA

problem #53

Feb 052009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

While driving home from the airport in middle of the night, my car starting revving really hard without accelerating. I found the only way to stop it sporadically revving was to run under 2k RPM or 20 mph.

I felt I had this issue in a very minor sense. At rare occasions, my car would rev up really high as if it had down shifted, then it would return to normal. And now it's constantly doing this.

I was extremely worried about the car, so I towed it to the nearest dealership, and they called me back today saying the transmission needs to be replaced for $3500. First time

I've had a single car fix costing more than $1k, and I don't think its worth it. Especially if models like mine are having the same issue in masses.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #52

Feb 022009

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Same problem as all the other civic owners-total transmission failure. Yes, I have a lot of miles on the car but I do almost zero city driving. This car should have done 200k with no issues. I drive with a light foot andI take great care of it with all scheduled maintenance completed. The thing that kills me the most is that Honda acts like this is an isolated issue. And to make matters worse, I also own an Odyssey that I've learned fom this site has the same issues-WONDERFUL! I've bought 3 hondas over the last 12 years but never again. This is not the same company that it once was.

- , El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 142009

Civic EX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Tranny blew up entering the driveway. Called Honda Corporate. Towed the car to the dealer. During the week got a few calls from the case manager who was doing the investigation. At the end of the week got a call from the case manager asking what I was looking for, eventually agreed that Honda would cover everything except for $1,200.

Final cost: $1,200 for repairs + ~$100 for tow + ~$100 for taxes + the need to get a spare car for 1.5 weeks. The work came with a warranty for 36,000 miles/3 years.

Factors that helped our case: Bought the car brand new from the dealer we towed the car to. Owned nothing but Hondas and Acuras for 10 years(some used/some new). Had some maintenance receipts(although didn't need to fax them since none of them were related to transmission). Very low mileage - 50,000, was told that these trannies should last at least 100,000.

Factor that might have helped the case: a few months ago emailed the dealers for a quote on a new civic, but decided to wait till the summer to buy it. Didn't list my last name, so the guy would have needed to connect my account on Owners Link with the email used to contact the dealer.

Will we still get that new Honda in the summer? Yes, but instead of buying, we'll lease...since a single repair can wipe out all savings from long-term owning.

- , Short Hills, NJ, USA

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