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 12 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Jan 212009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles


It has been 4 days since the transmission failed. I could tell my car was sounding different for over a month, but not a major noise. A week ago I looked up to see when my next oil change was so that I could have it looked at then. Jan. 21st I reversed out of my driveway and could not get it to go in a driving gear. After a while, I got it in D3 and went a little way and turned around so that I was safe in my driveway instead of on the side of the road in 30 degree temps. Praise God for where it happened! I had the car towed to the Honda dealership and I went to work. They called and said my transmission went out (internal part failure). Two months ago I spent $860 to replace timing belt, water pump, battery, etc. I heard them say over $2000.

I can get a new from Honda for $2900.

Other options outside Honda:

I can get a used in for $1200.

I can get a rebuilt for $1700.

Of course I can trade my car in for a new Honda (they will give $1200 trade value). I decided I would replace the transmission with Honda and get at least 3 years out of the car. That is when I discovered that they would have to order the transmission and there are NONE available right now. They do not know when one will be. I would have to rent a car until WHEN????? I am glad I found this website. I have called American Honda to file a complaint (dealership has already on my behalf and they said they would not assist). I should hear from them tomorrow. I have had a Honda for 17 years. I am now looking at others.

- , Tunnel Hill, GA, USA

problem #49

Jan 122009

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

My girlfriend's civic started making a weird vibrating noise from the transmission whenever in park or stopped in drive. about a week later, she was driving out of her neighborhood and her car would rev almost to redline, but it wouldn't go any faster than 20mph. once she got on the interstate tho, she said the problem went away, and the rest of the day it didn't come back. After telling me about it, i looked it up online and found all the complaints on here about the same problem. Sure enough, the next day when we tried to drive it to the Honda dealership to get it looked at, the transmission went out before we got out of the neighborhood and the car wouldn't move at all. we got the car towed, ASKED THE DEALERSHIP about the goodwill program, and they looked into it for us. Told us that we were approved, but still had to pay $2000??? i thought that was bull**, but i guess its better than $3200... i feel Honda's lost any bragging rights it had over American cars after this. i now feel better about owning my mustangs

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #48

Jan 062009

Civic V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

My Honda had been over-reving when I first started off in the mornings. Mind you, I live in Florida so no need for pre-warming should happen around here. My engine light came on and I took the car diligently to the Honda dealership and told them of the over-reving and the light. The light indicated that my gas cap was bad so I had it replaced and since I was at the notorious 100K, I had the serpentine belts all changed out. No mention of the over-reving. This was back in August of 2008. Well around 5K miles later, I am hearing a whining like a top being pulled when I reved into second gear. This was added with the over-reving again when it was cold. I had placed an appointment to take my car back to the dealship to look it over again and replace the transmission fluid for me. Two days later I am driving to work and about halfway to my work it is really over-reving, but finally engaging in gear and keeping me moving forward. I stopped at a stop sign and pulled out into a busy road and the car would only go 20 miles an hour and hard rev. I hit the gas pedal, it reved and I kept going only 20 miles an hour. Mind you, people are now behind me honking their horns as this is supposed to be a 60 mile an hour zone. I pull of to the side and stop. Now, when I start the car up again after a few minutes, the car goes forward like nothing is wrong. Afraid that this might happen again, I try to limp my way to my work where at least I can call and have the car towed. I pull into my work driveway and now I am not geting any response to my gas pedal. Dead in the water. Luckily right in front of my work. I get the car towed and get a call from the dealership and they tell me that this is a very odd problem and is not like most failures they see in the transmission. Normally it would have problems when it gets warm they tell me. They gave me two options for transmissions, a used one with 30K miles on it from a car that got into a wreck with a 1 year warranty or a used shell with all new components inside with a 3 year warranty. The new one being more than $1000 more in cost and would take a week to get since it is a made to order part. The used one would take a few days to get here. I had asked if the failure was due to the fluid or some type of maintance issue that was my fault. They said these things just happen. After reading the other 45 people that had complaints just like mine on here, it does look to just happen to this 2002 transmission. I noticed when reading the issues there was a "goodwill" option a person had received that took care of the transmission and all he had to pay for was the labor. I am going to try that route since the total cost of the used transmisson and labor is looking to run me around $3K. I am also going to ask about what year is the used transmission coming out of as I don't want to have this happen again. Does anyone know if this issue is only for the 2002 or other years of the civic? Very curious to know. I will also be putting my info into the other site that was mentioned. I am happy that it was just me on a sunny morning, rather than my wife and our kids at night on the freeway like another person had. Oh, as an added note, when I asked if the replacing the transmission would fix the issue, they told me they were not sure. They needed to replace it and clear the computer and see what other issues might come up. Was NOT happy about that statement. Told the service agent that I was pissed that they did not find anything on the first time I was in on August. He told me that since there was 5K miles put on that this was a seperate issue. I guess I should have really pushed the issue with the over-reving at that time. Of course, it this has always been an issue for the 2002 transmissions, they already knew and hoped that it would just die and they could say that "this just happens".

- , New Port Richey, FL, US

problem #47

Jan 052009

Civic LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


My daughter told me about her engine revving in the morning when she drove her car but it went away. She was going to take it to a repair shop when the worst happened. Last night while driving home from work her car wouldn't go over 20 miles an hour. She managed to take backroads to her sons daycare to pick him up but couldn't drive the car home. We had to pay $240 to have her car towed to a dealership. The tow truck driver was very helpful and checked the transmission fluid for her. It was very low even though she had had her car serviced recently and all the fluids were fine. Today the dealership called and told her that her transmission was shot and needed to be replaced. Cost to replace will be $3100!!! After reading the complaints on this website I am pissed!!! She doesn't have the money to pay for this so guess who it falls on. I thought when she bought the Honda from my parents she would have a dependable car for years. I will definitely be calling Honda America tomorrow to see if they will assist in paying for the repairs. What is even more b.s. is that for that much money you can only get a rebuilt transmission, not a new one. She only has 87,000 miles on it so we expected a lot more from Honda. I have almost 90,000 miles on my Nissan XTerra and have never had a problem with it. You can bet I'm sticking with Nissan and her next car won't be a Honda.

- , Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #46

Dec 152008

Civic EX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Transmission was slipping a little so I took it to my Honda dealer for service. They called and said the transmission fluid was black and smelled burnt. They changed it as well as giving me a timing belt service package ($635) and sparkplug change ($200). Upon taking it for a test drive, it stopped working. After a restart they managed to get it back to the dealership where it gave the error code corresponding to "Improper Gear Ratio" which in turn translated to Complete and Total Transmission Failure. I did some digging and found very similar problems with other Civics and Accords. I filed a complaint with Honda of America and after a WEEK of review they called to tell me that they would discount $700 off of a new I'm still out $2,500.

- , Graniteville, SC, USA

problem #45

Dec 252008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

The day before x-mas I noticed that it would start revving, almost redlining, when I hadn't accelerated. It only did it a couple of times so I thought I would take it in the day after x-mas. Well I ended up stranded on x-mas night! When I first started driving I couldn't go over 20mph without redlining for a couple of minutes and then it seemed ok. When I got off the freeway I had to stop at a redlight and from there I would hit the gas and it wouldn't move. Spent x-mas night having strangers push my car to a gas station. The transmission light didn't even come on until the car wouldn't move. Checked the fluid and it was fine. Next day I towed it to the dealership and they said I needed a whole new transmission. I was so upset due to thinking I had a dependable car that would last for years and I still have another year left of payments. My last car, a Mitsubishi Diamante, went up to 191,000 before having any major problems. I praise the service guys at the dealership though because I didn't know about good will repairs and they offered to contact American Honda for me to try to get a discount, otherwise it would be about $3500. I spent a couple of days stressing, especially after finding this site and hearing about so many who didn't get help from Honda. I found out today that Honda will cover the entire cost of the transmission, $2500, and I'll have to pay for the labor, $900. I bought the car used from a Honda dealership, had all my maintenance done at Honda, and have never been late on a payment so I think these factors may have influenced their decision. While the service department was great in telling me about goodwill repairs and arranging it, I'm still disappointed in Honda because I really thought they were dependable and this site proves that they have a major flaw in their transmissions and I still have to spend way more $ than I ever planned at such low mileage. If you've got one of these lemons take it to Honda for maintenance because it may help to get a goodwill repair when your transmission goes. I'll never buy another Honda and once this gets fixed, I'm considering selling it before the new transmission goes.

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #44

Dec 222008

Civic LX 4cyl. 1.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 78,000 miles


This is the first problem (not self inflicted) I have had with my Honda and I have beat this thing to death. I did damage the front struts but I did that taking a hard right at 40 mph, so I can't really blame the car for that. I am disappointed to have such a major mechanical failure at 78,000 miles. I have an excellent mechanic with great prices that is going to replace the transmission with a used one for about 700 - 800 parts and labor. I just moved into a sales position, so I will be leasing cars from now on. I do not think I will ever buy another Honda. I will buy a toyota or lease a car instead.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #43

Dec 272008

Civic EX Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,500 miles

Like many others here, I've taken good care of my Civic, drive conservatively, and perform regular maintenance as suggested. So when my transmission gave out this past weekend, I was pretty disappointed with the fabled "Civic that lasts forever."

I'll probably end up dumping the car for about 1/4 of the blue book just to get rid of the problem. I'd rather make payments on a new car than to pour another $3000 into a car that's barely worth $6k and take a chance on something happening again.

I did file a complaint on the website: and hope everyone else will too.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 192008

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,731 miles

On a very cold day, I started the car to warm it up. Left running for 15 minutes, then drove 1/2 mile, placed in park, and let run for another 10 minutes. When I got back into the vehicle to drive away, it would not shift into gear. No warning - no noises, odors etc. I checked the transmission fluid and it was full, clean and correct color. Had to get it towed to a transmission shop where I was informed that the transmission needs replacing for $3500. I bought this car used 2 years ago thinking that Hondas are reliable cars. I drive it carefully and maintain regularly. The transmission shop cannot find a reason for why this happened. Now upon researching this problem, I find this is a common problem among 2001/2002 Civics. I cannot believe that at such low mileage, the transmission would suddenly die with no cause. Now I am left without a vehicle for several weeks and no way to get to work, while the transmission suppliers close down for the holidays. Thanks a lot Honda!! So much for their reliable reputation. In the past I owned two Mazda's that reached over 275,000 km before any major problems occurred. I will never buy another Honda again unless they do the right thing and recall these Civics.

- , Calgary, Alberta, Canada

problem #41

Dec 012008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,177 miles

I owned this Honda Civic EX 2002 about 20 months and the transmission just broke, starting with an annoying buzz sound. After 2 weeks of the sound was noticed, the transmission just no longer work and the car does not move forward or backwards. I had to contact a Honda dealer in Mexico to replace the transmission since I have heard bad comments about Honda Civic transmissions. In fact, I owned a Honda Accord LX 1988 wich had kind of the same problem but at that time I found a used and cheap transmission, wich is not this case. Honda dealer in Mexico is replacing the transmission with 1 year warranty. I hope I can sell this car before the warranty end or before the replaced transmission start failing as well.

I am loosing faith in Honda due to automatic transmissions.

- , Nogales, Sonora, Mex, Mexico

problem #40

Dec 132008

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


another victim. bought used at 68K, now has 106K. noticed a hard down shift in the car every once in a while soon after purchase, but didn't think too much off it. on the day of the transmission failure, i noticed the car had a hard time going into second gear, but like one of the complaints on here, thought it was because i didn't let the car heat up enough before driving away. drove about 30 miles and the transmission completely failed. no gears. going to take it to a shop tomorrow. don't have a good feeling. still upside down $2000 in the car. sick.

- , Decatur, GA, US

problem #39

Nov 242008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,321 miles

I too have a 2002 Honda Civic LX. Two days before my meltdown, my transmission began I guess what is called slipping or stalling. I took it as maybe I didn't let my car warm up fully, because those two mornings it was very cold and the problem ended minutes later. Well needless to say on the third day, as I was leaving home to go to Firestone for an oil change and to get my transmission checked it began to slip everytime it attempted to go into the next gear. Needless to say I did not make it Firestone. The car stopped accelerating at the light. I was able to put it into a low gear and move it to get out the middle of the roadway. It then went backwards, and that was it. My car had to be towed, the Monday before Thanksgiving, as I was preparing to travel out of state to visit family for the holidays. Very disappointing! I took it to a transmission specialists,via tow truck, and the first thing he says is "I work on a lot of Honda's (ummm Honda, just a side note, ummm that's not a statement you want coming out of a mechanics mouth), therefore, I am very much aware of the problem." I thought to myself "okay good" that is until he told me it will cost at a discounted rate between $1,200 and $2,000. Oh My Goodness. Yes, my car has 119k miles, and yes, I have had it since 2003; but, I thought Honda's were reliable and dependable cars. I was told, correct me if I'm wrong, that Honda's should last a good 16 to 18 years, and go far beyond 130K miles before needing major work. I am not pleased. Then I am told that rebuilding the transmission or having a re manufactured one is only going to last maybe another 1.5 to 2 years. Unacceptable!! Help. Does anyone know of Honda recalling these transmissions? I am aware of the recall on the Accords and Honda Manual transmissions, but are they recalling or assisting with the cost of repairing their poor 2002 Honda Civic LX Automatic Transmissions?

- , Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #38

Oct 262008

Civic LX 1.7L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Another victim at 113,000 Mi.- Transmission completely went out, no warning. I bought this car with 40K and never changed the fluid. Luckily, my most excellent neighbor (a former mechanic)said he knew a little trick that might work. I was skeptical but figured it was worth a try. In less than 30 minutes my transmission worked again. Fluid was changed about a week later. Its been about six weeks and so far so good. I dont know if this is a long term fix, I just wanted to add to the complaints about an obvious problem with 01 and 02 Civics here that from what Im seeing, replacement is the most common solution. The procedure that was done cost me a 12 pack. I want to give my neighbor a chance to patent this procedure, that is why I am not being specific about what was done at this time. All I know is he saved me $2500-$3500.

- , Woodstock, IL, USA

problem #37

Nov 252008

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,528 miles

My wife had been complaining about hard shifting and the transmission slipping from time to time. The problem got worse until the car stranded my wife and kid on the freeway at night. The transmission completely failed. The car will not go into any gear.

The dealer does not want to cover repairs even though there numerous complaints about the transmission failing on 2001 and 2002 civics. The cost if I choose to repair it will be $2,700.

- , Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 042008

Civic LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

A car with 74,000 miles should not have the transmission go out. Honda is notorious for this and they should extend their warranty. They extended it for the transmissions up to the 2001 model. My car was manufactured in August 2001 and must have received one of these delightfully horrible transmissions. I will never buy a Honda product again!

- , Ofallon, MO, USA

problem #35

Nov 122008

Civic LX 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,800 miles

the transmission failed waiting to hear back about goodwill repair..

- , Rockwall, TX, US

problem #34

Nov 012008

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Another Honda Civic Transmission Victim!!!

My transmission failed TOTALLY!!!!

Called Honda but they refused to cover any expense. But was told that there is a campaign beneficial to Odyssey and Accord owners.

Why not Civic?

We need to file a class suit against Honda about this transmission defect.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #33

Sep 192008

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,670 miles

We were on our way to pick our son after work and my wife mentioned the valet said there may be something wrong with our transmission. Sure enough, just then the car wouldn't shift into 3rd, then it wouldn't go at all. We coasted down 14th street in DC and came to a stop outside the Department of Commerce. When we stopped it would engage in reverse, but no forward motion at all.

We had the car towed to a Honda dealership who called the next day to tell us the transmission fluid had metal in it and we'd need a new transmission. Awesome! It would only cost $2500 (his estimate then).

We're shopping repair shops now, hoping to find a lower price, but it looks like we're going to be stuck paying 1/3 what we paid for the car - used - three months ago. From the looks of what everyone else has gone through, especially the 2001 group, it looks like we're stuck.

If there is indeed a class action complaint about Honda trannies, count me in!

- , Forest Heights, MD, USA

problem #32

Oct 242008

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My wife's 2002 Honda Civic has only 65,000 miles on it. She honestly drives it like an old lady and then suddenly the transmission starts slipping. She bought this car brand new! It is out of warranty and now we have this additional expense of looking around to have this problem fixed which I am assuming will cost around $2,500 to $3,500 dollars. After reading all of these complaints I am surprised Honda has not done anything about this. Once this transmission is replaced, we are going to trade it in for a Toyota or Nissan!

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #31

Oct 232008

Civic LX 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I read a lot of complaints about Honda's transmission fail around 100K miles. I guess it's true. Expensive fix and shouldn't have failed. I think this is a design flaw and Honda should pay at least half for fixing it. I have a Honda Accord also and heard the same problem occurs, so when it gets to 100K, I guess I have to pay to replace too.

- , Westminster, CA, USA

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