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 14 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Nov 152007

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Full Transmission failure, among other problems. This is the worst car I have ever owned. After leaving my college on a cold night and the transmission began to slip. I pulled to the next light and the car does not move at all. I heard a high pitch noise coming from the engine bay which tells me the torque converter went along with the clutches. I took it to the Honda dealer because the recommended interval trans. fluid change is is 120k.. I talked to the dealer and had the car fixed (3,000) total investment into the car after purchase 6,000. After talking to Honda I was told they will not take any responsibility for the complete failure. This car is a piece of junk. I will never purchase a Honda again.

- , Oldmsar, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 082008

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My Honda Civic 2002 started showing check engine soon indicator along with inability to run above 10miles/hour speed. It is a well maintained car and never had any problem. I got it diagnosed by Honda Dealership and they are saying that its electronc load detaector (ELD) and transmission need to be replaced in just 3800 $. I am confused if it is just ELD or Tranny or both components causing problem simultaneously?

- , East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #8

Jan 012008

Civic LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

I was so confused when my Honda Civic started making a strange noise, and then completely stopped running and my husband and I ended up pushing it down the street! It only has 43,000 miles on it, and is not even 6 years old. I got it towed to a transmission specialist and was advised that I needed a completely new transmission and it would cost $2,500! I was just about ready to pay the amount when my husband found this website. Based on what we read from all the other transmission problems, we knew that there was something faulty about the original transmission. We called the dealership where the car was purchased, and they agreed to look at it and possibly cover some of the cost. After evaluation my car, the Honda dealership covered all the costs, including labor and even agreed to reimburse us for the towing cost. If it wasn't for this website I would've spent $2,500 for a problem that I thought I had somhow caused! Thank you everyone so much for your input!

- , Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 212007

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,353 miles


I am extremely dissatisfied with Honda. At only 90,353 miles I found myself having to spend almost $3000.00 to rebuild and fix my transmission. I had no warning signs except to one day prior to my break down. I bought a Honda because they are said they will last you forever. I had my car serviced every 3,000 miles and I did not abuse it or drag race or anything of that nature. I have called Honda and filed a complaint and have asked them to pay for the damages to my car. I will never buy nor recommend a Honda to anyone because of my problems. I have also heard numerous people tell me about their 02 Honda Civic transmission problem. I think there is a problem with that year and model car. Honda should reimburse us all for our troubles.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #6

Nov 222007

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Bought the car used, from a very reliable party on November 13, 2007. Put the car in our garage until Saturday, 11/17, when we gave it to our son for his birthday. When he drove to our house on Thanksgiving, 11/22, the car died and would not shift. The car revved up, but it was like in neutral. My husband had to go pick up my son--the transmission had failed. We were unable to contact anyone over the holiday weekend, but did find this site which was VERY HELPFUL. After reading the complaints here and in the 2001 section I thought I knew what to do. I called American Honda at the 800 number, told them what happened and that we had all the service records - including the most recent one, which was a major service at 103,000. I also told them I had the Honda Service bulletin which stated that '01-'04 civics were apt to have transmission failure. I spoke to a very helpful woman at American Honda who told me that some Civics had their warranties extended to 109,000 or 7 years 9 months, but that it was VIN specific. She checked my VIN number, and naturally my VIN was not covered. However, she said American Honda might still help out. Yesterday, I had the car towed to a local dealership for the diagnosis, which must be done at a Honda dealership. Today, I found out, as suspected, that it's transmission failure (not a surprise) AND the cost to repair would be $3450. The good news - American Honda will pay $2500--the cost of the parts; we have to pay for the labor, $950. We also paid $63 to have it towed to the dealership. Final cost to us is $1013. It's a lot of money, but I am happy that Am Honda is picking up the bulk of the cost. I was concerned that it would take a long time to get an answer from Am. Honda, so am glad to report that the turn around time was only 1 day! I wasn't told much, but the service guy told me that having the transmission flushed at 103,000 was a big factor in Honda agreeing to pay. It's part of the major service. So, it was totally worth calling around, checking out this site and finding out what to do. Oh, did I mention that the new transmission comes with a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty?! Thank you and all the people that wrote in with what happened to them and what they did!

- , Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 112007

(reported on)

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I bought this car used and it had transmission problems early on. I was shocked. Thankfully, the transmission was fixed by the dealer. However, six months later my car broke down and I was stranded. It turned out that the transmission completely went this time and I needed a brand new one. My car was towed to a Honda dealer and they repaired it free of charge because they said that Honda had to warranty it because the transmission must have been defective for it to go that quickly.

- , Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 132007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


purchased car new in 2002.Had all recommended services done since owning car.Recently,have to replace transmission after 90,000 miles. Why was there no warning about this problem since i spent over 6,000 dollars the last 5 years on preventive services as per Honda dealer.This should have been detected months ago.Had nothing but problems with this car since year one.Had a 1995 Honda ,and it was the best car i ever had. It had over 100.000 miles and ran like new. What has happen to Honda. This is not the same car it used to be. I will be contacting the local news stations as well as newspapers about this and other problems.People need to know the facts before buying Hondas.

- , Long Beach, CA, US

problem #3

Oct 302007

(reported on)

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I have owned my 2002 Honda Civic for almost 3 years. I bought it used, with 44,000 miles on it, from a Honda dealership with an extended warranty. After having other problems with the car, and nothing being covered by the "bumper to bumper" warranty, I canceled the warranty. About a month ago, the transmission started slipping. Within 2 days, the car would not even go forward. We took it to a local transmission place to have it looked at, and we called American Honda in the meantime. They explained that we had to take it to a dealer to be considered for help with the costs, so we had it towed again to the dealer. The dealership reported that the transmission fluid was overdue to be changed. This is not true, because the scheduled time to change it was 90,000 miles. We were hoping for this to "fix" our problem, but were not convinced. Now, one month later our car has complete transmission failure. We are waiting to hear back from American Honda, and we are hoping that more people would report if this has happened to them. There are so many 2001 transmission complaints, and this probably helps when trying to get Honda to help pay for this cost... we would love to hear more stories from 2002 Civic transmissions if people are out there. My husband and I are both college students, and we were expecting this Honda to be the reliable car! Since our 92' Lexus is proving to outperform our fairly-new Honda we know where we will buy our next car from.

- , Missoula, MT, USA

problem #2

Oct 242007

(reported on)

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I have a 2002 honda civic ex with 102,000 miles on it. The transmission went bad in it and it would not engage in gear once the car was hot. I had the transmission rebuilt two weeks ago and it is driving terribly. The transmission is slipping, when going from 1st gear to 2nd gear the rpm's redline and then it goes into second gear. I have brought it back several times and they most recently installed a new linaer valve (Solenoid). That was today and it drove alright for three miles and then the problems started to surface again. It starts off slow then it gets progressively worse. The transmission rpm's shoot up and there is a vibration on the floor especially when corning while accelerating. I paid $2,430 for this car to be repaired and it seems like I'm getting screwed over. When I bring the car back to be repaired I'm met with hostility by the owner.

- , Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Civic LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles

2002 Honda Civic LX, COMPLETE TRANSMISSION FAILURE 140,000Km Vehicle serviced routinely at dealership. Transmission serviced BY Honda at 90,000Km

Always had a concern with the way car shifted from slowing down to accelerating - slight bump noticed occasionally. Asked dealer about this (early in the warranty period), he stated this was common in the civic not really a cause for concern. Was probably an early warning sign but Honda took the path of least resistance. Be warned if you have this symptom.

Anyway, just out of power train warranty, I'm faced with a $3000 bill. Tried to locate a used transmission but no one has any in stock! Auto wreckers indicate that Honda vehicles from 2001 on, the transmissions are built so poorly they cannot keep any on the shelf - demand is so high. Consequently they sell at a premium; $1200 - $1400 with only a 4 month warranty (however still the same junky transmission).

I would recommend going with a used tranny and sell. However if you plan to keep the car for any length of time then I'd suggest to spend a little more and find a good transmission specialist who can rebuild, put in some decent parts and hopefully get you some extended life.

The Honda name for a good quality vehicle is a myth. Just read the ton other Honda complaints on this website.

That's my $0.02 worth.

- , Chilliwack, BC, Canada

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