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 8 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #130

Oct 152010

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


While driving on a busy road, my transmission went out without warning. I was at about 40 miles an hour then suddenly could not go over 3 mph. After pulling over, my car would not go into any gears.

I keep really good care of my car and am always ahead of the maintenance schedule

- , Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #129

Nov 052010

Civic 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Okay folks, I'm appalled.

Please tune into Car Talk on your local NPR carrier the weekend of 11/20 (or thereafter if I don't make it on).

It's obvious Honda is ducking this problem which is affecting 2001/2002 Civics at the 8-year mark. A part (torque converter) fails inside and the entire transmission needs replacing.

HONDA - you are close to a class action law suit. My lawyer is archiving Auto Beef complaints at this time.

It is APPALLING that Honda will not acknowledge this problem which presents a clear and present danger to all drivers as failure can occur at any moment. I got lucky and made it across busy traffic and rolled into a gas station.

I will never buy Honda again.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #128

Oct 072010

Civic LX 1.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,236 miles

I owned a 2002 Honda Civic LX just 85000 miles the car is well maintain change engine oil every 3000 miles transmission oil every 35000 miles then one day my son driving to school suddenly the transmission failed in the middle of the street, some folks just help him to push it on the side road. The car wasn't able to move on all the shift gear. we towed to transmission mechanic stated need transmission to rebuilt or replace. now i been thinking on having it rebuilt or get a new one. i believed honda's were reliable but now having a second thought.

- , Rosemead, CA, USA

problem #127

Dec 222009

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles


Unbelievable that a Honda with 117,000 miles had to have a new transmission put in. People thought I was crazy when I told them. It was pretty scary too. My car just stopped driving one day. Good thing I wasn't on the highway. I had a Honda before this one and had no issues with it at all. My father has a Honda and has not had to do anything to his. It is just unbelievable. I won't buy another Honda ( I have had another issue since this incident).

- , Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #126

Sep 182010

Civic LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,505 miles

The dealership personnel are always pleasant. They have everything to gain. My car is eight years old, and I've NEVER had a problem with it. I don't drive it "hard", and I've been told that I could get at least 300,000 miles on it. The car has regular maintenance and RECENTLY had the 100,000 (maybe it was the 120,000) mile service. I use nitrogen in my tires, and synthetic oil. Suddenly, with zero warning, the Honda stopped accelerating. The engine ran, but the car wouldn't move. I had it towed to the DCH Honda Auto Group in Oxnard CA. The mechanic said it was nothing I did wrong.... it just needed a new transmission, bushings, etc. I'm retired and on a fixed income. My car is paid for and I'm not in a position to purchase a new, or used, car. To get my car back, running, it cost me $5,905. This was, indeed, depressing and a financial blow. I feel stupid, in a way, but I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances.

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #125

Sep 232010

Civic DX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Hondas are supposed to be reliable. I don't understand why this is happening. I literally just had the head gasket serviced 1week ago, and right away the transmission failed. It's my first car and i've only had it 2 years. i'm severely disappointed in Honda.

- , Ontario, CA, US

problem #124

Oct 192010

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles


This complaint refers to the gray 2002 Honda civic, so I hope that I chose the proper VIN #. This is only a problem due to our having purchased 2 new Honda Civics (1 gray, the other black) within a 6 month time period. We have faithfully, always had mechanical services done at the same dealership, Community Honda of Orland Park, IL, where we purchased them both.

Anyway, 10/19/10 I was pulling out of my VA hospital job parking lot when the car would not accelerate. I had thought of just taking side streets home, but as I live about 23 miles away and would have to drive through numerous Chicago neighborhoods (including some that are notorious for their potential for danger) I returned to my job and called the dealership for advice. It was suggested that I not drive the vehicle; instead, have it towed to them for review. I was even told I could have a ride home, once I got there. I arrived about 6 p.m. when the service writer returned, after analyzing the problem, his first question aka accusation was that I had made a mistake by not having the transmission fluid checked, added, etc. at appropriate times. I disagreed, pointing out that I have faithfully followed the suggested 5,000, 10,000 etc. service recommendations. I have never missed a service call. He then looked up the car record and acknowledged I had followed up consistently, correctly. He had no explanation as to why this would have still happened. Instead, he went about providing estimates of costs (if I purchased a used transmission from a vendor they use it would be about $3,000 with a 12 month warranty; if I purchased a 'reman' transmission from Honda it would run almost $4,000 with the purchase of a 3 year, 36,000 mile service warranty for an extra fee of course). I declined to decide. Called my spouse who came up. The service writer stood firm. He offered no explanation as to why this problem would occur when we have followed their procedures faithfully. Other than trying to first blame me for not taking care of the service needs, he offered nothing. He also noted that he figured since we had spent time looking at other new Hondas to consider for possible replacement of this one, that we are really satisfied with the cars. He just coldly stone walled us. The car is still there. I'm following through with a complaint as far as I can take it up the chain and try to get Honda to treat me as though I'm still a member of their 'community'. We knew that we were paying more for service calls. We took on that responsibility willingly. We didn't mind because we saw ourselves as supporting a local business and setting up a pattern of continuity over the long term. In fact, I was hoping to have a Honda as my next car, but maybe after 300,000 miles, not 162,000.

Update from Nov 10, 2010: I resorted to contacting the national Honda organization in the USA. They took a duck and dive approach, stating the problem represented an issue with potentially improper maintenance. I advised their staff of my having read the Honda complaints information from the website. They came back with a plan for me to contact the local dealership, insisting that since the problem occurred after 100,000 miles it was not their concern.They had me speak with a different staff person (good idea, as I was not happy to speak with the person who had accused me of poorly maintaining the vehicle, and told the next person of my displeasure, but of course that was of no use. I was contacted by the local delearship and offered about $400 off of either of the first transmission replacement/repair bills. I advised that I still needed to think about it.They also suggested willingness to provide a generous trade-in amount if I bought my next vehicle from them. After this, the only contact I had from them was calls from the sales department offering to sell me another Honda at a good price.My last time in contact with Community Honda was when I returned to take off my license plates and arrange for the car to be donated to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Yes, I fully disclosed the problems. They think it is still a suitable donation. I hope someone can use a 2002 Civic after they replace the transmission. It has a less than 6 month old battery, newer tires, (replaced in the past year or so), new front windshield and looks very good inside and out. I have ordered another car. No, it won't be a Honda. I had considered a Mazda, but the local Mazda dealership is owned by this same bunch of people.

- , Country Club Hills, IL, USA

problem #123

Nov 092006

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Here we go again, the same story, a honda with a transmission problem, nothing but trouble, my wife was nearly hit by a large truck when the trans decided to stop working and just started to rev and rev and go nowhere! Note: I started to have problems with this transmission when the car had about 70,000 miles No matter what you do you will not get more than 95,000 on the Honda's transmission. My wife was driving on a highway like road and the car had no signs of total failure, but there she was stepping on the gas pedal and going nowhere. I called the American Honda corp and they offered a small amount of the $3000 to fix it, and by the way if you do not take the offer in 14 days the offer is removed the Honda people are GD rude as well, We were not able to afford it at the time and that is why we were not able to take their offer but that is it you can't reopen the case.

DO NOT BUY a Honda New or used, todays cars will have tomorrows problems.I will never be sure that a new car today will be a car that you can trust "down the road'. Get a Toyota much better car in my opinion.

- , Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #122

Sep 022010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I am the only owner of my 2002 Honda Civic. It has been very well maintained, and at less than 90,000 miles, the transmission has failed. Less than a year ago I had a flush and my fluid replaced. I was on a busy street in rush hour traffic in Atlanta when it happed, and I had to putter to a safe location. This is a ridiculous, unsafe failure that needs to be recalled.

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #121

Jun 012010

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 123,704 miles

Same story...different person. Sign me up for a class action law suit. It's been giving me problems since I got it. Transmission was rebuilt but now it's the shift linkage??? I'm tired of putting money into this car. I don't know what else to do.

- , Gardner, KS, USA

problem #120

Sep 152010

Civic LX 1.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 76,429 miles


I change the fluids on my Honda and had it under and engine washed. On my way home from the shop the transmission drive gear began slipping. The car came to a complete stop and I was unable to engage drive or reverse. I had to tow the car home. I contacted a mechanic who came with a sensor machine and advised that the transmission needed replacement or fixing. This came without warning. I am now in the process of sourcing a used transmission.

- , Port Of Spain, 01, Trinidad and Tobago

problem #119

Aug 072010

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I have never had ANY problems whatsoever with my car. I changed all the fluids when they say, and do all the maintenance they recommend. I went on a day trip about 50 miles away. On the way home, we filled the car up with gas, and five miles later the problems started. The engine would rev high and not shift. Thankfully my car made it up the hill or I would have coasted two miles backwards. Once to the top of the hill I pulled off and opened the hood. To my surprise there's pink fluid all over the ground under my car. I had a pint of transmission fluid in my trunk, so I attempted to add it in. No such luck- it POURED out of my car all over the ground yet again.

It pissed me off so bad because the reason I bought this Honda was because everyone I know that has one never had problems with it. So flagging down cars in the middle of nowhere with a flashlight in the dark to use a cell phone for a tow truck was awful! Now my car's sitting in the parking lot at my building getting hit by people's doors, instead of me driving it to work. I have no idea how much it'll cost or exactly what's wrong with it transmission wise. All I know is it's broken, I'm sure it's going to be expensive, and I'm out a way to work. Thanks Honda.

- , Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #118

Aug 212010

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

I purchased this car used, Aug 12, 2010. It had 154,000 miles on it. Six days later the transmission went out. Luckily, the dealership that I bought it at, towed the car in and is letting me pick out a different car. I wish I would have come to this website sooner and seen that there is a problem with this car's transmission. I always thought Honda's were more reliable than this.

- , Omaha, NE, USA

problem #117

Aug 192010

Civic LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I had my 2002 Honda Civic LX serviced within the last month. Oil changed, fluids checked. A few weeks later, the engine light went on and the Drive button began blinking all in one day. After taking it back into the shop, I discovered that the transmission was going out. My vehicle only has 95,000 miles on it. So much for Hondas "lasting forever"! I am still trying to figure out what to do with my car since I cannot afford to have a new or rebuilt transmission put in. I drive about 20-30 miles each day to work and I am afraid that the transmission is going to go out while I am on the highway or interstate. I wish that I would have found this website before I purchased my car 3 years ago because I never would have even considered buying it. Honda needs to recall the transmissions in the early 2000 Hondas. FIX OUR PROBLEMS!

- , Mission, KS, USA

problem #116

Jan 202010

Civic EX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I just had bought my car , and hadnt even made the first payment on it. I was driving to get my daughter and there was a little snow on the road. All of the sudden the check engine light came on then the car started slipping and within about 100 ft my car lost all power and was just reving up without moving. We checked the trans fluid and it was completly black.Now i have replaced the tran but not the torque converter and my car still isnt working. So now I am going to try a torque converter and hopefully this works! I am completley agianst hondas now. Honda should do something about this they are losing valuable customers.

- , Lansing, NC, USA

problem #115

Jun 202010

Civic LX 1.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

The tranny blew out at 90K miles when ironically i was driving to the dealer to get an oil change. Luckily i was off the highway then i noticed the rpm skyrocketed & the car would not go more then 20 mph. Then parked on a side street. The dealer quoted me $3,600 for a remaufactured tranny with a 3 yr warranty & $ 2,000 for a tranny with a 1 yr warranty. I called American Honda & they knocked $1,600 off the 3 yr package so i paid $2,000 cash.

My brother has a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier with 210,000 miles & he has never had a transmission problem. Leads me to believe that Honda's are not built to last 200K miles like the one's in the 1980's & 90's. I have driven 4K miles with the rebuilt tranny & have had no problems. But Oh yeah today my A/C stopped working so it seems like this 2002 Honda starts to have big time isssus once you reach 90K miles.

I will not be buying Honda ever again!

- , Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #114

Aug 132010

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,700 miles

My family and I were traveling on a busy interstate, heading home from a great day at the theme park. We had NO sign of trouble or clue of trouble awaiting us. The car was just completely serviced before moving from Arizona to Ohio. We exited the interstate and turned onto the road when the car's engine would rev up at the press of the gas. Luckily, we were able to coast to the side of the road. I tried to putting the car in reverse, drive, D3 with no success. I turned the car off and back on, still no success. This piece of crap car has left my family on the side of the road and in 95 degree heat!! My wife and I pushed the car more to the side and hope to peak the hill in an effort to coast down the hill to a parking lot. However, that was unsuccessful. Of course, traffic keeps passing us by with no offerings of help. Finally, we had no choice but to call a tow truck. I left my wife and youngest daughter with the car while my oldest daughter and I caught a ride to our house to get our other vehicle. I came back to the car with my other vehicle and followed the tow truck to the Honda dealership. They tell us, "we can't even look at your car until Tuesday or Wednesday". They didn't even mention that this particular year is notorius for transmission failure (by the way, our car has 93K miles)!! They wouldn't even offer a loaner car!!!

This is ridiculous and I will get rid of this car once fixed and NEVER buy another Honda!! This is how they treat their customers?! I wished I had known about this website before purchasing this car! I will definately use this website before I EVER buy another vehicle.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #113

Apr 052008

Civic EX

  • Manual transmission
  • 97,000 miles

I bought my car used in 2005 from a certified honda dealership with close to 60,000 miles on it. Only recently did I look through my car paperwork seeing how much I have had to spend in repairs. It seems like I have had way too much trouble for a Honda which, since ownership, I've done routine repairs on it. The service I remembered the most was the expensive transmission rebuild I had to have in 2008 at about 97,000 miles. I'm not sure what the problem is since my whole family has had Hondas with much more wear and tear without encountering these problems. I'm guessing the newer makes just aren't as good as their name was built up to with previous designs. I wish something would be done about this transmission problem that seems to be common since the 2000 models. I'm just crossing my fingers I don't have another big one soon!

- , Mission Viejo, CA, US

problem #112

Jun 112010

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,743 miles

Transmission failure again!!! Starting making sounds, then would not move forward or back. Car was towed home. Unable to find a replacement transmission without going to local dealership, as honesty there is a issue from the past. Thinking Honda should do the right thing, and correct the transmission failure issues and problem. Expected more from Honda!!!! Any suggestions are welcome on what to do next.

- , Albemarle, NC, USA

problem #111

Jun 302010

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Was picking few friends up for dinner and transmission broke as soon as I got to their place. No warning what's so ever and just had an inspection at 100k without issue. Engine revs up but can't go forward or backward, complete slippage. Stop the car for a while and it could go up to 20mph but slips again after like 5 mins. Now the car is sitting in front of my friend's house and I'll prob have to sink in 2k+. Damn, if only I saw this site before, I would of sold this piece of shyt before 90k miles!

- , San Jose, CA, USA

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