really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
169,454 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.

2003 Honda Civic engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 312015


  • 175,000 miles


On halloween night 10/31/2015, after getting home from taking kids trick-or-treating I was leaving to go to store. While I was backing out of the drive-way I realized I forgot my wallet inside. So I opened the door & went to step out, then noticed I was sticking out in the street a little bit. So I left my left leg out & door open because I was only going to pull forward a couple feet. When I put the car in drive & barely pushed the gas pedal, the gas pedal forced itself to the floor & the car accelerated very quickly. I had no control of the car & tried everything I could to stop it! but it was too late.... the car shot us through the garage door where my leg & foot hit the rock siding entrance going into garage. It also twisted my leg all around & was pinned in between car and garage wall. The car came to a stop when it took my brand new motorcycle I had only owned for 3 weeks & smashed it into the wall!!! it completely totaled my motorcycle. But I was so badly messed up & hurt I couldn't even hardly walk or put any weight on my left leg. After months of physical therapy & lots of doctor bills I am healed, for the most part. I contacted Honda & they did an inspection of the vehicle but didn't find anything wrong with it & released it as a safe driveable vehicle. So I was left with about $15,000 worth of damage including my brand new motorcycle. My full coverage insurance only paid about 3/4 of what I paid for the bike. This was one of the most traumatic crazy things to ever happen to us! im just so lucky & glad that one of the kids wasn't in the garage playing or anyone else got hurt! this could've been sooo much worse than it already was!!!

- Bethany, OK, USA

problem #5

Mar 292015


  • 178,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. While driving 45 mph, smoke started to emit from the engine compartment. As a result, the vehicle was merged to the side of the road. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the timing belt and transmission cooler line needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 178,000.

- Bennettsville, SC, USA

problem #4

Jan 062014


  • 117,650 miles
My Honda Civic suddenly went dead with no indication of failure. The transmission went dead and the repair shop said that it was a incorrect gearbox ratio. It is a known problem with transmission failure and I feel that I shouldn't have to pay for something that is a known problem.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #3

Nov 292013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 238,000 miles


My vehicle has been going hot since November 2013. I have replaced the water pump, radiator, fan switches, head gasket, valve gasket seal/cover, engine. When I'm sitting idle in traffic for a while it will run hot or at least appear to run hot because the temperature gauge will go all the way to hot. I have read a few blogs and spoken to a Honda specialist and he confirmed what I read about Civics ranging from 2001 to 2004 are notorious for running hot. I was told that you have to replace everything like the water pump or radiator as well as the head gasket at the same time to stop this from reoccurring. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to repair this issue. I just want Honda to be take accountability because it is not an isolated incident. This matter needs to be looked into and a recall should be created. These are some of the blogs I have read. Thank you. Https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=A0levjuvdznt5zuauwwpxqt.;_ylu=X3odmtbybnv2cxqwbhnlywnzcgrwb3mdmgrjb2xva2jmmqr2dglkaw--?qid=20120131065715aa3do5N www.civicforums.com/forums/36-mechanical-problems-vehicle-issues-fix-forum/329665-2003-Civic-ex-overheating-issues.html www.ehow.com/how_7714982_overheating-2003-Honda-Civic-ex.html.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #2

Apr 242014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
I rear ended a vehicle that came to a sudden complete stop, I was going approximately 30 mph, (the roadway was 45 but I had started to slow as I slammed on my brakes). The collision was full frontal impact and my airbags did not deploy. I hit my head on the steering wheel despite having a seat belt on. I am having a mechanic investigate why my airbags did not deploy, but it concerns me as I was injured in the crash. I went to the emergency room and I have whip lash, muscle spasms and muscle tension in my neck and back. I feel that these injuries could have been avoided if the air bags had deployed. My lawyer advised me to file a complaint here as well as with Honda about this incident.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #1

Sep 082013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 141,072 miles
I was driving South bound on the 215 shortly before the exit, mills, there was a cone laying on its side in the middle of the road that I was not able to see from a distance because the color of the cone was facing forward. By the time I was able to realize what it was, I could not avoid it and go to another lane because I was in the middle of two cars, which probably would have caused much more damage then there is if I attempted to do so. As a result the cone cracked my front bumper on the right hand side in the shape of a V, there was a little steam coming from my engine and there seems to be some kind of leak now, as well as some black rubber type thing that looks like its supposed to be over the tire was dragging.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

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