hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,103 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.

2004 Honda Civic electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #18

Mar 062014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 98,500 miles


I noticed my airbag or seatbelt light came on so I took it to a Honda facility to have it fixed. They did repair work but a week later the light came back on and will not go off. I've also had my driver side window electric replaced but am still having issues with the window rolling up when it rains. That is the only time I have issues with the driver side window.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #17

Apr 142008


  • 168,878 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the check engine and battery warning lights. The vehicle was restarted after the contact received a jump start. This failure recurred over twenty times within a year. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 11V106000(electrical system), however, the contact's particular year was not included. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 168,878.

- Sacremento, CA, USA

problem #16

May 112013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 79,650 miles
On this particular day, I twice had difficulty getting the key into the ignition. The first time it took about 30 seconds to succeed in inserting the key. The second time it took a full 5 minutes. I had never had this problem before. I am now leaving the key in the ignition until I can get it repaired. This sounds like a symptom of the problem covered by the 2003 Civic recall, but Honda America refuses to cover it. They did say I'm welcome to send them the diagnostics when I go to get it repaired to see if they'll consider covering it. The report I filed with them is #[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #15

Sep 012005


  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked when he attempted to unlock the front driver's door manually. The contact stated that he experienced difficulty inserting the key and once the key was inserted, he experienced difficulty turning the key. The failure progressed until the key would not turn when inserted in the door lock. The failure also occurred on the front passenger door. In addition, the same failure occurred with the trunk and ignition switch. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on various occasions to have the door lock cylinders replaced. The ignition key cylinder was also replaced. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #14

Jun 052012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
My key will not go into the ignition, leaving me stranded in an area where I do not want to be stranded.

- Boaz, AL, USA

problem #13

Jan 162012

Civic 4-cyl

  • miles
My SRS light had been coming on and off for months. I received a "recall letter" from Honda 1/3/12, for an airbag issue. I called dealership service dept, was told that my car was not part of that recall. I was part of a mass dumping from Honda for cars from 2000-2004. I then told them that my SRS light was coming on and off, was advised to bring into service dept. I did. While being serviced, technicians scanned vehicle & checked for codes (which was $95) - no codes were found. They then ran a diagnostic troubleshoot, which indicated that SRS control unit needed replaced and then recheck. Was told that would be $495, they did not have the part and would have to order it. Was also told, they were not even sure if that would be my solution. When I asked them what would have caused this control unit (for airbag safety feature), to need replaced. I was told that they "were unsure and maybe a short caused it. It is an electrical unit and many things could go wrong." When I asked what could cause a short, was told, ¿¿not sure, could be wetness or an electrical malfunction." (wet inside my car, I know for a fact that is not the case.) I then stated, that this sounded like a manufactures defect to the unit. I was told otherwise. I asked about what happens when the SRS light is on, told that the airbags will not be active and not deploy if in accident. Why is there no lifetime warranty on the airbag safety feature & system, (which is on all cars today), like there is for the seat belt mechanism & system? upon review of NHTSA, I see that there are numerous other complaints of this issue, of the SRS light coming on and the control panel malfunctioning with suggested replacement.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #12

Nov 052011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


For the past few weeks, car wouldn't start when turning key. Lights on panel light up but no sound and doesn't turn. After trying up to 10 times or as few as 3 times, the car would start and drive normally. Then at other times, it would start with no problem. Took into Honda dealer on November 3, 2011. Car started with no problems so could not detect actual problem. Drove car home and drove fine. Last night my daughter drove the car in a residential area at night, so wasn't going too fast then didn't notice anything until she started braking. Then realized the brakes didn't work and the steering froze, the car just stalled. They panicked and drove uphill and let it roll back several times trying to stop it then came to a stop and parked it. Someone came to assist, jiggled the wheel and it was fine and the car restarted with no problems after. Drove the car home. We are afraid to drive it again in case it locks up again especially at a higher speed and with no brakes or steering control. Researched it on internet and found that there was some recalls on ignition switch where the electrical contacts within the ignition switch gets worn prematurely causing the switch to malfunction. This could be very serious and dangerous and thought it should be reported. Would appreciate any information you may provide us and recommendations. I checked my VIN and there was no recalls but it sure sounds like the same problem with other recalls. Thank you so much and looking forward to hearing from you.

- Wailuku, HI, USA

problem #11

Jul 202011

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Civic hybrid. While parked, the contact noticed that the check engine light and the integrated motor assist light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics, where the technician stated that the integrated motor assist battery would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 132,000. Contacted Honda of America they are replacing my battery pack with brand new one from the factory. I am paying only partial cost they are paying the rest of the cost. Evan L. katz updated 10/12/2011

- New City, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 242010


  • 200,000 miles
Alternator and battery failed simultaneously - while driving car to garage for repair, engine cut out completely and I was unable to use hazard flashers to signal danger (and could not open electric windows to use hand signals). I don't think this is specific to the Honda Civic but this seems like a real safety hazard. Emergency battery backup for hazard flashers might be a good idea for future designs.

- Varysburg, NY, USA

problem #9

Sep 012010


  • 145,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Civic hybrid that I purchased new has an ima battery problem that started in September by causing a check engine and ima lights to activate. The code says the ima battery has deteriorated and this is very dangerous because when I pull onto the interstate I have to give it full throttle just to merge in with traffic because the battery can't provide full assist like it used to. Sometimes it can't get up to highway speed fast enough as cars come flying up on my bumper or they whip out into the other lane and fly past me. I called the hendrick Honda dealership that I purchased it from and they said it only has an 8 year 80000 mile warranty but the Honda insight has a 157000 mile warranty. This seems to be a common problem for the 2004 Honda Civic hybrids just like the Honda insight. Please investigate this complaint for me and the thousands of other Honda owners with this same problem.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #8

Nov 012010


  • 94,000 miles


My wife was driving my Honda Civic LX, 2004. We have been using this car since last 6 year without any problem. On Nov. 1st we were driving this car to go to work; car was running perfect smooth with no indication of any problem. During evening hours when she was driving back to home after work. Car started fine as usual but she drove about 5 miles and as soon as she reached on the walt whitman bridge (NJ) smoke started to come out from the engine compartment, she pulled over car in the shoulder lane and got out of the car. She called the police for help, as soon as police officer arrived on the scene, car busted in the flames. Police called the fire department for help and soon whole car engulfed in flames and started to burn with high flames. By the time fire truck showed up whole car was destroyed by the fire. It was very unusual that the running car with no problem for 6 years and fine running car all of sudden caught in fire. It seems to me that there is some faulty electrical problem and may be due to manufacture defect. I am very fortunate that there was no injury or death in this incidence. However my car was completely burn down and destroyed. I will appreciate if you can help me with this. Did anyone before reported this kind of problem in this model of car which may suggest manufacture defect?

- Turnersville, NJ, USA

problem #7

Sep 042010


  • 104,826 miles
3 months ago I bought a Honda Civic hybrid from a dealership in alexandria, va. The car door wouldn't open nor start on Sept 4th and so I had the car towed to the Honda dealership to find out the problem. The Honda dealership diagnosed a 2nd class alarm in the vehicle and a bad battery, so they fixed it on Sept 8th the car died again while I was at work so I had to hitch a ride home. So on Sept 10th I called the sales manager in va and told him the car was giving me problems. On Saturday September 11th I was going to make a trip to see the sales manager in person when my car quit working when I was trying to make a turn into the bp gas station in md. My mother had to pick me, we then went to the va dealership and they sent a tow truck to get the car on their account. Now after 4 days of waiting to hear about the status of the car, the general manager from the va dealership told me it was all my fault, basically insulted me as a woman saying that I should be more experienced, that I should've gotten a warranty on the vehicle which I had until their financial accountant told me 3 weeks after I bought the car that the bank couldn't finance the car for the whole amount financed. So I said I just bought that car and I have only made 3 car payments. So I found out later through my mechanic friend that the ima battery was on it's last leg and they probably put a band-aid on a gash which was the lithium battery which is the life-force of the car. The cost is 3450 he tells me. So I asked the general manager if you weren't going to do anything with the vehicle why did you tow my car from oxon hill, md to alexandria, va. He had no response and went on to say if I wanted the car fixed it would come of my own pocket and that was that. I have just paid 550 for a used ima hybrid battery pack and my mechanic friend if going to install for me. The old ima battery was worn out, rusted, the length of time this occurred was every day since incident date, still not fixed yet.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #6

Sep 062010


  • 95,000 miles
I own a 2004 Honda Civic hybrid, with a defective ima (hybrid) battery. I had noticed difficulty accelerating effectively onto freeway ramps and just sluggish performance in general. Honda diagnostics state the battery has failed. The car only had 85K miles on it at that time. The poor performance of the vehicle makes it frightening to get on and off the freeway where I live. Replacement cost is $3500, which I cannot afford. Many websites such as hybridcars.com and edmonds.com have 100's of posts by frustrated consumers. Unofficial estimates of later model vehicles, with even lower miles, state at least 5% of the cars have defective battery life. Honda could extend the warranty or lower cost for replacement but is stallingas there are class action suits in the process of being filed. Please, please, help Honda Civic hybrid consumers, many of whom were counting on Honda's good name and hybrid fuel economy precisely because they could not afford to spend $$ repairing a car or guzzling gas. I am a medical student, and single mother who was counting on this car making it another 5 years. I have cared for it well and cannot afford this expensive repair.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 032009


  • 63,000 miles
Honda Civic hybrid, 2004 1) at service checkup was told that battery (normal battery, not hybrid cells) was a little low in charge and should be replaced soon. I decided to wait and get a battery in the next few months. While driving about 3 weeks later there was a sudden electrical malfunction affecting all car functions. Lights on dash would go out and intermittently work or flash all lights simultaneously (along with radio, heater, etc), power steering suddenly went out making it difficult to steer, then would come on for a second or two, causing the car to swerve. Brakes worked intermittently. While not working I pushed the brake as hard as I could with only minimal slowing - it felt like the anti-lock mechanism was engaged. All of this happened while driving 30 mph 2 miles from the dealership, so I was able to get to the dealership. Once I understood what was happening I was able to control the car at 20 mph for the 2 miles. 2) one time when battery ran out of charge. 3) I got to the dealer - they replaced the battery and everything immediately worked as normal. The dealer was skeptical that the problem was serious and I was not able to see where to file a complaint with Honda. When I have asked about this the service department says that something else must have caused it and diagnostics would be required. But over the past year it has never happened again, and 70,000 mile checkup did not show any problems. It appears that the battery is somehow linked with the hybrid battery system, such that loosing battery power does not just keep the car from starting, but shorts out all electrical systems, then perhaps comes back on as a small amount of charge is replaced to the battery? I added an aftermarket stereo, all rest of electrical is Honda. If no other complaints exist perhaps this is the cause, though it doesn't seem likely.

- Florence, MA, USA

problem #4

Jul 212009


  • 91,000 miles
I bought a new Honda Civic hybrid in 2004 with an extended 7 yr 100K warranty. At 91K miles, I took the car in complaining that the ima battery indicator was low. I was charged over $150 for a new regular battery, told the ima battery was fine, and sent home. I visited my dealer on several occasions with similar complaints about the ima gauge being low and the engine light being on. Just after my warranty expired, I was told that the ima battery was deteriorating and that it would need to be replaced, at a cost of over $6700. I have seen similar complaints online from other Honda hybrid owners. I feel certain that the ima battery was "deteriorating" the first time I brought it in and was put off until the warranty expired.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #3

Mar 252009


  • 80,000 miles
Speedometer fails by getting stuck at a speed at a speed and not decreasing once the car is slowed down, then that speed is the new starting speed and the speedometer increases with the cars speed. The speedometer eventually reaches past the maximum and is pegged at the bottom. Sometimes the needle will re-adjust towards 0, but only about 2mph when the car is turned off.

- New Ringgold, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 242008


  • 31,000 miles
SRS airbag light indicator went on suddenly on ignition and never turned off. Brought to dealership who said the SRS fuse box needed to be replaced as it wasn't under warranty anymore. Other Civic's also have multiple complaints of this. Front passenger window also moves up real slow almost to a halt sometimes using both driver and passenger power window switches. Haven't taken this in as already past the warranty too. Electrical stuff seems to be going kaputz after the warranty ended.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 152005

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
The door lock actuators on both the passenger and driver door of my 04 Honda Civic coupe failed, on separate occasions and Honda replaced them. Honda claims it was an internal failure and failed to give me more details as I had requested. For the period when the actuators were inoperable I was unable to unlock the door with the power locks and had to open the doors manually by either the key or pulling the lock up from the interior. The failures both occurred on a day when the outside temp reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and were resolved on cold nights, however, resumed during the hot daytime hours. *

- Edison, NJ, USA

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