really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,136 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.

2008 Honda Civic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Oct 152014


  • 90,000 miles


Transmission has to be completely rebuilt after 105000 miles approximately; mechanic told me he could estimate how much longer I have if it was something that he saw more often, but this isn't something he sees often. The vehicle would run heavy, and I was told an engine mount was bad and was subsequently replaced under warranty. There is still a tendency for the car to vibrate and shake as I drive between 17-30 mph, and attribute this to the issue of the transmission. The vehicle also does not shift well, and clicks on certain shifting points. Dealership stated the car is outside of the powertrain warranty, even though this issues started prior to the end of that warranty.

- Renfrew, PA, USA

problem #22

Feb 112014


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that there was a grinding noise upon shifting gears and progressed when downshifting. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the third gear synchronizer needed to be replaced. The failure progressed when there was high rpms. The dealer also indicated that there was a manufacturer recall for the power steering but the part was not available for the recall remedy. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Bingham Canyon, UT, USA

problem #21

Oct 062015


  • 134,000 miles
I was driving and switched into 3rd gear; popped out. Also 3rd gear gets stuck and can't shift into 3rd gear.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 142012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


The first time this problem occurred was in June of 2012 when shifting into 3rd gear there was grinding sounds. The vehicle would also pop out of 3rd gear while driving. I took it into a Honda dealer to see what was wrong they diagnosed it as internal M/T malfunction saying that my shift fork and 3rd gear S set needed replacing. Since I purchase this car used at a dealership that I worked at the time they fixed it as a courtesy to me. I had to fight with them to finally agree to fix it from the beginning. Once again now in September of 2014 the same thing has happen again to my Civic which the estimated repair cost is around $3,000. Being a trained mechanic I know there are several silent recalls and tsb recalls on this vehicle for this problem. I do not feel that I should have to pay out of the pocket to fix a recurring problem.

- Morrisville, PA, USA

problem #19

Jun 242014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 100,490 miles
On 4 separate occasions (the most recent being 6/24/14), twice at highway speeds and twice while slowing down, the vehicle's engine has surged, causing the vehicle to unexpectedly move forward. On the two occasions it has occurred when slowing down, I was operating the vehicle. What happened was as I was coming to a stop (once at a red light, once in a parking lot), the RPM indicator unexpectedly shot up to approximately 2500rpm, the vehicle moved forward, and even though I had my foot on the brake, the unexpected increase in power made it difficult to stop. Had there been any vehicles in front of me in either occurrence, there may have been an accident. On the two occurrences at highway speed, my wife was driving, and she reports that the RPM indicator again went high and the engine was making a lot of noise.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #18

Apr 102014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 40,773 miles
I was stopped at a red light with my foot firmly on the brake with the car in drive. Without warning the engine revved up and the car lurched forward a foot or two.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #17

Aug 012013


  • 50,000 miles


Transmission went completely out while driving my car. Only has 50,000 miles on it.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #16

Dec 152012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 78,478 miles
I exited freeway and was waiting at a red signal light when the engine on its own speeded up to 3000+ RPM. It held at this elevated RPM for about a minute while the car remained stopped (foot brake was holding). The engine dropped back down to idle on its own. Headlights and occupant heater was on with fan at lowest setting. Radio was on. Floor mat was not out of place. My foot position remained unchanged except for applying extra force during the elevated RPM event.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #15

Nov 232012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear grinds and sometimes 3rd gear pops out when shifting at fast speeds, obviously while rolling. I went to the O'hare Honda dealership in des plaines, il where I purchased my car brand new with an extended warranty, and they would not do anything to repair it. I asked, what if the matter turns into a dangerous accident? they couldn't give me an answer. Please help me.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Jul 242012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
On multiple occasions, while shifting the car into 3rd gear, the gears grind. The shift knob is lined up exactly where it should be to go into 3rd gear. The car will also pop out of 3rd gear at random without even stepping on the clutch to prompt it. This is a very dangerous problem to have in a standard car, and I have seen many people make complaints about this online. I called Honda customer service and they said that it was my responsibility to get the car fixed, not theirs, and that they base most of their claims for reimbursement on mileage as well as Honda customer loyalty. The gentleman then proceeded to ask me if I had owned a Honda before and insinuated that due to the fact that this is the first Honda that I owned that the likelihood of them reimbursing would be slim. This is not right. I did not choose for my transmission to be built with a faulty part, and I should not be responsible for fixing the problem when my safety is called into question.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #13

Jun 202012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Car started at usual time around 8 am and started vibrating. A very loud exhaust noise started to begin and the car began shaking. The vibrating noise was so loud and everyone in the car could feel the vibration. The front steering wheel as well as the seats were also shaking. Vibrating continued throughout the day and was gone at times when this first began but as days went by it became louder and more obvious by others outside of the car. The car now continues to vibrate not only in the morning but at all times of the day. It shakes at park, drive, and reverse. Car is very uncomfortable to drive and the noise can become very distracting. The car also vibrates so much during these times that I am afraid that something will happen on the highway and am worried about this. Honda dealer will not cover this under power train warranty because the car is now passed the warranty for power train which is 5 year/60,000 miles. Please look into this matter. It seems very common as I researched online and many people are having this issue on their Honda's which most seem after the 2005 models, more common around 2007 + 2008 models.

- Ludlow, MA, USA

problem #12

Aug 182012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 45,700 miles
My daughter was driving the car when the passenger cv joint at the wheel broke apart resulting in the car becoming not drivable. It had to be towed from the scene.

- Lyons, NY, USA

problem #11

Jul 262012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 30,500 miles
Owned this 2008 Honda Civic si (manual transmission) for one week before the clutch quit at highway speed. Very dangerous situation and totally unexpected for a car that was just inspected by a Honda dealer (who had listed another car dealer as the previous owner on the nys retail certificate of sale). This Honda dealer will not repair this car as they were flat-bedding it to an auction house that was actually the last owner of this vehicle for them to repair it. I called american Honda because the auction house repairs are likely to void the remainder of the Honda warranty but their representative stated that american Honda does not get involved with local Honda dealer issues. American Honda assigned case # [xxx] and also stated that they were not concerned that a safety report would be filed with the NHTSA. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 222012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 94,826 miles
My car was stopped in line while waiting to go through us customs. Transmission was in drive and my foot was on the brake. All of a sudden, engine started to rev. Placed transmission in neutral position. Engine revved three times, each time higher. On third revving, RPM reached 4000 RPM. Turned off engine and restarted. When I restarted the engine, the engine revved at high RPM again. Turned off engine, waited approximately 10 seconds. Restarted engine again, and engine started normally. Took car to Honda dealer on 7/23/12. Dealer was not able to find any trouble codes in the engine computer. This is very similar to what happened two years ago at approx mileage of 45,000 miles. Engine started revving while stopped at a signal. Car was towed to the dealer who was not able to find anything wrong. Dealer called in area rep who reviewed process and was not able to find anything wrong.

- Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #9

Jul 062012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 78,655 miles
My wife was headed home from work (approximately 5 pm) when she had to stop in traffic on a fairly steep hill, with an outside temperature at, or near, 100 degrees. When she attempted to resume forward she pressed the gas on her 2008 Honda Civic hybrid and the car started to roll backwards into another car. The transmission was in drive, she switched to the lowest range, still the car would not move forward. As a result, she had to wave cars behind her around while all she could do was hold the brakes until she could manage to roll backwards down this hill to safety. She then changed routes that had substantially more congestion, but smaller hills. Hills are a way of life in the atlanta metro area, so are high temperatures in July. She has mentioned that this vehicle has terrible acceleration on some lesser hills in hot weather over the past 2 years, but never experienced anything as dangerous as this incident.this malady has been reported a minimum of 2-3 times to the Honda dealership she purchased it from, heritage Honda, rome, ga. I wouldn't allow her to use it until Honda sorted out the malfunction. Well, I spent the day there, they did computer analysis, technician interfaced with Honda tech line, even sent a "snapshot" of the vehicle's computer data when it actually recreated the same condition for the mechanic on a steep hill. None-the-less, I left there hopeful that Honda would resolve our dilemma. After a day and a half of waiting for some feedback, I was finally informed the car was operating properly. Apparently, the hybrid batteries reached a high temperature, which for "safety reasons" disabled the circuitry that "assists" the car via the "hybrid electric motor" which in turn leaves the car completely dependent on the undersized gasoline engine. In this case, not near enough power to move her car. Honda says it's ok to drive! we need help, please help us!

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #8

Apr 302011


  • 39,073 miles
Took car in for oil change 4/30/2011 at Honda dealer. Service department performed reflash campaign 10-034 without asking. Previously had declined this service and is noted in service records not to perform this service ever. Car performance has been significantly diminished since this service has been performed. Car will not reliably accelerate smoothly from standstill (red light) or when merging into highway traffic at 40-50 mph. When accelerating from a stop, vehicle may or may not move at acceptable speed causing the potential to enter traffic with inadequate power to get up to speed of oncoming traffic creating a hazardous situation. This is an accident waiting to happen, especially since the performance is now inconsistent and you do not know when it may not accelerate as needed. The engine will rev very high but the car will only go 5-10 mph with pedal all the way to the floor. Honda dealer has been unresponsive. I am limiting driving this car as much as possible as this car is unsafe in traffic situations. Also, the auto-stop feature does not work as prior to the reflash, engine idles much higher at stops and does not cut off. This has decreased gas mileage significantly.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #7

Sep 142010


  • 31,114 miles
The car will not resond properly from stopped postion when acceleration is needed.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 102010


  • 13,500 miles
In August 2010 I took my 2008 Honda Civic hybrid to the dealer for routine maintenance. The dealer performed a purported software update on the battery system without notifying me until afterwards. Immediately upon leaving the dealer, I noticed a profound reduction in power and acceleration. On the freeway portion of the drive home, I was almost rear-ended twice as I drove in the slow lane up a minor grade where the vehicle could not accelerate over 40 miles per hour (with the pedal fully depressed in the passing gear)-- prior to this date I had driven my vehicle for its prior 20 months of ownership up that same grade at 70mph. Additionally, prior to this date I had never even utilized the "S" gear on my transmission. Ever since Honda's software update my car has become a severely underpowered accident waiting to happen. I am reduced to driving in the slow lane on the freeway with vehicles flashing me as they approach a 40-45 mph vehicle at 60-70 mph from behind. I have called the Honda service departments at several local dealers regarding this problem, and get a universal response- "wait for your system to adjust to the software update" or "you need to adjust your driving". what the heck does this mean? I drove the vehicle fine for 20 months prior to the software update and now it drives like a 20 year old 4 cylinder engine with 2 bad pistons. The decreased power and acceleration are a dangerous accident in the making. I am fearful of being rear ended. This is an every day problem that was caused by this "software update" and I suspect that it is happening to every 2006-2008 Honda Civic hybrid that goes to the dealer for this software update. An additional consequence of this alleged "software update" is a profound drop in gas mileage from approximately 37 combined mpg prior to "update" to 29-30 post "update". I have never lodged a complaint with any organization before, but like I've previously stated, this "update" is a danger to the public.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 042010


  • 21,010 miles
We received a letter from Honda stating that there was a recall on the software stating that a software update was needed to be done on the car to help the battery life of the car. So we brought it in to be serviced and ever since, we've lost power to the car, and lost mpg that used to be approx. 38 mpg to now 29 mpg, the same as our '99 Civic coup dx, that is not a hybrid. My wife, while going onto the freeway was almost hit, while trying to accelerate. My wife is now hates driving the car she used to love. We live in a hilly area. When trying to accelerate up a hill we drive everyday, if the battery charge is 4 blocks or lower, it doesn't even assist. It's all the gas engine. The battery rarely kicks in so that defeats the hybrid theory and just adds more pollution that Honda purports that it doesn't. to put it straight, this is not the car I bought and have been frustrated with the experience. I've brought my car back to Honda to try to get the software issue resolved. They stated that there is nothing wrong with the car, engine or battery that everything is fine. When asked for an explanation for the loss of power and mpg, they said that I should try a higher octane of gas or a different brand. I have always used the highest octane gas from different gas stations without any issues before the software upgrade. So that isn't the problem. They have refused to say that there is an issue with their "software upgrade". I have pretty much wasted $26,000+ on purchasing this car. All I can say is this is shame on another big company, trying to save $$ by taking advantage of their own loyal customers. Thank you Honda!

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 102010


  • 40,000 miles
After the Honda dealer performed a software update per a recall to extend the life of the battery on my 2008 Honda Civic hybrid, the vehicle began losing power intermittently and the gas mileage dropped significantly. Returned to dealer and was told "everything checked out." Problem still unresolved.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

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