pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,950 miles
Total Complaints:
62 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. repaired at dealer; installed new engine/block (28 reports)
  2. not sure (17 reports)
  3. replace engine block (15 reports)
  4. Honda extended warranty to 8 years from purchase date (1 reports)
  5. honda has fixed the issue (1 reports)
2008 Honda Civic engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Honda Civic:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Nov 142011

Civic LX 1.8L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles


click to see larger images

cracked engine block

Okay, first of all, this is my 2nd Honda i've owned. My first Honda that I had ever bought was a 1998 Honda CRV; awesome vehicle, never had a thing wrong with it. Decided one day to go trade in my CRV (with 200,000 miles on it) on a 2008 Honda Civic just because of the satisfaction that I had gotten from my past Honda. Bought my used Honda Civic in August of 2011, drove great and had no problem..... for 3 months.

One day I had started to smell what I had thought to be maple syrup, and we all know what that means... Leaking antifreeze; thinking nothing of it, I blew it off and thought it was maybe the car in front of me. I took it home and got out of my car and smelled it even more once i was in front of my vehicle. Immediately I opened the hood and smelt the same scent of burning antifreeze. I ran in to get my dad to check under the hood ( my dad has been a mechanic his entire life.) Immediately he thought it was the water pump going bad, just because those are usually the only parts that need to be replaced with Hondas along with the timing belt. I wasn't so sure myself, so i googled "leaking antifreeze 2008 Civic" and well it brought me to this site.

Took my car up to I79 Honda on the Border of WV and PA and told them my coolant was leaking, not giving them a hint of what the problem would be. "It is still currently in the shop as i am writing this". I dropped it off last Thursday and they told me they would call when they had examined the vehicle. I decided to call up yesterday to see what they had found; a man answered the phone and said " Mr. Martin, we examined your car this morning and found the leak, we have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that the coolant is leaking out of the engine block itself, good news is that it will be replaced free of charge on account of the extended warranty that Honda has provided". So good news is I will be picking up my car on Monday and hopefully the problem will be resolved. Hopefully this will be the Last and Only problem with my Honda. I will repost to let everyone know of the results and if there are any more problems I come across.

Update from Dec 12, 2011: Recieved my car not the monday that I claimed, it took them almost two weeks for them to get the motor from the company, and then another 2 days for them to put the engine block in. I was actually at work when my parents decided to go pick it up. Well, i get a call from my mother stating that i was almost out of gas, she had never driven my car so had no idea how to read the digital gas gauge, but i assured her that there was plenty of gas in it. I then get another call 5 mintes later and told me that she ran out of gas on the side of the road and said the low fuel light was blinking.... I thought to my self, "The fuel light doesn't blink, it stays lit up by the fuel gauge". My father had to drive up from WV to PA to pick up my mother to drive to Morgantown to get the gas can and take fuel to my car. She brought it home and that was the end of that problem....... Fast forward like a week and a half, I'm driving down the interstate on the way to a very important meeting at my University. I am driving along and I feel a sudden decrease in power, (Im pressing hard on the gas and the speed keeps decreasing). I down shift to another gear to see if that helps... No.... So I pull off on the side of the road and i notice down in the bottom left side that the Emissions Control light is blinking. Called my dealership on that instant and he told me to turn the car off and turn the car back on... I did as he said and the light went off and I could drive again.. He then stated to bring the car in after the meeting. On my way back from my meeting it did the same thing again as well.

Took it up to the dealership and they hooked it up to the machine to see if it threw any lights, he came back in and said that he didnt fine any thing on the computer, he even took it for a test drive, but what is a 5 minute test drive gonna tell ya... All in all it has lost power three times since getting the new engine put in, and im afraid to take it on any long journey away from my home. Going in a few weeks to check out the new Hyundai Elantra.. What ever happend to Honda Quality

- Blaine M., Morgantown, WV, US

problem #21

Sep 172011

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Hit a deer back in May. Had the car repaired..no problem except the air conditioner didn't work right after that...not a big concern, it still worked. Car overheated 17,000 miles later. Work still under warranty, no problem. Just got a call from insurance company saying I have a cracked engine block which is caused by car overheating and they will not cover it because it was not caused by original incident. I patiently explain to the man that car overheated ONCE because fluid leaked out of radiator PRIOR to engine overheating. Fluid could not have leaked out of cracked engine block because car had not previously overheated therefore block was not cracked. Representative said but you have driven 17000 miles since original incident. You could not have done that with a cracked engine block. Correct, I say. So the engine block cracked Saturday as a result of a leak SOMEWHERE ELSE as there was no fluid in the radiator.

Now I'm discovering this is a common problem for the Honda Civic. My last Honda had 254,000 miles on it when, sadly, I totaled it. Never had any problems with it...the one before that had 148,000 miles on it (yes, when I totaled it). I am wondering if Honda will replace this one for me in light of the whole deer incident. Gonna give it a shot anyway.

- Genni M., Frankston, TX, US

problem #20

Sep 092011

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Holmes Honda of Shreveport, LA identified the cracked engine block and a new block replacement was complete in 5 days.

Only issue was I had to return it to the dealer to have them clean the engine...it had fluid all over the engine area. They power washed the engine area and I was very satisfied ..just annoyed the mechanic did not do a through cleanup after he completed the engine replacement.

Otherwise the big shout out to Holmes for getting the job done with no hassle.Oh and the warranty for the new block is 8 years from the original date the vehicle was purchased and no mileage restriction....Not bad considering the purchase cost of a new engine would have been thousands...

- Steve J., Bossier, LA, US

problem #19

Jun 072011

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,364 miles


Not here to Gripe... Honda stood by their warranty and fixed the engine block at no cost to me. They even provided us with a rental car for the three days free of charge while it was being fixed. Honda of Olympia treated us great.! The treatment we received is the treatment EVERY car manufacturer/Dealership should do for their customer.

The car started leaking antifreeze but we could never find the leak, drove it up to the Dealership and they found a crack in the block underneath the exhaust manifold.

P.S. we're trading the car in :)

- heishman, Chehalis, WA, US

problem #18

Jun 202011

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

At first it was a fight to get a loner vehicle, but i did get one, Auto park honda of cary was great, after they confirmed this was indeed the issue. Was repaired at no cost to me and thus I am satisfied; however I will probably be looking to trade up (I got an accord for my loner and really like it, perhaps this will be my next car)

- Josh M., Southport, NC, US

problem #17

Apr 152011

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,500 miles

My wife's meticulously serviced Civic with 61K on it, bought new, has had 3.5K o/c's since new, 7K tire rotations, etc., and last week, with no warning, the car died on the interstate in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic while it was pouring down rain. She was able to get it started and inched to the breakdown lane and called the wrecker. The dealership said the block was cracked because she 'let the coolant run out' and the factory won't fix it despite the tech bulletin it issued in Dec. 2010 re: cracked blocks. Moving up the factory chain of command but not feeling very secure. All service records available but never asked for and the statement was made, "there are no records of service on this car at a Honda dealer." Anyone else have their claim rejected? What did you do to get it paid?

Update from May 2, 2011: Local independent shop (SAE certified with 30 years experience) examined car and found two pin holes in radiator NOT caused by road debris since the A/C compressor in front of radiator not damaged. He claimed radiator failure (defective radiator alloy) caused engine to overheat in rush hour traffic. No warning lights on until engine quit and temp gauge reading normal despite no heat. He said temp sensor reads fluid temp, not air temp. Held almost all fluid (refilled) while being allowed to run for one hour. Overnight leak out of fluid to level of pinholes.

Update from Jul 1, 2011: Got the 'factory' involved and the entire repair was covered by Honda including rental car. The dealer ignored the 'tech bulletin' and tried to nail me for the entire repair since parts are reimbursed to the dealer under warranty at a lower rate than retail. Honda was great, the dealer staff was arrogant and demeaning UNTIL Honda called them. Then I was worthy of their consideration. Buying a 2012 next week from an out of town dealer who has a great reputation. BTW, the new short block carries an 8 year unlimited mileage warranty from date car was sold (not engine replaced) for the same failure. Since the block was redesigned for the replacements, that should never happen.

- malburgess, Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #16

Jul 122010

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Recall all 06- early production 09 civics... your engine block will crack resulting in blue antifreeze coming out. Fixed for free.

- megh1224, Mineola, NY, US

problem #15

Mar 062011

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,830 miles

I'm not going to rant or yell. I don't want to think that my 2008 Honda LX is going to be giving me this problem again, or over and over, but I'm worried based on other complaints I've seen on this site. I bought it new in 2008. Having a Honda is supposed to give the owner peace of mind, especially someone who drives as gently as I do. I took my car in today for an oil change and check-up (B1 maintenance) and just found out about the engine block leak. The customer service rep said it was leaking coolant. Well, I can definitely say that from early on I would occasionally get a very mild whiff of antifreeze that would go away after a few seconds. I always figured it was some car ahead of me in traffic. If any expert can set my mind at ease about this I would be extremely grateful. I figured I would drive my Honda for at least 250,000 miles by having it serviced regularly and being easy on it. I hope this problem doesn't mean I can hang that plan up.

- Matt W., Columbia, SC, US

problem #14

Sep 132010

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

Noticed the car was running hot and found it was leaking. Took it into the dealership last night and got the call this morning that it has a cracked engine block. Waiting to see if they will replace just the block or the block and heads. I bought this car because I beleived that it would run forever and the engine/transmission was bullet proof. I know am worried that it is a design and or manufacturing flaw and the new one could do the same thing. The warrnaty is up in 15,000 miles and what happens if the block cracks in another 44,000 miles.

If you don't already own this model of civic don't buy one. I have also have had excessive wear on the back tires. Expect to change your tires around 15,000 miles. I have reported this problem seperatley on this site but wanted to mention here for potential buyers. The warranty is covering this engine block but I doubt Honda will stand by its product and cover the next one. I hope I never find out and I can sell this clunker as soon as possible.

- Michael S., Raleigh, NC, US

problem #13

Aug 242010

Civic EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


- S S., Lincoln University, PA, US

problem #12

Jun 242010

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Bought car with 61000 miles . Started haveing problem with over heating took back to dealer I purchase from in Wallingford, Ct. Was told to keep an eye on it . Was told to return every week to check fluids.Then he did a radiator flush. Then was told we needed a radiator.When he finally inspected it was told the block cracked. He installed engine and it took three weeks to get it back.Started having problems immediately.Took it to Executive Honda in Wallingford, CT. They confirmed a bad engine was installed.

Having Honda dealer put New Honda Parts in for $5000.00.Anyone in the market for a used 2008 Civic for $25,000.00? I did'nt think so.

P.S. Honda has a campaign out for this problem, but said It did not relate to my situation!!!

- mdekim, Wallingford, CT, US

problem #11

Jul 132010

Civic EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Technical Safety Bulletins regarding cracked engine blocks have existed for years, yet no recall, leaving Honda off the hook regarding covering repairs. Requires new partial engine block but could be replaced with another defective component.

- Bryan W., Shrewsbury, PA, US

problem #10

Apr 212010

Civic Short Block

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,983 miles

We were out of town when the car overheated by a service station. We pulled in to be told the engine was cracked we had the car towed to Honda Dealer. They told us the engine was defective and it was cracked and they would replace it but we were on our own when it came to getting home and getting transportation while the car was in the shop and getting back to pick it up. I was forced to rent a car one way back to San Antonio where I rented a car at a lower rate until the car was ready. When we were called and told the car was repaired we dropped the rental car off and my Daughter had to fly to college station to pick up her car. I have talked to Honda several times they said they will pay the towing fee and some of the rental nothing else. To top it all off the new engine is under the old warranty so if we received another defective engine in 2 years we will be in a mess because the warranty will not cover this engine. I encouraged both my daughters to buy Honda because I thought they would have their cars through college and into their new careers now I fill like Honda is avoiding taking care of their problems and working like Toyota. We have a car with a new possibly defective engine again with a old warranty and $547.18 worth of expenses from this horrible ordeal.

- Sylvia M., San Antonio, TX, US

problem #9

Apr 302010

Civic LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,800 miles

Same as other complaints. Can't believe Honda was using such crappy material for engines. Dealer has been good though. Honda paying for everything including rental car.

I think the only reason they have not issued a recall of these substandard engines is because it would probably bankrupt Honda since it covers three years of Honda Civics.

Hope the new engine lasts longer than the first piece of ....

- sammy 0320, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, US

problem #8

May 012010

Civic EX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,900 miles

Honda tsb 08-044 since July 4 2008 updated 3 times= exactly explains defect -block cracked at coolant passages- even shows pictures of locations that it is likely to crack- Just received call from Honda regional service agent- NO COVERAGE OR PARTICIPATION!

Think Hondas are reliable?- They are- except the thousands of owners that are experiencing this problem. Any advise? I havent repaired it yet.

- Robin P., Warren, NJ, US

problem #7

Mar 012010

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,000 miles

The car was never overheated and had all maintenance. I drive 75 highway miles each way to work. The block cracked on a morning commute. I checked the reservoir. It was at the bottom. I filled it and checked the radiator. It was full. I immediately drove the car to the dealer, expecting a cracked or loose hose, but was told that the engine block was cracked after the tech went in and got the technical service bulletin to confirm the location. Honda has offered to pay 1/2 of the cost, but I believe that they should be covering the entire cost as it is obviously a desgn fault. I have complained to the NHTSA. Hopefully this will blow up in their face like Toyota's stonewalling did.

Note: I have still been driving the car since non one at the dealer told me not to. I reluctantly added a bottle of AlumaSeal to the radiator which slowed the leak to a trickle.

- David H., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #6

Feb 182010

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I noticed a coolant leak on my 2008 Honda Civic with 106,000 miles. I check the coolant levels, filled the overflow tank (radiator was ok) and immediately took it to the dealer. It turned out to be a cracked engine block, which the service man recognized immediately and pulled the service bulletin on. It was exactly where one of the locations in the bulletin shows. After an internet search, I realized that this is a big problem on the 18R engine. Honda has declined to fix the problem for free. I am parking the car until I can get further with this.

- David H., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #5

Jan 252010

Civic LX 1.8L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

We bought this 2008 LX Honda Civic new in January of 2008 and have since put many miles on driving from Ohio to the Delaware. Yesterday, my wife picked me up from work and noticed that the heater was not blowing hot air, then immediately that the thermostat was maxed out and likely had been since she picked me up about 2-3 minutes earlier. We pulled over, called our dealership, and were told that the damage was already done, and that we should let the engine cool for about 20 minutes and drive over (3 miles away). We did so, and enroute, watched the engine overheat again as we rolled into the service shop.

Diagnosis is a cracked engine block, although we are not certain if it will be covered under the 60K mi powertrain warranty. A quick google search yielded this forum, with over 40 posts on similar things happening to historically reliable Honda Civics, as well as the links below. If anyone is looking for more information on our 2006-2009 civics in North America, the engine is the R18A1. Please continue to add to this thread and share the scope of this problem.

I will add an update once our dealership gives us some news...

Honda's Service Bulletin is here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=13505&d=1251493801

and you can read more at http://www.clubcivic.com/board/showthread.php?t=141747

- samirpsu, Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #4

Jan 302010

Civic LX 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

My Honda Civic 2008 leaked Antifreeze from engine block. Dealer was aware of the problem and replaced the defective engine block but they only paid 1 day for car rental - I paid for the other 3 days. Called American Honda, trying to get them to pay for car rental. There should really be a recall on this type of a problem. If I was aware of this issue I would not have purchased a Civic. If American Honda does not pay for rental, will see what other options I have

Update from Mar 7, 2011: Little late in updating.. but American Honda did pay for rental car for additional two days..With premature brake ware and known engine issues.. I traded the Civic in.for a Insight. Loss of $5000.00 over 2/12 years and 48k miles.

- Jack S., San DImas, CA, US

problem #3

Jan 072010

Civic EX-L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,324 miles

I bought my Honda Civic almost 2 years ago. I have a daily commute of 120 miles (Only highway miles). I always changed the oil on time. The car never overheated. Yesteday, while warming up the car for the daily commute, I noticed that the heating system did not work. While driving the car to work I saw the overtheat light turn on. I was close to a honda dealer. I drove to the dealer for a diagnoses. The dealer said that the ENGINE BLOCK WAS CRACKED. I have 64,324 miles. My warranty expired at 60,000 miles. The dealer said that it was not covered. I definitely think THIS IS A MANUFACTURING FLAW!!

- alopezva, Williamsburg, VA, US

Read the next 2 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?