pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
50 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
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2017 Honda Civic windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2017 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #1

May 312017

Civic EX-T 1.5L Turbo

  • CVT transmission
  • 30 miles


DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM: Just to be as clear as possible, there seems to be two types or distortion in our windshield. The first type is cross-car distortion which I understand is normal in pretty much any windshield and is something that Honda has an explanation for in the FAQs section of their website (link at bottom). This distortion is not the type that is the impetus for this complaint though. There is a second type of distortion in the windshield that I have never seen before and is difficult to describe, but I will do my best. With this type of distortion, when tracking objects, especially bright ones, through the windshield or when shifting your head around while focused on a particular object, the windshield causes things with normally straight, crisp lines to appear blurry, fuzzy, wavy, or almost pixelated. It is as though there is a transparent image overlaid on the windshield but it only becomes visible once sufficient light is coming through the glass as well as when your eyes are looking at something that has a sharp enough contrast between light and dark objects. Effectively, the distortion seems to cause our eyes to focus on this "image" on the windshield as opposed to roadway hazards.

Unfortunately, a camera does not appear to capture this type of distortion as it is subtle and requires relative motion of objects through the windshield in order to really become noticeable, however I have posted some annotated pictures to help explain exactly when and where the distortion is most readily noticed. If you were to drive a 10th generation Civic around and track these objects/edges through the windshield, this is where the distortion becomes most noticeable, at least to me.

#1: Traffic lights, green lights in particular, make this issue show up most. Depending on where you are looking through the windshield, the distortion can vary in severity. To me, it seems worst when you are at a distance that places the light between midway and 3/4 of the way up the windshield. It can either be while driving or while stationary and simply shifting your head/eyes maybe 1 inch in any direction. As with all manifestations of the issue, I would liken it to something similar to "floaters" you might see in your eyes, at least in terms of how it feels like there is a transparent image/shadow between your eyes and the object being viewed. However, it certainly is not due to floaters and there is a distinct pattern that is observed. I can only see small slivers/slices of the pattern at and given instance, but by moving my eyes around I'm able to piece together what the image seems to look like as a whole (kind of like looking through a pin hole and scanning around to see the larger image behind the hole). After doing so, the pattern reminds me a lot of wave interference patterns. If you google image search "wave interference pattern" that should give you a fairly good idea of what it looks like to me.

#2: The edges of traffic lights, particularly when they have a black boarder and are against a solid blue or white sky. It seems like the boundary between bright and dim or dark objects is a common denominator between most of the situations that show the distortion. Tracking the edges through the windshield is key to seeing the distortion (as opposed to following the center of the object).

#3: The boundary between the sky and the horizontal beams that traffic lights and signs are mounted on tend to show the distortion as well, particularly when it's a solid blue sky behind the beam. The distortion can be seen on both the top and bottom edges.

#4: Edges of street signs, again, especially when there is a significant contrast between the edges of the sign and the objects behind them.

#5: White cars in general, particularly when the sun is out. If you were to track an oncoming white car from several hundred feet away up to maybe 25 feet away the edges of the car appear distorted. This instance is almost as significant as green traffic lights. Also, when following a white car, the left and right sides of the car tend to distort, particularly when there is a dark background similar to the area shown in the second image I've attached.

#6: On white or light colored vehicles, boundaries between the paint and dark sections like the edge of rear glass. Also, chrome against dark colored cars have the same effect.

#7: Occasionally, where the edge of the road meets the curb will distort if there is enough light and contrast created. This instance is less noticeable than the others though.

OTHER DETAILS REGARDING OUR EXPERIENCE: My wife and I bought a 2017 Civic at the end of May, 2017. We test drove around dusk and purchased the car that night. Unfortunately, when driving the car during midday the next time we drove the vehicle, we noticed the unusual distortion described above throughout the entire windshield. I clearly explained the issue to our dealer and had them replace the windshield under warranty, however the replacement windshield turned out to be just as bad, if not worse. Additionally, we noticed there was the same type of distortion on the 2016 loaner Civic we were given, but this windshield was slightly better than our original or replacement windshields. Nevertheless, there was still this distortion in all three windshields.

Subsequently, after getting the car back from the dealer with the replacement windshield, we told them there was still distortion. The service manager had me drop the car back off to be road tested with an American Honda representative. The service manager and Honda rep drove the car and concluded there was distortion but it is "part of the design" of the glass and in all Civics to some degree. Obviously there was nothing they were going to be able to do to get us a clear windshield as three of three Civic windshields we've driven with have all been distorted to some degree or another. I question whether or not they actually saw what it was we are seeing though as the dealer ultimately ended up forwarding the aforementioned FAQ response from Honda explaining cross-car distortion (which again, is not this type of distortion) and offered that as an explanation after I told them I wasn't willing to accept their "it's part of the design" response. That is basically where I left the issue with the dealer.

Anyway, while the dealer had our car for the second time, we were given a 2017 Accord as a loaner which had absolutely no distortion of the kind in the 10th generation Civics. For what it's worth, my wife and I have owned two Civics previously, both 8th generation, and neither car's windshield had this distortion. Additionally, I have never seen this distortion in any windshield of any other vehicle I have either owned or had an opportunity to drive or ride in (Ford, Mazda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Dodge, Chevy, Mitsubishi, Saturn, Subaru, BMW, Mini, or Audi). This seems to be something that is distinctly a 10th generation Civic problem.

Lastly, for what it's worth, I feel like I should mention that my wife and I enjoy the rest of the car greatly and think for the most part the car is very well designed and constructed. However, had we noticed this windshield distortion on our test drive and were told it would be in every Civic windshield, we absolutely would not have purchased this car. In our eyes, it is incredibly disappointing that this problem exists in this vehicle as the rest of the car is effectively ruined by an issue we feel cannot be overlooked. After all, 90% or more of the time you're in a car, you're looking through the windshield, so we're literally constantly staring at the problem. If my wife did not hate the car-buying experience so much we would have gotten rid of this Civic by now. Unfortunately, being that it's her car, she's choosing to just deal with it as is but has sworn to me she will never consider buying another Honda again. Overall, up until now, this experience just leaves us both with a bitter taste in our mouths.

Honda's Cross-Car Windshield Distortion Explanation: http://automobiles.honda.com/information/frequently-asked-questions.aspx?Question=14

- Dan L., Harleysville, PA, US

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