Honda Civic Transmission Problems & Overview

Thanks to skyrocketing gas prices and the 1973 Oil Embargo, the fuel sipping Honda Civic was an immediate success in the North American market. Ten generations later, the Civic has grown into a more upscale car, with tons of available features and near-midsize dimensions.

Depending on your budget and taste, you can get a luxury themed Civic, the sport-tastic Civic Si, or the efficient Civic Hybrid. But no matter which generation or model you choose, the Civic’s reputation for reliability and high resale value make it a safe automotive choice.

Does something seem wrong with your Civic? Let’s look at some of the most common Honda Civic transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

We know a good transmission shop in your area.

Honda Civic Recalls

Recall ID – NHTSA: 15V574000 – 2014-2015 Civic

Summary

On September 15, 2015, a recall was issued for the 2014-2015 Honda Civic. According to NHTSA, a software issue could result in severe damage to the transmission drive pulley shaft.

Consequence

If damage to the transmission drive pulley shaft is severe enough, it could break, causing the front wheels to either loose power or lockup, increasing the risk for a crash.

Remedy

Dealers have been instructed to reprogram the transmission control software. Owners can contact Honda at 1-888-234-2138 (refer to Honda Civic recall JU2). Or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall 15V574000).

Recall ID – NHTSA: 90V163000 – 1990 Civic

Summary
The automatic equipped 1990 Honda Civic was recalled because an improperly machined shaft could prevent the park prawl mechanism from fully engaging Park when that gear is selected.

Consequence
If the Park gear is not fully engaged, the car could roll away and cause serious injury or damage.

Remedy
When this recall was issued in 1990, Honda dealers were instructed to install a revised parking prawl shaft.

Honda Civic Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2001-2004 Civic – TSB 04-036

Problem:

The vehicle won’t move when you select Drive. This problem is usually accompanied by a malfunction light on the dash (’01-’03 models), a blinking ‘D’ indicator, and the error code: P0730.

Solution:

Due to excessive wear in the second clutch, Honda recommends replacing the entire transmission.

2006-2008 Civic Si – TSB 08-020

Problem:

The 6-speed manual transmission may emit a grinding noise when shifting into 3rd gear, pop out of 3rd gear, or be unusually hard to shift into 3rd gear.

Solution:

This problem is likely due to a failed 3rd gear synchronizer, or 3-4 shift sleeve.

2001-2005 Civic w/ CVT – TSB 07-050

Problem:

CVT equipped versions of the ’01-’05 Civic (including the Honda Civic Hybrid) may experience drive belt slippage during acceleration, or transmission shudder at speeds below 15 mph.

Solution:
To solve the problem, it’s recommended to either install a lower valve body kit, or replace the transmission entirely.

How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the fluid level
  3. Test transmission pressure
  4. Drop the transmission pan
  5. Repair, replace or rebuild

What to Read Next

Related Forum Discussions

Over to You

Need Your Transmission Repaired? A good repair shop can be hard to find – especially on short notice. We’ll have the Cost Guide Certified shop in your area give you a call with a free estimate.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What Problem Does Your Civic Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

Get a Diagnosis

Still not sure what the problem is? Click the green button and we’ll have the Cost Guide Certified shop in your area give you a call with a free estimate.

3 thoughts on “Honda Civic Transmission Problems & Overview

  1. I got the transmission replaced in my honda civic–the car is old, I debated whether to call it quits but 2 mechanics felt the car still had some good years left in it. I took the car to these 2 mechanics, they both did a lot of testing, determined it wasn’t sensors. The car was struggling shifting into 1st.

    Anyway, a very trusted mechanic put in a second hand transmission. It feels good, except for a slight bump I am guessing when going from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd. Not always. Just sometimes. I can’t tell if this is just normal, a different part, or something to be worried about. So tired of going to mechanics.

  2. My 2003 honda civic hybrid, cvt tranny stopped moving on me when I came to a stop sign…it just wouldnt go…the car starts up right away still…everything still works in it but it just wont go in drive or any gear…it has 128,000 miles…can someone please help me out…I’m told by few people to flush the tranny fluid out and replace with a new filter…my son used the obd2 scanner on it code came up input drive pulley sensor so we changed that but it didnt solve the problem and it also came up tcm code …so what can it be? help!

  3. I have a 1998 Honda Civic ex. My check engine light came on in about 30 seconds later I lost my transmission completely. Once I turn the car off and turn it back on my transmission is fine for about a mile then it goes out again reverse forward everything. If I turn the car off and started back up transmission works just fine again help me please.

Leave a Comment