Japanese automaker Honda has produced the Civic as a small, entry-level priced car since 1973. Since then it has been offered in many variants and undergone significant design and styling changes. The Civic's overall reliability and low cost have made it one of the best-selling cars of all time. However, several problems, some of which involve the vehicle's engine, are known to plague the Honda Civic.
Types of Problems
Drivers have reported problems with Civic engines that range from the simple to the very complex. Some problems, such as excessive engine noise or poor fuel economy, may be linked to a mechanical defect or be a result of bad driving habits. Many Civic drivers have reported engine sensor problems that lead to excessive fuel consumption or a faulty Check Engine warning light. Other problem areas include the engine's timing belt and head gaskets. More serious problems are less common but not unheard of, such as cracked engine blocks that plagued some Civics in the mid-2000s.
Repairs and Costs
Many Civic engine problems are covered under Honda's new vehicle power train warranty. For older vehicles or those purchased used from a third party, engine repair costs can range from the cost of a single hour of labour to reset a faulty warning light to several thousand dollars for a replacement engine or a major repair such as installing a new engine block. Replacing a blown head gasket or broken timing chain generally costs between one hundred and several hundred dollars.
The dangers associated with Civic engine problems are as wide ranging as the particular types of problems the car has been known to experience. Faulty warning lights can be an inconvenience but may also prevent drivers from being alerted to more serious problems as they occur. Engine stalling is always a serious danger since it may occur in moving traffic and raise the likelihood of an accident. Other problems, such as poor fuel economy or high emissions, pose environmental risks as well.
Hybrid Engine Problems
Honda has offered the Civic as a gas-electric hybrid since the 2003 model year. The hybrid model features a gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor and battery pack, and it has experienced its own unique set of problems. In 2007 more than 45,000 Civic Hybrids were recalled due to a problem with the electrical system that could lead to the engine stopping during operation. When this problem occurred, the engine could not be restarted.
The Civic Hybrid has been the subject of one engine-related recall enacted by Honda. The recall took place in July, 2007, and affected more than 31,000 2006 model year Civics. The recall was intended to fix a faulty electrical terminal that controlled the engine's integrated motor assist (IMA) system. The poorly-designed terminal was subject to a fuse failure that would then cause the engine to stall during operation. Other Civic engine problems, including those that may have been acknowledged by Honda, were not the cause of any additional recalls.