The Honda Civic uses a steering rack and tie rod to help control the steering. When the steering fails or seems diminished, you may need to replace these components. Before doing this, troubleshoot the steering to verify that the problem is in the rack and tie rod.
Jack up the front of the Civic using the front jack point located behind the radiator.
Grab the front wheels at the top and bottom and try to shake them back and forth (in and out). As you pull the bottom of the tire, push the top of the tire. As you push the top of the tire, pull the bottom of the tire. If the tire moves, the steering problem is being caused by faulty wheel bearings, which should be changed.
Lower the vehicle and get in the car.
Turn the steering wheel left and right. Pay attention to whether there is any slack in the steering wheel. Slack indicates "slop" and is the result of worn tie rod ends. You'll need these replaced before they fail.
Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock and listen for any knocking sound. A knocking sound indicates a faulty steering rack, which must be replaced.
If you do not replace the wheel bearings, tie rods or steering rack, and the component fails while driving, you could (and probably will) experience a sudden loss of steering control that could result in serious injury or death.