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1996 Honda Civic common problems

Honda Civic

Think Honda Civic and you immediately think ‘cheap, reliable, fun’. And so it is. The frugality and reliability reputation was built over many years, while the fun bit started to come along with the sixth-generation car of 1996, which was available as a sedan, coupé and hatchback.

However, the Honda Civic Mk6 does have some common problems these days, but these should be no trouble for a vaguely confident home mechanic to sort.

And even if there’s nothing wrong with your Civic, the Haynes manual can show you how to service and maintain it. So, if you’re worried that a sixth-generation Civic might be getting on a bit, there’s no need to stress if you have a Haynes Civic manual by your side.

Honda Civic
Honda Civic

What recalls has the Honda Civic been subject to?

As you’d expect from a Honda, the Civic hasn’t had to spend too much time inside the brand’s dealerships over its life.

The first recall concerned the driver’s airbag, because it could allow in moisture that could cause it to inflate more slowly than it should in a crash.

Floor mats caused the next recall, because they could move and potentially foul the gas pedal, stopping it from returning to the idle position when released.

A throttle cable with a rough action caused another recall. This wasn’t a safety recall but was rather to make the throttle action feel smoother and make the throttle easier to modulate.

A final recall concerned the brake booster check valve. In certain circumstances this could stick, resulting in a sudden loss of boost pressure and therefore a loss of braking performance. That would get your attention.

Honda Civic

What common problems does the Honda Civic have?

Several Honda Civic Mk6 owners have reported an issue that causes the front suspension of their car to clunk when going over bumps.

The exhaust system on the Civic of this vintage is also known to emit a buzzing or rattling noise. The good news is that it isn’t actually the exhaust at fault.

This generation of Honda Civic isn’t immune from the dreaded oil leak, and if your heater blower motor suddenly decides to stop working, it might not be the motor at fault at all.

Honda Civic

Is your Honda Civic suspension clunking?

Honda is a company known for its precise engineering, but a clunking noise from underneath is going to dent the impression somewhat.

But that’s what can happen in a Honda Civic Mk6, because the front suspension is known to produce a noticeable clunk as you go over bumps.

The problem is that the bolts securing the flange bolts on the upper arms can become loose over time, allowing the arms to contact their mounting points in the wheel well.

The solution is to replace the upper arm bolts, and to ensure that they are tightened to the appropriate torque setting. The procedure to replace the arm bolts is contained in the suspension and steering chapter of your Haynes Civic manual. Be sure to do the bolts on both the left and right-hand suspension systems at the same time.

Honda Civic

Why is your Honda Civic Mk6 exhaust buzzing?

A number of owners have mentioned that the exhaust system on their 1996 Civic emits a buzzing noise at certain revs. This is especially irritating because the engine will pass through that rev zone every time you accelerate.

The good news is that it isn’t the exhaust that’s making the noise. No, it’s the heatshields that are prone to cracking, and when they do so they can start to buzz. The only way to solve the problem is to replace the cracked shields.

Just as well it’s a pretty easy fix. Just follow the procedure in the Haynes Civic manual and your peaceful Civic will give you a buzz once more.

If you want to know how to change the engine oil and filter in your Honda Civic, just watch our FREE video below.

Is that a puddle of oil under your Honda Civic?

Honda’s engines are generally known for being quick to rev and zingy to live with, but sadly some of them can be prone to an oil leak.

So, if you happen to notice an ominous-looking patch of underneath your Civic, the likely cause is that the rear main oil seal has failed. Ouch.

There’s no denying this is quite a big job, but just think of all the hundreds of dollars you’ll save in workshop labor costs.

You’ll need to remove the transmission for a start, then go about replacing the crankshaft seal. The good news is that everything you need to know is listed in the Haynes Civic manual, along with plenty of illustrations to guide you through the process. So, get organised, get all the tools you’ll need and on you go.

Honda Civic

Has your Honda Civic heater blower motor failed?

You can guarantee that your heater blower motor will fail on either the hottest day of the year or the coldest. Either way, it’ll have packed up just when you need maximum air circulation, which is somewhat less than optimal.

But has the heater blower motor actually failed?

First things first, check the fuse. If this has failed, there’s a chance the motor itself is perfectly fine. You see, the motor is cooled by a jet of air that passes through a pipe that’s aimed at the motor. Over time, this pipe can become blocked, which means no cool air, which means the motor overheats, which means the fuse blows.

So, get under the dash panel and remove the blower motor, then inspect and if necessary, clear out the cooling pipe.

It’s all easy enough to do, and you’ll save not only on labor costs, but also the price of replacing a blower motor that was absolutely fine in the first place.

Honda Civic

Are you struggling to get into your Honda Civic?

It’s a fine day. You walk out to your Honda Civic, press the button on the key to unlock it, pull the handle and the car opens. But hang on, the kids are still standing by the car. They can’t open the back doors. You tell them to pull it harder. Nope. The door stays shut. Pull the handle again. Nothing. No entry.

So you pull up the handle hard, and just as you get to the point where you fear it might break the rear door pops open. Annoying.

This is a pretty common thing, and tends to happen to four-door Civics over time. The problem is that the roads that attach the handle to the locking mechanism gradually fall out of adjustment.

You don’t need to replace the road, but will have to adjust them. So, remove the handle from the door and follow the adjustment procedure that’s in your Haynes Civic manual. Everyone will be able to get into the car with the minimum of effort before long.

Honda Civic