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Honda Civic problems and recalls (2012-2015)

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic may no longer be the tiny runabout it was way back in the 1970s, but the fact it’s bigger, more practical and genuinely luxurious arguably makes it an even more attractive option today.

It’s also cheap to run because it shows a decent distaste for fuel and it’s reliable.

Reliable yes, but perfect? No. It suffers from a few common issues that would normally having you call your local shop. But there’s no need to be doing that now, because if you invest in the Haynes manual for your Civic you can easily fix most problems yourself.

And you only ever have to buy a manual once, after which it’s there to help you every single time you need it, potentially saving you thousands of dollars on labor bills. Pay just the once, not every time your car needs a repair.

Honda Civic

What recalls has the Honda Civic been subject to?

Some examples of the ninth-generation Honda Civic were recalled because an incorrect tilting bracket was installed on the steering column, which meant the column might not absorb impacts as intended in a crash.

A number of early cars were also assembled without the correct retaining clip for the driver’s-side driveshaft, which could separate. A recall remedied this.

A faulty fuel line led to a recall of more than 1000 vehicles – a misaligned O-ring could allow a small fuel leak.

Then 143,676 Civics fitted with a CVT transmission were recalled because a software problem could cause an input-shaft pulley to break.

Almost 10,000 Civics were recalled because their tyres could have been damaged during the car-assembly process.

Honda Civic

What common problems does the Honda Civic have?

The Honda Civic Mk9 can suffer an issue in which it emits a grinding or clicking noise when accelerating at the same time as turning. A faulty CV joint is the cause.

And while this may not hamper your day-to-day running of a Honda Civic, a faulty 12v power socket can be inconvenient nevertheless.

And some owners have reported that their Honda Civics can refuse to let them in when the weather is especially cold.

Temperature can be a different problem for Civic owners, because the malfunction indicator light can illuminate, signifying a cooling-system issue.

Finally, Honda Civics fitted with keyless start can suffer an issue in which the car refuses to shut off when parked.

Honda Civic

Does the Honda Civic suffer groaning CV joints?

Any kind of unusual noise in your Honda Civic is going to cause a bit of concern, but somehow it’s worse when that noise is a grinding sound, with an annoying backbeat of a regular click.

This usually manifests itself when you’re accelerating while turning, just as when emerging from a junction or a parking slot.

The issue is a faulty outer CV joint, and either driveshaft can be affected, which is why you’ll need to replace both driveshafts at the same time. Honda has produced improved components (part number 06440-TR3-305 for LX and EX models, part number 06440-TR3-306 for EX-L models).

After that, it’s simply a case of turning to the procedure contained in your Haynes Civic manual and following the steps. We’ll guide you through everything, so you’ll be back on the road in a few hours.

Honda Civic

Does the Honda Civic have power socket problems?

Irritating. You need to plug in a piece of equipment such as a mobile phone charger, or a dashcam but the power socket won’t play ball. This is something you need to look into.

First of all, you’ll need to check that there isn’t anything such as a small coin in the bottom of the socket; such things can often fall in there or be placed there by inquisitive children, so it’s worth a check.

If there’s nothing in there, you’ll need to remove the socket, which is where your Haynes Civic manual comes in. We’ve stripped down the Civic’s interior, so we can guide you through all the steps, which means you’ll get to the socket without breaking any plastic along the way.

Then it’s a case of checking that the socket is receiving power, and if it is you’ll just need to remove and replace the socket, which we’ll guide you through.

Honda Civic

Does your Honda Civic lock you out when it’s icy?

Wow, it’s cold out there. Best get out and scrape the car’s windows. And as most people do, you’ll want to start it while you’re doing so, so that it’s warm when you get into it. So you walk up, press the button on the key and… nothing. You’re still outside in the cold and the car won’t let you in.

Okay, plan B – get the key out and insert it into the door lock. Old school, but it worked back in the 1980s. And still nothing.

The problem is that the lock cable can allow in moisture, which then freezes and stops the car from being unlocked.

Once the temperature has gone up a few degrees and the moisture has melted, you’ll need to get into the door’s inner workings, then dry out the cable and thoroughly lubricate it.

The Haynes Civic manual can guide you through all the steps needed to get internal trim off the door, and what to look for when you get into the door. And hopefully the whole ‘thou shalt not pass’ scenario can be avoided in the future.

Honda Civic

Is your Honda Civic getting a bit hot?

There you are, driving along in your Civic 1.8 when all of a sudden the malfunction indicator light illuminates, and shows a cooling-system issue.

The first thing to do is plug in a fault-code reader. If it displays the code P0128, then there’s something up with your Civic’s cooling system. However, the good news is that it shouldn’t be serious.

The Civic with this engine can have an issue with the gasket for its thermostat. If the gasket is not in precisely the right position it can hold open the jiggle valve, causing a tiny leak.

It’s an easy fix, which the Haynes Civic manual can help you with. Simply follow the steps to remove the thermostat, then ensure the gasket is absolutely central before reinstalling the thermostat in the engine. Then just top up the coolant to the correct level. Easy. You’ll be back on the road and at the right temperature before long.

Honda Civic

Why won’t your Honda Civic switch off?

The Honda Civic Mk9 clearly loves being driven. To the extent that examples that have the keyless start system fitted sometimes refuse to switch off at the end of a journey. What happens is that you park, place the transmission level in ‘P’ and press the engine stop-start button, but all the electrics stay on.

However, before you start to worry that the issue is symptomatic of an expensive electronics problem, the cause is likely to be as simple as a transmission shift cable that’s gone out of adjustment. If it is out of whack, it can put some pressure on the shift lever and prevent the Park pin switch from opening.

And that’s where Haynes can help, because we can show you how to remove the bits of interior trim that will give you access to the shift cable, and then we can help you adjust it.