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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Dec. 30, 2023

Older Honda Civic Overview, 2006 - 2015, Reliability, Possible Maintenance Problems

Related: How To Get The Lowest Price On A "Brand New" Honda Civic

Older Civics were extremely well made and can still make a solid and economical choice as a used vehicle in today's high-priced market for newer cars.

2013 Honda Civic SI

In fact, the Civic is probably one of the best passenger vehicles ever made when it comes to reliability, functionality and cost to operate. And one can be expected to last 200,000 - 300,000 with few issues when well maintained ... with "well-maintained" being the essential element.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of some earlier and well regarded Civic generations.

- And then list the possible mechanical issues that have been reported by some owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get online price quotes at auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Honda Civic Ninth Generation (2012 - 2015)

2015 Honda Civic

While there were some modest styling changes, of more significance was a new model offering improved gas mileage performance, as well as the Si getting a power boost. While the fuel economy numbers for most 2012 Civic models are right around the same as the previous generation, the new Civic HF offers an impressive EPA rating of 41 mpg on the highway.

Overall, this iteration marked a pivotal moment in the Civic's history, blending performance, fuel efficiency, and contemporary aesthetics in a way that captivated drivers worldwide.

Design & Aesthetics: The ninth-gen Civic boasted an aerodynamic silhouette that effortlessly combined sleek lines and sculpted contours. Its design wasn't merely aesthetic; it was engineered to enhance both visual appeal and on-road efficiency.

In addition, the interior exuded sophistication, offering a spacious cabin adorned with high-quality materials and intuitive controls, while technological features also elevated the driving experience.

Performance & Engine Options: Honda curated a diverse range of models and engine choices to cater to a spectrum of driving preferences:

Civic Sedan: The standard bearer, offered with a choice of engines: a 1.8-Liter Inline-4 Engine, known for reliability and efficiency, and 2.4-Liter Inline-4 Engine for those seeking a more spirited driving experience.

Civic Coupe: The two-door variant tailored for style-conscious drivers, sharing engine options with the sedan.

Civic Si: Geared toward enthusiasts craving performance, featuring a tuned 2.4-liter engine and sportier features for a more athletic ride.

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Civic Hybrid: A model catering to eco-conscious consumers, housing a hybrid powertrain for improved fuel economy.

Civic Natural Gas: Targeting drivers seeking alternative fuel options, running on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Civic HF: Engineered for maximum fuel efficiency, incorporating enhancements for higher miles per gallon.

Technological Advancements: The ninth-gen Civic integrated advanced technology to enhance convenience, safety, and entertainment. From intuitive infotainment systems to leading safety features like adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation systems, Honda ensured a then modern and secure driving experience for its users.

Reputation for Reliability: Honda's legacy of reliability was carried forward by the ninth-gen Civic. Factors contributing to its reputation included:

Build Quality: Precision engineering and high-quality materials ensured durability and long-term reliability.

Engine Performance: Engines like the 1.8-liter inline-4 were lauded for their robustness and efficiency, and contributed to the Civic's longevity.

Minimal Maintenance: Routine upkeep was straightforward and affordable, minimizing unexpected repair costs and contributing to its reputation for low ownership expenses.

Longevity: Many owners reported driving their Civics for high mileage without major mechanical issues, demonstrating the vehicle's ability to withstand wear and tear.

2012 - 2015 Honda Civic Possible Mechanical Problems

The ninth generation Honda Civic, while generally praised for its reliability, did encounter a few mechanical issues reported by some owners and observed by automotive experts. Here are a few common problems noted that should always be included in a pre-purchase inspection today:

Engine Block Cracks: In earlier models, particularly the 2012 model year, there were reports of engine block cracks in the 1.8-liter engine. This issue could lead to coolant leaks and potential overheating problems. Honda issued recalls and warranty extensions to address this concern.

Transmission Issues: Some drivers experienced transmission problems, including vibrations, rough shifting, or premature wear in automatic transmissions. While not widespread, these issues were reported in a portion of vehicles, again particularly in the earlier years of this generation.

Paint Quality: Aesthetic concerns emerged regarding the paint quality on certain Civic models, where owners reported premature chipping or peeling of paint, especially in areas prone to road debris.

Brake System Wear: Some drivers noted premature wear on brake components, leading to decreased braking performance or unusual noises while braking. This issue, though not universal, was reported in some vehicles.

Air Conditioning Problems: Certain Civics experienced issues with the air conditioning system, such as weak cooling or complete failure, which could be attributed to problems with the compressor or related components.

Honda Civic Eighth Generation (2006 - 2011)

2009 Honda Civic

This iteration of the Civic set new benchmarks in design, performance, and reliability, solidifying its position as a popular choice among drivers worldwide.

This version received new styling, new safety equipment, more power, and a new gasoline/electric Hybrid model with 110 horsepower (was 93). The Si hatchback was discontinued in favor of a sporty Si coupe. The front-wheel-drive sedan was larger outside, but smaller inside.

Coupes were slightly smaller, both inside and out. Civics were given head-protecting curtain side airbags (standard). Antilock brakes became standard equipment on all models.

Design & Aesthetics: The eighth-gen Civic made a bold departure from its predecessors with a futuristic and edgy design. Its sleek exterior lines and unique profile captivated attention on the road.

The interior boasted a contemporary layout with high-quality materials, ergonomic controls, and a futuristic instrument panel that pushed boundaries in automotive design.

Performance & Engine Options: The eighth-gen Civic offered a range of models and engine choices tailored to diverse driving preferences:

Civic Sedan: The standard model, known for its balance of efficiency and reliability, offered various engine options, including: 1.8-Liter Inline-4 Engine, focused on fuel efficiency without compromising on performance, and a 2.0-Liter Inline-4 Engine, delivering a more energetic driving experience.

Civic Coupe: The two-door variant aimed at drivers seeking a sportier and more stylish option. Engine offerings mirrored those available in the sedan.

Civic Si: The performance-oriented model, catering to enthusiasts with a more powerful engine, sport-tuned suspension, and distinctive styling cues for an exhilarating ride.

2009 Honda Civic interior

Technological Advancements: The eighth-gen Civic integrated advanced technology for its time, enhancing both convenience and safety. Features such as a comprehensive infotainment system, navigation, and available safety options like side curtain airbags and stability control reflected Honda's commitment to innovation and driver safety.

Reputation for Reliability: Honda's legacy of reliability continued with the eighth-gen Civic, which again garnered praise for its build quality, engine efficiency and dependability, and low maintenance costs.

2006 - 2011 Civic Possible Mechanical Problems

The eighth generation Civic, recognized for its overall reliability, did encounter a few mechanical issues reported by some owners. Here are some of the common problems associated with this generation which should be checked before buying:

Cracked Engine Blocks: Similar to the ninth-gen Civic, certain models of the eighth generation, particularly the 2006 and 2007 years, experienced issues with cracked engine blocks in the 1.8-liter engines. This problem resulted in coolant leaks and potential overheating. Honda addressed this concern through recalls and warranty extensions.

Transmission Problems: Some automatic transmission models exhibited issues such as premature wear, vibrations, or rough shifting. This issue was more prevalent in earlier model years and could lead to performance-related concerns and potentially costly repairs.

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Paint Quality and Clear Coat Issues: Certain Civic models suffered from premature paint chipping or clear coat peeling, particularly on horizontal surfaces, which affected the overall aesthetics of the vehicle.

Suspension Components: There were occasional reports of premature wear on suspension components, leading to noises, vibrations, or compromised handling in some vehicles.

Interior Material Durability: In some cases, interior components, such as door panels or trim pieces, showed signs of wear or fading over time, impacting the overall interior aesthetics.

It's again important to note that while these issues were reported by some owners, they were not universally experienced across all eighth-gen Civics.

Other Earlier Civics

The earlier seventh-generation Civic was produced for the 2001-2005 model years. Body styles consisted of a coupe, sedan and two-door hatchback. The available trims were those typically offered by Honda: DX, LX and EX, as well as several specialty trims such as VP, HX, SE and Hybrid.

Some model year highlights:

2002 Honda Civic: A sporty Si hatchback model was introduced that was 9 inches shorter than the other body styles. Coming only with a manual transmission, this fun-to-drive Si was rated at 160 horsepower and featured antilock brakes, electric-assist power steering, a sport suspension, and a sunroof. In addition, regular coupes and sedans got suspension revisions to improve ride, handling and interior noise levels.

2003 Honda Civic: The Civic Hybrid sedan with a gasoline-electric powertrain was introduced. In addition, most Civics were outfited with new gauges, and the HX and LX gained a CD player as standard equipment. The LX got a height-adjustable driver's seat like the EX. Sedans were given restyled taillights and EX coupes got alloy wheels.

Honda Civic LX Sedan (2004)

2004 Honda Civic: All Civics were given revised front and rear styling. LX models got standard keyless entry and 15 inch wheels (were 14 inch). EX sedans were given standard alloy wheels and the Hybrid joined the LX and EX by offering a height-adjustable driver seat.

2005 Honda Civic: No changes were made in anticipation of a fairly significant redesign coming in 2006.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Civic Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Honda Civic if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

And checkout our Facebook page for more tips, car news and fun.

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