Honda Civic 9th Generation 2012-2015 (FB/FG) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Used

Read in this article:

9th Gen Honda Civic: What Owners Say

  • The R- and L-Series engines may have been in circulation for a while before this generation, but they maintain their reputation of being reliable and affordable to maintain. Owners declare that with proper care, the powertrains can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
  • Unlike its hatchback counterpart, the Civic sedan range has a multi-link rear suspension which affords it impressive comfort levels and respectable dynamics.
  • The Civic sits in the compact sedan segment, but owners have noted that its interior and trunk space is generous as it can comfortably accommodate taller passengers.
  • The Civic suffers from a poor level of quality when it comes to interior fittings, particularly with the dashboard and seats. The Honda Civic's dashboard problem was a big deal for many owners, particularly for pre-facelifted models. The use of flimsy plastics and sub-par cloth means that the interior may not withstand the test of time.
  • The hybrid model in particular, despite a relatively small battery pack, offers less trunk space that some might find inadequate, even for a small family.
  • Civics fitted with the five-speed automatic transmission have a bad reputation because of a tendency to shift up early for the sake of keeping consumption low. It's also not the most responsive transmission in comparison to the CVT that replaced it shortly after launch.

Ninth Generation Honda Civic Facelift

The 9th-generation Honda Civic, including the FG coupe body style, was given a cosmetic facelift just one year after it launched in the USA due to scathing criticism of the pre-updated model's poor overall quality, particularly with the comfort levels of the seats. Visually, Honda decided to provide the economy sedan with a new set of bumpers, a new grille, and revisions to the trimmings with the aim of making the conservative product more youthful and premium.

2013-2015 Civic 9th Gen Facelift Front Changes

To create a more purposeful front end, the Civic's face has new black trimming on the lower bumper which is divided by a chrome strip 1. A honeycomb mesh finish is applied to the grille with a similar chrome accent 2 while updated clear headlight covers further enrich the frontal design 3. Fog lights are integrated into higher-spec models but all trims are handed a deeper faceted hood 4.

2013-2015 Civic 9th Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The rear takes the same approach as it embraces a revised bumper 1 and trunk design that also incorporates chrome highlights 2. Taillights with a jewel-like finish extend into the surface of the trunk 3 while a sporty feel is provided by integrated reflectors on the lower bumper 4 and a faux diffuser panel with a honeycomb mesh vent.

2013-2015 Civic 9th Gen Facelift Side Changes

From the profile of the Civic Sedan, you won't be able to see any distinctive changes other than the new alloy wheel options 1. From this angle, you also get to enjoy the clearer taillight covers, rear reflectors, and revised front bumper elements.

2013-2015 Civic 9th Gen Facelift Interior Changes

The 2012 Civic came under heavy fire for its poor cabin quality, so changes to the interior on the facelift are comprehensive. The driver's portion of the upper dash is formed with a more attractive, finer quality plastic 1. Modernized air vents adopt a more angular shape with chrome surrounds, creating a more premium visual experience 2. This is highlighted by a revised set of HVAC controls below the infotainment system 3 and new aux and power outlet points just ahead of the gear selector which features a new shifter surround 4. The seat heating controls on higher-trim models now sit further apart from one another.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The 9th-gen Civic is available with a pair of naturally aspirated engines that cater to both the everyday user and the hypermiler. Starting off the range is the R18Z1 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque for the pre-updated model. This is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission for the entry-level DX and mid-tier LX trims as standard, but a five-speed automatic transmission is optionally available. The EX and EX-L can only be had with the auto.

For 2014 models, the outputs of this unit are increased to 143 hp and 129 lb-ft. The torque-converter transmission also falls away to make space for Honda's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The Honda Civic Hybrid option uses the LEA-MF6 naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is supported by an integrated starter generator positioned alongside a CVT. This system generates a combined output of 110 hp and 127 lb-ft. The Hybrid is available as a sedan exclusively and thus cannot be had in the FG Coupe shape.

1.8-liter inline-four R18Z1
140/143 hp | 128/129 lb-ft
Horsepower
140/143 hp
Torque
128/129 lb-ft
Transmission
Five-speed manual, five-speed automatic, or CVT

Honda's R18Z1 is formed with the usual aluminum alloy construction but it employs a single-overhead-cam 16-valve configuration with the company's i-VTEC valve timing. Taking into account its fairly long 87.3-mm stroke, It enjoys a fairly high peak power output at 6,500 rpm and can rev all the way to a 6,700 rpm redline. While this may sound exciting, the mill is designed to be economical, so there is very little aspirational character to it. The small amount of power that it does deliver is fed to the wheels responsively with the five-speed manual transmission. In the five-speed auto, things are a bit more relaxed as it expresses a tendency to shift up very early for the sake of saving gas.

In 2014, the engine was given a nominal increase in performance. You'd be hard-pressed to notice any differences in performance in the manual transmission models, and with the CVT, the engine does feel comparatively lifeless while accelerating but once you get up to cruising speed it translates to a relaxed and comfortable drive. There are no structural changes made to this powertrain, so it shares all of the possible faults of the 2012 model. The same is also true for the supplementary Civic Hatch and Coupe range.

It has been noted that a common problem for the R18 engine is a knocking sound that emits from the Evaporative Emission Control System canister. Owners have noted that the tensioner pulley of the accessory drive belt can get noisy but this should be replaced every 60,000 miles, regardless. The Honda Civic's vibration problems, resulting in a rattling noise when idle, continue with an erratic shuddering due to a relatively fast-wearing left engine mount. With regular oil changes, there's no reason why this powertrain shouldn't cover more than 180,000 miles.

1.5-liter inline-four LEA-MF6 + IMA
90 hp |97 lb-ft
Horsepower
90 hp
Torque
97 lb-ft
Transmission
CVT automatic
  • Electric motor: Permanent synchronous electric motor
  • Horsepower: 23 hp
  • Torque: 78 lb-ft
  • Engine + electric motor hybrid system output: 110 hp and 127 lb-ft

There's nothing too exciting about the hybrid variant of the Civic as it has been designed to focus on lowering fuel consumption. Despite having the assistance of electric power via the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), the drivetrain feels comparatively sluggish to the R18Z1 drivetrain. There is a Sport setting on the CVT but all this does is extend the engine speed before shifting so that freeway merging and overtaking can become an easier task. With it being an HEV, the motor acts more as a supplementary source of power. Although Honda claims that it can carry the car up to 43 mph, this is rare in practice. Using the ECON mode maps the engine to be duller on the throttle, among other electrical changes, for further fuel-saving benefits.

The L-series engine is a fairly robust engine that can cover great distances if you adhere to the regular maintenance schedule. No troublesome issues have been noted for the drivetrain, including the battery pack which has a lifespan of about 10 years.

2012 - 2015 Honda Civic Real MPG

The ninth-generation Honda Civic surely upholds the reputation of being a fuel-efficient product. If it is efficiency that you're looking for, the most logical choice would be the Hybrid which is able to earn an estimated consumption of 43/45/44 mpg city/highway/combined. Five-speed automatic R18Z1 models are afforded a rating of 32/28/39 mpg while the CVT manages 29/37/33 mpg. The five-speed manual models don't stray too far from this with an estimated 28/35/31 mpg result. Real-world figures submitted by current owners for the Hybrid reflect a realistic scale of 46.7 to 47.4 mpg as well as the five-speed manual models at 33.2 to 37.5 mpg. The CVT and five-speed automatic submissions, however, are a bit far-fetched at 33.3-39.2 mpg and 42-47 mpg respectively. Considering that the EPA has no control over the driving nature of user-generated consumption results, these shouldn't be taken too seriously.

EPA MPGREAL WORLD MPG *
1.8-liter inline-four 5-speed manual FWD28/35/3133.2-37.5
1.8-liter inline-four 5-speed automatic FWD32/28/3933.3-39.2
1.8-liter inline-four CVT FWD29/37/3342-47
1.5-liter inline-four Hybrid CVT FWD43/45/4446.7-47.4

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.

Safety

Honda prides itself on providing consumers with exemplary safety standards at an accessible price. This is especially true with the ninth-generation Honda Civic sedan range. The Civic sedan uses Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering crumple zone body structure to ensure the safety of passengers, together with a six-airbag setup including front airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as curtain airbags. For 2012 in particular, all cars also feature vehicle stability assist and traction control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) conveniently helps you keep track of the air in your tires across all model lines.

DX, LX, and Hybrid models are fitted with rear drum brakes while the EX and EX-L sport solid discs. The front discs on all cars are ventilated. Halogen headlights with DRLs are found across all model lines but the EX-L and Hybrids have an auto-on and -off functionality together with rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers. All cars sans the DX sport a cruise control system. The Hybrid range offers a more conclusive safety configuration as it is supported by active safety features including a forward-collision and lane-departure warning as standard. It comes standard with a backup camera with guidelines but if the optional navigation package was fitted, you'll find a handy multi-angle system.

Updated 2013 models have the added safety benefit of the SmartVent front side airbags in the case of a collision. This also brings the aforementioned navigation option with the enhanced camera to the EX and EX-L trims. From this year, all cars fitted with an automatic transmission, barring the Hybrid, employ a larger 11.1-inch front brake disc compared to the 10.3-inch rotor used on the manual cars.

From 2014, Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system is standard on EX, EX-L, and Hybrid models, which is displayed on the infotainment screen. 2015 adds dynamic guidelines to the backup camera of the SE, EX, EX-L, and Hybrid models.

2015 US NHTSA Crash Test Result

The ninth-generation Civic fares well in its NHTSA crash testing. It achieved four stars for the frontal and rollover tests, and five stars for the side impact. Its performance earns it an overall five-star rating. Interestingly it scores better than its FG coupe counterpart.

Overall Rating:
(5/5)
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
(4/5)
Side Crash Rating:
(5/5)
Rollover Rating:
(4/5)

9th Generation Honda Civic Trims

The Honda Civic models are powered by the 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 140 hp. The lowest-trim model is the DX and the range-topper is the EX-L. In between this, you'll find the LX and GX models. The DX and LX can be had with a five-speed automatic transmission but a five-speed manual is standard. The EX and EX-L can only be had as a self-shifter. With the arrival of the facelift, the power output increased to 143 hp and the DX fell away, making the LX the new entry-level offering. The range also gained the Special Edition trim which falls beneath the EX. The LX is the only facelifted model available with the five-speed manual while all other cars adopt a CVT. Hybrid and Si models remain largely unchanged throughout the lifecycle.

With the exception of the DX, all cars ship standard with power windows and mirrors, cruise control, air vents for the second row, and USB and aux input ports for the multimedia system. Keyless entry and a tilt-and-telescoping multifunction steering wheel round off the list of standard fitments for these trims. The facelifted Honda Civic FB range is more comprehensive as a backup camera, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring, and Bluetooth connectivity are standard throughout the range.

EX, EX-L, and Hybrid models have more favorable standard features including keyless entry and a push-start ignition, heated door mirrors, and a six-speaker audio system. The Hybrid in particular has added appeal as it houses additional safety equipment, including forward-collision warning. If you select the leather upholstery option, the seats also benefit from heating. Both the gas and hybrid models have a 13.2-gallon gas tank.

2015 Special Edition. As a fanfare to the ninth-generation model, the Special Edition Civic was only available with the 1.8-liter inline-four engine with the CVT. Think of this as more of an upgraded mid-tier model rather than a flagship, as it boasts unique 15-inch alloy wheels.

DX
2012
Engine
1.8-liter inline-four
Transmission
Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic
Drivetrain
FWD

The DX trim was only available at launch for the 2012 year and we're guessing that's because it pushed the limits of how low-budget a sedan in this segment could be. Its standard features are severely lacking as it shipped without air-conditioning, an audio system, map lights, remote central locking, or floor mats. The highlights in this model consist of 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, manually operated door mirrors with black covers complementing the black door handles, two-speed intermittent windshield wipers, power windows for all four doors, ventilation for the rear row, a single-piece folding rear bench, cloth upholstery, and a sparse Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that only provides information about the average fuel economy and time with two trip meters, a maintenance reminder, and fuel range. The DX is powered by the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter inline-four gasoline engine that delivers 140 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission.

LX
2012-2015
Engine
1.8-liter inline-four
Transmission
Five-speed manual, five-speed automatic, or CVT
Drivetrain
FWD

For 2012, the LX improved on the basic DX trim by including remote central locking with a trunk release, electrically adjustable door mirrors, color-coded door handles, air-conditioning with an air-filtration system, a one-touch auto-up-and-down function for the driver's window, cruise control, map lights, floor mats, and a four-speaker audio system with a multifunction steering wheel and USB, MP3, aux, and RDS functionalities. The i-MID is also more conclusive as it supports displays for the average speed, fuel mileage, and driving time. You can use it to customize the interior lighting, screen color, and wallpaper too. This generation of the Civic is powered by the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter inline-four unit that produces 140 hp and 128 lb-ft. This can be had with a standard five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

For 2013, the LX gets Pandora 9 Internet Radio compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity as a standard feature. For the sake of convenience, it also introduces a rearview camera with guidelines that is displayed on the i-MID's five-inch screen. 2014's biggest change to the LX trim was the decision to phase out the five-speed automatic transmission and introduce the CVT as well as increase the powertrain's outputs to 143 hp and 129 lb-ft. 2015 concludes the life-cycle of the LX with no noteworthy changes.

HF
2012-2015
Engine
1.8-liter inline-four
Transmission
CVT
Drivetrain
FWD

The HF was introduced to the range of the Civic as a trim that bridges the gap between the base LX and premium EX. It is driven by the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter inline-four that is capable of producing 143 hp and 129 lb-ft for the front wheels via a CVT. Visually, it remains fairly basic, but it does inherit a unique set of 15-inch lightweight and aerodynamic alloy wheels with a tire-repair kit as opposed to a space-saving spare wheel. A color-coded decklid spoiler rounds off the individual appearance. Where features are concerned, it inherits everything found in the LX trim including the cloth upholstery. Honda essentially marketed this as a more fuel-efficient offering by sharing some cosmetic trims with the Hybrid model.

EX
2012-2015
Engine
1.8-liter inline-four
Transmission
Five-speed Automatic or CVT
Drivetrain
FWD

The EX trim may not be a flagship offering per se as it lacks the value of having leather upholstery, but the bells and whistles are nothing to scoff at. Pre-updated models maintain the 1.8-liter inline-four engine with 140 hp and 128 lb-ft that delivers power to the fronts via a five-speed automatic transmission exclusively. 16-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof create more of a visual impact on the exterior while intermittent windshield wipers and an integrated rear-window antenna enhance the level of convenience. Fitted as standard on this model is Bluetooth compatibility for the six-speaker audio system, a 60:40-split-folding rear seat with a rear armrest housing cup holders, a passenger-side seat pocket, and a 12-volt power outlet for the center console. The i-MID benefits from an exterior temperature indicator. A navigation system is optionally available; this adds voice recognition, FM traffic updates, and XM Radio.

Changes in 2013 are minimal as the only notable difference is the inclusion of automatic climate control. Updated 2014 models are a bit more comprehensive as keyless entry, auto-on and -off headlights, Honda LaneWatch, push-button ignition, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with HondaLink smartphone connectivity, and a USB interface for the center console create a more modern cabin experience. For this year, the engine's outputs increase to 143 hp and 129 lb-ft and it employs a CVT. Interestingly, navigation was removed as an option for 2015, but everything else remains the same.

EX-L
2012-2015
Engine
1.8-liter inline-four
Transmission
Five-speed Automatic or CVT
Drivetrain
FWD

The EX-L, essentially a leather package for the EX, is the most prestigious Civic offering available for the R18-powered models. In its launch year, it is available only with the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder inline-four engine delivering 140 hp and 128 lb-ft to the front wheels using a five-speed automatic transmission. In comparison to the EX, it is quite a bit more of a premium offering as it incorporates heated door mirrors, auto-on and -off headlights, leather upholstery for the seats and steering wheel, and heating for the driver and passenger seats. It's also the only model that can opt for the navigation package, which includes FM traffic updates and XM Radio.

No noteworthy changes were made in 2013, but the 2014 model replaces the five-speed automatic transmission with a CVT and increases the powertrain's outputs to 143 hp and 129 lb-ft. Aesthetics are enhanced with a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels and fog lights, while inside the cabin, the driver gets an eight-way electrically adjustable seat. 2015 does not reflect any changes worth noting other than this being the only model that can specify the navigation package, excluding the hybrids.

Hybrid
2012-2015
Engine
1.5-liter hybrid inline-four
Transmission
CVT
Drivetrain
FWD

The Honda Civic Hybrid is on the more premium end of the Civic line-up. It sources power from a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter inline-four engine that is supported by an IMA permanent-magnet motor to deliver a combined power output of 110 hp and 127 lb-ft to the front wheels using a CVT. This remains unchanged for the entirety of its lifecycle. As standard, it sits on a set of 15-inch lightweight alloy wheels that are of a different design to the aforementioned HF. These employ the same tire size as the compound housing the steel wheel on lower trim models. Key features here include automatic climate control, auto-on and -off headlights, a rear decklid spoiler, and the six-speaker audio system among other less prominent toys. It is available with a leather package that uplifts the standard offering by adding leather upholstery for the seats and steering wheel, heating for the driver and passenger seats, child-proof rear door locks, and heated side mirrors. You can also opt for the navigation package that includes XM Radio and FM traffic updates.

The most important additions to the 2013 generation model are the inclusion of active safety features such as the forward-collision and lane-departure warning as well as a rear-view camera with guidelines. With 2014 models, the Hybrid range inherits the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with HondaLink smartphone connectivity.

Ninth Generation Honda Civic Features

LXHFSEEXEX-LHybrid
Back-Up CameraSSSSSS
Bluetooth ConnectionSSSSSS
Leather SeatsaN/AN/AN/AN/ASO
Apple CarPlayN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Keyless EntryN/AN/AN/ASSS
Keyless StartN/AN/AN/ASSS
HD RadioN/AN/AN/AN/AOO
Alloy WheelsSSSSSS
SunroofSSSSSN/A

Interior, Trim And Practicality

Honda

The pre-facelifted Honda Civic range came under heavy fire for its poor cabin quality which is why the manufacturer was so quick to update the range. The fitment is still predominantly plastic, but the softer touch gives it a more premium feel. Some may argue that the layout is still a bit busy with the two-tier display cluster and positioning of the infotainment system but compared to the launch model, it is a clear improvement. Leather upholstery is a rare sight on these cars as it was only standard on the EX-L and optionally available on the Hybrid. Cloth is used in all other trims. For the compact-sedan segment, the interior packaging is generous as it provides commendable headroom, legroom, and trunk space. Due to the battery pack, the trunk of the Hybrid models are smaller, which could be a hassle for those looking to purchase one as a family vehicle.

INTERIOR TRIMLXHFSEEXEX-LHybrid
ClothSSSSN/AS
LeatheretteN/AN/AN/AN/ASO

2012 - 2015 Honda Civic Maintenance and Cost

All engines for the Honda Civic require a filter and lubrication service every 7,500 miles. This is an essential task if you wish to maintain the optimal functioning of the powertrain. With an estimated service cost between $300 - $400, it's not a heavy investment to make. If you opt for the five-speed torque-converter automatic models, it's advised that you conduct a transmission oil change every 60,000 while the CVT will need a refresher at 30,000 miles. Honda recommends that a thorough inspection of the powertrain and auxiliaries is conducted every 30,000 miles.

The Honda Civic has a reputation for being dependable but this is only possible if you adhere to the routine servicing as specified by the manufacturer. Ideally, you should inspect your oil and coolant levels on a weekly basis, although these powertrains do not have a reputation for consuming these fluids. The oil type that should be used is a 0W-20 viscosity.

9th Gen Honda Civic Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

Oil capacity: 3.7L (3.9 quarts) for R18Z1 1.8-liter inline-four, 3.5L (3.7 quarts) for LEA-MF6 1.5-liter inline-four.

Recommended viscosity: 0W-20 synthetic oil for both engines

Replacement: 7,500 miles

Average price: $59 for both engines

Sparkplugs

R18Z1 1.8-liter inline-four gas engine:

Part code: 12290-R1A-A01

Replacement: Every 100,000 miles

Average price: $111 for four

LEA-MF6 1.5-liter inline-four

Part code: 12290-RW0-003

Replacement: Every 100,000 miles

Average price: $175,00 for four

Battery

R18Z1:

Part number: 31500-SR1-100M

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years

Average price: $145

Hybrid engine:

Part number: 31500-SNC-00100M

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years

Average price: $140

Hybrid High-Voltage Pack:

Part number: 1D100-RW0-C04RM

Replacement: Every 10 years

Average price: $3,407

9th Generation Honda Civic Tires

2012-2015 DX, LX, HF, and hybrid tire size:
Tire Size:
195/65 R15
All-season:
Between $330 to $630 per set
2012-2015 EX-EX-L
Tire Size:
205/55 R16
All-season:
Between $408 to $847 per set
2015 EX-L
Tire Size:
215/45 R17
All-season:
Between $506 to $1,071 per set

Bear in mind that all models excluding the HF come with a space-saving 35/80 D15 wheel located underneath the trunk board.

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

Overall, the 9th-generation of the Honda Civic is a dependable car on all fronts, provided that routine maintenance is carried out on a regular basis. To avoid any transmission problems for the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic, be sure to change the oil on a routine basis. As per Honda's recommendation, all transmissions require an oil change at the 30,000-mile mark. There are no common issues to look out for per se but usual wear and tear components such as a thermostat housing problem, battery, and wheel bearings should have a close eye kept on them. Overall, you shouldn't have to worry too much about the components as problems relating to the Honda Civic's starter, electric power steering, alternator, ignition, catalytic converter, headlights, ABS, and head gaskets are not common.

It's not too much of a hassle as far as electronics are concerned, thus you'll find the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic to be free of problems relating to the sunroof, computer, air conditioning and heater, headlights, power door locks, power windows, speedometer, or push button starter. It's also fairly mechanically sound as you'll be hard-pressed to find any serious problems relating to the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic's engine, acceleration, suspension, brakes, automatic transmission, or manual transmission's clutch.

Some owners have noted problems with the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic's paint but with proper care and storage, this shouldn't be a dramatic crisis.

A small number of recalls have been issued throughout the lifespan of the FB-generation Civic range. Some 2012 models were required to have their steering columns exchanged as an incorrect part was installed from the factory. 2012 to 2015 Honda Civics were recalled for a faulty driveshaft. The fuel-line feed also needed replacement as it was prone to leakage which can result in a fire. 2013 models are free of recalls but automatic 2014 and 2015 models have faulty software for the transmission that can damage the CVT pulley. The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is subject to a fairly recent recall relating to a drive shaft that may corrode and fail. An airbag recall for the Honda Civic was not issued as this model was built after the generation that was affected by Takata's mishap. Recalls relating to the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic's emissions, motor mount, starter, paint, wheel bearing, air conditioning, ac compressor, and battery drain are not apparent.

Here are some typical ninth-generation Honda Civic OBD2 error codes:

  • The Honda Civic P0171 code refers to the fueling system being too lean. This can be because of a vacuum leak, faulty oxygen or mass airflow sensor, worn-out fuel injectors or a poor fuel pump or filter. P0172 means that the fuel system is running too rich on the first bank. The resolution remains the same.
  • The P0128 code means that your Honda Civic is suffering from a low thermostat coolant temperature. This means that your powertrain will not reach the optimal temperature. Although not as lethal as overheating, overcooling can be detrimental to your powertrain and should be attended to as soon as possible. Code P0118 refers to the engine coolant temperature sensor experiencing a high input. This may be due to the sensor itself being faulty or a broken connector or wire.
  • P0135, P1045, P0137, P0138, P0139, P0141, and P0145 codes refer to the failure of your Civic's heated oxygen sensors. This is tracked to a heater circuit malfunction, circuit high voltage, slow response, and general malfunction on specific sensors. This can be caused by an incorrect or tired sensor, wiring-harness damage, or a blown fuse.
  • Code P0420 refers to below-threshold catalyst efficiency and may be because of a clogged catalytic converter, faulty O2 sensors or wiring, or an exhaust leak.
  • If you experience a low voltage on the EVAP canister vent shut valve, P0498 is the code to look out for.
  • If there is a malfunction on the voltage B circuit of the engine control module, the P0651 code will be signaled. To resolve this, the engine control module may need replacing or updating. The harness or connections may also need to be looked at. P0455 and P0496 will signify that a leak has been detected in the EVAP system. P0456 relates to the same issue but for a smaller leak. P0497 means that a low purge flow is being detected from the ECU for the EVAP.
  • Code P0113 refers to the Civic's Air Intake Temperature sensor circuit running at a high voltage. If the wear on this sensor is bad you will have to replace the part but before doing so, inspect the wiring harness.
  • If you have an injector circuit malfunction on the third cylinder, P0203 will be flagged. The last number will act as a signifier for which cylinder's injector is faulty. This can be because of a worn fuel injector, poor wiring, or bad engine control module.
  • Code P0304 means that your fourth cylinder is misfiring. Use the last number to detect which cylinder is being referred to. This could be because of a spark plug that has reached the end of its life or spark plug wiring that may need to be reassembled. Faulty coil packs, a bad fuel injector, and a vacuum leak can also affect this. Similarly, P0202 refers directly to the second fuel injector's activation. This could be due to the injector being faulty or poor wiring.
  • The P0328 code means that a high input from the first knock sensor of bank one is being detected. The knock sensor wiring harness, ECU, or the sensor itself could be at fault. It can also relate to fueling issues and overheating. Inversely, P0327 indicates a low input on the same bank.
  • If your ECU is receiving an intermittent crankshaft position sensor signal, you'll be signaled with the P0339 code. This could be because of a faulty crankshaft position sensor, a harness that may have been opened or shortened, poor wiring, or damage to the plate, starter motor, and starting system's circuit. It could be because of a weak or expired battery, too.
  • Code P0402 means that there is excessive flow on the exhaust gas recirculation system. This could be due to an issue with the EVP, DPFE, or MAP sensors or a faulty exhaust gas recirculation valve.
  • If you detect a P0463 code, this is referring to a high input being experienced on the fuel level sensor circuit. To correct this, you may need to replace the wiring of the fuel pump, float or level sensor in the fuel tank, or the gas tank itself.
  • If your powertrain's idle-control system is sitting at a higher rpm than expected, you'll see the P0507 code pop-up. This can be because of a dirty throttle body, damaged electric throttle control, a leak in the air intake, or a bad connection on the air intake control valve.
  • Code P065A refers to a low output condition on the alternator's system.
  • A malfunction from the Civic's output-shaft speed sensor will result in a P0720 fault code. This could indicate a worn-out gear or a bad output-speed sensor.
  • Codes P0776, P0962, and P0966 relate to the CVT Civic's clutch pressure-control solenoid valve. If this is detected, it could mean that your transmission solenoid has failed or the flow of your transmission oil is being interrupted by a foreign agent. P0843, P0848, and P0873 are in reference to an opening or fault found in one of the clutch and transmission fluid pressure switch circuits of the manual gearbox. This could be because of faulty wiring harnesses or connectors. P0741 relates to a similar issue for the torque-converter transmission.
  • If the pressure switch on the second clutch circuit has become problematic, the P0843 code will display. This can be due to a low level or poor quality of transmission fluid, a faulty second clutch transmission fluid pressure switch, or an internal mechanical issue.
  • An open shift solenoid valve D will be the issue if you are signaled with a P0983 code. This could mean that the part is faulty and needs to be replaced or that the harness or connection may need to be inspected. P0766 and P0980 are also related to the solenoid shift valve and require similar fixes.
  • Code P0685 means that the engine control unit is having issues with its power-relay circuit. Considering how important this component is for the general functions of the Honda Civic, it will require immediate attention. This can be as simple as repairing any dodgy terminals, cables or fuses, or you might have to replace the unit.

9th Gen Honda Civic Common Problems

R18Z1 Engine Problems

With the R18 engine family lacking hydraulic tappets for the valves, the clearances have to be adjusted on a routine basis to avoid the relatively common ticking sound that can be heard from the engine. It's recommended that you inspect this every 30,000 miles or 24 months. The tensioner pulley for the accessory drive belt will need to be replaced at the 60,000-mile mark if you wish to avoid any failures in this area. Vibrations can also be caused by worn engine mounts, particularly the one on the driver's side. Overall, the R18Z1 is essentially a hassle-free unit that you'll be able to run for a long distance so long as you remember to inspect the front crankshaft and camshaft seals every 100,000 miles for leaks.

Mileage: Inspect valve clearances every 30,000 miles and crankshaft and camshaft seals every 100,000 miles. Replace tensioner pulley every 60,000 miles. The integrity of the left engine mount should be monitored as per routine inspection intervals.

Cost: The inspection of valve clearances and front seals should be included in your 30,000-mile service which should cost around $660. The belt tensioner pulley can cost up to $370 excluding the standard labor cost of $100. The left engine mount will cost $143 excluding the $100 labor cost.

How to spot: If you notice a light tapping noise from the engine while it is running, the valve clearances will need to be adjusted. If you notice an oil leak problem in the Honda Civic's engine bay, along the front side of the crankshaft and camshaft, this could indicate that a replacement of the seals is necessary. Irregular vibrations may act as a signal that the engine mountings could need replacing. Expect this part to cost $290.

LEA-MF6 Engine Problems

The L-series engine was introduced by Honda in 2001 and is still being used today for its current generation of hybrids in international markets. Throughout its life, it has earned the reputation of being a solid powertrain with a long and unproblematic service life. It should be no surprise that no common problems including the charging, electrical, hybrid battery, and alternator have been noted for this powertrain.

Less Common Problems

Although largely unproblematic, thermostats need to have a close eye kept on them. Code P0128 will signify that the part is faulty and will need to be replaced. The Civic range also struggles with a tire-pressure monitoring system that has a tendency to fail. Furthermore, a handful of owners have noted that the Honda Civic's i-MID digital display screen system has some problems as it fails to translate information such as the trip meter, odometer, range, and other readings.

Which One To Avoid

The 9th-generation Honda Civic maintains a respectable reputation throughout all grades but the weakest link of the batch is the 2012 DX due to its sparse level of standard features and poor cabin quality.

Which One To Buy

If you're looking for a straightforward and dependable sedan with a reasonable amount of comfort, the 2014 EX model would be the safest bet as it ships with the increased power output and crucial creature comfort features including a sunroof, keyless entry, alloy wheels, and automatic climate control, among other essentials. The CVT also merges better with the R18Z1 engine compared to the older five-speed torque-converter automatic

9th Gen Honda Civic (FB) Verdict

The ninth generation of the Honda Civic flies the Japanese brand's dependability flag high as it sticks to the company's ethos of being a car that can run problem-free so long as you ensure that maintenance is conducted on a routine basis. Like its rivals, there isn't much in terms of excitement, but for those who are looking for a more driver-oriented car, the performance-minded Si can be considered.

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