General Question

RandomMrdan's avatar

Are there any specific mechanical problems I can expect with my Honda Civic?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7387 points ) October 27th, 2010

I have my vehicle regularly maintained, oil change, tire rotation, brakes, air filters, transmission fluid, etc.

My Civic is a 2003 EX, and has nearly 140,000 miles on it. Are there any specific problems I can expect from a car like mine, with the mileage it has?

I’m trying to be proactive to take care of any problems in advance so they don’t cause bigger problems later.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes! Read the manual. It says you have to change the timing belt at 100,000 miles.

They are not kidding. It is an interference engine design that means the pistons will hit the valves if the valvetrain ever gets out of timing. Once the pistons hit the valves you are left with a either an expensive engine job or a boat anchor.

Changing the belt is labor intensive. Figure $1000 after all the other stuff is fixed.
Sorry.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Dang.. Thanks man. I’m already 40k over due. I’ll have to get it checked in sometime soon.

Is it something that can be done with two people? One of which is familiar with car work?

LuckyGuy's avatar

You saw it in the manual didn’t you? Many Hondas are traded in because of that.
By the way, GM, Ford etc don’t have that issue. No interference. That’s why those engines last forever. The bodies might fall apart though.
Yeah. Two of you can do it. I just takes time. If it is your first time figure about 12 hours. While they are off you might as well change the accessory belts too. It will never be easier.
Get the Hanes book before you do it. If you need special tools you can borrow from Advance Auto – They are great!

RandomMrdan's avatar

Hey, thanks a lot for your help!

BarnacleBill's avatar

There are a few other things that get done with the timing belt service. You will also need to replace the alternator and compressor belts, because you have to remove those to get to the timing belt, and replace the water pump, as it’s timing belt driven. After I did that on my Honda, I ended up replacing a few hoses as well a few weeks later.

john65pennington's avatar

You made a wise choice in a vehicle. this engine should last you at least 250,000 miles with routine maintenance and oil changes at 7,000 miles. mechanics hate your vehicle for two reasons: it never needs mechincal work and its very reliable. Road and Track Magazine lists your vehicle as No. 1 on their most reliable list.

You sound as though you doing the correct maintenance. keep up the good work and keep a log in your glove box of all your maintence performed. its a good reminder for you and a great piece of work to show the next buyer of your Honda.

Also, keep up the changing of your timing belt about every 80,000 miles. if it breaks, this can cause major engine problems and leave you stranded.

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