Since a car is one of the most significant investments that a person will make, it should come as no surprise that what people really want from a vehicle is reliability. If you’re in the market for a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a Honda Civic. Ranked as the third most popular car in the United States, and Honda’s second most popular model, these sturdy little cars are everywhere. But how long will a Honda Civic last?
With proper maintenance and care, a Honda Civic can easily last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles, with some drivers reporting that their Civics have gone well beyond the 300,000-mile mark.
If you’re considering adding a Honda Civic to your garage, or just want to know more about the one you already own, keep reading to learn more about this durable little car.
Why Are Honda Civics So Popular?
Though its style has changed quite a bit over the years, the Civic remains one of the more popular cars on the road, but why?
- Efficiency: The Honda Civic was one of the most fuel-efficient cars of its time back in the day, and even today, with most models getting up to 40 mpg (about 7 cents per mile) on the highway, they’re still one of the best in terms of fuel efficiency.
- Dependability: The Civic has a reputation for being an extremely reliable and long-lasting vehicle. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a Civic with more than 250,000 miles still driving as if it has another 100,000 miles left in it.
- Safety: Honda Civics have earned top safety ratings from both IIHS and NHTSA for years and with the addition of many new safety features, that trend looks unlikely to change anytime soon.
- Affordability: Despite the fact that most Civics will last forever, they’re surprisingly affordable. With new models starting under $25,000, and thousands of used models on the market, you’re sure to find a Civic that fits nicely into your budget.
Are Honda Civics Reliable?
According to RepairPal, the Honda Civic has a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 which ranks it 3rd out of 36 for compact cars. Furthermore, they estimate the average annual repair cost of a Honda Civic to be $368, which is almost $200 less than the average cost of other compact cars.
J.D. Power has also given the Civic a higher-than-average reliability rating. You can find their reliability ratings below.
|2022 #1 in Compact Car||Great 82/100|
|2021 #2 in Compact Car||Great 82/100|
|2020 N/A||N/A N/A|
|2019 #3 in Compact Car||Average 79/100|
|2018 #6 in Compact Car||Average 76/100|
|2017 #4 in Compact Car||Average 77/100|
|2016 #8 in Compact Car||Average 74/100|
What Are The Most Common Problems with Honda Civics?
Although repairs are an unavoidable part of owning a vehicle, there are some problems that go beyond the normal wear and tear issues. According to RepairPal, the most common problems that Civic owners face are:
|Problem||Average Mileage||Years Affected||Average Repair Cost|
|Airbag Light Due to Failed Occupant Position Sensor||112,000||1996 – 2012||$938 – $963 Recall Issued|
|Bad Engine Mount Causing Vibration||98,000||1990 – 2016||$513- $553 Parts: $400|
|Power Window Switch Failure||116,000||1990 – 2001||$252 – $287 Parts: $235|
|Hood Release Cable Breaks||148,000||1990 – 2003||$202 – $219 Parts: $139|
|Shift Control Solenoid Fault||141,000||1994 – 2011||$107 – $126 Parts: $32|
|Cracked Exhaust Manifold/Catalytic Converter||151,000||1995 – 2008||$1,575 – $1,641 Parts: $1,400|
|A/C Compressor||65,000||1990 – 2005||$699 – $1,079 Parts: $650|
The prices above reflect the average price to repair each issue, but these prices do not consider fees or taxes. Additionally, prices may vary depending on your location and the year of the vehicle being repaired.
Are Honda Civics Expensive to Maintain?
One of the best ways to ensure you get the most life out of your vehicle is to follow the vehicle’s maintenance schedule. According to CAREDGE, a Honda Civic will cost about $5,245 for maintenance and repairs during the first ten years of service, which is $1,600 less than the average maintenance cost for other compact cars on the market. Similarly, there is a 15.57% chance that your Civic will need a major repair within those first ten years, which is 5.97% better than other compact vehicles.
To get a better idea of what services you’ll need to keep up on to maintain your Civic in tip-top shape, check out the table below.
|Routine Maintenance||Service Interval||Average Cost|
|Rotate Tires||Every 15,000 miles. Check tires periodically and replace them as needed.||Labor: $79 – $100|
|Oil Change||First 7,500 miles and then every 3,000 – 7,500 miles depending on the type of oil you are using.||Parts: $57 – $62 Labor: $39 – $49|
|Replace Spark Plugs||Every 30,000 miles.||Parts: $45 – $134 Labor: $65 – $82|
|Replace Coolant||Every 30,000 miles. Check periodically and fill up as needed.||Labor: $69- $86|
|Replace Brake Fluid||Every 30,000 miles. Check periodically and fill as needed.||Labor: $62 – $78|
|Air Filter Replacement||Every 15,000 miles.||Parts: $19 – $28 Labor: $28 – $36|
Should I Buy a Used Honda Civic?
With 300,000 – 400,000 sold on average each year, there’s no shortage of used Honda Civics on the market today, but is it a good idea to buy a used Civic?
Before buying a used car, you should always check:
- The exterior of the car for rust or hidden damage. This is especially true if the vehicle is an older model. People can find clever and tricky ways to cover rust spots and earlier damage. Watch for areas where paint does not match exactly or areas under the car where people have sprayed undercoating.
- Service and repair records. If you get the car through a dealer, you may be able to access these free of charge. However, even if you buy through a private individual, it’s worth buying the Carfax whenever possible. The person you’re buying the car from may not be the original owner and they may not even be aware of the vehicle’s full history.
- The title. The older a vehicle is, the more likely it becomes that the car has been involved in an accident. If the vehicle has a salvaged title, you may have a tough time finding an insurance company that will cover the car.
- The clutch. If the vehicle is manual, you’ll want to pay close attention to the clutch. It may be a good idea to ask the owner if they know when this was last repaired. This can be a costly repair and can sometimes become more expensive than a used car is worth.
The Honda Civic has continued to prove itself worthy of praise for over four decades. While it may not be the most glamorous car on the market, this sturdy little go-getter will provide the reliability and dependability you need for a daily driver.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.