2003 Honda Civic EX running rough

I Have a 2003 Honda Civic EX that is running rough and the windows stopped working and the temp gauge doesn’t rise. Would this be do to a bad/failing alternator or something else?


The rough running and the window problems could possibly be due to a failing alternator, but, I don’t see how that situation would affect engine temperature.

More than likely, the cold engine temps are due to a cooling system thermostat that is stuck in the open position, or possibly due to a defective sensor for the cooling fan, causing the fan to run continuously, or possibly you have a defective temperature gauge.

Or you could have three separate and distinct situations causing these three problems, including lax maintenance leading to engine problems, and wiring or fuse problems leading to the window problems .
The list goes on and on…

Please give us a full account of the car’s maintenance record over the past three years.

Is the radiator fan running constantly?
Is the Check Engine Light lit up?
If the CEL is lit up, is it on steadily, or is it flashing?

Is the battery/alternator light lit up?
What about the brake warning light?
How old is the battery?

The dash gauges — so they don’t go up and down depending on the battery charge – use a voltage stabilizer circuit which must be supplied with a certain minimum voltage to work. If the alternator doesn’t put out enough voltage, these symptoms are definitely possible. If it were my car, the first order of business would be a battery and charging system diagnostic test.

Thanks for the responses. I recently bought the car from a used car dealer and don’t have maint records. The only thing I had done was the timing belt and waterpump because it had 103k miles when I bought it. The battery is about 5 years old so that may be an issue. The engine light is on but not flashing. I am going to bring it to a mechanic for a diagnostic and will post what he finds.

Did this rough running start immediately or not long after the timing belt change?

Batteries rarely work longer than 5 years. If in a hot climate, a battery lasting even 5 years would be unusual. In hot places like Florida , 3 years, 4 years max is probably about the average life for a car battery. So your battery would be a primary suspect. Be sure to have it load tested.

Thx again for the responses. I took it to a mechanic over the weekend and he determined that the control module is bad. He also pointed out that the splash shields are missing, which I new about but hadn’t gotten around to replacing. Would it be a good assumption to say that water getting into the engine compartment could cause the control module to get fried. Also, would a bad control module cause problems with the window relay switch and the A/C?


Has anyone checked your valve lash? Its on the maintenance schedule but is often overlooked. If the control module was fried, it would not make your engine run rough, in fact it would be absolutely smooth because it wouldn’t be running at all.