I own a 2008 Honda Civic EX with 27,000 miles on it. Today I received a letter stating the warranty on the engine block was increased to 8 years. Being concerned, I did a Google search and found that many people are experiencing cracked engine blocks on the Civics, and there is a class action suit in progress. I am concerned the car is going to leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere. Should I sell this car? How many actual cases of cracked engine blocks in civics are out there, and what is the likelihood of mine cracking? Is there anything I can do to prevent the block from cracking?
Don’t drive the car through the desert and then into a body of water. That’s the single best thing you can do to avoid cracking the block.
Seriously though… you’re panicking for nothing. Stop freaking out and just drive the car. Any car can randomly break down and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
If, on the very remote chance your block does crack, it sounds like you’re covered by Honda. Good luck.
Unless you are overheating the engine or abusing it somehow, there is little or nothing you can do. Chances are you will never have a problem with it. The good part is if it does have a problem, the repair should be covered.
Ticking Time - Bomb ? It Does Cause One To Wonder. Here Are Some Of My Opinions.
I’ll take your word about the extended warranty, but I did find a Technical Service Bulletin Summary on NHTSA and I believe it’s explaining that if the 06 - 08 Civic engine overheats due to cracks at the coolant passages then technicians are to install a " new engine block assembly ."
I see numerous customer complaints pertaining to cracked engines around the web and who knows how common this is or will become, but personally I would be concerned about my wife or kids driving in desolate desert areas. It doesn’t matter how many if it’s your’s that malfunctions.
For peace of mind, be sure to check your coolant level each time before venturing out on the highway.
It’s too bad that this problem has surfaced because some people buy these cars based on a reputation of reliability and this could give one pause. I also wonder if this will hurt resale of cars with original engine blocks after the warranty expires.
I believe that sometimes in situations like this where enough people were to have engine fires or accidents as result of severe over - heating (by continuing to drive while in the over - heated state) the situation could escalate into perhaps a campaign.
Would you have more peace of mind with a block of known integrity ? Until then I’d be sure to check your coolant level each time before venturing out on the highway. I’d also carry a quantity of pre - mix coolant in the trunk.
I don’t know whether you should sell it or not. How long do you generally keep cars and are you going to continue driving in “the middle of nowhere” ?
I happen to live in Arizona where the temps are often 105-110+ and there are long stretches of empty highway. I bought the car new intending to keep it for a long time, 10 years or so. Now it looks like I am betting that the engine will not crack at 50 or 60,000, so long term ownership seems risky. Honda has mot stated what caused the problem or whether or not specific VINs are at risk. However, when I receive a letter from the manufacturer that says we will replace your engine when it blows up I get concerned!!!
That’s a picture of the info sticker on the driver’s side door frame on a Honda. The top line tells you the manufacture date (in this case, 7 of 97)
If yours was manufactured after 11/'07 then you’re completely in the clear - they caught the casting error and corrected it at that point.
If not, then there’s nothing you can do. It either will crack or it will not. If it does, even if its out of the extended warranty, you’d probably have a pretty good case to get Honda to replace it. Request “Goodwill assistance.”
I looked at the NHTSA complaints database and there are a lot of complaints of cracked blocks, although I don’t know what the normal number of complaints is for cars in general. (You can file a complaint about anything, searching on the word “block” brings up complaints about cracked sun visors that no longer block the sun and how this is a “critical safety issue”.)
A number of people seem to want Honda to replace their engine for free even if it doesn’t have cracks, just to be on the safe side. I tend to think this is unreasonable unless every block cracks or unless they can identify a specific run of blocks that were bad. Most product failures result from a combination of multiple circumstances and it may be difficult to narrow down the exact combination that causes engine blocks to fail for some owners but not others. (Driving at 110F in the desert is not really a special risk as your engine normally runs at 250F and temps get up to 80F pr 90F even in the Northeast.)
As this is a crack that mainly results in coolant leaks, I would make a habit of checking the coolant level regularly and carrying a gallon of coolant (pre-mixed to the correct water/coolant ratio) in your trunk. It does not seem from the complaints to be a problem that will come up suddenly and strand you as long as you check it from time to time. I would also change the coolant more often than the manual recommends, and use proper Honda coolant. Coolant contains anti-corrosion additives that wear out or get used up over time.
Carry a cell phone, keep some snacks and bottled water in your trunk, and have a paid-up AAA membership. (But I would do these things anyway if I lived in the desert. There is so much else that could wrong with a car.)
Does That Seem Right That One Has To Take Special Precautions While Driving A 2008 Car With 27,000 Miles On It ? This Gives The Car “Beater Car” Status.
Would you buy a used one that is just out of extended warranty and pay full price for it thinking the manufacturer will make an exception for you if your engine goes south?
Would you send your family out in one in a desolate area ?
I think time will prove that the manufacturer owes either a new engine (for safety and dependability )reasons or at least a life-time transferable block warranty (for product credibility and protecting resale reasons).
The way it stands puts a chink in Honda’s Asian Car Myth as have the recent Toyota Recalls.
If these cars are as good as legend has it (or had it) then the manufacturer should Man-Up. I’ve never cracked a block and don’t know anybody who has. Have they no confidence in their own products ?
Where has the product testing and quality control gone ? What will become of the Myth ?
Love the use of the word ‘myth’. Way to tell it like it is!
And to think Honda is just getting over its minivan transmision problems
In the midst of this all, with the ‘two best car companies in the world’ having major quality problems, Ford and GM are making huge strides in improving their quality control and product in general. A while ago, someone put a post on here knocking GM for recalling 1200 Camaros for a positive battery cable routing issue. They found a potential fire hazard with it’s routing, and wanted to correct it before anything happened. I could be wrong, but I think this is how quality control is supposed to work. Catch a problem before it causes a lot of major issues or kills anyone, and catch it as early as possible to keep costs down. At least it didn’t cause a lot of deaths or property damage, then take years before they admitted a problem and have to recall hundreds of thousands of cars. That’s when things get really expensive, and your company’s image suffers.
Can you post a copy of that letter you got from Honda(block out you name and address) Our Honda falls into these dates and there has been no such announcement in Canada. I am sure Honda Canada will not come forward to address this problem if they are not under any pressure to and I would like to put some pressure on them.
ALL cars have problems…No car manufacturer is immune to design or manufacturing problems…But I see Honda’s, Toyota’s, Nissan’s, and Subaru’s having far far LESS problems then GM,Ford or Chryco…You don’t see Honda or Toyota having these problems stretching over DECADES like GM did with their Intake manifolds or ball-joints…Instead…I see…1-3 years…problems surface…after investigating they discover the problem was a design problem…then it’s redesigned and the problem is gone…Where as…GM - “Yup…we have a problem…If I have manufacturing redesign to solve the problem I won’t meet my numbers and I’ll loose my $200k bonus…Forget it…let the schmuck taking over when I leave solve the problem…”
. A while ago, someone put a post on here knocking GM for recalling 1200 Camaros for a positive battery cable routing issue.
That’s GREAT…And I applaud GM for that…but it it happened to GM years ago when they first introduced their 5-cylinder engine…Recalled a major problem for it’s first 3000 engines produced…GM quality didn’t improve then…Maybe it has now…only time will tell.
Go to work in the service department at a Honda, Nissan, Subaru, etc. dealership and you will find that Recalls, TSBs for design flaws, and off the cuff chronic problems are just as prevalent as with any other make.
Those who have not been there simply do not know.
Here is the letter I received this week.
And most people don’t know about those, either in the Odyssey or the Accord… or even the failing 2nd gear clutch packs in Civics…
People only find out about them when the problem isn’t resolved and keeps going on and on for decades effecting MILLIONS of vehicles (like basically ALL GM V-6 and many of their V-8 designs). If GM had fixed the problem when they first new about it they’d have a lot better reputation and a good chance they never would have needed bailout money.
Thanks for posting your letter from Honda. I also discovered a fluid leak just two days ago on my 2006 Civic EX which appeared to be coming from somewhere in the engine compartment.
I noticed slight fluid spotting on my garage floor which I had never seen before. I immediately made a service appointment with my local Honda dealer to have it checked out.
Much to my shock, my service advsisor told me that they discovered a cracked engine block on my Civic causing engine coolant to leak. I registered disbelief that a Honda with only 46,000 miles on it would have a cracked engine block! As my advisor explained, I was one of many that experienced this problem with their Civic and as a result, Honda had extended its engine warranty to cover these cracked blocks just as your letter from Honda indicated.
I asked how this could have happened and he explained to me that some Civic engine castings over several years were defective resulting in some engine blocks cracking. I was at least relieved to know that Honda is going to cover the repair under warranty but still upset that this could happen to a Honda!
In fact, I sold Hondas for 5.5 years until last year when I decided to retire. I never was informed by Honda or my dealership that any such problem existed even while I was still selling Civics!
Fortunately, you received a written confirmation from Honda that the extended engine warranty would cover your repair. I never received any such communication from Honda which is dishearting. Even though my service advisor confirmed that my repair would be covered under the extended engine warranty, I still called Honda customer service. They provided reassurance that my repair would be covered under the extended engine warranty.
There is a service bulletin that apparently Honda had issued to all their dealerships concerning this problem and the resulatant extended engine warranty. My advisor has agreed to provide me with a copy. These bulletins are only issued to dealership service departments so customers normally would not see them. Anyone reading this reply with the same Civic engine problem may want to ask their service advisor for a copy. I never thought I would hear myself saying this, “my next new car just might be a Subaru!” Good luck!
Shadowfax, I am very curious where you got this information. My Civic was 04/'08 so I am in the clear? Might be driving the car from Minneapolis to Seattle (24hr trip) when I move out there in 4 months. Currently has 93k miles on it. Any advice?