98 Honda Civic - Metal Clanking Noise of Death?


I drive a 98Honda Civic Ex, automatic with a “V-tech” engine, 4 cylinder. It has 102k. When the car has been sitting for a while, and I shift it out of park to reverse, it makes an a fairly loud metal “pop” noise. When I shift it from reverse to drive it does the same thing. After I have been driving it for a while, it does not do this. The noise happens just with the shift alone while my foot is still on the brake.

Can any one suggest what this might be?? Also, I just mailed in my final car payment. FIGURES!!!



At only 102,000 miles there is no reason whatsoever to think you Civic is on its way to the grave. Assuming you’ve had the necessary maintenance performed as specified in the owner’s manual you can expect at least another 100,000 miles from this vehicle.

I don’t know what is causing the noise. Have you had a mechanic look at the car? Perhaps it’s something simple.

Considering the mileage, maybe a motor mount is worn and allowing the engine/transmission to move further than it should. This is just a guess. Have someone look at it, fix whatever is wrong, and continue to enjoy your Civic for many years to come.

Two parts of my 1999 Civic EX that have required repairs are the exhaust system: the B pipe, which I bent driving on rutted off-roads and rattled until I replaced it; and the heat shield around the catalytic convertor.

I would have the exhaust system inspected for loose and rattling parts. It is one of the few longstanding trouble spots on Hondas.

My suspicion would be a worn engine mount bushing or a loose engine mount.


It could be an engine mount as others have suggested. It could be the transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid was changed and Dexron was substituted for Honda fluid, you could experience harsh shifting. That could explain why the shifting characteristics change when the transmission and fluid heats up. If it was bad engine mounts, I wouldn’t expect heat to affect the engine mounts.