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Civic Problem

Hi,

My daughter bought a new 2007 Civic and it chewed up the rear tires at 16,000 miles. This year it’s the same thing - two more new tires. Each time we take it in (different dealers) the charge is around $800 (not covered by warantee.



As the tires wear down, the handling of this car seems to float. (Delay in response?) I heard that for two years there was a design flaw in the rear of these cars.



It bothers me that she drives her toddler around in this car! This can’t be normal and do we have any recourse?

$800? What have they done for the $800?

Assuming she bought it new, they have a legal obligation to fix it properly. Check into your state’s Lemon Laws (you can start at the JD Powers website), keep all her copies of the shop orders, and follow up with the “800” complaints number that came with her owner’s manual.

This is unacceptable. My guess is that the alignment is messed up.

What are they doing for $800? You didn’t tell us.

Please provide more information.

I suggest you consult an independent alignment shop. Dealers don’t always know best.

$800.00 for two tires is outrageous, even if they do a 4 wheel alignment it is outrageous. I’ve noticed that the new version of the Civic seems to have a wider stance in the back than the front. That by itself shouldn’t cause excessive tire wear.

I don’t think the Civic is an unsafe car and I’d not worry about the toddler. I would consider taking it to a frame alignment specialty body shop and get it checked out. Either the independant rear suspension is not aligned correctly or the frame of the car is not correct. If the shop finds a frame defect and the car was purchased new and never in any accidents then I’d take the matter up with Honda USA.

I believe the issue is one of two things. Either there is a problem with the rear wheels that needs a proper diagnosis and repair, or she hits a lot of curbs with the rear wheels. In either case, there is no recourse unless you can identify the cause.

I think the dealer hasn’t aligned the wheels correctly. There may be a unique consideration when the rear wheels track is different than cars with the same track front and back.

Worn struts or shocks?

The rear struts may be worn at this point, but the probability that they were badly worn before 16k is very unlikely.

The most likely solution is to have a 4 wheel alignment done by the best alignment specialists in the OP’s area. There is a considerable difference from one shop to another when it comes to alignment, so a really good shop should be able to do it properly. Additionally, that shop should be able to determine if worn suspension components play any role in this problem.

But, to return to an earlier question that has still not been answered:
What exactly was done each time for that $800 fee?

Hi,
Thank you all for the excellent suggestions! I forgot to include an important symptom - a loud vibration noise which is felt in the steering wheel.
Does this change any of your advise?

The $800 covered the tires, balance, alignment, oil change and tune-up.

This sounds terrible. I don’t know how long the warranty period is for that car. But this seems incredible. I would be going back to the last dealer and expecting them (dealer or Honda manufacturing) to make it right on their dollar.

Hearing about the handling of the car seeming to float. This sounds serious enough to bring to the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration I looked up the number. It is 1 (800) 424-9393

“The $800 covered the tires, balance, alignment, oil change and tune-up.”

It still sounds like you are getting hosed by that dealership. A “tune-up” once a year?
Cars have not required an annual “tune-up” (a truly non-specific term) for MANY years. Unless you are driving about 30,000 miles per year, there is no major service that is required annually. I would really love to hear what those 'tune-ups" consisted of.

But, to return to the original topic, I really think that it is time to get this car to an independent alignment shop for an evaluation. A loud vibration noise in the steering wheel can be caused by seriously worn front-end components, so it is possible that there are problems in the front and the rear suspension of this car.

Also, there is no indication that this car has had its tire rotated. The Honda maintenance schedule probably calls for tire rotation every 7,500 miles or so, and if this has not been done on a regular basis, there will be uneven tire wear when you compare front and back tires. Normally, the front tires will wear much more quickly, so the accelerated wear on those rear tires definitely indicates that there is a problem, most likely an alignment problem.

I have the same problem with my 06 Honda Civic LX. On slick roads the rear end has a mind of its owen. The rear tires cup on the inside at regular intervals and when moved to the front will feel like truck tires, including the noise. The alignment has been done by several very good shops, including Honda Dealers at around 5k miles intervals; no change in wear or noise or handling. Honda has changed the upper torque arm on their dollar, but that hasn’t done anything either. It was not a recall, but just an advisery.
I have a complaint file with Honda and one with NHTSA indicating that this is an unsafe vehicle. Toyota does not have that problem with their rear ends, nor does the Accord as far as I can tell. I do like the mileage per gallon (40 plus)and kind of live with the other problem.

Steeling wheel vibration can indicate a front end alignment problem. It usually doesn’t indicate problems with the rear suspension. Is there any pulsation during braking, and at what speeds? Does the steering wheel vibration occur at all times? If not, when does it occur? You said that there is a noise. Can you tell where it is coming from?

I think I’d check those rear wheel bearings. Possibly they weren’t tightened properly at the factory. Those alignments must start with a rear wheel alignment.