Honda Civics in a parking lot

How Many Miles Does A Honda Civic Last?

Last updated on January 25th, 2024 at 08:25 pm

If you’re thinking about buying a Honda Civic for being a reliable car that’s also comfortable and fuel-efficient, you’ve made a great choice. Honda Civics are known for being reliable compact cars that could stand the test of time. But how long can it really last? 

Honda Civics are known to last for an average of 200,000 to 300,000 miles, which gives you about 15 to 20 years, depending on your use.

Despite that, you may spot a Honda Civic from the late 90s rolling down the streets, proving that age is just a number!

However, these mile numbers depend on how well you maintain your car. If you regularly follow up on your car’s maintenance and drive responsibly, your Civic will last you a lifetime. So what’s the secret to a Honda Civic’s durability?

Newer gray Honda Civic on a foggy day

Why Is a Honda Civic Durable?

We’ve mentioned that Honda Civics are well known for their reliability and durability, but why so? How do Civics last for so many years?

Meticulous Design Standards

Like most Japanese cars, Honda Civic is built based on meticulous design standards to compete with other Japanese market favorites like Toyota Corolla. The car is put through many tests to assess its performance and durability. 

Simple Structure 

Although Civics have painstaking design standards, their structure is much simpler than others. A Civic’s simple car build makes it easy to be repaired and doesn’t require any special or rare pieces. 

Mechanics Love It

Since Honda cars are known for their simple build, it’s easy to find any mechanic that knows how to work on them and help you fix your vehicle. Additionally, the significant number of Japanese cars on the road motivates mechanics to understand and specialize in them. 

Inexpensive to Maintain 

Because most mechanics can work on a Honda Civic, too many available repair options mean much less labor hour costs. In addition to that, the prices of a Civic’s spare parts are relatively cheap considering their top-notch quality. So overall, your car will save you some good money.

There’s also an indirect reason for Honda Civic’s durability, which is its high resale value. People consider Honda Civics as an investment, which is why they’ll take extra care of it to keep it in tip-top shape for as long as possible. The better its condition, the higher its resale value.

On average, a Honda Civic will last between 200,000 – 300,000 miles.

Factors Affecting Honda Civic’s Lifespan

Honda Civics are built to last. However, it all comes down to how well you use your vehicle. A few factors are thrown into the equation when calculating your car’s life span. The factors include: 

  • Driving Style: If you’re used to flooring your pedals while driving, you’re most likely overwhelming your car’s engine and wearing it out too soon.
  • Service Frequency: Your car needs regular checkups to stay in its best condition and provide you with the best performance for longer.
  • Part’s Quality: The quality of the spare parts you install in your car can greatly affect its life span, especially if the part affects the engine and the car’s performance.  
  • Car’s Location: The weather in your location plays a role in your vehicle’s lifespan. Whether it’s very cold or way too hot, both weather extremes can affect the vehicle’s performance and cause engine fatigue. 
  • Accident Damages: If a car has been in an accident that caused some damage to its parts, that may cut off a few years from its life span — even if you have it fixed.
Front view of a yellow Honda Civic

Most Common Problems Facing Honda Civics

  • Cruise Control Issues
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The eleventh generation of Civics, which is the latest generation to date, introduces cruise control to the vehicle. 

However, many users have reported that the cruise control would suddenly switch off while driving without any apparent reason. The only way to turn it back on is to restart the car, which isn’t always doable — especially if you’re on a highway. 

To fix this issue, Honda released a driver aid software update and a service bulletin to control the problem. 

  • Air Conditioner Issues

Tenth-generation Civics, which ran from 2016 to 2021, had infamous air conditioner issues. The vehicle’s air conditioner wouldn’t perform as well as it used to, or it wouldn’t blow cold air at all. The issues turned out to be caused by a manufacturing defect that leaked the refrigerant. 

So to fix the issue, Honda extended the warranty period of that generation to 10 years. That way, people would have enough time to test their cars and fix any issues that pop up within the warranty period.

  • Grinding Noises

Tenth-generation Civic owners have reported a grinding noise that shows up once they start their car. This issue is commonly found in the 2016 and 2017 models, even when they were relatively new. 

Honda solved that issue by releasing a technical service bulletin that recommends replacing the lower valve body of the CVT if that issue ever comes up. 

  • Gear Shifting Issues

A considerable number of 2006 and 2008 eighth-generation Honda Civics have had issues with their manual transitions, especially when shifting to second or third gear. 

The issues included: 

  • Grinding noises when shifting to second or third gear
  • Failing to shift into certain gears
  • Changing the shift lever to neutral on its own. 

Not only are these issues frustrating while driving, but the grinding can also lead to breaking the gears’ teeth, which makes them unusable and in need of replacement.

The shifting problems turned out to be caused by faulty synchros that don’t match the speed of the gears when shifted.

In 2008, Honda released a technical service bulletin that recommends replacing the faulty synchros and gear sets. 

  • Paint Issues

Although Honda Civics can maintain their performance for years, their paint never stays fresh for that long — especially the darker-colored vehicles. All Honda Civic generations are known to have non-durable paint that fades over the years, making the car look old and shabby after a while.

Additionally, there may be some cracks and scratches, discoloration, and in some cases, the paint coat chips and flakes off. In these cases, the problem won’t just be about your car looking beaten up after only a year or two of driving it. It’s much more serious than that. 

These paint issues expose the metal underneath it to water and air, which means your car’s metal will rust. 

To fix that issue, Honda extended the paint warranty to 7 years. Another quick fix is to use Paint Protection Film (PPF), which adds an extra layer of protection to preserve your paint and make it last longer. 

  • Cracks in Engine Block

A few of the early eight-generation models of the Honda Civic had engine failures because of cracks in the engine block. 

The signs of a cracked block include overheating, reduced power, poor air conditioning, losing coolant, a strong coolant smell, and a turned-on check engine light. 

Once the engine block is cracked, the only way to fix it is to replace the engine. So Honda extended the engine’s warranty of these early eighth-generation models to cover any damages that could happen.

1977 Honda Civic: Image credit: Mariordo using CC BY-SA 3.0 licence

In Conclusion

Honda Civics are a smart choice to invest in. They’re reliable, fuel-efficient, and easily fixed at any repair shop. If you take good care of your vehicle, you’ll be able to get the maximum mileage from your car. As a bonus, you’ll get a great price when you decide to sell it.

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