The Honda Civic is a line of cars produced and manufactured by Honda, a Japanese public multinational corporation that is well-known for its high-end cars and motorcycles. First made with a subcompact layout, the Civic has undergone numerous changes throughout the years. Some of these changes have occurred in the transmission and engine systems to try and reduce the prevalence of Honda Civic head gasket problems.
The body style changed throughout the generations of production, with the 2-door fastback lasting between 1972-2000 and the 4-door fastback between 1973 and 1978. The other type of body style was a hatchback, a 3-door model between 1972 and 2011, and the 5-door hatchback currently in production today.
The last body styles used by the Honda Civic nameplate are the 5-door station wagon produced between 1974-2006 and 2014-2017, the 4-door sedan from 1980-present, the 2-door coupe from 193-2020, and the 5-door liftback from 1995-2001.despite these changes in the body style, the numerous Honda Civic head gasket problems cause expensive repairs throughout the years.
The NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, gave favorable rankings to the eighth generation of Honda Civic in terms of the crash test performance, ranking the car as “good” on both frontal and side crash impact tests. Earning 4 and 5 stars, the safety of this car sometimes outweighs the frequent Honda Civic head gasket problems when buyers consider purchasing a new Honda Civic.
To determine if it is safe for you to buy a Civic, we must look at the function of the head gasket in your car, the signs of a faulty head gasket, the worst Honda Civic model years, and how much you can expect to pay to replace your head gasket.
What is a Head Gasket?
When looking at the traditional car engine, you will find that a head gasket plays a crucial part in your vehicle’s inner workings. The head gasket is a ring or circular-shaped panel located between the cylinder head and engine block.
The cylinder head sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block, helping to form the closure on the top of the engine’s combustion chamber. The upper part of the engine is the cylinder head, while the lower part is commonly referred to as the engine block. If you find any issues with the cylinder head, engine block, or head gasket, these concerns can quickly lead to frequent Honda Civic head gasket problems.
The engine block is the lower part of the engine that houses all of the major components of the bottom of your car's motor. This is where combustion occurs in an internal combustion engine and houses important components like the crankshaft.
As you can see, the head gasket, cylinder head, and engine block help make the engine run. Without these three components, your car would not be able to drive down the street.
The head gasket keeps any excess fluid from the engine from leaking into the cylinders. This barrier formed by the head gasket means that it is easily one of the most important components in the combustion chamber. Therefore, noticing any head gasket leak symptoms can help prevent future Honda Civic head gasket problems.
Worst Honda Civic Years – Honda Civic Head Gasket Problems
When looking at what years have the most prevalent Honda Civic head gasket problems, we need to look at the entire production span – dating between 1972 until the present. The worst model years in terms of reliability, safety, the severity of issues, and the expense of each repair are 2001, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
2001 Honda Civic
The 2001 Civic has got it all – transmission problems, engine issues, and a dangerous defect with the front airbag that can cause extreme injury in the event of a crash. Although the airbag inflators were eventually recalled – 10 years later – the safety concerns, the transmission unreliability, and the Honda Civic head gasket problems are enough to deter users from purchasing this vehicle.
The main engine concerns in the 2001 Honda Civic involve the exhaust manifold cracking, the engine failing, the car running roughly, the car burning excessive oil, the car accelerating roughly, the camshaft position sensor failing, and the head gasket cracking. The cracked head gasket led to coolant leaking from the exhaust manifold in the 2001 Civic, leading to an expensive repair of around $800.
2006 Honda Civic
The 2006 Honda Civic has numerous concerns with the engine, body and paint, interior accessories, and the wheels and hubs. The main engine concerns focus on the cracked engine block, the serpentine idler bolt failing, the engine mounts cracking, sudden acceleration, excessive oil consumption, and a blown head gasket.
The most common solution is to replace the head gasket at around 95,000 miles, with the typical repair cost being $2,970 for most owners.
2007 Honda Civic
The worst problem categories of the Honda Civic in the 2007 model year are the body and paint, wheels and hubs, interior accessories, and engine. The top concerns in the 2007 Honda Civic are a cracked engine block, side engine mount failure, engine surging, excessive oil consumption, blown engine, and rear motor mount failure.
The most common solution is to rebuild the engine, replace the engine mount, or replace the entire engine for around 81,000 miles and cost around $2,700. Along with the frequent Honda Civic head gasket problems, the lack of reliability in performance and safety makes the 2007 Civic a poor choice for new car owners.
2008 Honda Civic
The top Honda Civic issues in the 2008 year focus on the body and paint, interior accessories, and the engine. The engine category’s main concerns are the cracked engine block, bad engine mount, engine rattling when starting, excessive oil use, engine overheating, the oil leaking, and the head gasket blowing.
A blown head gasket repair will cost between $800 and $1600 to fix in the 2008 Civic, with the numerous Honda Civic head gasket problems leading to an expensive fix for car owners.
Testing For a Blown Head Gasket in Your Honda Civic – Honda Civic Head Gasket Problems
If you notice the Honda Civic head gasket problems, check for a blown head gasket immediately. A sure-fire way to determine whether the head gasket is the cause of your car’s issues is by examining the internal engine for any trace of combustion gas.
To repair the combustion gases, you need to purchase the correct tool or apparatus to see if the gas solution changes color after coming in contact with carbon monoxide. Carrying out this test requires the owner of the Honda Civic or the mechanic to follow three steps in precise order.
For step one, you need to lower the radiator’s coolant level to test for proper air space. The next steps involve warming the engine, using the diagnostic tool to test samples from the coolant, and mixing the samples in the testing solution to see if the color changes after combing in contact with carbon dioxide.
If you find the solution changes color and turns yellow, this means the coolant has failed your test. If this is the case, there is a problem that directly relates to the Honda Civic head gasket problems. Even though this test is sometimes unreliable, it typically lets the car owner know if there is a minuscule crack that can be hard to see just by the human eye.
Blown Head Gasket Repair Cost – Honda Civic Head Gasket Problems
After noticing the Honda Civic head gasket problems in your vehicle, you need to get ready to pay for the repair or replacement necessary to save your car. You can expect to pay around $1200 to fix the cracked head gasket at a franchise dealer. This fix will include the engine coolant and antifreeze, the cylinder head gasket kit, cylinder head bolts, engine oil, and engine oil filter.
The prices vary depending on what model and year of Honda Civic you currently own. If you decide to go the inexpensive route and use an independent garage for your repairs, then the prices will be lower across the board. Paying to fix the Honda Civic head gasket problems in a 2012 Civic will be between $650-$750, while a 2011 Civic will run you between $850 and $950.
The cheapest model years for fixing the Honda Civic head gasket problems at an independent garage at the 1999 and 2000 years, with the average price estimate between $450 and $600. The more expensive options are the 2010 and 2011 models, with the price ranging between $800 and $950.
The Bottom Line
Recognizing and diagnosing the Honda Civic head gasket problems in your vehicle can help you save the engine and transmission from undergoing severe damage. Repairing and replacing any damaged parts before the issues worsen can help your vehicle’s performance and reliability. Paying between $700 and $1,000 to repair a broken head gasket is a much better price than replacing your entire engine!