2017 Honda Civic Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, electrical system, engine and transmission issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Since its introduction in 1972, the Honda Civic has been one of the most dependable cars on the road. But every vehicle line has its issues; case in point: the 2017 model year Civic. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the car has many problem areas, the most common of which are the electrical system, powertrain, brakes and engine.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Like many new vehicles, the 2017 Civic is fitted with an abundance of cutting-edge technologies. And for such high-tech gadgetry to work, the car’s many computers must communicate with one another over a data bus.

The electronics onboard the Civic are as complicated as they sound – and it’s that complexity that often causes problems. Issues with the computer network or electrical wiring often lead to a flurry of warning lights illuminated on the dash. Certain vehicle functions may also stop working properly.

On the NHTSA website, one owner states, “Complete safety system failure. Car began throwing warnings of all electrical systems having problems. For example, TPMS, electric parking brake system, electric power steering, hill start assist and more.”

Yet another complaint reads, “My 2017 Honda Civic hatchback, with 13,015 miles on it, was in my carport and had only been sitting 2 days without being driven when I turned the car on and the car began throwing warnings of all electrical systems having problems.”

Another electrical issue the Civic has is that of soy-coated wiring; a delectable meal for rodents. Rats and mice are drawn to the product and often chew right through it, causing all kinds of issues.

On the NHTSA website, an owner complains, My Honda Civic 2017 was in my driveway not moving when I turned the car on and all my warning lights came on and I had no power steering. I had my car towed to Honda and they saw my sub wiring harness was chewed which caused the problem. Honda says this wiring is made from soy based material which attracts rodents.”

To be fair, Honda isn’t the only automaker to use soy-based wiring. The product is prevalent in many new cars, as are the related rodent-induced electrical problems.

So far, Honda has yet to come forward with a recall for the onslaught of warning lights, rodent concerns and electrical gremlins.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Civic Electrical Problems:

I was leaving a parking lot, approaching a gate with an inductive-loop traffic detector, which can detect vehicles passing or arriving at a certain point, once a vehicle is detected the gate would open. I was approaching, maybe 50 feet from the gate, at approximately 5 mph, when the engine of my 2017 Honda Civic revved up and accelerated forward towards the gate. My foot was not on the accelerator, as I was approaching the gate which was still closed. There was no debris on the floor board or anything obstructing the pedals that would have caused it to depress the accelerator. I had to abruptly depress the brake pedal to avoid striking the gate. My Honda is equipped with Honda sensing and I have no idea how this could have occurred, may be an electrical issue with the throttle sensor because the “brake” warning was on, it observed the gate.

Complete safety system failure. Car began throwing warnings of all electrical systems having problems. For example TPMS, electric parking break, brake system, electric power steering, hill start assist and more.

Starting about 9 months ago I have had several occasions of electrical issues on my 2017 Honda Civic that is less than a year and a half old and only has 18k miles on it. It first started around the fall last year with my car repeatedly popping the trunk when I would not be near it and would come out to it in the parking lot at work and find my trunk wide open. Later on I found out the trunk popping open would force the car alarm to go off for several hours and occasionally would lead to a dead battery. When I took it in to have the issue investigated the technicians told me they couldn’t diagnose the problem and that it shouldn’t continue (it has continued and in fact is happening as I type this in my apartment). The next issue occurred about 2 months ago while I was driving down the interstate in the pouring rain and my windshield wipers stopped working completely. Upon having this problem inspected the technicians determined it was “faulty” windshield wiper motors and had both replaced. The latest issue that occurred was as I was driving to Pensacola from Washington and stopped off at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere Oregon for some sleep. Upon waking up (3hrs after I shut the car off) I discovered my car was doing some glitch thing with all the lights and dashboard where it was acting like I was turning it off and on. I had nothing turned on or plugged in when I went to sleep and when I woke up the car was completely dead and the electrical system had totally disabled the car.

Problems with the Transmission

Many new vehicles, including the 2017 Honda Civic, are switching from regular automatic transmissions to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). CVTs use a set of pulleys and a steel belt to transfer power, instead of traditional, planetary gearsets.

So far, the CVTs found in Honda vehicles have been less problematic than offerings from most other automakers. Yet, there are still accounts of units misbehaving; coming out of park and rolling away.

On the NHTSA website, one complaint reads, “The contact owns a 2017 Honda Civic. While the vehicle was parked, it rolled away independently. The failure recurred twice. As a result, the contact injured her foot and required medical attention. The vehicle was taken to Auburn Honda but the cause of the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired.”

Another owner states, “The vehicle was running and in park, unoccupied. Vehicle rolled away despite the transmission being in park position and struck a garage door.”

So far, Honda has not released any recalls or public campaigns to address the CVT issues.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Civic Transmission Problems:

Vehicle hesitating, failing to achieve more than 25 mph. Vehicle has lost driven gear at high speed and abruptly returned. Transmission was replaced, vehicle exhibiting similar symptoms. Transmission related grinding noise on warm-start, engine rattles on cold start. Collision mitigating braking system had a problem that was addressed by the dealer. Engine currently leaking large amounts of oil from around the head and onto surrounding wiring harnesses, a potential source of fire. This vehicle is not and never will be safe.

Since the first day driving less than 10 miles home from the dealership I have had numerous electrical, a c and drive train or wheel problems. The vehicle had been transferred. from a Santa Barbara ca dealership to a Honda dealership in san Luis Obispo ca. They called me on a Sunday to say the car was there it was raining and dark. Car had 400+ miles on it and safety check had not been done since it was originally received when it was 0. On the 7th of a 10 mile ride home the whole. entire dashboard first sizzled out like an old computer. monitor going bad then. completely went blank. I could not tell how fast I was going. At that point I had not yet hooked up my phone. to apple. play which is a whole other software endless. Glitch bag of issues. I have had the car for about a year. It popped the hood and almost burned my hands on the hood arm. The digital dash turns black at least 2-3 times a month (no miles. per hour, etc). Every other day my in dash factory screen radio goes black. The car unlocks itself overnight every few days. Most if this increases with frequency when it rains. At least one time a week the car won’t unlock by touch even though I have the key on me. Since day one the climate control will randomly turn on full blast. Since day one right front loud bearing noise near tie rod arm and loud knock/bearing/bump noise in drive train area; under dash and in and inside doors and sun roof rattle so loud I have to turn up the music not to hear it like parts are loose, at 9 months hot full blast 90+ degree heat comes on when the a c is turned on (stuck. in heat mode) eventually after being turned off will reset itself then work normal. This has happened again 4 times in the past week. Since day one turn signals get stuck and don’t disengage unless forcibly forced. No clear coat on door jams. Hood, trunk and doors have uneven gaps/misaligned. Cracked lights

Problems with the Engine

Direct fuel injection – a technology that squirts fuel directly into the engine versus the intake manifold – is designed to improve efficiency and performance. And typically, it does. Unfortunately, because gas goes right into the cylinder, it’s more likely to wash past the piston rings and into the oil pan. Unforeseen problems, such as fuel entering the engine oil, may result. Honda Civic owners are all too familiar with this problem. What they find is that fuel ends up in the oil, creating an overfull level and obnoxious odor.

On Edmunds.com, one owner complains, “I love love my hatchback sport civic. Until about 3500 miles – the check engine light popped up and disabled all the safety features – ABS, parking breaks, etc. Brought to the dealership – was told that IT IS A KNOWN ISSUE THAT THE GAS MIXES WITH THE OIL. There are no current fixes. I was told to wait until they find a solution. All they did was turn off the warning and told to observe it. WHAT?? Observe the gas mixing with the oil?? I’m currently in the process of contacting a lawyer. This is unacceptable. Take your money elsewhere until they fix this”

Another on the NHTSA website writes, “Fuel is mixing with oil. Oil dipstick reads higher when checked. Engine performance is sluggish. When checking oil, there is a strong gasoline odor. As result, oil is significantly thinner when checked.”

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Civic Engine Problems:

I have a 2017 Honda Civic with the 1.5 liter turbo. I started seeing lots of information on the civic forum about oil dilution so I decided to have my engine oil analyzed. The report came back saying that the amount of fuel in my oil was greater than 5% which was deemed critical . This condition will cause engine failure and possible unsafe conditions.

The engine would shut off while driving-happened numerous times, including the freeway…yet Honda said they couldn’t find any issues.

Problems with the Brakes and Collision Mitigation

Automatic emergency braking, or as Honda likes to call it, collision mitigation, is a safety feature that stops the vehicle in emergency situations. The function is part of the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver assistance technologies.

Collision mitigation uses radar and a camera to sense when a crash is about to occur. Signals from these devices are sent to the computer network onboard the car. If the system determines a collision is about to happen, it instructs the vehicle to apply the brakes automatically.

Automatic emergency braking might sound great – and when it’s working properly, it is. Problems ensue whenthe system is on the fritz, causing the vehicle to either brake unexpectedly, or not stop when required. And that’s exactly what happens to the 2017 Honda Civic.

“Every now and then there will be brake problem while I’m driving. Car will stop in the road for no reason,” writes one owner on the NHTSA website.

Another driver complains, “I was driving the speed limit at 40 mph. The collision mitigation braking system fired on an open road causing my car to stop abruptly. This caused me to get rear-ended by the car behind me. There wasn’t a car in front of me, it fired erratically. Police report was filed. After taking the car to the dealer, the dealer has indicated “there is nothing wrong” even though there were witnesses at the scene as well as it causing an accident.”

In 2017, Honda issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) addressing the same problem present on other models. The TSB (TSB 17-064) instructs dealers to update the radar unit’s software to address the concern. So far, Honda has not publicly tackled the matter on the 2017 Civic.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Civic Service Brakes Problems.

Electronic braking failure and miscellaneous electric glitches. Automatic parking brake system failure warning light and brakes are locked in park. I have had 3 different electric glitches. First less than 2 weeks of purchasing my 2017 civic turn signal was stuck on and would not turn off. Second 1 month after dash screen would not load. It was “buffering / thinking” took it to and dealer couldn’t find the cause but fixed with a hard reset and it started working again and checked for software updates and it was current. Third problem a 2 weeks later, started the car and got brake failure warning light and check engine light. Car wouldn’t move parking brakes locked up. Tried to push the brake hold and parking brake to manually disengage but wouldn’t. Had it towed to the Honda dealership. They did a second hard reset. I question if my Civic was part of the 2016 / partial 2017 recall for electric glitch that included the parking brake issue.

Steering and brakes locked and stopped working while driving at about 15-20 miles per hour on a residential street

I was left stranded three times today in my 2017 Honda Civic EX-T due to the electric parking brake failure. My vehicle was parked in a parking lot and I couldn’t go anywhere. I wasn’t close to home. I was in another state.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Scott B

    My car has the same issues as reported above.
    Al L
    January 01, 2021
    I have a 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback EX.
    When I was at work, and got back to my car to start it the following systems reported errors:
    TPMS, electric parking brake system, electric power steering, hill start assist, etc.
    …………………………………………end paste…………………………………………..
    It is a 2017 bought Nov 12 2020. On Feb. 27 these issues started. A few times it locked the brakes when started. First a 3000.00 sensor was diagnosed and replaced under Honda Canada. The same issue persisted within days. A 2000.00 sensor was diagnosed and replaced by Honda Canada. Within 3 days it happened again. Engine light came on several times within days showing all the same codes. They said it didn’t throw a hard code although the light had been on several times. The code reader indicates a different sensor but Honda Canada won’t pay for diagnoses until a hard code is thrown.

  • JJ

    2017 Civic has had the AC break for a second time and my car only has 31,000 miles. The first one was “fixed” under the warranty. This time they want to charge me $2100 to fix. This is ridiculous. They know they have AC issues. No way I should have to fix a compressor with such low miles.

  • Juan C

    The alarm won’t stop beeping and wakes everyone up and the car accelerate on its own Honda Civic 2017 EX

  • Al L

    I have a 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback EX.
    When I was at work, and got back to my car to start it the following systems reported errors:
    TPMS, electric parking brake system, electric power steering, hill start assist, etc.
    My car had to be towed home and I have been unable to go to work.

  • Maria

    I have a 2017 Honda Civic ex-t in red after the first year started having issue w battery dying just because a door was left cracked open or if I have car in accessories and I go to turn on to drive it’s completely dead after 10 min this is not normal I have brought in to Honda multiple times and they say there is no issues.definitley a recall issue.not even my 2006 Civic dies like this.

  • Big L

    I had replace the turbo in my 2017 civic si
    Due to poor oil lubrication from the more to the turbo warranty did not wanna cover it and I had to come with 1,700 dollars of pocket to replace and it damage the new one to

  • Michael S

    35000 miles on 2017 civic coupe and will not turn over until 5 or 6 tries. Took it in and showed them video but could not find anything wrong. Always was a Honda person but gonna probably trade it for corolla.

  • Jimmy

    My 2017 Honda Touring wouldn’t turn on. Tgis issue has happened twice within the past couple months. Both times it happened in a parking lot and I had to ask the car driver parked next to me to jump start my car. I have taken it to the dealership but they have said that they couldn’t find any issues. I have owned Honda’s and Toyota’s for the past several years but I have never had this issue until now. Honda should do a recall on this.

  • mrc

    2017 Honda Civic AC unit died in month 30 with only 35k on it….they say they have no compressors in stock which seems to support the notion this is an issue but it’s been 2 months and neither dealer or Honda HQ know when this will be resolved.

  • Lashawn J

    My 2017 Honda civic touring started having a problem after 1 year. The The keyless Ignition system goes into accessory mode and drains the battery at night the alarm goes off for mo reason. After I shut off the car the
    car makes clicking noise with dash lights coming on and it stays on and drains the battery. I have to disconnect the battery at night. This has been an ongoing problem and a car thus new should not be having these issues. I’ve seen several post about from other people as well. This is a lemon and Honda needs to give me another car.

  • Roxy

    My honda radio has not worked since the date of purchase. I have contacted the dealership since then but it has not been documented, it’s only been documented about two times. I finally brought it up to the service manager and he recognized it’s the Mitsubishi radio defect that also is found in 2016 Civics. He said honda has no solution for it yet and even though under warranty honda says to not replace the module because it is not a fix. Since then, I’m stuck paying for a car that has a radio that decides to work every now and then.

  • Cyndy

    Just paid my second payment on my new 2018 Honda Civic EX, today 5/16/2019 I came out on brake at 1:30AM (I work third shift) car started fine, no issues. Came out on my last brake at 3:40 and car wouldn’t start, brake was hard as a rock, waiting on dealership to contact me.

  • John P

    I have a 2017 honda civic ex. The acceleration hesitation almost got me killed when i tried to quickly get out of the way of another car and hit the gas and the car hesitated for several seconds. Also, electronics have frequently failed, e.g. blue tooth disconnects, radio cuts off, walk away auto lock does not work and just rapidly beeps when i enter or exit the car. What’s up with Honda? Do not buy a honda civic ex cvt. And now I’m stuck with a lemon. THANKS Honda!

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