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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping someone might have some advise or insight and can help me figure out how get my Civic Si running 'normally' again.

First:

Vehicle:Civic Si
Year:2012
Miles:10,500
Maintenance:Oil Change x2; Tire Rotation

About two weeks ago, I started to notice that there was quite a lot of vibration, especially when accelerating from a stop/anytime that (i would assume) the engine was producing more torque than "cruising". Also, the car wasn't handling very well. Called the dealership and they said maybe balance/alignment & told me to bring it in when I could. After a couple of days I brought it in when the vibrations were becoming an almost constant issue and the engine "sounded" different--almost like it was producing a higher pitch or lost its, for lack of a better word, purr. I had one of the mechanics drive with me. We made it 100ft on to the highway and he called it--an axle problem. He said he was shocked & that he had never seen that on such a new civic.

He took a look and mentioned that there was "Slack" in both of the axles, but the left side was much worse. Also, the CV Boot on that side was defective & grease was flying everywhere. He said he would have just replaced them both axles if he could, but that since it was a warranty job they would have to order one, install it, test it, and see if that solved the problem. Apparently the only person able to give an exemption to this rule is someone like a Regional Service Manager.

So the part comes in, they install it, they call me and tell me that the slack in the other axle was 'taken care of' when they installed the new left-side axle and I go to pick it up. I made it about 1/8 out of the dealership and I noticed that the vibrations were mostly gone but the feel of the steering had completely changed. Not a little...a lot. Whereas the car used to be very responsive to even the touch of a finger (with VSA on Or Off), it now feels like there are sandbags hanging on the sides of the steering wheel, and the car doesn't respond near as fast to input. There seems to be quite a lot of "play" in the steering now that makes the car feel like it's responding less like a little sporty car and more like a minivan.

Obviously I called the dealership back and asked them to take a look at it again. They called back today with an answer that was, essentially, 'eventually it might go back to normal' but until the problem gets worse, or causes something it's affecting to break, they didn't know if it was just the new axle or the same handling problem I brought it in for originally along with the vibrations.

Here are the things that they have done:
  • Replaced left side axle
  • Replaced CV Boot
  • Alignment
  • Balance
  • Checked Tires & Tire Pressure
I asked them to check:
  • Power Steering Rack
  • VSA System for malfunction?
  • Lower Control Arm
  • Tie Rod End
  • Bushings
They said that they looked over the car and didn't see anything obviously wrong and they didn't really have much of a suggestion...any ideas? Any suggestions on what I should do? What should I ask them to do? Anyone have this problem of unresponsive or loose steering? I've seen some mention of 'vague/numb' steering in 9th gen civics. It's driving me nuts.
 

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You should be able to rule out the power steering pump, we don't have one.

You should be able to rule out the VSA system malfunction since it is all electronic and easy enough for it to be monitored and should throw a code if that were the problem. Along with some interesting dash light action and losing the ability to turn it on or off manually.

Electric Power Steering could be the issue perhaps. The axle itself should not be causing any sandbag attached to the steering wheel symptom as you describe if I am interpreting it correctly. What tire pressure are you running right now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll check the tire pressure when I get home. That was something that they mentioned they did...they mentioned that they put nitrogen in the tires when they did the first alignment. I'm not entirely convinced either way that that matters as far as mileage/wear...but hey it was free so whatever. I'll check the pressure when I'm back home and let you know, It's not obviously low though.

I drove the car again this morning and it's got the same issue with the steering. It's difficult to start a turn (requires more force than usual) and the steering wheel has more play than usual & doesn't 'snap' back to center anymore, it almost feels like you have to pull it out of the turn.

Thanks
 

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Hard to initiate a turn of the steering wheel is unusual, but failure to return to center after a turn is quite common with the steering system in this car. Others have noticed that trait as well. More and more it does sound like you should have them troubleshoot the steering components of your ride at the dealership. If you have the ability to visit a different Honda dealer for an independent diagnosis I would do so.

Severely low air pressure in the tires would be triggering a tpms warning, but even being in the low range of acceptable can have an impact on how it feels on the road for sure.
 

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I'm having cv issues too. Pass side...inner cv.

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I think my Si may be having some axle/CV issues, also. I mentioned some vibrations to the service writer at my first oil change. They checked the balance on the wheels and found no issues. I'm getting some vibration on the highway, mostly when driving up grade or otherwise putting a strain on the engine. I also can hear a slight on/off whirring sound when cruising at slow speed and have been getting a lot of pronounced jolt when completely releasing/re-applying throttle, even at highway speeds.

Sorry you are having other issues after the axle problems. Hope the dealer can sort it out for you. Sounds like I'll be making an appointment soon to have mine looked at.
 

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I think my Si may be having some axle/CV issues, also. I mentioned some vibrations to the service writer at my first oil change. They checked the balance on the wheels and found no issues. I'm getting some vibration on the highway, mostly when driving up grade or otherwise putting a strain on the engine. I also can hear a slight on/off whirring sound when cruising at slow speed and have been getting a lot of pronounced jolt when completely releasing/re-applying throttle, even at highway speeds.

Sorry you are having other issues after the axle problems. Hope the dealer can sort it out for you. Sounds like I'll be making an appointment soon to have mine looked at.
i have that,you might have a bad hub bearing. have couple new mdx with only 12k with bad hub bearing.
 

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i have that,you might have a bad hub bearing. have couple new mdx with only 12k with bad hub bearing.
Hmmm...Guess I'll be jacking the car up and checking for play tomorrow.

As for the steering, OP, is there any difference on-center or when cruising on the highway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tire pressure was normal. As for the steering, it seems to be consistently sluggish/non responsive at all speeds...excepting the normal differences in steering at highway speeds and parking lot speeds. I'm taking it to another dealer on Mon., if they are unable to find anything I'm at the point where I'm going to pay a shop that I've used for other cars in the past to diagnose the problem.

i know there was a drivetrain recall on some 2012 civics including som Si's but my vin doesn't come up as affected. I guess I'll see what the dealer says on Mon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately due to work, I was unable to get into the out of town dealer again to have it looked at. I called my local dealer again today when I was on the interstate. I noticed new & stronger vibration through the steering wheel and a very odd engine noise that sounds somewhat like it's lugging even though it's mid-range rpm for a gear. In reference to the other previous issues of steering---still feels "sluggish" and not as instantly responsive as it was prior to the first axle/cv problem. I've given up on that for right now until we "stop the bleeding".

I took the service manager out on a test ride. He felt the vibrations, which become pronounced from 2,900-4,000 rpm. Below that the engine noise is not noticeable and the vibrations can only barely be distinguished from what is likley natural road noise/shaking. The noise & vibrations are particularly pronounced in gears 4, 5, & 6. Above about 4,000 rpm, the vibrations seem to "smooth" out. This is going to be a terrible description, but it's almost like it the engine was rattling around under the hood at lower rpms and then (like a gyroscope faster) it became more stable at higher rpm.

Unfortunately, the local dealership does not sell Si's regularly, so the service manager was unable to tell me that he thought this was un-normal enough to single out the errant part. His description was something like, this might just be normal in these cars, they're sportier, they ride different. I assured him that I was 12,000 miles in with this Si and I know what it drives like...I know how it changed as it "broke in", I have always owned hondas, I have owned civics accords & Si's in the past, and this was most definitely NOT normal.

Furthermore, when almost back at the dealer, there was another somewhat related problem that showed up. While in gear, if backing off the gas, there was an initial engine braking effect, and then a very sudden pop as if the clutch had been dropped in a lower gear (this lurch & pop was so strong it sometimes engaged the seatbelt inertia reel). He said that that was odd that it was that "violent" but this could be an engine grade adjustment system; however, he was unsure if the 2012 si had one. I found it extremely odd that this was only happening in a gear when the engine was running in the same trouble rpm range that caused the odd noise & vibrations (2,900-4,000).

On the way It dawned on me to try one other quick test to zero in on what was causing this:

1.) I got the vehicle in 4th gear and about the same speed/rpm where the vibrations & lurching were most noticable

2.) I disengaged the clutch
3.) With the car rolling & the clutch in, I pressed the gas and brought the tachometer back to reading right between 3500 & 3600 rpm...what happened next is very odd
4.) The car would only sporadically hold that rpm. Usually about every 3-5 seconds, with the same constant throttle input, the engine would either spike to about 4,200 rpm or drop to about 2,900 rpm. When the engine spiked, I could ease off the gas until the tachometer read 3,500ish--but then the "bottom" would drop out.... conversely, if the engine initially dropped from 3,500 to 2,900/3,000 rpm, I could (with significantly more throttle input than normal) bring the car back up to running at 3,500 rpm...where it would then usually immediately spike to well over 4,000.
I called the dealership and mentioned this. They were going to call honda tech anyway and try to figure out something. It's just something very very odd especially with such a new car. If you figure out what's going on with your's let me know and I will do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Vehicle (mostly) fixed.

This was apparently all related to the Rev Han issue. After they installed the new axle the problem became exasterbated likley because of the new parts affecting actual driving conditions (who knows). Took it in today and BAM, MCVI updated PGM-FI to X0A030. Engine sounds/runs like new again. No shakes, no lugging, no vibrations. It purrs like normal again. The rev hang issue is still there (although diminished). SEE NEW THREAD ON NEW SOFTWARE UPDATE
 

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Man, hate to hear your having all these problems, but at least they r trying to take care of it:)
 

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Dealer putting a new right side axle. Inner cv lots of play.

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8900 miles on my Si. Drivers axle was fine just pass side axle had play. Could hear popping sound and feel in steering wheel. When I had it at the dealership Got the new software update too. You might want to check into it also.

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Oh the irony of it all that you would mention the steering "feels" more like a minivan because the steering ratio is slower than an Odyssey. :rockwoot:
 
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