How to Start a Honda Civic

by Shanan Miller

Ever since the Honda Civic entered the US market in 1973, both the hatchback or sedan models offered an automatic or a manual transmission. While the horsepower, engine options and body style have changed over the years, starting procedures for the automatic remain the same. Older Civics with a manual transmission do not require the clutch engagement needed to start the more recent manual models.

Automatic

Put your key in the ignition.

Look at your automatic shifter to ensure that is in "park," or "P." If it is not, push the handle release button in on the shifter and move it up to the "park" position.

Step on the brake and turn the key away from you, while using slight pressure to push the key inward.

Release your hand from the key once the Civic starts.

Manual Transmission

Put your key into the ignition.

Press the clutch down as far as you can. Move your shifter into neutral, which is the space between top and bottom gears. Gently move the shifter to the right and left to make sure it is in neutral, it will not move at all if it is in gear.

Push the key in gently and turn it away from you. Release the key once the car is started.

Tips

  • check Although older manual Civics may not require clutch engagement to start the car, you should engage it anyway. Doing so ensures the vehicle won't lurch forward if it is in gear.
  • check If you cannot turn the key in the ignition because the steering wheel is locked, use gentle pressure to move the key forward (hold it in the position with pressure) while using your left hand to move the steering wheel back and forth.

Warning

  • close If your key does not work in the ignition at all and you have a newer model (late 1990s and beyond), you may have a problem with your Civic's security system, as the keys have a security chip in them. Contact a Honda dealership for reprogram help.

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About the Author

Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.