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Old 06-24-2012, 08:23 PM
 
4 posts, read 26,458 times
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I have a 1998 Honda Civic EX 5 speed with about 110K miles on it. I was driving out of a parking lot and I heard a loud thud. It sounded like either I hit something/someone or something big moved around in the trunk. After that my car started running really loud. It's loud when at idle, but really load when I give it some gas. I did not hear anything drop from the car and I didn't see anything in the rear-view mirror in the road. Ideas?
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,517 posts, read 54,065,915 times
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I can think of several possibilities. Did it also lose power, or have you not tried driving it? One of the most obvious is it threw a spark plug. If the threads were damaged or it wasn't in tight. The other end might be still stuck to the wire
so you can see it pretty easily under the hood.

Another is that something broke inside, like a connecting rod, or a valve was sucked into a cylinder. That would mean a rebuild, but if you ran it too long in that condition it could be damaged beyond repair and need a whole new engine.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 26,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I can think of several possibilities. Did it also lose power, or have you not tried driving it? One of the most obvious is it threw a spark plug. If the threads were damaged or it wasn't in tight. The other end might be still stuck to the wire
so you can see it pretty easily under the hood.

Another is that something broke inside, like a connecting rod, or a valve was sucked into a cylinder. That would mean a rebuild, but if you ran it too long in that condition it could be damaged beyond repair and need a whole new engine.
The car did not lose power. I drove it probably 5 miles and it handled fine. The thud came from the back of the car, not from the engine, if that helps.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:10 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,791,849 times
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Could have a broken weld or cracked exhaust piping.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Bright lights Baked Ziti
491 posts, read 1,327,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciejoy View Post
I have a 1998 Honda Civic EX 5 speed with about 110K miles on it. I was driving out of a parking lot and I heard a loud thud. It sounded like either I hit something/someone or something big moved around in the trunk. After that my car started running really loud. It's loud when at idle, but really load when I give it some gas. I did not hear anything drop from the car and I didn't see anything in the rear-view mirror in the road. Ideas?
Your muffler is still attached I assume since you didn't mention it missing and you didn't hear anything drop from the car. It sounds like part of your exhaust system isn't in tack. There maybe a hole in the exhaust system or the loud thud you heard was probably something that fell off the exhaust system and you might have just overlooked it in the rear view mirror while driving. It's possible that you could've ran over part of your exhaust system.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,470,710 times
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Sounds like exhaust problem. If you're certain the noise came from the back, that would fit what you are describing, and the loud running is from a hole/break in the exhaust somewhere in front of the muffler. The pattern is right, it'll sound louder at idle and really loud when you are at speed. Late last year I drove mine with a break in the exhaust. At speed it's actually louder inside the car than outside it seems like! It isn't necessary for anything to fall off or even look wrong to have this noise. I looked under my car and couldn't see where the break was let alone had anything fall off, but it was clearly there.

The exhaust can be replaced in sections, so with any luck cost is just a couple hundred bucks for whatever one segment needs to be replaced.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I had a problem like this on my Crown Victoria and it was the exhaust manifold gasket that went bad. I agree with everyone else here that it is most likely a leak somewhere in the exhaust system.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:49 AM
 
4 posts, read 26,458 times
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After driving the car more I could tell that something had come lose and something in the exhaust would occasionally bounce as I drove. That is what the thud was.

I brought the car to the dealer yesterday. He said I needed a new muffler. He said that the section before the oval cylinder that sticks out at the rear of the car had rusted and the two sections had come apart. When you looked closely, you could see the the oval cylinder was tilting. The work order says that they replaced the muffler, gasket and spring bolts. Might I have just needed the spring bolts? I don't know. For some reason I always feel like I get ripped off when I take my car to the dealer. But my experience is that they do the work right more often that small shops. Parts $230 + labor $60.00 = $290.00. Could I have gotten it done for less somewhere else? Maybe. I googled the part numbers on the work order and found a figure that shows them. In the figure, #3 muffler set, #22 is the bolt. Honda online store : 1997 civic exhaust pipe parts

The car runs fine now. Hope this helps someone down the road....

Thanks for all the responses and suggestions.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:53 AM
 
2,737 posts, read 4,318,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciejoy View Post
I have a 1998 Honda Civic EX 5 speed with about 110K miles on it. I was driving out of a parking lot and I heard a loud thud. It sounded like either I hit something/someone or something big moved around in the trunk. After that my car started running really loud. It's loud when at idle, but really load when I give it some gas. I did not hear anything drop from the car and I didn't see anything in the rear-view mirror in the road. Ideas?
You lost your muffler - or blew a hole in it.

This should not be a difficult problem to diagnose and repair.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,470,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciejoy View Post
I brought the car to the dealer yesterday. He said I needed a new muffler. He said that the section before the oval cylinder that sticks out at the rear of the car had rusted and the two sections had come apart. When you looked closely, you could see the the oval cylinder was tilting. The work order says that they replaced the muffler, gasket and spring bolts. Might I have just needed the spring bolts? I don't know. For some reason I always feel like I get ripped off when I take my car to the dealer. But my experience is that they do the work right more often that small shops. Parts $230 + labor $60.00 = $290.00. Could I have gotten it done for less somewhere else? Maybe. I googled the part numbers on the work order and found a figure that shows them. In the figure, #3 muffler set, #22 is the bolt. Honda online store : 1997 civic exhaust pipe parts
I dunno, that doesn't sound too bad a cost to me. There could be some aftermarket exhaust parts that would be cheaper. If you knew you weren't going to keep the car too long, I guess that would have been fine. The price is probably the standard price for the official Honda parts.

It's not at all likely that you could have just needed bolts. Even if it was the bolts that failed first, once they failed the muffler would have been damaged. Much more likely, though, the muffler broke first and the new bolts are just because it wouldn't make sense to put back 15-year-old bolts on the underside of the car when you're using them to hold a new $200 part. It's a 14-15 year old car. At that age, parts like this are wear items.
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