Honda City: Common Issues and how to fix them

Updated Feb 22, 2023 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Using it as a daily driver can wear out some parts.

The Honda City Philippines is one of the best-selling models from the Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) lineup due to various factors such as its fuel efficiency, affordability, practicality, and more. It recorded 3,094 unit sales last 2020 which is an impressive feat considering the quarantine restrictions in the new normal.

Honda City front view

Honda City subcompact sedan

Sure, one can say that the Honda City is a good car for its Honda City 2021 price Philippines. But just like any other car in the market, it is not exempted from having problems or issues. Since it is usually used as a daily driver, mechanical issues are likely to occur more often than not due to factors such as heat, vibration, and more.

With that in mind, here are the common issues you might encounter in owning a Honda City subcompact sedan. We will also discuss some of the ways you can try to fix them so you can have a more convenient car ownership experience.

Honda City: Acceleration Problem

The Honda City gets acceleration problems which can be troublesome especially if you are on the highway. Reports say that slower cars are more likely to get into an accident on highways rather than fast-moving cars so picking up speed is an important element to look at your car.

There are various reasons as to why the Honda City shows acceleration problems. One of which is a dirty fuel filter. Driving with a dirty or clogged fuel filter will cause an imbalance in delivering the right amount of fuel to the cylinders where combustion occurs.

Honda City engine view

A fuel-efficient powertrain

Having a clogged fuel filter is almost inevitable as most reasons occur naturally such as rust from a decaying fuel tank, moisture buildup, and more. Debris can even enter a fuel system while filing up at a gas station, a place where you will use visit if you use your Honda City as a daily driver.

With that being said, it is best to replace your fuel filters every two years or 50,000 km for good measures. Running with clogged or dirty fuel filters will cause your Honda City to run with some acceleration problems, as well as damage the system over time.

This isn’t mechanically a problem when the Japanese automaker built the Honda City, it wasn’t entirely made for speed. It is equipped with components to keep it as efficient and as smooth as possible, hence it is installed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for three out of four variants.

Honda City rear view

A strong competitor in the subcompact sedan segment

In fact, HCPI recently boasted a 25.17 km/l fuel efficiency rating for the Honda City, while the Honda City Hatchback gets a 25 km/l fuel rating. The test run was conducted in partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP).

A CVT generally doesn’t give as much power as what you would normally get from a geared transmission, but it does offer good fuel consumption. This makes sense for a car marketed to be a fuel-efficient and practical daily driver for Filipino commuters.

The CVT is coupled to a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine that makes 119 hp and 145 Nm of torque. Paddle shifters are made available on the subcompact sedan’s top-of-the-line RS variant to provide a more spirited driving experience.

If you want more acceleration, you can opt for the Honda Civic that uses either a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine or a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that makes 171 hp and 220 Nm of torque. HCPI offers the Civic with a price that ranges from Php 1,115,000 to Php 1,615,000.

Honda City: Alternator Problem

Moving to another common issue for the Honda City is alternator problems. You would probably notice that your subcompact sedan is having alternator problems once the headlights get dimmer than usual. This is because an alternator is responsible for powering most electric components of the car once the engine starts cranking.

Alternators generally last for around six to nine years, or around 120,000 km to 160,000 km. At this time, you would probably decide to buy a new car as it is generally cheaper to maintain a new car than a relatively old car. If you want to keep your Honda City, then we recommend that you buy a new alternator.

>>> Related:

Honda City interior view

Alternator powers most electrical components

The construction of an alternator is quite complex and it requires in-depth knowledge regarding the operation of the component. But some of the things you can do are to check the voltage of your alternator using a multimeter. It should read from 13.5 to 14.5 volts to ensure that it still gets the right amount of voltage. If not, then replace it to keep your electric components intact.

Another cause of an alternator problem for the Honda City is AC problems. The alternator also powers the air conditioning system. If you think that the alternator is working fine, then you should start inspecting your air conditioning system. You might need to replace its refrigerant to keep the cabin cool.

You can consult these issues with HCPI so they could give you a quote for its maintenance. 

Honda City: Small in Size

Other Honda City problems aside from mechanical issues are its low ground clearance and compact interior space. This is the reason why many Honda City owners share that their unit is prone to scraping the ground which happens more often on rough roads during weekend getaways. The Honda City only bears 134 mm of ground clearance which should be enough if you only use the subcompact sedan in the urban jungle.

Honda City rear passenger

Enough for four passengers

And since the Honda City is listed as a subcompact sedan, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of interior space. It is ideal to be used by those who are just starting their respective careers or those who plan to start a small family. There are other larger Honda vehicles in the lineup if you think that the cabin space of the Honda City is a problem or an issue.

Visit Philkotse for more automotive news.

>>> Suggested for you: Which 2021 Honda City variant should you buy?

Know more about Honda City 2024

Honda City

The 2024 Honda City is a subcompact sedan. In the Philippine market, its four variants are City E, City S, City V, and City RS—the prices for these range from Php 973,000 to Php 1,128,000. 

Size-wise, the refreshed City for 2024 is 4,580mm long, 1,748mm wide, and 1,467mm in height. The RS trim is a bit longer at 4,589mm. All trims then get a wheelbase length of 2,600mm and a ground clearance of 134mm. 

Under its hood is a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine capable of making up to 119 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to its front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 

Locally, the Honda City competes against the Toyota Vios, Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Mazda3, Nissan Almera, Hyundai Accent, MG 5, etc. 

₱ 973,000 - ₱ 1,128,000

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.


View more