Share your Honda experience

Share your Honda experience

Do you drive a Honda sedan? Do you drive it at least an hour per day? I mean an hourlong stretch in stop-and-go traffic like a daily commute. I’m interested in your experience.

Since I started work, I’ve been driving Melanie’s Honda Civic every day, leaving the Buick minivan for her and Isabella. Lately, I’ve been noticing that my right knee has been hurting, especially at the end of my commute, either at work or at home. I thought maybe I’d hurt it bowling a few weeks ago, but the pain has come on over a long period of time.

Melanie mentioned today that when she used to commute in Dallas in her Honda Accord that her right knee became sore all the time. She just attributed it to being too tall for the car, but that’s obviously not the case for me. So I began to pay attention to how I drive the car. I noticed that my leg is cocked at an angle so that my foot can tap the accelerator or the brake, and it stays that way for a long time, jumping back and forth as I edge through the traffic jam that is Boston traffic.

For a time I tried putting my foot on the accelerator straight on, keeping my leg straight and that seemed to take the stress off the ligaments on either side of my knee. But I really can’t drive like that for long because it slows down my reaction time.

So for all you Honda owners out there, do you have the same problem? (I’m keeping in mind that this is a 2000 Honda Civic so perhaps later models have fixed the “problem” if indeed it is a design problem.)

Interestingly, neither of us have the same problem with the Buick Terraza because you sit more nearly upright with your legs in a more natural sitting position. Moving from one car to the other is an adjustment because I feel like I’m sitting on the ground in the Honda.

  • I do drive a 2000 Honda Civic, and I have felt the same kind of pain in my right knee (occasionally), but I had never made the connection. I will pay more attention to this in the future.

  • Dom, I have the same problem with my 2000 Honda Accord.  I am short (5’3”) and I have to pull the seat up so far to reach the accelerator comfortably that my right leg is bent.  My husband is 6’1” and it makes him crazy. I love the car but that has always been a problem.

  • I don’t know anything about the Civic except that I like the look of the new one, but I LOVE my 2007 Honda Pilot. It has XM and NAV and I had no idea how much I would enjoy both. The NAV does so much more than just help you find your way. I bought this particular model because of its great iihs (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) scores, but so far it has been perfect. It was made in the US also. I wanted to get an American brand, but at the time I purchased it no “American” brand name vehicles of that type had the best safety rating. There are some now, but then of course, the “American name” definitely does not guarantee that the vehicles were made in the U.S. by U.S. workers.

  • I drive a ‘98 Civic.  Truly the best and most reliable car I have ever owned!  30 mpg week in and week out.  Plenty of room (I’m 6’2”)  I drive half an hour to the commuterrail station in the a.m. and same back home at night.  Occasionally if I work on Saturday, I’ll drive into Boston (an hour or so, early, with no traffic.) No knee problems.

    A year from now I’ll get a new car.  It will be either a Civic or an Accord.  (Did I say I’m in my mid-sixties?)

  • 2002 Accord.  No problems here, but I drive Indy style (right accelerator, left brake.)  I also have to slide the seat all the way back to accomodate my barely 6’ frame. (If I recall from your wedding photos, you eat the dashboard, right?)

  • “If I recall from your wedding photos, you eat the dashboard, right?”

    Dom may be 5’ 6”, but I’m 5’ 11” and, like he said, I’ve had the same knee problem with both my Accord and my Civic. So I don’t think it’s a problem with height, being too short or too tall, so much as the design of the seat, the pedals, or both.

  • I had a ‘99 Honda Civic that I LOVED and it was stolen and totaled about 2 years ago from a street in the Back Bay. 🙁 No joint problems that I remember. After my ‘99 was stolen, I bought a 2004 Honda Civic that I like okay, but not quite as much as the older one. It doesn’t feel as sturdy. My older Civic was an EX and my newer one is an LX, which I am guessing accounts for some of the difference in the feel.

    I have never had that right knee issue, but I also don’t sit in rush-hour traffic very often. I do drive occasionally for different reasons to places in Mass, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and I notice that on long trips I tend to move my seat back and forth maybe once or twice on the trip, to sort of alleviate back and leg discomfort, but I’m a nurse and I often have a little lower back discomfort. It’s not caused by the car, but it’s also true that the seat is not the most comfortable in the world, and it helps to reposition a bit every once in a while.

  • I have a Honda 2001 Accord, and prior to that drove a stick-shift 1991 Civic.  I do have the right knee probs, which I attributed to the stop and go rather than the car itself.  I switched to automatic b/c of the arm discomfort from constant shifting gears in the stop and go traffic.  I am only 5’2”.  After driving primarily our mini-van as a SAHM this past year, I find the seats in the Honda to be very low.  Perhaps, there’s something to that.

  • One of my brothers-in-law had a little stuffed dog (A beanie baby, I think) that he kept in his car, and my husband asked him what it was doing there (this was before he had kids).

    The BIL said that it was to put under his thigh close to his knee to elevate his leg up just a bit so that he didn’t get pains in his leg when driving. He had tried a few things, small pillows etc, until he found that the beanie-dog was the right size.

    I do not remember what kind of vehicle it was, but I do remember the dog!

  • I am sorry my jest distracted from the point i was trying to make.  Further, I apologise for the comment.  While I did not mean it to be other than playful ribbing, I should anticipate other’s reactions better.  I was wrong.

    Maybe its the design, since most drivers have been taught to put their left foot left and leave it there in an automatic.  I find my driving style (right foot-gas/left foot-break) avoids this knee issue.  I’m missing cartilage in one and have damaged the CT in both, so I’d be especially prone to knee aches.  I don’t know how hard it would be to unlearn the common style, though, since my first automatic trans experiences were on dirt tracks.

  • I had a Saturn a few years back and would have the same issue.  I don’t believe it’s the fault of the car, per se, but rather a combination of the long commute and the car design. 

    I had a solid hour commute with the Saturn and when the knee pains started I altered the seat arrangement—move it a little closer or further from the dash, move it up or down a little.  Not enough to impact driving, of course, but just to give a little variety to my knee.  If I’m in a movie or at a sporting event I’ll need to move my leg into different positions, as well. 

    The stuffed animal/pillow idea above is good, too.  Something to either create a different angle for the leg or something in the lumbar region.  Getting the back better situated could be it, too.  You know, I had a weak back about a week back…

    Oh well, almost time for the WW2 series to start.  Gotta go…

  • I’ve driven a 1998 Civic and an 2001 Civic, and am currently driving an 2004 CR-V.  I have long legs (34 inseam).  As much as I loved the Civics (and their great gas mileage), those cars’ seats never went back far enough to give me knee relief.  Especially the 2001 model which I swear they made the interior even smaller than the 1998.  The CR-V is a bit better, though it could use just two more inches of leg room.  The Accords don’t have that problem.

    I have no idea what the cost, feasibility, and safety issue would be to have the driver seat re-mounted to the frame a few inches back, but that’s the only thing that would ease the “pain”.

    Great cars… great gas mileage… reliable… long-lasting… nice design… relatively affordable… but not long-legged friendly for those long commutes.

  • My husband and I, independently both noticed pain in our right legs when we one of us drives our 2003 Accord. We didn’t complain to each other, thinking it was isolated.  He stated his friends with the same year Accord have since made the same comments. None of us would give our cars up, but we would like to ease the discomfort that occurs in the right leg.

    I have the same pain when I drive our 1993 Civic.  But, with all that in mind, both cars are remarkably reliable and if we ever have to replace the ‘93, I sure like the look of the new Civic. I just hope HONDA improves the driver’s seat position.  I am working with pieces of foam to adjust the position to comfort for an upcoming long distance trip & I make sure to stop very frequently to strecth and walk, walk, walk.