Honda Civic & Light: 10 Questions Answered (For Newbies)

The Honda Civic is a popular family sedan sold since the late 90s in the US.

It is an impressive vehicle for anyone in need of an affordable and efficient option for moving around town.

When you buy your Civic, you want to know how its lighting system works.

Read on to find answers to all questions you might have about lights on the Honda Civic.

Which Light Bulb Sizes and Types Do Honda Civics Use?

Headlights are wearable items, and you’ll have to replace the bulbs in your Civic’s headlight assembly, eventually.

Below is an overview of the types and sizes of light bulbs used on various Civic models:

  1. 1988-1991 Civic: 9006 bulbs for low-beam headlights and 9005 bulbs for high-beam headlights.
  2. 1992-2003 Civic: Single dual-filament halogen bulb for both low-beam and high-beam headlights. Also called H4 or 9003 bulbs.
  3. 2004-2014 Civic: 9005 bulbs for high-beam headlights, 9006 bulbs for low-beam headlights, and H11 bulb for fog lights.
  4. 2015 Civic: Sedans uses 9006 bulbs for low-beam headlights while coupes use H11 bulb for low-beam headlights. All trims use 9005 bulbs for high-beam headlights and H11 for fog lights.
  5. 2016-2018 Civic: All models use 9005 bulbs for high-beam headlights, H11 bulb for low-beam headlights, and H8 bulb for fog lights.

Check here for the prices of Honda Civic light bulbs on Amazon

How to Turn Off Daytime Running Lights (DLR) On a Honda Civic

Daytime running lights are a safety feature that makes your car more visible during the day. It is effective in certain situations, such as when it’s close to dawn or sunset is approaching.

However, you might need to disable daytime running lights for a personal reason. Maybe you’re visiting a drive-in or just don’t want your lights on during the day.

Whatever your reason, here is a list of steps to help you disable daytime running lights:

  1. Look at your Civic’s dashboard.
  2. Remove fuse #21 (7.5A).
  3. The DRL Light may come on to warn you of the disabled DRL—ignore it.
  4. Alternatively, you can get a trusted tech to help disable the lights.

Honda Civic Light indicator Symbols Explained

Do the indicator lights on your Honda Civic look confusing? You’re not alone; many drivers face the same problem.

Some drivers don’t pay attention to indicator lights because they don’t know how they work. But this can be dangerous, as those indicators are the only clues you have about the car’s condition.

For instance, green indicator lights signal that a system is running, while orange lights are a sign that your car has a problem that needs evaluation.

If a red light shows, it means your car has a serious problem that can affect your safety or damage the car.

Here is a comprehensive guide to understanding your Honda Civic’s light indicator symbols:

Brake System/ABS Light

This red light comes on when you apply the handbrake. But it could also come on, even if the handbrake is released.

In the latter case, this light shows that your brakes or brake components (brake pads, brake discs, etc.) are worn.

It could also point to a fault with the brakes, brake fluid level, or anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Check Engine Light

The appearance of the Check Engine Light usually coincides with a fault with your engine.

We recommend taking your car for a thorough inspection if this light comes on while you’re driving.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System light on your Civic’s dash will appear if the air pressure in your tires is out of spec.

You should check pressure in your tires once you see this light.

Blind Spot Warning

The Blind Spot Warning Light warns you if there’s a car beside you.

The light usually appears on either of the mirrors, depending on the position of the other car.

Vehicle Stability Assist

Honda Civics have a Vehicle Stability Assist System that mitigates skidding. If the VSA light is on, the system is active or has a fault.

Seat Belt Reminder

As the name implies, the Seat Belt Reminder reminds you to wear your seat belt. This light will flash as a reminder if you forget to put on your seat belt.

Supplemental Restraint System

Your Civic has an active restraint system that includes airbags, designed to minimize injury in a crash.

If this symbol comes on, your restraint system likely has a fault, e.g., the airbags may not work in a crash.

Charging System

This symbol usually denotes a worn battery or a failing charging system. It’s advisable to call for help immediately you notice this symbol.

Smart Entry System

New Civics often feature smart entry systems or push button start system. The appearance of this symbol means something is wrong with your car.

Low Oil Pressure

If this symbol flashes, it means there’s little oil left in your engine.

You should switch off your engine and top up the oil after seeing this light.

Power Steering System

If this indicator light is blinking, it is a sign that your Civic’s Power Steering is faulty. It could be a minor fault, leak or pump issue.

Cruise Control

This green symbol will come on when the Cruise Control on your Civic is active. Another green symbol will illuminate once you set the cruising speed.


This green indicator illuminates when you switch to ECON (economy) mode. Economy mode is designed to reduce your fuel consumption.

Service Reminder

This symbol flashes to remind you that your car is due for scheduled maintenance. It could be anything from a filter replacement or oil change to comprehensive servicing.

Please also read our article about how long the Honda Civic lasts.

How Do You Adjust the Light on a Honda Civic?

Your Honda Civic’s headlights will only be effective when aligned properly.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to adjust the lights on your Civic for effective light coverage:

Note: You will need a tire gauge and screwdriver for this procedure

  1. Wait till it’s dark outside and park your Civic on level ground.
  2. Position the car about 25 feet from a wall or garage door.
  3. Confirm the car is level by measuring tire pressure with a gauge.
  4. Find the two adjusters on the back of the headlight assembly, under the hood. You should find one near the radiator support and another on the outward part of the headlight assembly.
  5. Switch on the headlights and get a friend to stay in the car while you adjust the lights.
  6. Slide a screwdriver into the adjuster beside the radiator support to raise or lower the headlights. Keep turning the adjuster screws until the light beam is two inches below the center line of your Civic’s headlights.
  7. Slide in a screwdriver into the adjuster on the outward part of the headlight assembly to move the beam left and right. Keep turning the adjuster screws until the beam is directly in front of the car.

Make sure to also read our article about the Honda Civic in snow and winter driving. 

How Does the Auto Light Sensitivity Work?

Civics have auto headlights that illuminate when roads are dark. You can control how these headlights come on by setting the Auto Light Sensitivity.

As with most Hondas, Civics have different sensitivity settings—Maximum, High, Mid, Low, and Minimum. Each of these sensitivity settings will determine when your headlights come on.

If sensitivity is set to maximum, the headlights may come on even if roads are not completely dark. On other hand, low sensitivity means lights only switch on when they detect pitch black conditions.

What Can Cause the Drive Light to Blink?

A blinking Drive (D) Light is an indication that your transmission is faulty.

Sometimes, the fault could be mechanical, such as a defective shift solenoid.

But it could also be an electrical problem—think faulty transmission speed sensor or something of the sort.

Other problems that can cause a blinking drive light include:

  • Circuit wiring fault
  • Clogged strainer/orifice
  • Faulty binding mechanism
  • Low transmission fluid

Once the Drive Light starts blinking, it’s best to call for a qualified technician to inspect the vehicle.

Avoid driving the car until the issue is resolved completely or your transmission may suffer more damage.

Also check out our article about where Honda Civics are made. 

Can I Use Headlight Covers on a Civic?

Headlight covers are an ingenious way of keeping your headlights safe from damage and grime.

They are usually made of a durable material like plastic or acrylic and will make sure your headlights are intact, even if you crash.

However, you cannot use headlight covers on a Civic except local authorities approve.

Tinted headlight covers affect your headlights’ color and projection; two headlight qualities that transport laws take seriously.

As a result, some states prohibit the use of headlight covers. We advise checking local laws before buying headlight covers for your Honda Civic.

That being said, there are alternatives to headlight covers if you’re only concerned with keeping your headlights clean.

For instance, you can invest in a headlight cleaning kit and some wax; this will keep the headlights clean for months.

The Dome/Interior Light Isn’t Working

A common complaint among Civic owners is that the dome/interior light does not work.

Contrary to expectations, you can solve this problem if you have the right materials and information.

In most cases, a worn bulb is the reason your dome light isn’t working. Another likely reason is that your dome light has a blown fuse.

Also, maybe the mounting screw in the interior light unit is loose or missing. Along with a loose switch, those are the other issues that can cause a malfunctioning dome light.

Fixes for a dome light that’s not working on Civic include:

  1. Replace light bulb
  2. Change dome light fuse
  3. Tighten or replace the mounting screw
  4. Replace dome light unit (this is likely if the switch is loose)

Do Honda Civics Have LED Lights?

Although LED lights have been around for a while, they didn’t appear on the Honda Civic until recently.

From our research, only Honda Civics released in 2016, and later, have LED lights.

Even if your Honda Civic doesn’t have standard LED lights, you can get them on the market.

There are many companies selling aftermarket LED replacement lights for Honda Civics online.

The Lights Come on But the Car Won’t Start

Sometimes, the headlights on your vehicle will come on, but the car itself won’t start. Here are reasons this might happen to you:

  1. The starter is defective
  2. The ignition switch is broken or damaged
  3. The battery is weak, or alternator is damaged
  4. You have a blown fuse
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