I also have a 2003 Honda Civic with the same problem (and so do 3 of my friends). When I realized that it was no coincidence, I called Honda Corporate to see if there was a recall. They said that they need a certain number of occurences first (such as yourselves) but to go to a dealer and have it professionally " diagnosed". I spoke to a friend of mine that works for Honda and he said that once a car is dignosed with a quality issue, they will create a 'service bulletin' and possibly repair the car for free.
I did some digging online (love the internet) and found that there is already one of these that exists for this same problem (03-068 to be exact. You can look it up). So with this information, I went to my local dealership in hopes of a positive outcome, but to no avail.
According to the service bulletin, a car under warranty with this issue will be reapired with apparently no problem. But, even if a car is out of warranty " any repair performed may be eligible for goodwill consideration by the District Parts and Service Manager". Well it seems as though I do not qualify for this because the car is " so old" and has " too many" miles on it. Yes, the car does have over 80K miles on it, but that does not mean that I use the lock cylinder more frequently. Personally, I do not see the correlation. If anything, all it means is that I have a longer commute. I drive 120 miles every day, but I only unlock my car twice (once in the morning and once to go home. Same as everyone else, if not less). But according to Honda, it is just a coincidence that my door lock, a part that they already acknowledged as being a quality issue, has the same issue but is totally unrelated.
Actually, now I don't even lock my car at all because I am tired of climbing over my passenger seat to unlock it.
Anyway, I just wanted everyone to know that this TSB is out there and you might be able to get it fixed for free. If they won't then you just have everyone you know with the same make and model make a big enough stink to Honda that they end up recalling it.
Keep me posted on your progress!
Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 2:49 PM