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Its very common for the two battery contacts inside the remote to come loose from the circuit board, causing all kinds of issues with units no longer working properly. Open the remote and inspect all the solder joints on the circuit board, re-solder any loose ones and it should go back to normal.
Sounds like the contacts in the buttons are not making contact.. you may want to try taking the remote apart and cleaning the contacts and seeing what happens. If the remote is truely dead you may need a new remote
step one is to replace the battery, you can get new ones at radio shack, walmart, anywhere hearing aid and watch batteries are sold. instructions for opening the transmitter are in the owners manual. if that does not work you may need to take the remote apart and gently clean the electrical contact surfaces with a clean pencil eraser. if that does not work then you need a new transmitter.
it could be a weak battery or the remote itself. To change the battery you need to pry the remote apart with a screw driver where the two halves come together. Look carefully at the sloder joints inside the remote they sometimes come apart causing a poor/no connection between the battery contacts and the little circuit board inside the remote.
One possibility is the metal contact within theremote has moved and can't make contact or the metal piece broke from use. I had the same issue, took it apart, found the broken piece and took it to an electronics repair shop to solder it. That was cheaper than buying a new remote.
Hey .. i have a 99 civic also and i found my door doesnt lock unless u open the handel and then lock it and was talking to the shop and they told me things get gumed up inside and take it apart and clean it up with lub .. try that see if it works sounds like same problem