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16 Annoying Problems Of A Honda CR-V

16 Annoying Problems Of A Honda CR-V

If you are in the market for a 2012 and later Honda CR-V, you ought to first educate yourself about all the potential problems the CR-V is known to suffer from. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place as we will list all the most common issues with the CR-V in-depth and tell you everything you need to know about it. Before we do that, here is a quick recap!

The Honda CR-V suffers from various engine issues, which include VTC actuator issues, the car losing power, excessive oil consumption, and engine oil dilution. Other issues include electrical problems, such as infotainment and exterior lighting, caused by a faulty wiring harness.

This is not enough for you to fully grasp the magnitude of these issues, which is why you should stick around and read through the article to better understand what it takes to take care of a very long-lasting Honda CR-V.

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Engine Issues

Engine-related issues are some of the most complained about issues with almost Honda CR-V models since 2012, which means that there are many problems we ought to cover. For starters, we will mention VTC actuator issues, the car losing power, excessive oil consumption, issues with the heater core, engine wiring harness, and engine oil dilution.

VTC Actuator Issues

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Honda CR-V models all suffer from VCT (Variable timing control actuator) issues which are likely the most common issue you can find on these earlier CR-V models. The problem tends to present itself when you start the car, especially during cold weather, where the engine emits extremely loud rattling noises that usually disappear after a few seconds.

The VTC will have to be replaced to solve this issue, but countless owners out there said that this is a reoccurring issue even after they replaced the VTC a few times. A VTC replacement costs around $742 and $861 with labor costs. Either way, be sure to pay close attention to the VTC as it is likely the most common CR-V headache you are maybe going to encounter one day if you buy one.

Car Losing Power

If you sense your CR-V hesitating or losing power, there are many potential reasons why that is. Problems such as these have been reported on virtually all generations of the CR-V, including the 2012 model and all the others that came after it. Certain owners have reported this issue happening while overtaking, which can be dangerous and cause accidents.

The most common reasons why issues such as these happen are due to clogged air fuel filters, a faulty/dirty MAF (mass airflow sensor), a clogged fuel filter, issues with drowned fuel injectors, issues with the catalytic converter, and maybe even the O2 sensor. Some owners reported problems with the throttle body as well. Honda also issued a recall for specific 2015 CR-V models (15V121000) back in March 2021 due to possible loss of engine power.

Excessive Oil Consumption

It seems like particular 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Honda CR-Vs are burning through engine oil like it’s nobody’s business. This issue is also widely reported across various generations of the CR-V, but pre-2017 models are the worst. However, recent reports state that many newer CR-V models also like driving oil a bit too confidently, even including 2020+ hybrid CR-V models.

Some say they fixed the issue by changing the PVC oil valve, while others managed to do the same by taking care of oil leaks. However, Honda was soon to discover that this issue was primarily down to problems with the pistons and rings which even prompted Honda to extend warranties to take care of this issue more methodically and even issued a recall for 2014-2015 CR-V models back in May of 2015 (15V121000) to take care of oil leaks which could result in the car going up in flames.

Heater Core Issues

The heater core is designed to extract hot air leaving the engine and use it to heat the car’s cabin. However, 2012-2017 Honda CR-V models are known to come equipped with heater cores which are prone to losing their heating abilities and thus leaving you to freeze. According to multiple sources, this issue is caused by a defective/clogged heater core, and the price of replacing it ranges between $931 and $1,210 with labor.

However, some owners have said that these issues aren’t always caused by a failed heater core but are also sometimes due to a busted thermostat. Not only did this issue disable you from heating yourself, but it also failed to defrost your windshield, which can be a significant safety hazard.

Wiring Harness Issues

Honda uses soy-based materials to make the wiring harness that controls the engine to be greener and to save a few bucks while doing that. Little did Honda know that many 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 Honda CR-V owners are going to complain about rodents chewing away at their wiring harnesses and leaving them stranded.

Honda didn’t cover any of these repairs under warranty, but they later came up with covering materials.

Engine Oil Dilution

All Honda CR-V models equipped with the standard 1.5L Honda engine are prone to oil dilution issues. This means that all CR-V models made between 2017 and 2019 are severely affected, while later models are a bit better due to certain software upgrades, which somewhat managed to keep this issue “under control”. Sadly, it seems like Honda didn’t find a way to deal with this issue to this very day effectively.

However, Honda extended the warranties on all 1.5L models to six years after purchase, which softened the blow a little bit.

Differential Issues

The differential and the transmission are the two most essential powertrain components for transferring engine energy into movement. However, a few 2017 Honda CR-V owners complained about the car making grinding noises while turning, which was later found to be an issue with differential lubrication. As such, you will have to perform a differential fluid flush and top it up with new differential fluid every 30k-60k.

Transmission Issues

Many Honda models often suffer from various transmission-related issues that can present themselves in many ways. Owners of 2013, 2014, and 2015 Honda CR-V models complained about transmission shaking and shuddering at low speeds and the car stalling under acceleration.

Car Shaking and Shuddering At Low Speeds

There are various complaints about 2012- 2015 CR-V models shaking and shuddering at speeds under 40mph. Some have even said that this issue caused the entire transmission to fail and thus needs a complete replacement. Honda later came out with a software update for the transmission, but the problem persisted on many models.

Electrical Issues

It is impossible to escape electrical issues on modern-day cars as these are bound to happen eventually. Some are minor and can easily be fixed, while others are more serious and require a trip down to the dealership. These issues include the inability to start the car, the car honking by itself, the infotainment system failing, and problems with exterior lights.

The Car Refuses To Start

A few 2015, 2016, and 2019 CR-V owners reported being unable to start the car. They said they managed to turn the key, but nothing happened except for the car clicking and refusing to start. If you encounter this issue, be sure first to check the battery, as some CR-V owners stated they go a dead battery even on low-mileage models.

However, this issue seems mainly due to a bad starter motor. Some say that this issue can be fixed temporarily if you apply some force to the starter motor. However, I’d strongly advise taking the car in for a proper inspection before trying to do something yourself.

The Car Honking By Itself

A few 2017 Honda CR-V owners reported strange problems when the car started honking by itself, accompanied by a bunch of dashboard warning lights and possibly even an anti-theft system activating. One owner said this issue can be solved temporarily by disconnecting the battery and connecting it back on. Either way, Honda didn’t solve this issue permanently.

Infotainment System Failing

Owners of the 2020 CRR-V complained about the infotainment system freezing itself or going completely black for no apparent reason. This also caused the rearview camera to become completely inoperable. One owner even said that his dashboard screen also went blank, which prevented him from seeing how fast he was going, which is undoubtedly a considerable safety hazard.

Exterior Lighting Issues

Quite a few 2012, 2013, and 2014 Honda CR-V owners complained about poor exterior lighting. Most complaints are directed toward high beams deemed unusable by many drivers. The problem here is that the high beams on the CR-V can often seem underpowered, even though Honda said nothing about this issue.

It seems like this issue is actually due to alignment problems which can also sometimes fail to illuminate the road while turning and thus increase the chances of having an accident.

Steering Issues

Steering-related issues also seem to play a significant role in CR-V ownership, which is why many 2015 and 2016 CR-V owners complained about rodents chewing the steering harness. Honda is aware of this issue, but they did nothing to fix it except offer to sell you some protective wire covers. There are also quite a few 2018 and 2019 Honda CR-V owners who complained about the steering wheel getting stuck at higher speeds.

It seems like this issue is down to the rack and pinion system failing and thus needing to be replaced, which can cost around $1,750 and $2,424 to replace, which is no small task.

Fuel System Issues

There are quite a few issues with the fuel system in the Honda CR-V. The most common ones include fuel leaks, fuel injector issues, and issues with the Denso fuel pump. Fuel leaks can be caused by a plethora of reasons, such as deteriorated lines which is exactly why Honda recalled the 2017 CR-V models back in July 2017 (17V442000) due to a fuel pipe that could disconnect and leak fuel.

Moreover, they did another recall in August 2019 (19V569000) for 2019 CR-V models, as faulty fuel tank joint welds could also cause leaks.

Fuel-pump issues are most prevalent on 2018 and 2019 CR-V models, which is why Honda also issued a recall back in March 2021 (21V215000) for specific 2018 and 2019 CR-V models, as these fuel pump failures were known for staling and increasing the chances of crashing.

Finally, Honda issued another recall in May of 2020 (22V380000) for specific 2020 CR-V models equipped with faulty fuel gauges that could misread how much fuel is left in the tank and thus cause the car to stall.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Honda CR-V Takes (All Generations)

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