fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
57,400 miles
Total Complaints:
80 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (38 reports)
  2. replace the VTC (variable timing control) actuator (38 reports)
  3. replaced power steering pump (1 reports)
  4. replaced the starter (1 reports)
  5. starter replaced (1 reports)
  6. vtc actuator update (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Jun 012014

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Called the honda tech and he said..standard problem but not covered. Would be 600 to fix it. Got my mechanic to work on it and he found out I needed special low E accentuator cost for the part was 450 instead of the 100 for the standard part. Bummer..tried to fix it by cleaning etc. but only lasted a few days then started up worse. Had to pay for the "special" part.

- Leigh H., Costa Mesa, CA, US

problem #59

Apr 012014

Accord EX-L 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

The cost was so low because they already had the engine open to repair for the massive oil loss problem

- Nathan W., Douglasville, GA, US

problem #58

Feb 142012

Accord LX-P 4c

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I can't believe Honda did not issue a recall over this. Honda even acknowledged there was a problem with the part and offered no help for their customers. I have been driving Honda's for over 12 years now and never experienced such poor customer service..... I was planning on driving this one until the wheels fall off but I don't know if I want to pay an extra 600 bucks every 10K miles replacing the actuator.

- Justin M., Athens, Al, US

problem #57

Nov 052012

Accord LXP 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,050 miles

My Accord started having the typical engine start VTC noise as described in TSB 09-010 over a year ago while I was still under warranty (60K drive train). Honda and at two other non-Honda service repair companies were never able to reproduce the noise. I finally got Honda today to reproduce it. My mileage is now over 70k and out of warranty. Honda is going to fix it under goodwill warranty where they pay half and I pay half. Total bill $800, my part will be about $400. I hope to get it back tonight.

- jsauer, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #56

Mar 132013

Accord EX-L Coupe 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

My 08 Accord started making this loud grinding noise on cold starts and started to become more excessive during the winter months. It was confirmed that the VTC Actuator was the problem and i contacted Honda America for a solution and assistance but they denied any goodwill service because of the age and miles on my car eventhou its a common problem with every 2008 Accord 2.4l Kseries engine. Honda should of had a recall on this, My dealer was generous enough to work with me and offer a discount on the labor i payed $459 for the replacement Honda needs to stop cutting back on quality and start and start manufacturing your cars in Japan where they belong..

- jetboy585, Livingston, NJ, US

problem #55

Dec 072013

Accord 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

This is the SECOND TIME for this problem. The first was at 26,000 miles and covered under warranty. Now the car is out of warranty ,Honda WILL NOT HONOR THE GOODWILL CONSIDERATION in the service bulletin 09-010. They want $663.00 to fix it and will not give a warranty on the part. Had other problems also, REAR BRAKES,TIMING,TRANS.

This was my second new Honda, NEVER NEVER BUY HONDA CRAP AGAIN. I will trade in for a new ford

- Robert N., Pahrump, NV, US

problem #54

Nov 182013

Accord 4cycl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

This is the 3rd starter I have put in this vehicle. Each time it has had a different issue. sometimes it would drag starting and the next time it would grind.

- Patty C., West Rutland, VT, US

problem #53

Oct 232013

Accord LX-P 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,700 miles

I bought this car certified used with 58,000 miles on it. In the last 2 years I have heard this rattling or grinding noise in cold start situations, happens about 10 times. Earlier this week it began to occur every time the car is started after sitting for several hours. This is annoying, but even more of a concern is potential engine damage caused if this part fails completely.

The local Honda dealership has done all the service on this car and since I drive 30,000 miles a year I take it in for oil changes and other scheduled maintenance every 5,000 miles. It has used oil at a rate of about 1 quart per 5,000 miles and the oil level is checked every couple of weeks. I just got off the phone with the service tech and he informed me that the repair would cost about $750 which is twice the expected cost. I asked him about any goodwill from Honda in picking up all or part of the tab. He said he would refer the matter to his supervisor.

The bottom line is that I bought this car because my previous 2006 Accord was an exceptionally good car. At 110,000 miles a drunk driver ran a red light and T-boned this car at ~45 mph. The impact totaled the car, but both occupants walked away with 1 having only a broken thumb. We owe our lives to this car.

If Honda doesn't in good faith agree to pay for at least half the cost to replace the VTC actuator I will most likely never buy another Honda.

- Robert D., Concord, CA, US

problem #52

Jun 242012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

My car is a Honda Accord 2008. The car makes a grinding noise when starting. I took it to the dealer in Montclair, CA. The maintenance specialist knew what the problem was, because I am not the first one with this complain, but he just played dumb; and he asked to leave the car overnight. I did not leave the car because I need it to go to work. I bought this piece of crap because of the Honda reputation, but I am really disappointed of the Hondas now. This car has given me too many problems; this is my first and last Honda. The quality of Honda has deteriorated. Hondas are not longer good as people used to claim.

- Juan G., Duarte, CA, US

problem #51

Aug 082008

Accord EX L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

This was my first foreign car purchased brand new in 2008. My other choice was a Ford Fusion and boy I wished I had kept with the Fords. I have never had major or annoying car trouble with Fords. The cold start on my car made grinding noises about a month after I purchased it. Then, it would do it here and there and now in 2012 it does it every morning and I bought the extended warranty because no one I know could work on it and the grinding is awful. Took it in today to Honda dealer in MN and have to leave it overnight because, of course, it only does it in the AM mostly. I told him what the problem was from reading this website and he still insisted it stay overnight. He did generously offer to give my husband a ride home. I will report back that it is the VTC actuator.

- Wendy B., Hudson, WI, canada

problem #50

Jul 252013

Accord EXL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

My gripe for this is how come there are so many complaints for this item and all Honda can do is issue a Service Bulletin. I had to pay my deductible for my extended warranty and it should be a recall!!!!!!!!! Hopefully is they ever recall it I can get my money back for having it replaced already.

- heirdar, Sheridan, AR, US

problem #49

Oct 182010

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,445 miles

The grinding noise first occurred in October 2010 and started again in feb 2013 (roughly 35000 miles since the first repair). It was replaced in 2010 under the warranty. I have taken my car to two honda dealerships and left it overnight at one and two nights at another. Of course the car does not repeat the noise but as soon as I get it home it happens. Since June 1st it has been happening everyday and of course now my extended warranty will expire soon.

- Shaun C., Laurel, MD, US

problem #48

Nov 022011

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,441 miles

I took my car to Avery Green Honda in Vallejo CA It took me complaining for months before they figured out the problem. The problem was to be the VTC actuator,T-chain, V cover gasket which they repaired at that time under warranty. Less than a year later the grinding cold start started again I immediately called Avery Green and complained they said it was nothing that they did and sent me on my way. As the problem continued I continued to complain. finally talking with the management several times I was there recently and they said its the powers steering pump and it will cost me $600.00. I know this is false and I have no problems with my steering what so ever! I took my car to a automotive repair shop and they said it is not the power steering pump. I called Avery Green and spoke to the General manager and told him about how their shop told me false information. he states to me what do u want me to do?, I was shocked and said I will post on yelp, face book and the better business bureau. he was so rude and told me, I cant touch him he doesn't care, they can't do anything to him then he hung up. After doing some research on-line I see other problems with this actuator. I would some some help and advice on what to do.

Thank you,

- bevburke, Vallejo, CA, US

problem #47

Mar 012013

Accord LX-P 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Engine rattles at cold start every time. Honda should call for a recall on this VTC actuator . Every single one has the same problem and they never didi anything about it. COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN this is not right.

- imjusthim28, Tampa, FL, US

problem #46

Jan 122011

Accord LX 4c

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Still having this looked at by Honda. Will have more info soon.

- Farzad R., San Jose, CA, US

problem #45

Nov 012011

Accord EXL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

First, this is my 3rd Honda Accord and several family members historically purchased Hondas. We have all started looking at other competitors since the quality has since changed. In 2011, noticed rattling sound on a cold start. Had to hackle with Honda to address because they said it was out of warranty...but this actuator related issues is something that should not really go bad. They did a good-will repair but asked me to pay 25%. Well, it started again a year later...no goodwill and had to pay full price. Well, here I am another year later and it's doing it again. Funny, every time they call to try and sell me a new Honda, I share my experience and disgust with this car but they don't seem interested in anything except selling me another Honda. No thank you--won't get another one and will share "my" experience with everyone interested. By the way, the oil consumption is mad but they say with my miles on the car, expect to change the oil a lot more frequently. Shame on you Honda!

- exhondalover, Atlanta, GA, US

problem #44

Jan 102012

Accord EXL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

There is a grinding noise each time I start the car and sometimes while driving between 20-30 mph the engine will have a rattling noise.

- Stephanie G., Bronx, NY, US

problem #43

Apr 012010

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

I bought a brand new 2008 Honda Accord on December 22, 2007. This was my first new car and also my first Honda. I was hoping that it would live up to the reputation I had heard about. It was my intention to have the car for a long time and assuming things went well, be a Honda customer for life. In the spring of 2010 (around 32,000 miles) the car started making a grinding noise upon startup. It didn’t do it at every startup, but maybe once a week. As the spring went on, it became more frequent. I took it to the dealership in June to have that looked at. They told me it was a problem with the “lifters” and the oil was low. I had the oil changed (which I had just had changed but went with the recommendation. I was also told to keep an eye on the oil and the noise should go away. Well it didn’t go away, and at the same time, I found the car was consuming oil at a pace which was not normal. I began putting a quart of oil in every 1,000 miles or so. I took the car back in to the dealership six months later about the same noise. This time they said it was a Faulty VTC and to once again keep an eye on the oil. Nothing was done about the VTC, they said the car was in no danger and it should be fine. I explained I had to keep putting oil in the car and they told me that was “just something that I had to live with”. In June 2011, I took it in for two recalls. While I was there, I mentioned the noise was still going on. They said not to worry about it. Now at this point, the noise would happen every time I started the car. Sometimes it would happen as I was driving. When this was the case, it was a sign that I should check the oil. I found that I was basically adding two quarts every 4-6 weeks. On October 10, of this year, I went to start the car and it would start for an instant and then die out, as the car died out, the engine made that same grinding noise. This happened for about 15 minutes worth of tries but the car would not start. I had it towed to the dealership. They informed me later that day that the timing chain has slipped. They also said there was a very good chance there was internal engine damage and the engine needs replaced. The car is no longer under warranty, as it now has 72,000 miles, however it was under warranty all of the other times I took it in. If the dealership had caught the problem the first three times I brought it in, it could have been taken care of while under warranty.

- Brian D., Erie, PA, US

problem #42

Jul 212009

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Honda Sucks because they wont fix the problem.. :(

Update from Oct 23, 2012: Honda will fix the issue only cost me $100 out of pocket (squeaky wheel gets the oil) They call it the goodwill repair :)

- kellyhtn tennessee, Murfreesboro, TN Tennessee, US

problem #41

Jul 282011

Accord EX-L 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

After the first 15,000 miles, my brand new 2008 Honda Accord EX-L started making an odd rattling sound during cold start. This first became noticeable during the winter months after the temperature started dropping. This initially happens intermittently then as time progresses, very regularly.

The problem is annoying because it only presents once a day on a cold start--typically, after the car has been sitting overnight. When you take your car to the dealership for repair, know that they will not issue you a loaner vehicle until they can verify the noise themselves.

I've had this part replaced 3 times to date and each time it has been a major inconvenience to have fixed--even under warranty. The first instance had me without a car for 2 days--the dealer was not ever able to reproduce the noise so, I had to come back several months later. The second time this occurred I didn't even think about bringing the car in until the sound was happening at every cold start. After the second warranty repair, since I was about to go out of the powertrain warranty, I was told that I would be under a 12,000 mi warranty if it were to go bad again. This WAS NOT TRUE. It went bad a third, time and this time, after haggling with North American Honda they finally diagnosed the problem a third time. American Honda agreed to repair the vehicle a third time BUT I had to come out of pocket $100 this time since my car was out of warranty. They call this a 'goodwill repair' and because the car is out of warranty they require the customer to share the repair cost. I tried my best to fight this, but my American Honda Case Manager, Lily (1-800-999-1009, ext. 17707) was not very helpful and at times rude when I asked to speak with someone else regarding the problem. Further, if it wasn't for the dealership I wouldn't have had a rental car for the two days my car was being repaired.

As far as I am concerned, Honda has been negligent and unresponsive about providing a permanent fix or recall for what is a pretty common issue for the 2008 Honda Accord. This vehicle was my first new car, and my first Honda. When making my purchase decision, Honda was my only choice because I believed in the reputation of the company and product. I can honestly say that I will not be purchasing another new Honda until this company has proven that it stands behind a quality product once again. I would advise anyone looking for a quality and reliable vehicle to search elsewhere. American Honda has made it very clear that they are no longer interested in the satisfaction of their customers or maintaining the reputation of what was once a great car company.

- Ariel M., Atlanta, GA, US

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