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 #20

Dec 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Every morning startup and then a spark like grind from my car! Unsure why because I have a 1995 Honda Accord and this never happened and it has 300,000 miles on it and the 2008 making the noise now has 69,000 miles on it and the noise started at about 40-45K. Very annoying to have engine problems on a fairly new car. At the shop right now getting fixed for probably VTC actuator.....starter problems on a Honda! Unheard of until this 2008 model!

- lcatheydst, Birmingham, AL, US

problem #19

Dec 202010

Accord LXP 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

We had notice for over a year a metal grinding sound on cold start. it wasn't all the time though. We took it to two different Honda dealers and they did not hear the noise. We later found out that was because it only happens on cold starts. We took our car to a car repair shop and they told us we needed a new starter. We didn't think that was the problem. We did some research online and found that Honda posted a bulletin saying that there was a known problem with 2008 4 cyl accord. The problem was with the vtc actuator and the only way to fix it is to replace the vtc actuator. Unfortunately our warranty had run out. We asked the Honda dealer for consideration due to the fact that this was a problem that Honda was aware of. they ended up charging us 50% of their cost which ended up being $150. I would have liked it better if they covered it 100%. this problem was misdiagnosed for my aunt. The honda dealer she took her car to told her she needed a new starter. they replaced the starter and that did not fix the problem. She is now trying to convince the honda dealer that it is the vtc actuator but they have not heard the sound yet and they will not replace it until they hear the noise. Unfortunately that could take a while because it doesn't happen all the time.

- Lisa K., Clayton, NC, US

problem #18

Jan 212011

Accord EX-L (Navi) 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,641 miles

Like other Canadian bloggers on this forum, have recently experienced a grinding noise coming from the stater at start up. Particularly noticeable when mercury dips to -20C. Noise lasts 3-4 turnovers then disappears before engine starts.

Left car with dealer overnight (you guessed it - no noise after running a few blocks). Thankfully, it was cold again (what else is new?) and the dealer just called to say the starter would be replaced on warranty tomorrow.

So, let's see. A brand new 2008 top-of-the-line Honda with car door rubber gaskets (see separate entry) and now a starter being replaced after only 30,000KM (18,500 miles!)? Thank God (can I say this?) for this forum. I've fired off an e-mail to the dealer (now there's a record) to check whether there are any bulletins for a defective VTEC actuator while we're at it.

Enough said about HONDA "quality".

- Dave B., Gatineau, Quebec, canada

problem #17

May 182010

Accord EX-L 4DR

  • 16,777 miles

Oil light came on - checked level, completely empty. Originally thought the dealership neglected to fill the oil chamber at the last oil change. Asked for an oil change and for the mechanic to check the engine to ensure there was not damage. Viewing the work order later on showed that the engine was not checked.

One month later, everytime I turned over the engine, there would be a loud 'clunk'. This was consistent with cold engine starts. The oil light came on again - checked level, completely empty AGAIN. Took it to the dealership where they had it for a couple of days to replicate the 'clunking' sound. The entire engine had to be rebuilt - the rings had seized and the oil was dumping into the engine. The rings were replaced and the cylinders had to be re-honed. Additionally, the v-tech solenoid was replaced. So, both the engine short and long block were crap. Took weeks to get the car fixed.

When I finally got my car back, the shifter cable assembly broke and I lost 2nd, 4th and reverse gears. That was the last straw. I fought a long 4-month battle and won. The dealership bought back my car and I am driving a 2011 Pilot. If it were just Honda Canada I was dealing with, I would still be in my crap Accord because they were not admitting their was an issue and hiding behind the warranty. But the dealership stepped up and took care of their customer.

- Samantha R., Wyevale, ON, Canada

problem #16

Apr 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Car was making a grinding noise when starting for the first start of the day. Honda dealership replaced the starter twice, but the noise is still there. Taking it in again next week to try again.

One thing that I find confusing -- it stopped making the noise for a couple months after the first starter replacement. Then started making the noise again, and getting worse all the time. Now, after the second starter replacement, the noise is worse than ever.

Update from May 3, 2011: My "award-winning" honda service department never did diagnose the problem - I did by researching on the internet and calling a service department in another state. After I told them what the problem was - the vtech actuator - they did their own research and agreed with me. Of course, the warranty has run out, so now, they are offering me a "friends and family" discount to replace the actuator for a total cost just under $200. This should be recalled! I will not buy another Honda after this one.

- amydawn71, Cambridge, OH, US

problem #15

Aug 012010

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles

Did not like this car at all. Brake problems, oil consumption, grinding noise when cold starting... Really disappointed.

- edubeef, Novato, CA, US

problem #14

Oct 252010

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,500 miles

Had the grinding noise at cold starts for about 20,000 miles but never had the time to take it to the dealer. After reading other posts, I decided to take it in and it was the ACTUATOR!!!! Don't delay if you have the same problem, take it in before the warranty expires at 60K.

HONDA should recall this!!!!!!

- montanoinc, Homestead, FL, US

problem #13

Sep 162010

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,603 miles

Ok,. This is BULLSHIT..

So I have an 08 accord, and this car has been my baby for just over 2 years.. Living in Canada, the early september nights start to get cool and every morning when I start my car, it made this ridiculous noise.. I find out that its this VTC Actuator thing that appears to be a known problem because the moment I called the service tech he knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.. but told me that the part will cost 180$ and the labour is gonna be another $400.. All because I am 13,000 KM over the 60K warranty.. The way I see it, if they know its a problem, either to a recall or cover the costs! who's fault is it that they use crappy parts!?

I surely shouldn't be on the hook for $600 for a car that's 2 years old because Honda has chosen to use crappy parts.

- waseemk, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #12

Jan 212010

Accord LX 2.4L Vtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,429 miles

Problem: engine rattles on cold start up/ "The Variable timing control actuator is defective"

Fact: My car makes rattling sound almost every time after starting up. Rattling is getting serious day by day. I stopped by Honda local service center first, and contacted Honda USA by mail and phone later, to ask repairing my car by goodwill consideration. Mileage was about 77500. They refused to repair it because of high mileage.

Opinion: According to alldata.com, all the cars of Accord L4 2/4-door (even some types of 2009...) have same problem above. But, both Honda local service center and Honda USA refused to repair it by same reason. I think above problem can be 'recall item' if the report of alldata.com is true. Please tell me your view on this matter. What shall I do for this? repair my car

- youngrk, Denton, TX, US

problem #11

Mar 012010

Accord LX-P 4 Cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

AHHHH!!!!! I OFFICIALLY HATE HONDA vehicles!!! Found out today after replacing my REAR BRAKES """"again"""" that the noise that has been occurring after my car is started is having to be caused and leads to ENGINE WEAR. Luckily the HONDA MECHANIC was HONEST and said needs to research it and says my warranty will cover it. LETS HOPE he doesn't say something DIFFERENT when he calls me. I have had the last MECHANIC that works here say last year with my brake issues that a lot of people were complaining once i talked to the MANAGER the mechanic denied saying that comment. The noise started in about March 2010. I bought this car in 12/2007 and is a 2008 accord. Now it has got to the point that is makes the KNOCKING noise every time I START the car COLD or HOT. I am so irritated with HONDA cars now.

I DISLIKE them VERY much and I am telling everyone if they are looking into getting a NEW car to stay AWAY from HONDA.

- cosmo_shiek, Bakersfield, CA, US

problem #10

May 242010

Accord EX-L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

From a cold start you would hear a grinding noise that would last a few seconds. When warm start, didn't hear it. Car is NOW out of warranty and we are told it is probably the actuator and will cost $350 to fix. We're leaving the car over night so they can hear it but they were VERY ASSURED that they knew what it was...indicating this is a normal complaint.

If you have a 2008 Accord still in warranty, I would go and tell the dealer to fix this problem before it occurs, because it most likely will occur. With the brake problems and now this I am highly irritated we purchased a brand new Honda because of the reliability we had grown to expect from Honda.

- ksmorgan, Bridgeport, WV, US

problem #9

Oct 052009

Accord LX-P 4 Cl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

My 2008 honda had 22 miles on it when I purchased in Dec of 07. This car had no problems unil Oct. of last year. I began to hear this noise when I would crank it. I asked my husband did he hear, but he just would say I baby the car. The noise persistently got worse and my God father noticed. Just like you all, it started out if the car sat for long period of time, then it got to where it did it for a sec every time I cranked! It took someone rear ending me for me to make sure everything on that piss of ish got fixed! If your car is under warranty, it needs to be fixed b/c it is a big job an you will need a rental. Honda does not provide! It has been a bulletin on it (just not sent to honda owners) tell them about the noise and leave the car there. Give them exact time as to when to crank the car. It will get fixed!!

- snlewis, Birmingham, AL, US

problem #8

Feb 012009

Accord LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

Noisy engine grinding noise at any speed, even after tens of miles of driving

- motley, Chapel Hill, NC, US

problem #7

Dec 222009

Accord EX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

I bought a Honda because they have a reputation for being reliable. Never liked the style until the 2008 body style, but the 08 is awesome. The dealership in Lewisville TX doesn't seem to care about my problem and claim that they have not been able to replicate the funny grinding flapping noise my car makes. I truely wonder if they didn't hear it, or if they're stalling because I only have 3000 miles of warranty left. I have maintained this car in ways you wouldn't believe. I have babied it to the extreme and paid out the @## for the manufacture's recommended preventative maintenance. A lot of good all that wasted money has done me thus far. I am so tired of corporate America screwing over hard working consumers by letting quality control sit on the back burner. Makes me want to buy a Chevy. At least a Chevy is cheaper and easier to get fixed.

- Ryan M., Arlington, TX, US

problem #6

Oct 052009

Accord LX-P 2.4L V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

grinding noise at first cold start, and then it started happening if the car sat for 8 hours, and now it happens even if the car just sat for 3 or 4 hours, I thought it was going to go away on it's own, thinking this is a Honda accord the most reliable car in America, but I was wrong and it is time to take it in to the dealer before the warranty expires .

- Moe H., Lake Stevens, WA, US

problem #5

Oct 012009

Accord LX-S 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles

It started with just a small grinding sound but slowly progressed to where it sounds terrible and makes a 5 second grinding sound from cold starts. I took it into Honda and they said that it was just because my oil was low (we all knew that that wasn't the problem but i was like whatever ill try). So I got my car back and it still did the same thing, i couldn't find time to take it in until 3 weeks later, and i left the car at Honda for 3 hours and they tried turning it on to hear the sound and i guess they didn't hear anything. So I'm stuck leaving it there the whole weekend so they will be able to hear the sound. I hope they find out what is wrong...

- dbwideout, Tulsa, OK, US

problem #4

Nov 192009

Accord EX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,100 miles

On cold starts the car makes a grinding sound that only lasts 3 or 4 seconds. But its very noticable. At first it only did it occasionally after it had been sitting for at least 12 hours. Now it does it consistently whenever its been sitting for 4-5 hours. But as soon as the car is started once, even if it is immediately turned off then back on, the sound will be gone. I took it to my local mechanic, and he was stumped. Next stop is the Honda Dealership.

Update from Dec 6, 2009: This is caused by the VTEC actuator going bad. Honda dealer replaced it and I'm now $430 poorer. They knew what it was immediately, and I haven't had any problems since.

- Matt C., Metuchen, NJ, US

problem #3

Nov 182009

Accord LX-P 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

My engine makes the same grinding noise as well on cold starts. I have not taken it it in yet. I would like to hear what other people have done to fix this problem.

- tlmoua, Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #2

Oct 102009

Accord LX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

Last winter a grinding noise developed when I started the car. I noise only happens when the outside temperature was cold. I ask the dealer to look at it but because the car was warm when they started it of course it did not happen. The noise went away when the outside temperature warmed up. Now this fall the noise is coming back and getting worse. The dealer will be looking at it this week.

- Dan J., Bristol, CT, US

problem #1

Jul 082009

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

The exhaust systems will make a rough sound on cold start but then it will go away. It sounds like something loose inside the muffler system.