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.

problem #80

Sep 012016

Accord LXP 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


- Marie G., Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #79

Dec 162015

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

For a problem that Honda knows about, it is a shame there is not a recall on the vtc actuator. Honda used to be a good reliable car (not anymore) People should quit buying Honda cars because of their poorly made engines that they will not stand behind.

- sellersin, Boonville, IN, US

problem #78

Aug 102016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,350 miles

I loved Honda because my first Honda was very good and reliable. But this one has become a headache. The cold-start big noise is so annoying that my wife even refuses to drive it because she believes it is not safe at all. I called Honda Cadada but they said that they will not take any responsibility. Since it is the manufacture problem, Honda should be held accountable.

- George Z., Toronto, Canada

problem #77

May 172013

Accord EX-L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Decided to get noise checked out before selling car and buying another Honda. Discovered noise is know VTC solenoid issue which Honda had notified dealerships but not customers. Since I am now over the powertrain warranty, they refuse to replace it. If I had know it was a design issue and they have redesigned a replacement and that if I complained before warranty ended, I would have got fixed for free, then I would have brought in earlier. Honda is really starting to piss off their loyal customers. I am reconsidering my new Honda purchase. Hope their is class action suit or Recall so can get resolved before selling. Apparently it is an expensive fix they are saddling their innocent customers with. Had brake fix repaired which was a class action issue apparently. Had pistons replaced due to some design flaw apparently. Now have VTC design flaw but Honda is turning back on me. NOT IMPRESSED!

- Jeff C., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #76

Jun 132016

Accord EX-L 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

My Accord has developed the same cold start grinding noise as others have mentioned on line. There is a service bulletin on replacing the VTC Actuator but no recalls. There was a comment that the service bulletin repair procedure was incorrect for the Accord and CRV, which is having the same problem. Honda has come out with a new procedure for the CRV but not for the Accord according to my local dealer. Most web sites state that every Accord is having the problem and Honda needs to correct the problem like they did with the excessive oil usage issue. Otherwise, another class action law suit.

Update from Jul 19, 2016: Spoke with American Honda and was told by them to go to dealer and have the VTC actuator officially diagnosed. Dealer said yes, I was right. The cold start raddle is the VTC actuator. The dealer admitted that not only have they had to replace some, but that they had to replace a few twice! American Honda's final statement to me was "at this time they feel that it is only a NOISE problem. It does not effect the performance of the vehicle. So no recall at this time." They did this with the excess oil usage and got sued and LOST! Told them they are setting themselves up for the same type of lawsuit. I have been a Honda owner since 1985. Thirty years later I purchased our 2015 CRV from the same Honda dealer. If this problem had happened just a few months earlier, there would be a Toyota or Subaru in my garage. As of today, my family, which owns 9 Hondas, will never purchase another one!

Update from Feb 7, 2017: Found service bulletin dated October 21,2011, SB-10041669-7570 that stated that Honda knew the VTC actuator was defective and lists ALL 2008 Accords. Most of us would have still been under the 5 ;year 60,000 mile warranty at this time. Honda did not recall or notify any owners. If you didn't have a complaint at this time then they won't fix it because you are out of warranty. Failed part # P/N 14310-R44-A01. I called my states attorney general's office and no help. I contacted the Federal Trade Commission and they stated that they have not had enough complaints to do anything. I encourage all 2008 Accord owners to get on line and file a complaint with the FTC. If they get enough complaints then they will help us get our vehicles fixed and make Honda pay for it. Go to ftc.gov. We can't let Honda get away with knowing they had a problem in 2011 and doing nothing about it.

- mesickiowa, Bettendorf, IA, US

problem #75

Feb 192016

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

After the initial brake issue, this vtc issue now. #HondaNeverAgain is what am thinking :-(

- Mee S., Dayton, NJ, US

problem #74

Jan 062013

Accord Accord 4 Cly

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Honda should be ashamed of themselves. This problem is definitely a major recall . Honda sucks trading it in buying a American made car.


problem #73

May 072015

Accord EXL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

Honda USA should recall the VTC actuator period. This problem emerged when the car reached 30,000. It is detrimental to the Honda brand. For shame....for shame

- hoosiernation, Bloomington, IN, US

problem #72

Oct 282015

Accord LX-P 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 219,000 miles

I have had the VTC actuator grinding noise for about 5 years and was advised by my Honda dealer to check and keep the oil level full and drive it until the "check engine" light comes on. At 219000 miles, the check engine light came on because of a stretched timing chain. I had my dealer install a new timing chain, new timing chain tensioner and a new VTC which my dealer called the root cause of the check engine light.

- Paul F., Cincinnati, US

problem #71

Apr 152015

Accord EX 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

click to see larger images

grinding noise at start up grinding noise at start up

At about 68,000 miles, I began hearing a disturbing mechanical rattle on cold starts. It got worse and worse until a recent trip to my Honda dealer confirmed I have the VTC Valve Rattle problem, and it is "currently under review by Honda." From my research on Honda owners forums, this affects a large number of models from 2008 on, and has been a known issue for several years now.

I was told this issue does not affect engine performance or longevity, but it is disconcerting to have sounds like this emanating from my engine every day. It is also embarrassing, since it sounds like I do not maintain my car, which is counter to the truth.

I would like to get rid of the car before something else happens, but no buyer would pay market value for it with this condition. I am very concerned that I've lost money by choosing Honda over another brand.

I wrote a letter to Honda stating all the above, and my displeasure. Got a somewhat rude response: "Contact us within 10 days or we'll consider the matter resolved." Finally spoke to an Alex H, Regional Case Manager, after three attempts (they're in no hurry to call you back). Alex was civil, but basically said they’re “still working on a solution”, and no, they won’t do anything about it in the meantime. No free fix, no loss of value compensation, etc. He even admitted it would kill my trade-in value at the Honda dealership where I bought it. So guess I’m stuck with this lemon. He suggested I pay the $1000+ to get the old, bad VTC fix done, hope it actually works, then dump the car on someone else!

I would consider joining a class action lawsuit to get this resolved - I hope the number of reported cases gets numerous enough that a law firm will undertake it. I don't know what other legal mechanism we have to get Honda to do the right thing. In the meantime, when people turn their heads in surprise at the horrible sound from my car, I just say, "Honda ain't what it used to be."

After learning of my predicament, a former Honda mechanic told me, "The whole “working on a solution” sounds bogus to me. Sounds like what they’ve figured out is it’s too costly to fix and originates in poor design. This doesn’t sound like the same company I worked for. They were always adamant about taking care of the customer."

Update from Jan 27, 2016: I wrote a letter directly to Bruce T. Smith (Honda SVP) complaining about the situation, and pretty quickly got a call from Alex F again (would have been nice to hear from Bruce, but whatever). They told me they were going to send a newly-engineered VTC actuator to the dealer and they'd install it for free. Great!

As an aside, I had recently brought the car in for the Oil Consumption Recall, and they did the 1,000-mile test, and concluded the car was fine. The car was now at the 3,000 mile mark on the same oil, and they suddenly noticed that I was down by 1.5 qts (almost to 2nd dipstick notch). So they replaced all the pistons too as part of the Oil Consumption recall. Which makes you wonder about that 1,000 mile test, eh?

Just got the car back today, took 3 days to do the work. No rattle on startup! We'll see how long it lasts.

So I am happy Honda took care of this at no cost to me. Bravo.

I took a pic of the new VTC actuator - it's Honda part #14310-R5A-305. It says "made in Mexico", so I imagine it's not some bleeding-edge prototype direct from Japan. Hopefully Honda will begin making the new part more widely available. The dealer said they got two of them to install in customer vehicles.

Update from Jan 16, 2018: Update from Jan 16, 2018 We've been having cold weather and the car is doing the engine grind AGAIN on cold starts. Guess I need to write another letter to Bruce.

- Matt C., Dallas, TX, US

problem #70

Jun 052014

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,376 miles

I see that the 2008 Accord is listed as a clunker. I bought this car new and don't drive it much and will probably end up getting rid of it.

- jrfrazjr, Murrieta, CA, US

problem #69

Jul 152013

Accord EX-L 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Completely an OEM issue that of course happened just out of warranty. Very frustrating and painful money drain.

- grency, Plano, TX, US

problem #68

May 052009

Accord EX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

I bought this car brand new, it had 52 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. I have always changed the oil on time, even early on occasions as I thought that may help the grind. It has done this for as long as I can remember and I've read post after post from other owners with the same issue who have gone to authorized Honda shops but have gotten no resolution. I have noticed that it seems to be getting worse as my car gets older and more miles (50,000+). My family still owns the 1992 Accord I got in high school and it sounds much better at start up than my 2008. Kind of sad since it's over 200,000 miles now. The grinding sounds so bad it has to be damaging to something in the engine. Honda needs to get this corrected ASAP. They are ruining their good reputation with all of the issues from the 2008.

- michelle27_1981, Tullahoma, TN, US

problem #67

Oct 012014

Accord LX 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

This has been a recurring problem with my Accord for some time. I was advised it was due to cold weather and to change to a full synthetic oil. Now that it is summer and 100 degrees, I took it upon myself to do some research and discovered this is a common issue among Accord owners. I took the vehicle to my local dealer and advised them to reference the TSB published regarding the VT actuator issue.

They charged me $77 to agree with me and then quoted $950 to replace the defective part. The grinding noise is severe but now the car is out of warranty so I just tell everyone who notices the noise not to buy a Honda.

- jdallas, garland, TX, US

problem #66

Dec 232013

Accord EX L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

2008 Accord Coupe EX - L. I purchased this vehicle in 2007 and this is my second time contacting the dealership about the noise! The last time they said there wasn't an issue because they did not hear it. Second appointment upcoming and I was told I have to pay $100 for the diagnostic test...wth? Why do I have to pay if I already identified the problem to you????? This is ridiculous! I don't think another Honda purchase will be in my plans!

- koko b, Bennettsville, SC, US

problem #65

Feb 172015

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,129 miles

Not sure what are the consequences of not getting this fixed as I had this problem for a few years and never got it fixed thinking it was just a cold start issue and not associated with a manufacturing defect. I hope Honda comes out and recalls the car based on this issue.

- stafanator, Round Lake, IL, US

problem #64

Dec 012014

Accord EX-L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Started having this for past couple of months. It started with oil light flashing frequently and followed by a grinding noise at cold start and during low RPMs. Gave it to honda dealer and he changed oil. Problem did not occur for couple of days and resurfaced. From last week, got an engine light too with code P2651. It's very annoying with the noise and engine light with just an average of 6,500 miles per year. When I bought 2008 accord for new back when it was released, I was so happy with the newly redesigned exterior and interior and was proud of buying accord. But not any more. 2008 accord is just behind beating 2003 model for becoming Honda's worst model. Premature break pad replacement and now this problem..who knows how many more issues are hiding behind.

Update from Feb 13, 2015: Update 2/13/2015 Dropped off at the same Honda dealer for check engine light diagnosis and the grinding noise. My oil percentage was showing as 60% remaining in the maintenance minder system. Dealer confirmed that it's the excessive oil consumption problem which is the root cause for all the issues I'm seeing (flashing oil light, grinding noise and check engine light). Paid $48 for the diagnosis. They changed the oil and putting it through oil consumption test. They have asked me to come back after 1,000 miles and change the oil again (I guess they said free of charge). They may repeat the same procedure in another 1,000 miles and then contact Honda. With so many complaints from all the 2008 V4 owners, I don't know why Honda is acknowledging this problem and release a service bulletin or free replacement of the troubled parts. This is very frustrating given and I am very unhappy with Honda's customer service.

- Saran S., Mechanicsburg, PA, US

problem #63

Jan 152015

Accord LX-S 4 cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

When I start the car in the morning it makes a grinding noise. It happens every day. It's only getting worse!!! I'm disappointed in Honda and won't buy another.

- Sam M., Front Royal, VA, US

problem #62

Feb 052014

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,198 miles

When I start the car in the morning it makes a grinding noise.

- Arvind G., Wixom, MI, US

problem #61

Apr 132014

Accord LX-P 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Started in the winter and I assumed it was because it was cold outside, but summer is almost over and it still happens. My car works perfectly fine, but I need to get it checked out soon. I know this issue isn't a recall, but I wish it was since it seems to be a common issue. Mileage when it started was around 90,000.

- Shekib H., Fort Washington, MD, US

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