fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
28,050 miles
Total Complaints:
32 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (23 reports)
  2. replace vtc actuator (8 reports)
  3. synthetic oil (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

problem #32

Jan 192022

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I knew this was an issue with the valve for about a year or so. Couldn't get one place to fix it. Got it replaced and no more noise, but there's lots of warning lights on the dash now that won't go off. I was told it may be the solenoid or the drivechain is loose. No noise to indicate that.

- jtdabd101, Vincennes, US

problem #31

Apr 062021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

At 57,000 miles, the CRV has a bad grinding noise on a cold start. This is my 3rd Honda. I had an Accord & Civic previously. Never had this issue before. I'm upset Honda has known about this problem since 2008. A defective VTC actuator can damage timing chain & engine. Technical Service Bulletin 16-012. Trying to join class action filed in California. Sent complaint to NHTSA.

- Li N., Manassas, US

problem #30

Feb 132021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Grinding noise on startup in cold weather. This is the 2nd time this happened to my car. The first time I had 45,000 miles and the second time at 85,000 miles. Honda needs to fix the problem. It happens all the time. When I replace it, it's going to happen again in 30-40,000 miles. Very frustrating!!

- Terri M., Aurora, US

problem #29

May 042020

CR-V EX-L 2.4L I

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,335 miles

I got this 2014 CRV EX-L as a Honda Certified used car at 2016 with less than 40k on the odometer. Mostly uneventful except a small seal leak in 2018 and was taken care of by the certified warranty. The car started to make grinding noise when first started in cold days around 2018. It was intermittent at first. Then it became obvious and frequent in the winter of Northeast Ohio. Finally I get fed up and brought it in to get the VTC actuator repaired on 05/04/2020. Of course it is free under the certified warranty. Now it's March of 2021, the grinding sound is back. My odometer is at 99K, and I will have to get it fixed AGAIN before the warranty goes out at 100k.

I had a ’98 Civic and ’01 Odyssey before. Both of them reached 200k and beyond. I am so disappointed with this problem and so glad that I had the car with the certified warranty. Honda knew about this problem and had a service bulletin for it (https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2016/SB-10088283-2280.pdf), but Honda did not issue a recall. There should be a class action lawsuit for this problem!!

Update from Jun 29, 2021: The 3rd VTC actuator has been installed by Honda dealer under warranty. Let's see how long this one is going to last.

- S-a C., Strongsville, US

problem #28

Mar 112020

CR-V EX L 2.4L Ivtec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Completely enraged. In my opinion honda should be taken to court. How can they create an engine that is complete junk and not be held accountable. Bought my cr v and noticed when I start it it rattle told it will cost upward of 1600$ to fix which is b.s. honda should be paying for all these defective actuator fixes.. But instead they hide away their problem. To anyone out there I would highly recommend staying away from a honda vehicle because the way I see it they are a lame excuse of of a manufacturer and people are under the impression honda is good... Maybe old hondas but todays honda is overpriced and doesnt give you quality one bit. Time to bite the bullet and lose money and trade this pos in for an American car like for and chevrolet.

- Zach T., Wausau, Wisconsin, US

problem #27

Dec 202019

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,460 miles

Shortly after purchasing a low-mileage 2014 CR-V, noticed a 2 second grinding noise at cold startup (below 40F). After research, found that the Honda 2.4L engine (in most models that have this engine) have this issue, with it being reported back in 2008. Honda has issued a TBS for this year of CR-V (TSB 16-012), but those that get this fix realize a re-occurrence of the problem. I have been back and forth between American Honda and the local dealership with little success to a real solution. I refuse to pay roughly $800 for the TSB when the issue will resurface at some point. Additionally, there is cause to suspect that continued cold start grinding eventually damages the timing chain. Step up Honda and resolve this problem for your valued customers! This is my 4th Honda, and probably my last as it stands...

- raven09, Tehachapi, US

problem #26

Nov 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Grinding noise when starting the CR-v after long periods of time (Around 8 hours). Honda wants customer to cover most of the cost. Honda also claims that this noise is a nuisance, and wont affect the engine, but it wont give this in writing. Lot of people have mentioned this has caused engine failures.

- Andy P., Ashburn, US

problem #25

Jul 032016

CR-V EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

My wife and I have been reporting this problem to the local service center for years. First they couldn't "reproduce the sound" . Then when they did reproduce it in 2016 we were told there was nothing they could do about it and that all Hondas make that noise on occasion. There is apparently a TSB for the issue and an updated/fixed VTC actuator, but Honda customer service just told us that they wouldn't fix the issue and that we would have to pay for the repair.

I talked to two different people at Honda customer service, and was given several reasons for Honda refusing to cover it.

1. We were first told that since we bought the car in 2015 used (with 3200 or so miles from Carmax) it wasn't eligible for the repair. Apparently, even though it was still under factory warranty when we bought it, it was not "certified used"? Doesn't make much sense to me, it was still under factory warranty.

2. This was the next reason we were given. When the dealer reproduced the grinding noise in 2016 (still under warranty) the service tech told us that it was "operating normally" and that all Hondas made this grinding noise, which was the line that they were towing at the time until the improved VTC part was released in 2017. This is according to the customer service person at Honda, YMMV. I get the feeling that their answer is always "No" and that they just throw out reasons until the customer goes away.

3. Even though they weren't fixing the issue in 2016 (According to Honda Customer Service) and have the part to solve the problem now (again according to Honda CS), because the technician said that the startup noise was "normal" in 2016, they can refuse to pay for the installation of the corrected part now. this circular logic is mind boggling.

My family has owned a lot of Hondas in our lives: This CRV, an Acura ILX, an Acura RSX, a Honda civic, etc. I had always thought that the Brand stood for quality. Hondas were all my parents would buy. Apparently, I was incorrect in my assumptions about this brand.

This is an admitted problem with multiple models and multiple years and Honda refuses to step up and own the issue and stand by the product and perform the TSB.

Our family is growing and we need to move up in size. We are shopping the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna for additional seats and space. I guess we'll be buying a Toyota!

sigh... Thanks for nothing, Honda.

- Matthew K., Baltimore, MD, US

problem #24

Dec 242014

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,427 miles

At cold weather engine makes grinding noise at start-up (metal to metal) .

- Eugene S., Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #23

Dec 212015

CR-V LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,500 miles

Upon cold start the engine/starter makes a grinding noise.

- Joseph C., Fairfield, CT, US

problem #22

Dec 072017

CR-V LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,500 miles

go to web site below and complain


- Patrick R., Newfoundland, US

problem #21

Dec 112014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,600 miles

Starter grinds on cold weather occasionally and this can't be good for the engine. I'm concerned it will result in a major repair.

- Joseph C., Greensboro, US

problem #20

Nov 102017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,855 miles

Grinding noise (metal to metal like) at first start up, lasting up to 2 seconds. For a newer car, this is unacceptable, and embarrassing. This 2014 CRV is full of problems, won't be buying another one again. Honda is known for reliability, but not anymore, with this lemon full of headaches.

- cloudyonline, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #19

Nov 112017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

I just purchased a used 2014 Honda CRV ExL. There were no start up noises until the temperatures outside dropped. Now the engine makes that grinding noise, very short period of time...only noticed in the morning.

- lynnprice, Randallstown, US

problem #18

Jul 032017

CR-V EX 2.4L Litre

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles



- Vinayak R., Rochester Hils, US

problem #17

Apr 172017

CR-V EX-L 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,500 miles

I bought a used CRV 2014 EX-L on April 12,2017 Certified Pre-Owned and discovered this noise 3 days after. Doing my research on-line, I found the CRVOWNERS CLUB online and found the Service Bulletin 16-012 to replace the VTC Actuator. This SB is dated Feb 23,2017. IF this car is 'Certified', why was the SB not applied to the car before I bought it? I am bringing the car in today to get this actuator replaced.

Update from Apr 23, 2017: My dealer replaced the VTC Actuator. If you don't hear from me again in this forum, then I have no recurring problems with it. I have to say my dealer was very accomodation and fixed it the next day.

- Ernie M., Wheaton, US

problem #16

Feb 242017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

We took the car in during the first winter we bought the car because of a grinding noise during startup. The dealer could not recreate the problem so they were unable to fix it. The next winter, it happened again only this time the problem was on record with other CR-Vs so it was fixed. We were told it was a defective valve. This winter it's happening again.

The dealer is telling us again that they were unable to recreate the problem and Honda will not fix it unless the issue can be recreated and verified. Also, no codes came up on the diagnostics when the car was tested. This was at Castle Honda in Morton Grove Illinois. What dealership refuses to fix a known problem just because it can't be recreated in 50 degree weather ? I can't manufacture sub zero temperatures any more than this dealership can fix cars.

- dktakata, Arlington Heights, US

problem #15

Jan 122017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,700 miles

My 2014 Honda CRV started making a grinding sound for a few seconds right after starting. Starts right up. It just started doing this a month ago. I'm in Los Angeles so cold weather here is low forties. Not having other problems. The car only has 7000 to 8000 miles on it. This is an intermittent problem. I haven't bought it to a mechanic or the dealer yet. The dealership is kinda sleazy so I avoid them and get my oil changed at a shop with more integrity. I thought might be a simple thing like an adjustment to the starting mechanism. I know nothing about cars. After doing some research online I am getting concerned that this could cause/indicate serious problems.

- Joh S., Los Angeles, US

problem #14

Jun 072016

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 750 miles

My 2014 Crv has an annoying grinding noise on start up. It started a few months after I bought the car. Brought it back to dealer twice and they said its a cold start problem and can't do anything about it. That didn't sit right w me. I told them if my engine breaks in the future I didn't want to be responsible for the repairs no matter if the warranty was up. They said they would document it and keep it on file and they gave me a copy of it. I hope Honda fixes this problem soon before something serious happens with this problem.

- Theresa K., Moscow, PA, US

problem #13

May 052016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

Have a problem with the grinding noise when cold started today is 5/17/2016 bring the crv to dealer waitin g for a phone call.

- Jose M., St James, US

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