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Honda Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 21 Honda models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The starter motor used on the 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 frequently fails on vehicles around 125,000 miles.

It may help prolong the life of the starter to service the starter to ensure the connections are clean and tight at the 100,000 mile mark.

A groaning noise from the rear differential heard while going through turns can be caused by differential fluid break down. Servicing the rear differential will generally correct this concern.

The Honda Pilot may develop issues with the automatic transmission.

Rough shifting may occur, and the “D4” light and check engine may begin to blink. The check engine light will also illuminate, and OBD trouble codes P0700, P0730, P0740, P0780, P1768 and/or P1768 will be stored in the computer.

If the transmission shifts roughly, the failure is very likely mechanical failure of the transmission. If the transmission performs normally, a faulty sensor, or dirty transmission fluid may be the case.

In most cases, it is necessary to use professional diagnostic equipment to provide a diagnosis, and complete the repair.

The longevity of the transmission is dependent on strict adherence to the manufacturer's recommendation for ATF replacement intervals and procedure.

A knock or clunk type noise may be noted from the front suspension over bumps. This is can caused by worm stabilizer (sway) bar links. Replacing both stabilizer bar links will commonly repair this issue.

An overheated wire in the head light harness can cause the low beams not to work. Replacing combination light/turn signal switch switch, the wire for the low beams, and the combination switch connector (if damaged) should repair this issue.

The Honda Odyssey has a known issue with engine oil leaking from the ignition distributor shaft seal.

Leakage from the shaft seal coats the electrical components of the distributor with engine oil causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Cleaning the distributor cap and rotor can help or resolve driveability issues temporarily, but the mentioned issues will return shortly.

    Once this issue is diagnosed, the ignition distributor shaft seal must be replaced, and the distributor shaft bearing must be inspected.

    The Honda Accord has a known issue with engine oil leaking from the ignition distributor shaft seal.

    Leakage from the shaft seal coats the electrical components of the distributor with engine oil causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Cleaning the distributor cap and rotor can help or resolve driveability issues temporarily, but the mentioned issues will return shortly.

    Once this issue is diagnosed, the ignition distributor shaft seal must be replaced, and the distributor shaft bearing must be inspected.

    The fuel level sensor may fail resulting in erratic fuel gauge operation and illumination of the Check Engine Light. Replacement of the fuel sender assembly is recommended to correct this concern. A powertrain control module (PCM) software update may be necessary for the updated fuel level sensor to read correctly.

    The engine valves can prematurely fail. The cylinder head will need to be replaced due to wear in the area where the valves seal. Intake or exhaust valve failure may illuminate the Check Engine Light. The car may have poor engine performance and fail emission tests.

    The computer can misinterpret a low battery voltage and can cause a false Check Engine (MIL) light to come on. Updating the PCM can correct this issue.

    On certain models the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) can misinterpret the secondary oxygen sensor data and set a false Check Engine Light. A software update from Honda is needed for this issue.

    Certain models can leak oil externally or allow coolant into the combustion chamber due to a faulty head gasket. The head gasket needs to be replaced to correct this problem.

    Some models have shift quality problems when shifting into third gear. A new "third gear set" from Honda will address this issue.

    Map light will not turn on when opening drivers or passengers door. Caused by a faulty door switch. Requires replacement of door switch on side of non operation.