Honda Accord Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Honda Accord as reported by 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 engine may develop and oil leak due to a porous engine block casting. The repair procedure is dependent on where the leak is located. Honda has released a service bulletin covering model years 1998-2003. Honda may offer assistance with repairs, determined on a case by case basis.

The front axles are prone to failure on the 1990-2002 Honda Accord 4-Cylinder. This will be evident as fast clicking or popping sounds will be audible while driving, most commonly when the steering wheel is turned while the vehicle is in forward motion.

Constant velocity (CV) axles, sometimes called a “half-shaft”, are designed to allow the wheels to be driven by the transmission, even when turning the steering wheel.

They are manufactured of a shaft with a gear at both ends. When one of the gears on the end of the shaft fails, it will make noise as the vehicle is driven.

The axle should be replaced immediately, or damage may occur to the wheel bearing/hub assembly if left unattended.

 

The 1990-2016 Honda Accord engine oil pressure sensor may leak from normal operation.

More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.

Smelling burning engine oil is common on the 1990-2002 Honda Accord 4-cylinder engine, and is associated with oil leaking from the valve cover. It is most common to smell the oil burning at a stop light, or just after you shut off your engine.

Engine oil leaks from the valve cover, drains down, and settles on the exhaust manifold, which burns the oil upon contact due to high exhaust gas temperatures. This creates an odor that comes through the vents, and can be smelled around the front of the vehicle. 

The valve cover gasket should be replaced in a timely fashion to prevent engine misfires resulting from oil contamination of the ignition coil, which is fairly common.

Valve cover gasket replacement will correct both the leak and the smell of burned oil at the same time. If the ignition coil or spark plug wire was soaked in oil, it will need to be cleaned or replaced to stop or prevent misfires.

The 1997-2017 Honda Accord May have problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. It stops responding to commands to open and close, and the following occurs:

  • Illumination of the check engine light
  • OBD trouble code P1457 is stored
  • Engine takes longer than usual to start
  • Fuel mileage decreases noticeably
  • The valve is located on the charcoal canister, and is meant to open and close upon command. It fails due to corrosion breaking one of two internal seals, which allows air to escape the system, signaling the OBD trouble code P1457.

    Correcting the problem can be done by replacing the vent valve, or, in some cases, cleaning and resealing the vent valve has been successful. You can get an estimate for this repair here.

    A worn, missing, or loose gas cap can cause the same issues.

    The camshaft seal, located at the end of the cylinder head, has a reputation for failure on 1990-2002 Honda Accord four cylinder models.

    This seal wraps around the camshaft to prevent engine oil from leaking where the camshaft exits the cylinder head.

    Replacing the leaky seal requires timing belt removal, so timing belt and water pump may be recommended if your vehicle is near the service interval.

    The 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 uses an ignition switch that commonly fails, causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine stalling randomly 
  • Intermittent battery power
  • The ignition switch works by receiving power from the battery, then sending that power to another location by turning the key to the desired setting. When it fails, power cannot be transmitted to the proper components because of an improper electrical connection. This will effect everything that the key allows to run, including the engine.

    It can be intermittent, and a bump, or turn may cause the ignition switch to lose connection.

    Turning the key back and forth or shaking it may cause it to reconnect temporarily

    To correct the issue, replication of the fault is key. If the ignition switch tests bad when the problem is occurring, replacing the ignition should resolve the issue.

    The 2013-2012 Honda Accord has brake caliper issues, which are known for causing vibration and grinding noises at all times.

    The brake rotor is a disk that sits between two brake pads. The brake pads are squeezed against the disk by what is called a brake caliper. When that caliper gets stuck, the brake pads are permanently pressed against the rotor causing:

  • Vibration in brake pedal
  • Vibration on steering wheel
  • Illumination of the ABS or brake warning light
  • Grinding noise from one corner of the vehicle
  • Vehicle pulls to one side of the road
  • Braking requires more pressure on the brake pedal
  • The repair for a seized brake caliper, the brake pads, brake rotor, and brake caliper must be replaced or vibration will remain after the new caliper is installed. Changing the brake fluid and flushing the brake system according to manufacturer specified intervals can help improve longevity of the brake caliper.

    The exhaust recirculation valve (EGR) on the 1990-2007 Honda Accord V6 may fail, causing:

  • Illumination of thecheck engine light
  • OBD trouble codes P0401 and P1491
  • Rough idle
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Engine vibrations
  • Hesitation or stalling
  • Long cranking before engine starts
  • Failure of state or federal smog tests
  • The EGR valve has open and closed positions, and opens or closes on command from the computer.

    Exhaust gases constantly pass through the valve when it is open, leaving carbon deposits on the valve. These carbon deposits may lead the the valve sticking in the open or closed position.

    To correct this issue, sometimes it is sufficient to clean the valve, but replacement is recommended in all cases.

    For further information on your vehicle's issue, try out our diagnostics tool here.

    The 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 is well known for issues with the fuel pump and fuel injection relays.

    These relays send power to the fuel pump and fuel injectors when the key is turned to the “ON” position. So, when they fail, there is no electrical current to the necessary fuel system components to send fuel into the engine, causing engine stalling or failure to start.

    In this situation, there are many other possibilities, so testing components is vital for time and money savings.

    If the relays test bad, they must be replaced with relays specific for that circuit.

    To help prolong the life of your under-hood electrical components, ensure the lid for the fuse block is closed, and any factory sealing material is correctly installed.

    The radio and climate control display can go dark on some models. It will be necessary to replace the affected unit to correct this concern. Some customers have reported receiving help from Honda regarding this repair.

    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.

    The Honda Accord is known for premature alternator bearing failure. The alternator shaft bearing alerts of mechanical failure by making a howling or grinding noise, but other symptoms may appear, including:

  • Battery warning light illumination
  • Engine will not start
  • Engine stalling or hesitation
  • Power steering and A/C failure

    Continued use after the alternator makes these noises generally result in loss of the serpentine belt, power steering, air conditioning and battery power.

    The correction is to replace the alternator immediately.

  • Four cylinder models of the Honda Accord from 1990-2001 have a known issue with ignition distributor shaft bearing failure, which causes:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • Check Engine Light Illumination
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Oil leak from distributor cap 
  • The ignition system uses the distributor to send high voltage electricity to the spark plugs at the right time. It accomplishes this timing mechanically by a shaft, which connects the crankshaft and ignition distributor, so they spin at the same rate. That shaft, part of the distributor, rests in a bearing inside the distributor.This bearing, the distributor shaft bearing, is known for failing, and allowing the shaft to move slightly.

    As the bearing fails, it allows the shaft to move away from the shaft seal, and oil pours into the distributor cap, causing misfires.

    The play in the shaft can also cause contact with the crankshaft position sensor, causing a no start problem.

    Total bearing failure will be most evident from the grinding noise that changes with engine speed, and oil in the ignition distributor cap.

    If the bearing is making noise, driving or running the vehicle can result in catastrophic engine failure.

    To correct this issue, the ignition distributor and shaft must be replaced. Any damage to the crankshaft position sensor will necessitate replacement as well.

     

    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.