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Honda Accord Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Honda Accord 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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100
Known Problems

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 Honda Accord may have issues with the idle air control system, causing:

The idle air bypass system is made up of vacuum lines, an idle air control valve (IACV), the throttle body, and intake manifold, and allows enough air into the engine to idle when the throttle body is closed. The OBD trouble code P0505 refers you to this system to inspect for failures.

The most likely cause is a dirty or failed IACV, but vacuum lines, intake manifold gasket, throttle body gasket, and IACV gasket should be inspected.

In all cases involving the IACV, the throttle body ports should be cleaned prior to installing the IACV onto the throttle body.

 

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 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 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 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.

     

    If the brake pedal feels hard the first time it is pressed in the morning, it could be due to a problem with the vacuum supply hose for the brake booster. A revised brake booster hose is available to address this concern.

    The ABS modulator (hydraulic unit) can leak air into the brake system and cause a low brake pedal. A new ABS modulator will be needed if it is diagnosed to be the source of the leak.

    The distributors on higher mileage vehicles can leak oil onto the heater hose causing the hose to soften and break. Heater hose breakage will cause a coolant leak.

    A long cranking time before the engine starts might require a PCM software update and replacement of the fuel pressure regulator.

    A chirping noise coming from the timing belt area can be caused by a misaligned, or tilted idler pulley.