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Honda Accord (2008-2012) Maintenance and Repair



  • For the 2008 models - For me, all I need to do is see one or two exhaust tips (2008+) to tell if four or six cylinder, and all sixes are EX or higher (the six also has chrome door handles). The very base LX four has no chrome tip on the single exhaust and has wheel covers. All fours have body color door handles..

    Never noticed the about painting the rotor hubs - but I have to admit to not spending much time manually cleaning anymore.

    The bigger tires are a trend, how else to make a beached whale handle? Yeah, sporty, a bit harsh, and more vulnerable to potholes.

    Could probably use a condenser protector myself, considering the big rock that bounced off the windshield today. Oh well, they might sell me a $350 rock collector at some point.

    There is a whole forum of complaints about the four cylinders and the flickering (dimming) headlights. Basically to save a tiny bit of fuel economy, there are two output levels on the alternator, and the computer seems to wait until the AC is dragging it down before changing modes on the alternator. Some people even said it was so bad that other drivers thought they were flashing them. Luckily the six doesn't do this - instead it has the VCM growls and vibes. Most cars have some dimming when the AC clutches in, but I guess the addition of the second charging level made it worse. Only car I owned where I couldn't feel or hear the AC clutch in and out was a BMW 323Ci (in-line six).

    The headlights on my 2008 V6 were so wimpy, a flashlight would be as good. I had to buy Phillips Extreme bulbs (DOT approved, street legal - no weird coloring) for the low beams which made a significant difference over stock.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 184
    1. Why no distinction on the Accord models--no badging for the LX Ex etc. Are we all to be alike?

    IMHO, just another Honda cost-cutting measure. For some odd reason, Toyota hasn't done this yet, which is strange since they all drink the same cost-cutting kool-aid.

    2. Look closely at your front rotors--Honda spent the money to paint black the area on the rotor closest to the center---now look at your rear rotors. Were they trying to save money on the rear rotors? Looks like crap behind those nice aluminum wheels when you clean them. Front looks a lot better. Why the difference?

    Our 2010 EX-L V6 has the center area of all 4 rotors painted black, but they don't match. The front rotors are a glossy black, and the rear rotors are flat black. BTW- I had to use a flashlight to confirm this, as I couldn't even see the rotor centers without using one. They could have been pink or purple and I would never have noticed.

    3. Who told Honda to put 225/50/17 aspect tires on the EX models? Has anybody else noticed the rougher ride? Maybe 2010 models will go to 225/30 tires. 60 seemed fine on my 2004 Accord but this 2009 might be my last as the ride is not what I expected. Feels like I have a sport suspension.

    Personally, I like the firm ride and improved handling of our Accord compared to my neighbor's new Camry. It's one of the main reasons we bought the Accord. If the Accord handled and rode like the Camry, we wouldn't have bought it. You would have likely noticed the ride & handling differences had you taken a long test drive in the car before buying it, as it is quite noticeable. It's actually surprising to find such a sport-type suspension in a family sedan. Usually you have to pay extra for a sport suspension and we got it for free. Cool!

    4. I purchased an aftermarket grille guard to protect the air conditioner condenser from road debris for my 2004. Well the 2009 has the same grille you could throw a golf ball through and I can't find a reasonably priced grill guard on Ebay---chicken wire is out of the question. Couldn't Honda make the openings slightly smaller??

    This problem pretty much exists across the entire Honda product line. Having owned two Odysseys and now a Ridgeline in addition to our Accord, all of these vehicles need a lower grille with smaller holes.

    Anyway, if you care to spend a bit more time on your computer, visit some Odyssey and/or Ridgeline forums and search them for possible solutions. I know Odyssey owners were VERY fond of using gutter leaf guard material (for houses) which is available at Lowes or Home Depot. The stuff is dirt cheap and is easily cut to size. Most folks seem to buy black leaf guard and attach it behind the existing grille with black tie-wraps. In some cases, bumper removal may be required, which adds a huge amount of extra labor to what should have been a simple job. Good luck with that.
  • dj9dj9 Posts: 5
    I took my 2009 Honda Accord in for an oil change at 14,500 miles and they told me that the power steering fluid is contaminated and needs to be changed out ($169). They also said the cabin/HEPA micro filter is dirty and to replace it would be $120. Is this normal for only being at 14,500 miles? I live in Los Angeles. Thanks!
  • rbbrickrbbrick Posts: 37
    1. Power steering fluid contaminated = highly unlikely at this mileage maybe 100K
    2. Cabin filter costs <$20 at auto parts store and takes 5 mins to replace. Open glove box and swing it down you will see the filter location there - read the manual for further insight.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Was this at a Honda dealer? That's outrageous. The cabin filter should be changed every 30k miles and as the other poster said, it is inexpensive and easy to do yourself. I'm not sure that the changing instructions are still in the manual but you can find them easy enough online.
  • pgm17pgm17 Posts: 51
    you guys beat me to a reply...
    i saw this on the way home on the blackberry and couldn't believe the quote of $120 for a cabin air filter change, what a markup...
    unless it includes some type of air refresher service (still unneeded)

    as far as power steering fluid contamination, i have never even heard of this.
    how would they tell, isnt the fluid in the resevoir only the visible fluid.
    isn't this a sealed system not prone to contamination unless there is a leak or something?

    i would say find a reputable dealer (i know, what an oxymoron) or independent mechanic for second opinion.
  • pgm17pgm17 Posts: 51
    Just replaced the stock pads with Akebono pads all around.
    Ceramic formulation seems to really dust less.
    Any one else try these out?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    If you could do the power steering fluid, and the cabin filter yourself, it would cost less than $40. If you have to depend on someone else, you have to pay up. That's life. My owner's manual says the cabin filter should last 30k miles, but I change mine way more often. How quickly the filter gets dirty depends how much dust, pollen, and rain you get in your area. I would suck as much power steering fluid out of the reservoir, as I could (turkey baster), and replace that. Should be good enough. Personally, I only use Honda fluids, even though they never see my car in the service department.
  • bigbutrbigbutr Posts: 111
    I've got a little over 26000 on my 08 Accord LX-P. I recently received a packet in the mail about the class action suit regarding the brakes, but that was for reimbursement if you paid to have them replaced. Can I just go to my local dealer and ask about the TSB to have the rear ones replaced at no cost? I've only got six months left on my lease and hate the thought of dropping a few bills on something that should have easily lasted the length of my lease.
  • rkirchoffrkirchoff Posts: 65
    I change my own hepa filter. Their fee of $120 stems from mostly labor. The filter costs about $15-30 depending on where in the country you buy it and the manufacturer of it. One of Honda's service techs told me the book calls for $85 installation fee. I don't know anything about the power steering fluid being contaminated. Never heard of that one especially with such few miles. My 08 accord has 60,000 miles.
  • steveg64steveg64 Posts: 6
    I have a 2008 Accord EXl and my driver side fog light is cracked. I bought a new one and it was very expensive. The dealer wanted a 150.00 to change it and I said no. They told me you have to take the front bumper off to do this. Has anyone did this before? Is it difficult?

    Thanks for the help.
  • cat17cat17 Posts: 5
    Did they say what the contamination is? I would tell them that if there is contamination in a 2009 car with 14,500 miles, then there is a failure in the power steering system and that Honda needs to replace the pump, the hoses and the steering rack...under warranty. I'll bet they change their tune pretty fast and that they will tell you that your fluid isn't so bad after all.

    $120 for a cabin filter is way out of line. If they inspected it, that means they had to remove it, right? How much time would they really spend to inspect an item that may or may not get the OK to replace? It may take all of 60 seconds to remove the filter. Buy one and do it yourself, it's WAY easy. Should take about as much time as I needed to type this out! $100 for 3 minutes of work is a really good deal...for them!

    Check out this website for instructions:

    You might want to think about finding another Dealer to service your car. These guys are going to try to bleed you dry.
  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    If the power steering fluid was actually contaminated, (which I doubt it is), the whole power steering system would need to be flushed. Only doing part of it isn't enough. Kind of like just changing the fluid and filter on a automatic tranny. If you don't flush it, there will be all the dirty tranny fluid from the torque converter still in system. I had the power steering flushed in my old Camry last year for about $110 and that was with synthetic BG fluid. Top notch quality products. I had the stealership service my 5 speed MT in my 08 Accord with Honda MTF when it started grinding going into third and popping out of gear. Took care of it for less than 5k miles. I then had synthetic BG put in and viola, problem solved. Anyway, I would get a second opinion on the power steering fluid. Perhaps a different Honda dealer or a independent shop that a friend or family member recommends. If it's contaminated they should be able to show you. I think the fluid would have a different color or smell from fresh fluid, wouldn't it? Damn stealerships take advantage of too many trusting people don't they? :mad:
  • rrbhokiesrrbhokies Posts: 108
    edited July 2010
    2008 Accord EX-L 4cyl. Just had both Front and Rear brakes replaced within a few thousand miles of each other. Front brakes actually went first around 20K miles and had to have the rotors machined. Then just had rear brakes at 24K miles and again had to have rotors machined. Over $600 total including a brake flush that they talked me into saying it was needed. :lemon:

    It's bad enough that the car has terrible gas mileage (18 city/24 highway/19 mixed). :lemon:

    It's worse that the car suffers from rattles and squeaks from the center console that every little bump jars and rattles the center console (of which they say they cannot tighten or fix any more than what has been done). :lemon:

    It's much worse that the car has a terrible suspension system where the back end bottoms out when going over a speed bump or every rut in the road just pounds the car into submission (further complicating all the rattles in the dash and center console). :lemon:

    Now, it seems like either there are problems with the tires or alignment when the car is pulling badly to the right no matter what lane I'm in, and the steering wheel vibrates terribly at any speed over 30mph. (Probably meaning new tires and an alignment at 24K miles!). :lemon:

    I've lived and breathed Honda over the years. I've owned 2 Civics, 3 Accords, 2 Odysseys, a Ridgeline and a CRV. This Accord is the worst car I've ever owned and that includes a Ford Windstar and Mecury Tracer.

    I just test drove a 2010 Civic EX sedan over the weekend and was more impressed with it than my Accord. I took the Civic through the same streets that I normally drive and the Civic had more pickup, was more enthusiastic to drive, absorbed bumps better, had quieter tires, and didn't have any rattles or squeaks. All in all, it was a marked improvement.

    Rather than face spending $800-$1000 on new tires and an alignment on a car that I can no longer stand, it's time to just be done with this insanity.

    I will never buy another 1st year model again, ever! And from what I've been reading, it just seems that this generation Accord is an overall dud in general.

    The only positive thing I can say about my Accord is that it appears to be able to fetch a decent resale value!! So with that I will say goodbye to my Accord and hello to a 2010 Civic. I'll miss my Automatic Climate Control and XM Radio, but will enjoy the iPOD USB controls and overall general driving improvements (and hopefully gas mileage improvements) that the Civic will offer.

    Goodbye 2008 Accord, I wish I had never knew thee............ :lemon:
  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    Wow, I'm glad my experience has been a little better. My LX has about 33K miles so far on all the brakes with plenty of pad to spare. As far as gas mileage goes, not sure about straight city, but highway we just got back from a Colorado vacation and got 32-33+ mpg running 75-80. In mixed about 28. Only squeak problems have been from the glove box but have been resolved. Had all four inner door seals replaced due to pulling loose at corners. 5 speed manual ground and popped out of gear. Fixed by synthetic gear lube. No vibrations or pulling, luckily. However, the Dunlops are getting louder as they wear. On some roads it is horribly loud. I've had issues with finding a comfortable position in both front seats. Even in spite of these issues we still really like our LX. I think the manual trans. makes it a blast to drive. The V-tec loves to wind up. I had a blast driving it up Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland to Estes Park. Manual + curves = fun ;) . I gotta say the Civic is a nice car. I almost bought one instead of the Accord, but needed more room for my family. Good luck with your next car!
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    edited July 2010
    Kind of like just changing the fluid and filter on a automatic tranny. If you don't flush it, there will be all the dirty tranny fluid from the torque converter still in system.

    If you know anything at all, about Honda automatic transmissions, you would know power flushing them is a BIG NO NO. An experienced Honda tech told me that replacing the steering fluid in the reseviour would help keep it fresh, and be much easier to do than the flush method in the Honda/Helm manual. There is no real maintenance interval for flushing the power steering fluid, I just like to keep it as fresh as possible. If the fluid was really bad, in so few miles, I think there is more wrong than a fluid change would fix. The common problem with the Accord's power steering, is a leak on the pump inlet pipe (o-ring), where the pump sucks in air and dirt into the system. This will also cause a moaning/ wining sound when the engine is cold.
  • pastatiepastatie Posts: 26
    Dealer installed the bracket but pewter plate's weight seems too much for the stock bottom mounting bolts. It is showing a progressively larger gap at the top of the bracket. I wouldn't mind putting two small holes through the top of the bracket but is there an easy way to get the bumper cover loose from top or bottom? There probably is foam or steel behind the cover. Without pulling the cover I could put a couple stainless steel sheet metal screws in but don't know what is back there. Thanks for any help.
  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    "If you know anything at all, about Honda automatic transmissions" - elroy5, I don't know beans about Honda auto trannys, I've never owned one. Not sure about the power flush you speak of. My friend uses a BG flush system that hooks up to the tranny cooler lines and lets the transmission do the pumping. There is a sight glass on the unit that you watch until it runs clean. BG products are used in many dealerships, even where I bought my Accord. I put their Synchroshift 2 in my manual tranny and it got rid of the notchy shifts and third gear popping out and grinding. My 5 speed is the smoothest shifting thing I've ever driven now! That was $100 versus the $80 the dealership stuck to me for the Honda MTF that didn't work after only less than 5K miles. Isn't there a TSB for the moaning/whining sound? Not sure it was related to the pump though.... What year do you drive? Auto. trans?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    My friend uses a BG flush system that hooks up to the tranny cooler lines and lets the transmission do the pumping.

    This kind of machine would be ok. It's the "power" flush that will force metal shavings into the small passages in a Honda automatic, where they can clog things up. I had a 92EX Sedan automatic for 12 years, and now I have an 03 Ex V6 automatic.
    I like to do my own maintenance, and any repairs I can handle. I don't have a friend, who works at a dealership ;) , so I change the transmission fluid the old fashioned way. Drain and fill, with 3 quarts, as many times as necessary. I change out 3 quarts, every 15k miles, and the fluid stays pretty clean (changed the filter at 60k). I plan to have the 03 for 15 years, if it keeps up the reliability it has for the first 7.
  • They normally just use the big coarse thread self tapping screws to hold the plate bracket to the front bumper. There should be two big self tappers behind the license plate in the center area of the bracket going into the bumper, as well as the two at the bottom. If not, that is why it is not holding right. My guess is that they are there, and are starting to pull out of the bumper casing - in that case, adding more or relocating them to fresh spots to tap new holes would work.

    I have had issues in the past with front plates and automatic car wash brushes trying to rip them off.

    Luckily I moved back to PA from OH and could ditch the thing.
  • catmikecatmike Posts: 35
    Yesterday, in a weak moment I walked into the Parts Department of my local stealership (icyou812, great way to say it) and picked up an engine air filter ( $33.36 ) and a cabin air filter ( $27.39 ). I'm located in South Fla - lots of sand, dust and all. But, I wasnt smart. The cabin air filter must have cost the mfg all of sixty cents to produce and package.

    Anyone's recommendation for an Internet source of Honda parts, would be much appreciated :)
  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    catmike, I went to Carquest for my air filter made by Wix. I think it was Around $18, not sure, would have to find the receipt. I just replaced the cabin air filter with a NAPA branded one made by Wix for less than $17. Not sure about online source for oem, the few places I looked, the shipping kills the deal. Wix is a quality brand name replacement. It was funny, the cabin filter had instructions in the box that said to allow up to 30 minutes to replace it! It didn't take 5 minutes including reading that plus emptying out the glovy to get at it. I can't believe what people are saying the stealerships charge to replace it. They ought to include installation for the $27.39 you paid. By the way, I waited 30K miles to change filters - not recommended! They should have been replaced much sooner.
  • dpmeersmandpmeersman Posts: 275
    Amazon has both filters from various mfg's and price ranges.
  • pgm17pgm17 Posts: 51
    catmike, I am in Miami and use eStore at Braman Honda. Seems pretty reasonable. The cabin is $16.23 and engine is $20.91. You order online and pick up at dealer.
  • scottqscottq Posts: 2
    bigbutr, I replaced my rear brakes myself and found out the next week from the dealer that there was an issue with the rear brakes on these Accords and Honda would replace them for free (one time only). So take it to Honda and they will do it for you. I got that letter in the mail, too, but that's cr@p because it's from some attorney outfit looking to make a buck. BTW, my service rep said the fronts were rock solid on all the Accords so you shouldn't have to worry about those.
  • scottqscottq Posts: 2
    My early 2008 is my second Accord. I must admit, my '99 was rock solid, but this one has more rattles and small issues than I was expecting. At 9,700 miles, the rotors had to be turned. Dealer said that was a normal procedure. I wasn't happy about them using the same pads.... I replaced the rear pads myself (ceramic this time) at 27K. The old ones were paper thin! Had an issue with the steering where it "clunked" when I turned right and left. Dealer said a bolt had to be "torqued to specs". In other words, it wasn't tightened all the way!

    Small rattles are really bugging me now, but other than that, the car is solid. Oh yeah, the Michelins it came with sucked. Toast by 27K on the front. They also had no wet pavement grip. Went with a set of 225/50R-17 BFGoodrich g-Force from Tire Rack. Awesome in wet and dry weather. Can't wait to try them in the snow....
  • cat17cat17 Posts: 5
    "my service rep said the fronts were rock solid on all the Accords"

    Many, many people are having issues with the front brakes on the 8th gen Accords. The rotors get an uneven buildup of pad material and it causes a "judder" when braking. Many people refer to it as warped rotors.

    My 08 Accord EX had the front rotors resurfaced twice with only short term success. I finally tossed all 4 OEM rotors and all 4 sets of OEM pads in the trash can and installed aftermarket parts.

    Problems solved.
  • catmikecatmike Posts: 35
    Thank you pgm17 and other posters for your info - it helped and i'm track to save some $$....
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