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Honda Accord CVT Problems



  • I have experienced your problem #5 several times already, during the 200 miles I have driven my new 2013 Accord 4DR EX-L V6 (no Navi). It happens intermittently. The audio sound quality will be extremely bad, screechy and so distorted that speech cannot be understood. Changing stations within the same source, or changing between sources (XM, FM, AM, CD), or turning audio off and back on does not fix the problem. Then after turning the car off and restarting it, the audio will return to normal sound quality, as you said. At first I thought it might be related to cold weather, but it happened again today at 45 F.
  • In regards to the 2013 Accord sport, purchased several months ago.

    1. Hood vibration on the freeway, never had a hood vibrate before on any car.

    2. Live in California so weather is not an issue, in the morning my first attempt to start the car. It will not turn over with first attempt. Second time it turns over. Very disappointing NEW CAR?

    3. Noticeable vibration/hesitation when I reach 20-30 mph.

    4. At a stop light, the steering wheel tends to rotate when i accelerate.
  • I have a 2013 Accord Sport and notice the same thing with my radio, the reception really stinks, even with stations that are in the same city I am driving in have lots of static.

    I wonder if this is because of no external antenna?

    Also my Sport does not have XM radio, is this an upgrade or was it supposed to be offered on all models of the Accord? Does it just need to be activated?
  • UPDATE from quality4us:

    I brought my Accord V6 into my local Honda service center to address the 5 problems I identified in my first post (#86). The Honda service personnel were VERY interested and attentive! Here is the status of the five items:

    1. The head technician wanted to drive with me to see if we could reproduce the engine vibration at about 1700 rpm. After a short drive, we both felt the vibration. He reported later that they replicated the vibration in the shop and noted that it only occurs when the engine is in 3-cylinder mode. This appears to be a fuel economy feature found only in the V6. As I understand it, you will experience it more in ECON mode but also at times in Drive (w/ no ECON). The technician then drove two other brand new V6 Accords from their lot and noticed the exact same vibration, which means the problem is NOT isolated to my vehicle. The service center contacted American Honda and was told that they have no indication that this is abnormal behavior. My interpretation of this is that the problem has not been sufficiently reported to Honda to warrant a technical fix. My dealer indicated that they will monitor Honda technical bulletins and report any other customer complaints. Bottom line: this is a real technical issue that will take awhile to surface and for Honda to take action for a technical fix. I cannot imagine that this highly engineered car was designed to have this vibration.

    2. The vibration at highway speeds may be linked to the problem discussed above. We put this on hold and I agreed to conduct more highway trips to better describe the conditions.

    3. The image from the side-mounted camera that did not switch off was due to user error! There is a button on the end of the turn signal that, if pushed, will keep the image on. I apparently pushed this button. However, I will monitor this situation to be sure.

    4. and 5. My Honda service center report that American Honda IS AWARE of the audio issues (screeching, tinny sounds, static, etc.) and will soon issue a software fix, perhaps later this month.

    A few observations:

    It is good to know that there are Honda service centers that care enough to diagnose a problem and be persistent to get an answer from American Honda.

    Honda does seem to be responding to some of the complaints that have come in and appear willing to make fixes, at least to the audio issue.

    Customers must insist that problems they encounter, however minor, are diagnosed, reported, and addressed. I documented the problems I found and submitted a certified letter to American Honda as required under the Maryland Lemon Law. This was not an irate letter -- just a straightforward documentation of my issues. By doing so, I have started a process that gives me certain rights (i.e., refund for my purchase) if Honda is unable to fix the problem after a certain number of attempts.

    I would be interested to hear from others about their experience with these problems.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Funny !

    It's obvious you never played with cars when you were a kid. If you remove a spark plug cable from any cylinder, of any engine, it starts vibrating. When I disconnected two spark plugs on a 4 cylinder engine (30 years ago) it started vibrating so badly that I thought it would break my engine mounts !

    Any engine is weight balanced by design when all its cylinders fire. Example: Stand up and move both your hands up and down at the same time. Your body doesn't move. Now think one hand is disabled (by some useless computer software) and then move up and down the remaining hand only. Your body will shake all the time.

    This is what you bought ! VCM means Variable Cylinder Management. It disables some cylinders at some times. You buy computers, and then you complain because they act ?? Obviously it pisses you off. That's why you worked so hard to earn the money to buy that new car. To get computers to piss you off.

    Memo: next time buy a 4 cylinder. There is no software to disable cylinders on that one. If you buy a manual transmission too, you get no software to change your gears. I just bought a 2012 4 cyl manual. It's smooth like silk. A dream to drive. My fourth 4 cyl manual Accord. The first one was a 1979 Accord coupe. I drove that one till the paint peeled off. Then I had a 1994, and a 2001.

    H.O.N.D.A. means: Happy Owner Never Drives Anything else. Just take care what you buy. They started offering lots of electronic crap. The market begs for it, so they have to offer it.
  • I have also experienced the hesitation/vibration at about 1700 rpm (your item #1) on my 2013 Accord 4DR EX-L V6 (no NAVI). Thank you for posting such clear, factual descriptions of your issues.
  • frogeefrogee Posts: 5
    I have also noticed a strange vibration/clatter on my V-6 Accord. Buying a 4 is not the answer, if you want the power and smoothness generally associated with a six. I realize that manufacturers are desperate to get fuel economy numbers up, but they should not be so aggressive that drivability suffers. I had planned to bring this to the attention of my dealer and am encouraged by the experience of the original poster.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    I wonder if you recently drove a 4 cylinder Accord. Its power and smoothness are incredible. Obviously if you want to shred the asphalt, a V6 is better. But really you can't talk about V6 smoothness when some cylinders are disabled, so the engine becomes asymmetric. It's like a bird flying with one wing only.

    It would be really entertaining to be able to see the engine block running on half cylinders, under load. I am sure it vibrates like crazy. But you can't see it. When you stop and open the hood, it always fires all 6 cylinders. Allowing the customers to see the 3 cylinder operation would be a marketing disaster.
  • davee4davee4 Posts: 2
    I also have the same issue with V6 engine vibration as you described. In fact, my experience was identical to yours. I brought the vehicle in to the dealer, they noticed the issue on a test drive and contacted Honda to determine if there were issues. According to them this was not abnormal.

    Like you, I am concerned that this vibration should not occur and could eventually lead to problems with the engine. Although not described by you, at highway speeds the issues is not evident. If this is the case, my thought was that an eventual software revision to minimize 3 cylinder operation below say 50 MPH would help. I would be curious to see how this would impact MPG.

    I will continue to pursue this with the dealer until resolved.

    One final note, aside from this issue, there are absolutely no other problems with the vehicle.
  • Here is a quick update.

    I was contacted by American Honda this past week in response to my letter documenting the vibration @ about 1700-1800 rpm. I recounted my experience at my local service center in which the technicians confirmed the vibration and noted that it was associated with the VCM (variable cylinder management) system.

    The customer service representative reiterated that Honda has not reported this as a problem with the vehicle. I asked if any other customers have reported this vibration and he said he did not know. Of course, he is a customer service rep and not necessarily knowledgeable about the technical information or may not have access to customer complaints. I asked if Honda maintains a data base of this information and he just repeated that Honda has not reported this as a problem. (Not much help but understandable.)

    I mentioned that I did not consider that my vibration problem had been properly recognized or resolved by Honda and that I intend to send another letter by certified mail to document this situation (as required by MD Lemon Law).

    I agree with other posts that this is probably an issue of poor design and engineering to have three-cylinder engine operation -- an inherently unbalanced and unstable situation-- as a fuel economy measure.

    This is my first automatic transmission car in which I am the primary driver. I would have purchased a manual transmission V6 w/ leather had it been offered but it wasn't. However, my other automatic transmission cars (e.g., Subaru Outback V6, 10 years old w/ 160,000 miles) do not have this type of vibration. Had I observed the vibration in the Honda Accord during my test drive, I would have purchased a different vehicle. (I find it awfully hard to assess every driving feature and make a judgment on a 10+ year purchase based on 15 minutes of test drive.)

    Honda is probably in a tough spot. They implement the VCM to claim the high MPG numbers and have probably done what they can with the engine mounts and other methods to minimize vibration. It seems that they could fix the problem but it would be at the expense of the EPA-reported MPG. It will be interesting to see it their engineers (and management) can devise a solution.

    My approach at this time, and my suggestion to others, is to politely insist that this vibration is not acceptable as normal operation for a vehicle, especially one of this caliber. I will continue to pursue my concern, not as a crusade, but as a reasonable customer expectation for a $30,000+ purchase.
  • jkt4jkt4 Posts: 2
    My new car does the same thing. Have you found if this is a defect?
  • jos999jos999 Posts: 1
    I'm experiencing exactly the same vibration when reaching 50 to 55 mph @1800rpm. Took it to the dealer this morning. After test driving with the technician he was able to feel the vibration and replicated it at the shop. He just called and said he contacted American Honda and spoke to one of the engineers and they say "its a normal characteristic of the car. Its a gas saving feature" I am not happy with the answer. Honestly it is very annoying and not expected on a car of that caliber. For what i'ts worth and I am writing to American Honda to document the issue.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Lemon Law ?

    Lemon Law applies if there is a problem with your particular car, and they can't fix it. Not if all the cars have a certain standard feature (vibration because of 3 cylinder operation of a 6 cylinder engine). VCM was never a secret. They even use it as a marketing tool (it beats me why).

    Before buying my car, I rented a similar one from a Honda dealer, for a 4 hour test drive. I drove it in the mountains, in the city, on the highway. I even had lunch with my wife, while looking at it in the parking lot. If you keep your car for 10-15 years, like myself, it's worth paying for a rental. It wasn't a new car, but it was the exact trim I later bought. The dealer doesn't care if you put miles on a used car.
  • jkt4jkt4 Posts: 2
    The vibration is clearly evident in my car at all gear-changing speeds. Between 55-60 is horrible. If I set my cruise control in this range, the car shifts in and out and causes the vibration to kick in and out. Drives me crazy.
  • ryry24ryry24 Posts: 2
    Is everyone here that is reporting these vibrations driving with ECO on or off?

    I have a '13 EX-L V6 Coupe and I've never run into any vibrations - not in any RPM band or on surface streets, freeways, parking lots, etc.

    The only thing I've noticed is when I turn off ECO I can feel the car switch over - I wouldn't call it a vibration, but it just comes back to life.

    I ask about the ECO mode because maybe it's trying to drive on 3 cylinders as much as possible if it's ON - which includes slow stop-n-go urban driving. Just a thought, idk.
  • Be fortunate that you avoid the vibration!

    I think you are spot on. I was told by a Honda technician that the ECO mode favors the 3-cylinder operation. So, when you disengage it you may notice an immediate difference if it changes to 6 cylinder mode. However, in normal "Drive" the 3-cylinder mode will also engage automatically but perhaps not as much as when in ECO mode.
  • I went on my first extended highway trip in my Accord V6 for about 150 miles. I must say that the highway experience was much better! I averaged about 65-70 MPH and got 37-38 mpg. Quite impressive. Although I noticed when the 3-cylinder mode kicked in, it was much less pronounced and it didn't really bother me.

    However . . . at lower speeds on level ground at constant speed, the vibration @ 1800 rpm is quite noticeable and annoying. I do not accept that this should represent "normal operation" for this automobile. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the Accord V6 seems to like to hang out at this RPM so it does not happen once in awhile but rather frequently. Drives me crazy.

    If other owners of the V6 are not experiencing this, is it possible it is only present in certain cars (e.g., a certain production run?)
  • mf15mf15 Posts: 158
    Just out of curiosity what range are your vin numbers in,last 5 digits,for the
    V6 cars. Under 5000,10000,15000,20000.
    These are sequential vin numbers, lower number the earlier the production,
    I4's are up over 100000 now but the highest v6 at local dealers, around 23000.
    20000 and up would be pretty current production.

    Old Mike
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    The previous generation (2012) V6 engines didn't have VCM on manual V6 coupes. Is your coupe manual or automatic ?
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    edited February 2013
    Also in 2013 they kept the V6 manual coupe without VCM:
  • My VIN is between 10000-11000.

    On today's commute the vibration is noticeable from 1000-2000 RPM, with the most vibration at 1700-1800 RPM. Believe me, this cannot be normal operation.
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Go to another dealer, ask to test drive an identical car (like a potential buyer). If it vibrates the same ... it means you bought the car of the future. I wonder what people will drive in 50 years ...
  • mf15mf15 Posts: 158
    I just picked up my exl v6 sedan yesterday,vin over 22000,made around Jan 24 so it is fresh off the production line. I took extedned test drive over 70 MPH,drove it to work today and back,low speed roads. The only way I can tell the vcm is on is when the MPG shoots up, dont feel a thing,so far less than 100 miles on it.
    Hope this helps.
    Old Mike
  • The reflector above the Highbeam/DRL halogen bulb is showing signs of heat related damage with less than 800 miles on the odometer! Those of you with a '13 Accord, that uses the highbeam as a DRL, please inspect your reflector while the highbeam light is illuminated. Let us know if you see any haziness or cloudiness on the reflector, especially above the bulb. I'll post a picture of mine as soon as possible. Thanks.
  • Thanks Old Mike -- This is helpful.

    I have found that my car performs very well at highway speeds over about 65 MPH (and over about 2000 RPM) -- very smooth. The vibration is most noticeable at slower speeds (30-60 MPH) and most prominently at 1800 RPM. Since you do not experience this, I am beginning to believe that the vibration issue may be with my vehicle -- not the entire production of V6 sedans. However, I did note that some others have mentioned the same issues as I have.
  • jjjaymmmanjjjaymmman Posts: 43
    edited February 2013
    I only have a few hundred miles on my 2013 Accord V6, and I do not feel this vibration. If I keep everything quiet I can kinda hear a difference when it flips over to 3 cylinder and, as Mike posted, I see the gauge.

    I'm curious, just in case I come across this in the future, how distinctive is this vibration you are feeling. Is it a drastic, no doubt, something is not right feeling or is it minor? Also, was it always there since you purchased the vehicle?
  • The vibration produces a low rumble and shake that is heard above fan noise and audio programs such as CD playing at even moderate-high levels. It is also felt in the steering wheel and accelerator pedal. The front passenger also hears and feels the vibration.

    I own a 10-year old V6 Subaru Outback with 159,000 miles on it. If it made this noise I would take it in for service before the next oil change.

    Does that help?
  • No, I have not experienced any rumble or vibration like that. I did notice someone made mention to vin's and mine is over 20000. I have no idea if that makes a difference. Just curious, when did this start (mileage).
  • Noticed the problem in first few weeks. I was still on my first tank of gas.

    My VIN is around 10000
  • Curious what the dealer will charge for oil changes using the expensive 0W-20 oil ($7 per quart at WallyWorld). Many OEMs are using 0W-20 oil now.
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