Honda CR-V: The Most Annoying Problems You Should Know About

One of Honda’s top-selling vehicles is the CR-V. As an SUV, it has a lot to offer. It’s designed well, it’s practical, and it offers plenty of space to stash your stuff. It’s a tough competitor for the Toyota RAV4. It’s loaded with lots of good tech and convenience features. Yet, for all its popularity, the Honda CR-V has some inconvenient problems you should be aware of before you consider one new or used.

The Honda CR-V’s warped front brake rotors

RepairPal received several complaints about the front brake rotors. The rotors can easily warp, and when brakes are applied, excessive vibration results. The repairs involve having the rotors machined to smooth them out. If they’re worn thin, a replacement is required.

The issue emerged anywhere from 4,000 to 191,000 miles and could cost up to $233. There were 18 model years affected, including 1997 to 2010 and 2012 to 2015.

One owner of a 2013 Honda CR-V experienced this issue within nine months. The dealer explained to the owner it was a result of their own driving habits when they made the repair. Three months later, the issue came up again with the same advice to the vehicle owner. 

Windshield wiper motor failure

Some models of the Honda CR-V had defective windshield wiper motors. The fault prevented the wipers from either turning off or from docking properly. The repair involves replacing the motor which costs as much as $350. The issue appears in several CR-V models including 1997 and  2002 to 2013.

One owner of a 2007 Honda CR-V explained that the windshield wipers in their five-year-old SUV were sporadic in their actions. They would behave per the driver settings for a while before changing speed or ceasing to work. Another owner of the same model said that whenever the wipers were turned off, they never returned to their appropriate docked position.

Flickering tailgate light on the dash

Another minor annoyance reported by RepairPal is the tailgate light on the dash flickering, which can be a distraction for the driver. The source was normally a misaligned tailgate or a defective tailgate switch causing the rear tailgate dash light to behave erratically. Taking the SUV to the dealer to have the tailgate’s position adjusted or the switch replaced usually resolves the issue. The repair cost around $111 and affects six model years including 2002 to 2006 and 2008.

Other minor problems were tied to this. One owner of a 2004 Honda CR-V reported that they couldn’t lock the doors on the SUV with their key fob because the system believed the rear hatch window was open. They had to use their key to lock the doors.

The Honda CR-V’s leaking cowl


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Several people reported to RepairPal that water was leaking into the SUV at the base of the windshield. The result would be water damage or flooding inside the vehicle, particularly during heavy rains. The repair involves having the cowl resealed and can cost as much as $111 for the repair. The problem affects 16 model years including 1997-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2015. 

One owner of a 2012 Honda CR-V had this issue when the vehicle was new. They noticed the carpeting inside was damp and spotted drops of water on the trim on the passenger side. At first, they thought the seals on the passenger side was the culprit. They finally discovered that water was seeping in from under the dash and contacted the dealer. 

Even with the inconveniences listed here, the Honda CR-V is a quality SUV. Its interior is upscale, it’s loaded with features, and the generous cargo space is very useful. If you’re considering a used or new model, do your homework on consumer complaints and decide if the potential problems outweigh the benefits offered when considering your needs.