Crossover & Midsize

The Most Common Honda CR-V Problems You Should Know About

The Honda CR-V has consistently been a good seller for Honda. Not only is the vehicle one of Honda’s best-selling SUVs, but it’s also one of the best-selling SUVs in the United States. Drivers appreciate the fact that the award-winning vehicle handles nicely, is economical to drive and has a reputation for being extremely safe. Consumer Reports has rated the CR-V as the third-best SUV on the market and gave it four out of five stars for both customer satisfaction and reliability.

While the Honda CR-V has a reputation for being extremely reliable and being a vehicle that’s easily maintained, if you currently own one or are planning on purchasing a CR-V, there are a few common problems you should be aware of. 

The Honda CR-V’s air conditioner behaves badly

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Most drivers are concerned about chronic mechanical problems that make it impossible for them to rely on their vehicles, so it’s nice to know that one of the most commonly reported Honda CR-V problems is the air conditioner. According to RepairPal, over 1,000 reports have been filed from drivers who were irritated when they turned on their vehicle’s A/C and instead of getting a blast of cool refreshing air, they were created by a steady stream of hot air.

Yes, this is an irritating problem, but at least it’s not one that renders the vehicle undrivable. 

The problem appears to impact several different years of Honda CR-Vs and is likely caused by an assortment of issues that can include: 

  • Leaks
  • Clogs
  • A faulty compressor 

The problem seems to occur between the 40,000- and 100,000-mile marks. 

The Honda CR-V suffers from sticky locks

A Honda CR-V is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview
The Honda CR-V | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

Repair Pal reports that they have had more than 200 reports about the locks not working on Honda CR-V models. While this might not seem like a major problem, it could quickly become one. Locks that aren’t working properly make it impossible to secure your vehicle. In the case of the Honda CR-V, the bulk of the locking complaints filed involve locks that got stuck in the lock position, forcing drivers to find creative ways to enter their vehicle. If the problem occurred in multiple door locks, it could become impossible for the driver to even get into the vehicle. 

In most cases, the issue was found to be the result of worn-out lock tumblers. Since the problem usually occurs after the vehicle’s warranty has expired, drivers will be pleased to learn that replacing the faulty lock tumbler is a car repair they should be able to do on their own. The cost of replacing sticky lock tumblers ranges from $233 to $252. The bulk of the cost is buying the new tumbler.

Breakdown of the differential fluid 

The third most commonly reported problem is more concerning than the first two. RepairPal received 170 reports about Honda CR-V vehicles that groaned each time the driver made a turn. The cause of the groaning was the differential fluid breaking down. In those cases, a quick flush and some replacement fluids solved the problem.

If your Honda CR-V starts groaning as you make turns, don’t ignore the issue. While the problem is mainly connected to the differential fluid, it can also be a sign that it’s time to replace your brakes or that the entire differential needs to be replaced. 

While the Honda CR-V isn’t perfect, despite the reported problems, it’s a very reliable vehicle. According to Consumer Reports, the only real issue that lowered the overall customer satisfaction with 2019 Honda CR-Vs was some minor issues with the in-car electronics. Based on the most commonly reported problems, the Honda CR-V is very reliable and will allow you to drive with confidence.