2009 Honda Accord engine problems: grinding noise while starting

Grinding Noise While Starting

2009 Honda Accord

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2009 Honda Accord has several serious defects: poor brakes, excessive oil consumption, & uncomfortable seats.

BRAKES: There was a class action lawsuit against Honda in 2010 for premature & excessive brake wear. See our page on Honda's brake problems for more info.

OIL CONSUMPTION: Honda issued a TSB about this in late 2011, claiming it could be fixed through a software update to the VCM (variable cylinder management). There are class action lawsuits pending. See our page about the Accord oil consumption.

UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS: Owners have consistently reported uncomfortable seats with the entire 8th generation (2008-2012) of Honda Accords. Complaints range from back pain to leg circulation problems due to bad lumbar support, cushioning, & seat angle. Complaints aren't limited to only a certain body type -- the seat comfort problems are from a wide spectrum of owner height & weight. The common theme we hear is "we never noticed this during the test drive." Unfortunately for unwary buyers, the seat pain is noticeable after 15-20 minutes.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,631 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace VTC actuator (3 reports)
  3. adjust timing belt & pulleys (1 reports)
  4. replace the vtc actuator (1 reports)
  5. replace vtech solenoid (1 reports)
  6. valve replacement (1 reports)
2009 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #13

Nov 012014

Accord LXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


Getting the VTC accuator grinding noise. Having my mechanic look at it this week. Bought a Honda cause everyone says they're reliable. Not so reliable if I have to replace a part every 50,000 miles. And I've read that if I dont fix it I can look forward to catastrophic engine failure. Just what I always wanted! :sarcasm: There is no such thing as a reliable vehicle. Honda needs to recall this issue and people must unite and bug the crap out of Honda until they do. Class action lawsuit needs to ensue. They only do what we consumers allow. I've owned American made cars my entire life and got tired of having to fix them so I went foreign and no different. All cars are made to break.....period.

- , Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 152015

Accord LX-P 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Honda should own up and fix this issue. Its not a condition that can be caused by the customer/owner, it is a design problem that only affect the 4cyl engine, and are not limited to just the Accord, various other Honda models are affected. Sounds like the VTC will last ~50k-60k miles, will see...

Grinding noise will occur when parked for more than 6 hours, morning & after work. Search for "Honda VTC problme", it's all over the internet.

- , San Lorenzo, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 042012

Accord LX 4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Every time I start my car it makes this horrible metal on metal rattling noise. It started about 4 months after I purchased the car. Going to take to Honda dealership to have looked at but I see others have the same problems.

- , Akron, OH, USA

problem #10

Jan 012014

Accord LXP 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles



- , Moon Twp., PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 172012

Accord EXL 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

First time this part (VTC Actuator) was replaced was at 56K. The second one had to be replaced at 99K and I was told that the repair for non warranty work is about ~$740. Thank goodness for the certified warranty. See service bulletin 09-010.

- , Granger, IN, USA

problem #8

Jun 052014

Accord EXL 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

This is the second time this happened. If the car sits for over 5 hours then the oil drains out of the VTC actuator you hear a rattle when it starts. This is the second time this has happened. I was told the repair for this was $740 dollars but fortunately I bought the car with a certified warranty and this part is covered. The question is........do I want to keep a car that requires a $700 repair every 50K miles or is it time to trade in? See service bulletin 09-010.

- , Granger, IN, USA

problem #7

Sep 052013

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


I've gone SEVERAL times to the dealership and have complained about the problem. The only solution they have given is that the engine lacks oil. So when I get an oil change the problem still occurs after the car sits for a while and on start up and acceleration. And it is NOT just a winter problem, it's summer and it is STILL making that grinding noise. One time it even cut off after the car shuddered. THANKFULLY I wasn't on the beltway as that is typically the only way to get anywhere in the DC, Maryland, VA area, which could've been terrible or worse-fatal. I had an oil change and got an engine treatment and replaced the alternator belt, HOWEVER the next morning the rattling still occurred although it was as loud, but it was still there. Now someone at the dealer told me that the noise would not affect the engine, so I left it alone and made up in my mind that there was just going to be a noise. But after it cut off, I knew it had to be something more to it than just noise. It sounds like metal rattling against something, or a loose bolt fluttering around...it's pretty bad and I'm surprised that a recall hasn't been done on this. I've had Honda Civic before for 10 years and NEVER had any problems out of it, not to this magnitude. So when I decided to upgrade, I figured I would have this car for at least 12-15 years. I've only had it for five it is now at 116K miles and it has been awful to say the least. I just want this car gone. I've complained to Pohanka Honda off of Ritchie Station Rd in that new shopping center and they couldn't tell me anything and gave me nothing but hassle. The customer service there is by far the worst from their service reps. They never have an urgency to assist the customer or to diagnose the problem. When I told them about it, at least FOUR times now, they NEVER hear it or have no idea what it could be. I'm not dumping anymore money into this car as it has had several problems that I just didn't expect at all. BUT someone did tell me that Honda changes their models every four years and if you plan to buy, wait until the third/fourth year model. Which ironically was my Civic it was a '99. I will say that the rattling is not as bad after an oil change, but is STILL PRESENT. Not sure what the fix is for the incessant rattling and have no intention of putting any more money into it.

- , Capital Heights, MD, USA

problem #6

Jul 222012

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I have already spent $650+ to fix this grinding noise when starting my car. Although the grinding is not back when starting it has started having the same metal sound when accelerating which is how it begun. The car is not running correctly and it's the same thing. I don't want to keep spending money on a 2009 car that is supposed to be one of the most dependable of its kind. Honda should do a recall. It seems many are having the same problem.

- , Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #5

Jun 172012

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Car was making a loud noise when starting and when accelerating (especially uphill) to get up some speed the car makes a scraping noise (like metal sound) . It got progressively worse. I had it repaired and the dealership said that it was valves. The noise has gone away when starting, but now the metal sound is starting again when starting (not as loud as when it was repaired) and especially when accelerating is the sound coming up again. I have spent $650.+ for this repair and it is now doing it again.

- , Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #4

Aug 102011

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

So my car makes an awful rattling noise when its cold and has been sitting overnight or for 6 plus hours. I took it to the dealer and they told me I needed to have my vtech solenoid replaced which would cost around $500. I had another shop replace the part as I know dealerships typically cost more. The replacement of the solenoid DID NOT fix the problem!!! My car still makes the loud rattling noise. I called to complain to Honda as I am now out $600. They told me maybe the other shop didnt install it correctly...etc. I went online and see this is a problem with not just my car but other Honda owners as well. I'm thinking, shouldnt this be covered if the car is defective? To make a long story short....the Honda dealership has agreed to reexamine my car at no charge and see if they can find out what else the problem may be. Stay tuned....I am not feeling hopeful. This is my first and last Honda I will ever buy.

- , Stockton, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 292009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


I have an 09 Accord that has been grinding right when you start the car and it only last for at least 2 seconds and then goes away. It only happens when it is cold out and then will repeat when the car sits for at least 4 to 6 hours and will do it again. I kept bringing it into the dealer but of course they NEVER heard the noise and could not find a problem.. So every time I started my car i would video tape it so I could have something to bring onto the dealer so I wasn't looking like a crazy person...

Finally after months and months and plenty of aggravation on my part, one of the Mechanics that works there said "ya know our website just put out a bulletin about engine grinding and posted a video, I want you to come listen to it and tell me if this is what your car is doing" sure as hell it was EXACTLY what i had recorded on my phone and camera!!! It is a problem with the Timing belt and Pulleys that are not matching up when you start the car and causing a grinding noise. Also once they got my car apart they also found problems with my Cam Shaft and after speaking with them this morning they said that they are still finding some other things wrong with parts of the engine...

If you are having this same problem please be aggressive in going to the dealer and have them check EVERYTHING to find your problem!!! I will NEVER buy another Honda ever!!!

- , chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 152009

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles

2009 Honda Accord LX 4 cyl has grinding noise shortly after starting. This happens occasionally, not always. Took it to dealer, and they couldn't recreate the problem.

They said that everything was okay.

- , Shavertown, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 292009

Accord EXL 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,700 miles

I have an honda accord 2009 EXL 4 cyl and had 13700 miles on it.

I heard it for 2 times when I am starting the engine, I heard grinding noise. I took to the dealer and was said that everything is alright. not really sure whats causing the problem..

- , Alexandria, VA, US

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