pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
19,800 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. higher voltage battery or less computer equip. running when (2 reports)
  3. jump starter (2 reports)
  4. honda has sb #12-041 (1 reports)
  5. replace battery (1 reports)
  6. trade in for toyota (1 reports)
2012 Honda CR-V electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Honda CR-V Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Mar 232020


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,500 miles


I have the same problem with my 2012 CRV just like every owner, I have to start my car multiple times before it starts. All the lights on the dash board come on and when I went to get an oil change I asked them to look at it figure out why this is happening and they came back and said that nothing is wrong with the car and they don’t know why all the lights come on, they reset and the went away just for the moment but they came back on right back. I started thinking am crazy, until now that am reading a the complaints, finally am not alone and I’m definitely not crazy. Not only the lights come on, it won’t start, but it also vibrates when I hit the gas. Am scared to drive my car, because how bad it is.

- Aminah A., Leesburg, VA, US

problem #20

May 182018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,400 miles

Since I bought my CRV in 2012, the battery goes dead and had been replaced once in December 2013 (under warranty at that time). Starting in 2017, the battery sometimes required to remove the blue corrosive particles from battery terminals and jump start. I took my car to dealership for a test in December 2017 and service consultant reported no problem for the battery. But that happened periodically. My recent May 2018 service shows me that my battery failed ED18 test this time and needed replacement. This is less than 50,000 miles.

- Helen N., Fort Lee, NJ, US

problem #19

Jan 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Honda CRV 2012 has battery issue, it doesn't start. But the battery is good when the Honda dealers check it. It happens to me around 10 times in a month and around 60 times in the last two years for the brand new car.

- Rathakrishnan S., Sterling, US

problem #18

Jan 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


I got this issue more than 50 times in the last 2+ years.

I bought a battery jump starter from Costco around $70 and jump start it always.

- Rathakrishnan S., Sterling, US

problem #17

Oct 152015

CR-V LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

This is the 3rd battery for this car. Jumped the car and drove it to the dealership. it had to be jumped to move it out of the bay.

Already had the software update. I told them to find whatever is draining the battery. Service writer said they have to follow algorithms and battery had bad cell so that all they can do. I can't believe they make so many bad batteries, I think there is another problem.

I think they are waiting until the 36 month warranty runs out next month and the next time it happens they will charge me to actually fix the problem. However, the battery warranty is good for full replacement since it goes dead every year. Luckily I have been at home when it won't start, but don't think my luck will hold forever.

The salesman said another lady had the same problem and she traded to a 2015. I told him there's no way I would buy another HONDA since they can't fix this one. Besides, a new 2015 may develop the same problem after a year.

- Lee B., Avon, US

problem #16

Oct 072014

CR-V LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,651 miles

Battery went dead 2 months ago and dealer did software update. I argued about needing a new battery and now they replaced the battery.

- Lee B., Avon, US

problem #15

Oct 132014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Parked in the parking lot, shopping, came back to car, tried to insert key into ignition and key will not turn, shift is locked, cannot move anything, get out manual and it tells me how to unlock ignition. I follow directions and unlock the shifter but key still will not turn and start car. Called husband, he drove 50 miles to bring me another set of keys, car does start, and next day take to HONDA dealer and they check it out and report they don't know why "it did that", I am suppose to take back if it happens again.

- Betty C., Brunswick, GA, US

problem #14

Sep 122014

CR-V Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,690 miles

This was the sixth time the car has failed to start. Same old reaction from the dealership. Did you leave something on, NO!!!!!

Did battery test, alternator test, computer check, found nothing as usual.

It has occurred when the car is left for a few days, or being left for five minutes. Totally random and always the battery is completely dead.

Honda has a problem here obviously and they are not acknowledging it.

This is the sixth Honda vehicle I have had, I it is the last. I will be trading it in ASAP

- snap0519, Pickering, Ontario, canada

problem #13

Aug 272014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,008 miles

Car was not starting at times... just grunt and not turn over. I would need a jump start. When I talked to the service manager at Honda, he questioned if I was driving the car enough to get a charge into the battery. That's good, put the blame back on the customer. My charging system was putting out 12.6 volts to the battery. This is way too low. This will work when the battery is on the new side of life. When it gets older the battery will not start the car, which was what was happening. You, the customer, feel you need a new battery because it won't start the car. You get a new battery thinking that will fix it. The normal charge voltage for all cars should be around 14.4 volts. This will keep the battery fully charged. The problem showed up 2 years after I bought the car. I looked on line and found other people with this same problem. I did some research and the following is what I found out.

Honda will not do a recall on this problem, however, they will fix it for free if you complain about your car not starting. They call the fix: "update the PGM-FI software" (also includes battery and HDS Check). Their Service Bulletin is #12-041. The power train control module is choosing the wrong charge mode / voltage. Honda will not provide a copy of the service bulletin. It is internal to them only. They told me this is an update to the computer to charge the battery at 14.4 volts not 12.6 volts. If this was a "safety" recall you could get a copy.

Honda corporate is relying on you to buy a new battery (good for them to sell you a new battery for $200.00 to $300.00). When the battery is installed by Honda they can do the computer update to your car without you knowing you needed it. This is real customer service, don't you think? If you get a new battery from a place other than Honda your problem will come back in a couple of years. Then you will complain batteries just don't last in Hondas, not knowing why.

These batteries have been under charging for 2 years. This greatly shortens the life of the battery. The plates will sulfate and never take a full charge. I will be asking the regional manager from Honda to replace my battery for free. Their number is 1-800-999-1009 option 7, M-F 6 am-2:30 pm pacific time. The email address I got to contact them is: auto_customer_service@ahm.honda.com I was told by Honda this problem is with 2012 CRV and Civic's.

I just wonder how many people have been stranded in bad neighborhoods because of this problem. How many new batteries have been sold by Honda? I wonder how many jumps AAA and insurance companies have provided over the years because Honda won't tell their customers they have a problem. The insurance companies should be asking for their money back from Honda.

By the way, I worked at one of the major phone company's for 30 years and purchased and maintained thousands of batteries. I was trained in battery design and proper maintenance.

Update from May 30, 2015: Been to several Honda dealers to fix problem,they say there isn't a problem. Here is how top to get the car to charge properly. Cover the light sensor on the dash. It is located in the center by the windshield This will make the charging system put out 14.4 volts instead of 12.2 volts Your headlights will be on 100% instead of 50% bright but at least you will be charging your battery properly. Just think how much money AAA and insurance company's have spent jumping Honda CRV's because of the under charging the battery. how many battery's have been replaced needlessly. By the way Honda sb#12-041 did not fix my car


Update from Jun 24, 2016: Here is the fix for dead battery / engine won't start In the center of the dash board by the windshield is a light sensor Cover it with something black/ sun cannot shine through The sensor tells the charging system it is dark out, and the head lights are on It tells the charging system to put out 14.4 volts instead of 12.2 volts. The reason Honda can't find the charging problem is you pull your car into there garage and it is dark in there The charging system goes to 14.4 volts and appears to be ok, drive the car in day light and it goes back to 12.2 volts. The battery is under charged and your car won't start. Honda will put a new battery in for you and the problem goes away for 1-2 years and here you go again with dead battery. Just cover the sensor. Go to ebay and buy this meter for under $5.00

LED Car Battery Electric Cigarette Lighter Voltmeter Voltage Meter Gauge Tester

By the way they did the SB12-041 and it didn't fix the problem


- Ralph R., Woodstock, IL, US

problem #12

Jun 062013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles

Was in delivery bay at dealership taking delivery of my brand new CRV. After going thru orientation about 30 minutes and car not running I went to start the vehicle to leave and it would not start. Battery was dead! Dealer said, must be a poor battery and they installed another and off I went..... if only I had known what was yet to come.

Update from Jan 15, 2014: solved, traded in for TOYOTA Venza AWD. Good riddance honda

- David F., Edmonton, Alberta, canada

problem #11

Sep 142013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,600 miles


I have had my CR-V for one year this month. I have 5600 miles on it and, until today, I trusted the Honda name (I had a Civic for 6 years and it was the greatest!) And my CR-V. I have not driven it for about a week but had backed it out of the garage yesterday and put it back in a little while later and it started just fine. This afternoon, my husband was about to take it out of town and it wouldn't start. There was nothing on except for the auto lights. It was a little embarrassing to have to move all his stuff out of my CR-V and put it in his Silverado (Chevrolet) and watch his truck start right up (even though has almost 100,000 miles on it) and head out of town.

Right now I'm stuck at home with a practically brand new CR-V that's dead. I have always touted Hondas but not so much anymore. I need to be able to trust the automobile I have and after only 5600 miles...I don't. I have seen several forums on this problem and it seems to be ongoing even for the ones who had it "fixed" several times. Taking it to the dealer Monday (well, my husband is). Glad I won't be there when he gets there. He bought this for me so he could be more secure in the knowledge I had a good dependable vehicle and now this. Poor Honda service techs. I'll let y'all know what they say!

- Lynda H., Shreveport, LA, US

problem #10

Oct 262012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles

I am having a reoccurring starting problem/DEAD BATTERY problem with my 2012 CRV. I am extremely frustrated and angry! On three separate occasions, my CRV is totally dead when I go to start it. In order to get it going, I have to jump start the car. I brought it to the dealer, waited 2.5 hours, only to be told that they didn't find anything and maybe it was because I don't drive enough miles in a year. THAT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I've owned cars for 40 years, and only put 6,000 miles on my cars for the past 20 years, and have NEVER had a problem.

My Honda CRV has an electrical problem, and it appears that other people have had this problem too. I'm at a loss as to what to do - and I'm very upset as this car was a huge investment for my family and I can't afford to sell the car at this point.

- mch, Buffalo Grove, IL, US

problem #9

Sep 202012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles

it's on-going - my brand new CRV from 2012 came with a complimentary subscription to Sirius radio-that was the first clue - 1300 miles later on a drive from MA to FL when the signal didn't work consistently - and with good help from the dealer when I returned - an electric harness was replaced-apparently electrical shorts caused this and other features not to work. I will say my dealer was very helpful - i had free loaner cars, Honda sent a specialist from elsewhere to confirm my CRV had an electrical issue and they gave me a cash "rebate" for my on-going troubles. After this issue was fixed i left the car at the local airport for a work trip in September - non-cold season. five days later I come home at midnight and it wouldn't start. i "assumed' i have a bad battery and the dealer says it is a "known" problem with the size of the battery not supporting the electrical options that drain the battery when you are not driving. I was prepared and ready to buy a more powerful battery, but it didn't exist at the time. Apparently there is no fix - so...I drive for a living and I live with a self-charger so that if my car won't start i can self-jump it - i am nearly 60 years old - i don;t by a new car to have to self-jump; I had four Land Rovers in a row and my nearest dealer closed so i switched to Honda for good mileage...however what i am saving in gas fees i am losing in anxiety. Years ago I had a problem free Honda Accord - I am now trying to figure out how I can get rid of this car - and...what I can replace it with.

- realtorpam, Lenox, MA, US

problem #8

Jan 202013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

I have a barely year old 2012 crv. Had a number of problems with starting it but it turns on after 3-5 tries. Brought it at the dealership for maintenance and was told by the crew that he thinks the battery is weak. He tested it and the paper result states "Battery Status: Good". Barely a week after getting the car out of maintenance, now the battery really wont start. Had to call road side assistance just to give it a boost whose service is a different complaint altogether. Plan to call Honda to have it tested again.

- d2d, Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #7

Apr 142013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,360 miles

Had this problem a few weeks ago and after taking it back to Sterling McCall Honda in Kingwood, it was determined a new alternator was needed as it was not charging the battery. Got in the car tonight to return home and it wouldn't start again. Had to have it jumped again so I could get home. I have no idea at this time why this is continuing to happen but I am a very UNHAPPY HONDA OWNER!

- baildon, Spring, TX, US

problem #6

Feb 272013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

This is the third time I have been running errands and my car won't start. The first time, the dealer told me I must have left something turned on. The second time, he said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. This time I had to call a tow truck and then it wouldn't start again at the dealer's location. I bought a new car so I would be safe traveling alone. This is my first Honda. How I miss my old Trailblazer with over 100,000 miles and never a trip to dealer other than routine maintenance. Honda needs to step up and admit there is a problem with this car.

- swall, Brentwood, TN, US

problem #5

Feb 272013

CR-V EX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,280 miles

I parked my wife's 2012 Honda CRV on 2/15/13 in my 40 degree enclosed garage. Went on a vacation to Mexico. Returned and my wife went to start the car to go to work 12 days later on 2/27/13. DEAD BATTERY after 12 days in a warm, closed garage. I jumped it with my handy starting unit. No problem. She called the service advisor at Napelton's Honda on Perryville in Loves Park, IL. in the afternoon of the 27th. His response was that is "normal" for this model due to all the computer "stuff" running, even when the vehicle is off, not running. Good thing that we didn't leave the vehicle in a parking lot at the airport. Dead battery, cold, covered with snow, no starting unit, (why bring it, it's a NEW vehicle). Would of been even more pissed. At least it was home in my warm garage with a dead battery. So - - - Too much crap running when the vehicle is'nt ?? Is the factory battery under rated ? ? Any suggestions ? ? ? And NO, we will not stop going on our vacations !! And by the way, never had this problem with my old 2001 FORD SportTrac truck! I got 6 years with no problem on the Ford factory battery.

A. unhappy Honda, CRV owner

Update from May 20, 2013: UPDATE > >. So I took the car in to get looked at. The Honda people were good listeners. What they found was that the "software" needed to be updated. They said that the computer module did not recognize when the ignition key was out/removed & everything was still in the "ON" position, therefore the battery went dead. They said it was a one time fix, and should'nt happen again. So far, no problem. Happy wife, happy life.

- Ken S., Rockford, IL, US

problem #4

Jan 282013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Have this problem after 10000 service my battery got dead . Less than month later the car make noise not staring . Towed to the dealer where it is out there for 5 days now they don't know what causing it . It is very frustrating to get to your car to go work 6 in the morning then you loose day at work to get your new car to dealer and they don't know how to fix.

- user1, Berwyn, PA, US

problem #3

Jan 182013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,200 miles

Although I'm only listing this complaint today, I've had my vehicle in to the dealership on three separate occasions for the issue of not starting. I can start it one minute, get out and run an errand etc get back in the car, try to start it again and it's dead. This has happened to me so many times, I've lost count. Thank God this has not happened to me when I'm out of town. I can sometimes jimmy the cables and get the cables to connect to battery and it will start and then sometimes I have to contact my husband and have him try and get the car to start. The last time I had my car in for this issue was back in 11/12 until this morning. I was due at a meeting , I leave out of my home to go to my meeting and yeah the my car would not start. The car was dead, so I get out and pop the hood as I have become accustomed to doing, jiggled the cables and tried to start again and nothing, no interior lighting, nothing. I contacted my dealer's service dept this morning, informed them again of the same issue with this car. I then inquired why they can not replace all the cables etc as it's obvious that my car continues to have electrical issues. The service rep informed me that they would have to witness the issue or Honda would not pay for the replacement parts. Now I live about 45 miles from the dealer they may never "witness" this failure. The failures in starting occur very randomly, when it has occurred typically I can jiggle the cables and it not occur for another 2 maybe three weeks. When it starts occurring more frequently once I get it started I drive the car the 45 miles directly in to the service dept. I purchased my Honda CRV 2012 in September 2012. I began having issues with it starting 10/12, the service dept advised me upon the initial issue that not having the key inserted all the way in would cause the car to not start. I ended up having to take the car in 10/12 and was told that they couldn't find anything. The second time I took my vehicle in for failure to start, was 11/12, service dept told me it was a slipping cable. And today I was told a lose corroded bolt was causing the issue. Honda's are known as being very dependable durable cars and quite frankly, I'm wishing I would have kept my Civic. I NEVER had these type issues with my Civic. I'm interested to know if Honda is at all concerned if all five of the starting/battery CRV complaint vehicles were manufactured in the same plant and are result of faulty parts. Not knowing if your car is going to start is not a fun feeling and I sure didn't expect for this to be a concern with a 2012 Honda CRV. I can only hope the repair today fixes this ongoing issue.

- Markesha C., Ponca City, OK, US

problem #2

Sep 112012

CR-V EX-L 4cly

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,406 miles

The dealer said the radio killed the battery while we were drinking out coffee;they ended up replacing the alternator,and boosting the battery.I had a loner car for a day while they worked on it.This did not make sense;I feel there are electrical problems with this car and it is a LEMON.If Honda say they make quality cars and this is an isolated case they should replace the car.I got the car back the next day with the assurance from the dealer everything would be fine from now on.

- Ron Y., Halifax, NS, Canada

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