2014 Honda CR-V engine problems: engine rattles on cold start up

Engine Rattles On Cold Start Up

2014 Honda CR-V

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

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2014 Honda CR-V has a trend of engine hesitation when accelerating.

Honda has tried to fix this delayed acceleration with a software update, but many owners report it didn't fix the problem.

This defect trend is not quite bad enough yet for us to slap on the "Beware of the Clunker" seal. But it's a concern & definitely something to keep in mind for a test drive.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
29,350 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. replace vtc actuator (3 reports)
  3. fix or stop selling a car that you know has a problem (2 reports)
  4. upgraded variable timing controller (vtc) (1 reports)
2014 Honda CR-V engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Honda CR-V Owner Comments

problem #18

Dec 202019

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,390 miles


Purchased a low mileage 2014 CR-V, and when the weather got cold, started noticing a 2 second rattle from the engine at start-up. Doing research, realized that this issue started back in 2008 with the Honda Accords having the 2.4L engine that the CR-V uses. I've gone roundabout between American Honda and local dealership, and finally got the TSB (16-012) that is supposed to fix this rattle problem done. Before the repair the vehicle would rattle at any ambient temperature (not just when cold). After the repair, I am now back to hearing the rattle at cold startup (40F and below). This issue is more than just a nuisance rattle, as most who have ignored it end up with timing chain damage. Yet again after contacting American Honda, have been going roundabout with this problem. I am fed up with the need to justify my problem with this vehicle that has a know mechanical defect. A defect known by Honda since 2008! I am lucky that a warranty picked up the outrageous repair bill, which did nothing to resolving the problem. STEP UP HONDA!

- raven09, Tehachapi, US

problem #17

Feb 122018

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine rattles on cold start up engine rattles on cold start up

I've been having this rattle since I bought the car in February of 2018. I've mentioned it and had it looked at Several times. Nothing works. They have replaced the VTC actuator, there was a small leak in the timing chain they fixed with HondaBond. It still rattles, it's not always related to the constant low oil either. Now that I threatened lemon law they are finally doing an oil consumption test to check oil level every 1k miles to figure out how much it's using to decide it they need to replace the rings in the engine ( told it's expensive), I'd prefer a new engine. I'm not paying for it.

- jwagar3, Fairport, US

problem #16

Aug 012018

CR-V EXL 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Actuator was covered by Honda, but dealership also stated I needed serpentine belt and tensioner which also caused noise, so they say. I am seeing people state even after actuator is fixed, noise continues which is caused by a prematurely stretched timing chain. I had an independent 3rd party mechanic look at the car months ago and they thought it was timing chain. Honda wanted to do actuator first, to see if that works. If not, I started a case before warranty was up and thus Honda gave me my case # and stated they would replace timing chain if I hear noise again and Honda dealership corroborates that vehicle needs timing chain since I was under warranty when this happened. Don’t wait to bring your car in! Even if you bought used you may be under warranty. The actuator was covered through extended warranty due to technical bulletin Honda released.

- James P., Schenectady, NY, US

problem #15

Feb 012019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Engine loud rattle at cold start up. a lot of reports of this issue, VTC change might fix it. HONDA TSB

- Craig S., Norfolk, VA, US

problem #14

Jun 152016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Right after my warranty expired the engine started rattling or ratcheting a cold start up for one to three seconds. I started reading online and watched a YouTube video that verified it was a VTC actuator. I contacted dealer and he said I need to bring it in and let them started in the morning when it’s cool. I live an hour and a half away from the nearest Honda dealership. He also said it was out of warranty and Honda would not take care of it I called Honda USA and they said that they could not help me because it is beyond the warranty. Further, the dealer repair person told me the replacement parts are identical to the ones in the engine and it would just recur.

- Troy M., Mtn. Ranch, US

problem #13

Dec 152017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Same scraping, metallic sound after first starting the car when it's cold that everyone else is hearing. I was more worried about the excessive oil consumption until I read that everyone else is hearing this noise and it can't be good. Great. Another problem with my "good" car.

- djmorrison, Sturbridge, US

problem #12

Mar 262017

CR-V LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,500 miles


I have experienced the grinding upon startup, but this one was a metallic clunk that shook the whole car. Sounded like it could be a major problem if it happens too often. Reminded me of the kind of thump you get when you shift out of park on a hill, without emergency brake set.

- Steve B., York, PA, US

problem #11

Nov 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

The first time I took the car in regarding the problem they told me it was the VTC actuator. Then they came back with no it is a belt and replaced the belt. Now I took it back for the was rattle and they are saying it is because I am at 20% of my oil life so they tried to pressure me into the 45,000 mile Honda Care package for a mere $500. I told them for the moment just an oil change and tire rotation.

My car never made noise at 20% oil life. The car singles you at 15%. I change my oil regularly. I told them that there appears to be a national problem regarding the VTC actuator. This was no new to them they knew about it. Well hell just fix it! It doesn't look like they are going to.

Anyone having these issues please help!

- Kellie J., Bessemer, AL, US

problem #10

Nov 232016

CR-V LX Stock

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

Dealer couldn't find noise. Have transmission issues with same vehicle. This is my fifth and final Honda. Dealers and Honda aren't customer focused. I'm taking my business elsewhere.

- pedro2aircraft, Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #9

Feb 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles

Complained to my dealer regarding the start-up noise/rattle during colder months. Only noticed the noise during the colder time of year and it seemed to reside on its own during Spring and Summer time. Dealer made me aware that Honda now has an upgraded Variable Timing Controller (VTC) that should resolve this problem. New VTC part became available in April 2016 time frame. Dealer replaced the stock VTC (a 4-hr job) under the new car warranty with the new part and so far, so good. Won't know for sure until Winter hits again I suppose. So, this is a KNOWN (via Tech Service Bulletin) issue by Honda. Therefore, your dealership should replace the part under warranty as long as they can replicate the problem beforehand. If not, then find one that will. I was also told that the rattle is not detrimental to the engine overall but it simply didn't make me comfortable that a low-mileage car would make such an internal, destructive-sounding noise upon cold start-up. Hence, that's why I pushed the issue and the dealer responded appropriately. In my view, the noise will only get worse with age should it not get addressed early.

- razor80, Beavercreek, OH, US

problem #8

Jun 042016

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles



- Timothy S., Johnstown, PA, US

problem #7

Nov 122014

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

Hi Honda CR-V owners. I am so disappointed with Honda. They are selling products they know are defective and aware of it. 2008-2016 2.4L. The engine rattles at start up when cold 55 degrees or less. The car only had 5000 miles on it, even if I get the actuator fixed when they come up with a fix, I was told 3-1-2016 or around that time I will NEVER purchase another Honda because of their dishonest business practices!!!!! And don't get me started with the dealerships I called, they will lie to you and try to avoid fixing any problems.

Update from Feb 15, 2016: Also I have found that if you turn the key to start position for just 1/2 second or so just enough to move or rotate the engine some but not enough to start it, do this twice and the cam pin will lock in to the retard position where it should be. And NO NOISE this works on my car every time. Its worth a try. good luck, when I pay this car off I will go back to Toyota with J vin # made in Japan or scion.

- tim5757, Memphis, TN, US

problem #6

Oct 012015

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

The first time I start the engine every day there is a bad grinding noise for a couple of seconds. The dealer says this is a known problem they have been working on since 2009. My question is why did they continue to sell cars with a known problem and tell buyers about it. I'm contacting a lawyer about the possibility of a class action suit.

- hornbac, Concord, NC, US

problem #5

Dec 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,861 miles

2014 Honda CR-V cold start rattle, VTC actuator, if you know about a problem over the years and keep selling cars with the same problem, not a good way to keep costumers. It's my third Honda, I am worried if the car is going to last until I pay it off?

- Jeffery F., East Stroudsburg, US

problem #4

Oct 292015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,235 miles

I bought this car new and pretty much immediately it would make a metallic grinding noise on start. Went to the dealer and they acknowledged the problem but indicated that there was no fix. I wrote to American Honda and they responded that they were aware of the problem and might working on a solution. I asked when the solution might be available and they couldn't provide that information. The noise is extremely annoying and embarrassing for a new car to be making. I think it will be difficult to sell with this noise, I certainly wouldn't buy it after hearing the grinding. I have lost a lot of respect for Honda over this issue. I have written another letter to American Honda and have asked them to fix the problem or buy back the car.

- virginian, Arlington, Va, US

problem #3

Nov 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,800 miles

My 2014 CRV began making the grinding noise on startup caused by the widely reported defective VTC actuator when the vehicle was just 10 months old. It started when the temperature was in the 30s. Continued almost daily through the winter. But it has happened as late as June 30 and as warm as 66 degrees.

I reported it to Wilde Honda dealer in December 2014, left the vehicle for a week so they could observe it. Service adviser told me Honda knows about it, that it happens to many Hondas, including his, but that it doesn't cause damage or affect performance. Basically a normal, harmless "rattle," so Honda is not doing repairs or recall.

I reported it to my dealer again in June 2015 when the noise continued in warm weather. A different service adviser said engineers are working on it, and that a service bulletin in 2010 instructed dealers to replace the VTC actuator. But since the part was still defective, it would just fail again. Subsequently, Honda told dealers to stop replacing the part until there is a permanent fix.He said that should be coming "soon."

Well, Honda has known about this defect since 2008. Search "Honda VTC actuator" online and see how many people have complained over the years. Still nothing is being done because no one has died and customers have not gone to the media.

I messaged @HondaCustSvc on Twitter yesterday and was told: "this condition does not represent a defect in material or workmanship at this time. There is no impending failure associated with the condition you're experiencing. This is not a safety issue." End of contact.

I called Honda Customer Service at 1-800-888-1099 today to open a claim. She said Honda is aware of the problem but that it's not a safety or damage issue. Everyone should call customer service to file a case -- that way even if your warranty expires, you will have documentation of your problem. Maybe if enough people file claims, they can't pretend they didn't know how widespread it is.

The media really needs to investigate this. Knowingly selling vehicles for 7 years with a defective part should constitute fraud. Honda corporate knows; dealers know.Yet they continue selling thousands of vehicles with a part that fails after 6-10 months. Only bad publicity and public pressure, perhaps a social media shaming campaign, might prod Honda into taking action. Wouldn't their shareholders care?

I paid $30,000 for this brand new vehicle. It should not be making horrific grinding noises, regardless of whether it's safety-related or not. My old 1994 Toyota Corolla with 200,000 miles never had these problems.

This was my first Honda, and it assuredly will be my last. I've already warned everyone I know to steer clear of Hondas. They don't deserve loyal customers. Really, really bad business practices and horrible customer "service."

- mabelwi, BROOKFIELD, WI, US

problem #2

Oct 062014

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I brought in my 2014 Honda CRV LX to the local dealer to have an oil change and also told the mechanic that a "grinding" noise occurs after turning the ignition key. The noise mostly occurs on cold temperature days (early in the morning to get to work) but in a few instances, it occurred on warmer afternoons when the car sat for a while. Of course, the mechanic said he would need to have it positively identified himself and as bad luck would have it, the noise didn't happen when I brought it in that day (the engine was already warmed up). And of course, the noise kept occurring ever since (here and there) and is definitely annoying but I do fear is symptomatic of a larger issue that needs to be addressed by Honda.

- tuanskie, Greenville, NC, US

problem #1

Dec 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Bought 2014 CR-V... new and the rattle started a few weeks later when below 35..found YouTube with 2012 CR-V.

Dealer replaced an actuator... Noise was gone but so was the cold weather,,,,no problem all summer ...cold weather returns as so is the rattle...

- Sharon K., Queensbury, NY, US

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