Welcome to the third part of the Honda CRV “Common Problems” blogs we are running. This one will cover the third generation Honda CRV and the common faults they have. We have previously covered the first and second generation CRV in other blogs. You can view them by clicking on the links below.
First Generation 1997-2001
Second Generation 2002-2006
There is also a Video Review we did a few years back which looked at the Third Generation CRV.
Vehicle Review Video Honda CRV
The Fourth Generation CRV is still a little too new for common problems to present themselves. Watch this space. We will get our research done and cover the fourth generation as soon as we know enough about them to confidently deliver a blog article on it.
Now onto business.
The most common fault with these is also the same number one fault the second generation has. Thats no surprise given that they run the same 2.4 litre engine.
1.The most common problem with this model is actually caused by owner neglect. Failure to routinely get the oil and filter replaced in these engines causes a conglomerate of issues. The Vtech system is the first to suffer due to a lack of oil pressure, the check engine light can come on, but not always (don’t rely on the engine light as a reliable source to determine if the fault is present or not).
Once this happens the Vtech solenoids fail, the oil pressure switches fail. Its not uncommon for this to result in timing chain damage and the VTC actuator failure. The long and the short of it is a few hundred dollars saved on oil changes now costs thousands of dollars. Whilst these repairs can be done with the motor in the car, its quicker and easier to drop the motor and box onto the floor.
2. The 3rd Generation CRV are common for rear diff noise. This can often be fixed by changing the diff oil however Honda has a specific oil specified for the diff. Its called DPSF Fluid (Duel Pump System Fluid) and if this is not used it will add to your problem not fix it.
3. This model is particularly problematic when it comes to the Air-conditioning system. They are known for the clutch unit on the air conditioning compressor failing as well as the coil behind the air conditioning compressor pulley.
4. The manual models develop a squeak noise from clutch on take off.
5. The rear shocks are known to leak.
6. This model also demonstrated the vibration problem experienced in the second generation. Driveshaft/CV joint fault. When this happens the fault feels like a vibration through the body of the car. Its rather harsh and can leave some mechanics stumped as to what fixes it. Once again, genuine parts are advised. We have experienced this in the past and replaced it with aftermarket shafts to have the fault return within a few days. Genuine parts for this repair and the fault disappears. The price for genuine shafts will result in one of your kids forfeiting university.
7. A common one for first timers is the poorly located air intake. They have a really low air induction pick up so in flooded areas they will suck in water and cause the engine to hydraulic lock. This causes massive internal engine damage and it is not uncommon for a few third generation CRVs to need engine replacements after heavy rain periods. If you own one of these stay out of the puddles.