First up, it may be helpful to know that the Honda Jazz is only named the Jazz in Australia. In the global market it is the Honda Fit. This may help if you are googling for additional information.
The Honda Jazz swept Australia by storm as it was the smallest vehicle to hit the market from the reputable manufacturer Honda. Prior to the 2001 release of the vehicle the smallest thing Honda made was the Civic which was a fantastic car.
The Jazz was a new compact vehicle, with some great features including the rear seat fold up system and was marketed to young females in the corporate sector, uni students and retirees. Value for money they were and are great cars. However there were some common faults that they displayed that are worth keeping an eye out for if you are looking to buy a second hand one.
With the release of this great little car came the early CVT technology. CVT was the new replacement for the automatic transmission. Unfortunately this model had a very common fault with a part called a start clutch. Its an internal component inside the CVT transmission which caused a harsh shudder on take off in the automatic models. We have covered this fault extensively in a previous blog article which can be located below.
Honda Jazz shudder on Take Off.
Other issues to plague the first generation of the Honda Jazz are as follows.
1. Top suspension strut mounts. These can be easily checked by jacking the car up so that the front wheels are off the ground, simply “hug” the wheel and lift up and down, almost every single one will have vertical movement. The movement is caused by the strut top mounts collapsing.
2. Rear wheel bearings. Very common a drive around the block and the Jazz sounds like a 747. This is because the rear wheel bearings are shot.
3. Rear brake cylinders leak brake fluid.
4. Missfire under load. This is caused by spark plugs and or coil failure however in some model Jazz’s it does not present as a normal misfire symptom and here is why. The GLI models are a four cylinder that run eight spark plugs and eight coil packs. Two per cylinder. Once the miss starts the cylinder will normally have another spark plug firing this will confuse the average Joe when trying to diagnose a slight hesitation that does not feel like a normal misfire. Its a misfire.
The VTI model only have 4 plugs per cylinder. Both models are common for plug and coil pack failure. In a GLI this can get expensive as coil packs aren’t cheap and eight of them adds up.
5. Oil leaks from the the crank seal.
6. The engine/transmission mount on the passenger side of the vehicle is very common for failure. It is located below the battery tray. More common to fail in an automatic than a manual Jazz. Likewise with the rear engine mount.
7. Finally in the early days the Jazz had a real problem with the EGR valve playing up. Blockages and outright failures were an issue. We are seeing less of these, these days as we believe most of these were fixed whilst the vehicles were still under warranty.
Hopefully this helps with some common flaws to look at if you are considering buying a Honda Jazz. We will release information on the newer models in coming weeks.