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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I registered on this forum to share my experience I have had/am having with my 2009 Accord LX thus far and am looking for any inputs on the terrible quirks this car exhibits.

After the transmission went bad in my 2000 Camry (terrible, terrible car.. was glad to get rid of it) in late December 2011, I decided to buy an Accord. I loved the way the 8th gens looked, and figured they would drive/perform the same (if not better) than my dad’s 2006 LX. I was always impressed with the quality of his.

After test driving a couple, I found (what I thought would be) a gem for a decent price at Honda of Freehold with 19,xxx miles. It has 56,600 on it now. I loved the way it drove. It picked up very nicely and started really smoothly from a cold sit. My only initial complaint was that there was a rattle coming from the back of the car. We isolated it to the rear speaker deck. The salesman, with the help of a knowledgeable service technician, said this was a known problem and agreed to fix it right up for me before I drove it off of the lot. I should have taken this as a premonition.

Before I get to the worst of the problems, I’ll just mention that to this day the rattle has come back 4 times over the last 2 years and been ‘fixed’ (for free, at least) 3 times. I have no intention of going back for a 4th time if it’s not going to matter. I’m dealing with it. I just turn my music up loud and only hear the rattles when it is silent and I am driving on a bumpy road.

So, rewind to the next morning after I drove the car off of the lot. It was an extremely cold morning. I suffered through 3 years of wondering if my Camry would start every single morning I would go to drive it. It was that terrible of a car. I was in high spirits knowing I wouldn’t have to worry about this anymore. I was wrong. I had my camera with me because I wanted to do a little startup and tour for fun as well as take some pictures. It started up really nicely from a cold night and I moved it into the driveway from the street so I could take some pics and whatnot, and turned the car off.

Here is where things go downhill. I went back inside to grab a drink of water and came out to do the startup and tour. I go to start the car and it would not start for the life of it. I tried 3x, cranking the car and it sounded like a sick old man cranking with no fire-up. At this point I was panicking like crazy and went back in the house to tell my dad. We came back outside, and I tried it again but it fired up. I had absolutely no idea why this happened, so I called Honda of Freehold, furious. The best part is, I captured it all on this video!!!!


I drove the car in later that afternoon to have them check it out. They tested/checked out everything (so they say) to no avail. They insisted the car was fine, but instead of leaving me at a dead end, the manager actually said that it was probably because I flooded the engine by not letting it warm up enough. I was flabbergasted at first. How could a car so new, and made by Honda, a reputable company, have such a terrible design flaw? I have never dealt with a car that would have a flooded engine just from moving from the street to the driveway.

I left the dealer after 4 hours, still furious. The next morning, my dad and I tested it out again. Sure enough, it did the same thing when we moved it a short distance and didn’t let it warm up! Although this time, it only took 2 cranks to restart after the initial startup. We pretty much deduced that what the manager told me had to be true. We got a second opinion at Coast Honda in Sea Girt, and they said that these cars are known to run very lean due to emissions standards, which would explain the easily flooded engine. What does not make sense is that my dad’s 2006 is also a PZEV, and does not experience this problem. What about the other newer Toyotas, Nissans etc. that utilize this technology? No one ever reports them having any problems….

So I decided to brush this one under the rug but to make sure I always warm the engine up fully before shutting it off (I even drive it around town if all I have to do is move it from the street to the driveway). I have not had any no-start problems since then, related to this issue.

After driving the car for a couple of months, I started to notice some more unpolished quirks around April of 2012. The carpet in the back started coming undone from where it meets the back door. You think Honda would secure enough carpet so that this doesn’t happen.

I ended up getting used to the grade-logic technology implemented in this car. At first I panicked when I noticed my car wouldn’t shift into 5th gear when going up or down hills, but then I researched it and realized why. The issue I have with this car is that the whole process is (sometimes) extremely rough. The torque converter literally slams into a lock, depending on my speed/pressure applied to the accelerator. It used to be really uncomfortable, but now I just brace myself for it. It sucks because besides that issue, the transmission shifts perfectly smooth.

The second uncomfortableness issue has to do with the transmission as well. I notice that whenever I let my foot off of the gas between 22-26mph, the torque converter also jolts really noticeably in 2nd gear. I try to avoid this by getting it up to 27mph when I am on a slow road so that it can shift into 3rd gear. It almost feels like it is slipping.

Once the warm weather hit (around April) I started noticing some severe performance issues. It started hesitating when pressing the gas to accelerate and would never pick up in a sinus rhythm. Once it got past 1200RPM it would then pick up smoothly. I researched the problem and read up on drive-by-wire, but my dad’s 2006 has this too and his accelerates very smoothly. The hesitation/bogging down is visible in the tach and audible in the engine. The whole dash vibrates when this happens. The problem is 100x worse with the air conditioning running. But again, it only was present on hot days. Cooler, dryer weather had it picking up better. I also noticed that the problem is less amplified if I let the car creep forward and idle up naturally from 600RPM to ~750RPM, which one will notice is a characteristic of most cars. The idle speed, I also noticed, increases slightly when the lights are turned on. Sure enough, the car picks up a tiny bit better with that higher base idle speed with the lights on.

All this being said, I believe that the car has an issue with some sort of component that helps it get going from a standstill. Despite taking it to the dealer multiple times and even PROVING to the technician that the problem exists on a test drive that I took with him, they still have no solution for me. I got my throttle body and fuel injectors cleaned by my local guy as per the recommendation of Honda of Freehold. That did nothing.

In late April 2012, there was one day where it started up really terribly (not from a dead cold). I had been surfing at the beach for a couple hours. It almost failed to start but did on the first crank, however the crank sounded terrible and was not in a sinus rhythm. It only started because I held it for extra-long. I am providing a link to a YouTube video example of what it did here:


NOTE: the video contains a Civic and an Accord for example purposes (obviously not mine). It was not until this past Fall in November 2013 that this same exact problem happened again, only it was sitting overnight. I’m thinking this is a fluke, because it has only happened twice so far. Still though, what kind of quality is this for a car made in 2009? I shouldn’t have to worry about this….

In May of 2012, more weird behavior came about. This time it was a warm starting issue. In total, it only happened 4 times during May of 2012 and has not happened since then. Whether it is a bug that the car ironed out itself, I have no idea. All that would happen is that I would attempt to restart the car after going to the store or whatever, and the engine was obviously still warm. The car would crank fine, engage, but immediately stall. The weird part was that the lights illuminating the dash turned off as soon as the engine died. The typical array of lights didn’t come on like they would if the car failed to start up and the key was in the “on” position.

From that point on I had no serious problems with the car (Summer 2012 to Fall 2013 – see above for my starting issue in Fall 2013). There was a week in December 2012 that the car was vibrating and hesitated a little before a cold start, but it only happened a couple of times and I dismissed it as probably bad gas. I actually found a video that I took during that week in December (very poor quality) and I uploaded it here:


If you pay attention close enough, you will notice the hesitation in the tach.

When it started getting colder into November 2013, I noticed the engine would be louder when accelerating while it was still cold. It would disappear and return to normal tone once warmed up. It also started vibrating between initial acceleration and 1200 RPMs, which I immediately related to the hesitation/pick up issue it has when the weather is warm. So now, to the present day, it doesn’t pick up well regardless of the weather and I can feel the vibration through the gas pedal.

This winter has been a true test to this car’s strength, with many single digit nights and days. The one positive thing to say is that it has not failed me yet (watch, tomorrow morning it will). I noticed that the engine loudness/groaning I would experience when it was cold would not go away no matter what on those single digit days. I isolated the noise increase to somewhere on the passenger side under the hood. I still have no insight as to what this could be. I am thinking about bringing it up to my mechanic depending on what you guys have to say.

That is not to say I am satisfied with the way it is acting. It does not start with a sinus rhythm and sounds all over the place when started cold, almost like there is a misfire. Once above 30 degrees, the symptoms disappear. But, leave it sitting for more than 5 hours on a cold day, and it will act up. This is more of a nuisance factor and makes me extremely nervous than anything. Here is a video from November exemplifying the poor startup:


Keep in mind though, this is NOTHING compared to how terrible it has been starting lately. You will notice the slight hiccup/disruption in sinus rhythm right before it fires up. Just imagine that, but 100x worse as to how it has been lately.

I really need to catch it in the act, but I just have no motivation to do so anymore.

There were 2 times this winter (so far) that my oil pressure light flashed for 1 second when reversing out of a driveway. Mechanic dismissed it as being a fluke. The light did not stay on or anything like that.

I put synthetic oil in it a couple of weeks ago for my oil change, but all that did was make the transmission shift a little bit smoother (didn’t help vibrations, pick up issues, or starting). Not going to lie, I do like the smoother shifts, and will probably stick with synthetic oil.

That concludes my story thus far with this car. Yes, it is fun to drive encompassing the components that work correctly. Yes, it is better than my old car, but overall, I am extremely dissatisfied and that is why I am coming to this forum for help. I want to make this car last and not have to worry about all of these problems. I treat this car extremely well and maintain it as it is supposed to be maintained.

To close, the most frustrating part is that my dad’s 2006 LX is still trucking along with 165,000 miles and it drives 1000x better and starts better than mine. It almost makes me wish I got a 2007 instead.
 

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Car so nice, bought twice
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It does sound like you maybe got one that was made on a metaphorical Friday aftternoon. It doesn't help you, but my '12 LX has performed flawlessly for me, even though I've beaten the crap out of it; but I'm also the first owner so I know how it behaved when new.

Since you've taken it to the dealer I assume they've checked stuff like spark plugs, ground wires, PCV valve, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, and those have been checked by my regular mechanic as well. Battery is also good. 440 cold cranking amps is what it is rated for.
 

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Was the fuel pump / filter checked? From your first video it sounds like its being abnormally loud (might be a cold weather thing though that I'm not familiar with).

I don't know if there's anything we can come up with here that a dealership mechanic wouldn't have already checked :(
 

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Yes, and those have been checked by my regular mechanic as well. Battery is also good. 440 cold cranking amps is what it is rated for.
Interesting I had a no start no crank situation the starter was the issue, but your starter seems to engage. In your case it seems like the battery might be the problem 440 cold cranking amps its kind of low especially if you live in really cold weather. I replaced mine with a Duralast Gold with 640 CCA no problems. If I was you I would put a new battery and see if that takes care of the problem.
 

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"Old School" Shifter
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The last youtube sounds like your battery is getting weak. On the start sequence leave the key in the "on" position for about 3 seconds before turning it to start so the fuel pump has time to pressurize the fuel line. The start, no run condition sounds like the fuel pump acting up. The check valve in the pump might not be sealing fully and needs more time to pressurize the system. Other than that it sounds normal to me.
Might want to go with the V6 battery conversion other people have done on this forum.
Real cold starts brings out strange noises in some engines. Make sure the defrost/AC is off on cold starts and let the engine stabilize a minute or two before switching on the defrost( which also switches on the AC ) and puts added strain on the cold engine.

Why would someone trade a car with only 19000 miles? I would if it was having intermittent startng problems the dealer could not figure out. Next time call the old owner and talk about the car. If the dealer or old owner bulks at this walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting I had a no start no crank situation the starter was the issue, but your starter seems to engage. In your case it seems like the battery might be the problem 440 cold cranking amps its kind of low especially if you live in really cold weather. I replaced mine with a Duralast Gold with 640 CCA no problems. If I was you I would put a new battery and see if that takes care of the problem.
Weird that the car would come with a battery insufficient for NJ's weather. I was also looking at Yellow Top Optima batteries. Anyone use those?

I'm still not convinced it's the battery though, because it tested OK at the mechanic and I can clearly see the green light when I open up the hood.

Why would someone trade a car with only 19000 miles? I would if it was having intermittent startng problems the dealer could not figure out. Next time call the old owner and talk about the car. If the dealer or old owner bulks at this walk away.
You have such a good point. Think I would have been better buying one of the cars with 25 or 30K eh?
 

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Why would someone trade a car with only 19000 miles? I would if it was having intermittent starting problems the dealer could not figure out. Next time call the old owner and talk about the car. If the dealer or old owner bulks at this walk away.
Maybe lease turn-in? :dunno: My '09 LX has been a great car so far and I picked it up with 23k and was a lease turn-in.

Hmm, have you tried putting a battery charger (in start mode) on your leads and seeing if it starts any better? Maybe battery is on its way out?

Maybe check fuel pressure with a pressure tester to see if it's low?

With the colder weather we've been getting here in WNY (was -10F last night), my Accord turned over a little bit slower, but did start good.
 

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my 08 lx has 64k miles and the best most reliable car i have ever owned. i will never get rid of it keeping it till the engine dies
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I thought that it was in the 8th generation that the batteries for the I4/V6 are the same? I know my dad's 2006 has a tiny battery. Mine is noticeably bigger. I think I'm going to grab a new one though.
 

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LX comes with a group 51R. Some come with a group 35 (EX+). The V6's come with a 24F which is the biggest you can fit in there, and it's a common mod people do.
 

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LX comes with a group 51R. Some come with a group 35 (EX+). The V6's come with a 24F which is the biggest you can fit in there, and it's a common mod people do.
Actually, LX, LX-P models with PZEV engines come with group 35 as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually, LX, LX-P models with PZEV engines come with group 35 as well.
That's what I thought. Either way, I'm going to invest in the 24F battery. Too bad that after Tuesday it's going to start to warm up and I won't have to worry anymore...
 

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I had a similar issue but not nearly as bad. I then replaced my i4 battery for the v6 and it mad a world of difference. I would start there too.
 

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Definately the v6 batteries.
When you buy the v6 battery, compare it with your stock battery.
Makes you giggle.
After swapping, your car will start like it's a mid summer day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Definately the v6 batteries.
When you buy the v6 battery, compare it with your stock battery.
Makes you giggle.
After swapping, your car will start like it's a mid summer day.
Very enticing words there. That'd be awesome if it was true. So in summary, what are some good choices for the V6 battery?
 

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I have a factory original 08 V6 Sedan EX-L Battery and I am about ready to change the battery this summer from the original one. I'm going with a Autozone Duralast C-Max Gold battery. It seems like your tranny issues can be resolved by replacing the fluid with Honda original fluid. I did that towards the end of 2013 and my car drives good as new. I remember how bad the jerky shifts were, and now I can't even tell anymore that it shifted.

I fixed my own shelf rattle using the TSB on this site. It worked 100%, I have 0 Rattles no matter how bumpy or thumpy the road/music is. I just installed 4 small pieces of double sided sticky tape between the plastic light piece and the rear shelf.
 
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